Autism Case Training: A Developmental-Behavioral Pediatics Curriculum

The CDC recently released this American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)-endorsed curriculum which is designed to educate future pediatricians on identifying, diagnosing, and managing autism spectrum disorders through case-based scenarios. The curriculum is a flexible, interactive learning tool that emphasizes practical skills for patient and parent interaction. The full curriculum and videos are available online

New Research on Younger Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

The younger brothers and sisters of children with autism appear to be at greater risk of developing the condition than had been thought, according to research published in the Journal of Pediatrics. The study, "Recurrence Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Baby Siblings Research Consortium Study" found the recurrence rate to be 18%. Previously, the recurrence rates had been estimated to be between 3% and 10%,

New Report Compares Effectiveness of Therapies for Autism

The federal Agency on Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently conducted a review of the research on autism therapies looking at what evidence is available regarding the effectiveness, benefits, and harms of therapies used to address the core and associated symptoms seen among children ages 2–12 years with autism spectrum disorders. The findings were published in two separate reports, one for clinicians and one for parents titled, "Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review of the Research for Parents and Caregivers."

Operation Autism: A Resource Guide for Military Families

Operation Autism is a web based resource specifically specifically designed and created to support military families that have children with autism. It is the shared product of the vision and energy of the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) and the funding support of the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation. The website provides information on autism, how to access treatment services both on and off base, a support forum for families and more!

New Study Reveals Autism Prevalence: 1 in 38

In the first comprehensive study of autism prevalence using a total population sample, an international team of investigators from the U.S., South Korea, and Canada estimated the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in South Korea to be 2.64%, or approximately 1 in 38 children, and concluded that autism prevalence estimates worldwide may increase when this approach is used to identify children with ASD.

Researchers found that  that two-thirds of ASD cases in the overall sample were in the mainstream school population, undiagnosed and untreated. These findings suggest that rigorous screening and comprehensive population coverage are necessary to produce more accurate ASD prevalence estimates and underscore the need for better detection, assessment, and services.

Read or listen for more information about this interesting study.

Access the full journal article from the American Journal of Psychiatry.

5-Minute Screen Identifies Subtle Signs Of Autism In 1-Year Olds

A five-minute checklist that parents can fill out in pediatrician waiting rooms may someday help in the early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Published today in the Journal of Pediatrics, the study’s design also provides a model for developing a network of pediatricians to adopt such a change to their practice.

Read the full press release about the study.

New Report Looks at Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Some medical and behavioral treatments show promise for reducing certain behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), but more research is needed to assess the potential benefits and harms, according to a new AHRQ-funded report.  The research results were published online in the journal Pediatrics

The comparative effectiveness report found that two commonly used medications—risperidone and aripiprazole—show benefit in reducing some behaviors, including emotional distress, aggression, hyperactivity and self-injury. However, these medicines are associated with significant side effects, such as rapid weight gain and drowsiness. The review found that no medications used for ASDs improved social behaviors or communication skills. The report also found that several medications show promise and should be studied further, but that secretin, which has been studied extensively, has shown no effectiveness.