Archive for June 2014

Monthly Archive

FDA Issues Warning to Companies Making Claims That Their Products Cure or Treat Autism

To be clear: there is currently no cure for autism. Companies that make false or misleading claims that their products or services cure autism have now been issued a warning by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop—or else face possible legal action.

Current treatments approved by the FDA for autism aim to alleviate or manage certain symptoms of the disorder, but not the entire disorder.

According to the FDA, “The bottom line is this—if it’s an unproven or little known treatment, talk to your health care professional before buying or using these products.”

To find out more about the companies and products issued the warning, read the official statement issued by the FDA.

To find out more about medication and autism please see our blog “Common Questions about Medication and Autism”. And if you are considering a new therapy for your child please see our blog “Choosing a Biomedical Therapy and Autism”.

Tackling Difficult Behaviors Part 2- Elopement and Autism

This is the second of a 2-part series for families dealing with pica or elopement. In this post, we’ll cover the following information on elopement:

  • Presentation and prevalence
  • What makes elopement so challenging to treat
  • Common, evidence-based treatments to consider
  • Tips for parents to begin a treatment plan

Elopement

Presentation and prevalence

Elopement occurs when a child runs or wanders from a safe, supervised environment. A 2012 study found (via parent survey) that 49% of the study children with autism eloped after the age of 4 and of these, 53% were away from supervision long enough to be considered missing. In contrast, parents reported that 13% of the study’s unaffected siblings had eloped after the age of 4. Statistical analyses showed that the children with autism who were more severely impacted by autism (lower intellectual and communication abilities) were more likely to elope than those who were more mildly affected by autism.

What makes elopement so challenging to treat? 

Like pica, there is less research on elopement than other problem behaviors exhibited by those with autism. Often, elopement is lumped into a category of “challenging behavior” and not studied independently. Read full post »

Tackling Difficult Behaviors Part 1- Pica and Autism

Children with autism display a variety of unique behaviors. Some behaviors charm us. One upstanding character I met last week proudly reported that he’d memorized all of the U.S. presidents plus special facts about each one. Then he proceeded to tell me 3 facts about 3 presidents. Other behaviors are not so charming and can be disruptive and dangerous. Two particularly daunting behaviors families affected by autism contend with are pica and elopement. Pica refers to the ingestion of non-food items. Elopement occurs when a child runs or wanders away from safe, supervised environments. Why do these behaviors occur and why are they so difficult to treat?

This is the first of a 2-part series for families tackling these difficult behaviors. Starting with pica, we’ll cover the Read full post »

Girls and Autism

We’re excited to post the following blog on a topic we don’t hear much about – girls and autism. Because they are in the minority when it comes to autism diagnosis, girls have not received attention as a unique subset of people with autism. That seems to be changing! Here’s what two of our colleagues at the University of Washington Autism Center, Sara Webb, PhD, and Katy Ankenman, MSW, shared with us about their study on girls and autism.

It is common knowledge that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is diagnosed more often in boys than girls. Current prevalence rates tell us that boys are at higher risk of ASD as the ratio of boys to girls with ASD is about 4.5:1. The Read full post »