If you ever have the opportunity to hear Dr. Bryan King talk about autism, go! Dr. King has the unique ability to deliver complex information about autism in a concise and remarkably clear manner. His unique use of metaphors help make overwhelming and confusing information comprehensible. Dr. King skillfully addressed important topics such as the cause, treatments, new DSM criteria, and advancements in research at the Autism 200 class in January at Seattle Children’s.
Please take advantage of this rare opportunity to quickly update your knowledge and understanding regarding the state of autism in 2014. Watch Autism 201: The State of Autism in 2014.
Yesterday, the CDC reported that autism diagnoses have increased 30% in the past two years. For today’s blog, Seattle Mama Doc, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, and Seattle Children’s Autism Center Medical Director, Dr. Charles Cowan, discuss what this increase means and how parents can best advocate for their children.
“Like a bell on a quiet night, I feel parents need to hear this most: we just want to connect children with the resources they need to thrive at home and at school and throughout their lives. Doesn’t matter what we call it, we want children of all backgrounds, of all resources, and all opportunity to be afforded the chance for a connected, lovely life. As a realist of course, I do know that numbers matter because it changes how we screen, how we Read full post »
Recently we received a question from one of our readers about a large study regarding children with autism and Gastrointestinal (GI) Issues. Please see what our Dr. Charles Cowan had to say:
Thanks for your post pointing out this most interesting and important recent study. This UC Davis/MIND Institute study is the largest study to date on gastrointestinal (GI) issues in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). For those of you who haven’t heard of this study or read it, in brief summary the authors used data from CHARGE (CHildhood Autism Risks from Genetic and the Environment) database. This is a very large study which enrolled 1,513 participants from 2003-2011. Most participants completed a questionnaire about GI symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and food intolerance to compare the prevalence of these symptoms between children diagnosed with ASD, non-autism Developmental Delay (non-ASD DD) and Typical Development (TD). Read full post »
It is April, Autism Awareness month. I’m certainly pleased that this month is designated as such and it serves as a convenient time for me to reflect on the past year and try to look forward to the coming one.
I’ve entitled this blog post the “State of Autism” as this is my humble attempt to review what I feel are important issues related to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in our state, Washington and the country. This is my 3rd time trying to do this and each time I’ve come away with the feeling that I barely scratched the surface of important things to discuss. What I have chosen to discuss are my choices, acknowledging that by doing such I’m leaving huge important areas entirely left untouched. That said, I have decided to discuss issues related to diagnosis, epidemiology, new science, local issues in our state, and treatment. Read full post »
Just this week, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) published in one of its publications, the National Health Statistics Report, the latest information on the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Once again as we’ve been used to seeing over the past ten years the prevalence has apparently risen again. Just one year ago, the CDC published data widely reported in the press that the prevalence of ASDs in the US was 1:88, equal to approximately 1.13%. This report substantially increases that number to about 1:50 or 2% of the population. What are we to make of these ever apparently increasing prevalence numbers? Read full post »
Thinking About Participating in Autism Research? Here’s What You Need to Know.
Over the past few decades, our knowledge about autism has expanded tremendously, thanks to the many research studies that have been conducted. Through research, we have begun to learn about autism’s causes, effective treatments, and how to best diagnose autism. If you are a parent of a child with autism, maybe you’ve considered having your child participate in a research study. But you might also have some reservations about participating, or maybe you’ve wondered: what’s in it for my child and our family? Read full post »
Part 3 in our series on Autism and Family Life
For a dozen years I’ve heard the statistic that 80% of parents of children with autism divorce and for a dozen years I’ve tried unsuccessfully to find the purported study. I did, however, locate studies whose findings provide evidence that the 80% divorce rate is an urban legend.
- Brian Freedman, clinical director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute used data from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health of more than 70, 000 children age 3 through seventeen.
- Debunked the 80% myth: 64% of parents of kids with autism remained married compared to 65% for those who did not have a child with autism. This means that the divorce rate was virtually the same, about 35% not an exorbitant 80%. Read full post »
Part 2 in our series on Autism and Family Life
With a global picture that seems to get tenser every day, is there anyone on the planet who doesn’t feel it?
Science tells us that a certain degree of it can be a good thing. It’s what allows us to grow stronger emotionally, cognitively and physically. Often things that make us feel a bit anxious are the ones that nudge us out of our comfort zone to trust our instincts, test our limits, take a chance. Read full post »
You may have heard the exciting news about a drug being studied that shows promise in treating social withdrawal behaviors in children with Fragile-X and potentially autism. We wanted to find out more information about this drug arbaclofen (or STX209) and its effects on Fragile-X, so we sat down with Bryan King, M.D. and Director of Seattle Children’s Autism Center and Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. King has been consulting with the pharmaceutical company that designed this drug and leading its trial at Seattle Children’s.
theautismblog: What is the relationship between Fragile-X Syndrome (FXS) and autism?
Dr. King: Fragile X Syndrome is a disorder associated with a specific gene defect. The product of the gene is a critical regulator of brain activity, and children with this disorder typically have significant cognitive and behavioral difficulties. In some studies, as many as 40% of individuals with FXS have an autism spectrum disorder. Since the underlying brain processes are being uncovered in FXS, and because of the overlap with autism, drugs that target FXS are of tremendous interest.
Two weeks ago, Seattle Children’s hosted Dr. Catherine Lord, Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, a subsidiary of Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital. During her visit, she toured the Seattle Children’s Autism Center, met with providers and gave several talks.
Well known and respected in the autism community, Dr. Lord “renowned for her work in longitudinal studies of social and communicative development in ASD. She has also been involved in the development of standardized diagnostic instruments for ASD with colleagues from the United Kingdom and the United States (the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) an observational scale; and the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADI-R) a parent interview), now considered the gold standard for research diagnoses all over the world.” Read full post »