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.