Autism

News and updates about autism, health and medicine.

Isaiah Seibert, Side Effects Public Media

There’s an endless stream of advice online about how to make friends as an adult. The listicles and blog posts often mention that it’s harder for twentysomethings to form meaningful friendships. 

Making friends can be even harder if you’re on the autism spectrum, especially if you don’t live in a major city. But one group is trying to build those connections in rural America.

How Active Shooter Drills Can Harm A Child's Health

Aug 29, 2019
Photo Credit: "Aid To Injury" by MAMC Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Dianne Gordon knew something was wrong as soon as her daughter stepped off the school bus one April afternoon. Seven-year-old Rory was inconsolable. 

"It was heart-breaking," says Gordon, who lives in Champaign, Ill. "She was screaming and yelling. She loves school, and she kept yelling, ‘I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to go back.'”

Isaiah Seibert/Side Effects Public Media

Yvonne Martin keeps detailed notes of two years in her life. It starts on March 1, 2016. That’s the day her son, Daniel, first ran away from the family’s home near Evansville, Ind.

He was 13.

The Indiana Repertory Theatre has performed “A Christmas Carol” for almost 30 years. But this year’s final performance starts a little differently.

Sherry Alvarez says she knew there was something different about her son since he was about 9 months old. Back then Sherry says his pediatrician told her there was nothing to worry about, " 'Boys are a little slower than girls, so let's just wait until his second birthday.' " We aren't using Sherry's son's name to protect his privacy.

By her son's second birthday, Sherry says she was getting desperate. She didn't know why he wasn't talking yet or showing affection like other kids. At 2 1/2, he was referred to Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

State Insurance Mandates For Autism Treatment Fall Short

May 25, 2016

Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books requiring health insurers to cover autism treatments. But research evaluating these insurance mandates suggests the efforts are failing to help many children get needed therapy.

The state requirements have increased the number of children by about 12 percent, according to the research presented Wednesday at a major conference on autism spectrum disorder.

Johnathan Casserly has autism spectrum disorder.
Ana Casserly / submitted photo

Autism spectrum disorder, better known as autism, is a condition where an individual struggles to engage in two-way communication, especially in social situations. 

There is no "cure" for autism, and the cause may come down to hundreds of interacting factors, but we do know it is critical for people with autism to get the earliest possible diagnosis and get access to appropriate educational and medical resources.

Combined Effects Of Maternal Obesity, Diabetes ‘Substantially’ Raise Autism Risks

Feb 1, 2016

While the incidence of autism spectrum disorder has increased in recent years, what’s behind it remains relatively mysterious and even controversial. But a major study could shed new light on some of the maternal health factors that may increase children’s risk of developing the condition.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by difficulties with communication and social interaction as well as repetitive or obsessive behaviors. The range and severity of symptoms can vary widely.

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A new study that associates antidepressant use in pregnancy with autism is no silver bullet.

Researchers in Quebec published findings in JAMA Pediatrics that found a slight increase of incidence of autism in children of women who used antidepressants during their pregnancy.

A leading obstetrician at the University of Rochester Medical Center says pregnant women should not be alarmed.

A New Study Raises Old Questions About Antidepressants And Autism

Dec 14, 2015

Taking antidepressants during the second or third trimester of pregnancy may increase the risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder, according to a study of Canadian mothers and children published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.

But scientists not involved in the research say the results are hard to interpret and don't settle the long-running debate about whether expectant mothers with depression should take antidepressants.

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