Regression, a sudden loss of language and social ability, does not lead to more severe autism, according to a study published in March in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. The study suggests that how autism develops does not influence the long-term outcome of children with the disorder.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
A new mouse model for autism has obsessive behaviors and is less social and emits fewer vocalizations than controls, according to a study published 17 March in Behavioral Brain Research. These features could be be the result of much higher levels of FAM46, a gene of unknown function that may be involved in signaling between cells.
Two children with Asperger syndrome have disruptions in the PARK2 gene — one child has a duplication in the gene whereas the other has a deletion — according to a study published in February in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.
In the new diagnostic manual for psychiatric disorders, Asperger syndrome will be folded into autism spectrum disorder. Francesca Happé, a member of the committee that made the recommendation, explains the rationale behind the decision.
Toddlers with autism have typical — although delayed — language skills, but produce more growls, yells and, especially, squeals than do typically developing children, according to a study published in February in Autism Research.
Mutations in a gene that organizes synapses — the junctions between neurons — may increase the risk of autism, according to a study published in February in Autism Research. The study bolsters evidence linking a pathway involved in cell-to-cell communication to autism.
Integrating music into interventions helps children who have autism with their social skills, language and behavior. But methods should be standardized and tested for effectiveness at home, according to a meta-analysis published in January in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Languages lacking words for feelings can lead to ‘mind-blindness,’ a feature of autism, according to a 2009 study. Cognitive neuroscientist Helen Tager-Flusberg argues that language delay only partially explains the theory of mind deficits seen in people with autism.
Genetic risk factors for specific language impairment and autism affect the timing of language learning in the general population, according to a study published in February in Genes, Brain and Behavior.