Infertility and Autism Risk

Does being treated for infertility raise the risk that your child will have an autism spectrum disorder? A number of mothers I have interviewed have voiced this concern. Now two new studies–one that looks at in vitro fertilization and the other at ovulation-stimulating drugs like Clomid–suggest that it may be so. These are preliminary studies […]

Autism, digestive problems, special diets- A new study

Parents of kids with autism often observe that their children suffer from gastric distress, toileting problems and fussy eating that borders on the compulsive. A new study examines G.I. issues and autism, but it seems unlikely to settle the matter.

Environmental Toxins and the Brain

All sorts of environmental toxins–lead, mercury, pesticides, for example–are known to affect the developing brain. A specific link to autism, however, remains elusive. At the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia, Frederica Perera has been conducting a longterm study that is following several hundred inner-city children from before birth through age 11, looking at […]

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School & Interventions

What Treatment to Choose

With more than 400 kinds of treatment available for autism, ranging from traditional behavioral therapy to restrictive diets to extreme options like chelation and hyperbaric oxygen, parents often find it hard to know what choices to make for a child on the spectrum. And even after a family commits to an intervention and sees progress, […]

Temple Grandin, the Movie

Temple Grandin is America’s best-known autistic person, and she’s about to become much more famous. On February 6, HBO debuts a feature film that stars Claire Danes as the gawky, socially impaired but brilliant animal scientist who, despite her disability—or actually because of it—has achieved enormous success in two arenas: as designer of humane cattle-handling […]

A Promising Intervention For Toddlers

Ten years ago, autism was rarely detected before ages 3 or 4. Now, thanks to growing awareness and widespread screening at 18 and 24 months, more children with autism are being identified when they are toddlers. But for all the emphasis on early detection, very little research exists on how to intervene effectively for children […]

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The Epidemic

Blue Lights for Autism

Blue lights blazed at landmark buildings, bridges, museums and other notable spots in 25 U.S. cities and 15  countries to mark Autism Awareness Day on April 1 and 2, kicking off April as Autism Awareness month. The “Light It Up Blue” event is the project of the research and advocacy group Autism Speaks. Among the landmark […]

Clusters in California

Two new studies take a look at what appear to be unusually high concentrations of children with autism in certain parts of California. The first study, published in the journal Autism Research by a team from the University of California, Davis, identified ten autism hotspots or clusters in the Los Angeles and San Francisco regions, […]

Fear and Fundraising in Autism

A fascinating controversy has erupted in the autism community over a new video produced for Autism Speaks. The slickly produced video, written by songwriter Billy Mann and directed by Academy Award-winning director Alfonso Cuarón, carries an ominous voice-over declaring that “I am Autism… I know where you live… I work faster than pediatric AIDS, cancer […]

The One Percent Convergence

Today, the U.S. government updated its official estimate of autism prevalence to 1 out of 100 children, up from the 2007 estimate of 1 in 150. The figure is based both on the latest data collected by CDC’s intensive ADDM monitoring network and on a large, but less rigorous telephone survey of more than 70,000 […]

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