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Autism spectrum disorder

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Supporting parents to interact more responsively seems to benefit children with autism, just as supporting parents can help children with other conditions. The Q Speaks/Flickr

Parents don’t cause autism, but they can make a difference

Since the condition was first recognised in the 1940s, parents have been and felt blamed for their children’s autism. Today, most people no longer believe this, but a lingering doubt continues to niggle…
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation can help alleviate symptoms of autism, such as anxiety. AGUILA_JONATHAN/Flickr

Here’s a brainwave – magnetic pulses could treat autism

Around 1 in 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to the US Centres for Disease Control – an extraordinarily high number. Although the prevalence rise is probably due mainly to changes…
I didn’t get the joke. Young child via Cheryl Casey/Shutterstock

Why children with autism often fall victim to bullies

Bullying can affect anyone at any time, but young people with autism are especially vulnerable. The results can be devastating. Not being able to keep up with the teasing banter that often takes place…
High School can be a very difficult time for students with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders, but there are ways to make it easier. Shutterstock

Autism at school: how teachers can help

High school can be difficult for youths with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders, who often have IQs superior to the general population, but can struggle with communication, social skills, and regulating…
There are seven simple questions parents can ask to manage autism at school. Shutterstock

Autism at school: seven questions for parents

Many children with autism find aspects of everyday life difficult, and school is no exception. School is a complex environment at the best of times, but even more so if you struggle with social situations…
Mothers with genetic mutations not harmful to females may be passing them onto their sons. Vincent van der Pas/Flickr (resized)

Mothers' genes may be why autism is more common in boys

Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, because girls need more extreme genetic…
Healthy gut bacteria has been shown to improve autism spectrum disorders in mice. EMSL/ Flickr

Link between gut and brain suggests therapies for autism

Probiotics can alleviate the symptoms of autism-like disorders in mice, according to a US study published today in the journal…

Pollution and genes increase autism risk

Air pollutants may increase the risk of autism in people who have a genetic disposition to the condition. US researchers…
Early identification and behavioural intervention is the best way to minimise the effects of autism. Image from shutterstock.com

Mums and dads, don’t ignore the early signs of autism

When a newborn joins a family we become beguiled by the perfection of this wondrous new being. Any hint of difference is easily overlooked during the early years. We now understand that the onset of symptoms…
The study found a link between maternal folic acid consumption and lower autism risk but stopped short of saying supplements caused the reduced risk. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dopeylok/

Folic acid in pregnancy linked with reduced autism risk

A new study has linked folic acid supplements in pregnancy with a 39% lower risk of autistic disorder in the offspring but…
Using objects like Lego for the purpose for which they were designed was a key clue, the study found. http://www.flickr.com/photos/24732687@N00

Study reveals autism treatment clues

Young autistic children who can spontaneously imitate adults and use objects in a functional way may be more likely to respond…
Exposure to traffic-related air particles during pregnancy and the first year of life was linked with a higher risk of autism, the study found. http://www.flickr.com/photos/crysb/

Study links traffic pollution and autism

Exposure to traffic pollution while in the womb and the first year of life may be associated with a higher risk of autism…
Overall, there will be fewer symptoms and disorders listed in the new psychiatry manual. Axel Buhrmann

Redefining autism in the DSM-5

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. For autistic people and their…
Most children with autism want friends but social graces don’t come naturally. Flickr/mikebaird

Five myths about autism

As knowledge and awareness of autism grows in the community, so do the myths. Autism is currently diagnosed according to behaviours which fit into three broad areas: social difficulties, communication…

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