CARD’s Specialized Outpatient Services (SOS) is a unique service that targets a child’s more extreme behavior which can make daily life difficult for a family. Utilizing the principles of applied behavior analysis, the CARD SOS team provides direct one-to-one intervention to reduce inappropriate behaviors and increase socially appropriate behaviors.
On MondaySeptember 26, the Senate unanimously passed the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA). This bill, if enacted, will renew the 2006 Combating Autism Act for the next three years, securing federal funding in the amount of $693 million for autism research and treatment.
Participants included 60 four-year-old children,. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups. Each group participated in a different activity for the duration of nine minutes. The first group watched “a very popular fantastical cartoon about an animated sponge that lives under the sea,” clearly referring to SpongeBob SquarePants. The second group watched “a realistic Public Broadcasting Service cartoon about a typical US preschool-aged boy,” rumored to be Caillou. Finally, the third group colored with crayons and markers. Immediately following the activity, participants were administered a number of tasks that measured executive function.
In a recent study, Dr. Lucina Uddin and colleagues found magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to accurately differentiate children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) from children with typical development based on volumes of gray matter in specific regions of the brain. While previous MRI studies have identified differences in the brain scans of children with ASD and children with typical development, there has been no real consensus regarding which distinctive neurological features can serve as reliable biological markers in the detection of ASD. This may stem from the fact that ASD is a heterogeneous disorder that likely affects the development of many areas of the brain. For this reason, Dr. Uddin and colleagues used MRI scans in an attempt to identify brain regions that together may differentiate children with ASD from children with typical development.
This last Monday, ACT Today! hosted the 2011 Annual Charity Golf Classic to raise money and awareness for autism.This year’s event was hosted by Joe Mantegna (The Godfather Part III, Searching For Bobby Fischer, Forget Paris, Criminal Minds)who is the father of a daughter with autism. The event was filled with a wide-range of celebrities including Michael Reagan (Ronald Reagan’s son) to Jason Gedrick (Backdraft, The Last Don) all coming together to promote awareness for autism.
The Autism Insurance Mandate Bill (SB 946) authored by Sen. Darrell Steinberg is awaiting Governor Brown’s action. This landmark bill, if signed by the Governor, will ensure that the health plans and insurance companies provide the most appropriate and effective medical treatments to people with autism.
A recent study conducted by Dr. Flatscher-Bader and colleagues may shed light on why children with older fathers face an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A significant body of research has revealed that offspring of older fathers are at a greater risk of developing disorders such ASD and schizophrenia; however, the underlying cause of this occurrence is not well understood. For this reason, Dr. Flatscher-Bader and colleagues used a rodent model to investigate the effects of paternal age on offspring’s genes.
This Thursday, September 8 was the official launch of CARD’s Skills Live™daily webcast. Skills Live gives everyone access to up-to-the-minute autism news and effective treatment strategies. It is the first of its kind and is broadcast live each weekday from 9 am to 1 pm (Pacific Standard Time) streaming on the internet at skillsforautism.com/skills-live.html.