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Everyday new and exciting research is published that gives us a better understanding of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Here are some recent publications that shine new light upon the ASD puzzle!

Educational Placement of Students with Autism: The Impact of State of Residence

                  With more children being diagnosed with ASDs, educational placement has become a growing concern among educators and parents alike. Because it is common for children to remain in the placement setting that they initially receive, it is important for decision makers to carefully consider the long-term impact of their assessment.

While child characteristics are used to determine the educational placement for students with ASDs, findings show that the state of residence influence placement decisions as well. This study examined public data from the U.S. Department of Education Data Accountability Center regarding the educational placement of students with disabilities from ages 6 to 21. Results indicated that states vary considerably in their placement of students with ASD in inclusive, mainstreaming, self-contained, and separate settings. More specifically, analysis of the data showed that 7 of the 10 most inclusive states are in the Western United States and the 10 states that employ mainstream schooling the most are also located in the Western United States. Students in these settings spend 40% or more of their day in general educations settings. Overall, the study suggests that students with ASD are generally more likely to be placed in less restrictive environments in the Western states than in the Eastern states.

If you would like to read the full article:

Kurth, J.A. (2014). Educational placement of students with autism: The impact of state of residence.

                  Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, DOI: 10.1177/1088357614547891

 

Autism Treatment in the First Year of Life: A Pilot Study of Infant Start, a Parent-Implemented Intervention for Symptomatic Infants

Studies have shown the importance of early identification and early intervention in order to minimize developmental delay for those who display symptoms of ASD.

What’s new? A recent study has focused on the promising results of early identification and early treatment of infants!

What did they do? In this study, a 12-week intervention was led by the parents of infants ages 6-15 months who displayed early symptoms of ASD or who were the younger siblings of children with ASD. The parents were coached by therapists and they mastered treatment techniques that targeted developmental needs. The infants who received treatment had high levels of risk for ASD and had more language delay than the other groups.

What did they find? By age 3, most of the infants had lower rates of ASD diagnosis and greater language gains. These infants also made developmental gains more quickly than preschool aged children in intense intervention programs.

Why? Because younger infants display more rapid changes and have an accelerated learning capacity! Also, parents are the key in the early learning process, they are with their babies all day and can capitalize on every learning moment.

Take away message: It is important for parents and educators alike to intervene once ASD symptoms are detected, which as the study shows, can occur even before the child reaches his or her first year. While nothing is fool-proof with infant research; in the field of autism, it is a sign of HOPE for positive effects of early detection and intervention to maximize developmental gains.

If you would like to read the full article:

Rogers, S.J., Vismara, L. Wagner, A.L., McCormick, C., Young, G., Ozonoff, S. (2014). Autism treatment in

                  The first year of life: A pilot study of infant start, a parent-implemented intervention for

                  Symptomatic infants. Autism Science Foundation. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-014-2202-y

 

 

 

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