Spotted around the web: Coronavirus, genetic mutations, obsessive-compulsive disorder

Research roundup

  • Preventing cell death during brain development in fruit flies allows diverse neuronal circuits to form. Science Advances
  • The most widely used autism screen is as reliable for black children as it is for white children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Children whose autism is a result of copy number variants in their DNA tend to have severe traits. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
  • Ethnic and racial minorities cite fear and distrust as reasons they do not participate in clinical research. Trials
  • Strategies to increase employment for autistic people include providing early work experience, highlighting strengths and overcoming stigma. Autism Research
  • People are mostly willing to share their genetic information, especially if they are compensated and have control over any reuse. PLOS ONE
  • When faced with a frustrating task, autistic children may react with emotional outbursts; these tend to be bigger and last longer in those with minimal verbal and life skills. Autism

Science and society

  • Coronavirus has prevented people from visiting their autistic family members who live in residential treatment facilities. Jewish Telegraphic Agency
  • Design hacks to make homes sensory friendly for autistic children need not be expensive or complicated. The New York Times
  • The television show “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay,” available on the streaming platform Freeform, features LGBTQ characters who have autism. The Advocate
  • An autistic teenager shares her experiences and debunks misconceptions in short explainers on the video app TikTok. Yahoo Lifestyle
  • Autistic author Charlotte Amelia Poe says embracing her otherness was key to moving forward in her life. The Guardian
  • Because of the coronavirus, telehealth services may be expanded for people insured by Medicare, the national health plan for older people in the United States. STAT

Autism and the arts

  • A Colorado orchestra and ballet company has won funding to create works that are appropriate for children who have autism or sensory sensitivities. The Gazette

Originally published on Spectrum

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Spotted around the web: Sleep problems, social comfort, police training

Research roundup

  • Suicidal behavior may be rooted in people feeling burdened by and excluded from society, both of which are heightened in those with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Sleep problems in autism persist into at least middle age. Autism in Adulthood
  • Autistic people tend to feel most comfortable when they are around others on the spectrum. Autism
  • Children and adults with autism can count their heartbeats — a skill related to processing emotions — as accurately as typical people can, but they display different brain activity during the task. Autism Research
  • A family-based cognitive behavioral therapy may ease anxiety in autistic preschoolers. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Vaccine exemptions for philosophical reasons, as opposed to medical or religious reasons, doubled in Texas between 2012 and 2018, and were concentrated in metropolitan areas. PLOS Medicine
  • Parents of children with intellectual disability have increased odds of mental health problems. The British Journal of Psychiatry

Science and society

  • Some families introduce their autistic children to local police and educate officers on atypical behaviors, such as easily misinterpreted responses to commands. The New York Times
  • A New York state legislator offers suggestions for families to inform and prepare their autistic children for the coronavirus pandemic. Times Union
  • New York state has approved street signs alerting motorists that a child with autism lives nearby. The Buffalo News
  • Two autistic writers share advice they would give their younger selves about fitting into a typical world. Psychology Today
  • The perceived social difficulties of people with autism have more to do with perception than reality. Scientific American
  • The shoe company Vans has released a new line of cushioned slip-on shoes designed for children with autism. CNN

Autism and the arts

  • Autistic artist Julius Trees Parrish is showing his abstract paintings at a gallery in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Vernon County Broadcaster
  • A documentary about an autistic teenager from Iceland who built the world’s largest Lego model of the Titanic premiered this week in Tennessee, near the museum that holds the model. WVLT
  • An artists market and coffee shop outside Detroit, Michigan, trains and hires people with autism and sells their art. Metromode

Originally published on Spectrum

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Spotted around the web: Intellectual disability, chromosome 16, Greta Thunberg

Research roundup

  • In a study of more than 1,000 children in the United Kingdom with intellectual disability, 62 percent are boys, and 46 percent also have autism. BMJ Open
  • Transgender teenagers do not often disclose their gender identity to doctors. Journal of Adolescent Health
  • Adaptations to a standard cognitive assessment may help more people with intellectual disability participate in clinical studies. Neurology
  • Children of obese mothers may have elevated odds of having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Journal of Pediatrics
  • Gender disparities in career productivity have increased as more women have entered academic STEM fields. PNAS
  • A rare mutation that leads to autism and intellectual disability may shed new light on the genes of chromosome 16. European Journal of Medical Genetics
  • Women who take antibiotics called macrolides during the first trimester of pregnancy may raise their chances of having a child on the spectrum.
    The BMJ
  • Nearly 20 percent of informal, unpaid caregivers say they are not in good health, according to a U.S. national survey. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
  • Too few therapists who use applied behavior analysis with autistic toddlers keep a focus on playfulness and positivity. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Science and society

  • Abuse and neglect continue to plague former residents of Willowbrook, an institution for children with developmental disabilities that New York City officials closed in 1975. The New York Times
  • A culinary arts program in Miami, Florida, trains high-school students with developmental disabilities for food service careers and independent living. News 4 Jax
  • A Maryland legislator has proposed a new office to coordinate autism services and support for the state. The Bay Net
  • Addressing sources of stress during pregnancy may help prevent a range of emotional, behavioral and cognitive conditions in children. Biological Psychiatry
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new genetic test for fragile X syndrome. FDA.gov
  • The U.K. has no standardized measures to assess the progress of schoolchildren with intellectual disabilities. Disability and Society
  • Malena Ernman describes what led to an autism diagnosis for her daughter, Greta Thunberg, in an excerpt from a new book written by the family.
    The Guardian

Autism and the arts

  • The University of Dhaka in Bangladesh offers an art camp for autistic children that celebrates ability and expression. The Daily Star

Originally published on Spectrum

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Spotted around the web: Scientific jargon, savant social skills, impostor syndrome

Research roundup

  • Self-injury is associated with suicidal behavior in autistic people who do not have intellectual disability. Molecular Autism
  • Specialized recruiting practices and committed supervisors are key for making workplaces more inclusive for people with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilition
  • A 10-step process can help neuroscientists model the biological processes they study. eNeuro
  • The use of jargon, even when it is defined, can lower a reader’s comprehension of scientific information. Journal of Language and Social Psychology
  • Mutations of a gene called CDC42BPB may be associated with autism and intellectual disability. American Journal of Medical Genetics
  • The American Academy of Neurology has issued a new guideline for sleep problems in children and teenagers with autism. Neurology
  • Autistic people with savant abilities tend to have stronger social skills than others on the spectrum. Scientific Reports
  • Older adults who have a close relative with autism experience more mental health challenges than those with no family ties to the condition. Autism Research
  • Parents of young adults with autism talk to their children about sexuality, but not about how the condition might affect sexual relationships. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Autistic and typical people modify their behavior to fit in socially, but those with autism do so more often. Molecular Autism
  • After 24 weeks of pivotal response treatment, a form of applied behavior analysis, autistic children vocally responded to their parents more often. Autism

Science and society

  • The Trump administration’s 2021 budget proposal includes cuts to nearly a dozen federal science and technology agencies. Science
  • A California-based company called Cognoa is distributing an app to screen for autism traits; diagnostic and therapeutic apps by the same company are awaiting approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Fierce Biotech
  • Fear and suspicion greet people who have epilepsy, writes an academic with the condition. Wellcome Collection
  • Colleges and universities seeking to increase diversity and inclusion should address ‘impostor syndrome’ by acknowledging it and providing support for students and new faculty. Science
  • Getting an autism diagnosis gave author Sarah Kurchak a new outlook and perspective on life. Vox
  • Emergency responders in in Saginaw, Michigan, have equipped their ambulances with autism sensory kits that include noise-cancelling ear muffs and fidget devices. MLive

Autism and the arts

  • Two autistic artists presented their work at a literary festival in Kochi, India. The Hindu

Publishing

  • A Virginia-based nonprofit technology organization called the Center for Open Science has created a measure for evaluating scientific research articles based on transparency and reproducibility. Center for Open Science

Originally published on Spectrum

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Suicide Prevention and Crisis Support in Pennsylvania

Suicide Prevention
Suicide claims the lives of over 2,000 Pennsylvanians each year, according to the latest CDC statistics. At the time of their deaths, the majority of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable mental illness. Medication and therapy can be very effective in treating depression.

Visit Prevent Suicide PA’s website to take a screening to see if you are at risk, learn warning signs, and find out how you can help.

If you’re thinking about suicide or worried about a friend or loved one, call the National Suicide Prevention Line 1-800-273-8255.
Mental Health Crisis Intervention Mental Health Crisis Intervention Services provides emergency mental health services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are accessible to any individual in the community who may need such resources. All individuals in Pennsylvania may utilize the public behavioral health system during a crisis situation regardless of socio-economic status, health insurance coverage, or history of established connections to the behavioral health service delivery system.Crisis Intervention Services may include: 24/7 telephone crisis service, walk-in crisis service, mobile crisis service, medical-mobile crisis service, and crisis residential service. Crisis services are to provide intervention, assessment, counseling, screening, and disposition.
Crisis Hotlines in Pennsylvania

Spotted around the web: Week of 13 January 2020

Research roundup

  • The more educated an autistic child’s parents are, the less likely the child is to talk about suicidal thoughts, although the reasons for this trend are unclear. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Sex differences in autism prevalence may have a neuronal basis that could be explored in animal models. Journal of Neuroscience Research
  • A new autism screening questionnaire filled out by caregivers measures ‘social motivation’ in children and may improve diagnosis. Molecular Autism
  • Autistic children who are hyperresponsive to light, sound, touch and other sensory stimuli are prone to anxiety. Autism Research
  • A mutation in the gene CACNA1D that increases calcium exchange in neurons has been linked to autism. Molecular Autism
  • People with DiGeorge syndrome, a condition associated with autism and caused by a missing piece of chromosome 22, tend to have small brains. Molecular Psychiatry
  • Experimental compounds decrease epileptic brain activity and improve cognitive function in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome, a condition linked to autism. Cell Reports
  • Doctors spend an average of 16 minutes interacting with electronic health records for every person they treat. Annals of Internal Medicine
  • Seizures can be triggered by changes in sleep and wakefulness in a mouse model of epilepsy associated with autism and intellectual disability. Biological Psychiatry

Science and society

  • To study brain activity during social interaction, researchers have fashioned a magnetic resonance imaging scanner that accommodates two people lying face to face. Science
  • In Connecticut, people with autism can store their driver’s license and vehicle registration in a blue envelope to alert police officers to their condition during roadside checks. NBC Connecticut
  • A new Trump administration rule dictates that federally funded research that uses fetal tissue must undergo an ethics review, but no review board has been established. The Washington Post
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is under-resourced and susceptible to political interference. The New York Times
  • Engineering students have created designs and prototypes of consumer products for people with autism, such as a refrigerator lock, an app that shows family restroom locations and a shower guard that prevents overflows. NPR
  • Racism, including that of healthcare providers, is a big factor driving health disparities between black and white children in the United States. Pediatrics Nationwide
  • Dozens of institutions have repeatedly failed to enter clinical trial data into a federal database as required by law. Science
  • A naturopath in Vancouver, Canada, has been treating autistic children using fecal transplants, a risky and unproven procedure. CBC News
  • Investors have backed a smartwatch for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism that alerts wearers to their drifting attention. ABC13
  • A New York City school for children with autism held a conference on how to transition to independent life as an adult. CBS New York

Autism and the arts

  • Autistic artist Kieran Castaño, who says his pointillist style relates to stimming behavior, has a show at Orlando, Florida’s Mills Gallery. Orlando Weekly
  • Signe Land, a lawyer who was diagnosed with autism as an adult, is writing a memoir about practicing law as an autistic person. Minnesota Lawyer

Originally published on Spectrum

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Unemployable Part 1: An Autistic Woman Ends Her Time with Career Counseling » The Aspergian

The reality of what it is like to be masked autistic seeking help: gaslighting, dead ends, and dismissive, vague suggestions are the pinnacle of “support” available.Read More →

Source: Unemployable Part 1: An Autistic Woman Ends Her Time with Career Counseling » The Aspergian