What If My Friend Has Autism Spectrum Disorder
Some people with ASD do not feel that they have a disorder and don’t want to change. They’re proud of who they are and they want to be accepted, even though they may have different strengths and weaknesses than most other people.
All people deserve respect. But kids with ASD may be teased, bullied, or left out because they’re different. Bullying and teasing are never the right way to treat other people, but it may be hard to be a friend with someone who has ASD.
Kids with ASD often don’t understand playful jokes. You may need to be very clear when you communicate with someone who has ASD.
Try to be patient and kind. Remember how hard it might be for the person with ASD to understand how to be a friend. Stand up for classmates who are bullied. Tell adults, so they can help protect kids who are bullied.
Overly Persistent Brain Connections
First, the researchers conducted functional MRI scans on 90 male participants, of which 52 had a diagnosis of autism and 38 did not. The participants with autism were aged between 19 and 34, while the rest of the volunteers who acted as the control group had ages ranging between 20 and 34.
Then, to confirm the initial findings, the specialists compared their data with that collected from a further 1,402 people who participated in the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange study. Of these, 579 participants had autism. The remaining 823 participants did not have autism and acted as the control group.
Dr. Anderson and team used a novel fMRI method to explore brain activity in the participants on the current study. More specifically, they looked at the duration of connections established across brain regions.
We dont have good methods for looking at the brain on these timescales. Its been a blind spot because it falls in between typical MRI and studies, explains Dr. Anderson.
Thanks to the fMRI scans, the researchers were able to confirm that in the brains of people with autism, connections persist for more extended periods than they do in the brains of neurotypical individuals. In other words, in autism, the brain finds it harder to switch between processes.
Playing Well With Others
This idea that autistic brains are developing at warp speed, to their detriment, fits intriguingly well with what is known about treatment of autismthe earlier and more intense behavioral therapy an autistic child receives, the better the outcome will be. That’s why the toddlers at UCLA get one-on-one training by therapists, who fire rapid questions and physically repeat tasks until they sink in.
Stephanny Freeman, co-director of the Early Childhood Partial Hospitalization program at UCLA , says these methods would be alien to, and lost on, typically developing two-year-olds, who would be bewildered by such a highly structured environment. Her colleague and co-director, Tanya Paparella, chimes in, It as if we are opening a window or door to the autistic brain. Keeping that door open as long as possible in very young autistic patients seems to give them a better prognosis than older children, who are more difficult to treat.
Read Also: Do Autistic Toddlers Dance To Music
How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Treated
There is no cure for autism, but treatment can make a big difference. The younger kids are when they start treatment, the better.
Doctors, therapists, and special education teachers can help kids learn to talk, play, and learn. Therapists also help kids learn about making friends, taking turns, and getting along.
Changes In Autism Severity Over Time
The white matter research builds on a previous MIND Institute study, which found that while many children experience fairly stable levels of autism symptoms throughout childhood, a significant portion can be expected to increase or decrease in their symptom severity over time.
This new analysis provides an important clue about the brain mechanism that may be involved in some of these changes, said Amaral.
Read Also: Is James Holzhauer Autistic
Magnetic Shielding And Lunar Resources
This new view of lunar magnetism has huge implications for the potential presence of valuable resources as well as information about the ancient Sun and Earth that may be buried in lunar soils.
Magnetic fields act as shields that prevent solar particles from reaching a planet or moon. Without a magnetic field, solar wind can hit the surface of the Moon directly and implant elements like helium-3 and hydrogen into the soil.
Helium-3 has many applications, but importantly, it could be a fuel source for nuclear fusion and future planetary exploration. The value of hydrogen comes from the fact that it can combine with oxygen to form water, another crucial resource in space.
Since the Moon did not have a long-lived magnetic field, these elements could have been accumulating in soils for billions of years longer than previously thought.
There is also scientific value. Elements embedded by solar wind could shed light on the evolution of the Sun. And as the Moon passes through Earth’s magnetic field, elements from Earth’s atmosphere can be deposited on the lunar surface, and these may hold clues about the earliest Earth.
The absence of a long-lived magnetic field on the Moon might strike some as a loss, but I believe it may unlock a scientific bonanza and a valuable stash of potential resources.
Tms Treatment For Autism: What Is It And Does It Work
Talk about transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS therapy, is raising hopes of parents who wonder if the treatment could work for their child with autism spectrum disorder .
Parents with children on the spectrum are wary of the term cure. For some, its because theyve been disappointed by snakeoil and false hope more than they care to remember for others, the term cure seems more fitting to a disease. When you talk with parents of kids on the spectrum, most are willing to do anything to help their children thrive while firmly embracing who he/she is.
Don’t Miss: Bubble Guppies Nonny Autistic
Learning Social Issues May Reflect Neuronal Miscommunication
- Washington University School of Medicine
- Mutations in a gene linked to autism in people causes neurons to form too many connections in rodents, according to a new study. The findings suggest that malfunctions in communication between brain cells could be at the root of autism.
A defective gene linked to autism influences how neurons connect and communicate with each other in the brain, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Rodents that lack the gene form too many connections between brain neurons and have difficulty learning.
The findings, published Nov. 2 in Nature Communications, suggest that some of the diverse symptoms of autism may stem from a malfunction in communication among cells in the brain.
“This study raises the possibility that there may be too many synapses in the brains of patients with autism,” said senior author Azad Bonni, MD, PhD, the Edison Professor of Neuroscience and head of the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “You might think that having more synapses would make the brain work better, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. An increased number of synapses creates miscommunication among neurons in the developing brain that correlates with impairments in learning, although we don’t know how.”
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting about one out of every 68 children. It is characterized by social and communication challenges.
How Is Autism Treated
There is no cure for ASD. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can substantially improve those symptoms. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of the individual. Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.
Educational/behavioral interventions: Early behavioral/educational interventions have been very successful in many children with ASD. In these interventions therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills, such as applied behavioral analysis, which encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative ones. In addition, family counseling for the parents and siblings of children with ASD often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with a child with ASD.
You May Like: Asd Answering
Defining The Social Brain
Within the past few decades, research has elucidated specific brain circuits that support perception of humans and other species. This social perception refers to the initial stages in the processing of information that culminates in the accurate analysis of the dispositions and intentions of other individuals . Basic social perception is a critical building block for more sophisticated social behaviors, such as thinking about the motives and emotions of others. Brothers first suggested the notion of a social brain, a set of interconnected neuroanatomical structures that process social information, enabling the recognition of other individuals and the evaluation their mental states .
The social brain is hypothesized to consist of the amygdala, the orbital frontal cortex , fusiform gyrus , and the posterior superior temporal sulcus region, among other structures. Though all areas work in coordination to support social processing, each appears to serve a distinct role. The amygdala helps us recognize the emotional states of others and also to experience and regulate our own emotions . The OFC supports the “reward” feelings we have when we are around other people . The FG, located at the bottom of the surface of the temporal lobes detects faces and supports face recognition . The posterior STS region recognizes the biological motion, including eye, hand and other body movements, and helps to interpret and predict the actions and intentions of others .
People With Autism Have More Symmetrical Brains Here’s What That Could Mean
In spite of how they appear, the left and right hemispheres of the human brain tend to be far from perfect reflections of each other. Some neurological disorders can affect that imbalance, causing the two halves to appear strikingly alike.
So far, studies on whether autism is among those conditions have been less than convincing. To get a more definitive answer, researchers analysed thousands of brains and showed there is slightly more symmetry for those on the spectrum.
But what does that really mean?
To get this answer, scientists from the Enhancing Neuro-Imaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis consortium collected decades of brain scans from more than 1,700 individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and more than 1,800 with no diagnosis.
The consortium were hardly strangers to analysing huge banks of data, having only recently conducted a similar study on ASD brain anatomy involving more than 3,000 subjects.
The condition covers a spectrum of characteristics that can make life a little more challenging for some, affecting their ability to socialise, communicate, and process stimuli.
With such variation in behaviours, sensations, and impact, tracing the traits making up ASD down to simple neurological differences is no easy task.
Doing so could help make the disorder easier to diagnose and lead to novel therapies, opening the way to providing better methods of assistance for those who need it.
This research was published in Nature Communications.
Don’t Miss: Are Stuttering And Autism Related
Autistic People May Act In A Different Way To Other People
Autistic people may:
- find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
- find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
- find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
- get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
- take longer to understand information
- do or think the same things over and over
If you think you or your child may be autistic, get advice about the signs of autism.
Bare Feet And Primitive Reflexes
Brain Balance centers are colorful, cheerfully decorated places, often located in shopping centers in affluent neighborhoods. They each have a cognitive room where students play video games that target memory or brain function and a sensory motor room filled with mats, balance beams and monkey bars.
On a recent afternoon at the Brain Balance in Oxford, about 40 miles north of Detroit, classical music played softly as coaches guided students through exercises designed to stimulate the left or the right side of their brains.
The Brain Balance program is demanding, calling on families to reduce childrens screen time and to cut most sugar, gluten and dairy from their diets. But what has raised eyebrows among mainstream scientists are some unproven theories that drive the one-on-one training.
One of those theories is the popular notion that the right and left side of the brain have different influences on personality. Brain Balance claims that a right brain weakness can cause impulsivity and anxiety, while a left brain weakness can lead to poor math or reading skills. Thats why kids remove just one sock: Brain Balance believes that as a bare foot makes contact with the floor, the opposite side of the brain will get more stimulation. Metronomes and shakers are placed on the same side as the bare foot.
We know there are skeptics out there and we suspect there will continue to be, but we want to be able to show that this is a program that truly makes a difference, Fedele said.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism
What Disorders Are Related To Asd
Certain known genetic disorders are associated with an increased risk for autism, including Fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis each of which results from a mutation in a single, but different, gene. Recently, researchers have discovered other genetic mutations in children diagnosed with autism, including some that have not yet been designated as named syndromes. While each of these disorders is rare, in aggregate, they may account for 20 percent or more of all autism cases.
People with ASD also have a higher than average risk of having epilepsy. Children whose language skills regress early in life before age 3 appear to have a risk of developing epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity. About 20 to 30 percent of children with ASD develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood. Additionally, people with both ASD and intellectual disability have the greatest risk of developing seizure disorder.
How Does Autism Affect The Brain
- Open annotations. The current annotation count on this page is being calculated.
Image credit: CC0
Autism is a brain disorder that affects how people interact with others. It occupies a spectrum, with severe autism at one end and high-functioning autism at the other. People with severe autism usually have intellectual impairments and little spoken language. Those with high-functioning autism have average or above average IQ, but struggle with more subtle aspects of communication, such as body language. As well as social difficulties, many individuals with autism show repetitive behaviors and have narrow interests.
The brains of people with autism process information differently to those of people without autism. The brain as a whole shows less coordinated activity in autism, for example. But whether individual brain regions themselves also work differently in autism is unclear. Watanabe et al. set out to answer this question by using a brain scanner to compare the resting brain activity of high-functioning people with autism to that of people without autism.
Also Check: How To Make A Visual Schedule For Autism
The Cause Of Autism Is Unknown
It was once thought that poor parenting caused autism. This isdefinitely not true. Although the cause of autism is unclear, it is knownthat genetics do play a role. The disorder is seen often in identicaltwins: different studies have shown that if one identical twin has autismthen there is a 63-98% chance that the other twin will have it. Fornon-identical twins , the chanceis between 0-10% that both twins will develop autism. The chance thatsiblings will be affected by autism is about 3%.
Chance that both people will develop autism:
Autism appears to be associated with other chromosomal abnormalities,such as Fragile X syndrome or brain abnormalities such as congenitalrubella syndrome. A large number of people with these disorders are alsodiagnosed with autism. Furthermore, complicated births, such as difficultpregnancies, labor, or delivery may to contribute to the disorder.
Autism & The Lobes Of The Brain
Additionally, within each hemisphere of the brain, there are four lobes: the frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes. Within these lobes are structures that control everything the body does, from movement to thinking. On top of the lobes is the cerebral cortex, where information processing takes place.
The greater the surface area of the cerebral cortex, the more information the brain is capable of processing. The brain has folds, to add to the surface area of the cerebral cortex. Researchers at San Diego State University have found evidence that suggests that the folds develop differently in people with autism. In autistic brains, there is much more folding in some of both the left and right lobes.
The changes have been connected to modifications in network connectivity in neurons. The weaker a connection, the deeper the folds are. Other research has indicated that language production and processing are altered.
Yet, says PsyCom, the neurobiology of an autistic brain is still hidden. Some experts have said that the more they study brains affected by autism, the more they realize that it may not be so much about the hardware as the software. It may be that the timing of the brain activity is different, affecting how the signals from one region of the brain being sent to another get distorted. It might be that as the autistic brain ages, the aging process brings about more changes that impact the development of autistic symptoms.