New Research Suggests Autism has Multiple Causes

A new study published in the journal Neuron have found a test that can reliably predict autism, even in young infants.   The new research demonstrates that even in sleep — and at an age when even some normally developing babies also lack words — a baby’s brain response to spoken language can reveal whether […]

The connections in autistic brains are idiosyncratic and individualized — Each autistics’ brain is distinct; non-autistics’ brains are remarkably uniform

You’ll often hear, those of us involved with autism say, “If you’ve met one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism,” but never before have I seen a study that so accurately captures what we have observed. Autistic brains, in contrast, were all different. Each had regions of high and low connectivity, and […]

The problem with articles on autism risks and how to evaluate studies. Or why circumcision is unlikely to increase rates of autism.

It seems like every month, articles pop up all over the internet blaming something else for causing autism. To the average person, it looks as though scientists have no idea what they are doing and are just throwing out darts to see what sticks. It’s hard for the average person to have faith in science […]

Stop the hyperbole when it comes to breastfeeding

This excellent article, Stop The Hyperbole When It Comes To Breastfeeding encompasses many of my beliefs in regards to breastfeeding. My son, Alden, was born unable to suckle, even from a bottle, and I chose to supplement with formula and donated milk until I could make enough on my own. It required a lot of […]

Female bonobos observed helping mother give birth.

” During the birth event, which occurred at the Luikotale Bonobo Project field site, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the researchers discovered that wild bonobos do not give birth alone. The new mother, a female called Luna, was surrounded by two other female bonobos offering companionship and support.” From here. I asked a friend […]

Stop telling worried parents that Einstein didn’t talk until 4 and start giving them practical advice.

On parenting message boards, facebook groups, and elsewhere online, I see posts by parents concerned about the development of their children and, at one time, I was making those posts. Even in groups populated by well-educated, well-informed parents, it is quite common for these concerned to be brushed off as parental worry.  I’ve seen and […]

Did better mothering defeat the Neanderthals?

More and more research shows that Neanderthals were as inferior in cognition as originally thought. A five-year project out of Kochi University of Technology in Japan examines factors that contributed to the extinction of the Neanderthals, and posits that the differences in learning was the key factor. Although invention and tool use is normally associated […]

How Blue Cross Blue Shield and a handful of Senators are blocking autism insurance reform in North Carolina.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is more common than childhood cancer, cystic fibrosis, and multiple sclerosis combined. In the US, autism affects 1 out of every 68 children, while in North Carolina, that number is 1 in 58. Although it has no cure, there are treatments and the best current treatment available, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, […]

It’s natural to fear a connection between vaccines and autism

When my twins were about 6 months old, we went for their 6th month checkups, and then to the immunization clinic in the same building for their shots. Shortly after that, my son, Corwin*, broke out in a high fever that reached 104.8 at its peak and a prickly red rash that spread over his […]

Autism rates have not increased

Amanda Baxter (Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research in Australia) and her colleagues have put together a study entitled “The epidemiology and global burden of autism spectrum disorders”. You can read it here (warning PDF). In 2010 there were an estimated 52 million cases of ASDs, equating to a prevalence of 7.6 per 1000 or […]