August 1st 2011
National Autism conference
Autism Research Update 2011
Dr. Alice Kau
What is Autism
Autism, Aspergers, PDD-NOS
3 Core Symptoms
repetitive and restrictive behaviour
One can meet diagnostic criteria by having various levels of impairments across these domains.
IACC (Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee)
Federal advisory committee. Aim is to accelerate and progress research and services for ASD.
They revise their strategic plans annually.
Strategic plan is structured by 7 critical questions asked by those with autism or families affected by autism.
When should I be concerned?
Which treatments and interventions will help?
Where can I turn for ASD services?
What does the future hold, especially for adults?
What other infrastructure and surveillance needs must be met?
How can I understand what is happening, what caused this and can it be prevented?
One of the new objectives
How can we support adults?
We need to develop better screening to ensure accurate diagnosis for this population.
Health and Safety Issues Currently Being Researched:
Seclusion and restraints
New Research on Risk
Extreme preterm babies (less than 26 weeks) are at higher risk for autism diagnosis.
Journal of Pediatrics Johnson et al. 2010.
What can we do about this?
Additional screening and information for what to do if the child fails screening.
Increasing Maternal and paternal age.
American Journal of Epidemiol, Grether et. al., 2009
New data supporting a bigger role for shared environmental factors
Hallmayer et. All. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry, 2011
Changes in Early Screening
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening at 18 months and then re screening again at 24 months. Data shows that only 61% of doctors actually referred these children to early intervention.
We know that early intervention promotes better outcome.