Why autism is more common in males?

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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex brain development disorders that can affect social, communication and behavioral skills. There are no two people with the same ASD symptoms. Autistic people may interact with others and learn but in different from most people’s ways. Some of them need more help and some of them need less help with their daily lives. Since there is still no cure for autism, scientists try hard to understand what causes autism and how to prevent it.

The new study by Dr. Christine Ecker and her colleagues from Goethe University in Frankfurt, found that male-like brain structure is linked to a higher risk of autism than female-like. Thus, brain structure difference can also be a factor causing autism. The researchers focused on cortical thickness. This is one of the brain structure features that differs between males and females, beside the volume of the brain. The reports were based on the team of 98 right-handed adults (49 male, 49 female) with high-functioning ASD, matched with 98 adults (51 male, 47 female) without ASD (the controls). The participants ranged in age from 18 to 42 years old. The results of this study showed that female participants whose brains were anatomically more male-like were around three times more likely to have ASD than female participants whose brains were anatomically more female-like.

“Our study demonstrates that normative sex-related phenotypic diversity in brain structure affects the prevalence of ASD in addition to biological sex alone, with male neuroanatomical characteristics carrying a higher intrinsic risk for ASD than female characteristics,” concludes Dr. Ecker.

Source: Medical News Today 

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Going to the doctors: tips and tricks

tips and tricks doctors autism

Visiting a doctor can become a real challenge for regular kids and even some adults, especially if we speak about visiting a dentist! And for sure, it’s a very stressful event for those children with autism or other related disorders. Parents and caregivers need to calm down their little patient before the visit to the doctor and have everything under control during the visit and procedures. You can avoid all the unpleasant moments, anxiety and stress if you carefully plan everything before hand.

We found Dr. Kristin Sohl’s suggestions very helpful and would like to share them with our readers. First of all, Dr. Sohl is a pediatrician who specializes with autism and other developmental disorders. She is the Principal Investigator for the Autism Treatment Network, Director of ECHO Autism and the former Medical Director of the MU Thompson Center for Autism Research and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Dr. Sohl suggests that parents and caregivers  “call ahead to the provider’s office to discuss individual accommodations that the patient might need during the visit, such as a comfort item or a distraction toy. They should also let the office staff know  if there have been prior negative experiences – or successful ones – so the office can provide a supportive environment and avoid triggering anxiety in the patient.”

As a parent or caregiver, you need to discuss this visit with your child and talk about every step that is going to be taken during the appointment. You might even go to the doctor’s office a day or two prior to your scheduled visit in order to help your child accommodate to the new environment. Doctors need to communicate with autistic patients simply, without using different literal meanings, idioms or complicated phrases. “Providers should explain what they’re doing before they do it to reduce anxiety and encourage the patient’s understanding of the procedures.” Dr. Sohl says. Using awards and reinforcements can help you to move smoothly through the routine procedures such as blood tests or vital checks. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan to determine when to stop the appointment or call for more assistance.

No matter how good or bad your visit to the doctor was, call back to the office afterwards and ask what could be done to improve the next experience or what advice they have for the parents.

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Tummy investigation

Tummy investigation autism

ASD is a disorder, which combines a complex of different developmental disorders categorized by a range of symptoms and behaviors. The numbers of children who are diagnosed with autism keep growing each year. Despite that the new researches keep showing great results and give parents hope. A new method of treating ASD has been discovered at the Arizona State University, Ohio State University, and the University of Minnesota.

The goal of the research was to see the ties between autism and gut microbe diversity as a foundation.  The scientists hoped that by performing fecal microbial transplants, the composition of the treated children’s microbiome would be changed and symptoms of the disorder would be mitigated.

18 children from 7 to 16 years old were involved in this research. Each child took part in a 10-week course of treatment including antibiotics, a bowel cleanse, daily fecal microbial transplants. According to the reported results, scientists observed 80% improvement of gastrointestinal symptoms and 20%-25% improvement in autism-related behaviors such as social skills and sleeping habits. The good news is that some of the implanted bacteria remained even after treatment was over. So, it may be so-called long-lasting positive effect for people with autism.

Additional testing will be done before the treatment is submitted to the FDA for approval.

Source: https://futurism.com/new-study-supports-the-link-between-autism-and-gut-microbes/

 

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iCare4Autism in Mexico

Mexico's Secretary of Health Jose Narro Robles and icare4autism CEO Dr. Joshua Weinstein

Mexico’s Secretary of Health Jose Narro Robles and icare4autism CEO Dr. Joshua Weinstein

On Monday, January 9th, 2017, our CEO Dr. Joshua Weinstein, advisory committee member Dr. Humberto Nicolini, and Mr. Zvika Barak, Esq. met with Mexican Secretary of Health Jose Narro Robles, in Mexico City, to discuss the joint collaboration with Mexico and icare4Autism to the upcoming International autism Conference and other initiatives.

Dr. Mora, Dr. Humberto Nicolini, Dr. Joshua Weinstein, Mexico's Secretary of Health Jose Narro Robles, Zvika Barak, other participants of the meeting.

Dr. Pablo Antonio Kuri Morales, Undersecretary of Health Prevention and Promotion, Ms. Hilda Dávila Chávez, Director General of International Relations, Dr. Maria Elena Teresa Medina Mora, General Director for the National Institute of Psychiatry, Dr. José Humberto Nicolini Sánchez, Underdirector of basic research of the National Institute of Genomic Medicine, Dr. Joshua Weinstein, ICare4Autism CEO, Dr. José Narro Robles, Secretary of Health, Mr. Zvika Barak, Esq. ICare4Autism Advisory Member, Dra. Jimena Morales Ayala, Director of Priority Catastrophic Expenses and Intersectorial Management, Dr. Jesús Ancer Rodríguez, Secretary of the General Health Council, and Dr. Guillermo Miguel Ruiz Palacios y Santos, National Commissioner of the National Institutes of Health and High Specialty Hospitals

 

A recent study conducted last year by researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University showed a first estimate of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prevalence in Mexico at 1 in 115. However, experts believe the lower rate reflects the lack of diagnosis. According to the “Comprehensive Guide of Autism”, misdiagnosis, late diagnosis, or wrong treatment is a major medial problem of ASD in Mexico. In addition, parents have difficult access to genetic testing because the studies are expensive. Icare4autism plans to provide guidance and support to the Mexican Health Ministry in order to allow them to meet the need of the autistic population in the country.

SOURCES:
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10803-016-2696-6
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26797939
http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-1-4614-4788-7_162

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“Neurodiversity” in the Workplace: Hiring More People with Autism

workplace-1245776_1280For years, both men and women with autism have faced incredible difficulties in obtaining employment throughout their adult years. There were times when opportunities were virtually non-existent for anyone with ASD. However, with each year, increasing numbers of big companies have delivered on their promises to incorporate more autistic individuals in their workforce. Companies such as Microsoft and EY (formerly Ernst & Young), have seen incredible benefits in their daily operations thanks to more inclusive hiring decisions.

“Neurodiversity” is growing rapidly within American companies. EY, for one, has developed a program that employs individuals with ASD to build a wider, more diverse workforce. Lori Golden, Abilities Strategy Leader at EY, currently leads the program. She states, “this program leverages the skills that people with high functioning autism often have: looking at data, dealing with mathematical concepts, attention to detail, the ability to focus over long periods of time, and looking at large bodies of information and spotting anomalies.” These skills are a huge benefit to various industries, including math/accounting, engineering and information technology.

According to a recent study conducted at Drexel University, a large number of adults with autism are still unemployed: 58%. However, many of them possess desirable skills that could benefit multiple types of businesses. As a result, companies like EY are utilizing the talents of these men and women, while making their hiring process and employment more comfortable. In addition to standard training, EY provides hands-on training in which employees within the program can watch others work in real-time. The program enabled managers to really reflect on their current operations. Golden states, “One thing that happened that I thought was really interesting was that, as our supervisors went through training these individuals every day, they stopped and asked ‘Can this be improved? Are we communicating the right way?’”

Rob Austin, professor at Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario states, “[Neurodiversity is a] relatively new thing … but I would say it’s gaining momentum.” The push for neurodiversiy, Austin states, can be traced to Danish origins. A Danish telecom worker, Thorkil Sonne, initiated bringing autistic adults into his professional workplace. Sonne developed the company Specialisterne in 2004 with the focused goal of preparing individuals with autism for the workforce.

Ultimately, according to Austin, these programs have to make sense for the company’s bottom line. These initial programs, such as the one at EY, have produced great results in terms of both finding new and diverse talent, as well as increasing productivity. “Ultimately, it’s not a charity thing because it’s providing far more benefit than it’s costing. Every company I know that’s gone into this in a serious way has gone into it with the idea that this is going to be net benefit positive,” Austin states.

To read more, please click the link to the original article:
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/12/autism-workplace/510959/

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