Welcome. This our fourth issue of our newsletter
"Spectrum" that is being provided on quarterly basis
to update you information on the activities of
the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research
Program under the direction of Dr. Antonio
Hardan. We appreciated the feedback that we've
received after our first issue and will look forward
to hear your input about this and future issues.
We are hoping that you will find this newsletter
helpful and informative. Please feel free to forward
it to families and friends.
Autism Conference: 3rd Annual Autism Spectrum Disorders Update, May 15th, 2010
The Stanford Autism Center at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital is presenting a conference on advances in science and clinical care for Autism Spectrum Disorders. This one day conference is designed to provide parents, teachers and care providers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders with the latest findings on research and clinical care, utilizing a lifetime perspective.
The conference will be held on Saturday, May 15th, 2010 at the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center at Stanford University.
The registration fee is $100 and includes a continental breakfast and a buffet lunch.
Register at: http://childpsychiatry.stanford.edu
Autism Spectrum Disorders: Educational Series for Parents
The Stanford Autism Center at LPCH is offering a 10 part program, focused on diagnosis, treatment, and services, for parents of children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Sessions are held at 401 Quarry Road on Thursdays from 5:30 to 7:00pm for $5 per meeting. Sessions are on a drop-in basis and parents may join at any time for individual sessions.
Register at http://childpsychiatry.stanford.edu
Issue 4, may 2010
Gender discrimination of eyes and mouths by individuals with autism (Best et al., 2010; University of Pittsburgh).
Evidence remains mixed about whether individuals with autism look less to eyes and whether they look more at mouths. Few studies have examined how spontaneous attention to facial features relates to face processing abilities. This study tested the ability to discriminate gender from facial features, namely eyes and mouths, by comparing accuracy scores of 17 children with autism and 15 adults with autism to 17 typically developing children and 15 typically developing adults. Results indicate that all participants regardless of diagnosis discriminated gender more accurately from eyes from mouths. However, results indicated that compares to adults without autism, adults with autism were significantly worse at discriminating gender from eyes.
Randomized Controlled Caregiver Mediated Joint Engagement Intervention for Toddlers with Autism (Kasari et al., 2010; University of California, Los Angeles).
This study aimed to determine if a joint attention intervention would result in greater joint engagement between caregivers and toddlers with autism. The intervention consisted of 24 caregiver-mediated sessions with follow-up 1 year later. 38 families participated in this trial with 18 randomized to the active intervention and 18 to the waitlist. Compared to caregivers and toddlers randomized to the waitlist control group the immediate treatment (IT) group made significant improvements in targeted areas of joint engagement. The IT group demonstrated significant improvements with medium to large effect sizes in their responsiveness to joint attention and their diversity of functional play acts after the intervention, the maintenance of these skills 1 year post-intervention. These are among the first randomize controlled data to suggest that short-term parent-mediated interventions can have important effects on core impairments in toddlers with autism.
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