• Anthony G Gordon added an answer:
    Can anyone suggest articles on the association between altered sensory processing in individuals with autism and educational outcomes?

    I've found a couple but i'm finding it hard to find any more.

    Anthony G Gordon

    "The issue of altered sensory processing for persons with autism is a comparatively new line of research"

    I recently raised the matter of the omission of sensory disorders with a distinguished clinician involved in old DSM diagnoses of autism. One point he conceded was that anyone who had come up with a proposal to study sensory disorders in autism would not have got the grant since these were not in DSM!  This situation should slowly be rectified now that sensory disorders are in DSM 5. 

    By far the best information about sensory disorders and their central relevance comes from the autobiographies of grown-up autistic persons. 

  • Onitra Wilkerson added an answer:
    Can someone direct me to parent testimonials concerning positive effects of medical marijuana, Marinol, and/or Dronabinol, on their autistic children?

    It is now a known fact that marijuana (medical or otherwise) actually has positive effects on the human brain.  Even more amazing is the effects of the drug on children with autism.  Marinol and Dronabinol are both derivatives of marijuana, and seemingly just as effective in combating the symptoms of autism.  Can someone direct me to parent testimonials concerning the positive effects of medical marijuana and its derivatives on children with autism?

    Onitra Wilkerson

    How wonderful; thank you so much, Arthur!  This young man's story reminds me of my Thomas.  It will take me some time to go through the website; however, I have already read most of Sam's story and am definitely keeping it for my research.  Thank you again; God Bless!

  • Abdulhafeez Mohamed Khair added an answer:
    How can I gain access to data on Echolalia in children on the Autism Spectrum?

     Looking for video data or other data for a Masters thesis on the Neuroscience of Echolalia in Children on the Autism Spectrum.

    Abdulhafeez Mohamed Khair

    A couple of reviews are linked below, one of them is rather recent.



  • Abdulhafeez Mohamed Khair added an answer:
    Have there been any studies on the role of video games and social rehabilitation of adolescents or young adults with Level-1 ASD (i.e., Asperger's)?

    I am attempting to pinpoint any perceived gaps in the literature in the field of Autism studies, and my focus is on the self-efficacy of vocational learners within an organizational change context. It would help to know if there is a correlation between the use of video games and higher levels of self-efficacy within this population.

    Abdulhafeez Mohamed Khair

    An interesting debate has been raised recently regarding the famous video game (mindlight) & its potential beneficial effect on neurotic manifestations in children with ASD. The link is attached below.

  • Johnathan Nuttall added an answer:
    How significant is the maternal environment for risk of autism?
    A report from the California Autism Twins Study shows a significantly greater concordance of autism among dizygotic twins than previously reported. The authors conclude, "A large proportion of the variance in liability can be explained by shared environmental factors (55%; 95% CI, 9%-81% for autism and 58%; 95% CI, 30%-80% for ASD) in addition to moderate genetic heritability (37%; 95% CI, 8%-84% for autism and 38%; 95% CI, 14%-67% for ASD)."
    Johnathan Nuttall

    Here is a link to my recent review of the topic.

    • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
      ABSTRACT: Recent research suggests the maternal environment may be especially important for the risk of developing autism spectrum disorders. In particular maternal infections, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity, and toxicant exposures are likely to interact with genetic risk factors to disrupt fetal brain development. Objectives: The goal of this paper is to investigate the plausibility of maternal toxicant exposure and nutritional status as causal factors in the development of autism spectrum disorders. Methods: This paper reviews current research investigating the hypothesis that maternal toxicant exposure and prenatal micronutrient intake are important modifiable risk factors for autism spectrum disorders. Results: Zinc, copper, iron, and vitamin B9 are identified as specific micronutrients with relevance to the etiology of autism spectrum disorders. Specific toxicants induce a maternal inflammatory response leading to fetal micronutrient deficiencies that disrupt early brain development. Importantly, maternal micronutrient supplementation is associated with reduced risk of autism spectrum disorders. Furthermore, animal studies show that micronutrient supplementation can prevent the teratogenicity and developmental neurotoxicity of specific toxicants. Discussion: These findings lead to the hypothesis that maternal infection, obesity, and toxicant exposures (eg. valproic acid, endocrine disrupting plasticizers, ethanol, and heavy metals) are all environmental risk factors for autism spectrum disorders that lead to fetal micronutrient deficiencies resulting from a maternal inflammatory response. It could be possible to use markers of inflammation and micronutrient status to identify women that would benefit from micronutrient supplementation or dietary interventions to reduce the risk of autism spectrum disorders. However, more research is needed to demonstrate a causal role of fetal micronutrient deficiencies and clarify the underlying mechanisms that contribute to autism spectrum disorders.
      Nutritional Neuroscience 09/2015; DOI:10.1080/1028415X.2015.1103437
  • Ronald Swatzyna asked a question:
    Does anyone know the compounding formula for Oxytocin inhaler or sublingual administration for children with autism?

    Dr. Gordan from Yale wrote the article: “Oxytocin enhances brain function in children with autism” (http://www.pnas.org/content/110/52/20953) and I have not been able to get a response from him. Any information is greatly appreciated.

  • Renzo Bianchi added an answer:
    Can depressive symptoms differ between people?

    Signs and symptoms of depression in mothers of children with autism are frequently reported. However, based on extensive clinical observations and self reported data, I constantly observed that these mothers report specific depressive symptoms more than others. I did not observe this phenomenon in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorders. Is there any evidence supports this??? or it is a merely chance?  

  • Susan Kenney asked a question:
    I have worked with children with autism. I'm trying to see if picture-to-text software, such as PixWriter, can help them develop beginning writing skills.
    Children with autism have strengths with technology and visuals. They often have weaknesses with handwriting, spelling and both oral and written communication. No research could be found linking children with autism and picture to text software for writing. I was wondering if I missed something.
  • Rodney Keith Start added an answer:
    How are iPads being used to assist students with autism in maths?

    I'm looking for research into how technology, specifically iPad's, are assisting students with autism academically with their numeracy? Are there any large studies being carried out or are they small pilot projects with a few students?

    Rodney Keith Start

    Yes Aditi, there are many studies with literacy and association skills but not many in numeracy.

  • Gram Knapp added an answer:
    Autism: what can be done to improve the academic interchange between the justice system and the mental health sector?

    One of the area’s where multi-disciplinary collaboration is direly needed is around the encounter between autism and the justice system. Study on all levels seems warranted. Criminologists should know more about risk-factors in the minds and lives of people on the spectrum, while ‘the autism community’, including parents, schools, care-givers, need to know their way in the justice system. Police often lack understanding of autistic behavior, not infrequently with dramatic consequences. Here and there their local initiatives are taken to educate police-officers (e.g. http://spiritofautism.org/autism-and-the-criminal-justice-system/), but there should be much more. Do police academy curricula include this? I fear not enough. Certainly more people are incarcerated than are recognized as autistic.

    Huge gains are to be expected in terms of the well-being of these patients and their relatives, the crime rate and the related expenditures. I wonder what is already being done.    

    Gram Knapp

    Hmmm... and my short answer is: Use cross-discipline collab with tech firms to get the police on board, and go multi-disciplinary. Especially if it's security tech development firms with products they are already using. They like toys. everything thing from Apps to portable to what I said before.

    Plus, as an Anthrop Major also.. I've been learning that this measure - smart tech that does the thinking and processing for them, if easy enough to use.. will culturally load the phenomenological effect of them adopting the useage as a ritualised practice in a way you can never get with a training manual or seminar.

    You still get to run training seminars and develop manuals. And those earlier idea I said about developing the DSM-5 and the massive amount of work, experimentations and trials with participants etc to roll out workable tech will also generate reams of new research data across mental health, medical, psychological, psychiatric etc.. fields you can use for untold other projects.

    That's based on theory that we are all basically becoming cyborgs, and loving it. And based on earlier theory that we ritualise routine use of multimedia/purpose things with screens, buttons and repetitive activations, that can be incorporated into our daily goals. And who doesn't love pushing a button or just wearing something to see a significant work performance that will be attributed to your performance and activity.

    Carrying  a manual  around wouldn't work. The only other comparable measure I think that could come close is training specialist divisions. Otherwise anything traditional of course with regular police will mitigate things of course. But you have to get them excited to get more collaboration and interest.

    I mean, in Australia we have 'Psychiatric emergency teams (PET)' who should supposedly be called if mental health emergencies are called in. In domestic cases where the caller actually already knows the intimate details of the perpetrator that is very worthwhile, and they are used a lot for suicide prevention too. They specialise in non-lethal tactics, so really are like a tactical response group that DOES truly know what to do.

    But you are up against the same problem of no one else ever really know how to identify particular symptomatic effects from criminal traits and risk assessments that can be made in context.

    I assume most countries already have something like our PET teams.

  • Tanzir Alam added an answer:
    Autism and Mental Retardation in patients is hard to differentiate between one and the other. Does amyloid plaque formation occur in both cases?

    Amyloid plaque formation has been implicated in Autism Spectrum Disord. But in a few papers i have found that it is very hard to diagnose if a patient is autistic or suffering from mental retardation. Because in both cases, symptoms seem to overlap one another. I was unable to find any paper linking amyloid plaque formation and Mental Retardation. Hence my question arose.

    Tanzir Alam

    Thank you very much for your input Rachel Messer. Really appreciate it. 

  • Anthony G Gordon added an answer:
    Does early exposure to visual media lead to autism or children predisposed to autism are excessively involved by visual media if exposed?

    Is early exposure to visual media a cause for autistic behaviour or is it that excessive indulgence in visual media a mere manifestation of autism in predisposed children? Is there some study comparing visual media exposure to preschool behavioural traits?

    Anthony G Gordon

    "The central neurological hallmarks of autism are altered neural connectivity concerning not only gray but also white matter."

    There is no upper limit to the IQ in autism (Newton? Einstein? Cavendish? Wittgenstein? Etc).  It is quite implausible for the sometimes profound effects of autism to result from any general brain damage or neural dysfunction without concomitant reduction in IQ (eg Down's syndrome).

  • Dick Sobsey added an answer:
    What is the efficacy of Cannabidiol (CBD) for treatment of symptoms related to autism?

    I want to focus on CBD oil specifically. Examples ASD symptoms would be; social behavior, (inappropriate, or lacking) anxiety, OCD, immunological/gastrointestinal, self stimulation (stim). Thank you.

    Dick Sobsey

    This is purely anecdotal, but perhaps worth mentioning. Our son has MECP2 Duplication Syndrome. Individuals with this syndrome are typically considered to be on the autism spectrum and most meet the criteria for autism. However, there are many other issues including intractable epilepsy. Our son and some others with the syndrome have been prescribed CBD to control seizures. SOME individuals with the syndrome have made good progress with seizures (for example, 50% reduction in seizure frequency with 50% reduction in anticonvulsants) but what has been more obvious to us and is supported by some research is that our son's alertness and communication improved significantly with the introduction of CBD. Other symptoms of autism (e.g., self-stim behavior) have not changed. I can only speculate, but I believe the improvement in some features in autism is secondary to a reduction in epileptiform brain activity. So, CBD (what he takes is lab tested CBD with 0% THC) might be helpful for those with autism and serious seizure disorders, whether or not it is helpful to autism when seizures are not present. The reference to research on behavioral improvements with CBD so far is not specific to autism, but some seizure studies report changes that could be helpful in autism, for example, Hussain, S. A., Zhou, R., Jacobson, C., Weng, J., Cheng, E., Lay, J., et al. (2015). Perceived efficacy of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis extracts for treatment of pediatric epilepsy: A potential role for infantile spasms and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Epilepsy & Behavior, 47, 138-141.

  • Carl Alexander Sorensen added an answer:
    Can electro dermal activity be used for autism screening ?

    Can electro dermal activity based physiological signal can be used to predict   Abnormal physiological arousal among autistic children?

    Carl Alexander Sorensen

    I just noticed that Ashleigh HIllier recently published an article using GSR as a measure of physiological responsiveness among young adults with ASD. I think its the first pub on her "featured publications" list:  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ashleigh_Hillier

  • Khaled Saad added an answer:
    What is your experience with omega in ADHD and autistic children?

    omega in ADHD and autistic children

    Khaled Saad

     Thanks Derrick Lonsdale

  • Ghasem Sadeghi Bajestani added an answer:
    Gender Identity and autism?

    I'm doing a systematic lit rev on GID in ASD. I've found only a few case studies so far. Do you know of any research in this area? 

    Thank you

    Ghasem Sadeghi Bajestani

    Is there any Para Clinical approaches for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)  Detection, that approved?

  • Milca Leon added an answer:
    What impact can domestic violence have on disabled children (autism, cognitive disabilities)?

    I am writing an article about two children with disabilities (Autism and cognitive disabilities) that experienced domestic violence.

    Could you help me with any research references on that topic?

    Thank you.

    Milca Leon

    Dear Kamil, in the book The Moving Researcher by Ciane Fernandes there is a chapter on child who experiences strong and prolonged trauma, and develops autism. although it does not specify the kind of trauma, i suspect it could be home violence. you might be able to contact the writer and get more info.

    good luck

    Milca Leon

  • Jasim M. Al-Marzoki added an answer:
    Is anyone interested in screening for autism?
    I am professor of pediatrics in Babylon university/medical college in Iraq and there are only limited data about screening of autism in my country. I have done a limited study about that in toddlers by using M-CHAT
    Jasim M. Al-Marzoki

    Thank you Sarah and I hope that we can work together in this field because the autistic children in Iraq are in real need to help them

    Best regards

  • Rama Cousik added an answer:
    Could someone please provide information about effect of Zoloft on language development of children with autism?

    I particularly want more information on its effects on children below 5y. Thanks.

    Rama Cousik

    Thanks for the resources Dora.

  • Janet Elizabeth Cade added an answer:
    Does anyone know of an ASD-specific dietary or food aversion questionnaire?

    Hi! I am looking for surveys that assess food aversion and/or dietary info (e.g., 24 hr dietary recall) that are designed for ASD/DD. I am especially interested in relatively short measures.Thanks!

    Janet Elizabeth Cade

    For something more detailed you could try an online 24h recall tool such as ASA24 or in the UK we have developed myfood24. A parent could complete on behalf of a young child. Adolescents can complete the tool themselves. 

  • Rodney Keith Start added an answer:
    Is there data linking Minecraft and autism?

    There is a phenomenon in the autism community, players learning together in safe space playing Minecraft on the Autcraft server, which is closed to the public. I have to date found no research discussing this topic. 

    Rodney Keith Start

    I would be interested in what you findout. I have two young sons with ASD who also enjoy playing Minecraft and alike. They find it a safe place to play and talk with friends about their common interest.
    All the best with it

  • Onitra Wilkerson added an answer:
    What scientific data is there, showing positive or negative effects of med. marijuana, Marinol, and/or Dronabinol, on children with autism?

    Seeking scientific data that indicates the positive, and the negative (if any), effects of medical marijuana, Marinol, and/or Dronabinol on children with autism.  Evidence strongly suggests (and some has proven) medical marijuana, Marinol, and Dronabinol to have positive effects on children with autism.  I wish to view scientific data in the form of graphs/charts and written information pertaining to the aforementioned.  Thank you.

    Onitra Wilkerson


    Thank you so much for the information!  I am currently reading it over, and so far, it is quite interesting!  Thank you again.



  • Karin Mössler added an answer:
    Which Therapy Works Best for Autism?
    Please discuss your views and experiences about the most effective treatment methods for autism. There are numerous available in the market. Most of them are NOT evidence based but work successfully (or atleast claimed and are highly popular), though very few researches have been conducted to test their efficacy from empirical point of view. Which, according to your view, is most effective and how or why?
    Karin Mössler
    We - a research group from Bergen (Norway) - think that improvisational music therapy might be an effective early intervention for children with ASD. There is promising research that music therapy has an effect on core symptoms in Autism, since music therapy is directly addressing problem areas such as joint attention, affect attunement, reciprocity, turn-taking. In contrast to behavioral approaches, improvisational music therapy does not use rewarding strategies for desired behavior, but aims to support a selv-motivated learning and developing through the experience of synchronised moments (Schumacher, 2008). Our research group is currently conducting the largest clinical trial (N=300) examining the effects of improvisational music therapy (Geretsegger et al. 2012). This trial is taking place in 7 countries world wide. For more information you can check out our proejct website: www.uni.no/helse/timea.
    Best, Karin
  • Anthony G Gordon added an answer:
    Does deafness increase the disability of autism?
    Severe disorders of language and speech are often present in infantile autism and congenital deafness. I think autism is a variant peripheral hearing disorder, but no one else takes this theory seriously and it is taken as axiomatic that autism is due to a primary brain disorder. There is definite clinical comorbidity between autism and deafness, consistent with the otogenic theory, but also with other explanations. However, there is a simple test for elucidating this link. A deaf-autistic child should have a dramatically increased linguistic handicap over a deaf or an autistic child. In fact the two handicaps are likely to combine multiplicatively rather than additively, as in deaf-blind children whose resultant overall handicap is greater than the sum of those of blindness and deafness. My impression is that there is no extra handicap in deaf-autism over autism, consistent with these being variants of a similar underlying peripheral disorder. If this is wrong, there should be plenty in the existing literature to refute this theory, so please give examples.
    Anthony G Gordon

    Here is a study that confirms (at least based on the abstract below) the main premise of my question, that deafness does not increase the communication disability of autism, since deafness and autism are two sides of the same coin:

    Audiometric Profiles in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Does Subclinical
    Hearing Loss Impact Communication?
    Carly Demopoulos and Jeffrey David Lewine
    Rates of hearing impairment in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are higher than those reported in the general population. Although ASD is not caused by hearing impairment, it may exacerbate symptomatology. Participants with ASD (N 5 60) and typically developing peers (N 5 16) aged 5–18 years underwent a comprehensive audiological screening (pure tone audiometry, uncomfortable loudness level, tympanometry, acoustic reflexes, distortion product otoacoustic emissions, and auditory brainstem response) and assessment of communication abilities (expressive/receptive language, articulation, phonological awareness, and vocal affect recognition). Incidence of abnormal findings on at least one measure of audiological functioning was higher for the ASD group (55%) than controls (14.9%) or the general population estimate (6%). The presence of sound sensitivity was also considerably higher for the ASD group (37%) compared with controls (0%) or general population estimates (8–15%). When participants with ASD were dichotomized into groups with and without evidence of clinical audiological abnormality, no significant differences were identified on measures of communication; however, results of correlational analyses indicated that variability in hearing thresholds at middle range frequencies (2000 Hz) was significantly related to performance on all measures of speech articulation and language after correction for multiple comparisons. These findings suggest that dichotomized classification of clinical audiology may not be sufficient to understand the role of subclinical hearing loss in ASD symptomatology and that treatment studies for mild/subclinical hearing loss in this population may be worthwhile. Autism Res 2015, 00: 000–000.

  • Renee Louise McAfee added an answer:
    Can nutrition therapy treat autism symptoms?

    Parents of children with ASD are frequently asking me about Nutrition Therapy for their children. I need some evidences about the topic. Do you agree using Nutrition Therapy for autism? is there any evidence about it?

    Renee Louise McAfee


  • Flavio Guillen added an answer:
    Can oxygen therapy treat autism symptoms?

    Parents of children with ASD are frequently asking me about oxygen therapy for their children. I need some evidences about the topic. Do you agree using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for autism? is there any evidence about it?

    Flavio Guillen

    Ahmad there are some authors who reported improvement with this type of treatment, however their response is limited, and other authors do not find improvement in the symptoms of autism.

  • Frank R. Rusch added an answer:
    Has anyone used the success case research design for evaluating an educational framework?

    Researching the feasibility of using the SCERTS assessment model as a standard in English schools to build MDC.  Looking at consistency, sustainability, and professional development as well as the learner with autism and parents perceptions of the model.  Looking at the success case design by Robert Birkenhoff. Please let me know if you have heard of this used in education. Thank you. Melinda

    Frank R. Rusch
    1. You need to narrow your question.
  • Sohoo Mujeeb ur Rehman added an answer:
    Is anyone familiar with Autism and Epilepsy, effectiveness of CBT?

    How effective is CBT for autistic characteristics in epilepsy if the ability to self-reflect is impaired?

    Sohoo Mujeeb ur Rehman

    With Kind Regards,

    Thanks to everyone working in the field of Neurosciences, Neurogenesis and reserve for the welfare of mankind.

    Autism and  Epilepsy- Differences >  Brain - Anatomy- Histology- Physiology, Pathology, Molecular- Genetics. Nutrition / Many causes.

    Kind Regards, 

    Mujeeb ur Rehman Sohoo,


  • Sanam Bagherian Khosroshahi added an answer:
    Is the special type of questionnaire for children with autism spectrum disorder?

    Thank you for all the answers.

    best wishes

    Agnieszka Osmólska-Bogucka.

    Sanam Bagherian Khosroshahi

    beside what others told before, you need to know their level of ability (I mean reading and understanding ability) first. cause, sometimes if your group members are talented enough, you can use ordinary questionnaires which are useful for other groups. my suggestion: you can find a similar research you are doing, then it will help you. 

About Autism

A topic to foster discussion of autism research among investigators. This topic is not intended for those seeking clinical advice. Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are marked by significant social, communication, and behavioral problems. It is estimated that 1 in 110 children (correction: now 1 in 88) in the US have an ASD. Although several genes have been implicated in ASDs, a systems biology approach will be required to adequately understand the molecular underpinnings of these conditions.

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