• Nandini Jayachandran added an answer:
    How should the Response to Intervention model be applied to checking the effectiveness of new interventions for Specific Learning Disorders?

    RTI model is included in DSM V criteria for Specific Learning Disorders for diagnosis. How should this framework be applied in the context for interventions for  literacy and numeracy?

    Nandini Jayachandran · Institute for Communicative and Cognitive Neurosciences

    Dear Frank, Tom & Thomas,

    Thank you for the resources provided. My apologies for the delay in replying.

    Frank, I have been to the Rt I site and have found the evaluation criteria,  quite comprehensive.

    Regarding the point that Tom has brought in,  as I understand the interventionist (using  Tier 2 and 3 interventions) should ideally use multiple screenings at the beginning of school year or include a second level screening by mid year (after 6 months) and look out for progress made.  Depending upon this he should make a decision regarding whether the child should be in Tier 2 or 3 intervention.

    So when multiple screenings are used( Achievement test score, multi-disciplinary assessment, diagnostic testing)  for low -achieving subjects(teacher spotted), children, won't that be sufficient to make a diagnosis?(provided adequate school related inputs are given).

    About  what Thomas had suggested, in Tier 1 instruction- as I understand the basic thing is proper instruction in school. What is misleading is the term " targeted instruction". In India, we don't generally have a system of targeted intervention for children who have difficulty to cope, at school level(Tier 1). Either parents give extra tuition, or extended practice drills to help the child. In this context  can a normal school exposure (with the points you referred instruction, curriculum, environment etc)  be treated  as satisfying this requirement of targeted instruction?

    Thank you for all those references. However I am not able to download your attachment.  Would like to have a look at how RtI model is used for disability determination.

  • Kunjbihari Sulakhiya added an answer:
    Can anyone recommend good animal models and tests for Autism Spectrum Disorder?

    Our laboratory is now trying to take initiation in research on Autism but we are not getting clear idea how to select the best possible animal models and tests to be preformed. If, anyone having articles related to Pathophysiology, animal models and tests to screen drugs for the treatment of Autism,, kindly send me some links.

    Thanks in advance



    Kunjbihari Sulakhiya · National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER)

    Dear Gordan and Saad, Thanks!!!!!!

  • Khalil Abu Khadijeh added an answer:
    What is more important for autistic children, assessment or treatment?
    In researches of course.
    Khalil Abu Khadijeh · University of Western Australia

    Assessment is the first step in acknowledging the need for treatment. Some autistic children behave differently from others making it hard to diagnose. In many coutries relying on publicly funded development centres involves waiting lists and appointments can be far apart which is why it can sometimes take years to assess a child. Treatment remains one of the least researched areas in autism, as most research involves the biological underlying causes of autism (ie. genetic mutations). This is also due to the fact that trestment is limited to support and treating symptoms which can include speech and occupational therapies but treatment has not been greatly effective.  Therefore, in my opinion assessment is far more important as it is always better to diagnose patients early for effective treatment. 

  • Carlos de Cabo de la Vega added an answer:
    Which is the best chemical compound to induced the autism in rat?

    In some studies they used sodium valproate and some studies they used valproic acid, so which is the more appropriate chemical compound to induced autism in rat?

    WIll all the offspring have the autistic character or only few?

    Carlos de Cabo de la Vega · Servicio de Salud de Castilla-La Mancha

    I assume the put valproic acid into the salt form for the pharmacological presentation of the active principle, to achieve the desired bioavailability. But the effects should be the same.

  • Nancy S. McIntyre added an answer:
    Are there any books that outline teaching empathy to adults with autism?

    I am working with post-secondary students of low-average intelligence and with autism. I am interested in using book clubs to build empathy skills and other social skills. I need book suggestions or any research of this kind. 

    Nancy S. McIntyre · University of California, Davis

    I like your idea!    If you want to build empathy skills, I assume you are thinking about fiction/narratives?  One approach to selecting a book would be to integrate your selection with the interests of the book group members.  Do you have information regarding the members reading comprehension abilities?

  • Carla Smalley added an answer:
    Does anyone have copies of the Children's Interview for Psychiatric Syndromes?

    Does anyone have copies of the Children's Interview for Psychiatric Syndromes (ChIPS) child or parent versions? The manual, interview questions or scoring sheets for either would be a great help to me! I thought I would ask around first to see if anyone had access and felt happy to share materials.

    Thanks :)

    Carla Smalley · Kansas Public School

    Andrew Freeman, thank you for sharing the KSADS!  This is an instrument I had never heard of before! 

  • Carl Alexander Sorensen added an answer:
    Literature on physical activity and sleep for ASD?

    I have noticed that daily exercise is a common recommendation for ASD youth with sleep problems, but have found almost nothing in the literature as far as empirical studies that I could cite. I would really like one or two more cites for a paper I am working on. Can anyone suggest a paper or two?

    Carl Alexander Sorensen · University of South Carolina


  • Sandra Tunley added an answer:
    What is the standard scoring method for ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)?

    I would like to know the standard technique to give a performance value for a person affected with ASD as to compare to the normal.

    Sandra Tunley · Independent Researcher

    I have used the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS-2) (Schopler, Van Bourgondien, Wellman, & Love).  This provides measures on social interaction, communication, restricted patterns of interest and stereotyped behaviour, sensory issues, and thinking style in children.

  • Michael Cohen Hogan added an answer:
    Which instrument should I use for a participatory evaluation in a product design case study?

    The study is conducted with industrial design students, children with autism, and their parents and teachers. 

    Michael Cohen Hogan · University of Southern California

    I may be misunderstanding, but it seems you are asking about a specific style of evaluation called "Participatory Evaluation". If that is the case, the people participating in the evaluation are responsible for deciding what evaluation instrument to use.

    The first reference below links to a catalog of participatory evaluation tools collected by the United Nations Office of Evaluation and Strategic Planning. This may be a useful list for your group of stakeholders to consider as they collectively choose an evaluation instrument. The second reference is an overview of Participatory Evaluation that may help your participants better understand the process and how it differs from traditional evaluation.

  • Does anyone know of any autism intervention studies that have used quality of life measurements?

    I'm looking for Quality of Life assessments that have been used as an outcome measure in autism interventions.

    Francisco de Borja Jordán de Urríes · Universidad de Salamanca

    Hi Christina, perhaps you could be interested in theese references:



    You will find interesting theese linkns:

    Our website section related to Quality of Life Assesment Tools developen in INICO


    You will find some of them in English when you go to each ítem.

    Finally, the profile of Miguel Angel Verdugo in Research Gate will provide you interesting information about Quality of Life Assesment Tools.


    Best regards!!!

  • Mack T Ruffin IV added an answer:
    Is the lack of diversity in intestinal microflora in autistics due to diet, genetics or other factors?

    In an article by Dae-Wook Kang et al, it was found that there is a reduced incidence of Prevotella and other fermenters in the intestinal microflora of autistic children. Is the gut microbiome primarily determined by diet or by genetics? Could this reduced diversity be due to the restricted diets of autistics, or is it caused by other factors? Is there any research on this subject? For instance, in a recent study on the effect of microflora on obesity by Julia K. Goodrich, et al, it was found that the gut microbiome of obese subjects was determined genetically, through a twin study of monozygotic versus fraternal twins. Does this experiment have ramifications for the root causes of the lack of diversity in the autistic intestinal microflora?

    Mack T Ruffin IV · University of Michigan

    People living in the same household, stool mircobiome are more similar regardless of whether they are related than people not living in the same household. So it is more than genetics.  Also be extremely careful interpretting these studies about the study population which are often small, highly selected, and not presentative of the population that inferences are being made.

  • A. M. Smith added an answer:
    What is the nutritional recommendation for the child with autism and /or Down syndrome in early developmental stages?

    There are different types of chronic care implemented for the child with autism and Down syndrome, but what is the nutritional component of care in early developmental stages for these individuals.

    A. M. Smith · Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

    Children with both Down syndrome and autism ussually have sensory integration problems. This cause depending on extend difficulty in feeding/eating.  Together with low muscle tone around the mouth and swallowing this can become really complicated. Look at work of Prof Winnie Dunn an Occupational Therapist and the profiles availble to test for the extend and patern of Sensory Integration (SI).  I my experience as a dietitian both mom and child needs lots of support around their eating.  The poor mom is often seen as the reason for the eating problems. Of the problems can be that the do not eat at other peoples houses, do not eat "mixed" food, do not like pieces or lumps in food, do not like the food to touch each other on the plate to name a few.

    I make use of the chaining principal to see what child is eating and help to expand on that. I am very careful to exclude foods out of the diet unless their is positive reasons for food allergy - these children are also more often allergic.

  • Judit Szitó added an answer:
    Can someone recommend literature on humor and autism, esp. Asperger's?

    I am tyring to show that they do have a great sense of humo(u)r, only different, and that difference is mainly related to context, to which they are supposed to be rather insensitive.

    Judit Szitó · Kodolányi János University of Applied Sciences

    Dear Jon,

    Thanks for writing!

    I am really interested in your research data + literature, although I am not entirely sure what restrictions may apply.

    I am in the process of collecting my own ethnographic data on Aspi humor among my close acquaintances. My data may show that parental guidance plays a great role in orienting Aspi child, including humor appreciation. I am also trying to separate contextual noise for attention deficit disorder.

    I have no laboratory to show brain functioning now ( but who knows if I will later :) ) I have also read on neurological etc studies, but this is probably complementary in nature right now.

    So I am interested in what you have to say! Can you see my email?

    (Just in case you can't: judit.szito@kodolanyi.hu )


  • Barry M Prizant added an answer:
    Where are the philosophers and sociologists of science in the many controversies and social developments around autism?

    There's a lot going on in the so called 'autism world' which could benefit from research and analysis by sociologists and philosophers of science:

    There's been a radical change in the public image of autism, say from 'Rain man' (1988) to 'Big bang theory' (now).

    Since the mid-nineties until now there's been a remarkable emancipation from no voice to many of which quite a few argue autism is not a disease, but a variation within normalcy of people with remarkable qualities.

    The leading (medical and psychological) scientific paradigm of autism as an incurable developmental disease seems to be challenged more everyday by rival views claiming different (partly) curable etiologies.

    Have these (and other) interrelated developments been the subject of study from the above mentioned disciplines? If so, why do they practically seem invisible?

    Barry M Prizant · Brown University

    Not a problem, Flip.  And I failed to mention that I have a book coming out in August 2015 (Simon & Schuster) entitled Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism, based on my 40 year career working with people with autism and their families in universities, schools, hospitals, and many other settings.

    Another incredible book on this topic, but that goes well beyond autism is Andrew Solomon's Far From the Tree, where he details how so many "disorders" or "disabilities" have evolved into identities that are helpful rather than tragic for the persons involved and their families.  He addresses autism, dwarfism, deafness, transsexualism, schizophrenia and other categories. It's a great read.  Here is the video trailer for the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KGMjuBJ2O0

  • Timo Lorenz added an answer:
    What are the ethical and methodological implications of using social media to recruit participants for qualitative psychological research?
    I am a counseling psychologist in training researching closeness in couples where one member is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am finding it hard to recruit participants and am now using twitter and Facebook to advertise my research. I do not want to influence responses so have kept my research identity separate from my username but what are the implications of this? Should I be more transparent? Are there other issues of which I should be aware?
    Timo Lorenz · Freie Universität Berlin

    I think it is good to get in contact with community gatekeepers such as group admins and people like that. I would recommend to be open about yourself to them and explain your goals and expectations in the communication. Try getting in conact and after that you can prepare text blocks for advertising to let the admins use them.

  • Dena Gassner added an answer:
    What is the current status of the diagnostic criteria of Semantic Pragmatic Disorder, is it included in the impending DSM V criteria of ASD?
    Can Semantic Pragmatic Disorder be treated as a separate diagnostic category compared to High functioning Autism?

    For those still following, I have had two clients previously diagnosed with AS who were rediagnosed by rehabilitation agencies as SPD. As a result of the 'new' diagnosis, they were denied services, despite the clearly stated 'grandfather' clause that affirms the diagnosis stays if ever provided under the IV. This is not good.

  • Dena Gassner added an answer:
    Is there a reliable estimate of the prevalence of perceptual problems concerning color among people on the autism spectrum?

    Some differentiation seems needed here. It's clear extreme hypersensitivity (hyperseclectivity) to one or more particular colors to the point where they can be unbearable exists among people on the spectrum. This seems quite something else than being very bothered by high contrast, extremely 'loud' or highly reflecting colors. The latter sensations seem very common to anyone and it's likely they would be considerably more intense to people on the spectrum. As for the numbers: the former might affect a number in the order of magnitude of a few percent, while the latter may even involve a majority. Is there more than a rough educated guess?  

    Search for Paul Isaacs from the UK. He is an autistic with visual processing and light/color sensitivities who has done considerable research. Also, Fiona Randall in AU. She's doing her PhD research on photophobia and Irlen interventions.

  • John Kommu added an answer:
    Is Aripiprazole or Risperidone the better drug for autism spectrum disorders?

    The FDA has approved both risperidone and aripiprazole to treat symptoms of autism. Aripiprazole is better tolerated than risperidone, but there are no head to head trials to compare the efficacy of both drugs. 

    John Kommu · National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences

    Risperdone and Aripiprazole are FDA approved drugs for irritability and aggression in children with Autism . We need to keep in mind that medication always augments the non-pharmacological interventions. Both drugs can cause adverse effects .

  • Caroline Rodgers added an answer:
    Is there any cause of autism that does not also cause peripheral deafness?
    As I think autism is a peripheral auditory-vestibular disorder, the causes of autism and deafness should be similar. I cannot find in the literature any cause or risk factor for autism that has not been found to cause deafness as well. I would be interested in any such examples as they would contradict my theory.
    Caroline Rodgers · Independent

    There is some thought that autism is caused by prenatal ultrasound -- a form of energy that is transformed into heat when it is absorbed by tissue. If there is a link between autism and ultrasound, it would not be surprising that a larger-than-normal percentage of people with autism also have hearing issues, since sound waves of varying intensity for varying periods of time could be expected to affect developing hearing structures.

    This hypothesis regarding the ultrasound-autism connection is worth reading:
    Casanova MF. Autism as a sequence: From heterochronic germinal cell divisions to abnormalities of cell migration and cortical dysplasias. Medical Hypotheses. 83(1):32–38, Epub 13 April 2014.

    Regarding the possible threat of prenatal ultrasound to fetal hearing, the following study (see below) noted that the decibel level experience by the fetus from ultrasound depends upon the pressure field’s focal point and suggests that “the sound generated by ultrasound may have significant implications if the beam is directed toward the fetal hearing structures.” This might explain why some, but not all, fetuses subjected to prenatal ultrasound may have impaired hearing.

    Fatemi M, Aliza A, Greenleaf JF. Characteristics of the audio sound generated by ultrasound imaging systems. J Acoust Soc Am. 2005 Mar;117(3 Pt 1):1448-55.

    That said, at least one study suggests that frequent prenatal ultrasound may actually improve fetal hearing outcomes, specifically:

    Harbarger CF, Weinberger PM, Borders JC, Hughes CA. Prenatal ultrasound exposure and association with postnatal hearing outcomes, J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013; 42(1): 3.

    I believe it would be wise to carefully consider the possible impact of any unnatural fetal energy intrusion on any point of development, whether it be neurological, audiological, immunological or otherwise.

  • What can cause subcortical hyperarousal in insomnia?
    Assuming that insomnia results from hyper-arousal of the brainstem arousal system, what can cause this? Presumably only excessive input from lower CNS levels. A prime candidate must be the vestibular system, which sends a lot of input into the reticular activating system and is heavily involved in sleep staging. To get to sleep, we need to lie horizontal and still. Hyperactive states of the inner ear are very common, and in this state the vestibular part is exquisitely sensitive to a very wide range of drugs. So I suggest that anyone with a sensitized ear (as with post-concussion syndrome, hyperacusis, autism, etc) will be over-aroused by many substances in the blood, as after overeating or having unusual foods before bedtime. There is a mass of circumstantial evidence in favor of this simple explanation, but are there any good arguments or data to rebut this theory?

    HI Sir

    I hope that attached papers and link will satisfy your query.

  • 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.

    Dear Dr.Gordon

    After over a year of collaboration, Christen Szymanski, from the Clerc Center, and Gallaudet University colleagues Patrick Brice, Kay Lamb, and Sue Hotto, published findings related to the prevalence of autism in children with hearing loss in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities online. The article, "Deaf Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders," is based on data gathered from the past five years of the Gallaudet Research Institute's Annual Survey of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children and Youth, which relies on schools to report demographic information about the students they serve. Data showed that during the 2009-2010 school year, one in 59 children with hearing loss were also receiving services for autism. This is nearly twice the rate of hearing children reported to have autism, one out of every 110. Szymanski and her Gallaudet colleagues also found that over the past several years, children with profound to severe hearing loss were more likely to have a diagnosis of autism. Research about communication modalities, academic environments, and parental hearing status of these children is also presented.For more please read at following links.

    Warm Regards

  • Irina Cain added an answer:
    Who knows a protocol to induce autism in rats?

    I'm working on the distribution of neurotransmitter in the central nervous system of a mammalian. Who knows whether glutamate-hypothesis in autism is defined.

    Irina Cain · Virginia Commonwealth University

    I think this article might give you a good model on how to use valproic acid to cause symptoms similar to autism in rats.


  • Carlos Hernández-Lahoz added an answer:
    Is anyone using transcranial magnetic stimulation in any autisms?
    On the disconnection of language areas of some patients.
    Carlos Hernández-Lahoz · Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias

    Thank you for your opinion.

  • Khaled Saad added an answer:
    Does anyone use micronutrients for the treatment of Autism?
    micronutrients for the treatment of Autism.
    Khaled Saad · Assiut University

    Thanks  Cherubino Di Lorenzo

  • Anita Virgin added an answer:
    What is the best way to teach and motivate children who have decentralization disorder to learn English?
    Autism disorder.
    Anita Virgin · Mother Teresa Women's University

    Never make the child know the process of learning, let him/her get it through games, videos, interesting short films, ads etc.

  • Anthony G Gordon added an answer:
    What do you think the convergent pathways are in autism spectrum disorders?
    Autism and ASD undoubtedly have a multitude of risk factors, which lead to somewhat similar symptoms. What biological mechanisms do you think are converging from different risk factors to produce ASD symptoms?
    Anthony G Gordon · Independent Researcher

    "Cognitive abnormalites such as weak central coherence are inexplicable in purely auditory-vestibular terms."

    Yes, in an adult an acquired auditory-vestibular disorder would not explain weak central coherence.  Such a disorder at a critical stage in very early development is a completely different matter, especially if the sensory disorders are fluctuant and unpredictable.  My theory can be more easily discredited even than the MMR theory by finding a cause of autism that is not also a cause of deafness.

  • Yang Zhang added an answer:
    Is matching on age/mental age (using verbal or non-verbal IQ) for experimental and control groups a good approach in autism research?

    Matching subjects in a developmental study can be a challenge. Given that standardized IQ tests tend to underestimate individuals who have autism and/or other developmental disorders, what control mechanism can be implemented in the subject recruitment process to ensure proper representation of the linguistic and cognitive profiles for the individual subject groups? 

    Yang Zhang · University of Minnesota Twin Cities

    Good point. What we found was that the typical "autistic child" group performed significantly worse in the non-verbal test using the Standard Progressive Matrices than the typically developing child group (matched in biological age). Other aspects of IQ tests (non-verbal or verbal) also showed this trend at the group level, which is consistent with data in published studies. We tried correlational analysis to determine whether the non-verbal IQ scores could "explain" the brain measures in the speech and nonspeech listening conditions. If the subject sample is large, we can try further select subgroups of the autistic children and controls that are matched in non-verbal IQ scores in addition to biological age matching. 

  • Any suggestions on where I could publish a paper?
    I completed my research on a play approach using Lego and social skills development in children on the autistic spectrum this year. It was my dissertation for my MSc and I'm hoping to cut it down and publish an article. Which journals would it be good to approach?
    Francisco de Borja Jordán de Urríes · Universidad de Salamanca

    I can suggest:

    JARID http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-JAR.html

    IDD http://aaiddjournals.org/loi/mere.1

    AJIDD http://aaiddjournals.org/loi/ajmr.1

  • Inna Schneiderman added an answer:
    Oxytocin the treatment for autism ?

    In the first page of a newspaper I read about effectiveness of  nasal spray to improve sociability and communication in children and teens with autism. Can you suggest research or other evidence supporting that this spay (oxytocin or other) is the treatment for autism ?

    I also have found this article but I don't know if is it reliable http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/researchers-launch-study-oxytocin-nasal-spray

    Inna Schneiderman · Bar Ilan University

    Interesting study on this topic: 

    Elissar Andaria, Jean-René Duhamela, Tiziana Zallab, Evelyn Herbrechtb, Marion Leboyerb, and Angela Sirigua (2010). Promoting social behavior with oxytocin in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. PNAS 107 (9). 

  • Albert Donnay added an answer:
    Data is needed on Autism rates around the globe. I need a team to devise strict guidelines so that the data is conclusive and accurate. Who's in?

    I am looking to conduct research to gain data on the relevance of vaccines an Autism. I would like to coordinate this with social, neurological and biomedical research.

    I cannot comprehend why, 100% conclusive data has not been reached on this topic, and now with the new evidence of the whistleblower from the CDC Dr. William Thompson.

    This is a constant area of contemplation for me, as well as the newly generated information that I research to support the possible linkage between vaccines and Autism.

    I am sickened and data MUST be collected with strict guidelines so that the research comes to a final verdict. I want the children and parents I work with, as well as all new parents to have peace.

    Watch below for a quick glimpse...


    Albert Donnay · University of Maryland, Baltimore

    Autism prevalence in elementary school age children   in USA increases wih latitude from South to North based on state by state DOE data, so I hypothesize your global study will find lowest rates around the equator.

    Some  speculate autism may be  due to less sunlight exposure and less circulating vit D at higher latitudes but I hypothesize that longer winters result in more cumulative CO exposure from domestic sources.

    In contrast vaccination rates for children in USA do not vary by latitude.

    Neither does exposure to mercury and other toxic  fallout from power plant emissions, which vary by longitude (e-w)

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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