Skip to main content

Home/ Groups/ Autism Teachers
Tero Toivanen

BBC News - Children 'may grow out of autism' - 7 views

  •  
    Some young children accurately diagnosed as autistic lose their symptoms and their diagnosis as they get older, say US researchers.
Tero Toivanen

Does The Brain Come Unglued in Autism? | Psych Central News - 2 views

  •  
    "A new study suggests that autism is associated with a reduction in the level of cellular adhesion molecules in the blood."
Tero Toivanen

Technology use in the classroom helps autistic children communicate - 11 views

  •  
    "Teachers at the school have found that the ECHOES program has greatly helped the children improve their social and communication skills. In fact teachers were surprised at the extent to which the children engaged with the technology."
Tero Toivanen

Autism-like behaviors reversed in mice: New hope for understanding autism - 3 views

  •  
    "Researchers from McGill University and the University of Montreal have identified a crucial link between protein synthesis and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which can bolster new therapeutic avenues."
Tero Toivanen

New Study: Autism has Multiple Genetic Roots | Suite101 - 1 views

  • The study’s major finding was that children with ASD have significantly more CNVs affecting their genes than children without ASD. Children with ASD have 20 percent more CNVs in general, and 70 percent more CNVs impacting genes known to be associated with ASD or cognitive problems. Significantly, many of the genes that are affected control important functions such as cell proliferation and cell-to-cell communication.
  • Some of the newly discovered genetic variants are inherited, and are found in parents or siblings of children with them. Others, however, seem to have originated spontaneously in the affected child, and do not appear in other family members.
  • While these findings add significantly to the scientific understanding of the genetic and biological underpinnings of ASD, the immediate usefulness is limited. That’s because there are a very large number of CNVs, and each child shows a different pattern of genetic changes. Each of these changes is rare; no CNV showed up in more than one percent of the children studied.
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • “This will lead to a paradigm shift in understanding the etiology of autism,” says Stephen Scherer, a senior scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. “Until now, most scientists thought individuals with autism shared common genes. We now think each person has his own rare variations.”
  • If significant CNVs show up, behavioral treatment can be started early. That has been shown to improve children’s outcomes significantly. “If we provide stimulation early, while the brain is still plastic, we can improve cognitive development, social interaction and communication,” says Geri Dawson, Chief Science Officer of Autism Speaks, the major sponsor of the research project.
  • What this new research suggests is that autism and ASD probably result from the interaction between many different genes and a child’s environment. Rather than search for one single cause and one “magic bullet,” researchers will try to find as many significant genetic variants as possible, link them to the biological functions and pathways they control, and then search for medications that can improve or normalize the functioning of damaged pathways.
Tero Toivanen

NeuroLogica Blog » Facilitated Communication Persists Despite Scientific Crit... - 0 views

  • Facilitated Communication (FC) is a technique for allegedly aiding those with communication impairment, such as some people with autism, to communicate through typing or pointing at a letter board. The idea is that some children have greater cognitive ability than is apparent through their verbal skills, but they lack the motor skills to type or write. The facilitator in FC is trained to hold and support their client’s hand, to help stabilize it, so that they can type out their thoughts.
  • FC was enthusiastically embraced by the special education community in the late 1980s and early 1990s but problems quickly emerged, namely the question of authorship – who is doing the communicating, the client or the facilitator?
  • The scientific evidence came down clearly on one side of that debate – it is the facilitator who is the author of the communication, not the client.
  • ...4 more annotations...
  • A 2001 review by Mostert came to the same conclusion – that the evidence supports the conclusion that the facilitators are the authors of communication in FC.
  • The strategy here is obvious – studies that directly and objectively confront the key question, who is authoring the writing in FC, gave an answer proponents did not like. They therefore shifted to indirect inference which is more amenable to judgement and qualitative analysis so that the desired results can be manufactured.
  • FC continues to exist on the fringe of legitimate science, but continues to fool journalists, patient advocates, and even physicians.
  • It is sad that FC continues to survive despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that it is not a legitimate method of communication, but rather an elaborate exercise in self-deception.  It is a useful example of how powerful and subtle self-deception can be, and also of the ways in which scientific evidence can be manipulated to generate a desired outcome.
Tero Toivanen

Researchers reveal first brain study of Temple Grandin - - 0 views

  •  
    Unlike controls ..., Temple Grandin has lateral ventricles... that are significantly larger on the left side of her brain than on the right.
Tero Toivanen

Marlene Behrmann: Connecting Autistic Behavior to Brain Function - 0 views

  • It turns out that in all three of the primary cortices -- visual, auditory and somatosensory -- we did not see the typical response trial after trial in the individuals with autism. Instead, we saw considerable variability -- sometimes a strong response, sometimes a weak response. The fact that we did not see precise responses in autism was a really important result. It suggests that there is something fundamental that is altered in the cortical responses in autism. This variability in the brain response might also possibly explain why individuals with autism find visual stimulation, touch and sound to be so strong and overwhelming.
  • We know from genetic research that many of the neurobiological changes that occur in autism have to do with changes at the level of the synapse, the way that information is transmitted from one neuron to another.
  •  
    "A team of researchers ... were interested in trying to understand on a basic neural level what happens inside the brain that might give rise to the altered behaviors in autism."
Tero Toivanen

Neuronal Circuits In Autism Can Be Reversed - 0 views

  • When the production of neuroligin-3 in the mice was reactivated, the nerve cells reduced the production of the glutamate receptors to a normal level and the structural defects in the brain typical for autism were gone. Consequently, these glutamate receptors could be targeted in the development of drugs that could stop autism from developing or even reverse it.
  •  
    "A specific dysfunction in neuronal circuits has been identified, by Professors Peter Scheiffele and Kaspar Vogt at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, that results from autism.

    The researchers also discovered a way to reverse these neuronal changes. They believe that their findings, published in the journal Science, will have a great effect in drug development for treating autism."
Tero Toivanen

Facilitated_Communication_Prisoners_of_Silence.mov - 2 views

  •  
    Really interesting video about Facilitated Communication. I think all teachers who are working with Autistic Spectrum Disorders should watch it.
Tero Toivanen

Oxytocin improves brain function in children with autism - 1 views

  •  
    "Preliminary results from an ongoing, large-scale study by Yale School of Medicine researchers shows that oxytocin -- a naturally occurring substance produced in the brain and throughout the body -- increased brain function in regions that are known to process social information in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)."
Tero Toivanen

Orangutans at Miami Zoo Use iPads to Communicate | Gadget Lab | Wired.com - 0 views

  • Orangutans are very intelligent, but lack voice boxes and vocal cords, which can make communication difficult. Up until now, zoo keepers have been using sign language to communicate with them. Using the iPad gives the orangutans another form of communication with humans, provides them with mental stimulation, and also gives those who don’t know sign language a chance to interact with humans.
Tero Toivanen

Special Education/ ASD - LiveBinder - 3 views

  •  
    via Skip Zalneraitis
Tero Toivanen

An Apple for the Students | By Marcia Kaye | University of Toronto Magazine - 3 views

  • The two-year study, which ended last December, found that within six weeks the devices boosted kids’ attention spans, raised their ability to identify pictured objects by 45 to 60 per cent, and improved communication skills in these mostly nonverbal children by 20 per cent.
  • A surprising bonus: students who had never been sociable were suddenly requesting an iPad to initiate an activity with another student.
  • McEwen suggests that the devices’ appeal may lie in their multisensory nature, with images and sound – and vibration (thanks to the addition of a downloadable app). She adds that the device’s voice app, which is always calm and unemotional, appeals to those who thrive on consistency, including many children with ASD.
  • ...2 more annotations...
  • One boy in kindergarten who had always ignored green “yes” and red “no” boxes on paper responded instantly to the identical boxes on the screen.
  • The iPad’s larger screen is better suited to children with vision or fine-motor challenges, such as the blind six-year-old in a wheelchair who delights in moving his arm across the tablet to create his own music.
  •  
    Autistic children develop better communications skills when using iPads, researcher finds
Tero Toivanen

Mutations in 3 Genes Linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders - 1 views

  • Mutations in 3 Genes Linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders : Mutations in three new genes have been linked to autism, according to new studies including one with investigators at Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • The findings, in a trio of papers revealing new genetic targets in autism, are published in the April 4th online issue of the journal Nature.
  • The genes with mutations identified in the studies – CHD8, SNC2A, and KATNAL2 – were discovered with a new state-of-the-art genomics technology known as exome sequencing, where all protein coding regions of the genome, called the exome, are analyzed.
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • The researchers say that with further characterization of the genes and sequencing of genes in thousands of families, they will be able to develop novel therapeutics and preventive strategies for autism.
  • The institutions involved in this study sequenced data from more than 500 families (both parents and the affected child), examining the protein-enriched areas of the genome.
  • “When the same mutations are found in multiple affected children and none are found in children without autism, we believe that we have identified mutations that collectively affect a higher proportion of individuals with autism,” said Dr. Buxbaum. “Our studies revealed that the proteins encoded by the mutated genes interact with each other far more than expected, demonstrating significantly greater connectivity than would be expected.”

1 - 20 of 468 Next › Last »
Showing 20 items per page