The Parent Infant Centre

it can be too late
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Welcome to ourNews, where we keep up-to-date with research and other news related to infant mental health. These articles can be of interest to both parents and professionals.
We are keen to know your views and so please do comment on our articles.
Is there a topic that you would like us to write about? Just send us a message via 'Contact us'.

ourAdvice, our other blog, has brief posts with advice for parents.

ourNews

'Autism doesn't hold me back. I'm moving up the career ladder'

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Use of first words by 24 months a strong predictor of positive ASD outcomes

The age at which useful language is acquired provides a strong predictor of later outcomes for children diagnosed with ASD. A Connecticut study looked at the relationship between cognitive ability and adaptive behaviors at 52 months and the age that the child had first used single words to  communicate in a meaningful way. (Words that excluded 'mama' and 'dada'.) The study did not include children who had acquired and then lost some language. The study showed a strong correlation between acquiring these first words by the age of 24 months and later positive outcomes. 'Age of First Words Predicts Cognitive Ability and Adaptive Skills in Children with ASD.' Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Volume 43, Issue 2 , pp 253-264. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10803-012-1558-0

Can children grow out of a diagnosis of ASD?

A recent study has looked at children who appear to have grown out of their diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder. If these children have experienced real change, then this challenges the general assumption that ASDs are lifelong disabilities. The study set out to find if these children had been misdiagnosed initially or if they still exhibited subtle signs of autism. To conduct the study the researchers recruited three sets of school-age children and young adults: 34 with a prior diagnosis of ASD, but who now had no symptoms of the disorder (optimal outcome); 44 matched individuals with high-functioning autism; and 34 typically developing peers. The optimal outcome and typically developing groups did not differ significantly on mean test scores of communication, social interaction, face recognition, and most language subscales. This indicates that the children who had grown out of their diagnosis were now indistinguishable, with these tests, from their developmentally typical peers. However, when reviewing the children's initial diagnoses the researchers found that there was little early difference between those children now in the optimal outcome group and those now with high functioning autism. This suggests that the original ASD diagnoses were correct of those who now had an optimal outcome and that these changes are real. The researchers noted that although individuals in the optimal outcome and high functioning autistic groups showed equally severe difficulties initially with communication and repetitive behaviors, the optimal outcome group initially had milder symptoms of social dysfunction. Individuals in the optimal outcome group also had mean IQs in the high average range, bringing the possibility that their above average cognition may have helped them to compensate for social difficulties. The researchers acknowledged several limitations to the study, including that there may still be residual traces of ASD amongst the optimal outcome group that their research tools failed to detect. However, the study supports the observation that some children correctly receiving an initial diagnosis of ASD may eventually develop into individuals who are indistinguishable from those who have followed a more typical developmental path. Further work is needed to identify those factors that may help to predict or facilitate an optimal outcome, including effective treatment options. 'Optimal outcome in individuals with a history of autism.' Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 54:2 (2013), pp 195–205 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpp.12037/pdf

Normalise brain activity with early interventions

A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has provided further evidence that intensive early interventions can help to normalise brain activity in young children with the symptoms of autism. Read more

Yale study shows early intervention helps children with ASD

Neural Mechanisms of Improvements in Social Motivation After Pivotal Response Treatment: Two Case Studies Read more

Diagnosing autism and cultural diversity

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Mother-infant psychoanalysis

Science Daily Read more

Autism and early developmental trajectories

  • At age six months the tools used by the study could find no difference in language or motor development between children who would later receive a diagnosis of ASD and those who would not.
  • By 14 months the children receiving an early onset diagnosis showed much lower scores than the later onset children for expressive language and shared positive affect.
  • At 14 months the children receiving a later onset diagnosis also showed some signs of developmental delay, but these were not specific to ASD.
  • By 18 months the early onset children also showed greater delays in receptive and expressive language development.
  •  By 24 months these differences between both groups of children had vanished and by 36 months both were comparable in their social and developmental characteristics.
  •  Read more

Welcome to ourNews, where we keep up-to-date with research and other news related to infant mental health. These articles can be of interest to both parents and professionals.
We are keen to know your views and so please do comment on our articles.
Is there a topic that you would like us to write about? Just send us a message via 'Contact us'.

ourAdvice, our other blog, has brief posts with advice for parents.

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