5 Ways to Help A Child With Autism Learn Social Skills

Contributor: Thomas Frazier, II, PhD  No parent likes to watch a child struggle. For parents of high-functioning children with autism, that struggle often takes place in social situations: in a classroom, on a playground or during a simple conversation. There are ways to help your child learn social skills, though. The work often starts in … Read More

Future Mothers: What the Valproate-Autism Link Means

Expectant mothers who take the drug valproate to control seizures may face an unexpected side effect: an increased risk of autism for their babies. A new study shows that the risk of autism increased threefold for children whose mothers took valproate, an anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing drug, during pregnancy. If you are taking valproate and thinking … Read More

Autism and Genetics: A Q&A About What We Know

There’s good news coming from autism researchers at a rapid pace. Almost monthly, we hear about new genes tied to autism spectrum disorders. Still, our understanding of the genetics of autism is years behind our understanding of how genetics affects cancer, for example. With that in mind, I sat down with my colleague and autism … Read More

7 Surprises About People With Autism

Contributor: Thomas Frazier, II, PhD  If your assumptions about autism come from popular culture, you may not have the full picture. Stereotypes don’t fit people with autism any better than they fit the rest of us. When we talk about autism spectrum disorders (ASD), spectrum is an important word. ASD covers a wide range of … Read More

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Spotting Autism Early in Children

About 1 in 88 children have been diagnosed with some form of autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This group of disorders includes all developmental disabilities that can cause behavioral, social and communication challenges. If your child shows signs that he or she is not developing normally, it’s critical to … Read More

Playing Nice With Kids Who Are ‘Different’

Interacting with someone who is “different” can be tough even for adults. No wonder kids don’t always get it right. But there’s no better place to learn how to manage differences than in school — especially now that many classrooms include kids with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Kids with ASD can have full-blown autism, a … Read More

Children With Autism Tend to Wander

Nearly half of all children with autism will place themselves in danger by “eloping,” or wandering off at all hours. That’s the finding of a first-of-its kind study that tried to determine how often this kind of wandering occurs. Experts say kids with autism may wander for 3 reasons: 1. To escape Parents or home … Read More

Autism Gender Differences

Autism is a very complex disorder, with varying degrees of severity and different effects depending on gender. Tom Frazier, PhD, a researcher who studies autism at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, says there are some known differences in the ways autism effects boys versus girls. Effects of Autism Dr. Frazier is leading a study he hopes … Read More

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What Is and Is Not Autism

As understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has grown, so has parents’ anxiety about what is and what isn’t autism. ASD reflects a wide range of problems and functional abilities. “Children at the severely affected end tend to have more problems, and more pronounced problems, so the diagnosis is usually more clear,” says Kimberly Giuliano, … Read More

Autism Warning Signs and Perception (Videos)

By age 1, children typically are in the habit of pointing at something interesting — like a squirrel running up a tree or a funny face. Children with autism may not point, and they may not be able to recognize a funny face. A lack of pointing is just one of many possible early warning … Read More