Monthly Research Updates

researchScientists and researchers are constantly uncovering more information related to autism, offering insights into the origins, possible causes and even at times potential cures. I come across dozens of articles on a weekly basis, some of which seem more important than others. After the positive response I received when I posted Top Research Stories of2014, I thought I would share on a monthly basis stories that caught my eye.

~ Maureen

Apple Lends Hand to Autism Research

Apple is teaming up with autism researchers in an effort to assess whether the iPhone could be used to help identify young children who may be on the spectrum through an app called “Autism & Beyond.” The app includes a parent questionnaire as well as a series of short videos for the child to watch, which are designed to elicit various emotions. Using the iPhone’s camera function, analytical software within the app will assess the children’s facial responses. Researchers hope to collect information from children 1 to 6 years three times each over the course of six months.

Read the full article here.

Many Kids with Mental Health Issues See Only Pediatricians

Using data from a national survey, the researchers found that about 35% of children receiving mental health care in the past year had appointments only with their primary-care physicians, compared with about 26% who saw only psychiatrists and 15% who saw only psychologists or social workers.

Read the full article here.

Wide awake: Why children with autism struggle with sleep

Ruth O’Hara, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford University in California, is leading a study to understand why so many children with autism have so much trouble sleeping. Sleep disturbance impacts cognition, mood, and behavior — domains that are also affected by autism. By improving sleep, symptoms in these areas may also improve.

Read the full article here.

Tune in next month for an update on autism research!

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