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Strategic classroom intervention can make big difference for autism students

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“In a new study, children whose teachers received specialized training “were initiating more, participating more, having back-and-forth conversations more, and responding to their teachers and peers more frequently,” said researcher Lindee Morgan. Morgan and FSU Autism Institute Director Amy Wetherby were co-principal investigators of a three-year, 60-school study that measured the effectiveness of a curriculum, called SCERTS, designed specifically for teachers of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).” (more)

Tackling bullying could help reduce depression in autistic teens

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Teenagers with difficulties in social communication, including autism have higher rates of depressive symptoms, especially if they are being bullied. Researchers at the University of Bristol, using questionnaire, clinic and genetic information on 6091 young people from the Children of the 90s longitudinal study, found that children with autism and those with autistic traits had more symptoms of depression when they were 10 years old than their peers and that this continued at least up to the age of 18.” (more)

Screening may miss signs of autism, especially in girls: study

Medical X-Press – Dennis Thompson

“An important checklist used to screen for autism can miss subtle clues in some children, delaying their eventual diagnosis. Researchers found that the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, or M-CHAT, can fail to detect developmental delays that are tell-tale signs of autism in 18-month-olds, according to findings published in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics.” (more)

What Parents Of Kids With Autism Wish You Knew

The Huffington Post – Caroline Bologna

“There are a lot of misconceptions about autism, particularly when it comes to young children on the spectrum. In honor of Autism Awareness Month, we asked members of the HuffPost Parents Facebook community to share what they wished people understood about autism spectrum disorder. Here’s what parents of kids with autism want the world to know.” (more)

Bilingualism May Counteract Autism

Language Magazine – Staff Writer

“According to a new study published in Child Development, bilingual children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are better at switching from one task to another than their monolingual peers. “This is a novel and surprising finding,” says Prof. Aparna Nadig, the senior author of the paper, from the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Canada’s McGill University. “Over the past 15 years there has been a significant debate in the field about whether there is a ‘bilingual advantage’ in terms of executive functions. Some researchers have argued convincingly that living as a bilingual person and having to switch languages unconsciously to respond to the linguistic context in which the communication is taking place increases cognitive flexibility.” (more)

Being bilingual may help autistic children

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often have a hard time switching gears from one task to another. But being bilingual may actually make it a bit easier for them to do so, according to a new study which was recently published in Child Development. “This is a novel and surprising finding,” says Prof. Aparna Nadig, the senior author of the paper, from the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at McGill University.” (more)