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Study helps children hit the right note in supporting autistic peers

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Led by Anna Cook, Ph.D. student at the University of Surrey, researchers found that the interactive sessions produced findings that could potentially reduce bullying of autistic students. The research investigated the impact of school-based music lessons on children aged nine to eleven years old, both with and without autism. Split into two groups, one a combination of those with and without the condition, and the other group consisting of those without, the children received eleven weekly singing classes that were specifically designed to increase social interaction and communication skills.” (more)

Supporting Students with Autism: Notes from a School Psychologist

Education World – Mandy Stern

“As a school psychologist, I have observed dozens of students with autism (also known as autism spectrum disorder) in their classrooms. Often, well-intentioned teachers give a correction or directive to the student that 1) might not be a realistic request given their unique condition; and 2) could be approached in another way for better outcomes.” (more)

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)