To the thrill of readers everywhere, OT WebGems returns! Source material is currently plentiful, but connections and potential segues for these have been scarce. Here are a few pieces of current items on early autism signs and general diagnoses, plus a little celebrity tidbit on SPD.
Developmental Milestones: this is a comprehensive list of links for milestones for infancy to adolescence. Written in layman's terms with lots of extra resources.
Unusual Use of Toys: a study looked at infants' toy use and then later followed up to see which children were diagnosed with autism. The children who were later diagnosed had a much higher tendency to rotate toys or look at them from the corner of the eye. The researchers noted that many parents noticed signs of autism before a diagnosis is made and are hoping to help develop better early screens.
Sound Processing: an MEG study found split second sound processing deficits in kids with autism compared to typically developing kids, which could be connected to the language issues seen.
Ok, this is a controversial piece. It had an equally controversial discussion, and the transcript to that is linked on the article's page. The author's son was diagnosed with autism at age 2 and they are now involved with a study about children who "emerged" from autism. It was an interesting read, but I think that the soundest words come at the end of the article from a researcher involved with a separate study and a member of Autism Speaks.
"I don't know that the children 'recovered,' though they did improve . . . to the extent that they no longer met the diagnostic criteria," Stone said. "Almost all continued to have some form of developmental disorder."
"I think the most hopeful message we need to give parents," said Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer of the nonprofit group Autism Speaks, "is that all children with autism are capable of learning and developing new skills with the help of early intervention."
and, in mostly unrelated news, but mildly interesting nonetheless, Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) is apparently now public about having dyspraxia, part of the SPD umbrella. The article is not particularly thoughtful about the hidden disability, but I found it to be an interesting tidbit.