Autism TreatmentAutism Information for Parents, Practitioners & Professionals…

Autism Information for Parents, Practitioners & Professionals…

Sept 16- Nov. 18, 2013 AUTISM RESEARCH UPDATES

Asperger’s Disorder will be Back

This review focuses on identifying up-to-date number of publications that compared DSM-IV/ICD-10 Asperger’s disorder (AspD) to Autistic Disorder/High-functioning Autism (AD/HFA). One hundred and twenty-eight publications were identified through an extensive search of major electronic databases and journals. Based on more than 90 clinical variables been investigated, 94 publications concluded that there were statistically significant or near significant level of quantitative and/or qualitative differences between AspD and AD/HFA groups; 4 publications found both similarities and differences between the two groups; 30 publications concluded with no differences between the two groups. Although DSM-5 ASD will eliminate Asperger’s disorder. However, it is plausible to predict that the field of ASD would run full circle during the next decade or two and that AspD will be back in the next edition of DSM. Tsai, L. (2013)
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 43, Issue 12, pp 2914-2942

Using effort to measure reward value of faces in children with autism.

According to one influential account, face processing atypicalities in autism reflect reduced reward value of faces, which results in limited attention to faces during development and a consequent failure to acquire face expertise. Surprisingly, however, there is a paucity of work directly investigating the reward value of faces for individuals with autism and the evidence for diminished face rewards in this population remains equivocal. In the current study, we measured how hard children with autism would work to view faces, using an effortful key-press sequence, and whether they were sensitive to the differential reward value of attractive and unattractive faces. Contrary to expectations, cognitively able children with autism did not differ from typically developing children of similar age and ability in their willingness to work to view faces. Moreover, the effort expended was strongly positively correlated with facial attractiveness ratings in both groups of children. There was also no evidence of atypical reward values for other, less social categories (cars and inverted faces) in the children with autism. These results speak against the possibility that face recognition difficulties in autism are explained by atypical reward value of faces. Ewing, L. (2013)
PLoS One. 2013 Nov 13;8(11):e79493.

Compulsivity, impulsivity, and the DSM-5 process.

Compulsivity and impulsivity are cross-cutting, dimensional symptom domains that span traditional diagnostic boundaries. We examine compulsivity and impulsivity from several perspectives and present implications for these symptom domains as they relate to classification. We describe compulsivity and impulsivity as general concepts, from the perspectives of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) Research Planning Agenda, and from the DSM-5 workgroups, literature reviews, and field trials. Finally, we detail alternative modes of classification for compulsivity and impulsivity in line with the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Berlin GS, Hollander E.
CNS Spectr. 2013 Nov 7:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Implementation Challenges in Translating Pivotal Response Training into Community Settings

Implementing evidence-based practices (EBPs) for children with autism is challenging for teachers because these practices are often complex, requiring significant training and resources that are not available in most school settings. This brief investigation was designed to identify areas of strength and difficulty for teachers implementing one such EBP, pivotal response training (PRT). Observational data were gathered from 41 teachers participating in two separate investigations involving PRT. Despite differences in training procedures, teachers demonstrated similarities in areas of strength (clear opportunities/instruction and child choice) and difficulty (turn taking and multiple cues). These findings suggest next steps toward systematic adaptation of PRT for classroom use. The research may serve as a model for the process of adapting EBPs for practice settings. Suhrheinrich, J. (2013) Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 43, Issue 12, pp 2970-2976