New Light on Familiar Problems: Research Summaries
Travis Thompson, PhD, LP
Factors that Lead to Prematurity, Low Birth Weight or Caesarian Section as Risk Factors for Autism.
According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Twelve to 13 percent of autism cases stem from pregnancy issues that result in prematurity, low birth weight or Caesarian section.The findings support the results of earlier studies on pregnancy risk factors for autism. They are published online in the Annals of Epidemiology. In their report, the CDC researchers emphasize that their findings do not indicate that C-sections, low birth weight or prematurity cause autism. Rather they are all likely linked to underlying pregnancy complications. Their report did not distinguish emergency C-sections from elective ones. In their study, the investigators tapped into eight sites in the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. This allowed them to look at the birth records of 2,042 children with autism. They compared each ausim case with the birth records of 20 children without autism. The cases were matched by birth year, gender, county, race-ethnicity, age and education. “This study reinforces what we know about the relationship of preterm birth, small size for gestational age and C-section and increased risk for neurodevelopmental problems in general,” concurs developmental pediatrician Paul Wang, Autism Speaks senior vice president for medical research. “As the authors conclude, these risk factors really reflect deeper issues during pregnancy. The bottom line is that we must do our best to support women when they are pregnant.”. Schieve, LA et. al. Population attributable fractions for three perinatal risk factors for autism spectrum disorders Ann Epidemiol. 2014 j.annepidem.2013.12.014. [Epub ahead of print]
Working with families in rural or other inaccessible areas, or where there may be a central clinic and several satellite clinics is a ideal scenario for video conferencing based staff training. This study did just that, and made use of our favorite toy, the IPad.
Videoconferencing Via IPad In Staff Training in ABA
This study investigated the effect of videoconferencing in training staff to implement discrete trial teaching in real life settings with children with autism. Fourteen participants were randomly assigned to two groups. One group received training on-site and the other group received training via videoconference. The participants in both groups received 3? 15 min of training on three different teaching programs: matching, receptive and expressive labeling. The results showed no significant differences between the groups in the post-test whilst both groups improved significantly following training. Although preliminary, these results suggest that videoconferencing can be a cost-saving way to train staff in how to implement discrete trial teaching. Alexander, JL et al. Using video modeling on an iPad to teach generalized matching on a sorting mail task to adolescents with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 7 (11): 1346-57 Volume 7, Issue 11, November 2013, Pages 1346–1357