Parents are interventionists too

Parent training has a number of important uses in autism.  For toddlers, parents help provide intervention strategies in a number of settings allowing skills to be generalized.  In adolescence, parents can help implement behavioral rules that can manage non-compliant behaviors, aggressive, disruptive or impulsive behaviors.  This week, research investigated the role of parent training plus and ADHD medication for ADHD symptoms in autism and the results are promising.  Finally, a review of the new NIH funding in understanding the causes of autism is reviewed.  You can also read this review at the ASF blogsite.

What came first? Impaired social behaviors or something else that changes social behavior?

This week is a more philosophical, ideological discussion of the origins of social behaviors inspired by review articles written by Mayada Elsabbagh at McGill University and Boaz Barak and Guoping Feng at MIT. The focus of these papers are: when social behaviors emerge, and what brain regions are responsible for their existence. While Dr. Elsabbagh thinks of the question in terms of when behaviors and symptoms emerge in infancy, Drs. Barak and Feng consider the issue by comparing autism to Williams Syndrome. Williams Syndrome is very similar to autism except people with WS are hyper social and empathetic and sometimes gregarious. One tiny change on one area of one gene makes all the difference. This podcast doesn’t settle the question, but hopefully shows you listeners why there is a debate and how it is important for people with autism.