Parents are people too

Sometimes parents get a bad rap for not having autism themselves, or not being in touch with the challenges of autistic adults.  This week’s ASF Podcast highlights two new studies on the role parents play in science, research and understanding racial disparities.  A group in the United Kingdom released the results of a survey across Europe which examined parent perceptions on early autism research (think infants and toddlers) and how researchers could better help families at this stage.  Another study from researchers in Georgia and Connecticut revealed how important parents (and clinicians) can be in reducing the disparity in diagnosis between black and white children in the US.  Finally, a call to unite over a common challenge: employment.  If you have not done so already, please make your voice heard as a parent, autistic adult, employer or service provider on a survey gauging the needs of the entire autism community around employment.  http://www.lernerlab.com/employmentsurvey.html 

 

Here are the references used in this podcast:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4230972/ 

https://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/docs/as_science_planning_survey_final_pdf_0.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29126359

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29100475

 

Post zygotic mutations in autism: what you need to know

Yes, another type of mutation in autism was revealed this week.  Those that are evident after the sperm and egg meet to form the zygote but still very early, during embryonic development.  Because it occurs after the original zygote is formed, the mutation is not found in every cell or every region of the body, called post-zygotic.  A collaboration of three major genetic consortia studied and collaborated on these types of mutations and revealed that they consist of about 7.5% of all de novo mutations in people with autism.  They affect autism risk genes and selectively target brain regions associated with autism.  Learn more about what this means for family planning and cognitive ability in people with autism.