What is the can do vs. the will do of autism?

Often overlooked in intervention studies, it is becoming increasingly clearer that adaptive behavior, the “will do” vs. the “can do” of functioning, should receive more focus.  In people with autism and high IQ, cognitive ability, the “can do” is higher than adaptive behavior, the “will do”.  Why?  The key in new research from the National Institutes of Health may be social abilities.  Another study this week from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in adult  with high IQ demonstrates that social motivation may be the key to improving social skills and socialization in people with ASD.

Hip hip hooray for toddler interventions for autism

As always, good news and bad news in autism this week.  First the good news:  an intervention given between 9-14 months of age in children with a high probability of having an autism diagnosis improved autism symptoms at 3 years of age.  Now the bad:  mothers who experience severe childhood abuse are more likely to have a child with an autism diagnosis.  Why?  A new study explains it might have a lot to do with autism traits in the parents.  We would love to hear your thoughts on the results, please provide them in the comment section.

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.