Where is employment for adults with autism and other neurodiverse (developmental and learning) differences heading in 2017? What employment assistance or initiatives offer the greatest promise? If you want to help someone you know who is part of the neurodiverse workforce what should you be doing in 2017? To begin, the current year saw a range of employment initiatives, most of them extra-governmental, often driven by the energy of persons on the autism spectrum, advocates and parents. These initiatives might be grouped among three primary strategies.
Autistic children and their younger siblings are much less likely to be fully vaccinated compared to those without the disorder, according to new research published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. "In this large and comprehensive study, we found that after children received an autism diagnosis, the rates of vaccination were significantly lower when compared with children of the same age who did not have an autism diagnosis," said lead author Ousseny Zerbo, a doctor at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. The team of researchers studied data on 3,729 children with autism spectrum disorder (ADS) born between 1995 and 2010 and their younger brothers and sisters. The team also compared the information to 592, 907 children of the same age without the diagnosis. ADS is used to describe "a spectrum" of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in an individual.
Brain scans can detect autism in children long before they display symptoms, a new study says, giving hope for the development of early testing and intervention methods. MRI scans of of 148 children at six, 12 and 24 months allowed scientists to detect brain surface differences in children who were eventually diagnosed with autism. Researchers used artificial intelligence to analyze the brain scan results and were able to predict an autism diagnosis with 80 percent accuracy. The study, led by researchers from the University of North Carolina, was published Wednesday in Nature. Currently, the earliest age doctors can diagnose autism in a child is at two years old.
Researchers at West Virginia University are turning to artificial intelligence to devise a way to properly diagnosis autism spectrum disorder. Characterizing an autism patient's behavior can be challenging, so researchers are using behavior-tracking technology and phenotyping to better understand and identify autism spectrum disorder. Phenotyping is the characterization of a behavior or trait, and in this study, researchers will be looking at autism patients' behaviors and traits. Supported by a $500,000 award from the National Science Foundation, Xin Li, professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and Shuo Wang, an adjunct assistant professor, will conduct the research using imaging and data science. "This project is important because it aims at filling an important gap in our existing knowledge about ASD," Li said.
Dan Scorer, head of policy at learning disability charity Mencap, said: "It's shocking that in CQC's assessment these agencies have failed to make meaningful progress in tackling use of restrictive practices - including horrifying levels of physical restraint, over-medication and solitary confinement, against people with a learning disability and autistic people within modern-day asylums.