|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 27|
Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD) is a psychiatric disorder with unknown etiology that mainly affects children in the first three years of life. Alterations of amino acid levels are believed to contribute to ASD. The levels of six essential amino acids (methionine, histidine, valine, leucine, threonine, and phenylalanine), five conditional amino acids (proline, tyrosine, glutamine, cysteine, and cystine), and five non-essential amino acids (asparagine, aspartic acid, alanine, serine, and glutamic acid) in hair samples of children with ASD (n = 25) were analyzed and compared to corresponding levels in healthy age-matched controls (n = 25). The results showed that the levels of methionine, alanine, and asparagine were significantly lower in the hair samples of ASD group compared to those of the control group (p ≤ 0.05). However, the levels of glutamic acid were significantly higher in the ASD group than the control group (p ≤ 0.05). The current findings could contribute towards further understanding of ASD etiology and provide specialists with a hair amino acid profile utilized as a biomarker for early diagnosis of ASD. Such biomarkers could participate in future developments of therapies that reduce ASD-related symptoms.
This survey was conducted to explore the hypothesis that excessive screen exposure combined with a subsequent decrease in parent-child interaction during infancy might be associated with autism. The main questions being asked are: Were children with autism exposed to long hours of screen time during the first 2 years of life? And what was the reason(s) for exposure at such an early age? Other variables were also addressed in this survey. An Arabic questionnaire was administered online (June 2019) via a Facebook page, relatively well-known in Arab countries. 1725 parents of children diagnosed with autism participated in this survey. Results show that 80.9% of children surveyed who were diagnosed with autism had been exposed to screens for long periods of time during the first 2 years of life. It can be inferred from the results of this survey that over-exposure to screens disrupt the parent-child interaction which is shown to be associated with ASD. The results of this survey highlight the harmful effects of screen exposure during infancy and the importance of parent-child interaction during the critical period of brain development. This paper attempts to further explore the connection between parent-child interaction and ASD, as well as serve as a call for further research and investigation of the relation between screens and parent-child interactions during infancy and Autism.
Many children often experience phases of picky eating, food aversions and/or avoidance. For families with children who have special needs, these experiences are often exacerbated, which can lead to feelings that negatively impact a caregiver’s relationship with their child. Within the scope of speech language pathology practice, knowledge of both emotional and feeding development is key. This paper will explore the significance of “messy play” within typical feeding development, and the challenges that may arise if a child does not have the opportunity to engage in this type of exploratory play. This paper will consider several contributing factors that can result in a “picky eater.” Further, research has shown that individuals with special needs, including autism, possess a neurological makeup that differs from that of a typical individual. Because autism is a disorder of relating and communicating due to differences in the limbic system, an individual with special needs may respond to a typical feeding experience as if it is a traumatic event. As a result, broadening one’s dietary repertoire may seem to be an insurmountable challenge. This paper suggests that introducing new foods through exploratory play can help broaden and strengthen diets, as well as improve the feeding experience, of individuals with autism. The DIRFloortimeⓇ methodology stresses the importance of following a child's lead. Within this developmental model, there is a special focus on a person’s individual differences, including the unique way they process the world around them, as well as the significance of therapy occurring within the context of a strong and motivating relationship. Using this child-centered approach, we can support our children in expanding their diets, while simultaneously building upon their cognitive and creative development through playful and respectful interactions that include exposure to foods that differ in color, texture, and smell. Further, this paper explores the importance of exploration, self-feeding and messy play on brain development, both in the context of typically developing individuals and those with disordered development.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Most of these children have difficulty with fine motor skills which typically struggle with handwriting and fine activities in their routine life such as getting dressed and controlled use of the everyday tool. Because fine motor activities encompass so many routine functions, a fine motor delay can have a measurable negative impact on a person's ability to handle daily practical tasks. This project proposed a simple fine motor exercise aid plus the game (exergame) for autistic children who discover from fine motor difficulties. The proposed exergame will be blinking randomly and user needs to bend their finger accordingly. It will notify the user, whether they bend the right finger or not. The system is realized using Arduino, which is programmed to control all the operated circuit. The feasibility studies with six autistic children were conducted and found the child interested in using exergame and could quickly get used to it. This study provides important guidance for future investigations of the exergame potential for accessing and improving fine motor skill among autistic children.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) involve myriad aberrant perceptual, cognitive, linguistic, and social behaviors. The term spectrum emphasizes that the disabilities associated with ASD fall on a continuum from relatively mild to severe. People with ASD may display stereotyped behaviors such as twirling, spinning objects, flapping the hands, and rocking. The individuals with ASD exhibit communication problems due to repetitive/restricted behaviors. Children with ASD who lack the motivation to learn, who do not enjoy physical challenges, or whose sensory perception results in confusing or unpleasant feedback from movement may not become sufficiently motivated to practice motor activities. As a result, they may show both a delay in developing certain motor skills. Additionally, attention is an important component of learning. As far as children with ASD have problems in joint attention, many education-based programs are needed to consider some aspects of attention and motor activities development for students with ASD. These programs focus on the basic movement skills that are crucial for the future development of the more complex skills needed in games, dance, sports, gymnastics, active play, and recreational physical activities. The purpose of the present research was to determine the effectiveness of therapeutic exercise on motor skills and attention of male students with ASD. This was an experimental study with a control group. The population consisted of 8-10 year-old male students with ASD and 30 subjects were selected randomly from an available center suitable for the children with ASD. They were evaluated by the Basic Motor Ability Test (BMAT) and Persian version of computerized Stroop color-word test and randomly assigned to an experimental and control group (15 students in per group). The experimental group participated in 16 therapeutic exercise sessions and received therapeutic exercise program (twice a week; each lasting for 45 minutes) designed based on the Spark motor program while the control group did not. All subjects were evaluated by BMAT and Stroop color-word test after the last session again. The collected data were analyzed by using multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). The results of MANCOVA showed that experimental and control groups had a significant difference in motor skills and at least one of the components of attention (correct responses, incorrect responses, no responses, the reaction time of congruent words and reaction time of incongruent words in the Stroop test). The findings showed that the therapeutic exercise had a significant effect on motor skills and all components of attention in students with ASD. We can conclude that the therapeutic exercise led to promote the motor skills and attention of students with ASD, so it is necessary to design or plan such programs for ASD students to prevent their communication or academic problems.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, and autism affect millions of children worldwide, many of which are undiagnosed despite the fact that all of these disorders are detectable in early childhood. Late diagnosis can cause severe problems due to the late treatment and to the misconceptions and lack of awareness as a whole towards these disorders. Moreover, electroencephalography (EEG) has played a vital role in the assessment of neural function in children. Therefore, quantitative EEG measurement will be utilized as a tool for use in the evaluation of patients who may have ADHD, epilepsy, and autism. We propose a screening tool that uses EEG signals and machine learning algorithms to detect these disorders at an early age in an automated manner. The proposed classifiers used with epilepsy as a step taken for the work done so far, provided an accuracy of approximately 97% using SVM, Naïve Bayes and Decision tree, while 98% using KNN, which gives hope for the work yet to be conducted.
The late detection and subjectivity of the assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) imposed a difficulty for the children’s clinical and familiar environment. The results showed in this paper, are part of a research project about the assessment and training of social skills in children with ASD, whose overall goal is the use of virtual environments together with physiological measures in order to find a new model of objective ASD assessment based on implicit brain processes measures. In particular, this work tries to contribute by studying the differences and changes in the Skin Conductance Response (SCR) and Eye Tracking (ET) between a typical development group (TD group) and an ASD group (ASD group) after several combined stimuli using a low cost Immersive Virtual Environment (IVE). Subjects were exposed to a virtual environment that showed natural scenes that stimulated visual, auditory and olfactory perceptual system. By exposing them to the IVE, subjects showed natural behaviors while measuring SCR and ET. This study compared measures of subjects diagnosed with ASD (N = 18) with a control group of subjects with typical development (N=10) when exposed to three different conditions: only visual (V), visual and auditory (VA) and visual, auditory and olfactory (VAO) stimulation. Correlations between SCR and ET measures were also correlated with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) test. SCR measures showed significant differences among the experimental condition between groups. The ASD group presented higher level of SCR while we did not find significant differences between groups regarding DF. We found high significant correlations among all the experimental conditions in SCR measures and the subscale of ADOS test of imagination and symbolic thinking. Regarding the correlation between ET measures and ADOS test, the results showed significant relationship between VA condition and communication scores.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing serious developmental disorder characterized by social deficits, communicative difficulties, and repetitive behaviors. ASD is an emerging public health issue globally which is associated with huge financial burden to the family, community and the nation. The aim of this study was to assess the financial burden of family for the children with Autism spectrum Disorder. This cross-sectional study was carried out from July 2015 to June 2016 among 154 children with ASD to assess the financial burden of family. Data were collected by face-to-face interview with semi-structured questionnaire following systematic random sampling technique. Majority (73.4%) children were male and mean (±SD) age was 6.66 ± 2.97 years. Most (88.8%) of the children were from urban areas with average monthly family income Tk. 41785.71±23936.45. Average monthly direct cost of the children was Tk.17656.49 ± 9984.35, while indirect cost was Tk. 13462.90 ± 9713.54 and total treatment cost was Tk. 23076.62 ± 15341.09. Special education cost (Tk. 4871.00), cost of therapy (Tk. 4124.07) and travel cost (Tk. 3988.31) were the major types of direct cost, while loss of income (Tk.14570.18) was the chief indirect cost incurred by the families. The study found that majority (59.8%) of the children attended special schools were incurred Tk.20001-78700 as total treatment cost, which were statistically significant (p<0.001). Again, families with higher monthly family income incurred higher treatment cost (r=0.526, p<0.05). Difference between mean direct and indirect cost was found significant (t=4.190, df=61, p<0.001). According to the analysis of variance, mean difference of father’s educational status among direct cost (F=10.337, p<0.001) and total treatment cost (F=7.841, p<0.001), which were statistically significant. The study revealed that maximum children with ASD were under five years, three-fourth were male. According to monthly family income, maximum family were in middle class. The study recommends cost effective interventions and financial safety-net measures to reduce the financial burden of families for the children with ASD.
Architecture, as an art and science of designing, has always been the medium to create environments that fulfill their users’ needs. It could create an inclusive environment that would not isolate any individual regardless of his /her disabilities. It could help, hopefully, in setting the strategies that provide a supportive, educational environment that would allow the inclusion of students with autism. Architects could help in the battle against this neuro-developmental disorder by providing the accommodating environment, at home and at school, in order to prevent institutionalizing these children. Through a theoretical approach and a review of literature, this study will explore and analyze best practices in autism-friendly, supportive, teaching environments. Additionally, it would provide the range of measures, and set the strategies to deal with the students with autism sensory peculiarities, and that, in order to allow them to concentrate in the school environment, and be able to succeed, and to be integrated as an important addition to society and the social mainstream. Architects should take into consideration the general guidelines for an autism-friendly built environment, and apply them to specific buildings systems. And that, as certain design elements have great effect on children’s behavior, by appropriating architecture to provide inclusive accommodating environments, the basis for equalization of opportunities is set allowing these individuals a better, normal, non-institutional life, as the discussion presented in this study would reveal.
Socially assistive robotic has become increasingly active and it is present in therapies of people affected for several neurobehavioral conditions, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In fact, robots have played a significant role for positive interaction with children with ASD, by stimulating their social and cognitive skills. This work introduces a mobile socially-assistive robot, which was built for interaction with children with ASD, using non-linear control techniques for this interaction.
Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often experience social-communication difficulties that negatively impact their social interactions with typical peers. However, unlike other age and disability groups, there is little intervention research to inform best practice for these students. One evidence-based strategy for younger students with ASD is peer-mediated intervention (PMI). PMI may be particularly promising for use with adolescents, as peers are readily available and are natural experts for encouraging authentic high school conversations. This paper provides a review of previous research that evaluated the use of PMI to improve the socialcommunication skills of students with ASD. Specific intervention features associated with positive student outcomes are identified and recommendations for future research are provided. Adolescents with ASD are targeted due the critical importance of social conversation at the high school level.
Monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) is suggested to be a candidate gene implicated in many neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This meta-analytic review evaluates the relationship between ASD and MAOA markers such as 30 bp variable number tandem repeats in the promoter region (uVNTR) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) by using findings from recently published studies. It seems that in Caucasian males, the risk of developing ASD increase with the presence of 4- repeat allele in the promoter region of MAOA gene whereas no differences were found between autistic patients and controls in Egyptian, West Bengal and Korean population. Some studies point to the importance of specific haplotype groups of SNPs and interaction of MAOA with others genes (e. g. FOXP2 or SRY). The results of existing studies are insufficient and further research is needed.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are characterized by abnormalities in social interaction and communication, as well as repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. Although various studies have been conducted in ASDs etiology across the world, it seems that they are still unknown in Middle East. Some scientific researches have been conducted on ASDs in Middle East (ME) especially in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). A systematic literature review was performed to identify the ASDs studies in KSA. Accordingly, PubMed, ISI web of Science and Google were searched to find KSA and ME studies in ASDs. The main focus of this review work is to outline an improved understanding of the underpinnings of ASD in order to achieve therapeutic interventions and we will discuss the main problem we waiting for solution with reference with role of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to modulate cortical activity improve understanding ASD.
The majority of Special Educational Needs checklists are intended for preliminary screening in the special education disability process. The aim of the present paper is to present their potential usefulness as in-class observation tools for teachers working with students who have already been diagnosed with a disorder. A checklist may complement and organize information about a given child, which is indispensable to improve his or her condition. The case of a Polish boy with autism will serve as an example. Last but not least, alternative uses of checklists are suggested in the article.
Cognitive symptoms and behavioral symptoms may, in fact, overlap and be related to the level of the general cognitive function. We have measured the behavioral aspects of autism and its correlation to the cognitive ability in 30 children with ASD. We used a neuropsychological Battery CANTAB eclipse to evaluate the ASD children's cognitive ability. Individuals with ASD and challenging behaviors showed significant correlation between some cognitive abilities and Motor aspects. Based on these findings, we can conclude that the motor behavioral problems in autism affect specific cognitive abilities in ASDs such as comprehension, learning, reversal, acquisition, attention set shifting, and speed of reaction to one stimulus. Future researches should also focus on the relationship between motor stereotypes and other subtypes of repetitive behaviors, such as verbal stereotypes, ritual routine adherence, and the use of different types of CANTAB tests.
The association between sensory problems and cognitive abilities has been studied in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). In this study, we used a Neuropsychological Test to evaluate memory and attention in ASDs children with sensory problems compared to the ASDs children without sensory problems. Four visual memory tests of Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) including Big/little circle (BLC), Simple Reaction Time (SRT) Intra /Extra dimensional set shift (IED), Spatial recognition memory (SRM), were administered to 14 ASDs children with sensory problems compared to 13 ASDs without sensory problems aged 3 to 12 with IQ of above 70. ASDs individuals with sensory problems performed worse than the ASDs group without sensory problems on comprehension, learning, reversal and simple reaction time tasks, and no significant difference between the two groups was recorded in terms of the visual memory and visual comprehension tasks. The findings of this study suggest that ASDs children with sensory problems are facing deficits in learning, comprehension, reversal, and speed of response to a stimulus.
Avoiding learning failures in mathematics e-learning environments caused by emotional problems in students with autism has become an important topic for combining of special education with information and communications technology. This study presents an adaptive emotional adjustment model in mathematics e-learning for students with autism, emphasizing the lack of emotional perception in mathematics e-learning systems. In addition, an emotion classification for students with autism was developed by inducing emotions in mathematical learning environments to record changes in the physiological signals and facial expressions of students. Using these methods, 58 emotional features were obtained. These features were then processed using one-way ANOVA and information gain (IG). After reducing the feature dimension, methods of support vector machines (SVM), k-nearest neighbors (KNN), and classification and regression trees (CART) were used to classify four emotional categories: baseline, happy, angry, and anxious. After testing and comparisons, in a situation without feature selection, the accuracy rate of the SVM classification can reach as high as 79.3-%. After using IG to reduce the feature dimension, with only 28 features remaining, SVM still has a classification accuracy of 78.2-%. The results of this research could enhance the effectiveness of eLearning in special education.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder which affects individuals with varying degrees of impairment. Currently, there has been ample research done in serious game for autism children. Although serious games are traditionally associated with software developments, developing them in the autism field involves studying the associated technology and paying attention to aspects related to interaction with the game. Serious Games for autism cover matters related to education, therapy for communication, psychomotor treatment and social behavior enhancement. In this paper, a systematic review sets out the lines of development and research currently being conducted into serious games which pursue some form of benefit in the field of autism. This paper includes a literature review of relevant serious game developments since in year 2007 and examines new trends.