Babies born to mothers who took
antidepressants early in their
pregnancy are approximately three
times more likely to develop autism.

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How to Help a Family with an Autistic Child

July 15, 2014

Parents of a child suffering from autism face a life packed with overwhelming challenges. Some challenges include battling with the litany of their autistic child's demands, while other parents face a world not properly equipped to assist with their autistic child's unique lifestyle. Parents must learn quickly how to deal with heartbreaking temper tantrums and self-injurious behavior.

Autistic Adults Stripped of Right to Vote, Advocacy Group Alleges

July 10, 2014

The Disability and Abuse Project filed a complaint on Thursday alleging that adults under limited conservatorships have been denied the right to vote in Los Angeles County. Advocates believe that this impacts thousands of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities including those on the autism spectrum.

Equine Therapy and iPads Help Nonverbal Children with Autism Speak

June 22, 2014

According to Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy organization, approximately 25% of children on the autism spectrum are nonverbal. Many families are finding hope through alternative therapies to help their child learn to communicate with the world around them. Strides, a program offered by Southern Tier Alternative Therapies (STAT), uses equine (of or relating to horses) therapy and iPads programmed with speech generating software to help encourage communication. It is one of three equine therapy programs offered by STAT free of charge to families in 12 counties across parts of New York and Pennsylvania.

Scientists Link SSRI Antidepressants to Brain Structure Birth Defect

May 20, 2014

Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that women who take SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy dramatically increase the risk that their children will be born with an abnormal brain structure known as a Chiari I malformation. The findings were published online on May 19, 2014 in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology in advance of print publication.

SSRI Antidepressants Linked to Autism, Developmental Delay

April 14, 2014

Research conducted by scientists at Johns Hopkins, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the University of California, Davis, has revealed that boys with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or developmental delay (DD) are three times more likely to have been exposed to SSRI antidepressants in the womb compared to boys with typical development. Their findings were published online in the journal Pediatrics in advance of appearing in the standard issue of the journal.

Autism Rates Continue to Climb

March 27, 2014

One in sixty-eight children aged eight has some form of autism, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The new estimate, which is based on data gathered in 2010, represents a 29% increase over the CDC’s 2008 data (published in 2012) of one in eighty-eight children. It is believed that at least in part, the new findings are the result of more recognition and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, particularly among children with average or above average intelligence. But whether the new figures reflect a rising rate of autism, better detection of the disorder, or both, it is clear that the prevalence of autism among children is significantly higher than previously thought.

Clues for Early Detection of Autism

February 5, 2014

A newborn infant is known to respond from birth to human communication in faces and voices.  There is a basic predisposition to watch these social interactions.  Researchers have looked into using this as a clue to early diagnosis of autism, i.e., when a six-month-old infant looks away when being spoken to. reported that a study published in Biological Psychiatry by researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine, found a good method of examining for autism in very young infants by the use of eye tracking.

Antidepressants and Autism: Time to Worry, Says Expert

February 1, 2014

The drug safety website has published a review of the current state of knowledge regarding autism and antidepressants by Adam Urato, a fetal medicine specialist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Massachusetts.  Dr. Urato discusses the scientific basis for concerns that SSRI antidepressants may disrupt the normal development of the fetus and lead to "neurodevelopmental abnormalities - including autism."

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