IMFAR 2012: Autism – Friendships in Adolescence

Beautiful Toronto is a lovely setting for the explosion of information at IMFAR 2012. One way we are trying to bring the conference to those of you who could not attend is by using Twitter to “live tweet” sessions and events. Later, using Storify, we can piece back together those 140-character bites of information. The following is the Tweet story of an oral presentation entitled Friendship in ASD through the Life Span: Nature, Trajectories, Importance and Treatment. Any errors (including hastily-typed misspellings!) or omissions are mine. Please follow @thinkingautism, @jennyalice, @shannonrosa, @ejwillingham, and @aspieadvocate for more IMFAR 2012 conversation.The conference is using #IMFAR2012 to make finding and sharing information easier.-JBM 


Interview: Dr. Sally Ozonoff on the MIND Institute Infant Sibling Study

Dr. Sally Ozonoff is the Principal Investigator of the Infant Sibling Study Team at the UC Davis MIND Institute. We talked with Dr. Ozonoff about her autism research work, how the Infant Sibling Study operates, and what the study does and does not mean. This interview took place before yesterday’s CDC announcement about autism prevalence rates, but Dr. Ozonoff’s team had some similar findings within their own study, especially regarding earlier/more intense scrutiny leading to earlier and increased rates of autism diagnoses. How did you become involved with the Infant Sibling study? Is it in line with your previous areas of research? I have always been interested in diagnostic issues within the autism spectrum. I began my work in the autism field researching individuals with Asperger syndrome, trying to understand if and how they differed from individuals with autism. This was back in the early 1990s, when Asperger syndrome had…


IMFAR 2011: Neuropathology of the Amygdala in Autism

C. M. Schumann, UC Davis MIND Institute The following is a modified transcription of Ms Schumann’s talk. Any glaring omissions or errors are my own. INSAR members can listen to Ms Schumann’s talk in its entirety via the abstract page. -SR The amygdala is enlarged in children with autism, and this has been a consistent finding, in several studies. By 2.5 years of age, the amygdala is enlarged in children with autism by about six percent. Longitudinal studies show that amygdala enlargement continues to increase — by four years of age, there is a nine percent enlargement, compared to controls. What’s interesting is that the total brain volume is larger in children with autism in this age range, but that volume is not necessarily rapidly growing during this time — it’s staying fairly consistent, and not necessarily growing faster as the amygdala is. The growth pattern doesn’t occur in all…

IMFAR 2011: Onset Patterns in Autism: Correspondence Between Home Video and Parent Report

Any omissions or errors are my own contributions. -SR S. Ozonoff, UC Davis MIND Institute Abstract: The study was a collaborative effort between UC Davis’s MIND Institute and the University of Colorado. We usually think of autism onset in terms of two categories: Autism symptoms that appear early in life, before 1st birthday, or A child who loses previously acquired skills after the first birthday Ozonoff’s study used home videos that were coded using objective methods to see when symptoms were first apparent, and how they unfolded over time. The study looked at two questions: Are two categories sufficient to describe onset? How do home video and parent reports correspond? For the home video method, parents gave the researchers all home video in which child appeared, from age 6 months through the second birthday. The researchers focused on four social/communication behaviors: Eye contact Social smiles Joint attention Language In…