The Affinity Project

This is a survey conducted by Sidekicks and Autism Speaks (I know, this surprises some of you). The survey is to identify the different passions that autistic people have. In my eyes, the information could be used to create programs and projects to help autistic people use their passions to contribute actively to society in ways that best suit them.

This is very much the general idea I had with my thesis. To see an organization like Autism Speaks, who has so much influence and yet such a turbulent relationship with the autism community, help spearhead a survey like this is very encouraging.

Oh, and it has prizes for participants, so…there’s that.

The Affinity Project

Autism and ADHD

This is an article that came out this week about how often autism and ADHD not only coincide, but also why they may be more similar than first thought. Many of my autistic clients certainly have some of the major indicators of ADHD, and this has been a suspicion amongst those of us in the field for quite awhile. I also appreciate the detail at which the brain function similarities are explained. Check it out below (first link is the news article, second link is the study itself):

Autism and ADHD

Autism/ADHD study, published 11/2/16 on PLOS ONE

Early Intervention Study

Below is a link to a Forbes article about a recent study published in The Lancet. The study involved a look at an early intervention technique for autism called PACT, which stands for  Preschool Autism Communication Trial. The approach essentially trains the parents to recognize communication attempts and cues from their autistic children. The intervention starts at preschool age, goes for about a year, and follows up with the participants around age 10.

While I really like the idea of giving power back to the families (unlike, say, many forms of ABA that leaves power with the professionals), I also see the author’s point of whether or not PACT truly had an effect. There is a lot of data analysis in here, so if you prefer to just get the abridged version, the first few paragraphs of page one and the last few paragraphs of page two will suffice.

Analysis of the PACT study