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  1. Autism Behavior Problems May Be Linked to Poor...

    February 18, 2016- "Autism Behavior Problems May Be Linked to Poor Sleep"-  According to a recent study, children on the spectrum who didn’t sleep well at night displayed more aggression, irritability, and had greater difficulty paying attention during the day. For the study, researchers surveyed 81 children with autism ages 3 to 9 about their kids’ level of bedtime resistance, daytime sleepiness, nighttime wakings, among other issues. The parents also answered questionnaires about behaviors including physical aggression, hostility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in the children. Despite a lack of understanding about what is causing sleep challenges in those with autism, the researchers believe their findings highlight the importance of sleep habits, especially when evaluating behavior.

    • Feb 18 2016 01:26 PM
    • by brian
  2. Teens with Autism and Caregivers Should Plan Ea...

    January 5, 2016- "Teens with Autism and Caregivers Should Plan Early for Adulthood"- Nancy Cheak-Zamora and her colleagues at MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders recently conducted focus groups with teens with autism and caregivers of teens with autism to learn about their transitioning plans for the future. They found that both teens with autism and their caregivers felt fearful and anxious about becoming adults. Caregivers also reported lacking social, educational, and vocational resources to help their children prepare for their futures. Based on these results, the research team concluded that caregivers need to start talking with their children with autism about their future at around age 12 or 13 and should seek out input from their physician and school staff.

    • Jan 07 2016 09:44 AM
    • by brian
  3. State Fines Aetna $4.5 Million Over Aborti...

    May 19, 2015- "State Fines Aetna $4.5 Million Over Abortion, Autism Coverage"- Aetna, one of Missouri’s largest insurers, has been fined $4.5 million for violations of state law for failing to cover certain autism health benefits.  The fine is the largest to ever be levied against an insurance company in Missouri. A spokesman said the company notified members that autism insurance was optional, but did not require members to accept or deny the additional coverage. Aetna is reviewing the claims of those potentially affected and they will pay for claims that were incorrectly denied at 9 percent interest. This is the second time Aetna has been fined for similar actions after having to forfeit $1.5 million in fines for similar claims that it violated state laws on health coverage of autism and abortions, as well as contraceptives. The Missouri Department of Insurance will monitor the insurer for a three-year period. After which, if no other incidences arise, Aetna will not lose its state license.

    • May 21 2015 12:58 PM
    • by brian
  4. ECHO Project Strives to Bring Autism Care to Ru...

    March 3, 2015- "ECHO Project Strives to Bring Autism Care to Rural Missourians"- MU’s Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Missouri Telehealth Network are headlining a project to connect healthcare providers to rural areas. The ECHO Autism project will provide health providers in rural areas with the training they need to screen and recognize autism. Participants will utilize Skype technology to connect specialists in Columbia with primary care physicians in other areas of Missouri. Today, there are 39 variations of the first ECHO project, operating in 22 states and five countries.

    • Mar 05 2015 09:34 AM
    • by brian
  5. Training Aims to Tackle Autism Knowledge Gap Am...

    February 24, 2015- "Training Aims to Tackle Autism Knowledge Gap Among Doctors"-  A new effort is underway using web conferencing and other virtual technology to help train doctors and other health care providers to better serve individuals on the autism spectrum. The first-of-its-kind training program will bring working physicians together with autism experts for biweekly, two-hour sessions in order to learn about autism and commonly associated issues like motor deficits and sleep difficulties. The project is based after a method already utilized to remotely teach doctors how to better address specialized medical issues like hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain, but this will be the first time the approach will be used to focus on autism.

    • Mar 02 2015 10:37 AM
    • by brian
  6. Gov. Nixon: Report Shows More MO children Benef...

    February 2, 2015- "Gov. Nixon: Report Shows More MO children Benefiting from Autism Law"- The annual Autism Report from the Missouri Department of Insurance shows that children are benefiting from a law that requires insurance companies to cover treatment for autism-related conditions. The report shows that the number of those treated for autism-related conditions increased by more than 20 percent for the second consecutive year. Furthermore, the data found that claims for insurance-related treatments totaled nearly $10 million in 2014, a small fraction of the more than $4.7 billion in claims paid by Missouri health insurers during 2014.

    • Feb 04 2015 10:25 AM
    • by brian
  7. Advanced 3-D Imaging May Aid in Early Detection...

    January 14, 2015- "Advanced 3-D Imaging May Aid in Early Detection of Autism"- Researchers at the University of Missouri have identified facial measurements in children with autism that may lead to a screening tool for young children and provide clues to its genetic causes. Researchers photographed the faces of children using three-dimensional imaging, which allowed scientists to measure distances along the curvature of the face rather than in a straight line as with previous tests. Researchers then ran sophisticated statistical analyses to measure minute differences in the facial measurements of each group.  The group’s analyses revealed three distinct subgroups of children with autism who had similar measurement patterns in their facial features. These subgroups also shared similarities in the type and severity of their autism symptoms.

    • Jan 16 2015 11:33 AM
    • by brian
  8. Children with Autism Who Live with Pets are Mor...

    December 30, 2014- "Children with Autism Who Live with Pets are More Assertive"-  Researchers have found that children with autism have stronger social skills when any kind of pet lived in the home. Researchers have found that children tend to socialize more when a pet is placed in social settings or a classroom and the findings are consistent for children on the spectrum. 70 families who have children with autism between the ages of 8 and 18 were surveyed. Almost 70 percent of the families that participated had dogs, and about half the families had cats. The research found that children’s social skills increased the longer a family had owned a dog, but older children rated their relationships with their dogs as weaker.

    • Jan 02 2015 12:47 PM
    • by brian
  9. Mental Health Cuts Inside Autism Services

    June 25, 2014- "Mental Health Cuts Inside Autism Services"-Parents of children with autism or developmental disabilities will face at least some reductions in services because of cuts the Missouri Department of Mental Health announced recently.  The department is losing $34 million as a result of a series of budget vetoes. The cuts will directly affect the autism community by removing $1.3 million that would have paid for expanded autism diagnosis and treatment services and another $1.1 million for existing autism services. These cuts will result in fewer services for about 4,000 children.

    • Jun 27 2014 08:50 AM
    • by brian
  10. I Have Autism and Won an Award for Leadership

    May 7, 2014- "I Have Autism and Won an Award for Leadership"- This is the story of Aaron Likens who writes about his recent achievement. Likens, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s 11 years ago, recently received the Missouri Youth Leadership Award for his work as Easter Seals Midwest’s Autism Ambassador. The article contains Likens’ acceptance speech as well.

    • May 08 2014 03:02 PM
    • by brian
  11. Chief Insurance Regulator Addresses Autism Lead...

    March 22, 2014- "Chief Insurance Regulator Addresses Autism Leaders: More than 3,000 Missourians Received Treatment Last Year Under Landmark Insurance Law"- This article surmises a keynote address from Missouri Department of Insurance Director John M. Huff and highlights some of the effects of the recent autism reform mandate. Among the effects was a 22 percent increase in individuals treated for autism-related conditions with claims totaling $8.2 million in 2013. This number is up from 2012, but still only accounts for .2% of the more than $4 billion in health claim paid by Missouri health insurers during 2013. Across all market segments, the average per member, per month cost in 2013 for all autism-related claims was just 48 cents, and 22 cents for ABA treatments.

    • Mar 24 2014 01:46 PM
    • by brian
  12. Anxiety Drug could Improve Socialization in Ind...

    March 3, 2014- "Anxiety Drug could Improve Socialization in Individuals with Autism, MU Researchers Find"- The results of a new study indicates that propranolol is a promising drug for improving social function, and in some cases, language in individuals with autism. The researchers interviewed adults with autism an hour after they had taken propranolol and measured the individuals’ sociability, whether or not the participants stayed on topic, and whether or not they had appropriate nonverbal conversation. Researchers also tested the individuals by giving them word puzzles and found that participants who took propranolol solved the word problems faster than the control group.  The study also revealed that individuals who have autism and also experience high levels of stress and anxiety may benefit most from propranolol.

    • Mar 07 2014 10:56 AM
    • by brian
  13. Bedroom TV, Video Games Linked to Less Sleep in...

    November 18, 2013- "Bedroom TV, Video Games Linked to Less Sleep in Boys with Autism"- According to a recent study, exposure to television and video games could play a role in the sleep problems of children with autism. The study found that these children get less sleep, but the findings were not clear as to if the boys in the study get too little sleep, or if they’re watching TV and playing video games because they have trouble sleeping.

    • Nov 19 2013 12:28 PM
    • by brian
  14. Life Skills' 4th Annual Autism Invitational...

    July 1, 2013- "Life Skills' 4th Annual Autism Invitational Raises $250,000 to Benefit Families Impacted by Autism"- A recent Life Skills benefit raised $250,000 for the non-profit organization that helps individuals with developmental disabilities learn, live, work, and participate in the community. The St. Louis based organization held its fourth annual Autism Invitational hosted at Boone Valley Golf Club to raise the funds.

    • Jul 03 2013 10:41 AM
    • by brian
  15. Jack Reis Honored with Distinguished Service Aw...

    June 25, 2013- "Jack Reis Honored with Distinguished Service Award during Thompson Foundation for Autism Event"- The Thompson Foundation for Autism has recently recognized Jack Reis, former President of EVA Realty Advisors, with the Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award. The award is presented to individuals and entities that through their dedication, advocacy, generosity support the mission of the Thompson Foundation. The award was presented the foundation’s annual “It’s in the Cards” Diner Gala and Autism, where $400,000 was raised to benefit families and children affected by autism.

    • Jun 27 2013 09:53 AM
    • by brian
  16. Autism Center Opens Bigger Facility

    May 30, 2013- "Autism Center Opens Bigger Facility"- The Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center opened the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center facility on the first of this month in a previously run hospital. The center is equipped with examination tables that resemble trains and cars, mirrored observation rooms, and even an on-site dog named Dr. Higgins. The canine helps patients relax during lab work, and also provides social skills training.

    • May 31 2013 10:06 AM
    • by brian
  17. Girls Use 'Superpowers' to Help Childre...

    May 22, 2013- "Girls Use 'Superpowers' to Help Children with Autism"- Erin Talbert and Kayleigh Grandy are 16-year-old sophomores with brothers on the autism spectrum. The two helped raise $717 for their brothers’ former school, United Services for Children, a nonprofit organization that provides pediatric and developmental learning services for children with disabilities. The pair raised money during April’s Autism Awareness month through bake sales and T-shirt sales.

    • May 23 2013 09:34 AM
    • by brian
  18. Missouri General Assembly Gives Final Approval...

    May 18, 2013- "Missouri General Assembly Gives Final Approval to Bryce’s Law"- Bryce’s Law was named after Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst’s grandson who passed away due to complications from autism and epilepsy. Scharnhorst promoted the bill that requires the state education department to seek financial resources in the form of grants and donations. The bill also mandates that the department must create a master list of resources available to parents of children with ASD.

    *Original article no longer available on source

    • Aug 22 2013 01:23 PM
    • by brian
  19. Lawmakers OK Scholarships for Children with Autism

    May 17, 2013- "Lawmakers OK Scholarships for Children with Autism"- Recent legislation approved by Missouri lawmakers has made it so that education officials are required to seek grants and donations to help children with special needs. The legislation passed the House at a vote of 152-4 and the Senate by a unanimous vote of 33-0. The financial resources could be devoted to scholarships are clinical trials to test behavioral interventions. Scholarships will be used to help students attend public school or a private school.
    *Original article no longer available by source

    • Jun 06 2013 10:24 AM
    • by brian
  20. Third Annual Resources 4 Autism Community Walk

    May 6, 2013- "Third Annual Resources 4 Autism Community Walk"- Hundreds of people participated in this year’s Resources 4 Autism Community Walk in Troy, Missouri. Walkers did laps around the track and headed inside to the Main Street Elementary Gym which featured bounce houses, vendors, face painting/press-on tattoos, hula hoops, jump ropes, large parachutes, and much more for kids of all ages to play with.

    • May 07 2013 09:55 AM
    • by brian
  21. Adults with Autism in the Ozarks: Finding Emplo...

    May 6, 2013- "Adults with Autism in the Ozarks: Finding Employment"- KSMU’s Melanie Foehrweiser is investigating what life is like for adults on the autism spectrum by looking at the challenges they face when they try to get a job, and what resources are available to help them. The inquiry focuses on Jessie Mawbey, a 21-year-old with autism, who contacted the Arc of the Ozarks to help find a job. The organization offers supports and Jessie has made progress in communication areas by learning how to better maintain eye contact and talk to girls. His one year anniversary at his job will occur this May.

    • May 07 2013 09:17 AM
    • by brian
  22. Columbia Autism Center holds Two-Day Conference

    April 19, 2013- "Columbia Autism Center holds Two-Day Conference"-  The Thompson Center for Autism and Neurological Disorders is holding its eighth annual Autism Intervention Conference in an effort to not only educate, but also provide support for parents and professionals alike. One of the main topics of this conference will be the changes made to the fifth editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

    • Apr 22 2013 09:32 AM
    • by brian
  23. United Services to Host Autism Fair in St. Peters

    March 30, 2013- "United Services to Host Autism Fair in St. Peters"- The United Service’s autism information fair in St. Peter’s, Missouri will feature professionals who work with children, dialogue about the latest research, and treatment and strategies for autism. There will also be information for parents on how to enroll their children into various studies that can help to develop treatments and help researchers get a better idea of what can account for the increased prevalence.

    • Apr 01 2013 12:03 PM
    • by brian
  24. Fragile X Mutation May Lead to Noisy Brain Signals

    March 28, 2013- "Fragile X Mutation May Lead to Noisy Brain Signals"- A recent research study involving mice found that the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) plays a number of roles in the brain, but is best known for regulating production in brain cells. Other studies have focused mostly on FMRP’s role on the signal-receiving end of the synapse, the junction between neurons. The new study shows that FMRP plays an integral role at the transmitting end as well.

    • Mar 29 2013 08:18 AM
    • by brian
  25. Autism Safety Project

    March 27, 2013- "Autism Safety Project"- The Autism Safety Project was created in 2009 to train first responders to interact with all types of people who have autism. The Autism Speaks program will train first responders from all 34 engine houses in St. Louis to inform them how to best handle emergency services involving individuals on the autism spectrum.  

    • Mar 28 2013 10:22 AM
    • by brian