Since its release in February 2016, ASDetect has been downloaded close to 14,000 times across 26 countries, with 7,000 children registered, and 5,000 assessments conducted. Two surveys of users (n = 208) indicated that 60% of parents whose children returned a ‘high-likelihood’ result arranged a follow-up appointment with their doctor, highlighting its immediate impact on families.
ASDetect identifies the early signs of autism, to help reduce the age at which children with autism are identified. The younger a child is accurately identified the sooner intervention can begin allowing children’s full learning potential to be realized.
You might know about the 3-minute thesis competition, that challenges graduate students to present 3-minute summaries of their research. This is usually a very challenging, but rewarding exercise for the students. Even more challenging is presenting a thesis in 30 seconds. But OTARC PhD student and CRC scholar, Ru Cai, was up to the challenge and has entered the Cooperative Research Centre Association’s Early Career Researcher competition. Continue reading
By Emma Baker, PhD Candidate
(Supervisor: Associate Professor Amanda Richdale)
There is an abundance of literature that shows children on the autism spectrum experience a significantly high rate of sleep problems, primarily insomnia symptoms, in comparison to children generally and children with other developmental disorders. However, there is much less research that has assessed sleep problems in adults on the spectrum. Our knowledge of the causes of sleep problems in ASD is also very limited. Therefore, my PhD research aimed to explore the types of sleep problems experienced by adults with autism as well as exploring their potential causes. Thirty-six adults with a diagnosis of ASD and no intellectual impairment (21-44 years) and a comparison group of 54 neurotypical (NT) adults (22 to 43 years) took part in my study. While no-one in the comparison group had a diagnosed mental health problem 15 adults on the spectrum were medicated for a comorbid diagnosis of anxiety/depression. Participants completed various sleep questionnaires, a 14-day sleep-wake diary, 14-day actigraphy assessment (objectively measures sleep) and provided seven saliva samples. Continue reading