My daughter has just turned 8 and is severely affected by classic autism. She is non-verbal. Recently she had a fever and her behaviour changed dramatically. She wanted to be held, maintained eye contact for lengthy periods and most incredibly – spoke words very clearly! She said her brother’s name and repeatedly said “Mum”. I have to repeat how incredible this is as she is completely non-verbal. Please somebody research this phenomenon!
By Professor Margot Prior, OTARC Adjunct
Having a child who is starting school is a big transition for every family. But imagine if that child had an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – what a very big challenge that can be! What school will the parents choose?
By Dr Giacomo Vivanti
Since its publication our paper “Intellectual Development in Autism” has been subject to debate and discussion. In the paper, we advance the thesis that symptoms of autism, by precluding children to fully take advantage of the social input from the environment during early critical periods, might negatively affect their intellectual development. Therefore, children who have severe symptoms of ASD may be at increased risk of developing intellectual disability, as a consequence of more severe “virtual deprivation” from environmental input.
by Dr David Trembath
N1: Practice is Research
The N1 Practice is Research Training Package is designed to teach clinicians how to evaluate client outcomes using Single Case Experimental Designs (also known as N1 designs). This training package provides a first step for allied health professionals and educators who work with individuals with developmental disability and their families to work with us to promote evidence-based practice. Read more “New program helping clinicians to evaluate client outcomes”
by Dr Giacomo Vivanti
Many individuals with Autism have Intellectual Disability (that is, below average I.Q. and poor adaptive functioning). What is the nature of this association? Data published from a recent study at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC), Intellectual development in autism spectrum disorders, provide new insight into this complex issue. Read more “Why do many children with Autism have an Intellectual Disability?”
By Marita Beard (Heidi’s mum)
The Early Days
I first heard the label autism applied to my youngest daughter when she was 18-months old. We had moved house and it was our first visit to the maternal and child health nurse in our new suburb. She tried to get Heidi to mimic pouring a cup of tea. Heidi sat in the corner, with her back to us and banged the teapot against the wall. After meeting us for all of five minutes she asked, “Have you considered autism?”
The Director of Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC), Professor Cheryl Dissanayake is interviewed by Dr David Trembath (Research Fellow at OTARC) about the past, present and future of research into Autism Spectrum Disorders.
By Amanda Richdale
Late last year 96 primary caregivers of 101 children aged 2 to 5 years (average age 4 years) participated in an anonymous survey titled ‘Bedding, Diet and Sleep in Children aged 2 to 5 Years’. The survey was funded by Australian Wool Innovation. The following is a summary of the main findings.
When a newborn joins a family we become beguiled by the perfection of this wondrous new being. Any hint of difference is easily overlooked during the early years.