Hello, my name is Julie Kellett, and I am a student working towards completion of my doctoral dissertation as part of my training in the Clinical-Community Psychology Program at the University of South Carolina. I am nearing the end of data collection (next month) for this project and would love to hear from you TODAY so your experiences can be included!
This study is a collaborative effort among faculty at the University of South Carolina Department of Psychology, Columbia, SC. We are interested in learning about the early development of infants who may be at risk for developmental delays, as well as those who are typically developing.
Click here for a full brochure.
MUSC, USC, and GHS are pleased to announce a new research project. This study will examine biomarkers (genes) in blood and the success of two medications, risperidone and aripiprazole, for treatment of irritability in autism spectrum disorders.
Click here for the full brochure.
The Neurodevelopment Disabilities Research Project at USC has a newly funded study examining how language abilities impact the success of adolescents with autism after entering into adulthood. We are currently recruiting boys with autism who are aged 14-22 years old for the study. Please click here for our brochure.
If you or someone you know may be interested in participating in this exciting research, please contact us by phone at (803) 777-5676, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find more information on our website: http://www.uscdevlab.com.
Thank you for supporting autism research!
Jessica Klusek, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
My name is Danielle Feerst. Phone number (843) 437-6910. I'm a rising sophomore at Tufts University studying Engineering Psychology and Child Development. I live in Mount Pleasant and I'm an Ashley Hall graduate.
I am developing an iOS app for increasing eye contact and presentation skills in higher functioning individuals with ASD --the product iPresentWell is in its very beginning stages. Please contact me if you think you or your family member with an Autism Disorder could benefit from this application. We would love to meet with you, share the idea and receive your feedback. Then we would keep in touch with you and your family until the application is successfully on iTunes so that you all could get a discounted price on its first version!!!
Problem Solved: Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders have difficulty making one-on-one eye contact, socializing and engaging, and presenting their ideas fluently. This hinders professional success, school success, and relationship development.
Other apps for speech-making and presentation focus only on one aspect like improving language or reading skills. This app targets all aspects of delivering a speech, but focuses mainly on improving eye contact skills. Also, other applications for individuals with Autism Disorders are targeted for the use or supervision of caretakers.
With this app, users with higher functioning Autism Disorders will overcome anxiety of eye contact while presenting a speech, virtually, with real images of peoples' eyes. So the user's practice of a presentation assists them directly in a real world situation. The application could also incorporate a running dialogue with open-ended questions that the user would have to answer. Then, his or her responses could be rated and critiqued.
This application is user-friendly and targeted for higher functioning individuals who recognize their social anxiety and want to improve on their own.
The application monitors eye contact while the user practices delivering a speech out loud. The user can synch his or her recorded videos (visual and audio) onto his or her iPod, iTunes, or social networking accounts for later practice or peer-to-peer feedback.
The user must download text to read out load and choose to turn on the camera on the device for video recording and feedback. If the user makes eye contact, then the eye tracking software will keep track of missed attempts throughout the speech when the user should have made eye contact with the top of the screen. If the user makes a mistake while practicing the speech, the Speech-to-text software will detect the mistake and record sections of the speech for the user to retry or practice again on the home screen.
My website is http://www.autismsees.com/.
Thanks so much
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Bassett, 864-388-1061, email@example.com
Greenwood Genetic Center Researchers Report Autism Discovery
Advancement paves way for early blood test and therapeutic options
Greenwood, SC (June 5, 2013) - Researchers at the JC Self Research Institute of the Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC), along with collaborators from Biolog, Inc. in California, have reported an important discovery in the understanding of autism which was published this week in Molecular Autism.
The study, led by GGC’s Director of Research, Charles Schwartz, PhD and Staff Scientist, Luigi Boccuto, MD, found that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) showed significantly decreased metabolism of the amino acid L-tryptophan when compared to both typical controls and individuals with other neurodevelopmental disorders. Cells from individuals with autism metabolized L-tryptophan at a decreased rate whereas cells from individuals without autism did not show this change.
Researchers also measured the expression of genes that are known to be involved in L-tryptophan metabolism in a small subset of patients with autism and found they also expressed some of the genes at lower levels than those without autism.
“The important and immediate implication of this work is the development of a simple, early blood screening test for autism by measuring the metabolism of L-tryptophan using Biolog’s technology,” shared Dr. Boccuto. Biolog’s assay method, called Phenotype MicroArray technology, allows researchers to measure the ability of cells to generate energy from various biochemical nutrients, including L-tryptophan.
Currently there are no laboratory tests that can accurately diagnose ASDs, which are estimated to affect 1 in 50 school-aged children in the US. Current diagnosis depends upon a developmental evaluation and parent interviews and can often not be made prior to 2-3 years of age. “A screening, and eventually, a diagnostic blood test for autism would be of immense value to families,” explained Dr. Schwartz. “An early, accurate diagnosis is key to providing effective and timely therapies for these patients and their families.”
Dr. Boccuto added, “We also see tremendous potential that these findings will aid in our understanding of the molecular and metabolic bases of autism. Once we have a clear vision of what has gone awry within the tryptophan metabolism pathways, we can develop therapies to target and correct those problems at the biochemical level.”
L-tryptophan is one of twenty amino acids used by cells to make protein. It is one of eight amino acids that cannot be made by the body, so it must be obtained from the diet. More importantly, L-tryptophan plays an important role in brain development and function as it is the precursor of key neurochemicals such as serotonin and melatonin which have already been linked to behavioral and neurodevelopmental problems.
“This discovery leads us toward a possible unifying biochemical mechanism for ASDs which could ultimately lead to a treatment,” shared Dr. Schwartz. “Now that we have additional evidence that the features of ASDs may be related to the metabolic pathways involving L-tryptophan, we can focus further studies on determining at what point along those pathways the disruption occurs, which may vary from one patient to another. With treatments that target various points along the pathway, a modality that works for one patient may not work for another.”
GGC’s autism research has been supported by funds from the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. Additional funding has been obtained from the National Institutes of Health to explore transitioning the research finding into a simple blood test for autism. Drs. Schwartz and Boccuto are currently evaluating the tryptophan metabolism in fresh blood samples from patients with ASDs and controls, utilizing customized Biolog plates.
“We are thrilled that Biolog’s technology helped Dr. Schwartz in his pioneering research and that it has led to this breakthrough discovery,” said Barry Bochner, PhD, CEO at Biolog, Inc.
About Greenwood Genetic Center
The Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC), founded in 1974, is a nonprofit organization advancing the field of medical genetics and caring for families impacted by genetic disease and birth defects. At its home campus in Greenwood, South Carolina, a talented team of physicians and scientists provides clinical genetic services, diagnostic laboratory testing, educational programs and resources, and research in the field of medical genetics. GGC’s faculty and staff are committed to the goal of developing preventive and curative therapies for the individuals and families they serve. GGC extends its reach as a resource to all residents of South Carolina with satellite offices in Charleston, Columbia, Florence and Greenville. For more information about GGC please visit www.ggc.org.
About Biolog, Inc.
Biolog is a privately-held company based in Hayward, CA, that continues to lead in the development of powerful new cell analysis tools for solving critical problems in biological, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological research and development. It is the world leader in phenotypic cell profiling. Biolog’s advanced phenotypic analysis technology is unique in its broad applicability to cells – this includes bacterial cells and fungal cells as well as animal cells. More than 260 scientific publications and presentations document the effectiveness and productivity of PM technology. The PM product line adds to the innovative microbial identification products offered by the company, such as the new GEN III System. Biolog products are available worldwide, either directly from the company or through its extensive network of international distributors. Further information can be obtained at Biolog's website, www.biolog.com.
May 15, 2013
For immediate release. For additional information, please contact:
Kim Thomas, Interim Director, 803-750-6988, Kim@scautism.org
South Carolina Autism Society Statement on DSM-5 Changes
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) will release the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) this weekend at their annual conference. The DSM-5 will include significant changes to the criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).
According to the APA, “The revised diagnosis represents a new, more accurate, and medically and scientifically useful way of diagnosing individuals with autism-related disorders.” While the DSM-IV included separated diagnoses for Asperger’s, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Autistic Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), the DSM-5 eliminates the separate diagnoses.
The APA expects that, “Anyone diagnosed with one of the four pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) from DSM-IV should still meet the criteria for ASD in DSM-5 or another, more accurate DSM-5 diagnosis.”
The South Carolina Autism Society has been in communication with both state and national professionals regarding the DSM-5. We are working with DDSN, MUSC, USC, and GHS to assess how these changes may affect individuals affected by autism. It is expected that those qualifying for DDSN services under the DSM-IV will continue to qualify under DSM-5. We anticipate no disruption in services.
We urge every government agency and service provider to at a minimum maintain current levels of service, and not reduce or eliminate services to any individual currently getting services due to the DSM-5 changes. If you or a family member are denied services, or experience a reduction in services as a result of the DSM-5, please contact us at 803-750-6988 or 800-438-4790.
It will take some time for medical professionals, and others qualified to diagnose ASDs, to fully incorporate the new DSM-5 criteria. As such, the full impact of the DSM-5 may not be known for some time.
Rest assured that the South Carolina Autism Society will continue to stay on top of this situation, and provide updates as appropriate. We will continue to advocate on behalf of families affected by autism, to ensure that all individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders can reach their maximum potential.
To view the APAs fact sheet on Autism Spectrum Disorder under the DSM-5, visit http://www.psych.org/File%20Library/Practice/DSM/DSM-5/DSM-5-Autism-Spectrum-Disorder-Fact-Sheet.pdf.
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Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College Produces Sensory-Friendly Performance of ‘Story Squad’ May 19