Autism Spectrum

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Synopsis

Over a time span of only eight years, the national prevalence rate for Autism Spectrum Disorder has risen dramatically from 1 in 166 to 1 in 68. This change creates major societal, medical, and economic impacts, leading to questions of how and why the number of autism diagnoses in the United States has risen so sharply. This series, Autism Spectrum, is hosted by Paul Rokuskie and will explore the latest research, diagnostic approaches, patient challenges, and evolving roles of the health care professional in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Episodes

  • Why Has the Prevalence Rate of Autism Tripled in Recent Years?

    Why Has the Prevalence Rate of Autism Tripled in Recent Years?

    02/07/2018

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Did you know that in just 10 years, the national prevalence rate for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has nearly tripled, going from 1 in 166 to 1 in 59? Or that 2 percent of the US population under the age of 18 now carries a diagnosis of ASD? Join Paul Rokuskie as he speaks with Dr. Stuart Shapira, Associate Director for Science at CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, about these and other findings from the 2018 study regarding prevalence rates for ASD.

  • What is the Economic Impact of AutismSpectrum Disorder?

    What is the Economic Impact of AutismSpectrum Disorder?

    02/07/2018

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Guest: David S. Mandell, ScD As prevalence rates for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) increase, so do economic costs. On average, medical expenditures for individuals with an ASD were 4 to 6 times greater than those without an ASD. Join Paul Rokuskie and his guest Dr. David Mandell, Associate Director of the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as they dive into the economic impact of ASD.

  • Autism: The Critical Importance of Early, Individualized Diagnosis

    Autism: The Critical Importance of Early, Individualized Diagnosis

    27/06/2018

    Host: Paul Rokuskie As diagnostic information becomes more readily available, the importance of early diagnosis cannot be underestimated when it comes to helping those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. Join Paul Rokuskie and his guest Dr. Stuart Shapira, Associate Director for Science at CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, as they discuss the diagnosis criteria for ASD.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Risk Factors: Environmental and Genetic Components

    Autism Spectrum Disorder Risk Factors: Environmental and Genetic Components

    17/11/2017

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Scientists have been doing research into many areas of autism spectrum disorder in the hopes of explaining the doubling of its prevalence rate over the past decade. Both environmental risk factors and genetic components are areas of intense scrutiny for researchers seeking to understand the root causes of autism. Host Paul Rokuskie talks with Craig Newschaffer, Professor, Associate Dean for Research, and Director of the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, about the risk factors for autism spectrum disorder that scientists are working to better define.

  • Environmental Risk Factors Affecting Autism Spectrum Disorder Rates

    Environmental Risk Factors Affecting Autism Spectrum Disorder Rates

    08/10/2017

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Over the past two decades, the world has seen a dramatic rise of individuals being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. For decades scientists and medical professionals have been researching various aspects of this disease to uncover genetic and environmental factors explaining this rapid increase in prevalence; however, discovering definitive clues to causality has proven elusive. Host Paul Rokuskie talks with Dr. Craig Newschaffer, Professor, Associate Dean for Research, and Director of the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute about the latest research findings into environmental factors affecting autism risk.

  • Studies in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Paradox of Conflicting Results

    Studies in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Paradox of Conflicting Results

    23/09/2017

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Researchers have been challenged for years by the simultaneous results of numerous studies into brain network connections in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some results show strong connections, while others suggest the opposite. New research has helped bring some clarity to this ongoing paradox. Host Paul Rokuskie is joined by Dr. Benjamin Yerys, a child psychologist in the Center for Autism Research (CAR) at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. They talk about how it’s possible to see conflicting results and, paradoxically, for both to be true.

  • Rapid Eye Movement:The Gateway to New Insights in Autism?

    Rapid Eye Movement:The Gateway to New Insights in Autism?

    06/09/2017

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Autism Spectrum Disorder affects communication skills as well as emotional & social development. Researchers have been studying the brain for decades to better understand how these developmental differences manifest as autism. Recent studies that measure rapid eye movement (REM) have been showing great promise in elucidating the origins and mechanisms of disease. Host Paul Rokusie sits down with Dr. John Foxe to talk about his study on rapid eye movement, its implications on disease pathogenesis, and new insights it can bring to future autism research.

  • Future Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Future Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder

    17/12/2016

    Host: Paul Rokuskie As medical professionals gain better understandings of the etiologies, mechanisms, and progressions of autism spectrum disorder, they are looking for ways to standardize this diagnosis. This creates new needs to change the way autism is conceptualized clinically, from severity scales to behavioral impacts on quality of life. Host Paul Rokuskie welcomes Dr. Sven Bolte, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Science and Director of the Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. The two discuss the complex process for building new diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder.

  • Pioneering Research Avenues for Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Pioneering Research Avenues for Autism Spectrum Disorder

    28/11/2016

    Host: Paul Rokuskie New research is vital toward better understanding the complexities of autism spectrum disorder. Joining host Paul Rokuskie to discuss the latest research projects striving to identify the underlying causes as well as effective treatments for autism is Dr. Robert Schultz, Director of the Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

  • How Autism Manifests Differently in Girls vs Boys

    How Autism Manifests Differently in Girls vs Boys

    20/04/2016

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Recent studies have uncovered sex differences in both the neurobiology and phenotypical presentations of autism. These emerging understandings for how autism manifests uniquely in girls vs boys may radically change the way autism spectrum disorder is clinically perceived, improving diagnostic sensitivity and personalizing therapies. Joining host Paul Rokuskie to discuss this line of research developments in autism spectrum disorder is Dr. Kaustubh Supekar, research scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine.

  • Research Foundations for Early Autism Intervention Programs

    Research Foundations for Early Autism Intervention Programs

    28/03/2016

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Host Paul Rokuski welcomes Dr. Sally Rogers, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Director of Training and Mentoring at the MIND Institute of the University of California-Davis. Dr. Rogers specializes in conducting developmental and treatment research into autism and other developmental disorders. She is currently focused on developing and improving treatments for early autism using a treatment model that she developed in collaboration with Geraldine Dawson, the Early Start Denver Model.

  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS): How Technology Aids Non-Verbal Communication

    Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS): How Technology Aids Non-Verbal Communication

    28/09/2015

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Andy Bondy, PhD, Co-Founder and President of Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc. join host Paul Rokuski for an in-depth discussion on the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), which allows children with autism who have little or no communication abilities a novel means of communicating non-verbally.

  • Autism#39s Culture Clash: Anthropological Perspectives Across the Globe

    Autism's Culture Clash: Anthropological Perspectives Across the Globe

    17/08/2015

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Autism Spectrum Disorder has had some profound effects on our global culture over the past few years. As greater understandings of this neurological disorder are communicated by scientists, physicians, advocacy groups, educational professionals and parents, public awareness shifts and societies reshape how autism is ultimately perceived. Paul Rokuskie welcomes Richard Grinker, PhD, Professor and Chair of Anthropology, and Director of the Institute for Ethnographic Research, at the George Washington University. Their discussion centers on how cultures are affecting the way autism is understood, evaluated, and even diagnosed across the world.

  • Addressing Social Cognitive Deficits in Children with Autism

    Addressing Social Cognitive Deficits in Children with Autism

    03/08/2015

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Social and emotional skills come fairly easily for neurotypical individuals. But for those with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), these may be some of the most challenging skills to learn. Thankfully there is a lot of experience among educators using techniques to help individuals with ASD become more social. Join host Paul Rokuskie as he welcomes speech/language pathologist Jill Kuzma to discuss therapeutic approaches for social cognitive deficits in children with ASD.

  • Chasing the Rabbit: A Dad#39s Life Raising a Son on the Spectrum

    Chasing the Rabbit: A Dad's Life Raising a Son on the Spectrum

    25/05/2015

    Host: Paul Rokuskie When Derek Volk's oldest child, Dylan, was two years old, his wife suggested, "Something is not quite right with Dylan." They struggled for the next several years as they were bounced from one diagnostician to another, each offering a unique perspective on Dylan's challenging behaviors. Finally, at eight years old, Dylan was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and the Volk family was able to start making sense of Dylan's differences. In Chasing the Rabbit, authors Derek and Dylan Volk share their respective experiences coping with the challenges of autism in the household and the healthcare system.

  • Parental Roles in Autism Advocacy: Perspectives from Eustacia Cutler

    Parental Roles in Autism Advocacy: Perspectives from Eustacia Cutler

    18/05/2015

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Autism spectrum disorder has been around for centuries, but the modern terminology of how it is defined only started in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Since then, the definition of autism has changed many times, refined into today’s current understanding of this mental disorder. But one point of constancy over this time frame has been the advocacy work of mothers and fathers to better understand the disease that impacts their children’s lives, helping educate communities around them in turn to foster greater compassion and awareness. In this episode of the Autism Spectrum, host Paul Rokuskie speaks with Eustacia Cutler, autism rights advocate and mother of Dr. Temple Grandin, who is often referred to as the first person officially diagnosed with autism in the United States.

  • Social Joint Attention as an Early Diagnostic Marker for Autism in Infancy

    Social Joint Attention as an Early Diagnostic Marker for Autism in Infancy

    09/02/2015

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Joint attention, one of the defining characteristics of social interactions that becomes impaired in children with autism, is a developmental milestone of great importance to researchers and clinicians alike. With early detection of autism spectrum disorder, children can receive better treatments to gain more exposure and training for critical social processes. But is it possible for early detection of joint attention deficits, even in infancy, to one day serve as diagnostic markers for the disease? Joining host Paul Rokuskie to discuss the state of research and awareness on this developmental milestone for children with autism are Dr. Daniel Messinger, Developmental Psychologist and Professor of Psychology, Pediatrics, and Engineering at the University of Miami, and Devon Gangi, PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology, also at the University of Miami.

  • Autism in Adults: Special Challenges and Therapeutic Approaches

    Autism in Adults: Special Challenges and Therapeutic Approaches

    22/12/2014

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Autism is not just a child matter. As the prevelance rates of autism continue to rise, so do the numbers of patients entering adulthood. What are the special challenges faced by these patients, their families, and the clinicians who treat and counsel them both respectively? And how can updated therapeutic approaches help change the life trajectories for adults with autism? Host Paul Rokuskie welcomes Dr. Marsha Mailick, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. Her research on autism in adults has brought new awareness and understanding to the special needs of this patient population.

  • Autism#39s Gut/Brain Connection: Can the Microbiome Influence Neurodevelopment?

    Autism's Gut/Brain Connection: Can the Microbiome Influence Neurodevelopment?

    15/12/2014

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Associations between autism and gastrointestinal health are being actively investigated in medical research. Two major projects, each spanning three years, are focusing in particular on intestinal bacteria, ie the microbiome, and constipation, respectively. Leading the charge on these investigations are Drs. Pat Levitt and James Versalovic. Dr. Levitt is Chair of Developmental Neurogenetics at Children's Hospital - Los Angeles (CHLA), while Dr. Versalovic is Chief of the Department of Pathology at Texas Children's Hospital. Their work seeks to better understand how the human microbiome impacts neural health and development, and how refined treatments aimed at changing this potential "gut/brain axis" may aid therapies for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The funding for the research project that Dr. Pat Levitt and Dr. James Versalovic are conducting is awarded by a grant from Autism Speaks.

  • Fostering Greater Collaboration in ASD Care: The Autism Treatment Network

    Fostering Greater Collaboration in ASD Care: The Autism Treatment Network

    08/04/2014

    Host: Paul Rokuskie Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a significant public health issue, affecting over 1% of all American children under the age of 18. One organization, Autism Speaks, is accelerating the care of these individuals and their families to the next level through their Autism Treatment Network, which creates collaborations that bridge multiple discplines across the United States. Joining host Paul Rokuskie to elaborate on this initiative is Dr. Dan Coury, Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Ohio State University and Medical Director of the Autism Treatment Network.

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