FDA warns parents: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy does not treat or cure autism

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is not an effective treatment or cure for autism according to the US Food and Drug Administration(FDA). Companies and websites claiming hyperbaric oxygen can treat or cure autism are misleading the public, reports the FDA. It states:
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has not been clinically proven to cure or be effective in the treatment of cancer, autism, or diabetes. But do a quick search on the Internet, and you'll see all kinds of claims for these and other diseases for which the device has not been cleared or approved by FDA.
Father & Son in Hyperbaric Chamber for Autism Treatment
Kerry Rivera via Wikimedia Commons

Teaching life skills improves future prospects for young adults with autism

Jose Kevo on Flickr
For many teens with autism, the transition to adulthood is difficult and leads to unemployment and isolation. However, the future prospects for these children improve when they learn practical life skills, according to research presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Salt Lake City.

Children and young adults with adaptive behavior skills have higher levels of employment, less social isolation and better quality of life.
 “…We found that among adults with autism who were diagnosed as children, the biggest predictor of gaining employment as an adult is having good independent daily self-care skills. Because while we can't change intellectual functioning -- and it's very difficult to change symptom severity -- these skills are something very practical that we can work on to try and improve the prospects of adults with autism,” said study lead author Laura Klinger of the TEACCH Autism Program.

Children With Autism Process Movement Faster Than Their Peers

Colleen Gavin on Flickr
Children with autism see movement differently than their neurotypical peers, according to recent research.  In one study, autistic children detected movement twice as fast as their peers did.  In another study, autistic children observed and processed motion faster than children without the disorder.  This enhanced ability to integrate motion may explain the sensory problems many children with autism have.

 "Such heightened sensory perception in autism may help explain why some people with the disorder are painfully sensitive to noise and bright lights.  It also may be linked to some of the complex social and behavioral deficits associated with autism," says Duje Tadin, a lead author and assistant professor at the University of Rochester.

In the second and more recent study, autistic children showed an "increased ability to pool motion information."  Problems ignoring irrelevant information hampered this ability.  Study author Steven C Dakin explains:

The accepted view is that people with autism do local processing (the fine detail of the world), but they can’t do global processing (the overall context).  For the first time we now have a way of separating these two functions in the lab.  When we apply it to children with autism, we find they don’t have a global processing problem at all.  If anything, they are better at global processing. 
Colleen Gavin on Flickr

Clinical trial of drug to reduce cardiovascular events is looking for participants with high cholesterol or other risk factors for heart disease

The SPIRE program is looking for people who are taking a cholesterol lowering medication but still have high cholesterol. If you qualify, you might be interested in participating in a research study.  The trial is based in the US.
This study evaluates the PCSK9 inhibitor, Bococizumab compared to placebo, in reducing the occurrence of major cardiovascular events, including cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and unstable angina requiring urgent revascularization, in high risk subjects who are receiving background lipid lowering therapy and have cholesterol laboratory values of LDL-C >/= 70 mg/dL or non-HDL-C >/= 100 mg /dl
The full study details and eligibility criteria are listed here.
If you’re not familiar with clinical trials, here are some FAQs:

Autism & Wandering: 7 Facts Parents Need to Know

There is a lot of news coverage when a child with autism runs away or wanders.  Many of these stories, like that of Avonte Oquendo, do not have happy endings.  Here are some facts about wandering that parents need to know.



Autism & Wandering: 30 second statistics PSA from NCMEC on Vimeo.


JP26JP on Pixabay
1.   Nearly half of all children with autism between the ages of 4 and 10 try to elope or wander off at least once.  This rate is 4 times higher than their siblings who do not have autism.

2.   Between the ages of 7 and 10, almost a third of children with autism continue trying to wander off.  This rate is 8 times that of their siblings who do not autism.

3.   Almost 50-percent of children who try to wander are successful.  These children are gone long enough to worry parents.
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