Matching Items (72)

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Review of Autism Treatment Research

Description

As the prevalence and awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) increases, so does the variety of treatment options for primary symptoms (social interaction, communication, behavior) and secondary symptoms (anxiety, hyperactivity, GI problems, and insomnia). Various treatments, from Adderall to Citalopram

As the prevalence and awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) increases, so does the variety of treatment options for primary symptoms (social interaction, communication, behavior) and secondary symptoms (anxiety, hyperactivity, GI problems, and insomnia). Various treatments, from Adderall to Citalopram to Flax Seed Oil promise relief for these symptoms. However, very little research has actually been done on some of these treatments. Additionally, the research that has been done fails to compare these treatments against one another in terms of symptom relief. The Autism Treatment Effectiveness Survey, written by Dr. James Adams, director of the Autism/Asperger's Research Program at ASU, and graduate student/program coordinator Devon Coleman, aims to fill this gap. The survey numerically rates medications based on benefit and adverse effects, in addition to naming specific symptoms that are impacted by the treatments. However, the survey itself was retrospective in nature and requires further evidence to support its claims. Therefore, the purpose of this research paper is to evaluate evidence related to the results of the survey. After the performing an extensive literature review of over 70 different treatments, it appears that the findings of the Autism Treatment Effectiveness Survey are generally well supported. There were a few minor discrepancies regarding the primary benefitted symptom, but there was not enough of a conflict to discount the information from the survey. As research is still ongoing, conclusions cannot yet be drawn for Nutritional Supplements, although the current data looks promising.

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2018-05

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Analysis of Yeast and Fungi in Children with ASD vs. Neurotypical Controls

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The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is home to a complex and diverse microbial ecosystem that contributes to health or disease in many aspects. While bacterial species are the majority in the GI tract, their cohabitants, fungal species, should not be forgotten.

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is home to a complex and diverse microbial ecosystem that contributes to health or disease in many aspects. While bacterial species are the majority in the GI tract, their cohabitants, fungal species, should not be forgotten. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often suffer from GI disorders and associated symptoms, implying a role the bacterial and fungal gut microbiota play in maintaining human health. The irregularities in GI symptoms can negatively affect the overall quality of life or even worsen behavioral symptoms the children present. Even with the increase in the availability of next-generation sequencing technologies, the composition and diversities of fungal microbiotas are understudied, especially in the context of ASD. We therefore aimed to investigate the gut mycobiota of 36 neurotypical children and 38 children with ASD. We obtained stool samples from all participants, as well as autism severity and GI symptom scores to help us understand the effect the mycobiome has on these symptoms. By targeting the fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and bacterial 16S rRNA V4 regions, we obtained fungal and bacterial amplicon sequences, from which we investigated the diversities, composition, and potential link between two different ecological clades. From fungal amplicon sequencing results, we observed a significant decrease in the observed fungal OTUs in children with ASD, implying a lack of potentially beneficial fungi in ASD subjects. We performed Bray-Curtis principal coordinates analysis and observed significant differences in fungal microbiota composition between the two groups. Taxonomic analysis showed higher relative abundances of Candida , Pichia, Penicillium , and Exophiala in ASD subjects, yet due to a large dispersion of data, the differences were not statistically significant. Interestingly, we observed a bimodal distribution of Candida abundances within children with ASD. Candida's relative abundance was not significantly correlated with GI scores, but children with high Candida relative abundances presented significantly higher Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) scores, suggesting a role of Candida on ASD behavioral symptoms. Regarding the bacterial gut microbiota, we found marginally lower observed OTUs and significantly lower relative abundance of Prevotella in the ASD group, which was consistent with previous studies. Taken together, we demonstrated that autism is closely linked with a distinct gut mycobiota, characterized by a loss of fungal and bacterial diversity and an altered fungal and bacterial composition.

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2018-05

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An Analysis of Rules and a Token Economy in an Inclusive Preschool Classroom

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Token economies are a type of behavioral reinforcement that are particularly useful in classroom settings for increasing student compliance, for both typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorder. During this study, we implemented a token economy in an

Token economies are a type of behavioral reinforcement that are particularly useful in classroom settings for increasing student compliance, for both typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorder. During this study, we implemented a token economy in an inclusive preschool classroom with tokens contingent on compliance to classroom rules. Three participants, two with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and one considered typically developing, were included in the study. Results indicated that levels of compliance increased for both the typically developing participant and participants with autism, and did not drop below baseline levels during the withdrawal phase, suggesting there was no lack of intrinsic motivation. Further, the typically developing participant and one of the participants with autism spectrum disorder had very similar levels of compliance, while the other participant had much higher levels of compliance throughout every phase, suggesting that the compliance levels for peers with more advanced repertoires with autism may differ from both typically developing peers and peers who have less developed repertoires. The implications of these results are discussed as they relate to compliance from an ABA perspective.

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2018-12

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Increasing Academic and Social Accessibility at Arizona State University for Students with Autism  Spectrum Disorder: A Program Evaluation

Description

This qualitative study considers past literature on postsecondary education for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. In addition to this, it explains two existing specialized programs at universities for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and discusses strengths and

This qualitative study considers past literature on postsecondary education for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. In addition to this, it explains two existing specialized programs at universities for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and discusses strengths and areas of consideration. This study explains best practices and analyzes how to develop a specialized program that embodies best practice at Arizona State University.

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2019-05

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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Intervention for Adults with Autism

Description

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) commonly have co-morbid psychiatric symptoms which can decrease quality of life. Although many adults with ASD are achieving greater independence, including attending college, psychiatric symptoms are generally not well controlled in this group. Mindfulness

Adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) commonly have co-morbid psychiatric symptoms which can decrease quality of life. Although many adults with ASD are achieving greater independence, including attending college, psychiatric symptoms are generally not well controlled in this group. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program that has successfully been used to reduce the stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms in many clinical and non-clinical groups and may also be effective for college-aged students with ASD. The present investigation assessed the demand, practicality, implementation, adaptation, and acceptability of an MBSR course for college students with ASD. A total of 22 participants completed the questionnaire containing 53 questions and were between the ages of 18 to 64. We found that the MBSR therapy is in high demand for individuals with ASD, and that the participants would be willingly complete the intervention techniques. Participants generally stated that a therapy course like MBSR may help reduce their symptoms, and that they were eager to enroll. Participants were willing to attend all 8 classes during the summer, with a preference for afternoons. Also, modifications including yoga and background music would be accepted by each participant as well as any additional modifications made to the course to meet the needs of the individuals with ASD. Next steps include enrolling and randomizing students into the MBSR course or control group, as well as collect pre- and post-intervention data. We hypothesize MBSR will reduce the psychiatric symptoms and stress levels of individuals in college with ASD, demonstrating its effectiveness in this vulnerable population.

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2018-05

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Mental Health in India

Description

In this creative thesis, I traveled to India and used my month long summer vacation back home to interview people about mental health in India. I talked to a therapist and four students about depression to find out what the

In this creative thesis, I traveled to India and used my month long summer vacation back home to interview people about mental health in India. I talked to a therapist and four students about depression to find out what the situation is in India, contributing factors, experiences and stigma unique to depression among students in India, what the government is doing, and possible solutions or steps that can be taken to help students struggling with mental health problems. I also went to mainstream and special schools to meet special educators who work with differently abled children, occupational therapists, parents of differently abled children, and a student with Asperger’s in Chennai, Tamil Nadu to find out about the stigma surrounding differently abled children and their education path.
My efforts have culminated in the creation of the website mentalhealthinindia.com that can be used as a resource both by people in India as well as those abroad who are curious to learn about the stigma surrounding depression and differently abled children in India.

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2019-05

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The Sibling Relationship: Growing Up With a Special Needs Sibling

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This thesis project is an introspective review of the author’s childhood and family life, as one of her siblings is on the severe end of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The siblings of a special needs child are impacted in

This thesis project is an introspective review of the author’s childhood and family life, as one of her siblings is on the severe end of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The siblings of a special needs child are impacted in many different ways, emotionally and behaviorally, and the sibling experience is directly influenced by the dynamics of this relationship. Additionally, family composition has the largest impact on the experiences of the typically developing child, and the roles generally found within a family may be altered by the presence of a special needs child. To determine the validity of this statement, a literature review supplemented by research will be presented in this dissertation.
The purpose of this thesis was to determine the effects of growing up with a special needs child, questioning if there were a set number of outcomes that each typically developing sibling would manifest, and determining if family composition was impactful on these as well.
To frame the literature review, the author establishes that she has an older sibling who rejects the idea that having a special needs sibling had any effect on her life or personality, which is a juxtaposition to the outlook of the author herself. By analyzing research and composing a list of effects on typically developed siblings; such as, increased responsibility; having to grow up quickly; taking on caregiving roles for older siblings; a survey was created to be sent to participants who were either parents or siblings of a special needs person. By including both parents and siblings, two perspectives could be compared--that of the sibling experiencing the change, and the parent who watches it happen. After distribution of the surveys, there were six (6) valid responses.
The findings ranged from a multitude of similarities among older siblings and then parents, but the literature had no information on siblings younger than the special needs child. It was connected that children with an adopted younger special needs sibling have a more difficult adjustment than do biological siblings. Additionally, older siblings feel nearly unanimously that they had to grow up quicker to take on some caregiver roles.

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2020-05

Did He Kill the Mockingbird?

Description

Did He Kill the Mockingbird? is a play I wrote, which explores the effects of being on the Autism Spectrum plays in Arthur Radley’s life. Arthur Radley is a very misunderstood member of Maycomb County, who is constantly seen as

Did He Kill the Mockingbird? is a play I wrote, which explores the effects of being on the Autism Spectrum plays in Arthur Radley’s life. Arthur Radley is a very misunderstood member of Maycomb County, who is constantly seen as a lesser member of society in Maycomb County.

Did He Kill the Mockingbird? provides an alternate ending to To Kill a Mockingbird. In the original play, the townspeople never discovered that Arthur Radley killed Bob Ewell. In Did He Kill the Mockingbird? a townsperson overhears Atticus Finch and Heck Tate discussing Bob Ewell's death. This leads the townsperson to tell others in Maycomb County of the events that had unfolded the night Bob Ewell died.
As the play progresses, we explore how ignorance, willful and not, change the daily lives and actions of individuals who have mental illnesses and disabilities such as Autism. The townspeople may not see a problem with the way they treat Arthur Radley, as he is just a man who they believe stabbed his mother. However, in reality, they are causing more harm by encouraging and perpetuating rumors about Arthur Radley. In turn, the rumors enhance the stigma that plagues Arthur Radley.
Jean Louise Finch is the main character in Did he Kill the Mockingbird? Jean supports Arthur Radley, and is able to see the good in him although the rest of the townspeople continue to believe he is a bad person.

I hope that my version of this alternative ending to original play brings to light the changes that we need to make as a society to encourage the acceptance of all people. As a society, we need to treat all people, whether disabled or not, as equals. Rather than perpetuating stereotypes, we need to encourage everyone to work hard and reach for their goals whatever they may be.

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2020-05

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Optimized Prenatal Supplement for Preventing Autism

Description

Vitamins and minerals are, by definition, essential substances that are necessary for good health, and needed by every cell and organ to function appropriately. A deficiency of any one vitamin or mineral can be very serious. Although a very healthy

Vitamins and minerals are, by definition, essential substances that are necessary for good health, and needed by every cell and organ to function appropriately. A deficiency of any one vitamin or mineral can be very serious. Although a very healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and protein can provide sufficient amounts of most vitamins and minerals, many people do not consume an adequate diet. During pregnancy, there is an increased need for vitamins and minerals to promote a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Prenatal supplements are intended to supplement a normal diet to ensure that adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals are consumed. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established Recommended Dietary Allowances for total vitamin/mineral intake from food and supplements, but they have not established recommendations for prenatal supplements. Therefore, there is a very wide variation in the content and quality of prenatal supplements. Many prenatal supplements contain only minimal levels of some vitamins and few or no minerals, in order to minimize cost and the number of pills. This results in insufficient vitamin/mineral supplementation for many women, and hence does not fully protect them or their children from pregnancy complications and health problems. Therefore, we have created our own set of recommendations for prenatal supplements. Our recommendations are based primarily on four sources: 1) FDA's Recommended Daily Allowances for pregnant women, which are estimated to meet the needs of 97.5% of healthy pregnant women. 2) FDA's Tolerable Upper Limit, which is the maximum amount of vitamins/minerals that can be safely consumed without any risk of health problems. 3) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which evaluates the average intake of vitamins and minerals by women ages 20-40 years in the US 4) Research studies on vitamin/mineral deficiencies or vitamin/mineral supplementation during pregnancy, and the effect on pregnancy, birth, and child health problems. In summary, the RDA establishes minimum recommended levels of vitamin/mineral intake from all sources, and the NHANES establishes the average intake from foods. The difference is what needs to be consumed in a supplement, on average. However, since people vary greatly in the quality of their diet, and since most vitamins and minerals have a high Tolerable Upper Limit, we generally recommend more than the difference between the RDA and the average NHANES. Vitamins generally have a larger Tolerable Upper Limit than do minerals. So, we recommend that prenatal vitamin/mineral supplements contain 100% of the RDA for most vitamins, and about 50% of the RDA for most minerals. However, based on additional research studies described below, in some cases we vary our recommendations from those averages.

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2017-05

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Autism Awareness: A Focus on the Effects of Autism Spectrum Disorders on the Family

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The purpose of this paper is to bring awareness to autism to those whom may not be familiar with the disorder, or may know someone that has been diagnosed and is looking for references. Another purpose of this paper is

The purpose of this paper is to bring awareness to autism to those whom may not be familiar with the disorder, or may know someone that has been diagnosed and is looking for references. Another purpose of this paper is to identify possible effects or strains that a family can face when there is a child diagnosed with autism. Research shows that an array of stressors can be experienced by the family. Stressors include marital strain or divorce, additional stress or relational strains with siblings, the diagnosis process, as well as the subsequent therapies and treatments that will be received after the diagnosis. Research shows that mothers are especially susceptible to stress, depression, and strain from various doctor's appointments. The method used for this research was a single case study. An interview was conducted with the mother, as well as a short interview with the adult child that asks questions concerning his view of autism and how it has affected him personally. The interview did allow a view of how autism can affect the family through stress and differences in sibling and parental relationships. The interview also lends some insight into possible prognoses for children with autism. The mother discusses the positive attributes of her son also. The case study shows that there is stress on the whole family, and in their case how little personal and medical support through the process contributed to that stress.

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2017-05