I know how hard it is to meet the needs of our kids. It is such tough going for so many of our families. Less than half of ASD kids make a recovery from early intervention and behavioral therapies alone. ASD kids suffer from an incredibly high rate of gastrointestinal distress, severe food allergies, and mitochondrial and immune dysfunction. PANDAS and Lyme disease are causing permanent neurological damage as they go undiagnosed in tens of thousands of ASD kids. Most of these problems go untreated because they are virtually unstudied. ASD families overwhelmingly want to see more investment in environmental, rather than genetic research as well as an open and honest discussion of our vaccine schedule and adverse reactions.
1) development of baby sibs, attunement of baby sibs, social cues of baby sibs…studies 1- 45….
2) video modeling and the effect of robot therapies
3) sequential social engagement, attunement of toddlers age 12-24 months - not to be confused with the social and nonsocial toddler events and toddler tracking social cues
4) pupil light reflexes
5) facial phenotypes (hypothesis that our kids have dysmorphic faces- helpful AND interesting!)
6) XXY syndrome, Prader Willi Syndrome, Williams syndrome (it is nice that IMFAR really makes such a giant effort to include that 1% of ASD people with these rare diseases).
7) Head size (an old favorite), head lag (a new favorite!) as well as a study on comprehensive head nodding
I know what you are thinking! Yes, it keeps getting better!
A) depression in ASD parents (who attended this conference?)
B) ASD caregiver “characteristics”
C) predictors of distress in ASD mothers (listening to these lectures?)
D) joint attachment scripts in couples with ASD children (as in ‘this conference such a&%$^ waste of them, I told you we shouldn’t go!’)
E) emotional intelligence of ASD parents
9) “Core Problems” section- whatever that means?
A) infant social communication AND eye tracking
B) disrupted sleep good or bad?
D) preschool symptom severity
E) facial electromyography (?)
10) Co Morbid and Psychiatric Problems
A) affective not externalizing GI problems in
HF ASD people (thanks Nancy Minshew!)
B) relationship between poor sleep and functionality? Yes! (finally the mystery is solved!)
C) facial phenotypes
D) behavioral synchrony
Now don’t you feel a lot better knowing IMFAR is really on the ball regarding our children’s biomedical treatment needs!
I am sure if IMFAR sponsors could talk to you know they would say, “You’re welcome!”
Obviously I am having some fun here but all these oral presentations came right out of the IMFAR program guide. The most interesting research ideas were presented only in poster form, meaning sometimes people walk by that display. In the scheme of things there were a few Paul Ashwood and Arthur Krigsman lectures that I am sure were excellent. So to be fair only 98% of IMFAR was a waste of time.
Katie Wright is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism.