IACC has published its 2019 "Summary of Advances" Each year, the IACC releases a list of scientific advances that represent significant progress in the field. The 2019 IACC Summary of Advances provides short, plain language summaries of the top research breakthroughs selected by the IACC from a pool of research articles nominated by the members.
Here's is question number 1: Question 1: How Can I Recognize the Signs Of ASD, and Why is Early Detection So Important?
"Recognize the signs." My sister with one typical child told me when Mia was 2 that she thought Mia had autism. In 1997. But IACC is still droning on about recognition.
What caught "BS" an astute AofA reader's eye, and forwarded to me, was Question 6 on the troubling study of autism and suicide. Young people with ASD were at over twice the risk of suicide than young people without ASD. It stands to reason that autism can bring severe anxiety, social isolation, consistent "failures" and economic difficulties that could be part of suicidal thoughts in ANYone. Read the first chapter of John Robison's first book Look Me In The Eye to learn how difficult social navigation can be from the sandbox forward. I remember him writing that he felt like a social failure from nursery school. It stuck with me. Of course, autism is a spectrum, and for every person like Robison or my daughters, who could be considered on the severe side by many, there are those who are really out in the world with smarts and skills and so much to offer, and yet their autism beings steep challenges. Maybe your loved one or even you fit this description. I don't understand why after publishing this study on their site, IACC isn't screaming at the top of their lungs that we need real treatment, amelioration, remission, call it whatever you want, for autism. Our loved ones deserve every opportunity for health and mental health. As Mom to three women with autism, I'm particularly troubled by the data for suicide and females on the spectrum. Likely these are women with much different speech and communication abilities than my daughters. Still, it makes me wonder if any of my girls might have thoughts even close to suicidal. If you can think of any advances brought to you by IACC, let us know.
Question 6: How Can We Meet the Needs of People with ASD as They Progress Into and Through Adulthood?
"A 20-Year Study of Suicide Death in a Statewide Autism Population Kirby AV, Bakian AV, Zhang Y, Bilder DA, Keeshin BR, Coon H. Autism Res. 2019 Apr;12(4):658-666. [PMID: 30663277]
Recent research has found that individuals with ASD are at higher risk for suicide, suicide attempts, and suicidal ideation. However, little work has been done to understand the incidence and specific characteristics of suicide risk in the ASD population. One study conducted in Sweden found that individuals with ASD are almost 8 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population and that females with ASD were more than 13 times more likely to die by suicide than females in the general population. These concerning statistics highlight the urgent need for population-based studies of suicide risk for ASD individuals in the United States. The aim of this study was to examine the incidence and characteristics of suicide risk among people with ASD, using a large sample of population-based data from the state of Utah. The researchers predicted that suicide incidence would be significantly higher among the ASD population than the non-ASD population, and that suicide rates would be higher among females with ASD than females without ASD. Additionally, they hypothesized that ASD males would be more likely to use violent methods of suicide (e.g., firearm, blunt force injury) than ASD females "