Worldwide Research on Autism Spectrum Disorders

Welcome to our new Research page! if you have any articles, surveys, information etc on ASD research that would benefit other people to read please email to info@autismnz.org.nz and we will add it to this page.

Surveys:

Below is a list of open online worldwide Surveys/Questionnaires. If you are interested in participating in any of these Surveys/Questionnaires please click on the appropriate heading below to view more information and/or to complete the Survey/Questionnaire online.

Articles & Reports:

Caring for an Individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder in New Zealand:
Caregiver Coping and Caregiver Stress
- Gwen Ling Tay
With an increasing rate of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnoses, the number of informal caregivers caring for individuals with ASD has also grown. Numerous studies on informal caregivers have been carried out to explore the predictors of caregiver burden, the effects of existing support network, and the moderating effects of coping strategies. However, no caregiving studies in the area of ASD have been conducted in New Zealand.

The present study sought to identify the predictors of subjective caregiver burden of those caring for an individual with ASD in New Zealand, with a main focus on exploring the buffering effects of the caregivers’ coping styles and the availability of support. Furthermore, the mediating effects of the caregivers’ cognitive appraisals (i.e.,self-esteem) will also be investigated. To see the full report please click here.

Autism and schizophrenia: Are they on the same spectrum? Serena Fadlun
With the recent publication of the DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) and the current process of revision of the ICD-10 (World Health Organization, 1992), the diagnostic criteria and characteristics of several mental disorders have been reconsidered and overlaps have been examined. As new evidence of commonalities and differences between illnesses becomes available, the boundaries around the different conditions are discussed and redrawn. Despite the utility of classifying patterns of symptoms for diagnostic and treatment
purposes (Bourgeois, 1995), the process of identifying categories of separate disorders is not a straightforward exercise. Mercier (1980) has expressed:
The more and more numerous the cases of insanity that I have had to deal with, the more strongly the fact has impressed itself upon me that it is fruitless to endeavor to draw up an elaborate scheme of classes, orders, and genera, into which cases of insanity are to be grouped. No such divisions exist in nature, and to create them would be a highly artificial proceeding, and one that would not accurately represent the facts. (p. 284)
Thus, as evident by the different editions of the DSM, throughout the years new labels and classifications have been created for disorders that were once thought to have common causes and symptoms, and vice versa, conditions that were believed to be separate proved to overlap (King & Lord, 2010). For instance, recent research suggested an interrelation between Schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder (Gadow, 2012). To read the full report please click here.

‘Loudly Silent’ new research from New Zealand perspective
Catherine Rivera-Puddle, BA (Hons) in Social Anthropology (First Class Pass), student from Massey University. For Catherine’s research dissertation she explored whether or not mothers with a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder encounter stigmatization in social groups. To view the outcomes of this research please click here.

Matt Frost, Research and Policy Analyst - Report on visit to Scotland 2012
Please click here to download Matt Frost's report on his visit to Scotland in May 2012. Matt attended an Adult Autism Health and Wellbeing Conference, met with Scottish officials in the area of social care, and investigated the potential of Local Area Coordination for people with ASD and their families.

Are apps the key to revolutionising autism learning?
“Veronica is six years old and severely affected by autism. She has significant learning difficulties and finds many social situations very difficult. She lost all her speech three years ago.

But in common with many other children like her, touch screen computers have provided a way of learning and communicating that plays to her strengths.

As a result, devices like iPads are fast becoming a 'must-have' for many families of children with autism”.
To view the rest of this article please click on the following link - www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16534678

University of Utah and Google Seek Answers in Autism
Researchers use workshops to teach job skills and to learn more about families with children on the autism spectrum

Released: 10 January 2012
Source: University of Utah

These days, we hear a lot about the disorder of autism, but researchers at the University of Utah have created a program that helps kids with autism focus on building their skills and utilising an aptitude for visual-spatial thinking, computers and other electronic media.

One of the program participants is 12-year-old Christopher Charles, who was diagnosed with what’s now known as high-functioning autism when he was 18 months old. His parents started him in therapies early on, but hadn’t found anything that seemed to hold Christopher’s interest or accommodate his behaviours. Please click here to download the full article.

Study Reveals How Autism-Risk Gene Rewires the Brain

Released: 02 November 2010
Source: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences
Many gene variants have been linked to autism, but how do these subtle changes alter the brain, and ultimately, behavior?

Using a blend of brain imaging and genetic detective work, scientists at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behaviour are the first to illustrate how a gene variant tied to autism rewires the brain. Published in the 03 November on-line edition of Science Translational Medicine, their discovery offers the crucial missing physical evidence that links altered genes to modified brain function and disrupted learning.

“This is a key piece of the puzzle we’ve been searching for,” said co-principal investigator Dr. Daniel Geschwind, a professor of neurology and psychiatry who holds UCLA’s Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Chair in Human Genetics. “Now we can begin to unravel the mystery of how genes rearrange the brain’s circuitry not only in autism, but in many related neurological disorders.” Please click here to download the full article.