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Autism, 1.06 (V) What are the Impacts of Increasing Rates of Autism?

In this lesson, we will discuss the impacts of the increasing rates of autism. These impacts include the need for training, resources, supports, and research on causal and treatment factors. Dr. Len Abbeduto, director of the UC Davis Mind Institute, will share some of the work being done at the Mind Institute to support our understanding of autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. According to the Center for Disease Control, the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in the year 2014 was 1 in every 68 children. Simonoff and colleagues, in 2008, indicated that around 70% of individuals with autism spectrum disorders have at least one coexisting condition. The most common coexisting condition is an intellectual disability. According to the Center for Disease Control, around 54% of individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder also have an intellectual disability. Mental health conditions are also quite common. Clinical anxiety impacts roughly 29% of individuals on the autism spectrum, attention deficit hyperactivity impacts around 28% of individuals on the autism spectrum, and oppositional defiant disorder is indicated in around 28% of individuals on the autism spectrum. Boys are almost five times more likely to be identified with autism than girls. About 1 in 42 boys and about 1 in 189 girls are identified with an autism spectrum disorder. White or Caucasian children are more likely to be identified with autism than black or Hispanic children. About 1 in 63 white children are identified, as compared to 1 in 81 black children and 1 in 93 Hispanic children. Less that half of children identified with an autism spectrum disorder are identified or evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they reach three years of age. On average, children who are identified with autism are not diagnosed until after the age of four, even though autism can be diagnosed as early as two years of age, and even earlier if there is known familial risk factors. In this video conversation with Dr. Robin Hansen, developmental behavioral pediatrician at the UC Davis Mind Institute, we briefly explore the possible etiologies or contributing factors related to autism spectrum disorders. » So we do know from more and more studies that, probably, if you have one child with autism in a family then, if we don't know anything else, we usually say, well, there's probably about a 20% chance of having another child. Now, it may be lower than that for some families, and it may be higher than that for other families. And that's why, trying to understand etiology in autism is so important, so that we can be better in helping individual families, counsel them around their recurrence risks. So, it may be that if you have one type of autism, say perhaps, if it's related to maternal antibodies, it may be that your risk is 99%. It may be that if we don't really have a good etiology, we don't understand in your particular child's case how to explain autism, we don't find anything specifically genetically that we can say we think this is related, it may be that that's kind of in general, we say it's probably about one in five chance of recurrence. » So why are we seeing this increase in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders? Well, there certainly have been changes in fine tuning to the diagnostic criteria over the years. There's also been an increase in community awareness and interest in autism spectrum disorders. But there is something more going on that's putting children at risk for this diagnosis. There's been a substantial increase in the number of children per capita being diagnosed. For example, in the year 1980, autism impacted 1 in every 10,000 children, where presently it impacts 1 in every 68. In this video, Dr. Robin Hansen discusses possible reasons for the increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders and shares research topics which explore genetic susceptibility and environmental factors that may relate to this increase. » So, that's the million dollar question, why does autism seem to be rising so quickly? Per an era, especially if we think that it's really very heritable, and that means genetically based at some level, genetic disorders don't increase that fast. I mean, they just don't change that fast. So what, why? So, there probably is some degree of better awareness and more recognition on different ends of the spectrum, so I think over the last 20 years we have made some bit of a switch in kids who are really involved developmentally, where I think we used to say, well, that's just intellectual disability. So why would we even call it autism? But I think there are kids who have intellectual disability who also have autism, and I think in the past, sometimes we didn't add on the autism label. So, I think that's one part of it. On the other end of the spectrum, kids who are more mildly impaired, I think we're also probably more likely to make a diagnoses at that end of the spectrum than maybe we would have been 20 years ago. But I also think that that's not accounting for the big rise. It's not enough to account for the numbers that we're seeing now. So, I think then it really drives a lot of our research, particularly here at the Mind Institute. Can we look at the genetics susceptibility and then other things that are changing in the environment that could alter that genetics susceptibility and change, increase the prevalence? So, there are lots, lots of things that would suggest, in our research, that there are things in the environment that do impact genetic susceptibility on multiple factors and that things that alter the immune system may increase your risk for autism, particularly in maternal immune models of dysregulation. So, those are the kinds of research areas that I think are really important for us to understand, to try and explain this increasing prevalence. » Many speculate that the increase in the prevalence of autism is the result of a swapping of diagnostic labels. In other words, individuals who may have been given a diagnosis of intellectual disability in years past, may now be identified as having an autism spectrum disorder. However, the data does not seem to support this theory. There's been no decrease in other disabilities as the increase in autism has occurred. Childcare providers and preschool providers are seeing more children in their setting who present with characteristics of autism. There needs to be more awareness and training on resource and referral for daycare and childcare providers. Educators need additional training and resources as they see more children in public education identified with autism. There are many behavioral health providers in the community who need additional support and training to understand the complexities and the treatments that work well for individuals on the autism spectrum. And as this population of identified individuals on the autism spectrum grow and age out of public education, there's a need for Transition Specialists and those working in post-secondary education, employment, and housing to prepare for the support needs of individuals on the autism spectrum. The increase in community awareness has helped to increase funding for services and for research. There are more opportunities for training and professional development in the area of autism spectrum disorders, and we're beginning to make some progress in our understanding of this neurobiological disability. There's a significant amount of research looking into the causes and potential treatments for autism spectrum disorders. Current research is looking both at genetics as well as environmental factors that may put infants at risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder. At the present time, there may be multiple etiologies for autism. Some of this groundbreaking research is taking place at the UC Davis Mind Institute in Sacramento, California. This video will introduce you to the groundbreaking work taking place at the UC Davis Mind Institute. » [MUSIC] Welcome. I'm Len Abbeduto, Director of the UC Davis Mind Institute. The Mind Institute was created by six courageous and forward-thinking families who wanted to help other families effected by autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. These families envisioned a place where experts from every discipline related to brain development could work together under one roof towards a common goal researching causes, strategies for prevention, and effective treatments for these disorders. The Mind Institute is a collaboration of acknowledged leaders conducting vital research on autism, fragile X syndrome, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, down syndrome, and ADHD. The founding families hope to advance understanding in neurodevelopment disorders by encouraging interdisciplinary team science approaches to translational research. The founding families also wanted to transform clinical care, moving from a view in which we saw only a child with a disorder to understanding a child's strengths as well as his or her challenges and understanding the role the family could play in optimizing a child's outcome. Mind Institute's scientists have made unique contributions to our understanding of autism. They have played a vital role in understanding the impact of immune dysfunction in creating risk for autism spectrum disorders. They have also identified a number of environmental factors that place children at risk for autism. Importantly, Mind institute scientists have also created hope for families through creation of the Early Start Denver model and other approaches to early intervention that optimize outcomes for children on the autism spectrum. Mind institute researchers have also made groundbreaking contributions to our understanding and treatment of fragile X syndrome, ADHD, Down's syndrome, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, and several other neurodevelopmental disorders. Neurodevelopmental disorders affect one in ten individuals. Increasing numbers of families are facing the challenges of raising children who have these conditions. At the Maya Institute we are working towards a common goal, finding the causes of and developing treatments for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. We are also working to bring usable information and research findings to the community by partnering with the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at UC Davis Extension to offer training programs like this. For additional information on our current research or to find additional resources, we invite you to visit the mind institute website. [MUSIC]



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In this lesson, we will discuss the impacts of the increasing rates of autism. These impacts include the need for training, resources, supports, and research on causal and treatment factors. Dr. Len Abbeduto, director of the UC Davis Mind Institute, will share some of the work being done at the Mind Institute to support our understanding of autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. According to the Center for Disease Control, the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in the year 2014 was 1 in every 68 children. Simonoff and colleagues, in 2008, indicated that around 70% of individuals with autism spectrum disorders have at least one coexisting condition. The most common coexisting condition is an intellectual disability. According to the Center for Disease Control, around 54% of individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder also have an intellectual disability. Mental health conditions are also quite common. Clinical anxiety impacts roughly 29% of individuals on the autism spectrum, attention deficit hyperactivity impacts around 28% of individuals on the autism spectrum, and oppositional defiant disorder is indicated in around 28% of individuals on the autism spectrum. Boys are almost five times more likely to be identified with autism than girls. About 1 in 42 boys and about 1 in 189 girls are identified with an autism spectrum disorder. White or Caucasian children are more likely to be identified with autism than black or Hispanic children. About 1 in 63 white children are identified, as compared to 1 in 81 black children and 1 in 93 Hispanic children. Less that half of children identified with an autism spectrum disorder are identified or evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they reach three years of age. On average, children who are identified with autism are not diagnosed until after the age of four, even though autism can be diagnosed as early as two years of age, and even earlier if there is known familial risk factors. In this video conversation with Dr. Robin Hansen, developmental behavioral pediatrician at the UC Davis Mind Institute, we briefly explore the possible etiologies or contributing factors related to autism spectrum disorders. » So we do know from more and more studies that, probably, if you have one child with autism in a family then, if we don't know anything else, we usually say, well, there's probably about a 20% chance of having another child. Now, it may be lower than that for some families, and it may be higher than that for other families. And that's why, trying to understand etiology in autism is so important, so that we can be better in helping individual families, counsel them around their recurrence risks. So, it may be that if you have one type of autism, say perhaps, if it's related to maternal antibodies, it may be that your risk is 99%. It may be that if we don't really have a good etiology, we don't understand in your particular child's case how to explain autism, we don't find anything specifically genetically that we can say we think this is related, it may be that that's kind of in general, we say it's probably about one in five chance of recurrence. » So why are we seeing this increase in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders? Well, there certainly have been changes in fine tuning to the diagnostic criteria over the years. There's also been an increase in community awareness and interest in autism spectrum disorders. But there is something more going on that's putting children at risk for this diagnosis. There's been a substantial increase in the number of children per capita being diagnosed. For example, in the year 1980, autism impacted 1 in every 10,000 children, where presently it impacts 1 in every 68. In this video, Dr. Robin Hansen discusses possible reasons for the increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders and shares research topics which explore genetic susceptibility and environmental factors that may relate to this increase. » So, that's the million dollar question, why does autism seem to be rising so quickly? Per an era, especially if we think that it's really very heritable, and that means genetically based at some level, genetic disorders don't increase that fast. I mean, they just don't change that fast. So what, why? So, there probably is some degree of better awareness and more recognition on different ends of the spectrum, so I think over the last 20 years we have made some bit of a switch in kids who are really involved developmentally, where I think we used to say, well, that's just intellectual disability. So why would we even call it autism? But I think there are kids who have intellectual disability who also have autism, and I think in the past, sometimes we didn't add on the autism label. So, I think that's one part of it. On the other end of the spectrum, kids who are more mildly impaired, I think we're also probably more likely to make a diagnoses at that end of the spectrum than maybe we would have been 20 years ago. But I also think that that's not accounting for the big rise. It's not enough to account for the numbers that we're seeing now. So, I think then it really drives a lot of our research, particularly here at the Mind Institute. Can we look at the genetics susceptibility and then other things that are changing in the environment that could alter that genetics susceptibility and change, increase the prevalence? So, there are lots, lots of things that would suggest, in our research, that there are things in the environment that do impact genetic susceptibility on multiple factors and that things that alter the immune system may increase your risk for autism, particularly in maternal immune models of dysregulation. So, those are the kinds of research areas that I think are really important for us to understand, to try and explain this increasing prevalence. » Many speculate that the increase in the prevalence of autism is the result of a swapping of diagnostic labels. In other words, individuals who may have been given a diagnosis of intellectual disability in years past, may now be identified as having an autism spectrum disorder. However, the data does not seem to support this theory. There's been no decrease in other disabilities as the increase in autism has occurred. Childcare providers and preschool providers are seeing more children in their setting who present with characteristics of autism. There needs to be more awareness and training on resource and referral for daycare and childcare providers. Educators need additional training and resources as they see more children in public education identified with autism. There are many behavioral health providers in the community who need additional support and training to understand the complexities and the treatments that work well for individuals on the autism spectrum. And as this population of identified individuals on the autism spectrum grow and age out of public education, there's a need for Transition Specialists and those working in post-secondary education, employment, and housing to prepare for the support needs of individuals on the autism spectrum. The increase in community awareness has helped to increase funding for services and for research. There are more opportunities for training and professional development in the area of autism spectrum disorders, and we're beginning to make some progress in our understanding of this neurobiological disability. There's a significant amount of research looking into the causes and potential treatments for autism spectrum disorders. Current research is looking both at genetics as well as environmental factors that may put infants at risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder. At the present time, there may be multiple etiologies for autism. Some of this groundbreaking research is taking place at the UC Davis Mind Institute in Sacramento, California. This video will introduce you to the groundbreaking work taking place at the UC Davis Mind Institute. » [MUSIC] Welcome. I'm Len Abbeduto, Director of the UC Davis Mind Institute. The Mind Institute was created by six courageous and forward-thinking families who wanted to help other families effected by autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. These families envisioned a place where experts from every discipline related to brain development could work together under one roof towards a common goal researching causes, strategies for prevention, and effective treatments for these disorders. The Mind Institute is a collaboration of acknowledged leaders conducting vital research on autism, fragile X syndrome, chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, down syndrome, and ADHD. The founding families hope to advance understanding in neurodevelopment disorders by encouraging interdisciplinary team science approaches to translational research. The founding families also wanted to transform clinical care, moving from a view in which we saw only a child with a disorder to understanding a child's strengths as well as his or her challenges and understanding the role the family could play in optimizing a child's outcome. Mind Institute's scientists have made unique contributions to our understanding of autism. They have played a vital role in understanding the impact of immune dysfunction in creating risk for autism spectrum disorders. They have also identified a number of environmental factors that place children at risk for autism. Importantly, Mind institute scientists have also created hope for families through creation of the Early Start Denver model and other approaches to early intervention that optimize outcomes for children on the autism spectrum. Mind institute researchers have also made groundbreaking contributions to our understanding and treatment of fragile X syndrome, ADHD, Down's syndrome, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, and several other neurodevelopmental disorders. Neurodevelopmental disorders affect one in ten individuals. Increasing numbers of families are facing the challenges of raising children who have these conditions. At the Maya Institute we are working towards a common goal, finding the causes of and developing treatments for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. We are also working to bring usable information and research findings to the community by partnering with the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at UC Davis Extension to offer training programs like this. For additional information on our current research or to find additional resources, we invite you to visit the mind institute website. [MUSIC]


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