CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 2013 |
Insurers have been skirting their obligation under recently enacted state law to provide costly behavioral therapies for autism, according to the Department of Insurance, which is proposing emergency regulations aimed at enforcing the law. In July, California joined more than two dozen other states in requiring private insurers to cover such treatments when medically necessary. But state officials said they have received dozens of formal complaints that insurers have been delaying and denying coverage by imposing limits on how much therapy a child can receive and who can provide it, and in some cases by requiring extensive cognitive testing before treatment can begin.
February 12, 2013 |
Mothers who took folic acid supplements around the time they became pregnant were less likely to have children with an autism spectrum disorder, a new study has found. Researchers in Norway examined health records of more than 85,000 children born there between 1999 and 2009 to see whether they had some kind of autism diagnosis. They also looked at questionnaires completed by their mothers to see how much folic acid they were consuming in the month before they became pregnant and during the first eight weeks of pregnancy, a critical period of embryonic brain development.
January 17, 2013 |
It's the dream of any parent whose child is diagnosed with autism: The symptoms will fade away over time. What keeps the dream alive is that in rare cases it comes true. Several studies over the years have documented cases in which children have improved so much that they no longer meet the criteria for diagnosis or require extra support in school. Those children have long presented a puzzle to researchers. What distinguishes them from people for whom autism is a lifelong condition?
December 20, 2012 |
Will Adam Lanza's genes help answer the incomprehensible? Connecticut's chief medical examiner, Dr. H. Wayne Carver II, has said that he has asked a geneticist at the University of Connecticut to contribute to the investigation of Lanza , the 20-year-old who last week shot 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Conn., and then turned the gun on himself as police arrived. Hope of peering into Lanza's state of mind as he prepared his final act has been dashed by the assailant's apparent destruction of his computer's hard drive.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2012 |
It's four days in and I'm still trying to wrap my mind around what happened inside that elementary school in Newtown, Conn., last week. Like people all over the country, I spent much of the weekend glued to the news on TV, absorbing each painful revelation as if that were my responsibility. As if the power of our collective grief could help that wounded community heal. There is no way to make sense of Friday's massacre of innocents. But that hasn't stopped the commentators from trying.
December 17, 2012 |
STAMFORD, Conn. - When the parents of Adam Lanza divorced, the settlement left Nancy Lanza with $24,150 a month in alimony payments and able to live a comfortable life and care for her troubled son. Nancy Lanza, 52, was her son's first victim Friday, shot to death in the spacious home they shared, authorities said. Adam, 20, then took his mother's car to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he shot his way into the building and opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults before turning a gun on himself.
December 16, 2012 |
Among the details to emerge in the aftermath of the Connecticut elementary school massacre was the possibility that the gunman had some form of autism. Adam Lanza, 20, had a personality disorder or autism, his brother reportedly told police. Former classmates described him as socially awkward, friendless and painfully shy. While those are all traits of autism, a propensity for premeditated violence is not. Several experts said that at most, autism would have played a tangential role in the mass shooting -- if Lanza had it at all. FULL COVERAGE: Connecticut school shooting “Many significant psychiatric disorders involve social isolation,” said Catherine Lord, director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
November 26, 2012 |
In a finding that points to a link between environmental toxins and autism, a new study shows that children who were exposed to the highest levels of traffic-related air pollution during gestation and in early infancy were three times more likely to be diagnosed with the neurodevelopmental disorder than were those whose early exposure to such pollutants was very low. The study , published Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 12, 2012 |
Autism advocacy was in its infancy in the mid-1990s when an organization of parents put the word out about a trip to Washington, D.C., to press for research dollars. Joining them unannounced was a political novice with her own autistic child who quickly became a household name in activist circles. Elizabeth Emken "was a mom from Danville who had read this somehow, and there she was in Barbara Boxer's office," said Jon Shestack of Los Angeles, who along with his wife founded Cure Autism Now in 1995.
September 20, 2012 |
An experimental drug can improve sociability in patients with fragile X syndrome and may be helpful as a treatment for autism, according to the authors of a new study. Fragile X is a rare genetic disorder that affects about 1 in 4,000 boys and 1 in 8,000 girls, according to the National Institutes of Health. It usually results in mental retardation and - in about half of cases - some form of autism. In fragile X, which accounts for 2% of autism cases, a mutation in a gene on the X chromosome turns off production of a regulatory protein known as FMRP.