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Friday, April 1, 2011

On World Autism Awareness Day, IACC Releases 2010 Summary of Advances in ASD Research

In celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, the IACC has released its list of the top twenty scientific advances in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research for 2010. The selected articles include new ways to understand ASD using cellular models and high-tech imaging techniques, studies uncovering new genetic risk factors and novel ways to diagnose ASD using speech patterns, and the first intervention proven to be effective for toddlers. The selections also include an evaluation of currently-used interventions and treatment models and an assessment of whether early intervention programs can meet the increasing demand for services.

World Autism Awareness Day was established by the United Nations in 2007 to bring global attention to ASD and highlight the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. ASD is a developmental disorder that leads to difficulty with social interaction and communication skills and may include repetitive behaviors or interests. It affects about one percent of children in the United States and an estimated millions more internationally. The scientific discoveries described in the Summary of Advances represent significant steps forward in understanding ASD and improving quality of life for individuals and families affected by the disorder.  

Articles selected for the 2010 IACC Summary of Advances (listed by question area in the Strategic Plan for ASD Research):

Question 1: Diagnosis – When Should I Be Concerned? Question 2: Biology – How Can I Understand What Is Happening? Question 3: Risk Factors – What Caused This To Happen and Can It Be Prevented? Question 4: Intervention – Which Treatments and Interventions Will Help? Question 5: Services – Where Can I Turn For Services? Question 7: Infrastructure – What Other Infrastructure and Surveillance Needs Must Be Met?

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The IACC is a Federal advisory committee that was created by Congress in an effort to accelerate progress in ASD research and services. The IACC works to improve coordination and communication across the Federal government and work in partnership with the autism community. The Committee is composed of officials from many different Federal agencies involved in autism research and services, as well as people with ASD, parents, advocates, and other members of the autism community. The documents and recommendations produced by the IACC reflect the views of the Committee as an independent advisory body and the expertise of the members of the Committee, but do not represent the views, official statements, policies or positions of the Federal government.  For more information on the IACC, please visit: www.iacc.hhs.gov.

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