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Autism: Family Life - Tactics for Getting Normal Again
10 CEUs Substance Abuse: Growing Beyond 12 Step Program Dependency

Section 18
Special Considerations for ASD Diagnostic Evaluation

CEU Question 18 | CEU Test | Table of Contents | Autism
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The Flip Book below is from The Division of Developmental Disabilities, Missouri Department of Mental Healthealth.

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-Division of Developmental Disabilities, Missouri Department of Mental Health, Autism Spectrum Disorders:Missouri Best Practice Guidelines for Screening, Diagnosis, and Assessment, Thompson Foundation for Autism and the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Missouri Department of Mental Health, 2010, p. 66-77.
The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.

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What are five ways that diagnosing older children or individuals may differ from evaluation of young children in a number of important ways? Record the letter of the correct answer the CEU Test.

 
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The parenting experiences and needs of Asian primary caregivers of children with autism: A meta-synthesis
Autism, Ahead of Print.
Parents of children with autism are faced with higher risks of unemployment, divorce, and poorer mental health than parents of children with other disorders. Such parenting stress can be further exacerbated by cultural and environmental factors such as the more conservative and collectivistic Asian values. Therefore, this review identifies and synthesizes literature on the parenting experiences and needs of Asian primary caregivers of children with autism using a critical interpretive method. A qualitative meta-summary was conducted. Seven electronic databases (CINAHL, Embase, ProQuest, PsycINFO, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) were searched from each database’s date of inception to November 2018. In total, 44 studies were included in this review. Thirteen studies examined Asian immigrant parents’ experiences, and 31 studies were done among Asia-based parents. Six domains were identified: “personal parenting journey”; “adaptation and coping strategies”; “family, community, and social support”; “experiences with healthcare, education, and social services”; “future hopes and recommendations”; and “unique experiences of immigrants.” The distinctive influence of religious beliefs, cultural values, and environmental factors on Asian parenting experiences were discussed, and recommendations were proposed to better meet the needs of parents with autistic children.
Autism and depression are connected: A report of two complimentary network studies
Autism, Ahead of Print.
Autism and depression often co-occur. Through network analysis, we seek to gain a better understanding of this co-occurrence by investigating whether (1) autism and depression share overlapping groups of symptoms and/or (2) are connected through a bridge of mastery or worry symptoms. This is addressed in two complimentary studies: (1) Study 1 focusing on depressed (N = 258) and non-depressed adults (N = 117), aged 60–90 years; (2) Study 2 focusing on autistic (N = 173) and non-autistic adults (N = 70), aged 31–89 years. Self-report questionnaire data were collected on autistic traits (AQ-28), depression symptoms (Study 1: Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology Self Report; Study 2: Symptom Checklist 90–Revised depression subscale), worry (Worry Scale-R) and mastery (the Pearlin Mastery Scale). For both studies, data were analysed by creating glasso networks and subsequent centrality analyses to identify the most influential variables in the respective networks. Both depressed and autistic adults are highly similar in the perceived amount of worries and lack of control. While caution is needed when interpreting the pattern of findings given the bootstrapping results, findings from both studies indicate that overlapping symptoms do not fully explain the co-occurrence of autism and depression and the perception of having control over your life, that is, mastery seems a relevant factor in connecting autism and depression.
Oculomotor behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders
Autism, Ahead of Print.
To identify quantitative indicators of social communication dysfunctions, we explored the oculomotor performances in subjects with autism spectrum disorders. Discordant findings in the literature have been reported for oculomotor behavior in subjects with autism spectrum disorders. This study aimed to explore reflexive and voluntary saccadic performance in a group of 32 children with autism spectrum disorders (mean age: 12.1 ± 0.5 years) compared to 32 age-, sex-, and IQ-matched typically developing children (control group). We used different types of reflexive and voluntary saccades: gap, step, overlap, and anti-saccades. Eye movements were recorded using an eye tracker (Mobile EBT®) and we measured latency, percentage of anticipatory and express saccades, errors of anti-saccades and gain. Children with autism spectrum disorders reported similar latency values with respect to typically developing children for reflexive and voluntary saccades; in contrast, they made more express and anticipatory saccades overall, as shown in paradigm testing (gap, step, overlap, and anti-saccades). Our findings support previous evidence of the atypicality of the cortical network, which is involved in saccade triggering and attentional processes in children with autism spectrum disorders.
“I wouldn’t know where to start”: Perspectives from clinicians, agency leaders, and autistic adults on improving community mental health services for autistic adults
Autism, Ahead of Print.
Most autistic adults struggle with mental health problems, and traditional mental health services generally do not meet their needs. This study used qualitative methods to identify ways to improve community mental health services for autistic adults for treatment of their co-occurring psychiatric conditions. We conducted semistructured, open-ended interviews with 22 autistic adults with mental healthcare experience, 44 community mental health clinicians, and 11 community mental health agency leaders in the United States. The participants identified clinician-, client-, and systems-level barriers and facilitators to providing quality mental healthcare to autistic adults. Across all three stakeholder groups, most of the reported barriers involved clinicians’ limited knowledge, lack of experience, poor competence, and low confidence working with autistic adults. All three groups also discussed the disconnect between the community mental health and developmental disabilities systems, which can result in autistic adults being turned away from services when they contact the mental health division and disclose their autism diagnosis during the intake process. Further efforts are needed to train clinicians to work more effectively with autistic adults and to increase coordination between the mental health and developmental disabilities systems.

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