autism

Raising kids is rewarding and raising kids is hard. That work is compounded when you have a child with autism. And each of these families experiences the disorder differently.

On Saturday, we heard four parents share the moment they learned their children had autism, and the signs that led them to seek a doctor's opinion. Now, we learn their experience following the diagnoses, the resources they found and help they still need.

Kindergarteners take turns on the tricycles at the EEU gym class.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Cinthia Portugal is a mom of 4-year-old twins with autism, and she is scrambling to find a kindergarten for her sons.

Taking antidepressants during the second or third trimester of pregnancy may increase the risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder, according to a study of Canadian mothers and children published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.

But scientists not involved in the research say the results are hard to interpret and don't settle the long-running debate about whether expectant mothers with depression should take antidepressants.

'Sesame Street' has included children and a new character with autism.
Screenshot from YouTube

Jeannie Yandel talks to Dr. Wendy Stone is a professor of psychology and director of the READi lab at the University of Washington. Dr. Stone was a consultant for Sesame Street as they created their first character with autism, Julia. Julia is also a character in their digital storybook, "We're Amazing, 1,2,3!"  

Dr. Raphael Bernier of the UW Autism Center hopes a new autism study will help researchers identify biomarkers that are indicators of autism.
University of Washington

Researchers may have a handle on the genetics of autism, but they haven’t developed medical tests to diagnose it. A new nationwide study hopes to change that.

KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

Holly Connor of Mercer Island started learning to read and write Braille in preschool.

Now 10, she’s one of North America’s fastest readers and writers in her age group – when it comes to Braille.

The hunt to find genes that cause autism has been a long slog, one hampered by a lack of technology and families willing to be tested.

But the effort is starting to pay off. On Tuesday, researchers at more than 50 laboratories said they had identified more than 100 genes that are mutated in children with autism, dozens more than were known before.

  Ross Reynolds speaks with novelist David Mitchell about what he says is the most important book he's done: a translation of a memoir by a young autistic Japanese boy. In the book, "The Reason I Jump," the boy explains the behaviors that may seem strange to outsiders. Mitchell himself has a child with autism. He talks about what he learned from doing the translation.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

At the Alaska Airlines ticket counter at Sea-Tac Airport, parents Ron and Christine Vega wait for their boarding passes.

Their son, Gibson, 5, carries a blue backpack that has essentials for a mock airplane trip: snacks, things to keep him preoccupied and a white cloth towel that helps him deal with stress.

An Autistic Teen's Guide To Impersonating Michael Jackson

Aug 27, 2014
Courtesy of Lorenzo Manuel

It was homecoming dance at Roosevelt High School, and the Roosevelt football team had just been crushed. As it started getting late, the energy sunk even lower. People were mostly slow dancing; it was all Taylor Swift at that point.

Just then, a familiar tune started to play. The thinning crowd began to roar. A spotlight came on. As the first lyrics of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" shook the room, a skinny kid with short brown hair and a sparkly glove began to dance.

It’s the season of summer camps, but kids with autism or ADHD are often left out because of behavior issues. But next week, they’ll get have another option, through a joint program between UW Autism Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

O.S.T. and L.H. – their initials in court documents – are minors diagnosed with autism. Their families sued Regence, the health insurance company, for not covering all therapies related to their condition.

The symptoms of autism may not be obvious until a child is a toddler, but the disorder itself appears to begin well before birth.

Brain tissue taken from children who died and also happened to have autism revealed patches of disorganization in the cortex, a thin sheet of cells that's critical for learning and memory, researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Tissue samples from children without autism didn't have those characteristic patches.

Traditionally, research has focused on women's "biological clock." But in recent years, scientists have been looking more and more at how the father's age at conception might affect the baby, too.

A study published Wednesday hints that age really might matter — in terms of the child's mental health.

Chloe Burton

Chloe Burton had a great year in kindergarten.

Although she has autism, she had no problem learning in a general education classroom alongside her peers.

But in first grade, things went downhill. Chloe wandered the classroom instead of finishing her work.

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