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Neurological Difference in Children with Autism

 

A study recently published in the Journal of American Medical Association offers some exciting findings. The study shows a medically significant difference in neuron development in the prefrontal cortex of 7 male children post-mortem. The children in this study had 67% more neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) than the control group of 6 typically developing males.

You can read more about this study here:
http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/306/18/2001.short

So, what does this all mean?

Prefrontal Cortex

Prefrontal Cortex

The prefrontal cortex is responsible for executive functioning which includes planning, reasoning, and problem solving. Damage to this area of the brain can result in inability to experience appropriate emotional responses, which can in turn, negatively affect decision-making ability and the ability to understand social cues and social norms.
 
Many of the symptoms associated with Autism spectrum disorders can be linked to the prefrontal cortex. The findings in this study are exciting and give hope to finding a cause and possibly a cure for ASD.
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About Express Yourself SLP

Express Yourself Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) offers treatment, prevention, advocacy, education, and administration, in the areas of communication and swallowing from birth through 18 years of age These are the areas of speech, language and feeding I work on with chidlren in their own homes or in the community: Articulation – finding the right place in the mouth to make a sound like /s/ or /r/. Expressive Language – grammar, vocabulary development, and language development (this might be sign language or verbal language) Disfluency (stuttering) – decreasing and eliminating disfluency and concomitant behaviors associated with stuttering. Feeding – increasing food repetoire including textures, colors, and flavors. Receptive Language - comprehension of verbal or signed language Social Language – understanding and implementing expected social rules in play and conversation. This can be individually or in groups with peers Sessions are 50 minutes. Parents or caregivers must be present when sessions are in the home. If the caregiver would like a community outting, the child must be driven to the desired location by a caregiver or it should be within walking distance of the home. Parents or caregivers are also welcome and encouraged to join in community outtings.

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