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Archived News: In Research and Intervention
October 2011

UCLA Study Indicates Autistic Brains Develop More Slowly Than Healthy Brains

Researchers at UCLA, Jennifer G. Levitt, a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA; Xue Hua, a UCLA postdoctoral researcher; and their colleagues have found atypical rates of growth in areas of the brain linked to communication deficits, social impairment, and repetitive behaviors in children with autism. The results of brain imaging studies conducted at UCLA indicated that the connections between brain regions associated with language and social skills grow much more slowly in boys with autism than their typically-developing peers. The study also suggested that these delays continued into adolescence, prompting Levitt to note, “The delayed brain growth in autism may also suggest a different approach for educational intervention in adolescent and adult patients, since we now know their brains are wired differently to perceive information."

To read the entire story and view the video, click here.


Virginia Noted as Being One of Only Two States to Have Successful Autism Teacher Competencies!

Although common teaching standards have been adopted in many states to help students learn in the core subjects, only a few states have adopted teacher competencies for teaching children with ASD. A recent article in Education Week explains the importance of using evidence-based autism interventions to help individuals with ASD learn, and acknowledges the shortage of qualified teachers available to work with these students. The authors commend both Virginia and California for creating successful autism teacher competencies and providing training on how to use them. They go on to suggest that all states should draft and adopt similar standards for teaching and training educators on evidence-based standards and in implementing them with students with ASD.

Education Week Article - "Where Are the Autism Teaching Competencies?"

For more information on Virginia’s Skill Competencies for Professionals and Paraprofessionals, click here.


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