Driven: CAR's Science Blog

New CHOP Research Study Tests Brain’s Response to Single Dose of Arbaclofen (STX209)
Many in the autism community are familiar with the trial drug STX209, also called arbaclofen, which affects a chemical system called GABA. In 2010, clinical trials were launched to evaluate whether arbaclofen might become the first medication to treat core symptoms of social communication impairment and repetitive behavior in autism spectrum disorder. ...

Switching Lenses: A Shift in Perspective Led Researchers to Unexpected Results About Face-Processing in ASD
Humanity seems to be “hard-wired” to pay attention to faces and facial expressions. Zeroing in on faces (rather than other body parts or objects) and being able to differentiate between people’s identities or expressions is one of the first skills developed during infancy. ...

Categories: Social Development
CHOP Researchers Identify Gene That Plays Important Role in Autism & Other Neuropsychiatric Conditions
A team of researchers led by Tara Wenger, PhD of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Autism Research (CAR) have found that genetic mutations in a specific family of genes – the “metabotropic glutamate receptors” (mGluRs) – play a significant role in a person’s risk for...

"Why on earth would I want to do that?": The Basics of Social Motivation in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Differences in social development are among the core symptoms which define autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the last few years, the Social Motivation Theory of autism has gained broad acceptance to explain some of the reasons why children with ASD may not profit from their social learning opportunities. ...

Categories:
CAR Research: Attention and Gaze Hold Clues to Social Development in Autism
CAR psychologist Benjamin Yerys, PhD, studies attention, impulsivity, and distractibility in ASD, as well as in ADHD and anxiety- ASD’s frequent companions. A pair of his studies contribute to our understanding of how children with ASD prioritize and respond to social information in their environment. ...

Holly Robinson Peete Visits CAR
We were excited to have a visit last month from Philadelphia's own Holly Robinson Peete during a trip back to her hometown, where she was being honored for her efforts in support of autism awareness. ...

New Findings Related to Attention and Gaze Give Us Clues to Differences in Social Development for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
Difficulty interpreting social information is one of the defining characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but  there is still a lot we don't understand about the underlying causes of some of these social differences. ...

Should autism screening take place during pediatric check-ups?
In August, the U.S. Protective Services Task Force (USPSTF) - a federally-funded panel of experts in primary care and prevention- released a statement that concerned many in the autism community....

It’s not what you say, but how you say it
Parents and therapists have long known that even when individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) meet normal language milestones, there is still something odd or different about the way they talk. It is sometimes hard “to put a finger on” what exactly differs in the language of a person with ASD. ...

Factors Associated with Driving in Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Getting a permit and learning to drive is a ‘rite of passage’ that many teens anticipate for years. A driver’s license comes with independence and responsibility, which can be simultaneously exciting and intimidating. For teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the decision to learn to drive is met with additional challenges and considerations....