Driven: CAR's Science Blog

"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. ...

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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. ...

Comparing Early Intervention Outcomes
We know very little about which preschool intervention placements produce the best outcomes for which children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A team from the University of Pennsylvania examined the effectiveness of three early intervention preschool placements. ...

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....

Sleep Behaviors and Sleep Quality
Getting a good night of sleep is crucial to a child’s development in the areas of attention, learning, memory, mood regulation, and behavior. Poor sleep quality in children also affects parents’ sleep quality. If a child isn’t sleeping well, chances are his/her parents aren’t sleeping well either.  ...

Presentations of Anxiety in ASD
Anxiety occurs in about 40%-60% of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), yet clinicians aren’t exactly sure how the symptoms present and how to treat them. ...