Tag Archives: science

New Study on Autism and Aggression Misses the Point

There is a new study in the latest issue of the journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders on a correlation between autism, brain volume and aggression.   The team of researchers from Brigham Young University studied structural MRI data from the brains of 45 Autistic boys and 18 non-autistic boys to see if the brains did similar things or different things in the presence of “aggressive behavior.” Autistics who had been reported as exhibiting so-called “problematic aggression” had smaller brain stems and did not show the non-autistic tendency of structural differences in the brain structures linked to emotions and behavior. The brain stem is the part of your brain that keeps you breathing. The most basic functions of life are regulated by the brain stem, leading Stephenson, one of the study’s authors, to extrapolate that the discovered correlation means that, “this is evidence that there’s something core and basic, … Continue Reading ››

President Trump, There is no Autism Epidemic

I understand if it is hard to keep up with the news coming out of this White House. I don’t envy newsroom editors nor the White House Communications Office. With so much breaking news, you may have missed the episode this week where the President expressed his alarm with the growing rate of autism diagnoses. The President should be alarmed by what we have learned from the growing rate of autism diagnoses. As a former White House Presidential Appointee with a background of knowledge on both autism and how epidemics grow, I can tell you that he absolutely should be. But, it’s not for the reason that he thinks. On Tuesday, the President held a Parent-Teacher Conference Listening Session at the White House attended by Vice President Pence, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Senior White House Advisor Kellyanne Conway, and teachers and school administrators from across the country. One particular exchange … Continue Reading ››