Progress Made On Drug For Autism Symptoms
by JON HAMILTON
September 20, 2012 3:33 AM
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Andy Tranfaglia, 23, who has Fragile X syndrome, rides a horse with his mother, Katie Clapp.
An experimental drug that helps people who have Fragile X syndrome is raising hopes of a treatment for autism.
The drug, called arbaclofen, made people with Fragile X less likely to avoid social interactions, according to a study in Science Translational Medicine. Researchers suspect it might do the same for people with autism.
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A glance at any baby book shows how much baby’s first word is revered — and hints at it’s unending pleasure for parents. And as a clinical Speech-Language Pathologist for almost four decades, I am endlessly struck by the phenomenon of firsts: words, phrases, and sentences. But it was not until I met my first group of kids with classic autism two decades ago that I became completely enamored with the questions, “How do kids on the autism spectrum (ASD) develop their first words? Can they accomplish this naturally?” The conventional wisdom was that these kids could not develop real language systems at all, and that they needed to be taught survival phrases, and drilled to say them, like so many skills.
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