Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Twins and Autism Spectrum Disorders

For years, scientists, parents, and doctors have debated the causes of autism. According to certain studies, there is a higher rate of autism among identical twins and although not as high, fraternal twins. Twin studies may seemingly point to a genetic cause for the autism spectrum disorder; however, the increased risk amongst fraternal twins seems to indicate that environmental factors also play a role.

While there is still much to be studied on this topic, documentation of twins development where one twin suffers from autism and the other is typically developing can help researchers tremendously.

I came across a series of videos released by the National Autism Awareness Month, Rethink Autism a while ago which help to raise awareness of autism among parents. Through the powerful story of Trina McField, a mother who recognized early signs of autism in one of her twin boys, these videos educate viewers on how to spot the early signs of autism, highlighting the contrast in behavior between a child with autism and his typically developing twin brother. The videos also suggest evidenced-based treatment options available to parents and show the dramatic improvement in a two-year-old boy with autism after just five months of treatment at home. Behind the video footage is an incredible story of a mother who perseveres through doubt and uncertainty to bring hope to and create a future for her son with autism. The story inspires and empowers parents to start early intervention treatment using an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)-based curriculum. Recommended by the US Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatrics, ABA is the only treatment for autism that has been consistently validated by independent scientific research.

When in doubt consult with your pediatrician. And give us a call. We, who devoted our professional lives to this field, are here to help.  
Daniel Adatto, BCBA

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