Autism Awareness Month Wrap-Up

Posted Thursday, Apr. 26, 2018

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Why the future is looking bright

As Autism Awareness Month draws to a close, we wanted to highlight some of the exciting developments in autism research happening right here in Connecticut, home of Sigmund Software headquarters. 

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way in our understanding of autism. While certain aspects of it remain a mystery, there’s a lot we know now that we didn’t know even a decade ago. This blog is a great example of the difference even a year can make.

A wonderful program called Birth to Three exists here in Connecticut to provide families with resources when it comes to one of the biggest indicators of successful outcomes for children with disabilities: Early intervention. Birth to Three helps children of all circumstances and backgrounds get the very best chance, by meeting the “developmental and health-related needs of infants and toddlers who have delays or disabilities.”

While the benefits of early intervention remains one of the biggest breakthroughs in autism treatment in particular, plenty more discoveries are on their way thanks to a program at UConn led by Debra Fein.

Professor Fein’s “Early Detection Study” looked at the effectiveness of certain ASD screenings at pediatrician offices for children between 18 and 36 months. This, in turn, led to her “Early Detection Project,” which has called for screening children even younger. It also explores how additional training may help pediatricians know what to look for. 

Additionally, Professor Fein runs the Optimal Outcomes Project which follows children diagnosed with ASD early in life but who have since lost all symptoms. This program studies the patients’ brain networks to pinpoint what could be the cause of these “optimal outcomes.” 

As we grow in our knowledge of autism, so do the programs and opportunities for those living with ASD. We applaud the efforts happening right here in Connecticut and have faith that by next Autism Awareness month, we’ll have even bigger breakthroughs to celebrate.