Brain's 'Spaces' Hold Clues to Origins of Autism

The fluid-filled spaces around the brain's blood vessels need proper waste "clearance" every few hours. When that fails to happen, a baby's risk for autism appears to rise, new research shows.

It's too early to say that trouble within these "perivascular" spaces causes autism, but it seems to be an early marker for the condition, a team from the University of North Carolina (UNC) reports.

“Our findings were striking, given that neuro-radiologists typically view enlarged perivascular spaces as a sign of neuro-degeneration in adults, but this study reported it in toddlers,” noted study co-author Dea Garic, a research assistant professor in UNC's department of psychiatry.

Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that focuses on using the science of behavior and learning to improve specific behaviors, including communication, social skills, academics, activities of daily living, among other adaptive skills. 

ABA has been proven to be effective for children
and adults that have developmental disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder. ABA can be
used in home, schools, clinics, and even one’s workplace, depending on the setting that the client would benefit most with additional support. The strategies and techniques used in an individual’s intervention plan have been studied and implemented for decades, and each plan created is tailored to the client based on results from multiple assessments. 

Get to know some kinds of reinforcers!

Reinforcers are the topic of the month because they happen to be critical to the success of an ABA therapy program. Reinforcers are instrumental in teaching and shaping desired behaviors, especially for children diagnosed with ASD.

They can be tangible or intangible objects or actions that are used to increase the occurrence of a certain behavior, such as treats, toys, kisses, praise, and anything else that reinforces the positive behavior.

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HAVE THESE MOMENTS BACK. . . SAFELY. It’s up to ALL of us. Protect yourself, your family, and your community by getting vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccines are:
  • Safe and effective
  • Free
  • Available to everyone age 12 and over
  • No appointment needed
There is no cost for transportation to and from any vaccination site.
Read more

New Instructor Directory

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) announces on its official website a new instructor directory resource. It contains instructors from ABAI-accredited programs and verified course sequences. The directory was created to help advance the field of ABA by facilitating search and contact among colleagues to fulfill teaching-related services, especially in areas with few behavior analysts.

Click on the following link for more details:

Could mitochondria be the key to a healthy brain?

Richard Frye, a pediatric neurologist and autism researcher at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Arizona, and his colleagues have found that the amount of air pollution that children with autism were exposed to before birth altered the rates at which their mitochondria produced ATP. In another, the researchers found correlations between early-life exposure to both nutritional metals such as zinc as well as toxic metals such as lead, and how well the organelles functioned in those with autism later in life. These, along with other findings suggest that mitochondria may be the missing link between autism and the environmental influences that contribute to the condition.

Access the complete article at:

What is the latest research on autism?

The website Medical News Today for medical information and news has published a recent article about de latest research on autism field. The report is based on many studies exploring enviromental and neurologycal contributing factors, gene variants that could play a role in the development of ASD, the incidence of gut microbiome in ASD symptoms, as well as new horizons of diagnostics and testing.

Find out about these interesting results at:

Using Extinction to Reduce Problem Behavior

Extinction refers to a procedure used in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) in which reinforcement that is provided for problem behavior (often unintentionally) is discontinued in order to decrease or eliminate occurrences of these types of negative (or problem) behaviors

While this procedure is most commonly used in children with Autism and Down Syndrome, it can also be used very successfully to address a broader array of problema behaviors, including those exhibited by individuals without developmental disabilities

Find out more about this technique by clicking on the link:

New hope for people living with a genetic cause of autism

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, report in the journal Neurobiology of Disease they were able to ameliorate Fragile X syndrome symptoms after inserting the Fmr1 gene into the brains of very young transgenic mice that had been genetically engineered to lack this gene.

When the researchers measured brain activity for signs of anxiety and hyperactivity in response to stimuli such as stresses and sounds, they found that the reactivation of the gene in these mice had led them to no longer show Fragile X syndrome symptoms.

Find out about these promising results at:

More Arizona kids are being diagnosed with autism than ever before 

Centers for Desease Control (CDC) has published new data on the prevalence autism. The CDC compiled data from 11 states including Arizona. The research found 1 in 36 kids who are 8 years old have an autism diagnosis compared to 1 in 44 in 2018. Results also show that more younger kids in Arizona are being diagnosed. According to the data, 1 in 64 (or 1.6%) 4-year-olds are on the spectrum in Arizona.

Read the complete article at:

Brain 'Organoid' Study Hints at the Origins of Autism 

Research using three-dimensional replicas of the developing brain created in a lab dish is shedding new light on autism spectrum disorder. “It’s amazing that children with the same symptoms end up with two distinct forms of altered neural networks", co-senior author Dr. Flora Vaccarino said in a university news release. 

Read the complete article at:

50th Annual Convention

50th Annual Convention

DatePreconvention workshops: May 23–24, 2024 

Convention: May 25–27, 2024

The Association for Behavior Analysis International announces their 

50th Annual Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!

Find out more details here:  

ABAI - 18th Annual Autism Conference  Science-Informed Applications in Autism Spectrum Disorders

ABAI - 18th Annual Autism Conference

Science-Informed Applications in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Date: March 18-20, 2024

Location: Caesars Palace; Las Vegas, Nevada

The Association for Behavior Analysis International announces the 2024 Autism Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada!

For more details follow the link: 

Inclusive Cookie Decorating Class - Christmas Themed

Inclusive Cookie Decorating Class - Christmas Themed

DateDecember 13, 2023 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm 

Location: Glassy Brown Cookies, 224 High Street, Burlington, NJ 08016

Glassy Brown Cookies offer cookie classes that support individuals with disabilities, including autism and more. Join Glassy Brown Cookies and the team for a 1hour class where you'll learn how to decorate 2 Christmas-themed cookies with royal icing. Don't worry if you don't have any decorating experience because it's unnecessary! The best part? Boxes will be provided to transport your treats home and enjoy them safely.

Find out more details here: 

ABAI 49th Annual Convention

Arizona Walk

Date: October 14, 2023 

Location: Riverview Park, 2100 W Rio Salado Avenue, Mesa, AZ 85201, United States.

Autism Speaks Walk is powered by the love of people with autism and the parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, relatives and providers who support them. By joining, you are already bringing us one step closer to ensuring people with autism can reach their full potential and live their best lives!

For more details and registration click on the following link: 

Halloween Bash

Halloween Bash

Date: Saturday, November 4th, from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Location: SEEDs for Autism, 3420 S. 7th St. Phoenix, AZ 85040

Join Autism Society of Grater Phoenix and SEEDs for Autism for their annual Halloween Bash! This event is intended for Autistic Teens and Adults. There will be games, music, food and fun! Costumes are encouraged! 

For more details follow the link: 

ABAI 49th Annual Convention

AzABA Annual Conference

Practicing with Integrity Values in action

Date: October 13-14, 2023

Location:Desert Willow Conference Center, Phoenix, Arizona (and virtual)

The AzABA Annual Conference is the largest ABA specific event in Arizona. This year’s hybrid conference will feature engaging speakers from around the country. Join us for two, 3-hour workshops on Friday and conference sessions on Saturday. The full agenda will be announced soon.

Stay up to date and register at:

ABAI 49th Annual Convention

11th Annual ETHICS in Professional Practice Conference

Hybrid Event

Date: Friday, August 4

Location: Endicott College, Beverly, Massachusetts (and online)

A one day conference featuring leaders in the fields of Psychology, Business, Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis offered both for in-person attendance or virtually with recordings available for 14 days post-conference. 

Of benefit to Behavior Analysts, Psychologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Teachers, Special Education Providers, School Administrators, Students and Parents & Caregivers.

Find more details on the official website by clicking on the following link:

ABAI 49th Annual Convention

AzABA Event

Free CEU for members: Current research in the use of ABA to treat feeding disorders

Date: Thursday, June 1

Time: 10:00 - 11:00 am

Location: Online

Many children with autism spectrum disorders develop food selectivity or what is also called “picky eating.” It is not uncommon for children to restrict their diets to one brand of chicken nuggets, to refuse to eat colored foods, or to consume only pureed foods. This training will focus on the latest research in the area of using ABA to address feeding. In particular, a research review will be presented highlighting the designs, analysis, and results used in the past 5 years. 

Find more details on the official website by clicking on the following link:

ABAI 49th Annual Convention

ABAI 49th Annual Convention

Pre-convention workshops: Thursday, May 25 - Friday, May 26 

Convention: Saturday, May 27 - Monday, May 29

Location: Colorado Convention Center

ABAI announces their return to Denver for the 49th Annual Convention! The event will once again be at the Colorado Convention Center, this time with sessions held in the front of the building, making it easy for attendees to get around.

Follow the link for more details: