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Autism Awareness Month: MSU Research Solutions

Jodene Fine studying brain scans

Michigan State University has established the Institute for Research in Autism, Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (RAIND) to bring together a wide variety of multidisciplinary initiatives already being pursued by more than 90 researchers and numerous post-doctoral associates across campus – from education and human medicine, to the social sciences and clinical research.

Watch recent videos and faculty presentations about Michigan State University research projects in autism and intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities here.

The institute also incorporates MSU’s work as a founding partner in the DOCTRID (Daughters of Charity Research into Disability) Research Institute on autism and intellectual disability, a coalition of 12 Irish universities, MSU, UMass Medical School, and the Daughters of Charity Service in Dublin Ireland.

Here are some recent stories about MSU’s ongoing research in autism:

sungconnieJob Services Needed for Young People with Autism

Connie Sung, assistant professor, in Michigan State University’s Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education studied 5,681 people with autism who used vocational employment services. While transition youth, or those aged 18 and younger, represented the largest group, only 47 percent of them secured employment after receiving services (compared to 55 percent for those aged 19-25 and 61 percent for those 26 and older). More…

egg chair

Exercise and the Connection to Cognition

Matthew Pontifex, assistant professor, Department of Kinesiology, made news when he showed for the first time that kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can better drown out distractions after a single bout of exercise.  His team also plans to replicate their studies with children who have autism and with individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders. More…

Jodene-Fine-thShedding New Light on Learning Disorders

Jodene Fine, assistant professor of school psychology in MSU’s College of Education, has discovered the first anatomical evidence that the brains of children with a nonverbal learning disability – long considered a “pseudo” diagnosis – may develop differently than the brains of other children. Children with nonverbal learning disability tend to have normal language skills but below average math skills and difficulty solving visual puzzles. Because many of these kids also show difficulty understanding social cues, some experts have argued that NVLD is related to high functioning autism – which this latest study suggests may not be so. More…

plavnickwithgirlVideo could Transform How Schools Serve Teens with Autism

Joshua Plavnick, assistant professor of special education at MSU is using video-based group instruction regularly to help teach social skills to adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  His team recruited 13- to 17-year-old students with ASD and used laptops or iPads to offer group video instruction on social behaviors, such as inviting a peer to join an activity. More…

A doctor using his hands to palpate a newborn's abdomenUltrasound Reveals Autism Risk at Birth

Low-birth-weight babies with a particular brain abnormality are at greater risk for autism, according to a new study that could provide doctors a signpost for early detection of the still poorly understood disorder. Tammy Movsas, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at MSU and medical director of the Midland County Department of Public Health analyzed data from a cohort of 1,105 low-birth-weight infants born in the mid-1980s. More…

Electrode CapMSU Funds New Autism Projects

In an effort to spur new approaches to research in autism, intellectual and other neurodevelopmental disabilities, Michigan State University (MSU) has awarded funding for six new, multi-disciplinary projects. The funding will support MSU-led teams of researchers from several universities and clinical settings who are studying a wide variety of related issues, from investigations of perinatal risk factors for cognitive disorders to evaluations of the effectiveness of employment preparation for those with high-functioning autism. More…

Discover what the MSU researchers are working on now on the website for the Institute for Research in Autism, Intellectual and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

ResearchMatchFind out how you and your family can participate in clinical studies by registering through MSU’s ResearchMatch portal.

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