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Research on Autism in Children

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 7127

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Biology Department, Metropolitan College, Boston University, One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215, USA
2. ImagiRation LLC, Boston, MA 02135, USA
Interests: autism; behavioral therapy; pivotal response treatment; multiple cue responding; stimulus overselectivity
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 54 children is affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that disrupts early development and often has devastating lifelong consequences. Approximately two-thirds of children with ASD will eventually have significant cognitive and social impairments. About 30 to 40% of children with ASD remain nonverbal or minimally verbal. ASD prevalence has been rising significantly over the last several decades. It has doubled since 2007 and tripled since 2000. Changes in diagnostic criteria, better public awareness, aging parents, and environmental effects have been used to explain the increasing ASD prevalence. Identifying factors influencing autism prevalence is an active area of epidemiological research, as randomized controlled trials (RCT) are unfeasible for this purpose. Furthermore, while only RCTs can determine causality, epidemiological studies can yield important clues into cultural, dietary, and therapeutic approaches to ASD interventions. Thus, epidemiological research presents ample opportunities for important insights into both causes and treatments of ASD. This Special Issue of the journal highlights new findings based on epidemiological studies of ASD.

Dr. Andrey Vyshedskiy
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • autism
  • ASD
  • psychological evaluation
  • language delay
  • developmental disorder
  • language therapy
  • nonverbal
  • ASD epidemiology
  • autism epidemiology
  • ASD database

Published Papers (1 paper)

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47 pages, 10671 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effects of Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Ningkun Xiao, Khyber Shinwari, Sergey Kiselev, Xinlin Huang, Baoheng Li and Jingjing Qi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2630; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032630 - 1 Feb 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6580
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has become a critical public health issue that affects more than 78 million people. In many recent studies, the authors have demonstrated that equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAATs) can substantially improve the social and behavioral skills of children with [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has become a critical public health issue that affects more than 78 million people. In many recent studies, the authors have demonstrated that equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAATs) can substantially improve the social and behavioral skills of children with ASD. However, the qualities of the studies differ, and some authors reached opposite conclusions. In this review, we systematically and objectively examined the effectiveness of EAATs for people with ASD, combining both qualitative and quantitative methods. We searched five databases (PubMed, Scopus, ERIC, ProQuest, and MEDLINE) and added relevant references, and we identified 25 articles for data extraction and analysis. According to our results, EAAT programs can substantially improve the social and behavioral functioning and language abilities of children with ASD. However, among the subdomains, the results were inconsistent. According to the meta-analyses, there were considerable improvements in the social cognition, communication, irritability, and hyperactivity domains, but not in the domains of social awareness, mannerisms, motivation, lethargy, stereotypy, or inappropriate speech. Moreover, there was a lack of sufficient comparative data to conclude that EAAT programs lead to substantial improvements in motor and sensory functioning. In addition, among the included studies, we noted the indicator of whether EAAT programs decreased parental stress and improved family functioning, and although there were four articles in which the researchers considered this aspect, we were unable to draw any conclusions because of the insufficient data and conflicting descriptive evidence. However, we need to consider the improvement in parental mental health as a factor in the effectiveness of this complementary intervention. We hope that in future studies, researchers will focus on family functioning and conduct more randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with blinded assessments using different scales and measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Autism in Children)
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