260,625 research outputs found

    Overcoming data scarcity of Twitter: using tweets as bootstrap with application to autism-related topic content analysis

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    Notwithstanding recent work which has demonstrated the potential of using Twitter messages for content-specific data mining and analysis, the depth of such analysis is inherently limited by the scarcity of data imposed by the 140 character tweet limit. In this paper we describe a novel approach for targeted knowledge exploration which uses tweet content analysis as a preliminary step. This step is used to bootstrap more sophisticated data collection from directly related but much richer content sources. In particular we demonstrate that valuable information can be collected by following URLs included in tweets. We automatically extract content from the corresponding web pages and treating each web page as a document linked to the original tweet show how a temporal topic model based on a hierarchical Dirichlet process can be used to track the evolution of a complex topic structure of a Twitter community. Using autism-related tweets we demonstrate that our method is capable of capturing a much more meaningful picture of information exchange than user-chosen hashtags.Comment: IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, 201

    A Qualitative Study of the Effects of the University of Arkansas Autism Support Program

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    Abstract Individuals who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder are often united by the following characteristics: difficulty communicating and interacting with others, inhibited ability to function socially, difficulty functioning academically or at work, and trouble transitioning to independent lifestyles (Lord, 2013). The purpose of this study was to determine how undergraduate students with Autism Spectrum Disorder perceive the helpfulness of the University of Arkansas Autism Support Program in the following areas: reducing college- related stress, facilitating academic success, facilitating social success, and preparing individuals for independent adult roles. In short, the study sought to determine the effects of the University of Arkansas Autism Support Program on participating undergraduate students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Data was collected via a paper and pencil questionnaire and an oral interview for undergraduate members of the University of Arkansas Autism Support Program to complete. The results of this study are beneficial to any individual who has a connection to autism in academia (i.e. students with autism spectrum disorders, autism support program employees, peers, professors, researchers, family members, etc.) and provides useful qualitative data on the strengths and weaknesses of one of many college-level autism support programs through the eyes of participating students

    Social conformity and autism spectrum disorder : a child-friendly take on a classic study

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    Perhaps surprisingly, given the importance of conformity as a theoretical construct in social psychology and the profound implications autism has for social function, little research has been done on whether autism is associated with the propensity to conform to a social majority. This study is a modern, child-friendly implementation of the classic Asch conformity studies. The performance of 15 children with autism was compared to that of 15 typically developing children on a line judgement task. Children were matched for age, gender and numeracy and literacy ability. In each trial, the child had to say which of three lines a comparison line matched in length. On some trials, children were misled as to what most people thought the answer was. Children with autism were much less likely to conform in the misleading condition than typically developing children. This finding was replicated using a continuous measure of autism traits, the Autism Quotient questionnaire, which showed that autism traits negatively correlated with likelihood to conform in the typically developing group. This study demonstrates the resistance of children with autism to social pressure

    Social Difficulties in Youth with Autism With and Without Anxiety and ADHD Symptoms

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    Social difficulties inherent to autism spectrum disorder are often linked with co‐occurring symptoms of anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The present study sought to examine the relation between such co‐occurring symptoms and social challenges. Parents of adolescents with autism (N = 113) reported upon social challenges via the social responsiveness scale (SRS) and anxiety and ADHD symptomatology via the Child Behavior Checklist. Results revealed differences in SRS scores across co‐occurring symptom subgroups (Anxiety, ADHD, Both, Neither)—namely, adolescents with autism and anxiety as well as those with autism, anxiety, and ADHD showed greater scores on the SRS than the other groups. Implications for research and clinical practice are discussed and recommendations are offered. Lay Summary Anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms are related to greater social challenges for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. The present study found that autism with anxiety and autism with anxiety and ADHD, was related to greater social difficulties than autism alone. Findings provide further support for the intertwined nature of anxiety and ADHD symptoms in autism. What this may mean for research and clinical practice is considered and recommendations are suggested

    Social Difficulties in Youth with Autism With and Without Anxiety and ADHD Symptoms

    Get PDF
    Social difficulties inherent to autism spectrum disorder are often linked with co‐occurring symptoms of anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The present study sought to examine the relation between such co‐occurring symptoms and social challenges. Parents of adolescents with autism (N = 113) reported upon social challenges via the social responsiveness scale (SRS) and anxiety and ADHD symptomatology via the Child Behavior Checklist. Results revealed differences in SRS scores across co‐occurring symptom subgroups (Anxiety, ADHD, Both, Neither)—namely, adolescents with autism and anxiety as well as those with autism, anxiety, and ADHD showed greater scores on the SRS than the other groups. Implications for research and clinical practice are discussed and recommendations are offered. Lay Summary Anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms are related to greater social challenges for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. The present study found that autism with anxiety and autism with anxiety and ADHD, was related to greater social difficulties than autism alone. Findings provide further support for the intertwined nature of anxiety and ADHD symptoms in autism. What this may mean for research and clinical practice is considered and recommendations are suggested

    Transitioning to adulthood: autism and biological citizenship

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    The concept of 'Biological Citizens' is one that has increased in popularity in recent literature. Several considerations have been made of it in relation to enhancing our understandings of disability and impairment (Hughes, 2009), specific labels such as bi-polar affective disorder (Rose and Novas, 2005) and autism (Orsini, 2009). In this paper we further explore the concept of 'Biological Citizens' and extend considerations of it to our understandings of autism. We draw on online discussion list exchanges by people with autism, parents of people with autism and professionals working with people with autism in exploring the crafting of communities based on biological and neurological differences. The concept of neurological difference has been a long standing issue for autistic advocates, who frequently draw on neurology as a way of warranting difference between people with autism and ‘neurological typicals’. In doing so clear arguments are presented which serve to position autism as a difference rather than a deficit. In this paper we seek to further explore the concept of biological citizenship for these online groups and what identification with this may mean for young people with autism transitioning to adulthood

    Reduced neural sensitivity to social stimuli in infants at risk for autism

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    In the hope of discovering early markers of autism, attention has recently turned to the study of infants at risk owing to being the younger siblings of children with autism. Because the condition is highly heritable, later-born siblings of diagnosed children are at substantially higher risk for developing autism or the broader autism phenotype than the general population. Currently, there are no strong predictors of autism in early infancy and diagnosis is not reliable until around 3 years of age. Because indicators of brain functioning may be sensitive predictors, and atypical social interactions are characteristic of the syndrome, we examined whether temporal lobe specialization for processing visual and auditory social stimuli during infancy differs in infants at risk. In a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study, infants aged 4–6 months at risk for autism showed less selective neural responses to social stimuli (auditory and visual) than low-risk controls. These group differences could not be attributed to overall levels of attention, developmental stage or chronological age. Our results provide the first demonstration of specific differences in localizable brain function within the first 6 months of life in a group of infants at risk for autism. Further, these differences closely resemble known patterns of neural atypicality in children and adults with autism. Future work will determine whether these differences in infant neural responses to social stimuli predict either later autism or the broader autism phenotype frequently seen in unaffected family members

    Exaggerated CpH methylation in the autism-affected brain.

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    BackgroundThe etiology of autism, a complex, heritable, neurodevelopmental disorder, remains largely unexplained. Given the unexplained risk and recent evidence supporting a role for epigenetic mechanisms in the development of autism, we explored the role of CpG and CpH (H = A, C, or T) methylation within the autism-affected cortical brain tissue.MethodsReduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) was completed, and analysis was carried out in 63 post-mortem cortical brain samples (Brodmann area 19) from 29 autism-affected and 34 control individuals. Analyses to identify single sites that were differentially methylated and to identify any global methylation alterations at either CpG or CpH sites throughout the genome were carried out.ResultsWe report that while no individual site or region of methylation was significantly associated with autism after multi-test correction, methylated CpH dinucleotides were markedly enriched in autism-affected brains (~2-fold enrichment at p < 0.05 cutoff, p = 0.002).ConclusionsThese results further implicate epigenetic alterations in pathobiological mechanisms that underlie autism
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