The month of April brought a full 30 days of opportunity to renew awareness, highlight concerns, and highlight research advancement for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
ASD is a complex neuro-developmental condition that affects communication and interaction abilities. Typically diagnosed as an infant or toddler, autistic persons have varying degrees of symptoms because of the wide-spectrum of conditions including: severity, age of onset, levels of function, and communication challenges (Autism Society of Canada).
Because there is no known cure for ASD, it is critical that research continues to invest into treatment options as autism prevalence increases.
Using the only hyperbaric chamber in Canada, researchers at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia want to explore the affects of air pressure on autism. Scholars propose that air pressure is correlated to blood circulation in the brain. The community is raising donations to help fund the pilot project.
In Ontario, more than 300,000 youth have autism, ADHD, or other neuro-developmental conditions. Three current novel studies in Ontario academic institutes include:
- At McMaster University, a graduate student investigages the physical elements that may impact the quality of life of youth with Autism and their families.
- At Ryerson University, researchers measure brain activity of youth with Autism in empathy in a music-based behavioural training study.
- At the University of Toronto, scholars examine LGBTQ parents who have children with autism or any other special needs.
The greatest challenge to helping those with Autism is to earn trust. AMT’s prides itself on being able to connect and build trust with ASD children and their families. As Bono once said, “music can change the world because it can change people.”