Saturday, May 5, 2012

Autism Disorder Spectrum Gets a Boost From Artificial Intelligence

Our nation's challenge with autism is real, and it is significant - this is not something we can pretend away, or hope it will disappear - it won't. Thankfully, there is a large group of folks working to solve this problem. I'd like to take a few minutes to speak to you about all this because it has been a topic of conversation at our think tank for quite a number of years.
Now then, just to give you an example of some of what is being done to get a handle on the enormity of this problem - consider this new innovation. The MedGadget Website has a very cool innovation listed on April 19, 2012 in an article with a nice graphic display titled; "Autworks: A Web-Based Tool to Diagnose Autism," by Jan Sinnige. The article/essay stated;
"In the latest issue of Nature Translational Psychiatry, researchers from the Center for Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School published a new algorithm to detect autism much quicker. They developed a web-based tool to complete these questionnaires and tested the contribution of each survey question individually to diagnose the autism disorder. They found that only seven questions were sufficient for an accurate diagnosis."
Interestingly enough, autism diagnoses have increased drastically and one study indicated that autism occurs now in 1 out of every 88 children, if this is the case, it's beyond epidemic proportions. An article worthy of your consideration on this was written by Shirley S. Wang published on March 20, 2012 titled; "Autism Diagnoses Up Sharply in the US," and as I was discussing this with a local county case worker here specializing in adult autism cases she speculated that the increase was two-fold.
First, there is much more awareness these days, therefore any mental anomalies would be duly noted, plus, there were an increase in cases. Some grad students I spoke with from the University of Riverside had put together a diagnosis matrix, which was helping them identify where on the autism spectrum each student in High School Special Ed was at, thus making it easier to teach to their specific needs since the spectrum is so large.
From high functioning autistic conditions to those which are completely debilitating there are solutions to helping individuals through school and life - able to live on their own and enjoy a fruitful life. We are a strong and powerful nation - we have the will to help those who need it most. We can do this. Think on it.
Lance Winslow has written an eBook for the Autism Community to help in raising funds Future Concepts. Lance is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank.
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