High risk of early onset dementia in people with Down’s Syndrome
Kids with autism less active than peers, but just as fit
|Credit: Chicago’s North Shore on Flickr|
Researchers at Oregon State University measured the physical activity and fitness levels of 29 children. Seventeen of the children had autism spectrum disorder and 12 did not. The children’s movements were calculated using accelerometers. Their fitness levels were measured using testing commonly used in schools.
Researchers found that the children with autism were more sedentary than those without the disorder. However, the children with autism’s fitness levels were comparable to their peers in all areas except strength.
The study, “Physical Activity and Physical Fitness of School-Aged Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders” is published in the journal Autism Research and Treatment.
Study shows need for early diagnosis of ADHD
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) negatively affects young children’s school performance and social skills according to a study from the Children’s Attention Project in Australia. Researchers studied 400 children ages 6 to 8. As part of the research, the children were screened for ADHD. One hundred seventy-nine children had ADHD and the rest did not.
The children with ADHD performed worse than their peers on all “functional domains” including mental health, academic performance and peer problems.
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“Already at this stage, which is relatively young, it’s very clear the children have important functional problems in every domain we registered,” said study lead author Dr. Daryl Efron. “On every measure, we found the kids with ADHD were performing far poorer than the control children.”
In addition, although the children met the screening criteria for ADHD, 80 percent had not been diagnosed with the disorder. Dr. David Fassler, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont College of Medicine called this finding “striking.”
“I fully agree with the authors’ conclusion that the results of the study underscore the need for earlier recognition and treatment of ADHD in young children,” Fassler said.
The study “Functional Status in Children With ADHD at Age 6–8: A Controlled Community Study” is published in the journal Pediatrics.