Saturday December 14, 2019

Kids with Autism More Likely to Be Bullied by Both Their Siblings and Their Peers

Children with autism experience difficulties with social interaction and communication, which may have implications

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The study, published in the journal Autism and Developmental Disorders, also found that children with autism are more likely to be both the victims and perpetrators of sibling bullying compared to those without autism. Pixabay

Parents, please take note. Kids with autism are more likely to be bullied by both their siblings and their peers, meaning that when they return from school, they have no respite from victimisation, warn researchers.

The study, published in the journal Autism and Developmental Disorders, also found that children with autism are more likely to be both the victims and perpetrators of sibling bullying compared to those without autism.

“Children with autism experience difficulties with social interaction and communication, which may have implications for their relationships with siblings,” said study lead author Umar Toseeb from the University of York.

“From an evolutionary perspective, siblings may be considered competitors for parental resources such as affection, attention and material goods – children with autism might get priority access to these limited parental resources leading to conflict and bullying between siblings,” he said.

Kids, Autism, Bullied
Kids with autism are more likely to be bullied by both their siblings and their peers, meaning that when they return from school, they have no respite from victimisation, warn researchers. Pixabay

The researchers used data of over 8,000 children, more than 231 of which had autism, to investigate sibling bullying.

For the findings, the children were asked questions about how often they were picked on or hurt on purpose by their siblings and peers and how often they were the perpetrators of such acts.

The study revealed that, at the age of 11 years, two thirds of children with autism reported being involved in some form of sibling bullying.

While there was a decrease in bullying for children in both groups by the time they reached the age of 14 years, children with autism were still more likely to be involved in two-way sibling bullying, as a victim and a perpetrator.

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According to the researchers, children involved in sibling bullying, irrespective of whether they had autism or not, were more likely to experience emotional and behavioural difficulties both in the long- and short-term. (IANS)

Next Story

Genetic Alteration Can Increase Risk of Developing Autism and Tourette’s Syndrome

Some researchers also found that the ability of the Thalamic brain regions to communicate with other brain areas was impaired by the genetic deletion

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Genetic deletion disrupts a brain area known as the Thalamus, compromising its ability to communicate with other brain areas. Pixabay

Researchers have discovered how a Genetic Alteration that increases the risk of developing Autism and Tourette’s impairs brain communication.

People with a genetic deletion known as chromosome 2p16.3 deletion often experience developmental delay and have learning difficulties.

They are also around 15 times more likely to develop Autism and 20 times more likely to develop Tourette’s Syndrome, but the mechanisms involved are not completely understood.

Using brain imaging studies, neuroscientists showed that deletion of the gene impacted by 2p16.3 deletion (Neurexin1) have impacts on the function of brain regions involved in both conditions.

This genetic deletion disrupts a brain area known as the Thalamus, compromising its ability to communicate with other brain areas, said the study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

“We currently have a very poor understanding of how the 2p16.3 deletion dramatically increases the risk of developing these disorders,” said lead researcher Neil Dawson of Lancaster University in Britain.

“However, we know that the 2p16.3 deletion involves deletion of the Neurexin1 gene, a gene that makes a protein responsible for allowing neurons to communicate effectively,” Dawson said.

Deletion of the Neurexin1 gene affects brain areas involved in Autism and Tourette’s including the Thalamus, a collection of brain regions that play a key role in helping other brain areas communicate with each other.

Autism
Researchers have discovered how a Genetic Alteration that increases the risk of developing Autism and Tourette’s impairs brain communication. Pixabay

Changes were also found in brain regions involved in processing sensory information and in learning and memory.

Importantly, the researchers also found that the ability of the Thalamic brain regions to communicate with other brain areas was impaired by the genetic deletion.

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They then tested the ability of a low dose of the drug Ketamine, which is used clinically at higher doses as an anesthetic, to normalise the alterations in brain function induced by genetic deletion.

“Intriguingly our data suggest that Ketamine can restore some aspects of the brain dysfunction that results from 2p16.3 deletion and suggests that ketamine, or other related drugs, may be useful in treating some of the symptoms seen in autism and Tourette’s,” Dawson said. (IANS)