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This paper reports on an ongoing project between members of the computer science and special education departments of Bradley University and Murray State University, detailing the robotic platforms developed and investigated as a potential tool to improve social interactions among individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Development of a fourth generation robotic agent is described, which uses economically available robotic platforms (Lego NXT) as Socially Assistive Robotics (SAR), combined with direct instruction pedagogy and social scripts to support an alternative educational approach to teaching social behavior. Specifically, in this fourth generation, changes to the physical design of the robots were made to improve the maintainability, reliability, maneuverability, and aesthetics of the robots. The software architecture was designed for modularity, configurability, and reusability of the software.

Genetic and Non Genetic Aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Chromosome abnormalities have long been recognized as an important cause of learning disabilities and multiple malformation syndromes. About 0.8% of live born infants have numerical or structural chromosomal anomalies that result in an abnormal phenotype. Identification of such anomalies is important clinically and also for accurate genetic counseling. Recently, molecular cytogenetic and array-based techniques have enabled higher resolution screens for chromosome anomalies. This brief review of the etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) focuses on the heritable and non heritable risk factors that underlie this major neuro-developmental disorder. Since all patients with a chromosomal imbalance are dysmorphic, the association of ASD with a facial dysmorphism seems to be a good indication for chromosomal anomaly screening.

spectrum disorders (ASD) . [Online] Available from: . [Accessed: 15th March 2018].

. Growing up with autism. Working with school-aged children and adolescents. New York: Guilford Press 95–123. Granich J, Lin A, Hunt A, et al. 2016. Obesity and associated factors in youth with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism 20:916–26. Gentry JA, Luiselli JK. 2008. Treating a child’s selective eating through parent implemented feeding intervention in the home setting. J Dev Phys Disabil 20(1):63–70. Grzadzinski R, Huerta M, Lord C. 2014. DSM-5 and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs): an opportunity for identifying ASD subtypes. Molecular Autism 4(12). Guh DP, Zhang W

References: 1. Charman T., Jones C., Pickles A., Simonoff E., Baird G., Happé F. Defining the cognitive phenotype of autism. Brain Res, 2011; 1380:10–21. 2. Georgiades S., Szatmari P., Boyle M., Hanna S., Duku E., Zwaigenbaum L., et al. Investigating phenotypic heterogeneity in children with autism spectrum disorder : a factor mixture modeling approach. J Child Psychol Psychiatry, 2013; 54:206–215. 3. Grzadzinski R., Huerta M., Lord C. DSM-5 and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs): an opportunity for identifying ASD subtypes. Mol. Autism, 2013; 4: 12. 4. DSM-5

autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in primary health care. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2014; 231(6): 1011-21. 4) American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 5th ed. Washington (DC): American Psychiatric Publisher; 2013. 5) Mandell DS, Morales KH, Marcus SC, Stahmer AC, Doshi J, Polsky DE. Psychotropic medication use among Medicaid-enrolled children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics 2008; 121(3): e441-8. 6) Rosenberg RE, Mandell DS, Farmer JE, Law JK, Marvin AR, Law PA. Psychotropic medication use among children with

Introduction Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by persistent impairment in reciprocal social communication and social interaction, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, and with increasing prevalence in recent years [ 1 ]. Prevalence ratio of ASD was stated to be in the range of 0.6 to 2.64% [ 2 - 3 ]. A male predominance was observed and male-to-female ratio was 5 [ 4 ]. There is no accurate etiological factor that causes ASD; however ASD is likely to result from a complex

INTRODUCTION Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by abnormalities in social behaviour, language, communication and behaviour ( Mash & Wolfe, 2013 ; Cohen & Walkmar, 1997 )) and unusual or stereotypical behaviours and interests ( Johnson, Myers, & the Council on Children with Disabilities, 2007 ). Autism is defined as spectrum disorders because its symptoms are observed with many different clusters and degree of severity ( Lord, Cook, Leventhl, & Amaral, 2000 ). Majority of ASD cases even being different on IQ

Introduction The 22q13.3 deletion syndrome, also known as Phelan McDermid Syndrome (PHMDS) (OMIM #606232), is a contiguous gene disorder resulting from deletion of the distal long arm of chromosome 22 [ 1 ]. 22q13.3 deletions and mutations that lead to a loss of a functional copy of SHANK3 (OMIM *606230) cause the syndrome, characterized by moderate-to-profound intellectual disability, severely delayed or absent speech, hypotonia, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or ASD traits [ 2 ]. This syndrome results from a de novo deletion of chromosome 22 in 80

Introduction MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, single-stranded, non coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression of their complementary messenger RNA targets [ 1 , 2 ]. Taking into account, the significance of these regulatory molecules in gene regulation, discovery of dysregulated miRNAs could benefit to clarify the molecular differences of miRNAs serum profiles between the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) subjects and typically developing children (TDC). The prevalence of ASD has increased considerably (from 2-5/10,000 to 1:68 children) during the last two