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Social skills in autism 'improved when patients choose own activities'

Wednesday 2nd March 2011
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Individuals with autism benefit communicatively and socially if left to choose their own recreational activities, research has shown.

A group of international researchers has claimed that when allowed to choose their own pastimes, people with autism not only enjoy their recreation time more, but show a marked improvement in communication and social skills.

Professor John Dattilo, of Penn State, pointed out that for the majority of people, leisure time is tailored to be something they enjoy.

"But for some people with disabilities, particularly those who have autism, these activities can be a source of frustration, simply because they didn't have a chance to make their own leisure choices," he explained.

In other news, research published in the Journal of Neurochemistry has shown that brain chemical serotonin could be involved in around 30 per cent of autism cases.

Researchers demonstrated how mice treated with a medication known as buspirone exhibited improved social behaviour.

Written by Angela Newbury
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