February Digest 1 of 2

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National News

Vice President Joe Biden Hosts ABLE Act Ceremony
Autism Speaks – Vice President Biden hosted an event at the White House with Members of Congress to highlight the benefits and achievements of the ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act.

Hope for Autism Help: Georgia Lawmaker, Supporters Hope 7th Time Will Be the Charm for Bill
Times Free Press – A drop of water slips from the spout of a sink, falls through inches of air and crashes onto a toddler’s palm. Then, the course of a day changes.

Autism Insurance Proposals Advancing in Miss. Legislature
WRAL.com –  Mississippi lawmakers are pushing bills that would require insurance companies to offer coverage for autism screening, diagnosis and treatment on health plans sold in the state.

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Research

Autism Gene Guides Early Neuron Development
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – The autism-linked gene ANKRD11 helps to package DNA in the nucleus and plays a critical role in the early growth and positioning of neurons, according to a study published 12 January in Developmental Cell.

Autism and Pica: Study Shows Behavioral Intervention Can Reduce Danger
Autism Speaks – A review of autism treatment records identifies behavioral strategies that reduce tendency to eat dangerous nonfood items.

Mouse Study Bolsters Case for Oxytocin in Autism
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – A new study, published 21 January in Science Translational Medicine, bolsters the case for the so-called ‘trust hormone’ as an autism therapy, finding that it eases social deficits in a mouse model of the disorder.

Symptoms in Children With Autism follow Diverse Paths
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – Within months of being diagnosed with autism, preschoolers with the disorder may already be on distinct trajectories, according to a study published 28 January in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Technology

Uncovering Security Flaws in Digital Education Products for Schoolchildren
The New York Times – When Tony Porterfield’s two sons came home from elementary school with an assignment to use a reading assessment site called Raz-Kids.com, he was curious, as a parent, to see how it worked. 

Wearable Censors Cim to Capture Autism in Action
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – Wearable devices can now measure everything from steps walked to calories burned and even how peacefully a person sleeps.

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Education

Obama Budget Calls For Boost To Disability Programs
DisabilityScoop – President Barack Obama wants Congress to halt planned cuts under sequestration and increase funding for special education and other programs for people with disabilities.

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Teens & Adults

Advice to Parents from a Young Adult with Autism
AST Blog – I have 27 years of experience with Autism, because I was born with it. To be able to truly help others with Autism, you have to be able to understand where the Autistic people you are trying to help – are coming from and their point of view.

How a Family Car Wash Has Changed the Lives of People With Autism
ABC News – “We wanted to build … an example big and bold and out there that other companies could go ahead and want to emulate,” Andrew’s brother Tom D’Eri.

Ohio Teen With Autism Achieves Dream of Playing Basketball
ABC News – “I’m speechless.” That’s what Dargan Bristow, 16, said to his grandmother when his high school basketball coach put him in to play during Tuesday night’s game.