June Digest, 1 of 2

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National News

Make this Summer Safer with Safety and Wandering Prevention Resources
Autism Speaks – Having a safety plan is always important, especially because incidents of wandering tend to increase when the weather gets warmer and families start to change their routines.

Changes Recommended For Medicaid Managed Care
Disability Scoop – Sweeping proposals published Monday would create profit guidelines for private Medicaid plans as well as new standards for the plans’ doctor and hospital networks and rules to coordinate Medicaid insurance more closely with other coverage.

Boy with Autism Has Unforgettable Field Day Thanks to Thoughtful Classmates
Today.com – During field day at Grandville South Elementary in Grandville, Michigan, Preston won a race for the first time while his 29 classmates cheered him on.

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Research

Study Picks Up Autism Broadcast in Tiny Antennae on Cells
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – Mutations in a section of chromosome 16 that is linked to autism have an unexpected effect: They alter the miniscule, static hairs, called cilia, that adorn the surface of all cells.

Thick Bridge of Nerves May Signal Autism in Infancy
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – The bundle of nerves that bridges the brain’s two hemispheres is abnormally thick in infants who are later diagnosed with autism, according to a study.

Subtle Differences Separate Autism From Fragile X Syndrome
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – Many children with fragile X syndrome have poor social skills and show repetitive behaviors, such as hand flapping. As a result, nearly one-third of them are diagnosed with autism.

Autism Linked to Higher Smog Levels, Study Says
Medical Xpress – The controversial findings echo similar results from a study last winter that found an increased risk of autism among children of women exposed to more smog late in pregnancy.

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Technology

$9 Million Grant to Establish Open-Access Autism Database at Stanford
Stanford Medicine – The Hartwell Autism Research and Technology Initiative, known as iHART, will provide the scientific community with a centralized repository of data to benefit biomedical research on autism and help children affected with the developmental disorder, which hinders social and communication skills.

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Education

To Prevent Wandering, Schools Move Forward With Alarms
DisabilityScoop – The nation’s largest school district says it will install door alarms at nearly every one of its schools in an effort to help protect students with disabilities who are at risk of wandering.

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Teens & Adults

Survey Finds Most With Special Needs ‘Striving To Work
DisabilityScoop – A new, national survey finds that the majority of people with disabilities want to be employed, but they often encounter barriers to work.

Microsoft and Other Big Names in Tech are Actively Hiring Autistic Coders
Mashable – David McNabb graduated from college with a computer science degree in 2001 yet never found a job in his field or any field, failing at interview after interview.

Making My Way To Independence with Nick Brode
All Autism Talk – (Podcast) Nick shares openly about his future dreams for even greater independence and the work he is doing to accomplish his goals.

Ellen, NY Jets Surprise Teenager With Autism on National TV
Autism Speaks – Sarah Kardonsky, a high school girl from Levittown, New York asked Michael Logano, a teenager on the autism spectrum to her school to prom. When she found out that Logano was a huge Jets fan she even got The NY Jets to help ask him to prom.

May Digest, 2 of 2

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National News

Sibling Walks Alongside Twin Brother with Autism at Graduation
AutismSpeaks – Aly Bonville is a recent high school graduate who has a twin brother with autism. She shared her touching story about growing up with her brother, Anders, and how she got him to walk with her at her graduation ceremony.

Takeaways from IMFAR 2015
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – The dramatic backdrop to the 2015 International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) — the mighty Wasatch Range — is the product of 20 million years of hemorrhaging fault lines, volcanic eruptions and the painfully slow march of ice and rock.

How This Barber Helped a Little Boy with Autism Learn to Love Haircuts
Today – Haircuts once sparked meltdowns for 8-year-old Michael Flores, while also creating loads of stress for his mom, Joan. But thanks to one special barber, getting a trim has gone from crisis-inducing to comforting.

China’s Uncounted Children With Autism
The Wall Street Journal – When her son still wasn’t speaking at 26 months old, Li Li Juan brought him to a local hospital near their home in China’s Henan province. She was told he had mild autism.

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Research

Parents’ DNA Tags Tied to Autism Symptoms in Toddlers
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – Women who have unusual patterns of chemical tags on their DNA during pregnancy may give birth to children who develop autism symptoms.

Animals’ Presence May Ease Social Anxiety in Kids with Autism
MedicalXpress – According to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, companion animals—like dogs, cats or the guinea pigs in the study—may prove to be a helpful addition to treatment programs designed to help children with ASDs improve their social skills and interactions with other people.

Mathematical Method May Flag Potential Autism Genes
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – A new mathematical method confidently ranks genes based on their likely impact in a disorder. The approach, described 6 April in the Journal of Computational Biology, may help researchers home in on important autism genes.

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Technology

Autism Conference Gathers Computer Scientists, Clinicians
KSL.com – Medical professionals and computer scientists from more than 40 countries are showcasing their work at the 11th annual International Meeting for Autism Research at the Grand America Hotel this weekend.

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Education

Feds Call For Greater Inclusion In Preschools
DisabilityScoop – 
The Obama administration wants to see more kids with disabilities — no matter how significant — participating in classrooms alongside their typically-developing peers.

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Teens & Adults

How a Danish Company Is Helping People With Autism Get Jobs in IT and Tech
Slate – William Hughes is a marketing intern at Towers Watson. Hughes holds a master’s degree in political science from Stony Brook, which he received in 2013, as well as a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College. He also has autism.

Doctors Largely Unprepared To Treat Adults On The Spectrum
DisabilityScoop – A new survey finds many health care providers admittedly know little about how to care for adults with autism.

Guidance Sought On Rights Of Flyers With Autism
DisabilityScoop – The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue guidance detailing how the Air Carrier Access Act applies to travelers with autism and other special needs.