August Digest, 1 of 2

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National News

Expert Panel Withholds Support for Early Autism Screening
The New York Times – For years experts have urged physicians to screen infants and toddlers for autism in order to begin treatment as early as possible. But now an influential panel of experts has concluded there is not enough evidence to recommend universal autism screening of young children.

Jon Stewart’s last show helped raise $2.2 million for autism
CNBC – Over $2.2 million was raised for New York Collaborates for Autism (NYCA), after Jon Stewart teamed up with charity fundraising company, Omaze, to raise money through a meet-and-greet raffle.

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Research

Hyperactive protein points to possible autism treatment
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative –  A mutation that boosts the activity of the autism risk gene UBE3A may cause neurons to form too many connections, disrupting brain development.

Control centers for genes rife with autism-linked DNA blips
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – DNA sequences called enhancers — which boost the expression of genes from within or outside them — are enriched for genetic variants linked to autism, suggests a study published 13 July in Nature Neuroscience.

Brain-wave patterns distinguish dup15q syndrome from autism
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – Children with an extra copy of the 15q11-13 chromosomal region, the second most common genetic abnormality in people with autism, have unusually strong brain waves called beta oscillations.

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Technology

How Autistic People Helped Shape the Modern World

Wired – Some people believe we’re in the middle of an autism epidemic. But autism has always been part of the human experience, as journalist (and WIRED contributor) Steve Silberman shows in his new book,NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity.

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Education

Reducing Back to School Anxiety
AST Blog – Getting ready for the new school year can be a hectic and exciting time. For children with autism (and their parents), all this change can feel overwhelming.

Results are in: School starts too early, autism screening, PTSD and more
CNN – Middle and high school students are starting their school day too early, according to data published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Teens & Adults

Teen with autism first from India to win gold at Special Olympics
Autism Speaks – Golfer Ranveer Singh Saini who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 and started playing golf at 9 has a lot to be proud of these days.

Autistic teen to stream Minecraft marathon for charity 
Entertainment Focus – Minecraft has already been shown to be very popular for those with autism, because it is a game that never ends. One father has now created Autcraft, a closed online Minecraft community just for kids with autism.

Young adults with autism flounder in face of service gaps
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative –  I am the mother of Elijah, a 25-year-old young man on the autism spectrum. When he received his diagnosis at age 4, following two years of terrifying seizures, I was teaching German literature at Bard College in New York.