October Digest

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National News

Autism Finds a Friend on Sesame Street
USA Today – A series of new videos from Sesame Street star a Muppet with a magic wand, pink wings and friends with autism.

Following Hiatus, Federal Autism Panel Returns
DisabilityScoop – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said this week that the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee will meet Nov. 17 with new faces comprising more than half of the 15-member panel.

The Myth of the ‘Autistic Shooter’
The New York Times – INEXPLICABLE violence is the hardest kind to accept. The human wish to insert logic where there is none often drives bystanders to psychic violence of their own.

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Research

Study Suggests Autism Is Being Overdiagnosed
NBC News – Autism may be overdiagnosed in as many as 9 percent of children, U.S. government researchers reported Friday.

Parents Say Essential Oils Help Children With Autism Sleep, But Is There Proof?
U.S. News & World Report – Essential oils are said to help kids with autism remain calmer during transition periods and even sleep more soundly. A new study tests whether they’re safe and effective.

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Technology

How Autism Apps Help Kids on the Spectrum
MedicalXpress – While technology has always held promise as a therapeutic tool, the customization and personalization of the latest apps are helping children with autism learn to communicate, socialize and master routines in new ways.

Google Glass Could Provide Job Training For Students With Autism, NIU Professors Find
ChicogoInno – While Google Glass might be more known for angry confrontations in San Francisco bars and debates over driving with the device, two professors in DeKalb, Ill. have been quietly experimenting with how Glass could be used to help a marginalized population: students with autism.

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Education

Special Ed Teacher Quits: ‘I just cannot justify making students cry anymore’
Washington Post – I consider it baffling that telling parents the truth about the harm being done to their children in the public education system is considered an ethical violation of my teaching license, but making their children cry and hate school is not.

Increased Flexibility Urged For Special Ed Funding
DisabilityScoop – A strict requirement that schools keep up their spending on special education year to year may have unintended consequences, federal investigators say.

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Teens & Adults

Young Adults with Autism Work on Building Social Skills — and Dating
Los Angeles Times – Standing in front of a conference room table on the UCLA campus, Albert Miranda fixes a wide smile on his face and stares at Elina Veytsman, giving her the once-over. Elina fidgets, growing increasingly unnerved.

How To Dance in Ohio: Inside the Documentary That Follows Three Girls with Autism as They Prepare for Prom
People – While formal dances can be a source of anxiety for many teens – questions abound from what to wear to whom to bring – they can be particularly daunting for individuals on the autism spectrum.