February Digest

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National News

Following Sundance Win, Autism Documentary To Hit Theaters
DisabilityScoop – A documentary focusing on the coming-of-age story of a boy on the spectrum is headed to theaters later this year after picking up an award at the acclaimed Sundance Film Festival.

Should All Babies Be Screened for Autism?
Time – The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a group of experts tasked by the federal government to review medical studies and provide recommendations for the public, said in a statement in JAMA that there is not enough evidence to recommend all infants be screened for the developmental disorder.

16 People With Autism Describe Why Eye Contact Can Be Difficult
Yahoo Health – For some people on the autism spectrum, making eye contact can be a stressful, distracting and sensory-taxing experience. Far too often, though, outsiders view avoiding eye contact as “rude” or “antisocial,” when this isn’t the case at all.

Stevie Wonder Highlights Accessibility Concerns At Grammys
DisabilityScoop – While presenting at the Grammys, Stevie Wonder took the opportunity to call attention to the needs of people with disabilities.

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Research

Autism Behavior Problems May Be Linked To Poor Sleep
DisabilityScoop – Kids on the spectrum who didn’t sleep well at night displayed more aggression, irritability and had greater difficulty paying attention during the day, according to findings published online recently in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Researchers Say Regression in Autism Common, Variable, Maybe Universal
AutismSpeaks – NIH scientific workshop focuses on understanding the brain changes behind regression, or loss of skills, in young children with autism.

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Technology

Students Raising Money to Buy Autistic Students iPads
Hartford Courant – When the 25 seniors in Chris Sparks and Todd Szwed’s Human Rights and Law class got an assignment to design and implement a project to better a community, the choice was simple.

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Education

Obama Administration Aims To Curb Disparities In Special Ed
DisabilityScoop – Federal education officials want states to take action to ensure that minority students aren’t overrepresented in special education.

Special-Education Groups Say California Alarmed Parents About Data Transfer
The Sacramento Bee – Special-education nonprofits allege that state officials inappropriately alarmed parents across California by using “incomplete or misleading messages” in telling them that sensitive records for 10 million current and former students will be disclosed.

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Teens & Adults

Once A Pipe Dream, Disability Community Nearing Completion
DisabilityScoop – Merely a pipe dream for the past 18 years, The Villages at Noah’s Landing is nearing completion.

Living with autism and having a wife that shows you unconditional love
Autism Speaks – This past December 7th marked the 74th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and also my wife Kristen’s and my 3rd wedding anniversary. When I guest speak on autism, I like to joke, “My wedding anniversary is December 7th, and due to autism, I came into my new family like a kamikaze—a blazing whirlwind of fire.”

If You Watch Just One ‘Promposal’ Video This Year, This Has To Be It
The Buzz – If you’re looking to have your faith in humanity restored or just need a feel-good story to get you through the week, allow me to introduce you to 17-year-old Mikal Bartosik.

January Digest, 2 of 2

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National News

Autism’s First-Ever Patient, Now 82, ‘Has Continued to Grow His Whole Life’
People – Donald graduated from high school and college, learned to drive at 27 and has worked at the bank his family owns. He is also a world traveler.

Bill Would Expand Access To Community Living
DisabilityScoop – At present, it’s often far easier for people with disabilities to receive institutional care than community-based supports, but proposed legislation would ensure equal access to both.

After The Diagnosis: How Families Experience Autism
NPR – Raising kids is rewarding and raising kids is hard. That work is compounded when you have a child with autism. And each of these families experiences the disorder differently.

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Research

Newly Identified Gene May Link to Autism and Other Neuro Disorders
GEN News – Researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia identified a gene that looks like it plays a role in raising a person’s risk of having more severe subtypes of autism that co-occur with other genetic diseases.

Vitamin B12 levels low in brains affected by autism or schizophrenia
AutismSpeaks – Decrease may stem from oxidative stress and cause some autism symptoms, researchers speculate in study made possible by postmortem brain donation

Genetically Modified Monkeys Might Aid Autism Research
U.S. News & Wold Reports – Chinese scientists report they’ve created monkeys that carry a gene linked to autism-like behaviors.

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Technology

Tech Giant Taps Into Unique And Powerful Talent Pool
Forbes – Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

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Education

Feds Boost Spending On Special Ed, Disability Programs
DisabilityScoop – With funding gains for special education, housing and other disability programs, advocates say the federal government’s latest budget is a step in the right direction.

Graduation Rates Lagging For Students With Disabilities
DisabilityScoop – As the nation sees record-setting high school graduation rates, a new report finds that students with disabilities are struggling to keep up.

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Teens & Adults

Teen Earns National Recognition as Autism Activist
Autism Speaks – “It is great to get the recognition, and I hope it encourages others to get involved in their communities,” Jackman said.

Autism Family Drama Coming To TV
DisabilityScoop – Described as “thought-provoking and lighthearted,” the show focuses on 5-year-old Joe, who is newly-diagnosed on the spectrum, and his parents Paul and Alison who are struggling with different child-rearing approaches.