May Digest

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National News

State Insurance Mandates For Autism Treatment Fall Short
NPR – Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books requiring health insurers to cover autism treatments. But research evaluating these insurance mandates suggests the efforts are failing to help many children get needed therapy.

Oklahoma Advocates Celebrate Passage of Autism Insurance Reform
Autism Speaks – Advocates from across the state celebrated a victory yesterday as the Oklahoma State House of Representatives gave final approval to HB 2962, autism insurance reform.

Training Program for Those With Autism Often Results in Low-Paying Jobs
U.S. News & World Report – While a U.S. government-funded job training program for people with autism has a high success rate, many who get jobs earn well below the federal poverty line, a new study finds.

Non-Verbal 2-Year-Old Boy with Autism Falls in Love with Snow White
People – “He’s always been extremely happy, but when it comes to other people, he’s just very shy,” Coley explained to Inside Edition. “If he’s scared of someone he cries. But otherwise, if he doesn’t know someone, he ignores them.”

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Research

Sibling Bonds Inspire Next Generation of Autism Researchers
Spectrum – You don’t need to know someone with autism to become a successful autism researcher, but it can certainly serve as a powerful motivator.

Concerns About Folate Causing Autism Are Premature
The Atlantic – Yesterday morning, the Johns Hopkins University department of Media and Public Relations released information that, as intended, created news.

Long Autism Genes May Fracture When Cells Divide
Spectrum – Many of the genes implicated in autism are unusually long — a feature that leaves them susceptible to breaking during cell division, a new study finds. These genes may be ‘hot spots’ for mutations that crop up in patches of the brain.

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Education

Number of U.S. Students in Special Education Ticks Upward
Education Week – After years of steady decline, the nationwide count of school-age students covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has shown an upswing since the 2011-12 school year based on the most recently available federal data, driven by rapid growth in such disability categories as autism.

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Teens & Adults

Peer Mentors Help Kids With Autism Learn Social Graces
DisabilityScoop – At first look, it’s hard to tell who in the peer mentoring program has autism and who is in regular education at Belleville’s Westhaven Elementary school.

Autistic Man Uses iPhone To Help Save Child’s Life
Opposing Views – An autistic man who cannot speak is being lauded as a hero after he helped save a baby’s life.

April Digest, 2 of 2

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National News

FDA Moves To Ban Shock Devices Used On Those With Special Needs
DisabilityScoop – The Food and Drug Administration is moving forward with plans to ban devices used to administer electric shocks to those with developmental disabilities in an effort to modify their behavior.

Autism Research Puts Limited Focus On Services, Lifespan Issues
DisabilityScoop – A new federal report finds that fewer dollars are going toward studying services and the needs of those on the spectrum as they age.

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Research

Researchers Launch Largest Autism Study: Here’s How You Can Participate
Tech Times – The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) launched the Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge (SPARK) today, an online campaign that will lead to the largest autism study in the United States.

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Technology

Kids with autism build life skills in Minecraft:
CNET  – A few years ago, as students started to come into the classroom and talk about this Minecraft game, and they were just engrossed in it. And they were very passionate about it. So we thought as a teaching staff, we need to really look at this game and get a good sense of what it’s about.

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Teens & Adults

What it Feels Like to Live with Undiagnosed Autism
Chatelaine – At 41, Anne Gingras learned she had autism, a neurological condition that can be detected in children as young as two. Now, four years later, she has a new understanding of herself and her past.