December Digest

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National News

Ohio Becomes the 45th State to Pass Autism Insurance Reform
Autism Speaks – On the final night of a two-year session, the Ohio legislature passed HB 463, which included a provision that will bring autism insurance coverage to thousands of Ohio families impacted by autism.

Autism Tracking Device Bill Clears House
DisabilityScoop – Legislation that would provide tracking devices and resources to help kids with autism and other developmental disabilities at risk of wandering is one step closer to becoming federal law.

Target to Host Quiet Holiday Shopping Event for Those on the Autism Spectrum
The Mighty – Good news, Target fans. Holiday shopping at Target is about to get a lot less stressful thanks to a quiet shopping event designed for families on the autism spectrum.

10 Holiday Tips for Families of Kids With Special Health Needs
CBS News – Children with mental health issues or developmental and physical challenges such as autism, ADHD, sensory issues, depression and anxiety may need extra help managing the festivities of the season.

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Research

Autism Features Common in People with Rare Genetic Syndrome
Spectrum – Most people with Sotos syndrome show signs of autism, according to the largest-yet study of people with the rare genetic condition.

Autism’s Link to Flu During Pregnancy May Be a Fluke
Spectrum – Women who come down with influenza while pregnant are no more likely than those without the infection to have a child with autism, according to a study of nearly 200,000 mother-child pairs.

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Education

Feds Target Disparities In Special Education
DisabilityScoop – With a new rule, the Obama administration is looking to make sure that minority students aren’t overrepresented in special education.

Understanding Autism Research & How to Use it to Advocate for Your Child
All Autism Videos – AST Speaker Series presented by Dr. Hanna Rue (video).

FAPE Case Draws Flurry Of Attention
DisabilityScoop – As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to consider how much educational benefit schools must provide students with disabilities, everyone from lawmakers to states and advocates are weighing in.

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Teens & Adults

Meet the Musicians With Autism Who Are Tackling the Music Industry
The Mighty – A band compromised of Autistic members in London is making a big splash in the entertainment scene.

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November Digest

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National News

Ford Expands Autism Hiring Initiative
DisabilityScoop – Just months after launching a pilot program aimed at hiring people on the spectrum, a major American automaker is looking to ramp up the effort.

Presidential Proclamation — National Family Caregivers Month, 2016
The White House – This month, and every month, let us lift up all those who work to tirelessly advance the health and wellness of those they love.

Sensory-Friendly Santa 2016
Autism Speaks – Ho Ho Ho! Autism Speaks is thrilled to be partnering with the Noerr Programs Corporation again this year on their Sensory-Friendly Santa programs.

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Research

Genes, Immune Exposure Collude to Up Autism Risk
Spectrum – The interplay between a mouse’s immune system and certain mutations in her pups may increase autism-like features in the pups. That’s the upshot from several studies presented at the 2016 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

Support Helps Some Children with Autism Socialize at School
Spectrum – Social difficulties are a core feature of autism — but under the right circumstances, some children on the spectrum can be socially successful at school.

Automated Detection of Early Autism May Improve Outcomes
PsychCentral – Presently, there is no medical test to diagnose autism spectrum disorder. The disorder is usually diagnosed around 36 months based on behavior although sometimes the diagnosis occurs later in life.

Imaging Study Hints at Compensation in Verbal Teens with Autism
Spectrum – Adolescents with autism who have good verbal skills show enhanced structural connections in brain regions involved in processing and integrating sounds.

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Education

Plan for Greater College Costs for Students with Learning Disabilities
U.S. News & World Report – Students with learning disabilities or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often need different support systems at college, and those extra services usually come at price.

Technology

App Screens For Autism With 94 Percent Accuracy, Researchers Say
DisabilityScoop – A smartphone app could dramatically speed up the process of screening children for autism, potentially offering feedback in less than a minute.

Microsoft launches Minecraft: Education Edition for schools
The Verge – Microsoft wants kids playing Minecraft in class, and it’s hoping that schools will not just let them, but support them. It’s launching a version of Minecraft today called Minecraft: Education Edition.

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Teens & Adults

16-Year-Old with Autism Hits FG to Hand Calif. School League Title
High School Sports – Alec Messing had to get special dispensation just to compete in high school football. Now, he’s reponsible for handing San Fernando a Mission Valley League title.

Along the Autism Spectrum, a Path Through Campus Life
The New York Times – Crosby J. Gardner has never had a girlfriend. Now 20 and living for the first time in a dorm here at Western Kentucky University, he has designed a fast-track experiment to find her.

Exploring Experiences of Adults With Self-Diagnosed Autism
PsychCentral – About 1.5 percent of U.S. adults — or about 4.8 million people — are believed to have autism spectrum disorder, with many attempting to self-diagnose.

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