July Digest

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National News

My Autism Allows Me to See the World in a Different Way
Time – Naoki Higashida is the Japanese author of The Reason I Jump and now Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8. Here, he describes what it’s like to be a person with nonverbal autism.

Regional autism rates point to impact of awareness, training
Spectrum – Children’s odds of getting an autism diagnosis depend on where they live in the United States, according to a new study

Possible Early Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
MedicalXpress – Measuring a set of proteins in the blood may enable earlier diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study from the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Do Fidget Spinners Really Help People With Autism And ADHD?
HuffPost – As they’ve been trending, fidget spinners have frequently made the news, and not in a good way.

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Research

Oxytocin spray boosts social skills in children with autism
Spectrum – Treatment with the hormone oxytocin improves social skills in some children with autism, suggest results from a small clinical trial. The results appeared today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Study of How We Look at Faces May Offer Insight Into Autism
New York Times – How we look at other people’s faces is strongly influenced by our genes, scientists have found in new research that may be especially important for understanding autism because it suggests that people are born with neurological differences that affect how they develop socially.

Twin tots reveal autism traits arise mostly from genes
Spectrum – Genes are bigger contributors to autism features than are environmental factors, according to a study of nearly 39,000 twins.

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Education

Why model autism programs are rare in public schools
Spectrum – There’s no single way to teach children with autism. Regardless of which method a school adopts, though, it’s no mystery what helps them to thrive.

Program at WMU helping students with autism prepare for life on campus
WWMT – A program, now in its second year, at Western Michigan University is helping to prepare students with autism for life on a college campus. The Summer Transition Program places high school students in dorms for the summer, and they even take college courses.

Technology

Electronic Devices Help Nonverbal Kids Find Their Voice
DisabilityScoop – Selah grabs a bright pink iPad programmed with more than 3,000 words and matching pictures, including a skunk for a fun kid word like “fart.”

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Teens & Adults

‘I’m An Autistic Adult—Here’s What I Want You To Know’
WomensHealth – Three women share how they learned to live (and thrive) with autism.

Fight Over Institution Divides Families
DisabilityScoop – In a Fircrest activity room where Sargent meets with a speech pathologist, he settled down as his dad, Denny Sargent, held out a blue board bearing the letters of the alphabet. Sargent sat down and began to spell, his dad articulating the words. “I am happy here.”

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