March Digest

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National News

Feds Name New National Autism Coordinator
DisabilityScoop – The federal government has a new point person for autism-related research, services and supports. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar tapped Ann Wagner this week to be the national autism coordinator.

TSA Cares: Screening Travelers on the Autism Spectrum
TSA – Are you or someone you know on the Autism Spectrum and preparing for a flight? Watch and learn what to expect during airport security screening if you or someone you know have communication, social interaction and/or sensory sensitivities.

Parents Beat Clinicians at Detecting Autism Signs in Infants
Spectrum – Parents who have one child with an autism diagnosis can more accurately spot signs of the condition in their younger child at 12 months of age than clinicians can, according to a new study1. The advantage fades by 18 months of age, however.

Review: In ‘Keep the Change,’ Two People With Autism Find Love
The New York Times – This is a landmark motion picture — a movie about people living with autism in which all of the characters who have autism are portrayed by nonprofessional performers who also have it. The problem with thirtysomething David (Brandon Polansky) is that he doesn’t think he has a condition of any kind.


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Research

Autism Symptoms Rarely Isolated, CDC Researchers Say
DisabilityScoop – Nearly all children with autism are dealing with at least one other condition — and often several — ranging from anxiety to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, sleep, behavioral and gastrointestinal issues, a new study suggests.

Kids With Autism Are Less Likely to Be Vaccinated
Time – Doctors say that there is no scientific evidence suggesting a link between vaccines that infants and young children receive in the first few years of life and the risk of autism, but that has not stopped parents from questioning the connection and in some cases, forgoing vaccinations for their kids.

Studies Pinpoint Key Gene in Region Linked to Autism
Spectrum – A single gene accounts for most of the features seen in people missing a segment of chromosome 15 known as 15q13.3, two new studies suggest.

 

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Education

I’m Worried My Special Needs Child Isn’t Prepared for a School Crisis
Chicago Tribune – The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, started after the fire alarm went off for the second time that day. It’s this detail that I keep thinking about because my son with autism, at his school in Chicago, hates unexpected noises and changes in his routine.

College Students with Autism Have High Rate of Suicidal Thoughts
Yale News – Over the next decade, about 247,000 young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are expected to enroll in universities, colleges, or technical/vocational schools. Because post-secondary education is expected to present new challenges to individuals with ASD, new scholarship is being conducted to assess how ready post-secondary education is to serve a larger population with ASD.

 

Technology

Tech Center’s 3D Autism Project a National Finalist in Samsung ‘Solve for Tomorrow’ Contest
School News Network – For months now, in a digital technology program at Kent Career Tech Center, nearly 40 high schoolers propel themselves into a real-world project in digital design, animation, graphics and game-making — all to help students with autism.

I Created an Education App for My Brother With Autism
The Mighty – My brother was diagnosed with severe autism when he was 2 years old. I was 10 back then. I didn’t know what autism was, but I realized he needed more help of his family compared to others.

 

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Teens & Adults

What Teenagers Can Teach Scientists About Autism
Spectrum – Although experts have focused mainly on early childhood as the primary window for intervention, adolescence represents a second window. But we know far too little about the changes in brain connectivity, structure and function that support optimal social development.

My Teenage Son has Autism. This is How I’m Preparing Him for Adulthood.
Healthline – As any child ages, different challenges begin to present themselves. And while many parents may focus on trying to save for their kids’ college education, Chadd says parents like him have other concerns: “A child with autism typically may not got to college.”

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