December Digest

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National News

In San Bernardino, The Disabled Are Left Without Their ‘Extended Family’
NPR – The investigation into Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., is impacting the lives of tens of thousands of people with developmental disabilities.

Autism Speaks Welcomes Three New Board Members
Autism Speaks – Autism Speaks announced the election of three new members of its Board. They are: Valerie Paradiz, PhD, Jamie T. Richardson, and Stephen Shore, Ed.D.

Mall Santa Goes Extra Mile for Boy with Autism: ‘They just bonded and played’
Today – Sitting on Santa’s lap can be a horrifying experience for many children, but for someone with autism, it can be excruciating. The crowds, the lines, the lights, the noise.

Tricare to Change Autism Therapy Reimbursement Rates
MilitaryTimes – Tricare is changing its autism therapy reimbursement rates to better align them with commercial insurance rates and Medicaid, Defense Department officials said Tuesday.

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Research

Top 10 Autism Research Stories of 2015
Autism Speaks – Our understanding of autism deepened and broadened in 2015, with scientific publications on an unprecedented number of advances and discoveries.

Maternal Exposure to Anti-Depressant SSRIs Linked to Autism in Children
The Washington Post – A new study provides some of the strongest evidence yet that using an antidepressant like Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft during the final two trimesters of pregnancy may be linked to a higher risk of autism spectrum disorder for the child, but researchers said the results should be interpreted with caution.

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Technology

Experts Pick the 21 Best Apps for Autism
EschoolNews – Recently, we asked the experts at Common Sense Graphite, a national nonprofit, to curate their best apps for working with students on the autism spectrum. Here is what they came up with:

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Education

2015: A Year of ABLE Momentum
Autism Speaks – One year ago this month, advocates across the country celebrated a victory eight years in the making when President Obama signed the Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014. The ABLE Act is built on the foundation of the current 529 education savings plans that help families save for college.

Pediatricians Told To Bone Up On IDEA
DisabilityScoop – In a clinical report published this month in the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that doctors have a significant role to play in ensuring that children with disabilities get the services they need from schools.

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Teens & Adults

PBS To Air Autism Documentary
DisabilityScoop – A documentary focusing on how people with autism experience love and manage romantic relationships is set to appear on PBS. “Autism in Love” will air on the network’s “Independent Lens” series in January.