January Digest

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National News

Trump Exploring Panel On Vaccine Safety
DisabilityScoop – Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has warned of a discredited link between childhood immunizations and the development of autism, has accepted an invitation from President-elect Donald Trump to lead a commission “on vaccine safety and scientific integrity,”

The Best Depictions of Autism in the Arts
Spectrum – We asked people who have autism or a child on the spectrum to share their recommendations for the truest depictions of autism in books and on the screen. Here are their selections.

2016: Year in Review
Spectrum – Featured articles including research, images and quotes from the year.

Much Anticipated “Kevin and Avonte’s Law”, allowing Tracking Devices for Children with Autism is Finally a Reality
AutisMag –  The legislation, that would require respective authorities to provide resources and tracking devices to kids with Autism, is one step closer to becoming a reality and could very soon be a federal law.

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Research

Rare Form of Autism Linked to Lack of Key Nutrient
Spectrum – A mutation that prevents some amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, from entering the brain may lead to autism

Study: Exercise May Cut Behavior Issues In Half
DisabilityScoop – Researchers say there may be a simple way to reduce challenging behaviors during the school day — add in some exercise.

Mutations in ‘Essential Genes’ Tied to Greater Risk for Autism
PsychCentral – Genes known to be essential to life — those we need to survive and thrive in the womb — may play a significant role in the development of ASD, according to a new study by geneticists at Pennsylvania Medicine.

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Education

Trump Education Pick Advances Despite Special Ed Worries
DisabilityScoop – Deep opposition from special education advocates was not enough to prevent President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Education from moving forward.

Kids’ Books Recognized For Disability Storylines
DisabilityScoop – Three children’s books are being honored alongside this year’s picks for the Caldecott and Newbery Medals for focusing on the experiences of those with special needs.

Technology

Computer Uses Facial Cues to Spot if People Have Autism
New Scientist – An algorithm that analyses facial expressions and head movements could help doctors diagnose autism-like conditions and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Teen With Autism Inspires a Movement: Robotics Teams for Everyone
Seattle Times – Teams from several Seattle-area schools will compete in a tournament that marks the end of the first season of Special Olympics Unified Robotics, which puts students with special needs to work alongside typically developing classmates as they build robots.

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Teens & Adults

Proms For Those With Special Needs Expected To Draw 75,000
DisabilityScoop – Just before Valentine’s, hundreds of proms for teens and adults with disabilities are slated to take place at locations around the world on a single day.

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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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