July Digest, 1 of 2

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National News

State Insurance Mandates Increase Access to Affordable Autism Care
Autism Speaks – State mandates requiring commercial health plans to cover the cost of services for children with autism have resulted in more children being diagnosed and treated for the disorder.

Theme Park Creates Sensory-Friendly “Calm Down Room”
Inquisitr – Dollywood has become the first theme park to provide a safe place for kids with autism or sensory disorders to go when they need to take a break from sensory overload so they can continue to enjoy the amusement park with the rest of their family.

Despite Federal Directive, Some With Autism Still Denied ABA
DisabilityScoop – Like many parents of children with autism, Braulio De La Cruz sought an expensive therapy called applied behavior analysis — or ABA — when his son Noah Leonardo was diagnosed last year.

Life, Animated Director Q&A: How Disney Saved an Autistic Boy
Entertainment Weekly – The film, in theaters now, follows the life of an autistic young man who found a voice through Disney.

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Research

Research Suggest Multiple Paths to Autism
PsychCentral – A new study challenges the long-held believe that alterations in social brain networks influence the development of autism.

Autism Gene Wires Social Reward Circuits in Mouse Brains
Spectrum – Mutations in SHANK3, a leading autism candidate, cause mice to become solitary creatures rather than socialize with their peers.

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Education

Career and Technical Education Bill Unanimously Passes Committee
Autism Speaks – The House Education and the Workforce Committee has voted unanimously to approve the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, a bill that would reauthorize our nation’s career and technical education (CTE) programs and help students with autism gain skills necessary for employment.

When It Comes To Special Ed, Majority Of States Miss Mark
DisabilityScoop – Federal education officials are calling out more than half of states for failing to meet their obligations under the nation’s special education law.

U.K. Teacher Writes Moving Letter to Student With Autism Who Didn’t Pass Standardized Test
The Mighty – Standardized tests are meant to be challenging, but for students who learn differently these tests can be especially daunting and sometimes unfair.

Technology

5 Ways Technology Can Be Useful for Autistic Learners
eSchoolNews – A tech researcher shares pros and cons for using devices with autistic learners — and draws from her own experience.

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Teens & Adults

The Benefits Of Recruiting Employees With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Forbes – There’s a new frontier in diversity programs focused not on race or gender but on cognitive ability.

Autism Non-Profit Leverages Tech, Start-Up Model
USA Today – A trio of unlikely business partners — pro wrestler Mick Foley, former football great Tiki Barber and physician Julian Maha — settled on stage before a standing-room-only crowd in New Orleans.