January Digest

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National News

U.S. Autism Rates Appear to be Stabilizing, New Study Suggests
CBS News – Autism rates are much higher than originally thought but may have stabilized in recent years, a new study suggests.

First Responder Training to Include Autism Awareness
Autism Parenting Magazine – Since 2014, there has been an increased national awareness regarding how police interact with the public during arrests and emergency situations. The autism community is no exception.

Why ABA Therapy Remains Elusive For Some Families
DisabilityScoop – The family of a Maine student with autism and a rare neurological syndrome that affects his speaking ability is fighting for him to be able to carry an audio-recording device at school to ensure he’s being treated properly.

Comic Redesigns the Autism Spectrum to Crush Stereotypes
The Mighty – Rebecca Burgess sees a problem with the way many people perceive the autism spectrum. Her resolution? The comic below.

 


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Research

Autism Speaks Names Top Ten Autism Studies of 2017
Autism Speaks – Autism Speaks is pleased to announce its annual selection of the ten studies that most-powerfully advanced the field of autism research to enhance lives today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.

Early Changes in Brain Immunity May Underlie Sex Bias in Autism
Spectrum – How the brain’s immune cells, or microglia, develop in ‘germ-free’ mice depends on the sex of the mice, according to a new study.

 

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Education

 

Young Woman with Autism Proves Every Expert Wrong, Graduates from College
Today – When Gina Gallagher sent her daughter Katie to their local kindergarten in Marlborough, Massachusetts, she didn’t expect to receive a note from her daughter’s teacher the very first week with bad news.

Parents Fight to Record School Day of Son With Disabilities
U.S. News – The family of a Maine student with autism and a rare neurological syndrome that affects his speaking ability is fighting for him to be able to carry an audio-recording device at school to ensure he’s being treated properly.

 

Technology

Smithsonian Exhibit Puts Focus On Accessible Design
DisabilityScoop – From clothing to utensils and computers, a new exhibit is showcasing the varied and increasing ways that today’s world is adapting to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities.

Google Glass Is A Hit For Children With Autism
Forbes – Once ridiculed as a failed innovation, Glass is emerging as an important tool to help with educational and behavioral needs of children with autism.

 

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Teens & Adults

For Teens on Autism Spectrum, Improv Classes Can Aid Communication
Chicago Tribune – At the start of an improv class last week, some teens excitedly joined in while others sat off to the side. Others said they’d rather go home. But after a few games, giggles and encouragement from teachers, all the students participated.

Survey Assesses Well-being in Adults with Autism
Spectrum – A brief questionnaire written with guidance from people with autism is the first of its kind to assess quality of life among adults with the condition.

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December Digest

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National News

9-year-old’s Heartfelt Video on Life with Autism
ABC News – A 9-year-old boy’s self-narrated video about life with autism has now gone viral on the internet. George Yionoulis, who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, opens up about living with autism and reassures others that “I’m a kid just like you.”

New Global Diagnostic Manual Mirrors U.S. Autism Criteria
Spectrum – Starting next year, clinicians worldwide may be using a new, streamlined set of criteria to diagnose autism. The criteria are part of a highly anticipated update to the “International Classification of Diseases,” a diagnostic manual produced by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Autism Portrayal Nets Golden Globe Nod
DisabilityScoop – Hollywood appears to be embracing the story of a surgeon with autism. Actor Freddie Highmore snagged a Golden Globe nomination this week for best actor in a television drama for his role as Dr. Shaun Murphy on ABC’s “The Good Doctor.”

 


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Research

Problems with Attention, Not Autism, Predispose Children to Injury
Spectrum – Young children with autism are no more likely than those without the condition to sustain injuries that require medical attention, according a study of more than 2,000 children.

New Genetic Models of Autism Point to Cellular Roots of Disease
UCSF – Researchers at UC San Francisco have developed a new genetic model of autism, using neurons created in the lab from patients’ own skin cells. Their experiments suggest that abnormalities in the electrical firing of neurons may lead to behavioral and developmental symptoms in autism, while differences in neuron size and shape result in abnormalities in brain size that often accompany the disorder.

Five Hot Topics in Autism Research in 2017
Spectrum – Researchers made significant headway on multiple fronts, from understanding the effect of exposures during pregnancy on autism risk to reviving radical therapies for conditions related to autism. Other endeavors, such as the search for noncoding variants that play a role in autism, were less fruitful.

 

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Education

Navigating Life On Campus When You’re On The Autism Spectrum
NPR – James Carmody never had any doubt that he would go to college. He loved learning, he worked hard and he was excited to make a positive impact on the world.

Students with Autism Make Music with iPads
CBS News – For years Adam Goldberg, a classical pianist who teaches music at a school in Queens, New York, struggled to break through to his students who have serious learning disabilities, such as autism, until he started using instruments virtually anyone can play: an iPad.

 

Technology

Classroom Robot Helps South Carolina Children with Autism
Fox News – In October, South Carolina teachers at select schools began using the Robots4Autism curriculum and a small robot named Milo to teach students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Up and Coming Autism Entrepreneurs New GPS Prototype Developed in the Name of Lost Child with ASD
Autism Parenting Magazine – Toron Larkins has developed the prototype for a waterproof and discreet tracker that will track anywhere in the country in an effort to keep loved ones safe.

 

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Teens & Adults

Texas Police Officer Helps Make Autistic Teen’s Dream Come True
13WAMZ – A Garland police officer is using his time off as an opportunity to give back this Christmas by granting a teenager his ultimate wish, CBS Dallas/Fort Worth reports.

Report: Housing A ‘Crisis’ For People With Disabilities
Disability Scoop – Housing prices across the country are far outpacing the monthly benefits provided by Supplemental Security Income, according to a new report, forcing many people with disabilities into homelessness or costly institutional care.

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