April Digest

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National News

Autism Prevalence Increases: 1 in 59 US Children
CNN – One in 59 US children has autism, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sesame Street Launches Kickstarter to Fund New Autism Resources for Kids 
Mashable – The Yellow Feather Fund, Sesame Street’s nonprofit committed to helping children, is working to expand its autism initiatives.

7 Ways to Support Autistic Voices During Autism Acceptance Month
The Mighty – Many people on the spectrum advocate for more than awareness — they want acceptance, which means doing more than observing a day that essentially says this exists. The Mighty has compiled a list of ways to support autistic voices this month (and beyond).

Hans Asperger Aided Nazi Child Euthanasia, Study Says
The New York Times – 
A new study has shed more light on the revelations that Hans Asperger, the Austrian pediatrician for whom a form of autism is named, had collaborated with the Nazis and actively assisted in the killing of disabled children.


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Research

Some Mutations Tied to Autism May be Passed Down from Fathers
Spectrum News – Some children with autism carry rare mutations in DNA segments that flank genes and control their expression — and they tend to inherit these mutations from their unaffected fathers, according to a study published today in Science.

Rumination Leads to Problems in Boys with Autism
Medical Xpress – Boys with autism are more prone to develop physical complaints, depression and aggressive behaviour. Psychologists at Leiden University have discovered that this is mainly related to rumination.

 

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Education

Autism Informed the Entire Design of This Revolutionary Boarding School
Architectural Digest – Every detail of the new Shrub Oak International School near NYC — from windows to wall colors — was crafted with autistic students top of mind.

 

World Autism Awareness Day: How the CSU Is Preparing More Special Ed Teachers to Help Students with Autism
Cal State – One of the ways in which the California State University — the leading preparer of K-12 teachers in the state — excels is in training special education teachers, which includes those that teach kids and teenagers with autism. In 2015-2016 alone, the CSU prepared nearly 1,400 special education teachers.

 

Technology

 

Can Biomusic Offer Kids With Autism a New Way to Communicate?
Smithsonian – Biomedical engineers are using the sound of biological rhythms to describe emotional states.

How Artists With Autism Are Using Technology to Let Their Inner Creativity Shine
Popsugar – To celebrate Autism Acceptance Month, The Art of Autism partnered with Apple to create an exhibit called “Created on iPad,” a showcase of digital masterpieces that artists across the country have been able to create as a result of having accessible technology that can and has changed lives.

 

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Teens & Adults

How I Found Autism Acceptance in the Workplace
The Mighty – About 80 percent of people on the autism spectrum are unemployed. Of the 20 percent of us who are employed, only 13.9 percent work full-time. I am one of the 13.9 percent.

Entering Adulthood With Autism
U.S. News – Like many parents of 17-year-old boys, Rod Sievert is worried about what his son Kendall will do after high school. The difference is that Kendall has autism, which makes social interaction and communication more difficult for him even though his intelligence level is on par with his peers.

 

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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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