July Digest

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National News

How the New U.S. ‘Right to Try’ Law Could Harm People with Autism
Spectrum – You may have heard of the ‘Right to Try,’ a bill that President Donald Trump signed into law on 30 May. The U.S. law expands doctors’ ability to prescribe experimental drugs for people with life-threatening conditions.

Autistic New Yorkers Share Their Stim-Toy Stories With ‘Aftereffect’
NPR – Autistic New Yorkers Share Their Stim-Toy Stories With ‘Aftereffect’

North Dakota Becomes 48th State to Require Autism Insurance Coverage
Autism Speaks – North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread announced that all state-regulated plans that have mental health coverage will be required to cover treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

New Gym Created To Help People With Special Needs Stay Fit
Disability Scoop – While some gyms have programs for people with disabilities, Mills said hers is the only one in the area that caters to their specific fitness needs.

 


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Research

In Baby Teeth, Links Between Chemical Exposure in Pregnancy and Autism
The New York Times – The record in teeth may show associations with autism but does not mean that the mother did something to cause the condition, experts say.

Brains of Children with Autism Show Unusual Folding Patterns
Spectrum – The brains of children with autism fold differently than those of their typical peers, two new studies suggest.

Key Social Reward Circuit in the Brain Impaired in Kids with Autism
Stanford Medicine – Deficits in the brain’s reward circuit are linked to social deficits in children with autism and may point the way toward better treatments, according to a new Stanford study.

 

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Education

25 Best Colleges for Students With Autism 2018
Best Value Schools – These colleges are doing all they can to help their students with autism have the best learning experience possible.

 

Technology

Teens with Autism Learn to Code, Design Apps
Fox News – While the impact of technology on teens has its pros and cons in terms of social media bullying and video game violence, the educational and social benefits for those on the autism spectrum are unprecedented.

Neuroscientist Sees Video Games as a Tool to Help Youth with Autism
The San Diego Union-Tribune – Individuals with ASD typically experience more difficulty making fast and accurate shifts of attention, which is why video games are part of RADLab’s research.

Can a Computer Diagnose Autism?
Spectrum – Machine-learning holds the potential to help clinicians spot autism sooner, but technical and ethical obstacles remain.

 

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Teens & Adults

Tips that Helped My Son Transition Out of School and to the Workplace
Autism Speaks – This guest blog post is by Sandy Petrovic. Sandy Petrovic is a registered nurse, an author, a public speaker, a college instructional advisor/tutor, and the mother of a son on the spectrum.

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June Digest

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National News

Parents Can Use New App to Diagnose Autism — Is This a Good Idea?
Healthline – The release of the new Autism & Beyond app gives parents the ability to prescreen their young children for autism spectrum disorder — without the assistance of a medical professional.

Dr. Ronit Molko Calls For Innovation And Advancement Of Autism Services In New Book
Forbes – In Autism Matters, Dr. Molko—cofounder of Autism Spectrum Therapies—takes a critical look at the autism services industry and calls upon providers, clinicians and investors to innovate the current model of service delivery, forge new programs and create opportunities that will better equip autistic individuals with the skills they need to build quality, self-determined, independent adult lives.

Children With Autism Left Behind By Low Medicaid Rates
Huffington Post – Medicaid reimburses medical providers less than other payers. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, on average, Medicaid pays providers 72 percent of what Medicare, the federal health plan for the elderly, pays for the same services. The disparity is even greater between Medicaid and private insurers.

 


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Research

Growth Spurt in Head, Skeleton Mark Autism in Boys
Spectrum – Boys with autism have smaller heads, are shorter and weigh less at birth than their typical peers do — but all that changes by age 3, a new study suggests. The new work is among the first to link autism to rapid skeletal growth.

Study: Drivers With Autism Just As Good As Other Motorists
Disability Scoop – People with autism appear to have more difficulty than others when first learning to drive, but a study suggests that with practice, they can be just as skilled behind the wheel.

Autism Linked to Diabetes
MSN – New research has found mothers with diabetes – of any type – are more likely to have kids with autism. Women who develop gestational diabetes before their third trimester are most at risk.

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Education

Students Never Heard Teen With Autism Speak Until His Powerful Graduation Speech
InspireMore – Sef Scott may not speak very often. But when he does, it’s best to listen up. He’s the last person anyone would’ve expected to speak at the Plano Senior High commencement ceremony in Frisco, Texas, last weekend. But allowing for the unexpected was the whole point of his speech.

 

Technology

Personalized ‘Deep Learning’ Equips Robots for Autism Therapy
Science Daily – Researchers have now developed a type of personalized machine learning that helps robots estimate the engagement and interest of each child during these interactions, using data that are unique to that child.

Mobile App for Autism Screening Yields Useful Data
MedicalXpress – A Duke study of an iPhone app to screen young children for signs of autism has found that the app is easy to use, welcomed by caregivers and good at producing reliable scientific data.

 

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Teens & Adults

Where Autistic Workers Thrive
Fortune – Social interaction and communication skills can be a challenge for people with autism spectrum disorder, but companies looking to hire untapped talent for tech-related jobs are discovering that those with autism are unusually detail-oriented, highly analytical, and able to focus intensely on tasks, making them valuable employees.

 

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