December Digest


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.”




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.




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.



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.



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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