November Digest Part 1 of 2

The most relevant news of the last couple weeks. Sign-up to have future issues delivered to your email.


National News

Minorities Often Skipped In Autism Identification
DisabilityScoop – The number of schoolchildren with autism has increased nationwide in recent years, but a new study suggests that some kids are still being overlooked.

Autism therapy benefit to be analyzed for DoD
Military Times – The Defense Department has hired Rand Corp. to analyze its autism therapy benefit to determine whether the level of coverage is appropriate and how well it stacks up against private insurers.

Autism Advocates Hope Jerry Seinfeld’s Words Help Fight Stigma
NBC News – In an interview with Brian Williams, Jerry Seinfeld said he struggles with social engagement and believes he is on the autism spectrum.

Explaining the Increase in the Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders
JAMA Pediatrics – The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has increased markedly in recent decades, which researchers have suggested could be caused in part by nonetiologic factors such as changes in diagnosis reporting practices.



Variants of autism-linked gene have diverse effects in mice
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – Each of four different mutations in SHANK3, a leading autism candidate gene, leads to a different set of symptoms in mice, researchers have found. They presented their unpublished results on Thursday.

Behavioral patterns may predict autism in high-risk toddlers
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – Three distinct behavioral profiles in siblings of children with autism at 18 months predict autism diagnosis at age 3. The findings, published 2 October, point to multiple developmental pathways to the disorder.

Child-Directed Play Blends Autistic Kids into Group
PsychCentral – Finding a setting that allows autistic kids to socialize with more normally developing peers is often a Catch-22 for parents.

Rare mutations linked to severity of autism symptoms
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – Boys with autism who carry rare, spontaneous mutations have lower intelligence quotients and more severe symptoms than do those who may have inherited the disorder.



Robots ‘helping autistic pupils build social skills’
BBC News – A robot is helping Danish children with autism and other developmental disorders to learn and develop communication skills, teachers say. Students can program Little Troels to carry out everyday tasks, like walking, talking and dancing.



Clermont autism case settled – Their case paved the way for thousands of autistic children to get access to costly treatment programs. Now, a Clermont County family has been awarded more than $142,000 in a settlement agreement marking the final chapter in their legal saga.

Special ed policies called ‘indefensible’
Boston Harold – It’s time for Hub administrators to “question their assumptions about poor kids,” a top special education expert said yesterday, after the release of a report showed young black and Latino males in Boston are designated special needs and placed in separate classrooms at a startlingly higher rate than whites.


Teens & Adults

Autism after high school
Medical Xpress – Melanie Tyner-Wilson is facing one of her toughest battles yet. She wants nothing more than to help her son Jay Tyner-Wilson, who is a person with autism, land his first real job.

Student spreads autism awareness
DisabilityScoop – FRANKLIN – Westport resident and Columbus North High School senior Sean Gilly spread a wealth of information about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) during the autism panel discussion he hosted at Franklin College on Oct. 28 as his senior project.

Shop A Little, Help A Lot!
Autism Speaks – This list of companies and organizations committed to employing individuals with autism. Each of the businesses below has high quality products created by young adults and adults with autism that are available for purchase so you can shop for gifts and treats while supporting a great cause!