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ASPIRES

 Recent Media Coverage of AS & Related Articles

                  We will list the current media coverage for the last 30 days at the beginning of this page as well as in our section below.  This will be updated on the first day of every month. A.S.P.I.R.E.S. does not endorse these articles.  We share them with you for informational purposes only.      

09-25-2009

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autismone & Autism Canada Present "CHANGING THE COURSE OF AUTISM ... - The U.S. Autism Canada logo Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an average of 1 in 150 children in the U.S. have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which includes autism, Asperger syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Data from Canada demonstrates a 1 in 200 rate for ASD's according to a workshop white paper sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Alliance for Autism Research. ASD's have increased dramatically in both countries in the last ten years according to government research. AutismOne & Autism Canada are proud to present the first ever-joint AutismOne/Autism Canada 2009 Conference in Toronto. Conference organizers are delighted to bring the message of hope and healing to all that attend.

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Autism may include aptitude for analogy - Children with autism have difficulty forming social relationships. But they discern relationships among objects in visual scenes surprisingly well, indicating a fundamental grasp of analogical reasoning, according to a new study. Youngsters diagnosed with autism, or autistic disorder, reason about the relations between objects and people on a par with kids free of any developmental problems, psychology graduate student Kinga Morsanyi of the University of Plymouth, England, and psychologist Keith Holyoak of the University of California, Los Angeles report in an upcoming Developmental Science.

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Autistic man languishing in Sarnia jail - Ken McEwan's only home is a cell at the Sarnia jail.  He desperately wants out. His family desperately wants him out.  Yet he's languished behind bars for almost eight months because there's nowhere else for him to go.  McEwan has a mental disorder known as Asperger Syndrome, a severe form of autism that frequently results in angry outbursts and makes social interaction difficult.  He has suffered with different degrees of Aspergers since he was very young and has grown progressively worse. McEwan’s father, Harvey McEwan Sr., said his son is 26 years old but has the emotional IQ of a seven-year-old.  Ken McEwan doesn’t understand why he can't leave jail. He worries about the toys he left behind when he was removed from a Community Living residence in January. He doesn't realize there are consequences to his actions. He harbours a great deal of frustration and anger and has been convicted of assault seven times.

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Brain Activation Differences - In the first neuroimaging study to examine motor execution in children with autism, researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD, have uncovered new insight into the neurological basis of autism [Brain, 132(9):2413-2425].  The study compared the brain activity of children with high functioning autism and their typically developing peers while performing a simple motor task-tapping their fingers in sequence. The researchers found that children with autism relied more heavily on a region of the brain responsible for conscious, effortful movement, while their typically developing peers utilized a region of the brain important for automating motor tasks.  Children with autism also showed less connectivity between different regions of the brain involved in coordinating and executing movement, supporting the theory that a decreased ability of distant regions of the brain to communicate with each other forms the neurological basis of autism.

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Do Celebrity Victims Have an Obligation to Speak Out? - ...Maybe that’s why John Travolta remained silent. For years, he refused to acknowledge that his son Jett, who died of a seizure at age 16 in January, was autistic. Now, under the duress of a blackmail trial, Travolta has admitted his son’s autism for the first time. The star had been under public pressure to speak about Jett’s disability for years. A magazine editor who knew him spoke anonymously to the NY Post in 2007, saying, "It's fine with me if Travolta doesn't want to become the poster child for autistic parents, but every time the parent of an autistic child hears about someone else who is in this fight, it makes them feel better. He could do so much good for autism awareness if he would just come forward."

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Fertility: women aren't to blame any more - When it comes to getting pregnant, many times fertility problems are blamed on the woman, but medical experts say 40 percent of the time the problem is with the man.  "Men are in denial, denial, denial, when it comes to fertility and sexual function," Dr. Harry Fisch said. Fisch says that denial often results in couples blaming the woman's body and prematurely trying extreme measures. "If In Vitro Fertilization was a drug it probably would not be approved by the FDA because there's no long term data," Fisch said.

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Irony of John's brother Joey Travolta and autism awareness - Since the recent admission by John Travolta that his son Jett had autism, the buzz has been huge from the autism community. The hope being that John, by his pure celebrity, will now bring more attention to the cause. It is well known that when any celebrity gets involved in a cause or charity, the world pays attention. Practically every news event became flooded with the news and autism was again on the front page and on every internet news site The irony of all this is that Travolta's brother Joey had been an advocate of autism since at least 2006. Not everyone knew this until recently. His award winning documentary, "Normal People Scare Me" was created from interviewing 65 young people with autism. Joey also formed a group which helps autism sufferers make films about their lives and experience called Actors for Autism. Joey has been an autism advocate all along. 

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Learn to deal with inattentive, hyperactive & impulsive kids - ADHD is a disorder of the brainLearn to deal with inattentive, hyperactive & impulsive kids and behavior. It affects about 3 to 5% of children. The symptoms start before seven years of age. Global prevalence for children is approximately 5%, with wide variability dependent on research methodologies utilized in studies.  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, is one of the most common mental disorders that develop in children. Children with ADHD have impaired functioning in multiple settings, including home, school, and in relationships with peers. If untreated, the disorder can have long-term adverse effects into adolescence and adulthood.

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The Autism File USA Magazine Features Worldwide Autism Mothers ... - The latest cover ofAutismFile_US33_cover The Autism File USA showcases the strength of the ongoing campaign of mothers worldwide -- "Delivering Where Governments Have Failed."  According to editor in chief Polly Tommey:  "We will certainly not be letting up.”  Featured on this cover are many remarkable mothers well known to the autism advocacy community such as Wendy Fournier of the National Autism Association, Becky Estepp of Talk About Curing Autism, Kim Stagliano of Age of Autism, and Angela Warner of Autism Salutes.  According to Teri Arranga, US/Canada editor, "I am particularly excited about the vital information in the current issue, which will be available in stores on October 8.  With more than thirty articles, three deal with the tremendously important topic of the effect of anesthesia on individuals with autism.  Sadly, our community lost a young man earlier this year following routine dental surgery.  In order to administer drugs more safely to individuals with autism, practitioners must understand their unique medical makeup.  The Autism File provides information to help safeguard our community’s health."

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What Is Normal - I brought a friend who has spent time in a psychiatric hospital to see “Next To Normal,” and was startled at intermission when he reacted exactly the way that Allen Ginsberg had when I brought the poet to see “Rent.”  The cast then had just finished the song “La Vie Boheme,” where they’re dancing on the table, drinking toasts to bohemians, including: ...

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Why I don't like “I am autism” - When the Autism Speaks “I am autism” video came out, I really didn’t like it. It was on such a primal level that I couldn’t put words to how much or why I found it offensive.  One problem with leaving my reasoning unsaid is that many people reach the wrong conclusions. I have read here and elsewhere complaints that people like myself who criticize “I am autism” don’t understand that it is about the most challenged (low functioning) autistics. I would say that anyone who thinks “I am autism” is about the challenges of autistics (“high functioning” or “low functioning”) didn’t pay close attention to the video.

09-20-2009

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9/19 POLICE BRIEFS: Police: Man arrested in rape of teen - Police arrested a Bradenton man on a charge he raped a young woman who suffers from Asperger’s Disorder, a form of autism, according to a Bradenton Police Department report. Michael S. Taylor, 60, has been arrested on the charge of “sexual battery of a mentally defective victim,” the police report said. The 18-year-old victim told detectives Taylor got in bed with her while she was visiting his home in July.  The victim, who is known to Taylor, said he told her he was “going to help her fall asleep,” before he raped her. Detectives say Taylor raped the woman a second time in August.  Taylor was being held in the Manatee County jail on $50,000 bond.

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A recipe for disaster - As the media ratchets up the fear level over swine flu, there are a few things you should know about the upcoming vaccine that is being presented as the savior. How many of you saw this headline from the UK: "Swine flu jab link to killer nerve disease: Leaked letter reveals concern of neurologists over 25 deaths in America." Oh wait, you probably didn't see it because it wasn't reported in this country. Well, then, did you see that a lung specialist from Germany has said the vaccine is grown in a nutrient solution with cancer cells from animals, as reported by Reuters?

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Al Capone Shines My Shoes By Gennifer Choldenko. Dial Books, 288 pp... - It's 1935, and Moose Flana gan is a very nice boy who just happens to live on Alcatraz. His father works at the prison, and the whole family lives there. This includes Moose's older sister, Natalie, who's got her "wires crossed." Seventy years ago, no one knew the term autism.  Gennifer Choldenko introduced the Flanagans and their assorted neighbors in 2004's "Al Capone Does My Shirts." That Newbery Honor book concluded with Moose enlisting the unlikely help of #85, aka Capone, to get Natalie admitted to a special school.  As this winning sequel opens, Natalie is flourishing there. Deeply as Moose loves his sister - and that love is at the heart of the novel - life's easier without her. He has time for baseball games with his buddies, played in the shadow of the cell house. Guiltily, he thinks, "It's nice having my mother to myself."

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Apraxia Study Unveils Possible Subset of Children with Previously Unrecognized Syndrome (SAAM) - According to SpeechNutrients, the results of a recently published research study documents a previously unclassified group of children with a syndrome of allergy, apraxia, and malabsoption (SAAM) who respond to nutritional intervention. The study, published in the July-Aug 2009 edition of the journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine1, collected data on 187 children with verbal apraxia (VA). After supplementing with an omega-3 and vitamin E combination, 97% of the children showed dramatic improvements in speech, behavior, sensory issues, imitation, coordination, and eye contact.

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Childhood Serum Anti-Fetal Brain Antibodies Do Not Predict Autism - One of the big new concepts in autism research in the last two years is the idea that maternal antibodies might be involved in developing autism.  Two groups, one from Johns Hopkins, the other from California showed that in some mothers with autistic children, their blood sera had antibodies against fetal brain tissue.

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Classroom Behavior: Why Being Good Is So Hard - Being seen as either well behaved or naughty at school is never entirely in the hands of the individual child, this study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council shows. The research demonstrates that being good is not a simple matter. Once some children acquire poor overall reputations among teachers and other school staff, classmates and parents, it becomes difficult for them to be regarded as good. When young children start school they also have to develop interpretive skills to decode and negotiate mixed messages about how to behave.

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Dad helps find ADHD solution for daughter - Catie Frieder is a fun-loving, happy go-lucky 8-year-old.  But for years the Sun Path Elementary third-grader, who has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) struggled with reading and homework.  Now, after 12 weeks in a unique learning program aimed at improving attention and mental processing, Catie is off medication and doing better than ever in school.  “She’s really a happy kid and doing well,” dad Rich Frieder said.  The program so impressed the Frieders that they opened their own Learning Rx center franchise in Savage in January. Now they are helping more than 100 kids from throughout the state strengthen their ability to focus, process and learn more effectively.

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Group seeks reforms for autism insurance coverage - A large crowd has turned out for a rally to support a bill that would require insurance companies to pick up more costs for autism care. Organizers said about 2,000 people attended the rally Sunday afternoon at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in the St. Louis suburb of O'Fallon. It brought together a diverse group that included former baseball star Darryl Strawberry, who now lives outside St. Louis and founded a nonprofit to help autistic children.

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Horse therapy gives young patients shot of confidence - Eight-year-old Cheyann Smith is overcoming her shyness while getting better. Myiah McLees insisted on attending a horse show the day after being discharged from the hospital. The 9-year-old arrived in a wheelchair, still hooked up to an IV of antibiotics and fluid hanging on a pole. Angel King, a 15-year-old who has been battling leukemia for the past year, calls the horses her “babies” and brings them apple slices and other treats. Although in the program only a month, her balance is improving, and she won ribbons in the most recent horse show. These are just some examples of the accomplishments achieved by three of the 45 participants in the therapeutic horseback riding program at Rolling Ridge Riding just north of Reidsville.

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How mum and dad's behaviour can get their children branded troublemakers at school - Children can go through school with an unfair reputation for being naughty - because the teachers don't like their parents, research claims.  Home backgrounds prejudice views of their behaviour in the classroom and leads to some children being tagged as 'unruly' from the age of four.  Parents judged as neglectful, indulgent, anxious, unco-operative or interfering are seen as failing to adequately prepare their son or daughter for school.  This in turn feeds into teachers' perceptions of that child's behaviour as a 'problem', according to Professor Maggie MacLure and Prof Liz Jones.

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I've got Asperger syndrome - and I'm 47-years-old - Andrew Carmichael, 47, was diagnosedIt's good to know: Andrew Carmichael feels less isolated since his diagnosis with Asperger syndrome when he was 45 after a lifetime of feeling on a different wavelength to everyone else. He is married to Jacqueline, also 47, and has three sons, David, 21, Stuart, 17, and Euan, 12.  Here, Andrew, who works for British Telecom and lives in Glasgow, tells what it is like to have AS.  It sounded so similar to my own experience that I asked my GP to refer me to Glasgow's adult diagnosis team. After lots of meetings, talks with my family, investigations and psychological tests, I was told I had AS too.   If a colleague's son hadn't been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (AS), I might never have realised I had it. The more I heard about his inability to interact with his peers and his fascination with the inner workings of things, the more alarm bells rang with both me and my wife.

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If you make reading fun, daughter will do it - Question: My third-grade daughter does not enjoy reading, although she is a fair reader. Getting her to practice for piano lessons is easy, but trying to get her to sit down and read a book is nearly impossible. I'm hoping that it's just her age. Should I be concerned?

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Maltese scientists in coeliac disease genetic breakthrough - A team of Maltese scientists has made an important genetic breakthrough deemed crucial in combating coeliac disease. The discovery was made through a linkage study involving a Maltese family with a high incidence of the disease.  The Malta Council of Science and Technology (MCST) funded the study while the University of Malta, the Health Department and the Coeliac Association of Malta (CAM) were partners. Earlier this week, The Malta Independent on Sunday caught up with genetic researcher Christian Scerri, who was directly involved in the discovery.

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More presidential autism politics II - I’ve been watching (happily) the recent emergence of autism as a topic of the U.S. presidential race. Actually, it is the emergence of autism as a topic for the republicans, as Senator Obama has had a clear policy statement on autism and on disabilities in general Recently, I noted that the McCain/Palin ticket’s statements were not strong commitments, but more general statements of support. Since that time, Governor Palin has come out with some stronger statements so it is worth revisiting the subject.

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New Ill. 911 service aims to protect the disabled - When 6-year-old Rhiannon Schmakel wandered away from home, her mother was terrified almost to the point of being sick. The girl suffered from autism, couldn't talk and was easily frightened by strangers and loud noises.  But Rochelle Feller-Schmakel took some comfort from the fact that Itasca police already knew about her daughter's autism -- including the best way to approach without scaring her -- through a department program that allows families to share information on medical problems and disabilities.  Once the alert went out, every officer would have all the details a single glance at a computer screen. Instead of interviewing a panicky mother, they could get to work looking for Rhiannon, who was soon found playing on a nearby railroad track.

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New Cookbook Offers Simple, Nutritious and Delicious Gluten-Free Recipes - Book is second for author, features tasty recipes for those who can’t eat wheat but love to eat  - Aidant Books announces Gluten-Free Deliciously, a valuable resource to those who are faced with the dauntless task of eliminating wheat from their diet.  This ever-increasing population includes the 1 in every 133 individuals who have celiac disease, as well as those with gluten intolerance, wheat allergy, and autism.

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Police learn to deal with mentally challenged - The first local police officers have completed training in a national jail diversion program designed to improve interaction with people who have mental or developmental disabilities.  First, Bensalem patrolman John Catrombon approached the elderly, disoriented woman wandering in traffic. "Good morning, my name is John." "I didn't do anything," she responded, annoyed.

09-17-2009

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10 year old autistic boy stabbed - A 10 year old autistic boy who was brutally stabbed by a woman Wednesday Afternoon is recovering.   Police say Victoria Moreno stabbed the boy four times, in the chest, back, and collarbone.  According to family members, Moreno came to the house in Southeast Fresno looking for someone in the house.  When she was told that person wasn't there, police say she became upset and left, only to return moments later, and attack the boy who was playing on the lawn.  The woman then took off, running down the street, with the boy's family close behind.  Family members and police eventually caught up with Moreno, and she was arrested.  The little boy is reportedly in stable condition at Community Regional Medical Center.

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Asperger's sufferer is a top Scout - A STUDENT has overcome a mental health condition to win the Scout movement’s highest honour.  Tiffany Golding, of St Mark Drive, St John’s, Colchester, is the only person with Asperger syndrome, in Essex, to have received the Queen’s Scout Award.  To qualify for the accolade, she took on challenges, such as learning the martial art Aikido and completing a four-day, 80-mile hike.  Tiffany, an Egyptology undergraduate at Swansea University, also volunteered as a Cub pack leader and helped look after her grandmother.  The 21-year-old, who is a member of the Scout Network, which caters for 18 to 25-year-olds, said she enjoyed combining the activities with her academic studies.

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BC cuts back autism funding - The B.C. Children's Ministry will stop funding a high-cost treatment program for 70 autistic children in order to give more money to about 800 autistic children in regular programs. Children's Minister Mary Polak said Wednesday that the government wants to offer more treatment money to more children rather than pay for an intensive program that costs $70,000 per child. The government will drop the $5-million early intervention program in January. In April, the amount of money provided to families with autistic children under age six will increase to $22,000 a year from $20,000. Autism funding has been a matter of intense debate in British Columbia.

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Can autism really be detected by voice alone? - The Lena Foundation, whose new autism-screening tool hit the market in September, claims that parents who use the Lena System are now able to determine with 91 percent accuracy whether their child is developing normally, has autism, or has unassociated language delays.  The home kit, which includes a digital audio recorder, an outfit to hold the recorder, and a questionnaire about the child's development thus far, costs $699. The foundation, which develops technology for the screening of several types of language delays and disorders, says the kit works for children as young as 24 months.

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Charges: Woman Swindled $300K From Man With Autism - A woman has been charged with swindling more than $300,000 from a man with autism over whom she was given power of attorney. According to charges filed in Dakota County, the victim's mother had saved up a large amount of money while working as a librarian in the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis. The man, who is not named in the charges but was born in 1959, lived with his parents in Eagan from 1976 through 2004, when the alleged swindling began. The victim's mother had saved the funds through the bank's "thrift plan," according to the charges. The funds were meant to support the victim and his father after she died in 1997.

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Dateline and Dr. Wakefield's patent activities - In the recent Dateline NBC episode about Dr. Wakefield, Matt Lauer asked Dr. Wakefield about his patent activities. As a bit of background: before Dr. Wakefield’s 1998 Lancet article was published, his hospital, the Royal Free, had submitted a patent application for an invention of Dr. Wakefield’s. The application was titled, “PHARMACEUTICAL COMPOSITION FOR TREATMENT OF IBD AND RBD

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David Kirby: New Study: Hepatitis B Vaccine Triples the Risk of Autism in Infant Boys - “16 studies have shown no causal association between vaccines and autism, and these studies carry weight in the scientific industry.” -- Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC Today Show Medical Editor.  Conventional wisdom holds that the autism-vaccine question has been “asked and answered,” and that least 16 large, well-constructed epidemiological studies have thoroughly addressed and debunked any hypothesis that childhood vaccination is in any way associated with an increased risk for autism spectrum disorders. But there are several critical flaws in such an oversimplified generalization, and they are rarely given close examination by public health experts or members of the media.

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Documentary Review: 'A Vision of Wholeness' - The religious rite of passage of a Bar Mitzvah can instill a sense of pride and accomplishment for young teens and their families. This ritual takes on new meaning and depth in "A Vision of Wholeness," which documents the story of two autistic boys who become Bar Mitzvah. As they celebrate this rite of passage in their Jewish faith, they defy expectations by challenging their profound limitations, creating confidence, and a profound sense of pride. Autism is estimated to occur in as many as 1 out of every 150 births in the United States. There has been much debate, controversy, and concern over this little understood malady with no known cause or cure.

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Does the H1N1 vaccine contain mercury? - It turns out, the new H1N1 (the one that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and even President Obama have been pushing so strongly) contains an ingredient that may have some parents worrying. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that has been phased out of childhood immunizations since 2001 due to concerns that the preservative MAY be linked to . But thimerosal (which is about half-mercury) will be found in most vials of the H1N1 vaccine. However, it may be possible to find doses that are thimerosal-free if you ask for single-dose shots. According to the CDC, "Single-dose syringes will be thimerosal-free, which will address concerns about this additive, especially regarding pediatric and pregnant vaccine recipients (inhaler sprayer vaccine products also will be thimerosal-free)."

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Eighteen Reasons Why You Should NOT Vaccinate Your Children ... - This year it is more important that you protect your children and loved ones from the flu vaccines than influenza itself. Here are the reasons: ...

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FDA rules against Tysabri warning; Merck CEO isn't sweating the new HPV vax competition - The FDA says that Biogen Idec and Elan Corp's multiple sclerosis blockbuster Tysabri does not require new warnings despite a rise in the number of cases of a potentially brain infection. Article  The long-awaited endorsement of GlaxoSmithKline's HPV vaccine Cervarix is widely expected to pave a short path to formal FDA approval. But Merck isn't sounding all that concerned that its vaccine, Gardasil, will finally face head-to-head competition in the world's richest drug market. Item

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'How you retrain the brain' - Baird Johnson and Rich Frieder had much in common long before they met last year. For one thing, both had long and successful business careers, but were searching for opportunities to start their own businesses. More important, they both had young daughters with severe learning problems: Johnson's 9-year-old daughter, Rachelle, was diagnosed with dyslexia and memory difficulties; Frieder's daughter, Catie, 8, suffered from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and language delays.

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Jenny McCarthy Launches Non-Toxic Children's Line - Jenny McCarthy has partnered with PEM America to launch a brand new line of non-toxic, affordable products for infants and children. The line is set to include affordable, non-toxic infant & juvenile products, including bedding, bath textiles, room décor and newborn gift sets. The press release from Brand Sense Partners said, "New improvements, such as reversible sets and Aloesoothe™, an innovative, Aloe-enhanced finishing technology, will help to further differentiate TOO GOOD™ from its competitors, while offering some of the best crib sheet options on the market. While some manufacturers have taken thread counts down, TOO GOOD™ will be utilizing higher thread counts and 100% cotton on all crib sheets, mattress pads and other products that are in direct contact with the child. TOO GOOD™ will also strive to bridge the gap between education and fashion. Specific textures, colors and icons will be used to enhance early learning and storytelling, while chic and clutter-free design will allow parents to provide more than one look which will bring continued smiles to parents and children alike.

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Jury trial set in Open Door School civil rights case -  A Chesapeake woman’s lawsuit against the Lawrence County Board of Developmental Disabilities alleging her autistic son’s civil rights were violated while a student at Open Door School, has been set for a jury trial beginning on Sept. 27, 2010. U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett ordered the date, according to documents recently submitted in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. The complaint, filed by Donna Hundley, 115 Twp. Rd 287, was submitted in federal court on June 9. Hundley’s 11-year-old son, who had been diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy and ADHD, suffers from a variety of medical issues including chronic migraine headaches; sleep disorder and spasticity in his limbs. He had been a student at the school from 2004 to 2008.

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Lost in Translation: The Difficulties of Autism & Immigrants - When Alfonso Uribe was 2 years old, he started banging his head against a wall. Alarmed, his mother took him to a doctor. The doctor didn’t speak Spanish, and Eulalia Uribe didn’t speak English. There was no translator. The pediatrician told Uribe that nothing was wrong with her son. It would take another five years before Alfonso would finally be diagnosed with autism.  That’s the kind of thing social worker Alberto Serpas sees every day.

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Love overcomes Asperger's in film - After being fired from his job, a boy heads over to the school across the street from his apartment to watch children play. Within minutes, a cop car pulls up behind him. The boy is thrown up against the gate and interrogated. Breathing heavily, he waits with his face pressed against the wire, tears rolling down his cheek. Eventually, he returns to his apartment and stares at himself in the mirror. He thrashes his head against the glass. This is not the story of a normal boy.

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Mercury, Vaccinations, and Their Associations With Autism - Vaccinations containing mercury could possibly be one of the most harmful things we do for our children, while trying to actually do the best for them.  For a parent who has a child living with autism, they are familiar with the possible link that has been well publicized between mercury, which has always been included in many childhood vaccinations, and autism.

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National Autistic Society calls for national autism 'tsar' - The National Autistic Society has called for a senior civil servant to take responsibility for autism policy nationally, underpinned by a regional lead officials and specialist teams in every local authority area.  The call is made in its submission to the Department of Health's consultation on its planned adult autism strategy, which closed on Tuesday.

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New inspector backs jail rethink - Scotland’s new prison inspector today backed a Scottish Government plan to spare low-risk criminals from imprisonment in favour of community sentences. Brigadier Hughie Monro said he is pleased that the number of offenders being jailed for less than six months is being addressed. The proposal follows recommendations by the Prisons Commission headed by former first minister Henry McLeish

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NJ adults with autism undertake hardest job by entering workforce - For an autistic worker, the hardest part of a job is often the easiest for everyone else: Joking with co-workers, sharing desserts on a special day, instinctively treating your boss with respect. Being socially correct is grueling. And for some autistic adults, an impossible task.  Autism advocates are saying this is an issue more companies in New Jersey will have to start dealing with, as there will soon be a surge in autistic adults in the workforce. A state-commissioned report due out this month is starting to tackle the problem. It's an issue that faces more challenges as unemployment reaches historic heights and as public interest and dollars still remains fixed on autistic children.

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Pace School's New Information Technology Network Enables Private based School to Increase Services While Reducing Costs - synergIT Incorporated, a leader in Information Technology services recently completed an enterprise-wide network migration for Pace School, among the most notable emotionally challenged and Autistic placement options for school districts in Allegheny and surrounding counties in Western Pennsylvania. By partnering with synergIT to assess their existing environment, make financially sound and technical recommendations for enhancements and provide implementation services to execute the vision, Pace School continues to provide their nationally recognized services and support to a larger number of students in need of their gifted services while providing these programs in a more manageable and cost-effective manner. 

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'Safe' lead levels harm children - Young children's exposure to lead in the environment isLead pellets harming their intellectual and emotional development, according to UK researchers. The researchers say the toxic effects of lead on the central nervous system are obvious even below the current so-called safe level of lead in the blood.  They are recommending the threshold should be halved.  A spokesman for the Health Protection Agency said levels of exposure should be kept to the minimum.  Lead has been removed from paint and petrol by law in the UK, but it is still widespread in the environment.

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Text-to-Speech Technology Reaches an Inflection Point - Moore’s Law is a funny thing. Computing gear ticks along, getting faster and often cheaper at a steady rate. But, every now and then, we hit an inflection point where things change in a dramatic fashion. Such is the case with the Apple iPhone and with netbooks -– products that nailed the right recipe of horsepower, size and cost at the right time. In an article published Tuesday, I took a look at how iPhones and netbooks have disrupted not only the consumer electronics market but also health care.  People with speech-impairing conditions like A.L.S., autism, Down syndrome and strokes have started to discover that general-purpose devices, equipped with downloadable text-to-speech software, can in many cases help them communicate better and more cheaply than the proprietary speech devices covered by Medicare and private health insurance.

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Understanding Asperger's Syndrome - Asperger's Syndrome (AS) has autism-like behaviors such as extreme difficulties with social interaction and with communicating with others.  Children diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome have no speech delays unlike children with autism. In fact they typically have a large vocabulary and are advanced for their age in using it. People often see children who have AS as "little professors" in their ability to command a large vocabulary. Their speech patterns however may be unusual, lack inflection, and rhythm. They may speak in a too loud or high-pitched voice, thus tended to be or interruptive. Children with AS typically have good rote memory but have difficulty with abstract ideas. Children with AS want to make friends and have a normal social position in society but lack the ability and understanding of how to do so. Children with AS are socially inept, and unable to understand the social rules of society. They cannot tell when someone is kidding, joking or teasing. They cannot distinguish humor from seriousness. They often have trouble reading social cues and people's nonverbal communication. They also find it difficult to have empathy for others.

09-15-2009

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 A safe haven for children with Asperger's syndrome - Raising four young children would proveLorna Watson and Harry, who attends an out of school club for children on the autistic spectrum challenging for many parents. But for Tracy and Doug Turner, the role is particularly demanding, as three of their children, aged between 4 and 11, have an autistic spectrum disorder. Charlie, 9, and Emily, 10, have Asperger's syndrome syndrome, a form of autism that can cause difficulties with social communication and interaction. William, 11, has a more severe form of autism and attends a special school. Both Charlie and Emily have what their parents refer to as "high-functioning" autism. Like many children with Asperger's syndrome, they don't look any different from their peers and often appear mature and articulate, but they find it difficult to interact with others. Their behaviour is perceived as "unusual" by other children, which means children with Asperger's syndrome can easily become isolated.

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Are we all autistic now? - How can you tell if someone’s not autistic? This may seem like an odd question, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the world of autism and the families, clinicians and researchers who deal with it. But speaking as someone who’s currently overseeing a project examining the genetics and sociology of autism, and who has experienced autistic traits and related difficulties both in himself (I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in my teens) and in his family, I believe that this is the most contentious question one can ask about autism today.

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Autism behaviors may be detectable weeks after birth - A study at Australia's Flinders University suggests that signs of autism may be recognized within a baby's first weeks. The research focused on infants who had a higher risk of developing autism because they had an older sibling with an autism spectrum disorder. Observations from 10 days through 18 months after birth found that the babies' behaviors differed from that of infants from families without a history of autism. Researchers said that the early signs did not necessarily signify the later development of autism, but that autism spectrum disorders are present throughout family members to varying degrees. Australian, The (09/14)

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Autistic boy, 6, home safe after distressing ordeal - A six-year-old autistic boy who snuck away from his home early Tuesday morning is safe and sound thanks to a TTC driver and a pair of quick-thinking city workers. The boy, Noah-Rylan, had been found wandering all alone on the city's west end around 7 a.m. Tuesday. Earlier that morning, Noah-Rylan and his little brother Braiden-Makai, who is also autistic, managed to leave their family's apartment, located near Weston Road and Oxford Drive, after they got hold of the keys.

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Baxter police arrest woman in inheritance swindling case - Police arrested Katharine Rosenthal, the former Eagan woman accused of stealing nearly $400,000 from the inheritance of an autistic neighbor, early Tuesday at a motel in Baxter, Minn. She will be arraigned in Dakota County this morning on four counts of theft by swindle, four counts of theft and four counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, all felonies.

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Building on Progress Reversing Childhood Neurological Disease ... / The Rett Syndrome Research Trust (RSRT) announced today the creation of a Professional Advisory Council in support of RSRT's goal of curing Rett Syndrome. The Trust is pleased to welcome Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, James Gianopulos, Ann Gianopulos, Jonathan Epstein, Stephen Levit, Doris Tulcin, and Lord Christopher Wellesley - an outstanding group of individuals who have generously agreed to take on our cause.  - The Rett Syndrome Research Trust (RSRT) announced today the creation of a Professional Advisory Council in support of RSRT's goal of curing Rett Syndrome. The severe neurological damage of this childhood disorder was recently shown to be reversible in a dramatic proof-of-concept experiment. The Trust is pleased to welcome James and Ann Gianopulos, Jonathan Epstein, Stephen Levit, Doris Tulcin, and Lord Christopher Wellesley - an outstanding group of individuals who have generously agreed to take on our cause.

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Crofton rape case to stay in adult court - A 17-year-old boy accused of raping a young Crofton girl will stand trial in adult court, Circuit Court Judge Phillip T. Caroom ruled yesterday.  David Benjamin Raszewski, a junior at South River High School, was charged as an adult with first-degree rape after a March 20 attack on a 7-year-old girl he allegedly lured into his Crofton home. If convicted in adult court, Raszewski could face life in prison. ...They said the defendant suffers from some form of autism, would be best served by an environment in which he could get intensive counseling and intervention, and would likely respond well to such therapy.

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District sends boy with autism and service dog to another school - Although a judge issued a temporary court order allowing a 5-year-old boy with autism to bring his service dog to his pre-kindergarten special-education class, his district has transferred him to another school. Carter Kalbfleisch and his dog, Corbin, will attend the Illinois Center for Autism, which is eager to include a service dog in its instruction. Carter's parents still want him to attend neighborhood schools. The district has argued that another student in the class has severe allergies to animals and that a service dog is not part of Carter's Individual Education Plan. St. Louis Post-Dispatch (09/14)

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Gary McKinnon extradition saga rumbles on - The seemingly never-ending case of GaryPD*30068326 McKinnon, the self-confessed ‘X-Files’ hacker has taken another turn.  In an increasingly-desperate bid to prevent McKinnon’s extradition to the US to face trial for his 2002 hacking exploits, his legal team are petitioning the newly-formed Supreme Court in the UK to hear his appeal.  McKinnon’s lawyers believe they have a shot; the Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal against extradition to the US of another man, Ian Norris, who is wanted on charges of price-fixing, on the grounds that he has prostate cancer.  On the face of it, the cases have paralells; both McKinnon and Norris have diagnosed medical conditions - McKinnon has Aspergers Syndrome - and stands accused of crimes which took place many years ago. The Norris case has one important difference, however; cartels were not illegal in the UK at the time he his alleged to have committed his crimes. By contrast, McKinnon knew that what he was doing was illegal, but was never prosecuted by the British courts, even though they had the power to do so and his crimes took place in the UK

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Judge: Autistic Teen Unfit to Stand Trial in Mother's Death - A northeast Ohio judge says an autistic teenager is incompetent to stand trial in the fatal beating of his mother and should be institutionalized. In the Monday ruling, Portage County Common Pleas Judge John Enslow says 18-year-old Sky Walker is guilty of murdering his mother, 60-year-old Gertrude "Trudy" Steuernagel.  Steuernagel was a Kent State University professor who was beaten in her home in January.

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Medicare Denies Useful $150 App in Lieu of $8000 Machine - Our nation is in a bit of a money crisis. In the last few years the national debt has soared to numbers so high they sound imaginary. With wars in the Middle-East still ongoing, and an extremely expensive universal healthcare bill (likely) coming in the future, that debt is only going to increase. The one thing people on both side of the political spectrum can agree on is this; we need to start cutting costs, big time.  Unfortunately, it sounds like the folks at Medicare didn't get that memo. Gizmodo reports that they have refused pay for a $150 iPhone app that does the work of an $8,000 computer.

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New Kit Allows For At-Home Autism Diagnosis - Want to know if your child has autism? You may not need a doctor anymore. Makers of a new kit say they can screen for autism by monitoring just 16 hours of voice data taken at home. Here’s how it works: Parents outfit their child in specially designed clothing that includes a slot for an audio recorder. Then, the recorder is placed in the slot and left on for 16 hours so that it can document a full day’s worth of sound. Once complete, parents send the recorder and completed questionnaire back to the kit’s makers for analysis and within a few weeks receive the results. The kit, called LENABaby, relies on the fact that children with autism make different sounds than their peers.

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Parents struggle with lack of autism coverage - A pillow flew through the air and a brass lamp crashed into the floor. Will Roberts, 8, didn't even wait for his mom, Christy Roberts, to look up from the kitchen table where she was sitting. His green eyes filled with tears and he ran, sobbing, into his room. Griffin Rogers, 6, stood in the entry way, holding the lamp shade in one hand and the pillow that was thrown at him in the other. His older brother's cries echoed from a room somewhere in the recesses of the family's Wentzville home.

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Preperations underway locally as FDA approves H1N1 vaccination - The Food and Drug Administration approves the new H1N1 vaccine and the government hopes to get vaccinations underway next month.  The vaccine was clinically tested at St. Louis University and federal officials say it should be available at 90,000 sites around the country. The Jasper County Health Department does not have it yet but is preparing for seasonal flu vaccinations.

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Town responds to abuse allegation - With rumors swirling about the alleged abuse of an autistic child by a teacher, the Lexington Public Schools superintendent’s office and the Lexington Police Department say rumors of the allegations are false. The claims that other parents are filing complaints about the teacher with police simply aren’t true, said Lt. Manuel Ferro. “We haven’t received one, other than the one we’re currently working on,” he said. Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash also debunked rumors that the district moved from classroom teachers to in-home instructors to save money.

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Verdict on Gary McKinnon's extradition to be announced this week - Gary McKinnon began a long saga of wondermint when he was busted for hacking into what one US prosecutor claimed was the "biggest military computer hack of all-time."  Now, McKinnon, faces extradition to the US to face serious charges.  McKinnon and his lawyers put forth a series of appeals in 2007, which he lost until he was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome, a form of autism. Now, the Supreme Court, the new highest court in the UK accepted a review of his latest appeal.

09-11-2009

bullet Appeals court overturns convictions in 2003 SUV vandalism - A federal appeals court overturned a Caltech graduate student's convictions on two counts of arson for his role in the 2003 torching of several SUVs at San Gabriel Valley car dealers, attacks authorities blamed on a radical environmentalist group.  The U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit upheld the conviction of William Cottrell, 26, on a conspiracy count, but the court vacated two arson convictions in its ruling, issued last week but made public Thursday.  The court agreed with Cottrell's attorneys, who argued that the judge in his trial should have allowed testimony from expert witnesses regarding Cottrell's Asperger's syndrome.
bullet Appeals Court Upholds Decision To Allow Service Dog In Columbia School - A legal fightAppeals Court Upholds Decision To Allow Service Dog In Columbia School between a southwestern Illinois school district and a family over an autistic student's use of a service dog is pressing on despite an appeals court ruling favoring the boy. The Mount Vernon-based 5th District Appellate Court has denied the Columbia school district's bid to put on hold a Monroe County judge's order allowing 5-year-old Carter Kalbfleisch's service dog into the school.
bullet Are biomedical treatments the future for Autism, other diseases? - In a recent article in Huffington Post, Dr. Mark Hyman, a Harvard trained M.D., describes new developments in the treatment of autism that seem to offer great hope. In the article, Dr. Hyman describes how important discoveries over the last couple of decades have fueled a shift in thinking about autism and its treatment. The problem is that, since World War II, rates of autism have skyrocketed from an estimated 1 child in 3,000 to just 1 in 150 kids today. Wider criteria for diagnosis and better detection might explain some of it, but not an increase of this magnitude. Similar explosions have been seen in cases of celiac disease and diabetes, among other diseases.
bullet Are vaccines the cause of Autism? (part 1) - The topic of vaccines is probably one of the most controversial in the Autism community. Some studies say that vaccines do not contribute to autism, while others say it's possible that there is a link between the two. So who's right? Where is the evidence? How is it that two opposite conclusions can come from the same facts? The first thing you need to look at when considering these questions is how the data is presented, and who is presenting the data.
bullet Asperger's lightens prison sentence for man in child porn case - A Bettendorf man with Asperger's Syndrome who graduated from college with three majors and volunteered at his church now faces more than seven years behind bars on a federal child pornography conviction. Jeremy Gatton, 35, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Davenport, by Judge John Jarvey. In a rare move, the defense and prosecution both asked Jarvey to consider a sentence less than what was recommended by the federal sentencing guidelines: 17 1/2 to 20 years. Jarvey agreed.
bullet Aspergian John Elder Robison arrives in style at Basketball Hall of fame Fame's 2009 Enshrinement - On Friday, September 11th, 2009, The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will be hosting their annual Enshrinement Gala, where their newest Class is inducted into the Hall of Fame. Every year, the celebration starts with a press conference and Hall of Famer parade. Since the new Hall of Fame’s grand opening in 2002, John Elder Robison, owner of JE Robison Service Company, Inc. has provided Rolls Royce and specialty cars to transport returning Hall of Famers and Class members through downtown Springfield, MA. The pairing of basketball and Rolls Royce has been a successful collaboration to restore historic Springfield. In addition to his successful car businessJohn Elder Robison is the New York Times bestselling author of Look Me in the Eye. LMITE chronicles John’s life and what it was like growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome. John’s brother, author Augusten Burrough’s inspired him to write LMITE. John acknowledged their differences as writers, “I'd say he [Augusten] is more of an entertainer for the masses, whereas I have an inspirational message for people touched by Autism and others who are different.”
bullet Autistic adults find their place - As you walk into Darlene Berringer’s apartment on Sherbrookenear Greene, Yosef Robinson and Ansovina Dolce take you into the room where they are working on their projects.  Yosef is 27 and has a masters degree in urban planning and Anso is working on her art.  Darlene Berringer helps high-functioning autistic young adults lead full lives Photos: Todd Pritchet  “Each of them is brilliant in their own respect,” Berringer says of her autistic students. Her mission is to integrate them fully into careers where their talents and personalities can shine. Berringer was the founding director of Giant Steps, a school for autistic children and adolescents. It started small, she says, in a church basement in Pointe Claire. The school now has branches worldwide.  Before starting Giant Steps, Berringer taught music therapy at Concordia University.  The shortage of resources for young adults with autism prompted her to leave Giant Steps and begin her new career direction.
bullet Autistic Molly Maxson Wins Discrimination Case Against Abercrombie  & Fitch - It's been four years since Abercrombie & Fitch discriminated against a autistic girl named Molly Maxson. All because they refused to cater to disabled people. The Maxson family has won in the amount of $115,264 for Abercrombie & Fitch now allowing their daughter into the dressing room with someone to help her.
bullet Autistic Teen Shares Memoirs of A Unique Life - I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. You're listening to These Days on KPBS. There are some who say that television is a bad influence on children. But for one young man who lives here in San Diego, TV has become the inspiration for a unique catalog of the events and people in his life. Blaze Ginsberg struggled in his early years. His family and teachers knew Blaze was challenged at school and had trouble communicating. He eventually received a diagnosis of high-functional autism, and he began writing. The book he produced is a memoir like no other. Blaze Ginsberg outlines episodes in his life like episodes in a TV show, with characters and quotes, summaries, even a list of music as a soundtrack. The book is called "Episodes: My Life as I See It." And it's a pleasure to welcome author Blaze Ginsberg to These Days. Good morning, Blaze.
bullet Autism and tantrums - Children with autism may have difficulty comprehending many situations where parents must say "No" or make other tough decisions. This often results in frustration for the child which can lead to tantrums. Tantrums, of course, are common with all children, but for children with autism they can be more severe and continue throughout much of their lives. Tantrums pose a problem not simply due to the presence of some yelling and screaming. In milder cases they may simply change family plans due to the necessity to remove a child from a public situation. In severe cases, tantrums of some older children with autism can be so extreme that they put the child or others around them in danger.
bullet Autism Spectrum Therapies Offers Back-to-School Tips for Children ... - "Getting ready for the new school year can be a hectic and exciting time for families," notes Ronit M. Molko, Ph.D., a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and co-founder of Autism Spectrum Therapies (AST). "However, for children with autism, all this change can feel overwhelming. Many parents have turned to us for suggestions on how to help ease their child's back-to-school anxieties."
bullet Books to help prepare children with Autism for the Halloween ... - Are you looking for something to do with your children to prepare them for the upcoming Halloween season and decorations? These books are five terrific witch books. They present lighthearted and humorous tales of witches. Some of the books are quite long for children's books which is good when you have a child who always wants to hear much more than the typical child's book offers. The most memorable moments from my childhood are those in which Mom would read short children’s books to us just before bed. It was dark outside and the curtains were pulled back. In the Fall, the windows would be open on our little country home. The gentle breeze blew just enough to rustle the Holly Hobbie curtains. And the air was crisp.
bullet Controlling the symptoms of autism - Autism appears to be on the rise in children and adults. What can be done to prevent complications and help these patients maximize their abilities? What is the best way to control the vesical, tactile, and auditory symptoms of autism?—SUSAN DWYER, ARNP-C, MSN, Levittown, N.Y.
bullet Court throws out grad student's conviction - A U.S. appeals court Thursday reversed the conviction of a graduate student convicted of firebombing 125 sport utility vehicles near Los Angeles. William Cottrell, 29, was convicted in 2005 of conspiracy and seven counts of arson for what prosecutors said was an eco-terrorist campaign in the San Gabriel Valley. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals amended its February decision upholding his conviction and 100-month sentence, the Los Angeles Times reported. The judges said Cottrell, who has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, should have had the opportunity to present evidence the disorder prevented him from forming the intent to participate in a conspiracy.
bullet Dealing with dyslexia - Ronald D. Davis, once labeled mentally retarded because of his autism and severe dyslexia, is today an expert on dyslexia and will be speaking in Oakville tomorrow.
Davis will tell his personal story at Le Dome on Thursday, Sept. 10 from 7-9 p. m. Davis reports that dyslexia is the result of a highly visual-spatial way of thinking, not a neurological dysfunction, as many people believe. Since dyslexic individuals think in pictures, they struggle to make sense of words and symbols for which they have no mental images. They can think easily (and therefore read and write) words such as cat, elephant, or motorcycle. However, they are confused by words such as the, of or which.
bullet Excerpt from Victory Over AD/HD by Deborah Merlin - AD/HD is a complex condition, best understood by considering multiple perspectives. Articles which illuminate the multi-faceted nature of AD/HD will be featured throughout September, national AD/HD Awareness month. These articles present a balance of medical, educational, traditional, and alternative perspectives.  Permission to reprint the following excerpt from the book Victory Over ADHD: A holistic approach for helping children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, by Deborah Merlin, has been granted by the publisher.
bullet Genetic tests and insurance - Does your insurance cover genetic testing? Many do. But often only in the case of high risk pregnancies or amniocentesis. If you want a diagnosis for your self or your already born child, it’s on your dime. In other words, if you would like to consider terminating your pregnancy and not bringing a heavy user of insurance covered medicine into the world, the insurance companies are happy to help. If you might be looking for answers, which may result in greater medical expenses, the insurance company doesn’t want to help.
bullet Gluten-Free Food and Beverage Market - www.Bharatbook.com  pleased to announce a new report on "Gluten-Free Food and Beverage Market" into its market report catalogue for reselling.  The retail market for gluten-free foods and beverages is exploding as a result of multiple triggers. On the marketer side, giant General Mills has converted its venerable Rice Chex Brand to gluten-free status, thus beginning what promises to be a battle of giants as other mega-marketers look to enter the fray. The first giant marketer to create a gluten-free product was Anheuser-Busch, which debuted a gluten-free beer, Redbridge in 2006. Also that year the international spice giant McCormick and Co. acquired Simply Asia Foods. Undeterred, numerous specialty marketers have sprung up, using web 2.0 networking to sell directly in what has long been a consumer driven market.
bullet 'How Much Longer' campaign for promoting autism awareness - Just since midnight, over 50,000 letters have gone to President Barack Obama and others as part of a new campaign to bring attention to the rising numbers of autism cases. The National Autism Association (NAA) declared today as National "How Much Longer" Day for Autism, a day of letter-writing to the media, health agencies, Department of Education, lawmakers and the Obama Administration asking for such things as health insurance coverage, federal laws to protect special-ed students from dangerous restraint and seclusion practices in schools, safer vaccines, and for autism to be declared a nation health crisis. Seeing how much attention is being paid to the H1N1 virus, many parents are wondering why autism is the fastest growing disorder, yet has received very little aid.
bullet Jobless pair caught taking lead off roof - ...Bunce, who had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and autism, had fallen in with the wrong crowd and became a heroin addict, from which he was recovering, said Ron Gould, his solicitor.  "He got a call from Flux to meet up. They walked around Cowes and he asked Bunce to help him take lead from both properties," said Mr Gould.
bullet Lawyer letting readers be the judge with page-turner - In Prince George most people know Dick Byl by only that name, in the rest of the world he's known as Richard Aaron The barrister is Dick Byl, the author is Richard Aaron. Balancing both is a challenge Byl approaches carefully.
"My wife says writing is my mistress," Byl laughed For a while he thought he could keep Richard Aaron a secret but that didn't last long Aaron has written the book called Gauntlet, a novel of international intrigue and the Canadian release will be held at Books & Company Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m   The book has already come out in England, and San Diego to rave reviews from the Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, the Herald and many more. "My first passion and probably always will be is the law and to practice law is a beautiful thing and I enjoy writing as well," said Byl. "I guess there is a lot of overlap in the two disciplines."
bullet Lifestyles of the Honest and Awkward - In a new movie, "Adam," the title character, a quirky loner played by the reliably adorable actor Hugh Dancy, turns his living room into an impromptu planetarium to entertain his attractive but romantically wary neighbor, Beth. Soon he is taking her to Central Park to witness raccoons frolicking in the moonlight, and we are comfortably launched on that predictable cinematic journey wherein the charming oddball woos the beautiful girl.  Predictable, that is, until a few scenes later, when Adam inappropriately announces his own sexual arousal and then confesses to Beth that he suffers from Asperger's Syndrome. Very quickly, our geek ceases to be the typical hero-in-hiding and instead becomes the embodiment of a syndrome only recently recognized by the American Psychiatric Association.
bullet Lost in Translation: Autism Is Tough to Diagnose and Treat – and ... - When Alfonso Uribe was 2 years old, he started banging his head against a wall. Alarmed, his mother took him to a doctor. The doctor didn't speak Spanish, and Eulalia Uribe didn't speak English. There was no translator. The pediatrician told Uribe that nothing was wrong with her son. It would take another five years before Alfonso would finally be diagnosed with autism.  That's the kind of thing social worker Alberto Serpas sees every day. There was the father who abandoned his family when he learned his 13-year-old daughter had autism, leaving his stay-at-home wife and two kids to fend for themselves. The wife was undocumented, with little education or money, and no car. Now she works a series of low-paying jobs at fast-food restaurants and supermarkets to put food on the table. She's been fired repeatedly because she often has to leave work early to take her daughter to therapy. When she's not working, she's on the phone with the state or her daughter's school, attempting to fight for services in a language she doesn't speak.
bullet Man evades jail after lurid online comments to girl, 9 - A 21-year-old man who made lurid online comments to a nine-year-old girl has been spared jail after a judge ruled his mental disability would make him a target for other inmates.  Brian Woodard-Peach was convicted of one count of Internet luring following a trial earlier this year.  Court heard Woodard-Peach suffers from Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism that affects his decision-making and has left him socially awkward with few friends.
bullet Marc Rosen of Examiner.Com: Why Autistic People Don't Like Autism ... - This is an excerpt from the Long Island Autism guide for Examiner.com, Marc Rosen. Autism Speaks has created strange bedfellows, have they not? Autism Speaks is easily one of the biggest and loudest voices talking about autism. However, it is also one of the most despised among autistic adults. There are various reasons, many of which involve where their money goes, the stances they take regarding issues that are important to autistic people, their outright refusal to have autistic adults on their board of directors (autistic people do not even have a token presence in Autism Speaks's leadership), their continual use of pity advertising, their unreproducable facts and figures, and their insistence that autism is universally tragic and that autistic people should not exist (their insistence on "curing" autism, which can only be done if a prenatal test is designed to facilitate the decision of whether or not to abort the fetus). Luckily, there are other organizations that are more favorable to the autistic community, though that's for another article.
bullet McKinnon plea falls on deaf ears - LABOUR, CONSERVATIVE and Lib Dem MPs who argued the case for protecting Palmers Green hacker Gary McKinnon from extradition in the US have drawn a blank.  Michael Meacher, for Labour, former shadow Home Secretary David Davis and Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne had a 30 minute audience with Home Secretary Alan Johnson yesterday but were disappointed by his response.  The senior cross-party trio relayed arguments made by leading human rights lawyers concerned for the welfare of the 43-year-old Asperger’s sufferer if the planned extradition took place.
bullet Meet the Teams of 'The Amazing Race 15' - Twelve teams who will race for 1 million dollarMeet the Teams of 'The Amazing Race 15' grand prize on "" have been unveiled. The line-up this season includes a former Miss America, professional poker players, and two openly-gay brothers. One team in particular has all the quality of being a champion because they have been in more than 60 countries.  Nathaniel Lofton (28) and his friend Herbert Lang (32) believe their experience will deliver them first position in the race. "I've been to about 65 countries around the world," said Lang. "I definitely think that gives us a little bit of an advantage when we're traveling to different countries, as far as knowing how to interact with different cultures, managing our money and communicating with taxi drivers and whoever else we need to help us get from Point A to Point B."
bullet Mystery over leak to tabloid in Travolta case - There are concerns over who may have leaked to an American tabloid, reports made to police by the parties involved in the alleged extortion plot against American actor John Travolta.  Travolta's 16-year-old son Jett died at a townhouse in the Old Bahama Bay Resort on January 2, reportedly after suffering a seizure.  By Travolta's own admission to police in his February 25 statement, Jett suffered from autism and had epileptic seizures from time to time.
bullet New book helps youngsters understand autism - A new book called Understanding Jason looks at how autistic youngsters cope in the school environment.  The book, written by Marsha Rae Osborn, a registered nurse, and illustrated by DeOnna Mills, tells the story of a group of typical students who are taught by their teacher how to accept and help an autistic student, Jason, fit in with their class. Written in a playful tone, with rhymes and colourful illustrations, the book aims to deliver a powerful message to children about respecting people's differences.
bullet No jail time for man convicted of seeking sex with girl, 9 - A Winnipeg man will not go to jail for trying to arrange sex with a nine-year-old girl through explicit online chats.  Brian Woodard-Peach, 21, was given a one-year conditional sentence Thursday for the rare crime of Internet luring. Queen's Bench Justice Lea Duval cited the unusual facts of the case as grounds for lenient punishment. The Crown sought six months custody in one of the first cases of its kind in Manitoba. "This is not to be taken as a precedent for others who choose to abuse children in this manner," Duval said. Woodard-Peach has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism that his doctor, family and lawyer said played a significant role in his criminal behaviour. "He was a very immature 18-year-old (at the time of the offence)," said defence lawyer Josh Weinstein. "Asperger's made it very difficult for him to act appropriately."
bullet Retired Tri-City coach accused of hitting autistic boy at library - A retired Hall of Fame coach is accused of hitting an autistic boy who was having a temper tantrum at the Richland Public Library.  Frank Teverbaugh, 76, is expected to appear in Benton County District Court next week after being cited with a misdemeanor assault charge in the incident. He is accused of swearing at and striking a 7-year-old Richland boy who was kicking and screaming as his caretaker tried to lead him out of the library.
bullet Socially aware computers may help autistic - SOCIALLY aware computers could soon be used to help people with autism and attention deficit disorder, thanks to research by a city scientist. Tim Smith, a 30-year-old cognitive scientist from Edinburgh, has been selected to front a national campaign to raise awareness of the impact science and engineering have on our everyday lives.  Mr Smith is currently a post-doctoral research associate at the School of Psychology, Philosophy, and Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh.  He is researching how humans perceive the visual world and his findings could be used to help people with autism and attention deficit disorder and develop technological aids such as socially aware computers and social virtual environments. He will be showcasing his research as part of an initiative led by New Outlooks in Science & Engineering (NOISE).
bullet The perp walk for corporate misconduct - Our story today about the hefty penalty slapped on mega-retailer Abercrombie & Fitch for discriminating against an autistic teenaged customer originated not with a Whistleblower tip, but with our regular review of state agency enforcement actions. Some of those agencies make it virtually impossible to find out about who it's punishing. They treat their fines and violation notices as essentially a private matter between them and the misbehaving institution or individual. Not the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. Each month, it chooses an enforcement action and puts it on the home page, complete with a detailed description of its investigation. It's a conscious effort to use its power to punish violators to deter future misconduct. It's also a welcome example of transparency that clearly benefits both the agency and the public.

09-07-2009

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A Leyton mother claims she 'went through hell' to get a diagnosis of her daughter's learning difficulties - A MOTHER claims she went through 'three years of hell' before her daughter was finally diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.  The North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) has since admitted one of its doctors acted unprofessionally and has apologised.  Mrs A, who asked the Guardian to conceal her identity, also claimed her own health was scrutinised rather than her daughter's after comments were made about her use of a wheelchair.  She said: “I went through hell for three years. I was asked about what medication I was taking – it seemed a bit suspect.

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As Obama speaks to our kids, here's what autism parents would like to say back - President Obama speaks live to school children across America this week -- yet parents of autism want him to listen and respond to making autism a national health emergency.  Autism adovates have declared 9-09-09 a day to listen to what we CAN do about autism.  Here's a letter (PDF) asking the president, how much longer will we wait to tackle this issue?

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Adult autism info 101: Autism training, autism employment, autism ... - At nonPareil, Dan Selec is on the move. He is honing and perfecting the message to those who come by the website so that they can revel in the hope that is offered there. This is a place where an adult on the autism spectrum who is ready for real world training, real world employment and a supportive collaborative community can find solice, support and the place where they can thrive.   Here is the newly framed model on the nonPareil homepage. The mission is the same…it is just explained in a way that the lay person, like me, can understand it the first go around!

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Alan Johnson is accused of a cover-up over Gary mckinnon's legal  battle - Alan JohnsonFighting on: Gary McKinnon with his mother Janis Sharp was last night accused of presiding over a cover-up after refusing to release crucial legal papers in the Gary McKinnon case.  The Home Secretary has repeatedly insisted that he is powerless to halt the extradition of the 43-year-old Asperger's sufferer to the U.S., where he faces 60 years in jail for computer hacking.  But Mr Johnson's officials have denied a request from the Daily Mail to release the legal advice on which this hugely controversial claim is based.  The officials admit there is a 'public interest' in the country having faith in the Home Secretary's decision being based on 'sound' legal advice.

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Autism 'whisperer': Interview with Lea M. Hill - In the previous article, Introducing autism whisperer: Lea M. Hill and ‘The Society of Sylphs, an introduction was made to author, Lea M. Hill. Lea has a deep affinity for children on the autism spectrum and is highly in tune with them. Heretofore unknown author, Lea M. Hill, brings her very special talent as an intuitive to the world of autism awareness and fantasy literature. Lea's website, www.SylphSociety.com, is a safe website where kids from 5-18 can showcase their original fantasy stories and artwork. It also has a blog, interesting creative links and an excerpt from her forthcoming book, The Society of Sylphs. The following is a brief interview with her:

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BBC broadcaster tells of autism heartache - BBC Radio 2 host Ken Bruce has spoke candidly about raising his autistic son. One of six children from three marriages, Ken's seven-year-old son Murray was diagnosed with autism four years ago.  In an interview with the Daily Record, the DJ said that the world would be a better place if every family had the opportunity to experience a child with autism.

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Bereaved mum speaks out to help suicide prevention move - When Caroline Morrison’s 17-year-old son Darryn took his own life her grief was tinged with shock, guilt and a whole range of emotions she wasn’t prepared for. But one of the hardest things to deal with was the reaction of friends who, not knowing how to deal with the issue of suicide, simply stayed away. Now, as a campaign is launched to persuade Scots to open up about the subject, the Dundee mum is speaking out, hoping she can help others. She said: “I lost a lot of friends after Darryn died, just because people didn’t know what to say.

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Charter schools "held blameless" by state for low ratings - Two local charter schools dropped to the lowest rating on the state report card, but are held harmless by the state for those ratings. Life Skills Academy, a school serving students who have dropped out of high school, and Summit Academy, a school for students with Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, high-functioning autism and related disorders, are rated in “academic emergency” — the lowest of six designations — on the 2008-09 school year.

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Have You Kept Your Child's Autism a Secret? - Have you kept your child's autism a secret?Shshsh Perhaps you lurk on groups and post on blogs under a pseudonym so as to keep your child's diagnosis private. I came across an article on Examiner.com titled, Disclosing the Best Kept Secret of Autism.   There are parents who choose not to tell people about their child's diagnosis. I would assume it depends on severity or how likely the child is to interact with a certain group, like your co-workers. For some it's a privacy issue. For others, they might want to avoid discrimination. For a few (a rare few, I hope) it may be the "stigma."  I'm sure the reasons are intensely personal.

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How probiotics can help your autistic child - It's well documented that many autistic children suffer from digestive issues.  What you may not know is that things like constipation, diarrhea, and yeast can cause problems elsewhere in the body.  Your immune system, your brain power, even your behavior can be affected.

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In her own words, a mother's tale of her children's premature birth - Amy and David Collins were shocked when they learned that they were going to be parents of quadruplets, the result of ovary-stimulating infertility treatment. But that was just the first of many shocks that would transform their lives. Two of the fetuses died before birth. And not long after, in February 2003, the surviving children were born — at 24 weeks. David and Elyssa each weighed about a pound and a half. Whisked to the neonatal intensive care unit at Women & Infants Hospital, these little ones had many struggles ahead. Here, Amy Collins tells her family’s story.

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Neurofeedback 101: what is it? - I started looking into Neurofeedback after I heard the highly regarded and smart as a whip Thom Hartmann, talking about it on his radio show.  Thom has written extensively on ADD/ADHD and had very good things to say about Neurofeedback.  Recently, I heard him interview  Nora Gedgaudas from Northwest Neurofeedback about her new book, Primal Body-Primal Mind: Empower Your Total Health The Way Evolution Intended (...And Didn't) and just had to dig a little deeper.

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Researchers Identify Critical Gene For Brain Development, Mental ... / In laying down the neural circuitry of the developing brain, billions of neurons must first migrate to their correct destinations and then form complex synaptic connections with their new neighbors. - When the process goes awry, neurodevelopmental disorders such as mental retardation, dyslexia or autism may result. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have now discovered that establishing the neural wiring necessary to function normally depends on the ability of neurons to make finger-like projections of their membrane called filopodia. The finding, published as the cover story of the Sept. 4 issue of the journal Cell, indicates that the current notion regarding how cells change shape, migrate or differentiate needs to be revisited.

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Semantics: Do they have Autism or are they Autistic? - The number of children in our society Riley and big sister Meridyth exploring the great outdoorsdiagnosed on the Autism Spectrum is increasing at an alarming rate. This new segment of the population is going to come with its own set of guidelines and expectations, but at this point in time, these rules are not only fuzzy, but they vary greatly from one family to the next.  In a world where it feels everyone has to be so cautious in their political correctness, attempting to say the right thing in the right way frequently creates unintentionally precarious situations. For example, the sensitivity of referring to an individual on the Autism Spectrum as Autistic versus having Autism. Those living outside the influence of the Autism Spectrum may not see a difference and may not think it matters, after all, it is just semantics, right?  In many cases, perhaps. In others, wrong. A woman with Autism explained the difference between having Autism and being Autistic quite succinctly by sharing that she has Autism, but it is not the entirety of who she is, therefore she has never referred to herself as Autistic.

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Web addicts get their own 12 steps - As the first residential program for Internet addiction opens its doors, the medical community is divided over the legitimacy of such an affliction.  The Associated Press has a story today that outlines the debate.  Some think Internet addiction is just a byproduct of other issues, such as depression or autism.  "It may be that unless we treat their underlying problems, some new form of 'addiction' will pop up down the line," said Dr. Ronald Pies, professor of psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York.

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Why autistic people don't like Autism Speaks - Autism Speaks is easily one of the biggest and loudest voices talking about autism.  However, it is also one of the most despised among autistic adults.  There are various reasons, many of which involve where their money goes, the stances they take regarding issues that are important to autistic people, their outright refusal to have autistic adults on their board of directors (autistic people do not even have a token presence in Autism Speaks's leadership), their continual use of pity advertising, their unreproducable facts and figures, and their insistence that autism is universally tragic and that autistic people should not exist (their insistence on "curing" autism, which can only be done if a prenatal test is designed to facilitate the decision of whether or not to abort the fetus).  Luckily, there are other organizations that are more favorable to the autistic community, though that's for another article.

09-05-2009

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Adolescents with Autism - Where do parents go from here?  -All parents know what it's like to answer the same question over and over, but imagine responding to a barrage of anxious inquiries 100 times -- in one minute. As parents of a child with Asperger's autism, Adam and Tessy Ridgeway of Ayersville know what that is like. Even dining out can be difficult. For most families, eating in a restaurant is an enjoyable experience, but not for the Ridgeways. The reason is because their son, at one point in his childhood, was so highly sensitive to the odor of specific foods he would become physically ill if confronted with even a whiff. At the same time, his abnormally heightened awareness to sound and light leads to disorientation and panic in public spaces that are lighted with florescent bulbs.

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Autism screening tops Obama's medical to-do list - Autism is the only disorder or disease mentioned explicitly in Obama's 24-point agenda on www.Whitehouse.gov  . Heart disease and cancer don't get the call. Neither does diabetes, or other chronic diseases. But there are four hefty bullet points addressing autism. Obama called for: ...

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Disclosing the best kept secret of autism - What’s the best-kept secret of autism? Well, itautism_disclosing mayFrom the parent’s perspective – at least upon initial diagnosis – the tendency tends to swing to the “tell” side. In fact, more so than tell, even broadcast to anyone met. This is often the case, as when a parent first receives the diagnostic news there is shock, grief, lack of understanding as to what it might mean for their child, creating a need to outreach to anyone and everyone for support, for answers. very well be the one that you’re keeping. Whether you’re a parent of a child with ASD, or someone with autism the debate rages on: “Should I tell others about my/my child’s autism, or not?”

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'I want to get the word out'Father of autistic child to host more than 500 people in his home for the second Evening for Autism event. He hopes the donations pass last year’s total of $200,000. - Real estate entrepreneur Barry Saywitz was having a hard time getting his 5-year-old son Ryan to eat his Rice Krispies at his Newport Beach one recent morning. “No, no, no,” Ryan shouted, as his father patiently tried to lure him to kitchen table with a stuffed toy and a portable video game. It’s hard being a single dad and juggling business, Saywitz said, as he answered text messages from his employees in between trying to persuade Ryan to eat his breakfast. Doctors diagnosed Ryan with autism at age 2 after his grandmother noticed he wasn’t making eye contact with relatives.

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H1N1 influenza prevention and pregnancy: debunking the vaccine myths - Pregnant women are at increased risk for serious H1N1 influenza-related complications. Pneumonia (infection of the lungs) is more common and 6% of reported H1N1 deaths have occurred in otherwise healthy pregnant women. Because of these serious risks the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommend universal vaccination against H1N1 for pregnant women. Here are the top 4 H1N1 influenza vaccine myths, with particular attention to the concerns of pregnant women: ...

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In her own words, a mother's tale of her children's premature birth - Amy and David Collins were shocked when they learned that they were going to be parents of quadruplets, the result of ovary-stimulating infertility treatment. But that was just the first of many shocks that would transform their lives. Two of the fetuses died before birth. And not long after, in February 2003, the surviving children were born — at 24 weeks. David and Elyssa each weighed about a pound and a half. Whisked to the neonatal intensive care unit at Women & Infants Hospital, these little ones had many struggles ahead. Here, Amy Collins tells her family’s story.

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"It's The Vaccines Stupid!" - The WHO and US Government CDC are escalating a public psychological conditioning to create hysteria and panic among an uninformed public about an alleged “virus” H1N1 Influenza A, aka Swine Flu, whose alleged effects to date appear comparable with a common cold. Before people line up in the streets demanding their vaccinations for their children and themselves, it would be wise to remember, to paraphrase a 1992 campaign statement of Bill Clinton to George H.W. Bush: “It’s the vaccination, Stupid!”

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Our brains runneth over - Multi-taskers may be able to do many things at once, but they don't do any of them well, scientists say. This may explain why men so often miss their mouths when trying to drink beer and watch their partner do the washing up at the same time. The idea, long held by Buddhists, psychologists and fat men sprawled on couches, that the world would be a better place if everyone tried to stick to doing just one thing at a time has been supported by researchers from Stanford University, who set out to find what made some people so good at multi-tasking.

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Researchers Identify Critical Gene For Brain Development, Mental Retardation - In laying down the neural circuitry of the developing brain, billions of neurons must first migrate to their correct destinations and then form complex synaptic connections with their new neighbors.  When the process goes awry, neurodevelopmental disorders such as mental retardation, dyslexia or autism may result. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have now discovered that establishing the neural wiring necessary to function normally depends on the ability of neurons to make finger-like projections of their membrane called filopodia.

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Social understanding for autism - We know by now that individuals who live with autism have deficits in their "people skills" . Some are too friendly, while others are daunted by human contact. It is a work in process that makes demands on every aspect of learning. However, social understanding is a two way street. It is the typical world that also needs to be educated.

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Study discovers link between virus and prostate cancer - Following numerous links between viral infections and cancer development, research teams from the University of Utah and Columbia University have connected prostate cancer with a virus.   There have been a number of exciting developments in the connections between common viruses and the later development of cancers and other major ailments. Recent studies have shown notable viral connections to Parkinsons, to skin cancer, to mouth cancer, and even to autism and schizophrenia.

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The reality of living with autism - I have written in this newspaper and elsewhere for many years concerning autism and the dismal reaction that politicians have towards providing treatment opportunities for families in crisis. I am not talking about "enhanced supports and services," which frightened parents scramble to access, but science-based treatment. Once again, autism is in the news in Nova Scotia and, once again, for all the wrong reasons.

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Ultrasound: “unlikely to increase the risk of ASD” - A couple of years ago I remember a lot of discussion on the groups I follow about ultrasound as a cause of autism. A lot of parents were concerned that they might have done something that resulted in their child’s autism diagnosis. A recent study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders looked into the possibility. Antenatal Ultrasound and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Wash U Med School is looking for participants for a study of of infant siblings of children with autism - Do you have a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who has a younger infant sibling? The Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is looking for interested families to participate in a new study of infant siblings. Autism Speaks has provided $5 million to fund the large-scale, multi-site study of more than 2,000 infant siblings of children with autism. Twin and family studies have shown that younger brothers and sisters of children with autism are at a higher risk of developing autism than those children who do not have relatives with this condition. Information gained about early brain development in children at risk for autism may improve methods of early detection and intervention for infants who later develop autism. Earlier identification and treatment may lead to better outcomes for these young children and their families.

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Website helps with autistic children - Bonnie Hayes has been teaching children with autism at Ashford High School for four years. As many teachers would agree, it is not the same as teaching children without a disability.   "It's very different because what will work with one child will definitely not work with another, you have to be able to be extremely flexible," says Hayes.  Hayes depends heavily on the internet, trying to find new ways to spice up a lesson plan. Thanks to a new website, teachers like Hayes and parents can get information about autism.

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Young author pens book on Autism - When Dyllan Rafail pondered his entry into the Young Authors program more than a year ago, he told his mother that he wanted to do more than write a story, he wanted to help. Rafail, a Van Buren Township resident, suffers from a mild form of Autism/Asperger’s syndrome, according to his mother, Melinda, and wanted to tell the world what it was like. “He said that he wanted to help other children’s families and their teachers understand what life is like for children with autism,” said Melinda Rafail, who teaches at Edgemont Elementary School.

09-01-2009

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Advice Goddess: Boy Meeks Girl - Recently, you wrote about “female flirting moves recognized across cultures” - smiling, making eye contact and looking away, toying with hair or objects, and touching a guy’s arm. I disagree about them being “recognized.” Female employers have made eye contact and even smiled, but that didn’t mean they wanted a romantic relationship. If a woman toys with an object, it usually means she’s restless and will soon tell me she has somewhere else to be. As for arm-touching, once, when I was on the phone with an auto insurance agent, a receptionist tapped my hand to remind me to mention something. In contrast, when I met my former girlfriend, she grabbed me in such a way that she clearly let me know where I stood with her. Perhaps I'm the only guy missing these signals; then again, I don't like riddles. I’m too shy to pursue a woman, so unless she makes some big move, we end up going our separate ways. -Dateless.

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Amber Alert Registry Announces Collaborative Partnerships with Autism Speaks and Deliver the Dream  - When community-minded organizations come together to support each other's missions we all win, which is why the folks at Amber Alert Registry (AAR) are so pleased to announce their latest collaborative partners, Autism Speaks and Deliver the Dream. “Our goal is to be a major force in giving back to the community,” says AAR Vice President Zephora Haddon. “We're proud to be a social fundraising company for schools and non-profits because we believe it's the right way to conduct business.”

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Autism and clothing issues - Most children are able to comprehend and complete the concept of dressing themselves by the time they are 4 years old. In the case of children on the autism spectrum, challenges with getting dressed can follow them throughout their lives.  A distinct trait of children on the autism spectrum is the presence of sensory issues. (See 'Eating habits of children with autism' ) This may affect any of the senses and this does not exclude touch sensitivity. The combination of this trait, motor skill difficulties and difficulty in comprehending the concept of dressing, can affect the child's life on a daily basis.

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Autism didn't stifle his ambition - For the first 12 years of his life, Chris Fitzmaurice couldn't sound out the letters of the alphabet. He spoke in high-pitched screeches, didn't make eye contact with others and wouldn't hug his parents. Diagnosed with mild-to-moderate autism at age 2, Fitzmaurice's communication was so limited that his doctor thought he would have a difficult time learning new things. He proved everyone wrong.

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Canadian mother says son with autism will regress without full ... - A Canadian mother of a son with Asperger's syndrome fears his progress will regress unless his full-time hours with a teaching assistant are restored. Monique Robichaud's son Jeremy will have half-time assistance as he enters fourth grade. School district officials said the reduction is not due to budget cuts but because there is an increasing demand for services for students with special needs. CBC.ca (Canada) (08/31)

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Confronting The Daily Challenges Of Autism - When a child is diagnosed with autism, early and intensive treatment can be crucial. Many children wait a long time for admission to specialized learning centers, but there are ways parents and professionals can spend that critical waiting period helping children with autism learn valuable skills.  Parents and professionals now have a comprehensive online resource that offers science-based techniques to help them confront the daily challenges of autism.  The site, www.rethinkautism.com  provides effective and affordable tools and methods that are based on applied behavior analysis (ABA), the only intervention for autism that is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the New York State Department of Health and the United States Surgeon General.

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Daughter who killed mother jailed for 20 years - A daughter and her boyfriend who were convicted of killing her mother in a premeditated attack have been jailed for a total of 32 years. Lisa Brown, 21, battered Anne Brown to death in the grounds of her Ayrshire cottage last October, with her body wrapped in sacks and a sleeping bag before being dumped by her lover, John Wilson, 25. Brown, who was pregnant when she killed her mother, was convicted of murder after a six-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow. Wilson was convicted of culpable homicide, with both found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice. Judge Lord Matthews yesterday jailed Brown for life, ordering that she serve a minimum 20 years behind bars after he rejected her defence case that she suffered from Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism. Wilson was told he was being locked up for 12 years.

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Early pointers to autism identified - Toddlers who later go on to be diagnosed with autism use fewer gestures, such as pointing, Australian researchers have discovered, in findings that may ultimately become part of an autism screening test.  Early identification and treatment of the disorder is thought to be a key to reducing its severity, but the wide spectrum of normal childhood development means it has been considered impossible to distinguish babies with autism from others without the condition.

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High school puts focus on life skills for students with autism - A Connecticut high school has prepared a special classroom and curriculum for four students with autism-spectrum disorders. At Stamford High School, the students will use a classroom outfitted like an apartment, with a kitchen, bathroom and couch, that is designed to teach life skills as well as academics. The students will be assigned peer buddies for friendship and social guidance. Advocate (Stamford, Conn.), The (08/31) 

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Investigating the First-Person Perspective - - Review The notion of the 'self' has always been aSubjectivity and Selfhood hot topic among philosophers, who have long debated questions such as 'what is the self?', 'does the self actually exist, or is it a mere illusion?', 'how do selves come to be?', and 'can selves survive any kind of change?' Cognitive scientists are no less immune to the conundrums raised by this four letter word, and empirical research promising to shed light on its enigmas has recently increased both in output and popularity. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, though, the rifts between theorists of different persuasions continue unabated and confusion and misunderstanding, more than consensus, seems to be the order of the day. Dan Zahavi's book is an attempt to mend this state of affairs, and the way forward -- he argues -- lies in the phenomenological tradition of engaging "the question of the self by focusing on its experiential givenness and by taking the first-person perspective seriously.'(p.3) In other words, Zahavi's aim is to understand selfhood via an investigation of the self's accessibility to itself in experience. Along the way, Zahavi also hopes to demonstrate the vitality and relevance of the phenomenological approach to the issues being debated in current philosophy of mind and cognitive science.

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Mercury Found in Blood of One-Third of American Women - The level of inorganic mercury in the blood of American women has been increasing since 1999 and it is now found in the blood of one in three women, according to a new analysis of government data for more than 6,000 American women.  "My study found compelling evidence that inorganic mercury deposition within the human body is a cumulative process, increasing with age and overall in the population over time," said author Dan Laks, a neuroscience researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.  In a separate statistical analysis, he found that older women had more inorganic mercury in their blood than younger women, indicating that mercury accumulates in the blood over time.  "My findings also suggest a rise in risks for disease associated with mercury over time," Laks said.

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Missing Boy with Autism Found by Trooper, K-9 - A missing child is safe this morning thanks to a Vermont State Police trooper and his K-9. At around 5:30 Monday evening police say they got a call about a missing 10-year-old boy with Autism. He reportedly wandered away from a house on Cabot Road in Woodbury and walked into the woods.  The boy is visiting from out of state. Police say that after nearly 90 minutes of searching, family and friends were unable to find him. Police and fire officials were called to the scene, and a state police trooper and his K-9 found the boy about a mile into the woods near a stream. Police say the child was cold but otherwise unharmed.

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Neurobiology of Mental Illness, 3rd ed.  - The first impression upon seeing this book is that it is a very large volume, and the second is that the content is indeed what it purports to be, a detailed account of research into the neurobiology of mental disorders. Two decades ago a book like this would have relied on extrapolations from animal studies or rehashed the possible mechanisms of action of psychotropic drugs. Instead, these 87 chapters overflow with the results of investigations directed toward understanding human mental disorders as neurobiological illnesses. The mass of what is presented here should make us proud of all that psychiatry has accomplished as a research discipline.

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New Keyboard Layout to Benefit Autistic People Because communicating with them is often an issue - Autistic people are notoriously difficult to converse with, and scientists proposed bridging this divide with computers some time ago. But this has proven to be hard to do as well, mostly because of the large number of keys that sufferers have to use. To solve this problem, experts from the Project Blue Skies have created a keyboard with a unique layout that features no more than two buttons. The keys are able to perform a wide range of functions, making the device similar to a normal one.

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Oklahoma ranks low nationally for insurance mandates, task force told -  comes to the number of children who receive childhood vaccinations, but some parents are choosing to skip them over fears they will cause autism or other negative side effects. The state's health department reports less than one percent of school-age children in Ohio have vaccine exemptions, 10TV's Tracy Townsend reported on Monday. Parents can claim medical, religious or good conscious exemptions from immunization. Kristopher Weiss with the Ohio Department of Health said vaccines do carry potential risk, but he stressed the importance of their benefits. "While every vaccine does carry some type of risk, the benefits of vaccine(s) clearly outweigh those risks," Weiss said.

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'Personal Space' Is Hardwired in the BrainExperts discover the region responsible for it - In spite of the fact that humans are largely social creatures who like to come together on various occasions, we all have what is called our personal space, a minimum safe distance from those we are meeting and conversing with. If someone trespasses this space, then we feel threatened and uncomfortable. For a long time, researchers believed that this behavior was something of an oddity, but a recent study has uncovered the region of the brain that codes personal space limits.

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Prenatal exposure to dioxin-like PCBs interferes with brain  development - A study by researchers with the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute has found that prenatal exposure to a particular category of the persistent environmental pollutants PCBs is associated with the strongest detrimental effects on fetal neurodevelopment.  “We have identified a subset of PCBs that seem to have the strongest effect on babies’ developing brains in terms of mental function,” said study senior author Irva Hertz-Picciotto, a professor of public health sciences. 

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Study Proves Link Between Thimerosal and Autism Neurotoxicity - In a study just published, a causal connection between Thimerosal, the preservative often used in vaccines, and the brain pathology found in patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), has been established. The study, A Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Impaired Oxidative-Reduction Activity, Degeneration, and Death in Human Neuronal and Fetal Cells Induced by Low-Level Exposure to Thimerosal and Other Metal Compounds was published in the June 2009 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Toxicology & Environmental Toxicology.In the study, it was found that the amounts of Thimerosal found in inoculations commonly given to infants in the 1990s and still in use today (though more limited) induced levels of cellular toxicity. This cellular damage was consistent with that found in studies of patients diagnosed with ASD.

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Tel Aviv University researcher devises mathematical formula for protecting the genetic privacy - Tel Aviv University finds a new solution to guarantee privacy and freedom in scientific research.  In the chilling science fiction movie Gattaca, Ethan Hawke stars as a man with "inferior genes" who assumes another's genetic identity to escape a dead-end future. The 1997 film illustrates the very real fear swirling around today's genome research - fear that private genetic information could be used negatively against us. Last year, after a published paper found serious security holes in the way DNA data is made publicly available, health institutes in the United States and across the world removed all genetic data from public access.

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Tests study safety of combining H1N1 and 'regular' flu vaccines- H1N1 flu vaccine testing is going well, but Americans probably will have to wait several months before there are enough shots to go around, the University of Iowa's top expert said Monday. University of Iowa Children's Hospital staff members began giving doses of the new vaccine to children Monday as part of a national study. The study will ensure that the shots can safely be given along with regular, seasonal flu shots. "There is no good reason to be worried that they will interfere. But because we've never given them simultaneously, people want to make sure," said Dr. Patricia Winokur, an internal-medicine professor who is leading the vaccine study here. The University of Iowa, which has done extensive vaccine research in the past, was one of eight sites nationally chosen to run federally financed trials of the new shots.

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The Dateline NBC Autism Vaccine Program: Dr. Wakefield Shares His Thoughts-  In the days just before Sunday night’s Dateline, I was increasingly worried about how this whole complex issue of Andrew Wakefield and the MMR vaccine would be presented.  Mostly, I didn’t want this to end like the 2004 IOM Report which seemed to slam the door on the argument over vaccines and autism.  I didn’t want Paul Offit to have the last word, claiming all the studies disprove a link and thanks to Dr. Wakefield, unvaccinated kids were dying. 

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Victim says she was raped by three men, UT counsel tells HC - Chandigarh In a shocking revelation, the 19-year-old mentally retarded victim in the Nari Niketan rape case has said she was “repeatedly” raped by three persons. So far, only two accused, Bhupinder Singh and Jamna Kumar Dass, have been arrested by the Chandigarh Police. The statement of the victim has been recorded in an audio cassette. Disclosing this to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, senior standing counsel for UT Administration Anupam Gupta said he had informed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the matter.

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Woman with autism develops her own business - A 29-year-old woman with autism turned skills from vocational training into her own business after her government-funded employment program was cut. Lisa Witte of Michigan transforms discarded clothing into rags used to clean industrial equipment. Her parents helped her form Lisa's Quality Rags, which operates from a thrift-store basement and has 35 clients. Grand Rapids Press (Mich.), The (08/31)

 

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"We each have our own way of living in the world, together we are like a symphony.
Some are the melody, some are the rhythm, some are the harmony
               It all blends together, we are like a symphony, and each part is crucial.
We all contribute to the song of life."
...Sondra Williams

We might not always agree; but TOGETHER we will make a difference.

 

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