Monday, October 25, 2010

Autism rates stabilize in Wisconsin schools: study

"The prevalence of autism in special education doesn't seem to be the same everywhere, and it doesn't seem to be increasing at the same rate everywhere," he said.
 Click here for full article.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Visual Strategies and Communication Systems to Maximize School Successfor Students with Asperger's Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism

Billings, December 13, $199

Specifically Designed for Special Education Teachers, General Education Teachers, Paraprofessionals, Speech/Language Pathologists, Counselors, and Administrators Serving Grades K-12

  • Dozens of practical ideas for developing visual tools and communication systems to increase school success and decrease disruptive behaviors of your students with Asperger’s Syndrome and high-functioning autism

  • How to effectively use visual supports throughout the school day to help students be productive and more successful in the school setting

  • Numerous ideas for developing visual power cards and social scripts that will increase student learning and time on task

  • Current, best strategies for designing unique routines and schedules for your students with Asperger’s Syndrome and high-functioning autism

  • Maximize your students’ learning with work systems that are easy to use and manage

  • How to address communication breakdowns which lead to socialization difficulties and eventually become behavior problems

  • Greatly increase your strategies for working with students with
    high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome using visual strategies and communication systems

click here to see more information


Vitamin B12 Deficiency Causes Vision Loss in Autistic Children WithSeverely Limited Diets

Autistic children with severely limited diets may be at risk for vision loss due to vitamin B12 deficiency, according to new research from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Doctors should consider this deficiency when evaluating and treating children with autism and vision loss, the authors said. The Children's Hospital study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics, looked at three boys with autism who exhibited behaviors that indicated vision loss, such as groping for items or bumping into walls. Further evaluation and tests revealed optic nerve damage and low levels of B12. The researchers administered a shot of intramuscular vitamin B12 and visual behavior improved modestly in each case after normal levels were reached. All three patients, ages 6, 7 and 13, ate almost no meat or dairy products, important sources of vitamin B12. "To the best of our knowledge, these are the first three reported cases of vision loss related to a vitamin B12 deficiency related to poor diet in children with autism," said Stacy Pineles, M.D., lead author of the study. She conducted the research as a fellow at Children's Hospital and is now at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. "Clinicians should have a high index of suspicion for vitamin deficiencies and questions about diet should be part of routine history-taking in this population." There have been many associations between autism and feeding difficulties, with diet-related deficiencies causing such illnesses as rickets, scurvy and dry eyes. With such patients, the researchers said, parents should also be advised to seek evaluation by a pediatric ophthalmologist or neuro-ophthalmologist who can perform a careful examination to rule out optic nerve damage. "Children who refuse foods from animal sources, such as meat and dairy products, are specifically at a higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency," said Grant T. Liu, M.D., senior author of the study and a neuro-ophthalmologist at Children's Hospital. "In our experience, B12 deficiency optic neuropathy in autism is a recognizable, treatable, and at least partially reversible disorder." Robert Avery, D.O., of Children's Hospital was the third author on the study. "Vitamin B12 Optic Neuropathy in Autism," Pediatrics, published online October, 2010.
 Click here for full article.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

FDA cracks down on experimental autism therapy

Federal health officials are cracking down on a controversial therapy that has been promoted as an alternative for a variety of conditions, including autism, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. The Food and Drug Administration warned eight companies Thursday that their over-the-counter products used for a procedure known as "chelation" are "unapproved drugs and devices" and so are in "violation of federal law.""The companies that received the warning letters claim that their products treat a range of diseases by removing toxic metals from the body. Some also claim to treat autism spectrum disorder, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration and other serious conditions," the agency said. "Some companies that received the warning letters also claim their products will detect the presence of heavy metals to justify the need for chelation therapy."The drugs involved have not been evaluated by the FDA for treatment of these diseases, and therefore violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the FDA said.
 Click here for full article.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Using the iPad to connect

Wall Street Journal Article
 Click here for full article


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Newborn jaundice may signal increased autism risk

Full-term babies who develop jaundice have a 67 percent higher risk of developing autism, Danish researchers say, a finding that contradicts a similar study published five years ago.

According to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, being born between October and March and not being the mother's first child further increases the risk for autism for children who develop jaundice.

"This paper does not say that jaundice causes autism," cautions Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a neurologist at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, who was not involved with the study. He points to a2005 Kaiser Permanente study conducted in Northern California, which also looked at a jaundice-autism link and concluded high bilirubin levels in newborns is not a risk factor for autism.

Click here for full article.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Exclusive: First Autistic Presidential Appointee Speaks Out

When Ari Ne’eman walked onstage at a college campus in Pennsylvania in June, he looked like a handsome young rabbi presiding over the bar mitzvah of a young Talmudic scholar. In truth, Ne’eman was facilitating a different kind of coming-of-age ceremony. Beckoning a group of teenagers to walk through a gateway symbolizing their transition into adult life, he said, “I welcome you as members of the autistic community.” The setting was an annual gathering called Autreat, organized by an autistic self-help group called Autism Network International. Ne’eman’s deliberate use of the phrase “the autistic community” was more subversive than it sounds. The notion that autistic people — often portrayed in the media as pitiable loners — would not only wear their diagnosis proudly, but want to make common cause with other autistic people, is still a radical one. Imagine a world in which most public discussion of homosexuality was devoted to finding a cure for it, rather than on the need to address the social injustices that prevent gay people from living happier lives. Though the metaphor is far from exact (for example, gay people obviously don’t face the impairments that many autistic people do), that’s the kind of world that autistic people live in. Now, as the first openly autistic White House appointee in history — and one of the youngest at age 22 — Ne’eman is determined to change that. In December, he was nominated by President Obama to the National Council on Disability (NCD), a panel that advises the President and Congress on ways of reforming health care, schools, support services and employment policy to make society more equitable for people with all forms of disability.
 Click here for full article.


Social Demographic Change and Autism, Part II

Click here for full article.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

PECS Training in Miles City October 21 and 22 2010

Picture Exchange Communication System Training PECS is an alternative communication system using pictures for those who are non-verbal and was designed primarily for students with autism. Visit their website at Where: Veteran's Administration Building Auditorium 210 S. Winchester Miles City, MT When: October 21-22, 2010 Registration at 8:00 AM Presentation from 8:30-4:00. Cost: $100.00 Limit of 45 participants Please contact Karen Pickart, Coordinator CSPD Region I at or call 406-939-3418 or 406-377-6489 to pre-register or to ask questions. A flyer is attached.