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Monday, November 21, 2011

Do Parents of Children With Autism File More Lawsuits?








As the number of children diagnosed with autism has increased over the last few years, new research finds these students are disproportionately involved in lawsuits about whether they are getting a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive setting as required by federal law.


A new study by Lehigh University education and law professor Perry A. Zirkel, recently published in the Journal of Special Education Leadership explores this issue.


Professor Zirkel found that children with autism were involved in nearly a third of a comprehensive sample of published court decisions concerning the basic tenets of federal special education law. He also found that when comparing this litigation percentage with the percentage of students with autism from 1993 to 2006, the ratio was approximately 10 to 1. In other words, Zirkel writes, "special education court cases are over 10 times more likely to concern a child with autism than the proportion of these children in the special education population."


Does that mean children with autism are more often being denied services they're entitled to compared with other children with disabilities? Not necessarily, though it's hard to say for sure.
Click here to read more, the study is attached.

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Montana CARD Autism Conference Educates Parents, Professionals

MISSOULA, Mont. -- The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), held a conference in Missoula, Saturday. The goal of the conference was to educate people about autism and programs that can help people, especially children, recover from the disorder. The focus on Applied Behavior Analysis, encourages good behavior and discourages bad behavior. Event organizers say the hope attendees understand the misconceptions of the behavior and learn how to treat autism. "We are actually doing a conference for parents, and professionals and students on effective treatment for individuals with autism. Specifically what we're doing is training them on applied behavior analysis or ABA, which is one of the most popular and effective interventions for children with autism," said Autism Expert, Sienna Greener-Wooten. Source

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The brilliance beneath her monster

Rudy's discovery began when she was researching the habits of her partner at the time who had been misdiagnosed with ADHD. After finishing her research, she wrote her first book 22 things a woman must know if she loves a man with Asperger's. "I wrote it in about three days," she reveals with a laugh. "I had a lot to get off my chest." The book was instantly picked up, became a best seller and is being translated into several languages. Whilst researching her second book, Asperger's on the job, Rudy began to see parallels between the responses her interviewees were providing and her own life.

Click here to read more.

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Researchers find troubling link between low birth weight and autism

Low birth weight babies, infants born weighing between one and five pounds, can face a host of long-term health and developmental issues, including illness, infection and, according to a study from the School of Nursing, an increased risk for autism.

Click here to read more.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Finding Not Even Wrongland

Let me offer you this quote from Collins' book: "Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg."This is where I see my place in the autism community. I'm not running for office. I'm not pushing legislation. I don't fundraise for causes. I'm not forming organizations and I'm not fighting legal battles. All those things are necessary and important, but that's not what *I* do. I talk. I talk and I write and I try to win people over with honey and words.I'm trying to help find more square holes and I am trying to get to the round holes and make them at least trapezoidal before my kids and your kids get hammered into them. I want to spread awareness of both autistic kids and autistic adults. I want this to be a world where it is okay to be a square peg without having to pretend to be round.I don't want to change Jack. I want to change the world.

 Click here to read the full story.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Smurks iPad App

Give your iPhone and iPad some emotion What started as a social networking app has become a powerful new tool to help kids and adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and other special needs. The animated face of Smurks® works by being the first full graphic index of human emotions. So it lets you connect with unprecedented range and sensitivity, whether in a text or email, or across the more serious emotional divide caused by autism, stroke or psychological withdrawal. If you are a therapist, educator, parent or caregiver — or simply someone who loves to share their feelings with friends — we invite you to download Smurks from the App Store onto your favorite device and email us. your stories of how Smurks wurks for you.
 Link

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Scientists Increasingly Link Vehicle Exhaust With Brain-Cell Damage,Higher Rates of Autism .

Congested cities are fast becoming test tubes for scientists studying the impact of traffic fumes on the brain. As roadways choke on traffic, researchers suspect that the tailpipe exhaust from cars and trucks—especially tiny carbon particles already implicated in heart disease, cancer and respiratory ailments—may also injure brain cells and synapses key to learning and memory. Columbia University's Frederica Perera discusses the link between exposure to pollutants in the womb and mental impacts in children. Plus, how New York City - one of the most congested cities in the U.S. - is improving traffic flow. New public-health studies and laboratory experiments suggest that, at every stage of life, traffic fumes exact a measurable toll on mental capacity, intelligence and emotional stability. "There are more and more scientists trying to find whether and why exposure to traffic exhaust can damage the human brain," says medical epidemiologist Jiu-Chiuan Chen at the University of Southern California who is analyzing the effects of traffic pollution on the brain health of 7,500 women in 22 states. "The human data are very new." So far, the evidence is largely circumstantial but worrisome, researchers say. And no one is certain yet of the consequences for brain biology or behavior. "There is real cause for concern," says neurochemist Annette Kirshner at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. "But we ought to proceed with caution."

 Click here to read the full article.

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Finding Balance - Obesity and Children with Special Needs. A Report

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children with disabilities are 38% more likely to be obese than their counterparts. “As a community, we must recognize the special dangers obesity presents to our children,” says Sheryl Young, CEO, AbilityPath.org, an online resource and social community for parents and professionals serving the needs of adults and children with disabilities and the organization sponsoring this report. “This is an epidemic in our own homes and we can and must find solutions.”
See attached PDF: 

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Autism's early child

Michael Edge was one of the first children to be diagnosed as autistic, at a time when few in Britain had heard of the disorder. His mother was told to lock him away in an institution. Christopher Stevens, whose own son is autistic, traces Michael's remarkable and poignant life.
 Click here to read the full story.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Sibling Risk of Autism

Until recently, the risk of recurrence of ASD was estimated to be between 3% and 10% for children with a sibling diagnosed with any type of autism. Most of these studies were small and affected by selection bias or reporting limitations. A new longitudinal study published by Pediatrics is the largest study of this type to date and used a long follow-up period and prospective investigation techniques to mitigate these limitations. For the study, the investigators enrolled 664 infants who had at least one sibling diagnosed with ASD. Six percent of the infants had more than one affected sibling. Eighty-four percent of the siblings were male. The average age of the infants at the time of enrollment was 8 months. Slightly more than half (56%) the infants were male and 40% of the infants were third-born or later in their respective families. The study reported that nearly 19% of infants with a sibling with ASD will also be diagnosed with ASD by age 36 months, an estimate that is much higher than previously believed. Male infants were nearly 3 times as likely to develop ASD as females. Infants with multiple affected siblings were more than twice as likely to develop ASD compared to those with only one affected sibling. The risks were not affected by age at enrollment, gender or functioning level of the older sibling, or other demographic factors. The authors conclude that these higher-than-expected rates of recurrence have implications for infant screening and genetic counseling. Pediatricians, the authors assert, should be more vigilant about screening for ASD in children with affected older siblings, and parents with children already diagnosed with ASD should be advised of the risk of recurrence if planning on having more children. However, a clear gene-based link to autism is likely a long way from being identified.
 Source

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Free Webinar - iPad Extras: Mounts, Switches and Other Peripherals

Wondering what mounts, switches, and other peripherals to get for your iPads? Jennifer was too. She'll share with you what she bought, what she didn't, what she liked, and what she's learned through this process. There will be an interactive discussion section; please share peripherals you have or have heard about, so we can all learn from each other. Learning Objectives: Gain an understanding of peripherals available for the iPad Learn the pros and cons and the varied uses of these peripherals Understand different considerations to make informed purchasing decisions

You can find the archived webinar on this page. 

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The Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Toddlers: A PopulationStudy of 2-Year-Old Swedish Children.

Abstract Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is more common than previously believed. ASD is increasingly diagnosed at very young ages. We report estimated ASD prevalence rates from a population study of 2-year-old children conducted in 2010 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Screening for ASD had been introduced at all child health centers at child age 21/2 years. All children with suspected ASD were referred for evaluation to one center, serving the whole city of Gothenburg. The prevalence for all 2-year-olds referred in 2010 and diagnosed with ASD was 0.80%. Corresponding rates for 2-year-olds referred to the center in 2000 and 2005 (when no population screening occurred) were 0.18 and 0.04%. Results suggest that early screening contributes to a large increase in diagnosed ASD cases.
 Source

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Scientists and autism: When geeks meet

Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen thinks scientists and engineers could be more likely to have a child with autism. Some researchers say the proof isn't there. In the opening scene of The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg portrays a cold Mark Zuckerberg getting dumped by his girlfriend, who is exasperated by the future Facebook founder's socially oblivious and obsessive personality. Eisenberg's Zuckerberg is the stereotypical Silicon Valley geek — brilliant with technology, pathologically bereft of social graces. Or, in the parlance of the Valley: 'on the spectrum'. Few scientists think that the leaders of the tech world actually have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which can range from the profound social, language and behavioural problems that are characteristic of autistic disorder, to the milder Asperger's syndrome. But according to an idea that is creeping into the popular psyche, they and many others in professions such as science and engineering may display some of the characteristics of autism, and have an increased risk of having children with the full-blown disorder.

 Click here to read more.

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