Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Autistic children subject to more bullying

Children with autism spectrum disorder are bullied three times more frequently than their siblings who did not have autism, U.S. researchers found. Dr. Paul Law, director of the Interactive Autism Network Project at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, said the study found 63 percent of children with autism spectrum disorder have been bullied at some point in their lives -- and are sometimes intentionally "triggered" into meltdowns or aggressive outbursts by peers.

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How will DSM 5 affect autism rates?

n January, at a meeting of the Icelandic Medical Association, Yale researcher, Dr Fred Volkmar gave a presentation of data from a study looking at the implications of changes to autism diagnostic criteria in DSM 5. His conclusion was that many people who are currently diagnosed with autism, Asperger's, or PDD-NOS would not meet the new proposed criteria for autism spectrum disorder in DSM 5.Volkmar's remarks were picked up by the New York Times, who ran with the lede: "Proposed changes in the definition of autism would sharply reduce the skyrocketing rate at which the disorder is diagnosed and might make it harder for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get health, educational and social services" Not surprisingly, the article caused much consternation in autism circles. But because the study itself hadn't been published, members of the DSM 5 Neurodevelopmental Work Group, charged with implementing these changes, were unable to pass comment.

 Click here to read the full article. 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

People With Autism Possess Greater Ability to Process Information,Study Suggests

People with autism have a greater than normal capacity for processing information even from rapid presentations and are better able to detect information defined as 'critical', according to a study published March 22 in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. The research may help to explain the apparently higher than average prevalence of people with autism spectrum disorders in the IT industry.
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Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Although the DSM-5 proposed revisions to the diagnosis of autism have precipitated intense controversy about the suggested elimination of the diagnoses of Asperger's Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, my concern is about the refusal of the DSM diagnostic classification committee to permit a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in a child diagnosed with autistic disorder. As stated in DSM IV, "Symptoms of overactivity and inattention are frequent in Autistic Disorder, but a diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is not made if Autistic Disorder is present." (p.74, DSM IV, copyright 2000, text revision.) DSM 5 proposes to retain this rule.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Mothers of autistic children earn 56% less income, study says

When a child in the family has autism, parents and siblings often devote extra time and financial resources to ensure the best possible outcomes for the child's future. A new study puts a number on the financial toll the disorder takes on families each year. On average, family earnings when a child has autism are 28 percent lower than those of a child without a health limitation, the study found - nearly $18,000 less money for the family per year.

 Click here to read more. 


Friday, March 16, 2012

Autism and the Circle of Friends

We began by failing our son, TH. We failed to be vigilant enough about his reputation. We were lax in monitoring the growing perception of him as a bully, while simultaneously, he was on the receiving end of bullying all day, every day. His reputation as a bully spread beyond the school walls and playground boundaries, leaking into our neighborhood, speeding through wires and wireless, the talk of the bus stops. His size, his odd behaviors, his loud and unexpected non-sequiturs, and his violations of personal space drove the rumors on. When we learned all of this, we were devastated. Then, we heard about the Circle of Friends (COF) program.The basic principle of this program is that placing knowledge in the hands of others also means giving them understanding and compassion. For us, that meant that somehow, we had to get across to our son’s classmates, and by extension their parents, as much information about our son as possible. We had to reconstruct people’s attitudes about TH, and in this case, because we’d let it go so long, we had to do it across all classrooms in his grade

 Click here to read more. 


"Approaching Autism Theatrically"

Until Stephen Volan was diagnosed in 2002 with Asperger's Syndrome at the age of 37, he had no way to address his difficulties navigating the minefields of society and the workplace. Holding jobs, maintaining close relationships, or reading faces and body language were all exercises in paralysis-inducing doubt and frustration. Long before ""the autism spectrum"" was as widely discussed as it is today, he had unwittingly begun overcoming its handicaps thanks to a serendipitous theater class at Second City in Chicago. In it he learned to rely on a skill he knew how to use without hesitation: being playful.

Click here to watch the video. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interview with Shannon Des Roches Rosa

"I have just reviewed Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism and was truly amazed how the people responsible for gathering this collection of over fifty essays made it all happen. Shannon Des Roches Rosa is one of the five editors and also one of the contributors of Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. She is a founding editor and frequent contributor to The Thinking Person’s Guide site and has also worked on three other books. We are pleased to welcome her to our Author Interview Series."

 Click here to read the interview.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Soft Skills to Pay the Bills × Mastering Soft Skills for WorkplaceSuccess

"Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success," is a curriculum developed by ODEP focused on teaching "soft" or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. Created for youth development professionals as an introduction to workplace interpersonal and professional skills, the curriculum is targeted for youth ages 14 to 21 in both in-school and out-of-school environments. The basic structure of the program is comprised of modular, hands-on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.

 Click here to read more and download the curriculum.