Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Successful Employment for People with Asperger's Syndrome

Presented at the 2012 Montana Association for Rehabilitation conference by Marla Swanby, OPI Secondary Transition Specialist and Doug Doty, Statewide Coordinator, Montana Autism Education Project
Secondary transition:

Age-appropriate Assessments:

Classic Autism


There is little quality research on Aspergers and employment.

Social Stories about accepting feedback and other job skills.

Scheduling App.


Technology Central

Technology Central is designed to provide the autism community with the latest information, tools, and resources so that everyone can benefit from the great strides being made in the world of technology! Technology and Autism Webinar SeriesApps DatabaseSpotlight: Technology Resources of the MonthAutism Speaks Tech InitiativesAutismCares iPad GiveawaysFrequently Asked QuestionsNews and Information

 Click here for more. 


Unusual iPad Apps for Communication

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 3 PM Pacific, 6 PM Eastern Some apps don't fit the usual text-based or image-based mold. Jen will be prepared to demonstrate: Talkforme Locabulary VocaBeans FCS Lite Expressionist iclickitalk AutoVerbal PIcs Aloud iPicto Lite EZspeech TalkRocket Registration required.

Hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of childhood autism: a randomisedcontrolled trial

Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy (HBOT) has risen in recent years as an “alternative” therapy for many conditions, autism included. The logic behind HBOT is rather fuzzy. For example, there was some discussion of using HBOT to reduce oxidative stress a few years back. How increasing oxygen in the body would decrease oxidative stress was not clear. Some other discussions focused on oxygen perfusion. Basically, some studies have shown that some areas of the brain may be getting less oxygen in autistics than in non-autistics. The idea was that increasing the oxygen to those areas might result in some improvement in some measure or another.

 Click here to read more. 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Flathead Valley Support Group Meeting

Kalispell Support Group MeetingThe next Kalispell Support Group meeting will be on Monday, October 22nd at Serious Ju Ju Skateworks at 1896 Airport Road in Kalispell. The meeting will be from 6:30pm to 8:30pm and is open to all parents, caregivers, professionals and kids. The indoor skate park will be available for use and movies will be played on a big screen to help entertain the kids. For more information, call Tim at (406) 257-8758.


Kids With Autism Find It Hard to Describe Poor Behavior, Study Finds

It's difficult for children with autism to recognize improper social behavior and, even if they do, they are often unable to use spoken language to explain why the behavior was inappropriate, a small new study reveals. The findings from brain scans of children with autism support the results of previous behavior studies that reached similar conclusions about language impairment in children with autism, the researchers said.

 Click here to read more. 


OAR Releases Free Book: Navigating the Special Education System

Every parent knows that getting any child through school is a challenge. But for parents of children on the autism spectrum, the vast majority of whom require special services in order to successfully access the curriculum, this task can be burdensome or downright overwhelming even before a child reaches school age. Now, with the school year well underway, OAR is excited to announce the release of Navigating the Special Education System, the seventh guidebook in its Life Journey through Autism series. Packed with information from cover to cover, this comprehensive resource is designed to help parents meet the unique needs of their child with autism. Here’s a glimpse of what you will learn about: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which governs how special education is administered in schools Each critical component of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the document that outlines a student’s target objectives and required services The timeline of services from early intervention through transition Becoming an effective advocate for your child Preparing for a move to a new school, district, or state Common special education terminology, including related services (e.g. speech language pathology) and accommodations (e.g. extended time) Crafting effective IEP goals Recommended reading and state-specific resources Navigating the Special Education System is the second of three resources developed as part of OAR’s “Autism in the Schoolhouse” initiative. The first, Kit for Kids, is a colorful, interactive program that teaches typically developing elementary and middle school children about their peers with autism. The final piece, Understanding Autism: A Guide for Secondary Teachers, is a one-hour DVD designed to help teachers support students with autism in general education settings. The project is currently in production and set for completion in December.

 Click here to access:


Monday, October 15, 2012

Stem Cell Therapy To Treat Autism?

In a newly planned trial, recently approved by the FDA, researchers will examine whether stem cells obtained through umbilical cord blood at birth may be an effective treatment for children with autism.

 Read more here. 


5-Step Exercise Proven to Significantly Benefit Children with Autism

According to recently published research in The American Journal of Occupational Therapy by NYU Steinhardt scientists, a 5-step yoga exercise program significantly benefits autistic children in the classroom. This 5-step exercise program is part of a “Get Ready To Learn” (GRTL) intervention program designed by occupational therapist and yoga instructor Anne Buckley-Reen. The yoga-based GRTL program was created in 2008 and is available nationwide with a focus on students ages 5 through 21 who have significant disabilities in a learning environment. The 5-step exercise can be performed in the classroom or at home and consists of: Step one: Mats out Step two: Breathe deep Step three: Assume poses Step four: Tense and relax muscles Step five: Sing.

 Read more here. 


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Study Confirms Autistic Wandering is Widespread

“Occurrence and Family Impact of Elopement in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” was published today in the November 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Oct. 8). The study was conducted by the Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute and indicates that half of children with autism wander away from safe environments. The study was funded by a coalition of autism advocacy organizations led by the Autism Science Foundation. Researchers surveyed 1,367 families with children between the ages of 4 and 17 who had been diagnosed with ASD. Nearly half – 598, or 49 percent – of the families reported that their child had attempted to elope at least once after age 4. Of those, 316 children went missing long enough to cause concern. Greater autism severity was associated with increased elopement risk. Children eloped most commonly from their home, a store, classroom or school. Nearly half of parents said their child’s elopement was focused on an intent to go somewhere or do something, versus being confused or lost. Close calls with calamities like traffic injury or drowning are frequent, with police called in more than a third of cases. Of parents whose children had eloped, 43 percent said the issue had prevented family members from getting a good night’s sleep, and 62 percent said their concerns had prevented family from attending or enjoying activities outside the home. For 56 percent of parents, elopement was one of the most stressful behaviors they had to cope with as caregivers of a child with ASD, and half said they received no guidance from anyone on preventing or addressing this behavior.



Monday, October 8, 2012

Capturing the Positive - Havre, October 13 2012

In this session, we will learn the connection between behavior and communication. The participants will understand the methods of communication and the function of behaviors. Participants will also be given an overview of strategies for positive behavioral supports. In break-out sessions participants will integrate strategies for home, school, and community that will allow students with ASD to thrive.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit

Sometimes the difficulties of autism can lead to behaviors that are quite challenging for us to understand and address. Most individuals with autism will display challenging behaviors of some sort at some point in their lives. Autism Speaks has created this Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit to provide you with strategies and resources to address these behaviors, and to help support you and your loved one with autism during these difficult situations. The guiding principle used in developing this kit is that each individual with autism and his family should feel safe and supported, and live a healthy life filled with purpose, dignity, choices, and happiness. With this in mind, positive approaches and suggestions are highlighted throughout the kit. The general framework and intervention principles included are relevant at any stage of life, and we have included basic background information, with links to further information and resources on a variety of topics. Click here to download the Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit. The kit is broken into different sections. You may want to read the kit in its entirety or work through a section at a time: Why is Autism Associated with Aggressive and Challenging Behaviors? Why is it Important to Do Something about Challenging Behaviors? Who Can Help? What is this Idea of a Team? What are the Things to Consider? What are the Positive Strategies for Supporting Behavior Implementation? What Might I Need to Know about Managing a Crisis Situation? What are Long Term Solutions and Where Can Want to Learn More?

 Challenging Behaviors Glossary 



The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) announces thepublication of practice guidelines for applied behavior analysistreatment of autism spectrum disorder.

The BACB is pleased to announce the publication of its new practice guidelines document: Health Plan Coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder. The guidelines were developed to provide guidance to health plans, consumers, and providers so that individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder receive applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment consistent with the best available scientific evidence and expert clinical opinion.

 Download here. 



Friday, October 5, 2012

How can technology help me?

If your are looking to... Then Try... ... enhance communication skills (verbal or non-verbal)... Talk Rocket ... get help with reading, writing or math skills try... Panther Apps Search “Panther” in itunes ... help you follow a schedule or build a daily routine... iPrompts ... connect and share with other parents/caregivers, or the autism community... My Autism Team myautismteam.comWrongplanet wrongplanet.netSquag ... help with social situations... The Social Express ... provide structure and fun around family activities, chores, homework and more... Chorewars ... improve yourself, manage anxiety or achieve a specific goal...



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Application of DSM-5 Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder to ThreeSamples of Children With DSM-IV Diagnoses of Pervasive DevelopmentalDisorders

With much attention focused on the change from DSM-IV to DSM-5 criteria for diagnosing autism, it is good to see more data coming out. As noted only a yesterday (Brief Report: Comparability of DSM-IV and DSM-5 ASD Research Samples) a large number of papers on the effect of the change have been published in 2012. Add another to the list today: Application of DSM-5 Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder to Three Samples of Children With DSM-IV Diagnoses of Pervasive Developmental Disorders. This paper includes Catherine Lord as one of the authors and includes a large number of individuals (both autistic and non-autistic), with ” 4,453 children with DSM-IV clinical PDD diagnoses and 690 with non-PDD diagnoses (e.g., language disorder)”. In addition, the full paper is available online. This may be the largest study so far, especially in that it uses recent DSM-5 criteria (earlier studies have used earlier versions). Here is the conclusion paragraph: To our knowledge, this study is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the newly proposed DSM-5 ASD criteria. Based on symptom extraction from previously collected data, our findings indicate that the majority of children with DSM-IV PDD diagnoses would continue to be eligible for an ASD diagnosis under DSM-5. Additionally, these results further suggest that the revisions to the criteria, when applied to records of children with non-PDD diagnoses, yield fewer misclassifications. Our findings also contribute to literature that supports the use of both parent report and clinical observation for optimal classification accuracy.

 Read more here. 


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Senses Altered For Those With Autism, Study Finds

People with autism perceive sight, sound and touch in extremely unpredictable ways, new research suggests, a finding that may help explain behaviors associated with the developmental disorder. In observing adults with and without autism as they experienced various sensory stimuli, researchers found that those with the disorder responded inconsistently even when they saw, heard or touched the exact same thing over and over again. “This suggests that there is something very fundamental that is altered in the cortical responses in individuals with autism,” said Marlene Behrmann, professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University who worked on the study published this month in the journal Neuron. “It also begins to build a bridge between the kind of genetic changes that might have given rise to autism in the first place – and the kind of changes in the brain that are responsible for autistic behavioral patterns.” For the study, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, to observe brain activity in 14 adults with and 14 without autism as they experienced various sensory stimuli. To measure sight, participants watched a pattern of moving dots while their auditory responses were tested by listening to pure tones and short air puffs were used to assess reactions to touch. While the typically developing adults in the study had fairly consistent reactions, those with autism displayed responses varying from strong to weak even when faced with the same stimuli repeatedly, researchers said. This unreliable view of the world may offer clues as to why people with autism exhibit certain behaviors, they said.



Miss Montana speaks at autism convention in Helena.

For much of her first 11 years, Alexis Wineman was bullied and teased, staying quiet to hide her speech problems, descending into self-loathing, looking at herself as a punching bag, scratching her arms and even banging her head against walls. After one bout of frustration in school, a teacher told her she wasn’t getting paid enough to deal with her kind of behavior. “I felt so alone growing up, and I still do at times,” Wineman, now Miss Montana 2012, told a group of more than 300 people Friday at a conference on autism and Asperger’s syndrome, put on by the Helena-based ChildWise Institute. “Something was wrong with me and no one could tell be what it was.”

 Read more.