Friday, December 21, 2012

My Name is David

A short video of a young man explaining autism.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Top 10 Reasons Children With Autism Deserve ABA

This essay attempts to make the case for intervention based in ABA largely by moving beyond simply stating that the science supports this intervention. Adopting the format made famous by David Letterman of the “Top Ten List,” and illustrating most points with stories of an engaging child with autism (my son, Ben) this essay tries to provide an easily accessible case for the multiple benefits of ABA intervention for children with autism.1 Go to: Reason 10 Children with autism deserve ABA because there is more scientific evidence demonstrating ABA “works” than there is for any other intervention or treatment Reason 7 Children with autism deserve ABA because it will help teach them how to sleep through the night and use the bathroom Reason 2 Children with autism deserve ABA because some day their parents are going to die

 Read more here. 


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Evidence and Artifacts: Facing Autism

Evidence and Artifacts: Facing Autism is a long-term photographic project documenting the growing number of individuals, families and invested teachers, therapists, advocates, doctors and researchers on the front lines fighting the debilitating characteristics of autism spectrum disorders. Facing Autism is both a call to action, and a way to honor those who are rising to the challenge autism presents everyday.
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Comparison of Healthcare Experiences in Autistic and Non-AutisticAdults: A Cross-Sectional Online Survey Facilitated by anAcademic-Community Partnership

Read the article here. 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Diuretic drug improves symptoms of autism ?

A drug normally used to increase the rate at which people urinate improves some of the symptoms of autism in children, according to a small clinical trial published today in Translational Psychiatry1. ---- In children taking bumetanide who were less severely affected by autism, the researchers saw small but significant improvements in behaviour. The drug also seemed to be safe and well tolerated with few side effects, they say. ---- She adds, however, that the effects of the drug were small, and that one-third of the placebo group also showed some amelioration of symptoms. “The effects were only noticeable on some gross behavioural measures, [but the findings are] consistent with my view that there is a lot of spontaneous fluctuation in symptoms and a general tendency to improve over time,” she adds. -----

 Click here to read the full article. 


Access4Kids is a "wireless input device that translates physicalmovements into fine-motor gestures to control a tablet.

How do you enable someone to masterfully control a touch-centric device, when the mere act of touching is a challenge? Ayanna Howard, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Tech, and graduate student Hae Won Park have created Access4Kids, which is described as a "wireless input device that uses a sensor system to translate physical movements into fine-motor gestures to control a tablet."

 Click here for more.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Dream Map to a Mind Seized

I used to fantasize about becoming a wildly successful author or influential teacher; now I fantasize about having a map of my son's body and brain, showing me the areas of hurt and how I can help. Gone are the phantom shelves of books I would have liked to write, the modestly tucked-away folder of imaginary teaching awards. When I first knew that my son, now 3, was on the autism spectrum, I had hoped for the possibility of a high-functioning form, but that was before I learned he also has a rare form of epilepsy and a host of immunological problems. Now I just want him to be functioning—that is, alive and able to eat and walk and perhaps even improve over time. Parents of children on the autism spectrum often talk about a number of comorbid conditions that can accompany the disorder—immunological dysfunctions, frequent ear infections, intractable strep, gastrointestinal disorders, rampant yeast, inexplicable regressions, allergies. I did not guess that my son would have all of those as well as epilepsy (there is an 11- to 39-percent overlap between the two conditions), or that our concerns over his seizure disorder would begin to trump our fears about everything else. I also did not realize that he was to have more than one regression, which would rob him of all of his hard-won language and communication skills, forcing him to retreat into a wordless and inaccessible world where I could not follow.

 Click here to read more.