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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Study - Yawning Not Contagious for Children with Autism



Children with autism apparently don稚 respond to social yawning, however, prompting some researchers to blame their well-chronicled struggle with empathy.

A new Japanese study suggests that, instead, children with the disorder miss facial cues, such as closed eyes, that make yawning contagious. The study was published 22 July in Autism Research and Treatment.

The researchers say children with autism miss those cues because they avoid looking at people痴 faces. But that may not entirely explain it. For example, a small 2009 study found that typically developing children yawn even when they致e only heard another person do so, but children with autism do not.
Catching cues:
In the new study, the researchers set up two experiments to determine whether children with autism look at others・faces enough to catch a social yawn.

Read more here.


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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cashing In On Fears Of Autism: Scientists Claim They Can PredictWhether A Mom Will Have A Child With Autism

Very recently, scientists at the UC Davis Mind Institute published a study that described 7 antibodies found in the blood of some mothers of autistic children, and much less often found in mothers of normally developing children. They suggested that these antibodies somehow got into the brains of developing fetuses, causing autism in the children. They even gave a name to this form of autism: maternal autoantibody-related, or MAR autism. If true, this study suggests that a test for these antibodies might predict whether or not a child will have autism. The study seems plausible, and it was published in a respectable journal called Translational Psychiatry. Unfortunately, though, the study and the way it has been promoted are plagued with problems. Is this a test that mothers should take? In a word, no.

 Read more here.

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Soft Skills to Pay the Bills נMastering 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 see more. 

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Autism Speaks Took Kits - All In One Place

100 Day Kit Download the 100 Day Kit here! The Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit and the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit were created specifically for newly diagnosed families to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child's More... Advocacy Tool Kit The Advocacy Tool Kit aims to help both individuals on the spectrum and their families develop and use critical advocacy skills in order to achieve the best possible outcomes. The goal of this tool kit is to provide a basic knowledge of More... Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit Download the AS/HFA Kit for free! You can also view a PDF of each section by clicking on the links below. Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit Sections Introduction, Symptoms and Causes List of Strengths and Challenges Executive More... ATN/AIR-P An Introduction to Behavioral Health Treatments Behavioral challenges are a common problem for children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Many children with ASD have challenges managing certain behaviors such as aggression or not following directions in addition to experiencing limitations in More... ATN/AIR-P Autism and Medication: Safe and Careful Use More than half of children with autism take medicine at some point during their childhood. Deciding to use medicine to treat children with autism is a difficult decision for most families. The Autism and Medication: Safe and Careful Use tool kit was More... ATN/AIR-P Blood Draw Tool Kit Blood Draw Tool Kit for Parents Has your child with ASD had a negative experience during a doctor’s visit that has left him or her feeling anxious? Does the prospect of having your child’s blood drawn make you anxious as well? Perhaps this More... ATN/AIR-P Dental Professionals' Tool Kit Many children experience a great deal of anxiety when visiting the dental practitioner’s office, especially those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Feelings of anxiety may be caused by a number of factors including a fear of the unknown, difficulties More... ATN/AIR-P Guide for Managing Constipation in Children Many children have constipation. Children with autism might have more problems with constipation than other children. Difficulty with things like sitting on the toilet and eating different foods can make treating constipation challenging. The Guide for More... ATN/AIR-P Medication Decision Aid Many families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are faced with the option of using medicines to help treat their child’s challenging behaviors. This is a tough ATN/AIR-P Parent's Guide to Applied medical decision and there is no one right answer. Though many children More... Behavior Analysis This tool kit is an informational guide to Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). It is designed to provide you with a better understanding of ABA, how your child can benefit, and where/how you can seek ABA services. ABA is a set of principles that form the basis More... ATN/AIR-P Parent's Guide to Toilet Training in Autism Each child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is different. But children with ASD have some common problems that can make toileting training hard for them. Knowing about these problems can help you come up with different ways to meet your child’s More... ATN/AIR-P Sleep Tool Kit-Parent Booklet and Quick Tips Many children with ASD have difficulty with sleep. This can be stressful for children and their families. This informational booklet is designed to provide parents with strategies to improve sleep in their child affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD). More... ATN/AIR-P Visual Supports and Autism Spectrum Disorder The Visual Supports and Autism Spectrum Disorder tool kit provides a step-by-step, easy-to-understand introduction to visual supports and the ways that parents and other caregivers can begin using them. The pamphlet provides practical examples of how to begin More... 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 More... Dental Tool Kit Download the Dental Tool Kit here! Oral health is a very important component of healthy daily living. But for some children with autism, oral health habits can be challenging. Autism Speaks has teamed up with Colgate and Philips-Sonicare to create a dental More... Employment Tool Kit Autism Speaks would like to help you with your employment search by giving you tools and tips while you look for a job. As an adult on the autism spectrum, you have strengths and abilities that employers are just beginning to understand. We have written More... Family Support Tool Kits Family members and friends of individuals with autism are presented with many joys and many challenges throughout their lives. Learning that a family member or friend is affected by autism is a powerful moment. People respond with a wide array of More... Housing and Residential Supports New! Click on the image below for more information! As part of the transition from childhood to adult life, planning inevitably includes housing decisions. Finding and securing housing and residential supports for adults with autism spectrum More... Individualized Education Program (IEP) Guide and Other Resources Download the IEP Guide here! Individualized Education Program (IEP): Summary, Process and Practical Tips from Goodwin Procter LLP After months of research, a team of lawyers at Goodwin Procter LLP has generously put together a helpful guide to help More... Manual de los 100 Días Manual de 100 Días de Autism Speaks fue diseñado exclusivamente para familias que recientemente fueron evaluadas, para hacer el mejor uso de los 100 días después del diagnoses de autismo. El manual contiene informacíon y More...e to Autism Drug Research Purpose of this guide The decision to become a Participant's Guide to Autism  participant in drug research is an important one, all the more so if you are making this decision for your child or other dependent. It is an option that is becoming increasingly available to individuals and More... Postsecondary Educational Opportunities Guide The Postsecondary Educational Opportunities Guide is designed to help you and your family explore the different opportunities and learning environments after leaving high school. With only about one third of youth with autism attending college in young More... School Community Tool Kit A tool kit to assist members of the school community in understanding and supporting students with autism. The purpose of this kit is to provide helpful information about students with autism and tools and strategies to achieve positive interactions and More... Talking to Parents About Autism Kit Today, 1 in 88 American children is diagnosed with autism. As an early childhood educator, you may be the first to notice when a child is not meeting typical developmental milestones. When this happens, you need to talk to the parents and urge them to have More... Tips for Successful Haircuts Haircuts can sometimes be difficult for people with autism. The challenges can range from sensory issues to anxiety about what will happen during the haircutting process. Autism Speaks has partnered with Snip-its and Melmark New England to develop a More... Transition Tool Kit Download the Transition Tool Kit here! The Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit was created to serve as a guide to assist families on the journey from adolescence to adulthood. Anyone can download the Transition Tool Kit for free!

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

How do I explain my siblings behavior to my friends?

’ll never forget the day that my son John, who was 9 at the time, brought a friend from school over to work on a geography project. He was a little nervous, because this friend had not met Matthew. What if Matthew said or did something embarrassing? How would he explain autism? Just as the boys were finishing a snack and starting the project, Matthew got home from school. “Who are you?” he asked the boy in a close-talking kind of way, “What state were you born in and what airports have you been to?” *** I don’t remember how John handled that one, but now he’s twenty, and an expert on the topic of explaining autism to his friends. Here is his latest iteration of a relateable explanation. You can modify it for your age and stage:

 See more here. 

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iPads in the Classroom, Transforming Learning Experiences - Billings -Sept. 25-26, 2013

Register for this event What:We have all heard the hype about iPads and how this mobile device will change the way that we use technology, but what does that mean for education? If you are looking for an interactive, hands-on workshop that will help you realize the power of this device and how it can be used in a K-12 classroom, then this is the one for you. This workshop is designed to introduce educators to using the iPad as a tool to enhance their teaching and thus improve student learning. This course looks at iPad basic operations as well as advance configurations and use as a teaching tool integrated into existing content. During this workshop you will have the opportunity to discover the countless ways you can use this device to change the way you "do" education. This workshop will assist you in learning the basics of working with your iPad, how to research apps to determine which ones are right for your classroom, and introduce the many accessories that can be added to your iPad to extend its functionality. This workshop is for the beginner to the old pro.When:September 25-26, 2013Where:Montana State University College of Education, Room 1221500 University Dr. Billings, MT 59101Cost:Free of charge

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Young Adults With Autism Less Likely to Have Jobs, Live Independently

Young adults with autism are less likely to find work or live on their own than their peers with other kinds of disabilities, two new studies show. The studies detailed the fates of a national sample of 20-somethings who had received special-education services in high school. The first study focused on employment. Researchers found that only about half of those with autism had ever held a job since high school, and only about a third were currently working. Even worse, young adults on the autism spectrum were less likely to be getting a paycheck than people the same age who had other kinds of disabilities. More than 80 percent of those with speech and language difficulties reported having at least one job, for example, while 62 percent of those with intellectual disabilities had ever been employed. When kids with autism did find work, they made less money. On average, young adults with autism earned $8.10 an hour, while those with other kinds of impairments -- including low IQs, learning disabilities, and trouble speaking and communicating -- were paid between $11 and $12 an hour. The second study focused on living arrangements. Researchers found that only 17 percent of young adults with autism, who were between 21 and 25 years old, had ever lived on their own.

 Read more here. 

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

PECS Level 2 - Great Falls - October 2013

      This training is partially funded through the Montana Autism Education Project.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Transition Focus Of New Documentary On PBS

A documentary following a special-education teacher as she prepares her students with autism to leave high school and enter adult life is set for its national television debut. The film “Best Kept Secret” examines the transition process through the eyes of teacher Janet Mino and her six students at John F. Kennedy High School in Newark, N.J. over the year-and-a-half prior to their graduation in the spring of 2012. Teaching at an inner-city public school where students’ options after aging out are limited, Mino is determined to find opportunities for her students to succeed in the community so that they don’t become homebound, institutionalized or homeless after graduating. Central to the story are Erik, the most high-functioning member of the class who dreams of working at Burger King; Quran whose father worries that the emphasis on education at school means he is not spending enough time learning basic life skills; and Robert who struggles with behavior and has a difficult home life leading him to miss class often.

 Read more here. 

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Friday, September 6, 2013

10 Weirdest Things Linked To Autism

I write about autism a lot. Much of what I write has to do with autism-related research, and I keep tabs on what comes down the pipeline every day–because a new autism finding turns up every day. Some of it seems pretty reasonable, but a few things I’ve seen linked to autism–always a mathematical relationship, never a causative one–just leave a reader thinking, “Eh?,” possibly with a little stereotypical head-scratching added in. Or maybe the occasional throwing of items within reach. Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a list. Here are the 10 weirdest–and in some cases, most dangerous–factors I’ve seen linked to autism. 1. No worms. Without question, my all-time favorite autism-linked factor has to be “an absence of worms.” It’s a wriggly hypothesis that lacks even a correlation to drive it, but it sure did get a lot of attention. I can confirm anecdatally that I’ve never heard of an autistic person who had worms, but I also haven’t known non-autistic people who have, either.

 Read more here. 

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Training in Autism Friendly Protocols Help to Improve ER Care

“So often practitioners misconstrue behavior of patients with autism and do not realize the behaviors they exhibit are not maladaptive but rather those that characterize the condition, and this leads to poor outcomes,” says Dr. Arvind Venkat, vice chair of the department of emergency medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and co-author of the “Assess Communicate Treat for Autism (ACT)” training manual along with Joann Migyanka, a former teacher of children with autism and associate professor of special education at Indiana University and now autism consultant; Jeffrey Fratangeli, director of program evaluation and accreditation in the College of Education and Educational Technology at IUP; and Susan Glor-Scheib, professor in IUP’s special education and clinical services department. “It’s time for those of us in the general health care system to get prepared,” says Venkat, noting that ACT recommends care delivery that will result in the best experience and outcome for the patient and his/her family members.

 Read more here. 

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Special Education Decisions related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Montana Office of Public Instruction publishes the results of state due process hearings and complaints. A growing number of decisions are for students with autism spectrum disorders. You can review past decisions here (not all decisions are related to autism spectrum disorders.) Below is a link to a decision directly related to autism. Issue 5: Did the District fail to consider the diagnosis of autism/Asperger’s in determining eligibility for special education services and err when it did not find Student eligible under the autism category?

 Read more here. 


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Sensory Overload

Some people with autism have difficulty processing intense, multiple sensory experiences at once. This animation gives the viewer a glimpse into sensory overload, and how often our sensory experiences intertwine in everyday life.

See video here:

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Few Young Adults With Autism Living Independently

Young adults with autism are more likely to live with their parents and least likely to live independently after leaving high school as compared to those with other types of disabilities, researchers say. Only about 17 percent of young adults on the spectrum ages 21 to 25 have ever lived independently. By comparison nearly 34 percent of their peers with intellectual disability have, researchers reported online recently in the journal Autism. Since leaving high school, the vast majority of young adults with autism — nearly 9 in 10 — have spent at least some time living with a parent or guardian, the study found. And most have never tried another living situation.

 Read more here. 

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Webinar - Home Sweet Home: Housing Options for Young Adults withDisabilities

Home Sweet Home: Housing Options for Young Adults with Disabilities. As a young person with a developmental disability transitioning from high school to your adult life, you've probably been thinking about where you want to live after you graduate. (In an apartment with friends? In a college dorm? In your own condo or house?) You can start planning NOW to create the future living situation you want. One of our presenters will describe how she made her housing dream come true. Our second presenter will introduce you to Montana options and resources that can help you achieve your housing goals, whatever they might be.Presenters:Sierra Lode learned to use augmentative/alternative communication at the age of three and that enabled her to be competitive in the educational setting despite her quadriplegia and inability to communicate verbally. Through her sheer tenacity she achieved an Associate of Arts Degree in 2012 from the University of Montana College of Technology at the age of 28. Sierra is an advocate for youth with disabilities, serving on the University of Montana Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council. She was a delegate at the first Montana Youth Leadership Forum in 2000 and continued to support the Forum as a volunteer for the next 10 years. Sierra was appointed to the National Youth Leadership Network in 2002 in Washington, D.C., and appointed to the National Youth Leadership Network Advanced Institute in 2005. Sierra was awarded the 2005 Emerging Leader Award from the Montana Center on Disabilities at Montana State University. She works part-time as a peer advocate for Summit Independent Living Center in Missoula. Sierra has given numerous volunteer presentations advocating for youth with disabilities, and she is currently in the process of pursuing her career by developing a business plan that will put her "on the road" as a motivational speaker. In the spring of 2013, Sierra purchased her own home.Michael M. O'Neil is a Program Officer with A.W.A.R.E. Inc., Montana's leader in providing innovative community services for persons with disabilities. Michael has extensive experience in the development of affordable housing and community living opportunities and resources, particularly for people with disabilities. AWARE works to create community integrated housing opportunities for persons with disabilities across the age and ability spectrum addressing housing needs from homelessness to Olmstead housing and integrated community rental housing to expanding homeownership opportunities. They work to promote affordability and enhanced accessibility options in all housing options. AWARE has assisted over 130 individuals and families with disabilities to become homeowners. In his work, Michael strongly advocates the view that quality, safe, accessible and affordable housing is the fundamental foundation for establishing stable community living and a life of greater independence and dignity for all. Title: Home Sweet Home: Housing Options for Young Adults with Disabilities Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM MDT As a young person with a developmental disability transitioning from high school to your adult life, you've probably been thinking about where you want to live after you graduate. (In an apartment with friends? In a college dorm? In your own condo or house?) You can start planning NOW to create the future living situation you want. One of our presenters will describe how she made her housing dream come true. Our second presenter will introduce you to Montana options and resources that can help you achieve your housing goals, whatever they might be.Presenters:Sierra Lode learned to use augmentative/alternative communication at the age of three and that enabled her to be competitive in the educational setting despite her quadriplegia and inability to communicate verbally. Through her sheer tenacity she achieved an Associate of Arts Degree in 2012 from the University of Montana College of Technology at the age of 28. Sierra is an advocate for youth with disabilities, serving on the University of Montana Rural Institute Consumer Advisory Council. She was a delegate at the first Montana Youth Leadership Forum in 2000 and continued to support the Forum as a volunteer for the next 10 years. Sierra was appointed to the National Youth Leadership Network in 2002 in Washington, D.C., and appointed to the National Youth Leadership Network Advanced Institute in 2005. Sierra was awarded the 2005 Emerging Leader Award from the Montana Center on Disabilities at Montana State University. She works part-time as a peer advocate for Summit Independent Living Center in Missoula. Sierra has given numerous volunteer presentations advocating for youth with disabilities, and she is currently in the process of pursuing her career by developing a business plan that will put her "on the road" as a motivational speaker. In the spring of 2013, Sierra purchased her own home.Michael M. O'Neil is a Program Officer with A.W.A.R.E. Inc., Montana's leader in providing innovative community services for persons with disabilities. Michael has extensive experience in the development of affordable housing and community living opportunities and resources, particularly for people with disabilities. AWARE works to create community integrated housing opportunities for persons with disabilities across the age and ability spectrum addressing housing needs from homelessness to Olmstead housing and integrated community rental housing to expanding homeownership opportunities. They work to promote affordability and enhanced accessibility options in all housing options. AWARE has assisted over 130 individuals and families with disabilities to become homeowners. In his work, Michael strongly advocates the view that quality, safe, accessible and affordable housing is the fundamental foundation for establishing stable community living and a life of greater independence and dignity for all. Title: Home Sweet Home: Housing Options for Young Adults with Disabilities Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM MDT
 View archived webinar here:

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Workplace Opportunities and Resources for autism in the Community(WORC) Informational Video

Although many adults with ASD are fully capable of managing a full-time job, responses in the PA Autism Needs Assessment indicate that many of them are unemployed and under-employed, which may be attributed to a variety of the challenges associated with ASD. As stakeholder analyses and collaboration with community partners have demonstrated, there are many components to successfully supporting individuals with ASD in employment settings. The WORC Information video is focused on teaching employers how to support and integrate individuals with ASD into the workforce. It includes a pre-test, post-test, PowerPoint presentation, and video vignettes to better demonstrate the message of the training. Instructions To view the video click the link below and then click the link on the page that displays in your browser. Select "ASERT Video" and the video page will load. General Information Training Video Presentations Powerpoint Presentation

See here:


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It's An Autism ThingŠLet Me Help You Understand

A good autism blog from a dad. Who is also a comic.

see here:

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Webinar - Back to School Sensory Tips.

Summer over and it’s back to school! Lindsey discusses ways to prepare kids–from preschoolers to teens–for the start of a great school year as well as tips to help keep them comfortable and productive at school all year long. Register here.

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Autism Research: August 31st Week in Review

Audio-visual cue understanding problems diminish in autism adolescence New study finds maternal antibodies producing autism Genetic evidence links Autism and ADHD Study finds deleterious compound potentially causing autism

 Read the stories here.


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