Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Study Questions Effectiveness Of One-To-Ones In Special Ed

Abstract Classroom assistants and one-to-one assistants are an important part of the staffing structure of many autism support classrooms. Limited studies, however, have examined how one-to-one assistants spend their time in the classroom. The purpose of this article was to examine the percentage of time one-to-one assistants were engaged in instruction or support of students with autism and to determine the factors associated with their engagement. Direct observations were conducted in 46 autism support classrooms. Teachers and classroom assistants were engaged in instruction or support 98% and 91% of the time, respectively. One-to-one assistants were engaged in instruction or support 57% of the time. Classroom assistants’ and one-to-one assistants’ engagement was significantly correlated. The low rate of one-to-one assistants’ engagement suggests an inefficient use of an important resource.

 Source

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Friday, September 25, 2015

ADHD symptoms may mask autism in young kids



Symptoms attributed to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may overshadow or mask autism spectrum disorder in very young children, a new study reveals.

This can create a significant delay in the diagnosis of autism. It took an average of three years longer to diagnose autism in children initially thought to have just ADHD, the researchers said.

That delay can make a big difference in the future of the child, said study author Dr. Amir Miodovnik, a developmental pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital.

"It's been shown the earlier that you implement these therapies for autism, the better children do in terms of outcomes," Miodovnik said. "Three years is a significant amount of time for the kids to not be receiving therapy."


Read more here. 

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What Causes Autism? Half Of Autism Cases Likely Caused By SpontaneousGenetic Mutations, Not Vaccines





Working off the theory that roughly half of autism cases are caused by a chance combination of genetic mutations, their new



study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found more evidence for the genetics argument.

For their study, the researchers looked at how "de novo likely gene-disruptive mutations (LGDs)" ・mutations that develop at the beginning of a child痴 life ・occurred in genes deemed "vulnerable" and how they played a role in ASD development. They also looked at whether these gene-disruptions transferred between generations.

Iossifov explained that when these genetic mutations occur in a child, and give way to ASD, they often do not get passed on to another generation. According to Iossifovç—´ research, many diagnosed with severe autism will not reproduce, and therefore their genetic material is less likely to evolve and mutate.

With this information in mind, researchers were better able to understand which genes with LGDs could be categorized as "autism genes." Starting with 500 likely genes, researchers were able to narrow down the list to 200 of the most likely genes related to autism.

In addition to discovering which genes were likely involved, the researchers also looked into how parents could potentially carry these LGDs and pass them on to their children without their health being affected. For the study, researchers looked at families through the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) database. They found that in families with autistic children, parents could be carriers of the LGD mutations, and that these mutations were seen more frequently in their children with ASD rather than their children without the disorder. Along with this, they also found that mothers were most likely to carry the genetic mutations.This finding gives further credence to the theory that LGDs play a role in autism.

Read more here. 

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Autism's Hidden Gifts

There’s a popular misconception that autistic people are either anti-social tech geniuses or Rain Man-like savants. But research is increasingly showing that even "low-functioning" autistic people might be smarter than neurotypical people in certain ways. Increasingly, researchers are finding that even autistic people who seem, at first glance, to be profoundly disabled might actually be gifted in surprising ways. And these talents are not limited to quirky party tricks, like knowing whether January 5, 1956 was a Tuesday. Scientists believe they are signs of true intelligence that might be superior to that of non-autistic people.

 Read the article here. 

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Get KnowBullying, the free app from SAMHSA that can prevent bullying.

Research shows that parents and caregivers who spend at least 15 minutes a day talking with their child can build the foundation for a strong relationship and help prevent bullying. The time you spend will help boost your children’s confidence and build effective strategies for facing bullying—whether children are being bullied, engaging in bullying, or witnessing bullying. Take a few minutes and "check in," by asking about school, their friends, and any challenges they face. KnowBullying has simple conversation starters to begin a discussion with your child. Help spread the word about KnowBullying. App Features Conversation Starters: Start easy, meaningful conversations with your children. Tips: Learn strategies to prevent bullying for ages 3—6, 7—13, and teens. Warning Signs: Recognize if your child is engaging in bullying, being bullied, or witnessing bullying. Reminders: Talk with your child when the time feels right: a quiet moment on the way to school or a game, during dinner, or relaxing outside. Social Media: Share successful strategies and useful advice via Facebook, Twitter, email, and text messages. Section for Educators: Prevent bullying in the classroom and support children who are being bullied.

 Read more here. 

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Pregnancy Timing May Influence Autism Risk

Waiting too few years or too many between pregnancies can greatly affect a child’s risk for autism, new research suggests. Children conceived less than two years or more than six after the birth of an older sibling appear to be at significantly greater odds for the developmental disorder, according to a study published online this week in the journal Pediatrics.

 Read more here.

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Diagnostic Substitution' Drives Autism Spike

The number of children diagnosed with autism has surged around the globe in the past two decades. But new research in Europe and the U.S. suggests much of the increase occurred on paper. But studies in Sweden, Denmark and the U.S. suggest that a significant portion of the increase can be attributed to more diagnoses, rather than to more cases. In other words, increasing numbers of children have been labeled autistic when in the past they might have received a different diagnosis, or in less severe cases, perhaps no diagnosis at all. In scientific jargon, this is called diagnostic substitution: One label replaces another, causing an apparent decrease in the prevalence of the first condition and a corresponding increase in the prevalence of the second.

 Read more here. 

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Maternal Lupus Linked With Kid's Autism

Children born to mothers with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have more than double the risk of being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, Canadian researchers reported. Among children whose mothers had lupus, 1.4% were given a diagnosis of autism compared with 0.6% of control children, according to Sasha Bernatsky, MD, PhD, of McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues. Read more here. 

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Dads' parenting of children with autism improves moms' mental health

(A little bit of obvious for all parents.) athers who read to their infants with autism and take active roles in caregiving activities not only promote healthy development in their children, they boost moms' mental health too, new research suggests. Mothers of children with autism reported fewer depressive symptoms when their children were 4 years old if the child's father engaged in literacy and responsive caregiving activities - such as soothing children when they were upset or taking the child to the doctor - when the child was 9 months old, according to a new study conducted at the University of Illinois.

 Read more here.

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Workshop - 75 Quick On the Spot Techniques for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Problems, Glendive and Billings November 2015


November 4th - Glendive


November 5th - Billings

The Montana Autism Education Project is delighted to bring Dr. Steve Olivas back to Montana. He has presented before at the Montana CEC Conference and MBI conference to rave reviews.



WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES

Utilize 75 effective, proven techniques for individually treating children with behavior problems.
    • Identify simple, teachable tools and strategies specific for parents and teachers.
    • List different medication categories and explain potential effects and side-effects.
    • Explain differential diagnostics regarding acting-out disorders such as anxiety, ADHD, bipolarity, oppositional defiance, conduct disorder and depression.
    • Develop skills for building a therapeutic relationship with difficult children and teens.
    • Describe a spectrum of interventions representing many major theoretical orientations.

      This workshop is not just for educators of students with autism spectrum disorder but is for anyone who works with children.


This workshop is free from the Montana Office of Public Instruction

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Life After Autism - A small percentage of children diagnosed withautism lose the core symptoms and their diagnosis.

Most children with autism will forever have the disorder. But a handful of studies in the past three years indicate that for reasons no one understands, a minority of children, like Alex, shed the core symptoms necessary for an autism diagnosis. Shulman, who runs a large clinical autism program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, says most of these children face residual learning or emotional problems. "We still consider these kids as having had a wonderful outcome," she says. "But they don’t get off scot-free." Only "the minority of the minority" breeze through each new challenge life brings them—the book reports in elementary school, the social minefields in middle school, the expectations for independence in later adolescence and adulthood.

 Read more here.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

TEACCH Training in Bozeman October 2015

Bozeman, October 19-21, 2015 TEACCH training is returning to Montana.

This three-day workshop introduces participants to Structured TEACCHing methods for preschool through high-school students that have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Participants will learn how ASD affects the learning style and behavior of students, and how to develop educational strategies and visual supports. Participants will have opportunities to practice using these methods during the training using scenarios. The training is limited to 50 people and travel assistance is available to those traveling more than 60 miles to attend the training. For more information and to request to attend the training please go here. Applicants will be notified by October 3rd if they have been chosen to attend the training. *This is the same TEACCH training that has been in Billings and Missoula.

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Monday, September 7, 2015

What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong?



Negative consequences, timeouts, and punishment just make bad behavior worse. But a new approach really works.

How we deal with the most challenging kids remains rooted in B.F. Skinner's mid-20th-century philosophy that human behavior is determined by consequences and bad behavior must be punished. (Pavlov figured it out first, with dogs.) During the 2011-12 school year, the US Department of Education counted 130,000 expulsions and roughly 7 million suspensions among 49 million K-12 students?ne for every seven kids. The most recent estimates suggest there are also a quarter-million instances of corporal punishment in US schools every year.

But consequences have consequences. Contemporary psychological studies suggest that, far from resolving children's behavior problems, these standard disciplinary methods often exacerbate them. They sacrifice long-term goals (student behavior improving for good) for short-term gain?omentary peace in the classroom.

Read more here. 

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Webinars - Interactive Autism Network

Click here to access the webinars below. JUDITH GROSS, PHD, AN ASSISTANT RESEARCH PROFESSOR AT THE BEACH CENTER ON DISABILITY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS, DISCUSSES "EMPLOYMENT EXPECTATIONS AND RESOURCES" FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THIS WEBINAR. IN THIS RECORDED WEBINAR, RUTH L. FISCHBACH, PHD, MPE DISCUSSES HER TEAM’S RESEARCH ABOUT THE VIEWS THAT PARENTS AND SCIENTISTS HAVE ON THE CAUSES OF AUTISM, PRIORITIES FOR RESEARCH, GENETIC TESTING, AND STIGMA. IN THIS RECORDED WEBINAR, DR. AMI KLIN DISCUSSES PROMISING ADVANCES IN THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE EARLY SIGNS OF AUTISM. AUTISM RESEARCHERS DISCUSS THEIR RESEARCH, THE RESEARCH PROCESS, AND FAMILY INVOLVEMENT - PART 1 AUTISM RESEARCHERS DISCUSS THEIR RESEARCH, THE RESEARCH PROCESS, AND FAMILY INVOLVEMENT - PART 2 VIDEO ON AUTISM AND SKILLS FOR ADULTHOOD WITH DR. PETER GERHARDT PARENTING WEBINAR VIDEO WITH DR. FIONA MILLER VIDEO ON WANDERING AND ELOPEMENT WITH DR. PAUL LAW VIDEO ON MELTDOWNS AND AGGRESSION IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

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Adult, Autistic and Ignored

TWO months before she died of pancreatic cancer in November 2010, my normally strong, stoical mother broke down weeping in my arms over the fate of my autistic older brother. Institutionalized for over 40 years, Joshua, then 55, was in a stable situation and seemed relatively happy. But my mother was undone by that fear that haunts all parents of disabled children: What will happen to them when I’m gone? Though I hastened to assure her that I would become his guardian and watch over him after her death, she was inconsolable. In reality, given the nature of the bond between them, I shouldn’t have been surprised. As is often the case between mother and disabled child, the two early on formed a deep, exclusionary attachment that relegated the other members of our family to the outer boroughs of maternal attention. My brother’s marathon tantrums, his gory public (and private) displays of self-mutilation and his regular physical assaults on our mother left me balancing as a boy on a narrow emotional catwalk between instinctual love for my sibling and blind rage. But none of that altered the depth of her feeling for him in the least. He was her main passion in life, and would remain so till the very end. After her death, as promised, I signed the guardianship papers and found myself suddenly a part-time resident in the island nation of adult autism in America. What I didn’t realize at the time was just how uncharted the waters around that island would turn out to be.

 Read more here. 

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How to Effectively Communicate with Your Autistic Child's Teacher

We all know the influence a teacher has in your child’s life. And since you two are on the same team in trying to ensure your child is successful in school, it’s important to know how to effectively communicate with your child’s teacher. Here are some ideas you can use to ensure you do that that are particularly important if your child is integrating into a mainstream education. While it is important to help the teacher understand the special triggers that your child may have, it is also important to get off on the right foot. * As soon as you can, make an appointment to meet with your child’s teacher. If you can do that before the school year begins and there’s no pressure on either of you, it might be the best choice. However, that’s not always possible. By starting your relationship off early, there won’t be problems right off the bat. Then, later in the year, if your child does have problems, you’ll already have effective communication established with your child’s teacher. Don’t wait until there is an issue before you meet your child’s teacher.

 Read more here. 

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Women On The Spectrum

A number of links and discussion about women with ASD. 


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Good Life Project

Tom D'Eri built a thriving car wash business to employ his brother and other adults with Autism and in turn has created substantial impact and community.

 Listen to the interview here.

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Overview for Educators

This is a great video introduction series to autism for regular education teachers and anyone else. (Pssst - skip the "Initial Thoughts" section. It asks teachers to answer two questions, then the next section provides very thorough answers to those same questions.) .

See video introduction series here:

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National Autism Association's Big Red Safety Teacher Toolkit

The National Autism Association’s Big Red Safety Teacher Toolkit® is a free-of-charge safety toolkit for educators in need of wandering-prevention tools. Please review all of the information below before submitting your application. To apply for an NAA Big Red Safety Teacher Toolkit®, you must: Be a school administrator, teacher or aide working with individuals with an autism diagnosis. Be employed at a school within the U.S. and provide the school address for shipping. Agree to the terms and conditions stated in the application. Apply only once. Multiple requests cannot be processed, limit one box per school. NAA’s Big Red Safety Teacher Toolkit® includes: Printed educational materials and tools in our BeREDy booklet for teachers Four (4) Door/Window Alarms including batteries Five (5) Laminated Adhesive Stop Sign Visual Prompts for doors and windows

Apply here. 

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ASPIRE Montana

Becoming an adult, taking care of yourself, working and being independent! That’s everyone’s dream. For youth with disabilities and their families, this dream may take more effort than a youth who doesn’t live with a disability. The ASPIRE Montana is trying to make a difference in the lives of youth with disabilities. As part of the larger Department of Education PROMISE Initiative, Montana has joined with five other western states to learn how to improve the future for youth with disabilities. Youth ages 14 to 16 who receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income) are eligible to participate in this research study. Once enrolled, youth are randomly assigned to one of two groups. Half of the youth will receive information about existing services in their communities and state. The other half will receive additional services and supports, such as understanding benefits, parent education, financial literacy, self-determination training and case management. In the future the two groups will be compared to find out if there is a difference in educational attainment, employment and household income. The ASPIRE Montana is recruiting youth now. As part of a larger consortium, Montana will only enroll 130 youth and provide services to 65. To learn more, check out www.aspirewest.org. Watch a short video  or contact ASPIRE Montana at (844) 442-3167. Enroll soon before all slots are filled!

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