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Autism Spectrum Disorder


The Relief, and Heartbreak, of Watching My Autistic Son Becoming More Socially Aware

motherson193My 6-year-old son spends many mornings singing and dancing around the house, mostly songs from the movie “Moana,” but also a little from “Coco,” a random spiritual (“I’ve Got Peace Like a River”) and Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”

He also loves ballet, although I have a hunch that he’s mostly drawn to the tutus and the way the dancers twirl. One of his favorite videos features ballerinas wearing LED lights. My son, who is autistic, loves what makes him happy, and swishy tutus and dancing lights make him happy.

So I was a little surprised one morning recently, before summer dance camp, when he stopped me: “Will my friends make fun of me?” I turned to look at him. “No,” I assured him, my voice confident. “They won’t make fun of you.” Read more ›


Report: State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5

1in5reportsnapshot189Stigma, low expectations and lack of understanding help explain why students with learning disabilities are more likely to repeat a grade, get suspended, and leave high school without a diploma, according to the report, The State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5.
Read more ›

eating disorder ARFID167

What Exactly Is Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)?

eating disorder ARFID167Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) was previously referred to as “Selective Eating Disorder.” ARFID is similar to anorexia in that both disorders involve limitations in the amount and/or types of food consumed, but unlike anorexia, ARFID does not involve body image issues.

A person with ARFID is not merely a “picky eater,” but rather, does not consume enough calories to grow and develop properly. In children, this results in malnutrition, low weight gain, and restricted growth. Read more ›


How to Support Mental Health in People with Autism

team-autism156Mental health among autistic individuals is an underdeveloped area of research—a situation that many autistic people are advocating to change. This is especially crucial since rates of depression and thoughts of suicide are higher among autistic people than in the general population. Read more ›


Score a Friend [web resource]

scoreafriend150Sarah Greichen came up with the idea for Score A Friend at age 13 when she wanted her twin brother, who has an autism spectrum disorder, to have the same opportunities she enjoyed as a teenager in school. She began a mission to ensure her brother – and students of all abilities – could build friendships and experience authentic inclusion at school and in communities. Read more ›


Could Telemedicine Work For Autism Therapy? Vanderbilt Experiments

autism136Ask someone who has a child diagnosed with autism about wait times for lining up services, and they measure in months. The backup is only expected to build as the number of children on the autism spectrum balloons. Vanderbilt is now trying out a stopgap to squeeze in more kids — telemedicine. Read more ›


Book: The Power of Different: The Link Between Disorder and Genius

powerofdifferent111There are numerous examples of people with learning disabilities and mental health disorders doing extraordinary things: the child on the autism spectrum who is masterful at putting together incredibly intricate Lego creations, the young person with Asperger’s syndrome who knows more about presidential history than most adults, the child with dyslexia who is a master chef in the kitchen.

This is not a coincidence, according to a book that could help turn the stigma associated with these challenges on its head.

Read more ›

Community Education

Autism Research and The Wall Lab at Stanford [video]

Dr. Dennis P. Wall of the Wall Lab at Stanford University discusses current autism-related research projects (such as Autism and the Microbiome) and novel wearable technology that helps children recognize emotions. Read more ›

Community Education

Building Social Skills in Kids with Autism [presentation] [video]

Does your child with autism have trouble making friends? Are social interactions anxiety-provoking and unpredictable? CHC’s Speech and Language Pathologist, Hilda Man, MS, CCC-SLP offers practical strategies to support the development of social skills in your child with autism. Read more ›


Autism Prevalence Slightly Higher in CDC’s ADDM Network — About 1 in 59

childsolo96About 1 in 59 eight -year-old children in 11 communities across the United States were identified as having autism in 2014, according the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Surveillance Summary published in April 2018.

The data in this report come from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network – a tracking system that provides estimates of the prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder among more than 300,000 8-year-old children. ADDM is the largest population-based program to monitor autism and the only autism tracking system that examines health and education records. Read more ›

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