Follow Up to Shackled Child Story: Help is On the Way

In my recent article reporting the tragic story of a eight year old child with autism being arrested and shackled for throwing a tantrum at school, I cried out for a way to intervene in these situations and educate police departments and schools about autism. Realizing I was my own answer to my plea, I [...]

Eight Year Old Girl Arrested, Shackled for Tantrum at School 

In yet another horror story of schools and police criminalizing autism, an eight year old girl at Lovejoy Elementary School in Alton, Ill., was jailed for over two hours by Alton police because of tantrum behavior. The youngster, who suffers from autism, anxiety disorder, and depression threw a fit at school and was screaming and [...]

Animals Enhance Social Interaction for Children with Autism

Scientists at the University of Queensland, Australia, have found that “the presence of an animal can significantly increase positive social behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)”. Their recent study compared how 5-13 children on the spectrum interacted with adults and neurotypical peers in the presence of two guinea pigs compared to toys. In [...]

Autism and Law Enforcement

All autism parents feel anxious about their children in the community, knowing they could be perpetrators, victims of crime, or wanderers.  Far too often, criminal actions on the part of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) individuals are provoked by school administrators and/or police officers not understanding the signs and manifestations of autism. A recent case in point [...]

Teen with Autism Sent to Jail for Selling Sugar Packs at School

In another episode of “World Gone Mad," a sixteen-year-old Ohio boy has been jailed for allegedly trying to sell sugar packets at school.  Conceptualized as a practical joke, the teen took sugar packets from the cafeteria and transferred them to a soda straw wrapper, telling classmates it was a “secret sugar rush concoction." Punishment was swift [...]

Scientific Community Shuns Sensory Integration Therapy for Autism

Researchers at the University of Texas, led by Professor Mark O’Reilly, have declared that Sensory Integration Therapy (SIT) is scientifically ungrounded and should cease to be used by a majority of occupational therapists in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).  Since many agencies are mandated to use only scientifically-proven methods, they advocate that Applied [...]

Outgrowing Autism and the Hype of a New Study

The latest big autism story is a new study by University of Connecticut psychology professor Deborah Fein that claims some children with autism can not only lose their diagnosis as they get older, but become indistinguishable from typical peers. Fein assessed 34 adults who had been given an autism diagnosis as children, many of whom [...]

Theater of Possibility for Autism

Seattle theater artist and playwright, Lauren Marshall, has developed an amazing class for both neurotypical and special needs children. Entitled “Theater of Possibility," Lauren synthesizes what she has learned as a mother of two daughters on the autism spectrum with Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) and “Theatre of the Oppressed," a movement that employs theater as [...]

Autistic Girl Seized by Canadian Government Heading Home

Of all the sad autism stories I have encountered, perhaps none has haunted me more than that of Ayn Van Dyk, the ten year old Canadian girl who was abducted from her school by Canada’s Child Protective Services.  As this site has documented in the past, Ayn had been successfully found safe and sound after [...]

Autism, Adulthood and Transitional Challenges

The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut shines a light on the need for exceptional care of autism spectrum students as they transition out of public schools and into adulthood. We see this phenomenon come into play as Adam Lanza is said to have spent two years living in isolation in his basement, largely playing violent video games [...]

 
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Did You Know?

  • * In 1970, Autism affected 1 out of 10,000 children
  • * Autism now affects 1 out of 88 children
  • * Autism affects 1 in 54 boys
  • * 1.7 million Americans have some form of autism
  • * 4 out of 5 autistic children are boys

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