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 [...]

Restraint and Seclusion: The Dark Secret of American Schools

I recently examined the events in Newtown through the lens of special education in this country, contending it is a broken system in need of as much attention as gun control and mental health. Out of that sprang a question in my mind, “In the last year, how many special needs children died in our [...]

Special Education: An Overlooked Factor to the Newtown Tragedy

Something has been tugging at my heart in the wake of the unfathomable tragedy in Newtown, CT.  The obvious broken systems have been laid bare.  Gun control issues must be wrestled away from special interests and mental health must be recognized as an urgent public health issue.  But there’s another broken system in America that [...]

Holiday Message to Autism Parents

For those of you who followed my articles in the past, you will know I’ve been out of the autism loop for a while, consumed by the affairs of my immediate family of sixteen-year-old twin sons with high functioning autism.  Having seen them to their junior year of high school, I can tell all of [...]

Study Suggests Some with Autism Don’t Care What Others Think

Caltech researchers believe they have evidence that those with high functioning autism (HFA) don’t seem to care what other people think of them. This lack of “theory of mind,” or the capacity to know what others think and feel is not a new premise. In their recent experiment, Caltech researchers had those with HFA and [...]

Indiana Teacher Cleared of Charges in Restraint of Child with Autism

The Indiana Court of Appeals dropped charges against a special education teacher in connection with her restraint of 12-year-old boy with autism. When the student began striking himself in the classroom, she and her aide taped socks over the boy’s hands, used orthopedic belts to tie his legs to a chair, then tipped the chair [...]

Autism Caused by Depression of Mothers?

There’s a new theory for the autism epidemic that hearkens back to the “refrigerator mother” theory that autism is caused by cold, withholding mothers. The Albany Times Union reports that Dr. Gabor Mate believes that parental stress, especially the mother’s, causes developmental disabilities. The author of four books that explore the connection of mind, body [...]

Another Police Encounter with Autism Goes South

A young man with autism and schizophrenia, yet able to live in his own apartment, had a harrowing trip to a Whole Foods Market in Dallas. After customers complained that he was “behaving oddly,” police were called to the store. Apparently, the young man was running in the aisles and not staying in the store [...]

New Study Finds IQ Tests Underestimate Autism Intelligence

A new study published at www.plos.org finds that traditional IQ testing likely underestimates the intelligence of individuals on the autism spectrum. The common perception that autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are characterized by uneven intellectual profiles and concomitant impairment can now be ascribed to the bias of the test itself. Researchers administered the standard Wechsler IQ [...]

 
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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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