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 [...]

Barbaric School Punishment of Children with Autism Still Legal 

A shocking story out of Texas reminds us of the need for a federal law banning the use of aversive measures in educational settings. Children with autism at Exley Elementary School in Katy had cotton balls soaked in vinegar put in their mouths as werewas forced to go on a treadmill longer and faster as [...]

Aspiritech Provides Tech Jobs for Individuals with Autism

It’s common knowledge that adult individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are chronically underemployed or unemployed. But shockingly, a 2009 U.S. Department of Education survey found that the employment rate for young adults with autism was at the same level as that for deaf-and-blind young adults and even below that of individuals with blindness alone, [...]

 
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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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