Fighting the Wrong Autism Battles Can Prove Costly

The US Supreme Court’s decision earlier this week protecting vaccine manufacturers from lawsuits highlights an even larger problem for many children with autism spectrum disorders and their families.  Well-intended parents are out campaigning and spending precious time, money and resources, all while home therapies needed to treat their child’s autism are being neglected. However meaningful [...]

Autism and IEPs: When Knowledge is Power

It’s that time of year again when parents will meet with their school districts and write their Individualized Education Programs or IEPs. These are mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and outline the individual educational needs for each child with special needs. My close friend, who has her Masters in Education once [...]

School Punishes Student for Exhibiting Autism Symptoms

The New York Daily News reports that Brandon Strong, a ten-year-old student with autism and ADHD, has been systematically punished at a New York charter school for exhibiting symptoms of his conditions. He has reportedly been detained during lunch and after school for behavior that includes talking to himself, failing to look teachers in the [...]

Autism Registries Needed for Local Law Enforcement

The Windsor Star reports a great idea coming from our neighbors to the north in having local police departments create a voluntary online registry of citizens with autism in their community. A successful pilot project exists in Ottawa, where last year, police teamed with the their local autism chapter to give officers quick access to [...]

Tiered Diplomas Abandoned in Rhode Island

Advocates for low-income, minority students and students with special needs, including the Rhode Island Disability Law Center and The Autism Project of Rhode Island scored a major victory in Providence last week when Education Commissioner Deborah Gist announced she would scrap a plan for a three-tiered high school diploma system tied to standardized test scores.  [...]

Improvement Needed in Autism Inclusion Programs

Last year, autism rights activist Ari Ne’eman was appointed to the National Council on Disability as the first openly autistic presidential appointee in American history. Ne´eman points out that both the law and an overwhelming body of empirical evidence support the notion that children with autism benefit most from an inclusionary model of education: "Research [...]

Large Lawsuit Settlement Sets Poor Precedent

A federal judge in West Palm Beach, Florida has finalized a settlement, awarding a mother of a child with autism $427,000 for an incident that took place nearly three years ago, when her son was voted out of kindergarten by his classmates. In May of 2008, teacher Wendy Portillo brought Alex Barton to the front [...]

Update on Wrongful Death of Los Angeles Man with Autism

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a federal jury has awarded $1.7 million dollars to the parents of an autistic man killed by a Los Angeles police officer. Mohammed Usman Chaudhry was a Pakistani-American with high functioning autism whose keen interest in how people survive on the streets led to an encounter with Officer [...]

Virginia Moves Closer Towards Increased Autism Benefits

Today, the Virginia House of Delegates moved closer towards providing increased autism coverage for residents of the state.  HB 2467 advanced on a "voice vote," despite opposition by some House members.  The proposed bill would mandate coverage of applied behavior analysis for children with autism between the ages of two and six, with a max. [...]

Law Enforcement Officials Still Unequipped to Handle Autism

A wrongful death suit against the Los Angeles Police Department highlights the need for police to be properly trained in recognizing and interacting with children with autism.Mohammad Chaudhry, a twenty-eight year old Pakistani-American was fascinated with how people survive brutal conditions and made it a habit to sleep outdoors. The account of what happened, according [...]

 
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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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