Home > Autism in the News > Autism in the News – Thursday, 2.25.10

Autism in the News – Thursday, 2.25.10

RESEARCH

Research facility to bring innovative treatments (Houston, Texas)
Scientists and physicians in a new building, all focused on the brain and bringing treatments to Houstonians faster. That’s the story behind a huge new biomedical research building that opened today. Read more.

Research Builds on Genetic Link to Autism and Schizophrenia (Science Daily)
A genetic link between schizophrenia and autism is enabling researchers to study the effectiveness of drugs used to treat both illnesses. Read more.

Do Toxins Cause Autism? (NYT.com)
Autism was first identified in 1943 in an obscure medical journal. Since then it has become a frighteningly common affliction, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting recently that autism disorders now affect almost 1 percent of children. Read more.

Gene Mutation Is Linked to Autism-Like Symptoms in Mice, Researchers Find (Science Daily)
When a gene implicated in human autism is disabled in mice, the rodents show learning problems and obsessive, repetitive behaviors, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. Read more.

Scent research could help autism understanding (U.K.)
New research into how animals bond with each other could shed light on the causes of autism and anxiety disorders, according to an Edinburgh scientist. Read more.

TREATMENT

Watch How You Hold That Crayon (NYT.com)
Noah Lascano, 8, had a problem: His teachers couldn’t read his handwriting. His homework became a frustrating exercise in writing once, and then, at the teacher’s request, writing again, just for legibility. Read more.

EDUCATION

West Ham boss helps autistic school (U.K.)
Hillingdon’s only school for autistic children is set to expand, after getting a helping hand from the owner of West Ham United. Read more.

Feds probe special needs school (Boston, Mass.)
The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation into whether a Massachusetts special needs school violates federal disability laws by disciplining students with electric shock therapy. Read more.

Students with autism learn work skills (Richmond, Va.)
High school senior Ann Marie Chevalier quickly folds baby blankets in the mother-infant unit at St. Mary’s Hospital – and then moves on to her next task. Read more.

Family Meets With Oregon School District Over Field Trip (Oregon, Wis.)
An Oregon mother said she is still looking for answers after her 13-year-old son with high-functioning autism was not allowed to go on an overnight school trip. Read more.

PUBLIC POLICY

Families reel as state cuts respite funding (Gary, Ind.)
Every Wednesday, 10-year-old Bobby Long expects to see his state-provided caregiver at his door to drive him to a weekly therapy session. Read more.

Antibully measure advances to Senate (Boston.com)
A bill aimed at dramatically reducing bullying in schools gained a key endorsement yesterday and will go to the Senate for a vote early next month, weeks after a South Hadley teenager committed suicide following apparent harassment from her peers. Read more.

Mandated Insurance Coverage of Autism Proposed (Mich.)
On February 5, 2009, House Bill number 4183 was introduced by Republicans. This bill was proposed to amend an existing policy titled “The insurance code of 1956.” This existing policy, which was enacted in 1956, covers what insurance money can be spent on. The new bill proposes that the treatment of autism spectrum disorder be covered by insurance. More specifically, House Bill 4183 proposes a change in insurance codes that would affect commercial insurers and health maintenance organizations. Read more.

Parents of Autistic Children Disappointed by Bill’s Failure (Danville, Va.)
It’s a disappointing decision for many parents of children with autism. Legislation that would’ve required many Virginia employee health care plans to cover a particular treatment was killed in the House on Tuesdsay. Read more.

One family’s struggle to claim state-mandated insurance benefits for autism (Ill.)
Just before Thanksgiving, Ember and Mike Burke faced the very real threat of temporarily stopping therapy and treatment for their 3-year-old son, Brendan, who has autism.
Read more.

RESOURCES

Judge: Center must continue autism therapy (Alhambra, Calif.)
A medical center in Alhambra has been ordered to continue treating children with autism with a “special therapy” until a judge issues a further ruling on the treatment. Read more.

PEOPLE

Hunt for missing St Leonards man moves to Rock-a-Nore (U.K.)
Police looking for missing man Piers Hopson are shifting their focus to Hastings Old Town. Read more.

Marathon grandad to run to help disabled children (U.K.)
A 75-year-old will take on a marathon to raise money for disabled children. Read more.

West Mercia police ‘failed’ man who was killed (U.K.)
An inquiry into the killing of a man who had complained about receiving threatening messages has found police responsible for a number of “failings”. Read more.

The Autism Debate: Who’s Afraid of Jenny McCarthy? (TIME)
In person, surprisingly, Jenny McCarthy comes across as corn-fed cute rather than overwhelmingly beautiful. She has a common touch, and a woman even slightly more beautiful would struggle to connect as she does. When McCarthy meets a mom, when she spits forth a stream of profanity and common sense — the foulmouthed comedian from Chicago never far from the surface — she is there as a mother, not as a celebrity or starlet. That’s what got her there, but that’s not who she is once she’s there. She speaks to so many frustrated, despairing mothers of autistic children because she is plausible, authentic. If you needed a woman to bring hope to these mothers, you couldn’t ask for better casting than Jenny McCarthy. Read more.

 Autism documentary features local resident (N.J.)
“Make Friends With Autism”, a documentary featuring nine-year-old North Arlington resident Tyler Banuls, can be found at the Web site wwww.makefriendswithautism.org. The site and documentary aim to provide information on Autism Spectrum Disorders and support for families. Read more.

Touching Moment (Rosedale, Md.)
Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School sophomore wrestler JT Dulany usually begins warmups well before any of his teammates. Read more.

William Jordan (Jacksonville, Fla.)
When you first meet William Jordan, you can tell right away that something is unique. Read more.

Granddad felt dread about disabled girl (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Nearly every morning, Leonard Orta Sr. returned to his Phoenix apartment from his graveyard shift and asked about his granddaughter. His son would tell him the 5-year-old girl was fine, although Orta sensed a lie. Read more.

10-Year Prison Term For Man Who Choked His Disabled Son (Hartford, Conn.)
A city man who admitted to authorities that he choked his disabled son while high on angel dust was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Read more.

Palin, really a special needs advocate? (MSNBC.com)
During the Oct. 15, 2008 presidential debate, First Read made the point that there remain many unanswered questions as to what Sarah Palin’s specific policy initiatives would be for children with special needs after John McCain claimed that no one knows more about autism than Sarah Palin. Read more.

AUTISM SPEAKS NEWS

Autism Speaks Receives $1 Million Donation (tonic)
Sumner Redstone, one of the world’s most prominent and successful media entrepreneurs, donated $1 million dollars to Autism Speaks, the organization announced yesterday. Read more.

Autism awareness riders make their way from Florida to California (Sulphur, La.)
They call themselves “the Wolf Pack.” A trio of young Connecticut men in their 20s are bicycling across the country from St. Augustine, Fla., to San Diego trying to raise awareness of autism and collecting donations for Autism Speaks. Read more.

Toys”R”Us, U.S. Launches Fundraising Campaign to Help Autism Speaks Solve the Autism Puzzle (Wayne, N.J.)
Toys”R”Us, U.S. today announced that its fundraising campaign to benefit Autism Speaks will begin Sunday, February 28 and continue through Friday, April 30. Throughout the campaign, monetary donations will be collected at all Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us stores and online at Toysrus.com/AutismSpeaks. Autism Speaks is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism. Read more.

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