Autism in the News – 10.17.11
Risk of Autism Is Five Times Higher in Low-Birthweight Babies (TIME)
Low-birthweight babies are at risk for all sorts of motor and cognitive delays, and researchers have just added autism to the list. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania finds that premature babies weighing less than 4.5 lbs. at birth are five times more likely than babies born at a normal weight to have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Read more.
Funding cuts jeopardize services for Staten Islanders with autism (Staten Island, N.Y.)
Jim Watkins first started teaching his son, Liam, to use a swing when he was two years old. But Liam, who is autistic, just couldn’t get the hang of it — until a summer day this June, more than a decade later, when Watkins noticed Liam, now 14, out in the backyard. Read more.
Autism friendly screening to take place in Basingstoke’s ODEON tomorrow (UK)
A campaign launched by Dimensions to improve cinema access for people with learning disabilities and people with autism has been so successful that autism friendly film screenings are to take place at Basingstoke’s ODEON each month. Read more.
Autistic Boy Scout earns 132 merit badges (Deseret News)
Nate Christensen seems like a typical almost-18-year-old boy. Now in his senior year at Bingham High School in South Jordan, he plays the trumpet in the marching band. He took a longtime friend to the school’s homecoming dance. He loves popular music artists from Justin Bieber to Owl City. He enjoys playing “Just Dance” on his family’s Nintendo Wii and writes a blog in his free time. He admits that his favorite class at school is his sports class. Read more.
Robots built to help autistic children (Los Angeles Times)
Robots aren’t known for their soft side. They build cars and defuse bombs; they don’t, as a rule, make friends or deal with feelings. But a few groups of researchers around the world are working to build robots for an unusual purpose: Making emotional connections with autistic children who often struggle to interact with humans. Read more.