Here is the latest news about autism from around the world. From research and observations about sleep patterns of affected children to animal therapy and some inspiring events, there is a lot to take heart from.
Some researchers in the Medical University of Graz, Austria are observing home videos to look for symptoms of autism in children during their early years. They have found that children who were later diagnosed with autism showed different movements which they described as jerky, irregular posture, body stiffness and more.
A study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders shows that there is a correlation between autism and creativity. The study gave around 300 adults (about 25 percent of who were on the autism spectrum) surveys to gauge traits associated with ASD. People who scored higher for creative thinking also had more traits for autism spectrum disorder.
Autism service dogs can keep individuals with autism safe and perform helpful tasks. However, apart from the chores, the companionship that they provide for affected individuals is important too. Parents of children who have started working with autism service dogs have stated that their children seek companionship, comfort and confiding, in ways that family members have never witnessed before.
Sara Mae Hickey, an NY local, has started a cafe which offers employment opportunities for young adults with autism. She knows about the condition well because she has a younger sister affected by the condition. This cafe-cum-cupcake shop is one where more than half the staff has autism. The cafe also offers pet therapy and other programs for those it can’t employ.
Logan Tharp, a teen with autism in Texas loves geometry. So when he was unable to solve a specific problem, he approached his geometry teacher to ask where he was going wrong. The teacher told him that it was actually a mistake in the text book. The teacher then received an email from the president of the textbook company that since they were the first to catch the mistake, they would receive one of the new textbooks currently being printed free of cost.
About 50 percent children affected with autism find it difficult to get sleep or stay asleep at night. Sleep disturbance impacts cognition, mood and behavior. Researchers have found that children on the spectrum struggle with insomnia and that delays the onset of sleep. There are some points here affecting the sleep patterns and possible remediations.
Anthony Legarda, a Filipino American designer and textile technologist showcased artworks on pinya fabrics which were hand painted by children with autism. It was the highlight of the Fashion Arts Autism Benefit (FAAB) Fashion Show held in New York recently.
Kamini Lakhani is the founder and director of SAI Connections. She has been providing services in the field of autism for more than 25 years and is the authorized director of Professional Training for RDI in India and the Middle East. She is also the mother of a young adult with autism.