Autism News for the Week That Was: 17th September, 2015
Here we are with news from the world of autism from last week. Research in the medical fields continues to progress, but entrepreneurs and driven people are making progress at a more rapid speed to offer services to individuals and children with autism. There are also tips for teachers and parents here.
Lisa Fraser was inspired to start her own company after working with children with autism. She build a Snug Vest, a wearable vest which helps affected children deal with anxiety. The product turned out effective and she was ready to scale up operations. She appeared on a popular Canadian reality TV show and got an offer for half a million dollars of venture capital. But Lisa denied the offer. Read on to know why.
A study was published last week in the journal Molecular Autism and led by Kaustubh Supekar, discussing why the proportion of girls with autism is lesser than that of boys. The study sheds light on some interesting aspects like girls on the autism spectrum having different characteristics as compared to boys. Examining the data, the research team discovered the boys and girls shared similar low scores for social and communication behaviors; however, the girls had scores much closer to the normal range when they were measured for repetitive and restricted behaviors. This could call for rethinking the diagnosis techniques for girls.
No one denies that a teacher has to be prepared to interact with and teach a child with autism. This short guide lays the foundation for a teacher to strike a cord with the student, make him feel comfortable and help him discover his true potential. Something that we can share with our teachers?
In this blog post on Autism Mom, the author sheds light on the importance of preparing affected children for emergency situations, a recommended list of supplies, and developing a family emergency communication plan. While this information may scare or alarm children, it is important for them to know it so that they are better prepared in case of an emergency.
A parent of a child on the autism spectrum shares a heartwarming story of how her son has overcome the various challenges that autism spectrum disorder posed and grown into a mature individual. He is now an excellent chef and really good with yoga too. This is a wonderful story to give hope to parents of children on the spectrum that they can lead wholesome family lives too.
Three young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome (a mild form of autism) share their stories to show life from their perspective. They discuss their everyday experiences and difficulties they face, and their hopes for the future. The film was produced by Alyssa Huber, a film student who also has Asperger’s.
Jackson Cook, an 8-year-old in Minnesota, USA, smiles often but knows that he is different from his classmates. He knows that he has autism, and that it is a condition that most of his classmates do not understand. Watch him give a moving speech to his class about the condition explaining why and how it makes him different. His speech was followed by a round of applause by his classmates and he handed them brain-shaped chocolates to indicate “how sweet our brains are”. Do watch!
Not everyone thinks that autism is a handicap. Yet, not everyone thinks that autism is not a disease and does not need to be cured. This article (it’s heading can be misleading) sheds light on the condition and why it can be different for different people. Quite insightful.
Have a lovely week ahead. As always, if there is some news that we have missed, we would love to hear from you.
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.