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Disability Information - Autism


General Information

Education & Classroom Accommodations

Michigan Resources, Support Groups, Listservs & Websites

National Resources & Websites

Articles Related to this Disability

Medical Information

Autism Information in Spanish

Do you know of a Spanish speaking family that would benefit from information about AUTISM in Spanish?

Book For Siblings: My Brother Has Autism
Wrightslaw Review of My Brother Has Autism: "In My Brother Has Autism, 8 year-old Melody describes experiences with her brother Michael who has autism. When we read Melody's book, we were surprised to learn how she views her brother. We were also surprised to learn that Michael, a talented artist, illustrated the book. My Brother Has Autism is useful to therapists, teachers, parents, and others who work with siblings of children with autism. As children read and discuss this book, they recognize things they have in common with their sibling - and discover positive qualities about their brothers and sisters with autism. My Brother Has Autism has been published as a paperback book and as an electronic book."


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 General Information

Getting Help For a Child with Autism - Here, from mothers of children with autism, are ways parents should fight for their children with autism, from babyhood through the school years.


Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development's Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development: AUTISM - This 40 page, PDF document includes a Synthesis on autism, Autism and its impact on child development, The impact of autism on child development, Autism and its impact on young children’s social development, Autism and its impact on child development, Autism intervention, The effect of early intervention on the social and emotional development of young children (0-5) with autism, and Autism intervention.


Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Siblings - During the past seven months, my wife and I have met an amazing group of people. In producing two videos about brothers and sisters of kids on the autism spectrum, we’ve conducted 57 interviews with siblings and parents. People were incredibly open about their lives.  About their hopes, fears, and challenges.  Most of all, about the ways they’ve found to make things better for their families.  We went into these videos looking for “best practices” about siblings that we could share with other families.  We got that and more.


Free Online Course from the Autism Society of America: Autism 101 - This online course will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. The course covers the following areas: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Treatment Options, Treatment Assistance, Transition to Adulthood, and More Information and Resources. At the end of the course you will be able to download a certificate of completion. You must first register to take this free course.


Does Your Baby Weigh Over 500 lbs? (PDF) - According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a person must weigh over 500 pounds to "safely" process the amount of mercury still present in certain vaccines, including flu shots. And yet, these shots are recommended for pregnant women and infants.....To view the entire PDF ad that was featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, click the image.


Learning to Live With Autism Part I: Discovery & Diagnosis (PDF) - In this article, the first installment in a series of six articles related to Autism, we will discover the basics of Autism. What is Autism? What are the signs? How is Autism diagnosed? Could we have prevented this? These are just a few of the burning questions that we will discuss. Resources are provided at the end of each section so that you can find more in-depth information on each topic.


Newly Updated 7/08: Growing Up Together: A Booklet About Friends with Autism (PDF) - In this booklet, you will learn about kids you may meet who have autism and how you can be their friend.


Autism Awareness Cards (PDF) - Our child has Autism.  We'd like to thank you for your concern. We are making every attempt to allow our child, who is affected by Autism, to experience every day activities that others may take for granted.


Just For Kids! What is Autism? (PDF) - This document from the New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community explains autism in a way that a child can easily understand - by comparing the child with autism to the child without autism - in a very positive way.


Gluten Free/Casein Free (GF/CF) Diet Links - click here.


Understanding Autism: The Physiological Basis and Biomedical Intervention - Options of Autism Spectrum Disorders - (pdf size=136kb) by Dr. Bryan Jepson from the Children's Biomedical Center of Utah excerpt: "Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a group of diseases that is characterized by a delay in language development, impairment of social interaction, and the use of restrictive, stereotyped behavior patterns."


Advice for Parents of Young Autistic Children (PDF, 2004): Working Paper by James B. Adams, Ph.D., Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona; Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D., Autism Research Institute, San Diego, California; Temple Grandin, Ph.D., Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., Autism Research Institute, San Diego, California


Getting Started: Introducing Your Child to His or Her Diagnosis of Autism or Asperger Syndrome - Who, what, when, where, how, and why are all important questions parents ask themselves when problem solving and making decisions about issues in the lives of their children. Discussing an autism or Asperger Syndrome diagnosis with your child is a very important issue and one for which many parents seek advice. This brief article will focus on aspects of explaining your child's diagnosis to him or her, and about resources that can assist and guide you.

The Topsy-turvy World of Autistic People - I enjoyed the movie Rain Man starring Dustin Hoffman as Raymond, an autistic savant with photographic memory and an inability to empathize or relate emotionally to others. I personally could relate to Raymond because I too am autistic. My purpose in writing this article is to offer a general explanation of what autism is and is not.

What is it Like to be Autistic? - As a way to try and convey what autism and the autistic spectrum means to those within it, I will try to describe an analogy that has been with me, as a person on the autistic spectrum, for years. This will require a lot of time and patience on the part of the reader.


Driver's Education Q and A: Are there any driver's ed schools that work well with kids who have Asperger's and High Functioning Autism?  Click here for the answer.


Modifying Inappropriate Behaviors Part 1: Why is my child acting like this?

Modifying Inappropriate Behaviors Part 2: Consistency is Key


Frequently Asked Questions About Autism, Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD), Behavior Issues, Sensory Issues, and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) - click here.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has opened the Autism Information Center at   You can find out exactly what Autism and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) are at


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 Education & Classroom Accommodations


Rehabilitation of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders - A manual for Vocational Rehabilitation counselors and their colleagues to help meet and navigate the rough waters for adults with autism in the real world of work.


New School for Students with Autism to Open in Florida - A new charter school aimed at serving students with autism is poised to open in Tampa, Fla. The Florida Autism Center of Excellence will initially serve up to 200 students up to age 22, expanding to serve 600 students by its fifth year.

NEA Publishes New Guide for Educators on ASD: The Puzzle of Autism (PDF) - The National Education Association (NEA) recently published a 38-page guide entitled The Puzzle of Autism. It explains the common features of autism and suggests effective classroom strategies for improving communication, sensory, social and behavioral skills.

Province Wins Autism Ruling - Family worries what will happen now to 9-year-old son. Natoma Houston sat at her computer frozen in disbelief yesterday morning as she read the bottom line of the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision on funding for intensive therapy for autistic children over age 5.

See IEP Issues - Accommodations and Modifications


The Rising Cost of Autism Strains School Budgets - Autism cases have exploded over the last decade here, just as it has across the state and the nation, putting a heavy burden on school budgets that experts say may grow worse in years to come. In Stratford, the number of children diagnosed with autism who receive special education services has increased 400 percent since 1996.


IN Voucher Plan Revived, With Focus on Autistic Students - Republican lawmakers have revived a stalled push to create school vouchers that would give students money to transfer to private schools. But this time, they'll target only one small group: autistic children.


Autism Spectrum Disorders and Choosing College Courses - Are you helping a student with an Autism Spectrum Disorder prepare for their freshman year of college?


MI Michigan School Offers Program for Children with Autism - Krambrooke-Griffin Academy, a private K-8 school in Washington Township, has begun offering a program for children with autism. The school plans to offer speech therapy, occupational therapy, sensory integration and sign language instruction, and may seek to include special-needs students in traditional classrooms, depending on their ability. The market for such schools is seen as having potential in Michigan, which has a higher percentage of children with autism than most states, data show.


Learning Styles of Students with Autism - This article will identify some unique learning characteristics of students with autism and their implications of these educational practices. Needs addressed will include organizational difficulties, distractibility, sequencing problems, inability to generalize, and uneven patterns of strengths and weaknesses. Although none of these applies to the entire population of students with autism, these learning problems are seen in a large percentage of these students to a significant degree.


University Tailors a Program for Autistic Students - Andrew Reinhardt is an 18-year-old college freshman who aspires to study math and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, yet his mother is afraid to let him cross a busy street by himself. Her fear is justified. Although Reinhardt is academically ready for college - he scored a 27 on the ACT and had a combined SAT score of 1140 - Asperger's Syndrome makes it difficult for him to cope with daily life.


Homeschooling/Asperger's Syndrome Site "Kids Who Are Different"


Find 19 Free Printable Charts to Help You Help Children Model Appropriate Behavior - Developed by an intervention resource room instructor working in an inclusionary model school, the "Red and Green
Choices" positive behavioral development strategies, work for a wide age range. "Cindy T's Circle Time" is directed to younger students - a full color picture book for teachers to use during class time. "Niki's Next Grade" is a chapter-book story told by Niki who wants to make a "green next grade plan" with no help from adults this time! Powerful and motivating for adults and children!


A website geared towards speech therapists from the Indiana Resource Center for Autism:
The Role of the School Speech Language Pathologist and the Student with Autism from the Indiana Resource Center for Autism:

Inclusion For Children With Autism: The TEACCH Position


Parents Sharing With Parents » Highly Recommended Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist: Carla G. Zeiter from Toledo, Ohio (419) 467-1542


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 Michigan Resources, Support Groups, Listservs & Websites

Download the Michigan Support Group Map (PDF) - Locate autism-related support groups and meetings in your area.


New Nonprofit in Lapeer: Inspiring Hearts for Autism
Charitable License # MICS 41730
P.O. Box 523, Lapeer, MI 48446
We are a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Inspiring Hearts for Autism. We offer monthly support group meetings, advocacy & parent-led social events for ASD individuals.


Mid-Michigan Autism Association


New Michigan Resource: Autism Hope - "We are a group of parents and professionals whose lives have been impacted by a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. We have gathered together to offer HOPE. We feel autism is treatable and will provide resources and programs to help with your child's progress and development. Autism is thought of as a life long sentence. Many parents are told their children will never talk or live a "self-sufficient" life. We don't believe that! Early Intervention is so important! You are not alone! You must have HOPE!"


Discovery Toys: Autism Pack

Marybeth Zoller
(248) 813-8767
"Dr. Krantz from the Princeton Child Development Institute spent the time to go through the six areas of development that autistic children struggle with most (i.e. task completion) and chose toys from our line that would most benefit a child with autism to help to attain this skill. Discovery Toys has put together a bundle of toys focused on the needs of an autistic child valued at about $250 that is now available for $99.00 plus tax and shipping. Discovery Toys is also donating money to Autism Speaks anytime someone purchases our gift wrap."


Special Ministry at Pentecostal House of God Church in Detroit
Offers information and resources to families who need support when raising children with special needs. Special Needs Ministry is a source of information/resources to families of children with autism in Wayne county. For more information, contact Celena Barnes, Director - Special Needs Ministry at (313) 935-0965.


Autistic Children's Treatment Network
Information & Referral for parents and professionals.
Contact: Jennifer Levine at (248) 988-9356 or via email at

Early Intervention Center
Center-Based Early Bird Program & Intermediate Iguana Program
These programs are for children ages 0 – 14. (Early Birds ages 0 – 6; Intermediate Iguanas ages 7-14). They attend the Center on either a full-time or part-time basis. They work one-on-one with staff on their individualized programs that target a variety of content areas including academics, socialization, play, daily living skills and more. The goal is to transition the children into typical education environments
Contact: Kristin Wier
Phone: (248) 258-6271
Address: 2225 E. 14 Mile Rd. Birmingham, MI 48009

Workshop Whales Consultation & Workshop Program
Our consultant will set up and maintain a home-based ABA program for families. This program is tailored to meet the individualized needs of each child. Staff and families are trained to implement child-specific programs, work with challenging behaviors, and encourage generalization of skills. The consultant will also visit a family and provide assistance with a specific issue such as toilet training or dealing with a difficult behavior. Lastly, she will visit schools, hospitals and other organizations on either a contractual or one-time basis and provide staff presentations, trainings and workshops.
Contact: Sherry Stayer
Phone: (248) 258-6271
Clientele Area: Michigan, Ohio and Indiana

Gratiot County Asperger Support Group is available to parents, grandparents , educators and anyone interested in attending. The group meets at the First Presbyterian Church in Ithaca (right behind the court house) on the third Thursday of each month. For more information contact Marion Nester at (989) 857-3144 or Penny Bearden (989) 847-2704.

Click here for information on Social Skills Builders Classes - Social Skills Builders offers a series of peer group programs for early childhood through adolescent aged children, who demonstrate difficulties with social skill awareness, social interactions and social behaviors.


The Biomedical Support Group (ASA Oakland) Meetings will be held at the Bloomfield Township Public Library, Corner of Lone Pine and Telegraph, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  This group is for those interested in pursuing biomedical interventions for those with autism spectrum disorders.  This is a great opportunity for those new to this approach or to invite those who are curious (relatives, school staff, grandparents, pediatricians).  Valuable handouts will be available.  For more information call 248-393-3131.


Autism Arts and McMurray Arts Center 


The Center for Autism provides the most comprehensive outpatient services to families struggling with autism across West Michigan. The Center focuses on treating autism spectrum disorders from a multi-disciplinary approach that includes psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, behavior analysts, speech and occupational therapists. Our highly specialized clinicians assess and treat autism and other neuro-developmental disabilities, as well as learning disabilities, ADHD, and social/emotional disorders. By providing all of our services in one location, it reduces the stress of multiple locations for the individual and their family. In addition, all the specialists are in one location so we can work together to treat symptoms and behaviors to maximize the individuals potential.

The OARacle - The Monthly E-Newsletter of the Organization for Autism ResearchTo subscribe to the OARacle, visit


Oakland Chapter of the Autism Society of America:


Two Michigan-based Autism websites featuring information, resources, links and ABA information: and


Everyday Miracles - located in Oakland County, is a parent lead, community based support group designed to strengthen, empower and inform families and communities about children with autism. The group provides an opportunity to talk openly with each other in a supportive environment.  Here, individuals in a caring and sharing atmosphere can express the grieving and the joy felt in the everyday miracle of having a child with autism.  Our information exchange will objectively communicate the most up-to-date topics of interest.


Spectrum Support - - This is a support list for anyone who shares the life of someone on the Autistic Spectrum (Autism, Asperger's, PDD-NOS) as well as those who are themselves on the Spectrum. This forum is for the sharing of ideas, stories, support, theories, symptoms, nutrition and humor.


Autism-Michigan Listserv - - This list is for anyone on the Autism Spectrum or with a loved one, student or patient with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The list is to provide resource information & support. Posts are not limited to any type of therapy or subject. This is for people to share their experiences and ask/answer questions about Autism. The majority of information may be specific to Michigan but is not limited to Michigan.


Social Skills Classes: Oakland County

This program is for elementary kids with Asperger's Syndrome, PDD-NOS, or High Functioning Autism.

For more information, contact:  Judith Coucouvanis, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Michigan Health Systems, 1500 E. Medical Center Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0390, Phone: (734) 764-0234, Fax: (734) 936-8907, Email:


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 National Resources & Websites

Bridges4kids Featured Product: SPIO Orthotic Garment - SPIO is a snug orthotic garment that surrounds the body with pressure-touch and mild proprioceptive input, which promotes body awareness and the release of calming/modulating chemistry. SPIO’s are useful for decreasing sensory seeking behaviors (such as excessive touching, crashing and banging) which leads to improved safely and stability for the child. SPIO’s patented material is breathable and can be worn alone or under regular clothing during waking hours.


New Bilingual Autism Resource Guide - To help diverse families living with autism, a new Bilingual Autism Resource Guide is now available at The Bilingual Autism Resource Guide is a free directory of the best web resources available in Spanish with site descriptions in both Spanish and English.

AUTCOM: Autism National Committee


The Organization for Autism Spectrum Information & Support, Inc. (OASIS) is a 501(c)(3) non profit corporation registered with the state of Ohio. OASIS is also affiliated with AUTISM LINK. OASIS is a group made up of parents and professionals with the common goal of providing support and spreading awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders. To the families who have been battling alone and feel there is no hope and that no one truly cares, we want you to know that we do. You do not have to walk this journey alone.

Autism Society of America, Autism Research Institute Join Forces - On October 31, 2006, the Autism Society of America (ASA) and the Autism Research Institute (ARI) announced a strategic partnership that will improve the lives of all those affected by autism in the U.S. The two organizations will collaborate on conferences, publications, and services. ASA is the largest parent-based autism organization in the U.S., with over 100,000 members and supporters and 200 local chapters. ARI, with over 70,000 supporters nationwide, has pioneered the study of medical problems of individuals with autism and effective treatments.


ABA Resources Website - This site offers free and affordable materials specific to a home or school based ABA program. Please feel free to navigate this site and download free resource materials. Check out the message board for a place where you can get used materials, learn about upcoming conferences/courses, and find therapists.

Different Worlds - Basingstoke, Hants, U.K. - We are a group of parents, carers, friends and relatives with a common link. We all have personal experience of Aspergers Syndrome or other Autistic Spectrum Disorders. We meet monthly and invite ‘Guest Speakers’ along to the meetings. We have had visits from Social Services, the Local Education Authority, Alternative Therapists re. dietary advice etc. We have write ups, photos, poetry, diagnosis criteria, and much more on our Site, and we actively encourage both adults and children to write for us.

The Autism Connection - A non profit web site dedicated to providing information and resources about Autism to the community.

NoMercury is a philanthropic based venture whose mission is to educate policy makers, physicians and the public regarding the dangers associated with the use of Thimerosal, a mercury containing preservative used in vaccines. Mercury, is a known toxin and is particularly dangerous to pregnant women, infants and children. "We do not solicit funds nor do we accept donations. NoMercury does not manufacturer, sell, endorse or promote any products or services. It is a labor of love, in honor of our mercury poisoned child. We formulated the concept in January 2004 as a tool to disseminate information surrounding the use of Thimerosal. After learning our son had mercury poisoning from his vaccines, we felt compelled to inform others. We were never informed the vaccines contained mercury. We did not know we were exposing him to one of the most toxic substances on earth by following the recommended childhood immunization schedule. As parents and as a medical family, we felt blind-sided. We wanted to prevent this from happening to other families."

Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center
Riley Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic
702 Barnhill Drive, Suite 4300
Indianapolis, IN 46202
The Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center is the only academic and research program on autism in the state of Indiana. We are actively treating over 600 children, making it one of the busiest autism treatment centers in the country. The Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center is one of only five sites in the country involved in a project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health that is focused entirely on medication treatment development for individuals with autism. Additionally, The Center received 1.86 million dollars in federal funding for autism at the close of the 106th Congress, enabling us to not only construct the new facility, but also expand clinical services, expand research efforts and treat more children. As a part of Indiana University School of Medicine, The Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center is dedicated to bringing the most current and accurate information to it’s mental health professionals and students.


Health Journals for Parents of Kids with Special Needs - "When my daughter was diagnosed, I created a health journal to help organize all of her medical information. Soon, the clinic asked me to make 40 more for the other parents." The Little Acorn now offers many versions of this book which have been customized to fit specific disabilities. Visit the website for more details or to order. Available items (New products added often - see website for current offerings): "Juggling Autism" Starter Kit, "Juggling Cystic Fibrosis” Starter Kit, "Juggling Down Syndrome” Starter Kit, "Juggling Cerebral Palsy" Starter Kit, "Juggling Asthma" Starter Kit, "Juggling Diabetes" Starter Kit, "Healthy Kids” Starter Kit, "A Woman's Health Journal", and "The Courage Book”


Several Organizations Related to Autism

Parent Resource Sharing: Indiana Resource Center for Autism (IRCA) - "I just wanted to pass along a great resource that I have found to be very helpful in assisting with many things, especially educational programming. The Indiana Resource Center for Autism has a great websiteThey have some wonderful resources under the IRCA Articles header that may be of assistance to many parents. They also have a great newsletter that you can subscribe to...they have trained over 200 educational district teams to assist individuals with autism within educational settings in Indiana and also have worked to assist groups in changing legislation regarding Medicaid waivers and insurance coverage issues." - Carolyn G.

Autism Ally products "provide managed freedom for the child in your care. Whether at home, school, or daycare, we offer you peace of mind, room by room."

Autism HQ


Feat North Texas - A parents group promoting ABA and early intervention for Autism.
Autism Treatment Information - Information about successful treatments for Autism. Site has advice from parents experienced with In Home treatment programs for Autism.
Family Autism has two distinct parts: Family Autism Research Services and Consultants and FOHFAK - Families of High Functioning Autistic Kids (a support group for the families of kids diagnosed with PDD, Asperger's or other ASD's).


Unlocking Autism - Unlocking Autism was founded primarily for the purpose of increasing awareness about the disorder.


CDC's Web-based Autism Information Center - The information center focuses on the activities of federal and federally funded programs and the resources offered by these programs. The information center includes information about autism spectrum disorders (ASDs); CDC and other federal activities; state activities funded by CDC; education, services, and research resources; and activities to help children use the Internet to learn more about ASDs. 


Information on casein (milk products, dairy) and gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oats, etc.) - also, check out this link:


Mayerslaw: Gary and his staff assist families across the nation who are attempting to secure for their children appropriate placements and services including 1:1 Applied Behavior Analysis, Supported Inclusion, Speech and Language Therapy/Augmentative Communication, Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy, Assistive Technology and preparation for gainful employment.


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 Articles Related to this Disability


Could Some Symptoms of Autism Be Reversed With Probiotics?


IL Illinois Autism Bill Would Mandate Insurance Coverage of $36,000 a Year - Insurance companies would be required to cover autism diagnosis and treatment up to $36,000 a year under legislation sent to the governor Thursday. The action marks a victory for advocates who say early intervention and therapy is key to helping children with autism gain communication and social skills.


Family: Who’s in your family? - My wife, Julie, and I recently went to her annual "Johnson family reunion." We showed a video there that we'd produced about several generations of family history using interviews and old photographs. We included a story about great-grandfather Rommie trying to drive his new Model T Ford for the first time. When it abruptly started forward and he couldn't remember how to stop it, he clung to the steering wheel yelling, "Whoa! Gee! Gee! Haw!" as if he was driving one of his mules. His oldest son jumped up on the car's running board and got it stopped.


Legos Can be Building Block to Teach Children with Autism - The Lego raft carrying the Lego castaways approached the Lego island, ''chased by raptors.'' Lewis Roberts, a 12-year-old from Medford, N.J., moved the raft an inch, then another young filmmaker snapped a digital camera. A third boy consulted their script. ''Quiet on the set!'' In the sudden silence, the boys let out a raptor-like ''ROAR.''


CA Sacramento Doctor Takes Unconventional Approach to Autism - In the controversial world of autism treatment, mainstream medical doctors are increasingly pitted against alternative providers in the quest to figure out causes and develop treatments.
SC Mom Wins Fight for Autism Insurance - Ryan Unumb just turned 7 years old. He has about 100 words in his vocabulary, even if they are difficult to understand. He's potty trained. He loves playing with water. He follows instructions, he asks for food when he's hungry, and he gives lots of kisses. The law named for Lorri Unumb's son, Ryan, doesn't apply to him. Their family is self-insured. He's not where a 7-year-old should be developmentally, but for a child with severe autism, his parents are thrilled with his progress.
A New 'World' for Autistic Children - Deanna Ballard developed educational DVDs for her son, Zachary. He now talks, and parents around the country are trying the program.
MMR-autism Link Doctor Andrew Wakefield Defends Conduct at GMC Hearing - The doctor at the centre of the controversy over the MMR vaccine has denied committing serious professional misconduct, saying it had been his "duty as a physician and a human being" to investigate potential links between the jab and autism in children.
Gov. Charlie Crist, Dan Marino Back Mandatory Insurance for Autism - "They're making record profits," Crist said of insurance companies at a press conference. "If they can't suck it up a little bit to help some kids, there's something really wrong with that corporate ethic."

Autism No Longer an Obstacle For Students Seeking College Degree - If college were purely academic, 16-year-old Cullen Kappel would have no worries. But the mostly straight-A student who studies astrophysics just for fun knows his challenge at college will be in what happens between classes.

Popular YouTube Video Draws Attention to Active Autism Community - Amanda Baggs, 27, who has autism, is using YouTube to explain how her own repetitive behaviors allow her to interact with her environment. Baggs' YouTube video, meant as a political statement, has garnered more than 300,000 hits.

Library Journal Review of "Understanding Brothers and Sisters on the Autism Spectrum". color. 94 min. Dan & Julie Coulter, Coulter Video, 1428 Pinecroft Dr., Winston-Salem, NC 27104; 336-794-0298; 2007. DVD $39.99. HEALTH. "The Coulters have produced a great resource for families who have children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and siblings who are neurotypical (NT). The DVD is divided into four programs, three geared toward children of various ages and one for parents. The filmmakers brilliantly use interviews with NT siblings and parents to document the issues that exist among family members. The sections geared toward children are hosted by Jessie Coulter, who does a great job of explaining and framing sibling issues with segments of those interviews. The programs geared toward children provide excellent modeling behavior, especially when discussing the negative attention that comes with having a sibling with ASD who is seemingly behaving poorly in public. These NT high school-age interviewees show maturity beyond their years and provide pointers and coping mechanisms that will help viewers better understand their siblings. The section for parents is particularly useful, as they are forced to strike a balance between the child with special needs and those without. This program is strongly recommended for all libraries."—Corey Seeman, Kresge Business Administration Lib., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Vancouver Couple Show Autism, Romance Can Coexist - Emilia Murry Ramey and Jody John Ramey met through a mutual friend. They soon discovered they had more in common than their friend. Both were students at Portland State University. And both have autism.


Adults With Autism Are Getting Help With Life Skills - Above Jonathan Ross' computer is taped a list of his long-term goals: Lose 200 pounds. Get a job. Become more socially active. Next to it is another note that says, "I believe in myself," written five times. "So have you been saying it?" asks Caitlin Kenny, his life-skills coach, referring to the "belief" note.


ONE BOY'S STORY: Music, sports have helped teen break out of shell - When he was younger, doctors predicted the best Nick Krishnan could hope for was an institutional life, something his mother, Shari Krishnan, never accepted. Today, Nick, 15, "has about as normal a life as anybody with autism as severe as his can have," Shari Krishnan of Bloomfield Township said.
Autism Rates Rise, But So Do Hopes - The increase in autism cases is creating challenges for public schools across metro Detroit that are charged with providing a free education to all children. And the schools are searching for new approaches to reach them. "This is not a disability identification that has a lot of outside agencies, even doctors, who have the wherewithal to address it," said James Boogren, associate director of the Burger Development Center in Garden City Public Schools, the largest center for children with autism in the Midwest. Wayne County school districts have put tens of millions of dollars into Burger, which has 330 students ranging in age from 3 to 26 with various levels of impairment -- from students who can't walk or talk to those who can spend part of each day in a regular classroom. The school accepts students from all over Wayne County, with each student's home district paying their way.


'Autistic Diet' Getting a Second Look - When he was 3 years old, Matthew Sebastian was diagnosed with autism. Four years later, he began having seizures, which are much more common in autistic children than in the broader population. Doctors told his parents that by the time their son reached puberty, his seizures would get worse and he would have to wear a helmet to protect his head.


Researchers to Create Autism Databank - Scientists at the University of Michigan and 10 other universities will use an initial $10 million gift from a New York-based charitable organization to create a databank of DNA samples from 3,000 autism patients that they hope will identify different kinds of autism and develop treatments.

The Age of Autism: 'A Pretty Big Secret' - But thousands of children cared for by Homefirst Health Services in metropolitan Chicago have at least two things in common with thousands of Amish children in rural Lancaster: They have never been vaccinated. And they don't have autism. "We have a fairly large practice. We have about 30,000 or 35,000 children that we've taken care of over the years, and I don't think we have a single case of autism in children delivered by us who never received vaccines," said Dr. Mayer Eisenstein, Homefirst's medical director who founded the practice in 1973."


Introduction to Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) - Relationship Development Intervention is an ongoing program of clinical development and research begun is 1996. The primary goal of RDI is to remediate the recognized core deficits of ASD. RDI provides individuals with ASD the cognitive, emotional, communicative and social tools that are geared towards remediation rather than compensation.


Grandparent Power! How Extended Family Can Enhance the Lives of Kids on the Autism Spectrum - If you're a grandparent of a child with a disability and you're close to the family and providing lots of support, bless your heart! You're probably already tuned in to what we're talking about here. If you're a grandparent who's been separated by distance or other factors and you'd like to be closer, here are some steps you can take to build bonds with your grandkids.

MI Film Camp Gives Children With Autism Chance to Shine - Jake Skelly is a natural ham. Ask him what he likes best about film camp, and he'll tell you it's the moment before classes begin, when each student has a moment in the spotlight. "I have a cool move. See, look," Jake said, demonstrating the "Macarena" groove he performed earlier to "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire.


"Hidden" Disabilities Provoke Rude Comments - I have a beautiful 6-year-old granddaughter who is in the autistic spectrum. Because she looks "normal" we, as her family, have to endure some rude looks, stares and occasional comments from people who think she is a spoiled brat when she has an occasional meltdown. It is hard enough to raise an autistic child, dealing with all the various issues she has on a daily basis, without the blatant rudeness of people who these days are quite vocal about saying things they seem to think they have a right to say.

Researchers Find Fewer Neurons in the Amygdala of Males With Autism - Researchers at the University of California, Davis, M.I.N.D. Institute have discovered that the brains of males with autism have fewer neurons in the amygdala, a part of the brain involved in emotion and memory.

New Autism Resource Available - The 44-page booklet, developed by the Academy's Autism Expert Panel, was written to answer the questions of parents of children who have ASD or used as a resource for health care professionals to provide to parents upon their child's diagnosis. The booklet defines ASD, discusses the clinical features, and describes the full range of interventions commonly used with children with ASD over the lifespan. The booklet also addresses special concerns in the teen and adult years as well as financial and legal planning. Finally, a list of recommended books and web sites is provided.


Autism: An Epidemic is Finally Acknowledged - The year 2005 will be a year to remember in the autism epidemic: The debate came to a head between parents of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) children and the federal government, which has long denied an autism epidemic exists.


'Hug Machine' Helps Children With Autism Cope - About one in 160 children are diagnosed with autism each year. Many of these children live in a world all their own -- not talking to or touching other people. Now a simple machine may help these special kids cope by giving them hugs. WAVE 3 Medical Reporter Lori Lyle explains.


Autism Is More Than Family Affair For UPS Worker, Father, Volunteer - Ten years ago, Tony Flores learned the disappointing news that his 2-year-old son Joey had autism. Not much later, Tony and his wife, Sandy, were told their older child Sammy had the condition as well.


MI Summer Club Helps Child With Autism Enjoy Friendship - The white, sudsy foam oozing from a North Muskegon Fire Department fan-turned-foam-maker covered the grass within minutes, and before Stacy Burns had the chance to hide prizes, 20 preteen kids were slipping, sliding and rolling around in it. It's part of an effort to create friendships between the students.


Autism - Cut The Crap - In their public statements, officials within the FDA and CDC are always claiming that researchers and scientists who conduct studies, not funded by drug companies or the government, are making unfounded claims about a link between thimerosal-laced vaccines and autism, and other neurological disorders, which could lead to reduced vaccine coverage, resulting in preventable outbreaks of disease affecting the entire planet. I say cut the crap.


Autism Figures May Be Wrong - Government figures that have been cited to prove that autism is rapidly increasing in the United States are not reliable and thus unsuitable for tracking the disorder, according to a study published in the July issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.


Debate Over Vaccines, Autism Won't Die - Seven years after it began, the debate over vaccines and autism just won’t die. In fact, it appears to be finding new life. Several churches have started a grassroots movement to rid vaccines of mercury. A new book on the issue is getting attention. A Kennedy has entered the fray.


MI New Program Helps Find Missing Child With Autism - A Kalamazoo County family is thankful for 21st Century technology. A simple transmitter helped them find their seven-year-old son, who is autistic, after he disappeared.


NY Manhattan Charter School to Serve Children With Autism - Two Manhattan women have won approval to open a charter school for autistic children in New York, the first public school in the city dedicated to providing the expensive therapy that can transform the lives of autistic children and their families.


In Autism, New Goal is Finding it Soon Enough to Fight it - For years, autism was rarely noticed before the age of 2, its symptoms overlooked by busy parents or so subtle that pediatricians missed them. But in the last two years much has changed. Propelled by an explosion of public awareness and growing evidence that early treatment with behavioral therapy can improve a child's chances, scientists have set out to diagnose the disorder as early as possible, and slowly, more children with autism are being identified before they turn 2.


Parents Claim 'Victory Over Autism' - Logan Mathieu entered The Victory School for children with autism in 2001, barely able to speak and certainly not reading, said his father, Ron Mathieu of Weston. "When Logan was 3 years old, doctors told us he had pervasive developmental disorder in the autism spectrum and that the best-case scenario was that Logan would always be two to three years behind in school," Mathieu said. Today, Logan, who is now 7, is an honors student in second grade at the American Academy at American Heritage School located in Plantation.


MI Students With Autism Get Team Effort - State grant trains teachers, others to target special needs.


CA Acceptance Reigns Along With a King - David Mason crossed his fingers and squeezed his eyes shut as he listened to the announcement that confirmed his dream: This Culver City High School senior, an autistic youth enrolled in the campus' special education program, was named homecoming king after a landslide vote.


Parents Work to Acclimate Autistic Children to Normal Routines - It is a relentless, labor-intensive and harrowing task, overwhelmingly performed by mothers, that tests the strength of marriages, the resilience of siblings and the endurance of the women themselves.


A World of Their Own - One by one, autism — with its rocking, its garbled words and its obsessions — has visited an extraordinary five of six children in one Austin family. [Login/registration required.]


Autism Incidence, 2003 School Year Data - Fighting Autism has updated their graphical display of Autism Incidence in the United States public school system to include the recently released 2003 school year data. You are able to select any of the 50 states and display the following graphs: Autism Incidence, Autism Incidence Cumulative Growth, and Autism Incidence Annual Growth.


How Do We Keep Him Safe? - Many things may run through a parent’s mind after he or she reads about certain tragedies. In the past month, you may have heard of three people with autism who died after wandering from their homes. One died as the result of being hit by an automobile; two drowned within a short distance of home. How do we keep Andrew, our 3 1/2-year-old son, safe? How does anyone keep his or her child safe?


Lost Boys - Autism and My Son - They used to be thought of as loners, misfits, even geniuses. Now they're being labeled "autistic." But here's the scary part: The diagnosis may boil down to an excess of maleness.


How Krishna Broke Free of Autism - When Krishna Narayanan was four years old, his mother showed him an apple and repeated, "Apple... apple..." He knew not only the word 'apple', but many, many other complicated words. He wanted to cry out to his mother that he knew all of them, but no words came out of his mouth; just a garbled sound.


Mercury in Humans Hunted - The potential risk posed by mercury in seafood like swordfish and albacore tuna is already a controversial subject. Now, some doctors are responding to concerns about mercury in a way that is sparking more debate: They are offering screenings that tell patients how much of the toxic heavy metal has accumulated in their bodies.


Drum Song - He was born "bright and beautiful," a child who started talking in complete sentences when he was only 8 months old. But when he was 18 months old, Nicholas was taken hostage, silenced by autism, a neurological disorder that stole his language, affected his agility and coordination, and robbed him of all his social skills.


Rainbow Maker - I have to share with you a story about the happiest journey I've ever taken. This story was made possible thanks to my sweet son, Nicholas, who has autism.


PA Officials Fight for Stronger Controls on Mercury Pollution - People who enjoy some species that contain trace amounts of mercury may be doing more harm than good. But if 11 states -- including New Jersey and Pennsylvania -- have their way, strict federal regulations would significantly reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants and trash incinerators.


Mind-boggling Therapy - The little boy's greeting came as a shock to Bradley Habermehl. "He smiled, looked me in the eye and said, 'Hello, Dr. Habermehl, how are you today?' " the Genesee Township optometrist says. That may seem like no big deal except the boy, Eric Callahan, diagnosed as having mild-to-moderate autism, hadn't looked people in the eye and said hello before. This was a child who had flapped his arms, walked on his tiptoes and had terrible tantrums - a boy who didn't like interacting with others and who wasn't very verbal. But those behaviors were now gone; Eric was a different child.


Practicing Social Skills - When's the last time you got frustrated because you told your child not to do something, and two minutes later he or she is doing it again? I think of this as "Teflon Shelf Syndrome." If you consider the brain as a storehouse with shelves, some kids seem to have some shelves that are coated with Teflon - and are tilted so things slide off easily. So...maybe it's not your son's fault that his finger strays to his nostril. It's not your daughter's fault she doesn't make eye contact when you speak to her. Maybe it’s the way their brains work.


Autism Linked to Birth Problems - Autism is linked to problems at birth, new data show. Around the age of 2 years, a child's brain undergoes explosive growth. That's when the mysterious combination of genes and environment that causes autism seems to hit with tragic force.


'Toxic Dust' on School Computers Linked to Disease - The dust found on many computer processors and monitors used today in schools and other locations contains chemicals linked to reproductive and neurological disorders, according to a new study.


Autism and the Pew Lady - I'm writing on behalf of the mother of a five-year old girl with autism - and for me and my son. If you're not familiar with autism and you've ever wondered what you might do to help, here's a heads up. I ran into the mother I mentioned at the Autism Society of North Carolina annual conference in Raleigh. She described how her autistic daughter had become upset in church and caused a small disturbance.


ASA Launches Spanish Section on its Website - The Autism Society of America (ASA) today announces the launch of a Spanish-language section on its award-winning Web site, responding to the ever-growing needs of the Hispanic community to deliver bi-lingual information on autism spectrum disorders.


U.S. CDC's Unspoken Acceptance of Vaccine Additive Raises Furor - Federal officials have added the flu vaccine to the routine immunization schedule for children, but will remain silent about whether parents should request a mercury-free version of the shot. Critics blasted last week's decision, particularly in light of government warnings about other types of mercury exposure.


Prognosis Varies Among Autistic Children - Through the 1970s, many autistic people were labeled mentally retarded and institutionalized. Some autistic children are still institutionalized today, but the many success stories over the years have shattered the hopeless stigma that once surrounded the disorder.


OH Disabled Pupils Learn to Focus in Sensory Room - The bright colors, dazzling lights and textured gizmos in the new "sensory" room at a school for students with developmental disabilities actually have a calming effect. [Free registration/login required to view this article.]


LA Lost Boy Found - What if for 10 years, your son was seemingly lost to you, unable to speak clearly, often unresponsive to conversation, and then one day, he began to talk to you as if for the first time? It happened to a Metairie family who gave their 10-year-old son Ben Alexander a computer keyboard, and discovered that the autistic child had very much to say.


Floortime and Integrated Play Groups
Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s Floortime Foundation
The Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders
Autism Institute on Peer Relations and Play Center for Integrated Play Groups
Play Time: An Examination Of Play Intervention, Strategies for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders


Out of Darkness: A Family's Desperate Effort to Save Their Boys From a Life of Isolation - Marc and Sophia Augier were overjoyed when their dream of a big family quickly became a reality five years ago with the birth of son Marcel and little more than a year later, twin boys Christophe and Henri. Their lives, in the suburbs of Cleveland, seemed to be a normal and happy blur, as they went about the business of raising three young boys. So, Marc and Sophia didn't know what to think when, at age 2, Marcel suddenly started behaving strangely. The boy who seemed to be developing normally, who was starting to talk, suddenly stopped talking, stopped responding to his parents.

U.S. Lawsuit Charges EPA Ignoring "Lost" Mercury - A lawsuit filed in February against the Bush Administration asserts that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is failing to protect the public health, and violating the Clean Air Act, by ignoring tons of unaccounted for mercury emissions each year. The suit, filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Sierra Club, asks the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review a recently published EPA rule on mercury because it fails to address "lost" mercury disappearing from a handful of chlorine plants around the country.


Inside the Edge: A Journey to Using Speech Through Typing - Inside the Edge is a documentary written and narrated by Jamie Burke, a 15-year-old high school student with autism. In this video, he tells of his personal experiences with the use of facilitated communication, developing speech, and inclusive schooling. Jamie has used FC since his pre-school days; during the past few years, he has become independent in his typing, has learned to read out loud what he has previously typed, and is increasingly able to speak meaningfully without previously typing his words. This video artfully combines images of Jamie with his narration, letting us join him on his journey. (Running time: 18:00) To view a snippet of the video, go to, click on "Personal Stories" and then click on "Jamie Burke".

New Tool Helps Primary Care Physicians Diagnose Autism Early - A primary care physician caring for approximately 1,000 children in a general practice should expect that approximately three to seven of his/her patients will demonstrate signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD appears to be more common than once thought. The reason for this is not yet clear but probably relates to a number of factors, including broader criteria, increasing professional and public awareness of the symptom spectrum, better ascertainment and perhaps a true rise in prevalence.


NY As Autism Cases Rise, Parents Run Frenzied Race to Get Help - When Phyllis Lombardi lets her 6-year-old son, Joey, play in her yard here, she cannot take her eyes off him because he is autistic, barely speaks and might bolt into traffic. But a fence costs more than the Lombardis can afford since they moved to this Westchester County village last year. Ardsley has state-of-the-art autism programs, but also real estate prices that have forced the family into a rental just a block from the Saw Mill River Parkway.


MI Michigan Democrats Unveil Mercury Initiative Package - Manufacturers and consumers in the state could face tighter restrictions on mercury use and disposal, according to a group of Democrats who unveiled a mercury phase-out package Wednesday.


Vaccine Additive Linked to Brain Damage in Children - Mercury-based preservative tied to autism, ADHD, U.S. researchers say. After assuring parents that additives in vaccines don't cause brain damage, scientists have found what they believe could be a "smoking gun" linking these additives to autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.


CA Districts Put To The Test - At her Clarksburg home, Karlin Merwin and a team of tutors have spent four years teaching her 9-year-old son, Jackson, how to live. Today, they are testing to make sure he knows the emotions. Sarah Post, a tutor, shows Jackson a photo of a boy about his age who looks worried.


U.S. Government Mapping Out a Strategy to Fight Autism - Propelled by the skyrocketing number of diagnoses of the perplexing brain disorder autism in children, federal officials have for the first time mapped out a long-term, interagency plan to deal with the problem. The plan includes objectives like the development of teaching methods that will allow 90 percent of autistic children to speak; the identification of genetic and non-genetic causes of the condition; and adequate services for all afflicted children in the next 7 to 10 years.


Occupational Therapy Practitioners: Behavioral Interventions for Autism - Interventions may be effective for some children with autism and mental retardation.


The Oakland Press Series on Autism: Agency helps adults with disability live on their own - Troy resident Aaron Freed panicked when he discovered a notice in his apartment on a recent Friday.  Autism doesn't keep family down - West Bloomfield Township resident Sue Hodess, who has two autistic sons, has done well to maintain an ironic sense of humor. "I used to laugh because I'd think: 'There's not a lot of pressure here. I just can't die,'" the 41-year-old mother said.  Parents rise to autism challenge - Visit the Autism Society of America's Web site at or the Autism Society of Michigan's website at To learn more about Oakland County resources and services for people with autism, visit the ASA Oakland County Chapter's Web site at

FL Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) Faces Suit Over Mercury - Parents of more than two dozen Jacksonville children plan to sue JEA, claiming mercury discharged by coal-burning power plants contributed to their children developing autism. In each of the 26 instances, the children were healthy at birth and progressing fine into their second year, said Alan Pickert, an attorney representing the families. Yet when the children reached between 18 and 24 months, parents started to notice them regressing, Pickert said. [source]


Free Information and Update On Autism Tissue Program - The Autism Tissue Program (ATP) has come a long way since it was first launched five years ago. The program, which is a joint effort of the Autism Society of America Foundation, the National Alliance for Autism Research, and the MIND Institute, provides a registry of individuals who have agreed to donate their brains to science after their death.

Allowed to be Odd - The hero of a best-selling new novel is a 15-year-old boy with autism—but that label never appears in the book.  Christopher John Francis Boone, the 15-year-old narrator of the new novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” knows lots of stuff, including the capitals of all the countries in the world and every prime number up to 7,057.


Newsweek: Girls, Boys and Autism - Is this mysterious and sometimes devastating condition just an extreme version of normal male intelligence? That’s one provocative new theory. Behind autism’s gender gap.


Book Review: "Who Took My Shoe" - Bringing abstract ideas into focus: Mom writes book to help autistic son relate to his world.


IL Employee Benefits Plan Administrator Acted Irrationally in not Covering Autism-Related Therapies - A health insurance plan administrator acted arbitrarily and capriciously in denying coverage of autism- related speech, integrated sensory, and occupational therapies for a plan participant's son , the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled July 21, 2003 (Wheeler v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., N.D. Ill., No. 01 C 6064, 7/21/03).

Autism: A $50,000 Cure - Slender and blond, 4-year-old Jared Dick picks up a game controller to play what he calls "monkey ball" and slips into his self-absorbed Nintendo heaven.


Autism now diagnosed early; Therapy for toddlers makes 'huge difference' - Two-year-old Nathan Katzman seemed different ''from the moment he was born,'' says his mom, Nicole. ''Looking back, I think it was something about eye contact.''


MI Pushing Play: Richard Solomon's Groundbreaking Work is Changing the Lives of Autistic Children - In his darkened office in the University of Michigan Health System, Richard Solomon, M.D., pops a videocassette tape into the VCR and pushes "play." Instantly, the screen is alive with the colors of American childhood.


RI Model School Aids Autistic Preschoolers - For Louis, who is autistic, the simple exchange is another reinforcement of his lessons in social interaction. He’s learning something other children pick up with little effort -- how to say good-bye.


The ARC: What is a Positive Behavior Plan? - View Sample Plans and Download Training Materials.


U.S. Congressman Dan Burton's Letter to President George Bush Requesting a National Summit on Autism - "Mr. President, you have made the statement many times that we should leave no child behind. Unfortunately, there are a growing number of our children who are in serious danger of being left behind because of the devastating scourge of autism. Thus, I am writing you today to urge you once again to convene a White House Conference to confront the National problem of autism..."


Autism, vaccine link considered - An epidemic of autism and other brain problems in American children is linked to vaccines, say doctors, activists and one member of Congress who met in Chicago over the weekend to discuss the disease. (May 2003)

From a parent: I have found the following books to be very useful:  Here is a review from - "Autism/Aspergers: Solving the Relationship Puzzle" by Steven E. Gutstein.  This book explains the RDI model, and there are two more that are more specific on how you implement it (RDI).  This is the one for younger children (through grade school): "Relationship Development Intervention with Young Children: Social and Emotional Development Activities for Asperger Syndrome, Autism, PDD and NLD" by Steven E. Gutstein, Rachelle K. Sheely.  There is also one for adolescents and adults. I think the books are pretty good.  He has a website at: [RDI = Relationship Development Intervention].


Raising Justin: For the parents of an autistic child, coping is an ever-changing challenge. The imaginary play that comes so effortlessly to Faith is anything but instinctive to Justin, who was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 and had not yet begun to talk. The stimulation he seeks helps him cope with a chaotic world of sights, sounds, tastes, and smells that his brain cannot easily separate into foreground and background information.


U.K. Doctors' Children Avoid MMR - Critics claim it shows that doctors and nurses are more worried about the possible health risks of the triple vaccination than they are prepared to admit in public.


MI Autistic kids get a real treat - They get free reign of a Fenton theatre.

Discipline and the Child with Autism: Tips on Parental Discipline - How do we handle the aggressive behaviors that many children with autism exhibit when they are disappointed or frustrated? This is an age old question that was brought home to me today, when Jonathan smashed a drinking glass in the kitchen sink because he was upset at being told "no". Are there good ways to handle this problem, or are we as parents left to fend for ourselves?


A Child's Best Friend Part 1: Considering a Service Animal?
A Child's Best Friend Part 2: Self-Training a Service Dog


ALERT: Genetic Link to Autism Found - Duke University Medical Center researchers have announced the discovery of a genetic link to autism. The center's findings will be published in the March 2003 issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics. The study included data collected from families in which more than one child is affected by autism and whose children exhibit repetitive activities and have extreme difficulty with changes to their daily routine. The researchers discovered a strong link to a gene on Chromosome 15.


Autism Proof Your Home: Making A Secure Environment

MI Autism rate up 1,500% in state - "Only a small fraction of autistic kids recover because only a small fraction of parents follow this procedure," Rimland said. "Traditional doctors will tell you that's nonsense, but that's because they're ignorant."


Study showing mercury in vaccine not harmful to infants draws mixed reactions - Drug companies and the US medical establishment welcomed a new study that found infants who received vaccines containing mercury were unharmed but some children's health advocates discounted the report insisting mercury in infant vaccines was responsible for autism and other developmental disorders.


U.S. Lobbyists target Burton - Rep. Davis (R-Va.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, has ended a dispute over what to do with his predecessor, Rep. Burton (R-Ind.), and has decided to give him a subcommittee chairmanship.


A New Approach to Autism - MIND Institute Sees Parents as Essential to a Cure; According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism is now 10 times more common today than it was 10 years ago. Guest host Paul Raeburn and guests look at the science of autism. What's behind the rise in the autism rate? Are we just diagnosing the disease better? [source]


Making Their Way: Despite Critics, Autistic Youths Still Typing - Autism is like a heavy curtain between its sufferers and the outside world, and when facilitated communication was introduced, it seemed like the curtain had lifted and autistic people were at last able to reveal themselves.


Breaking Through: Boy Sheds Light on Autism Mysteries - Tito's mother had somehow found a way to communicate with her autistic son.


Debate over vaccine amendment - Last-minute addition to homeland security bill shields makers.


Five Early Signs of Autism - Timmy was the perfect baby. Quiet and complacent, at 10 months he could play by himself for hours, allowing me to read the paper or do the housework. Unlike our friends' children, Timmy was so much less demanding of our attention.


Study: Autism in Rhode Island by Dr. Ed Yazbak - Read the report from Dr. Yazbak on his findings during this study in Rhode Island.  "It was sad to write.  I hope that it increases awareness...."


PA "Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention Services For Children with Autism-Related Disorders" (pdf version) results from statewide hearings held throughout Pennsylvania to identify areas in which services should focus to bring about positive results for young children with autism-related disorders.


This Marino miracle is a victory over Autism - Mikey is about as normal a 14-year-old boy as there is. But it's his normalcy that's the miracle.


U.S. American Academy of Pediatrics Will Look for MMR/Autism Link


FL When Law And School Safety Collide: Autism Backlash? - Mainstreaming problem students can cause difficulties for others.


KS Differences bring girls together - Autistic girl and others learn life skills in special troop.

OH School for the Autistic Is Part Of New Study

MI "Oral Health & Autism - What Parents Can Tell Dentists" - Call for Volunteers to Participate in a Focus Group.


MA Allegations resurface at unique school for autistic children


MI MIRS 9-19-02 Mercury Thermometer Ban Goes To Governor


Mom's Question: Does Drug Trigger Autism?


Light at the End of the Tunnel Parts 1-4: A Story About Hope And Recovery And Autism

Autism May Be Linked to Immune Reactions


Transcript of BBC Coverage of Autism in California - "A ten year study into possible links between autism and environmental pollutants and vaccinations is now under way.  Meanwhile the case load continues to swell.  With ABA, the treatment of choice, costing $50,000 per child, per year, the budget for special needs is already stretched."


Vitamin B6 (and magnesium) in the Treatment of Autism - click here to read the article from the Autism Research Institute.


We would like to invite everyone to view the new website for "Autism Arts".  Their project is collecting artwork from children and adults on the spectrum.  They are hosting an "Essay Contest" for a chance for someone to attend the first Inaugural World Autism Congress in Australia. The project is very cool, as is the site! Enjoy... Please feel free to pass on the information to others - be sure to visit Autism Arts for more information.


Latino Group Bridges the Barriers of Autism - Support: After son's diagnosis, couple found little data in Spanish. Now they share facts.


back to the top - back to disability topics


 Medical Information


Educator’s Book Reviews 50 Conventional and Holistic Treatments for Autism, ADD and OCD - For more than 30 years, education counselor Patricia Lemer has been helping parents of children with developmental delays understand conventional and holistic treatments and determine which are the best fit for each child. Her new book focuses on the needs of children with autism spectrum disorders and related diagnoses, such as attention deficit and obsessive-compulsive disorders. It provides an overview of these conditions, theories about causes and information on nearly 50 conventional and holistic treatments, ranging from traditional therapy to newer offerings such as Brain Gym, behavioral optometry and neurofeedback.


Pennsylvania Bill Mandates Insurance for Autism - For Karin Fox, Caroline's mother, the shock of learning her daughter had autism only worsened when she realized health insurance wouldn't cover extensive, and expensive, treatments for the disorder. "It was like a full-time job," Fox, of Narberth, said of figuring out how to pay for Caroline's therapies, "but one that you were never, ever done with."


Existing Drug Reverses a Form of Mental Retardation in Mice - Scientists hope medication could treat learning disorders caused by autism. A drug already on the market for a completely unrelated condition could be used to treat a form of mental retardation linked to autism—if the results of a study in mice hold up, researchers report. Scientists used rapamycin—a medication doctors prescribe to patients who have had transplants to prevent their bodies from rejecting the new organs—to treat learning disorders associated with a disease called tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in mice.


Researchers Gain Insight Into Why Brain Areas Fail To Work Together in Autism - Researchers have found in two studies that autism may involve a lack of connections and coordination in separate areas of the brain.


The Age of Autism: Gold standards - A published scientific paper suggests gold salts -- the treatment that may have prompted improvement in the first child ever diagnosed with autism -- can affect mental conditions.


Debated Autism Therapy Gives Hopes to Parents - Gavin Wilken is out in his backyard, unknowingly demonstrating extraordinary accomplishments. The 6-year-old is goofing around with his little sister, Lindsey. He's talking. He's laughing. He's playing chase. Their mother, Tami Wilken, watches from the kitchen, expressing amazement at how normal Gavin seems. You should have seen him a few years ago, she says. He quit speaking. He failed to respond to his name. He would hold a pen in front of his face and spin it for hours on end.


Invisible Export – A Hidden Cost of China's Growth: Mercury Migration - The airborne output of Chinese power plants like Wuhu Shaoda was once considered the price of China's economic growth, and a mostly local problem. But just as China's industrial might is integrating the country into the global economy, its pollution is also becoming a global concern. Among the biggest worries: the impact of China's vast and growing power industry, mostly fueled by coal, on the buildup of mercury in the world's water and food supply.


The Age of Autism: A Glimpse of the Amish - Recently, a man named Dick Warner got in touch with us. He has been following this column's search for Amish people with autism and said he might have something to contribute.

The Age of Autism: Oaklawn - Finally. I found a place that could tell me all about Amish people with autism.

The Age of Autism: Amish Ways - This column in recent weeks has focused on two related questions: Is the prevalence of autism lower among the Amish, and, if so, how do they differ from the rest of us?

The Age of Autism: One in 15,000 Amish - The autism rate for U.S. children is 1 in 166, according to the federal government. The autism rate for the Amish around Middlefield, Ohio, is 1 in 15,000, according to Dr. Heng Wang.


The Age of Autism: Feedback on the Amish Parts 1 & 2 - Readers of this column have reacted strongly to our series of reports on autism among the Amish. So far, we have found only a handful of cases of autism and have quoted some experts who think it is nearly non-existent in this group.


David Kirby Responds to R.F.K. Jr.’s Article and Says “Bring It On” - Last month, at the Autism One conference in Chicago, I issued a challenge to the thimerosal naysayers. Borrowing from a certain leader of the Free World, I said, simply, “Bring it on.” So here is the challenge, repeated again. Dr. Julie Gerberding (CDC Director), Dr. Steve Cochi (head of the CDC vaccine program), Dr. Marie McCormick (head of the IOM panel that dismissed the thimerosal theory), Dr. Paul Offit (a leading pediatrician who passionately derides the theory) or any other prominent person who insists that there is no evidence of harm from injecting organic mercury directly into the systems of infant children at levels far in excess of federal safety limits: Let’s talk. You pick the time, place and speakers. You can even set the ground rules. All I ask is that you come forth, and let's get this over with.


Deadly Immunity: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Investigates the Government Cover-up of a Mercury/Autism Scandal - "I devoted time to study this issue because I believe that this is a moral crisis that must be addressed. If, as the evidence suggests, our public-health authorities knowingly allowed the pharmaceutical industry to poison an entire generation of American children, their actions arguably constitute one of the biggest scandals in the annals of American medicine."


Children with Autism Have Distinctly Different Immune System Reactions Compared to Typical Children - A new study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, M.I.N.D. Institute and the NIEHS Center for Children's Environmental Health demonstrate that children with autism have different immune system responses than children who do not have the disorder. This is important evidence that autism, currently defined primarily by distinct behaviors, may potentially be defined by distinct biologic changes as well.


Brochure for Health Care Professionals: "Your Next Patient Has Autism..." (PDF; size=247k) - The Education Subcommittee of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System (NSLIJHS) Autism Steering Committee has recently completed work on its first educational initiative. “Your Next Patient Has Autism...” is a trifold brochure developed for the many health professionals – nurses, physicians, technicians and others – who provide services for children on the autism spectrum. It is especially designed for those who only occasionally treat this population. Physical assessment, diagnostic imaging, and a variety of other interventions – both invasive and non-invasive – may induce fear and anxiety in people with autism. Their behavioral responses to such experiences often interfere with needed care and increase the risk of physical and/or psychological trauma. “Your Next Patient Has Autism...” provides caregivers with a brief synopsis of autism together with specific recommendations for managing the special needs of these patients in the context of in-patient or out-patient healthcare. Thanks to Beth Kimmel of ASA-Oakland for suggesting this resource.


Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders) - Describes symptoms, causes, and treatments, with information on getting help and coping.

NINDS Pervasive Developmental Disorders Information Page - Includes: What are Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Is there any treatment? What is the prognosis? What research is being done? Organizations, Related NINDS Publications and Information, and Publicaciones en Español.


Research Supports Link in Autism to Mercury - Children with autism may process mercury differently than most children, leaving them susceptible to damage from preservatives in vaccines and other sources of the heavy metal, according to a controversial new report released Monday.


Desperate Measures - Armed with a new study, some parents say vaccines trigger autism. But is skipping shots the answer?


Cost Benefit Estimates for Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism - Research indicates that with early, intensive intervention based on the principles of applied behavior analysis, substantial numbers of children with autism or PDD-NOS can attain intellectual, academic, communication, social, and daily living skills within the normal range. Representative costs from Pennsylvania, including costs for educational and adult developmental disability services, are applied in a cost-benefit model, assuming average participation in early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) for three years between the age of 2 years and school entry. The model applied assumes a range of EIBI effects, with some children ultimately participating in regular education without supports, some in special education, and some in intensive special education. At varying rates of effectiveness and in constant dollars, this model estimates that cost savings range from $187,000 to $203,000 per child for ages 3-22 years, and from $656,000 to $1,082,000 per child for ages 3-55 years.  

Arizona State University: Autism Baby Hair Study - A summary of preliminary results as shared with program participants. “Our preliminary conclusion is that many children with autism had low mercury in their baby hair, probably due to impaired excretion. The impaired excretion is probably partly due to excessive oral antibiotics, although genetics or other factors may also play a role.”


Mercury Linked to Autism-Like Damage in Mice - Institute of Medicine Says Study Does Not Support Link Between Mercury, Autism in Humans.


Too Much Testosterone Blights Social Skills - Levels of testosterone in the womb may have profound effects on a person's social development. The findings might also explain why men are four times as likely as women to suffer from autism.


U.S. Will Pay For Study to Seek Cause of Autism - A major U.S.-financed study designed to unearth the roots of autism will track 100,000 babies in Norway to identify biological and environmental factors that could combine to cause autism and other developmental disorders. The Autism Birth Cohort, led by researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, will follow kids and their parents for five years, beginning during the mother's pregnancy.


More and More Autism Cases, Yet Causes Are Much Debated - No one disputes it. Cases of autism, the baffling and often devastating neurological disorder that strikes in early childhood, are rising sharply. [New York Times article; requires free account to read it online.]


UK MMR RIP? - A conspiracy of silence or paranoid scaremongering? Is the MMR vaccine a cause of autism - or is it a vital health program undermined by this medical maverick?


Autism: A Study That Discounts a Suspected Cause of the Disorder Gives Way to More Questions Than Answers - In recent years, autism research has been a battleground. A vocal group of parents, advocates and a few scientists focused on vaccines containing traces of mercury as the lead suspects in the disorder. But most autism researchers were suspicious, arguing that the theory didn't fit the evidence.

Learn About Chelation Therapy: Chelation Therapy is but one of the therapies available for children with Autism or those who have been exposed to lead poisoning.  Chelation Therapy, as it relates to Autism, is not seen as a "cure" for Autism but as a way to remove the mercury that has been placed into the body by vaccines.  As related to lead poisoning, Chelation Therapy removes the lead from the body.


Thimerosal in Childhood Vaccines, Neurodevelopment Disorders, and Heart Disease in the U.S. - In the United States, a tragic and massive autism epidemic is currently underway.... along with other neurodevelopmental disorders such as speech disorders, attention deficit syndrome, developmental delays, etc. Our best estimates are that thimerosal has contributed to about 75% of these cases of neurodevelopmental disorders while the MMR contributed to about 15%.... Yet, in 2003, three manufactures of childhood vaccines still are being made with full doses of thimerosal. These are as follows: Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular-Pertussis (DTaP) manufactured by Aventis-Pasteur in multi-dose vials contains 25 micrograms of mercury, Haemophilus-influenza-Type b (HibTITTER) in multi-dose vials manufactured by Wyeth contains 25 micrograms of mercury, and pediatric hepatitis B vaccine manufactured by Merck contains 12.5 micrograms of mercury. These vaccines represent approximately half of the childhood vaccines currently available for use in the United States.... Additionally, influenza vaccines contain 25 micrograms of mercury preservative.


General Immunization Philosophy (pdf size=46kb) by Dr. Bryan Jepson from the Children's Biomedical Center of Utah - excerpt: Since I have started treating autistic children, many people have asked me about my personal philosophy regarding immunizations. I am an emergency physician by training and continue to spend most of my professional life in that arena.  Therefore, I am very familiar with acute infectious illness. I know how devastating it can be to have a previously healthy person become violently ill or die from a preventable illness.


Mercury and Autism - In a study that adds to the debate over the origins of autism, researchers have concluded that infants who received vaccines containing a mercury-based preservative did not have unsafe mercury levels in their blood.


The Hands-On Parent Education (HOPE) Center, a program offered by Beaumont Hospital's Center for Human Development, provides intervention for families with preschool-age children diagnosed with autism. The mission of the HOPE Center is to teach parents how to use principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) with their children in a playful, interactive, and developmentally-appropriate fashion. ABA is a treatment with scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness. However, it is very time-intensive. Parents are therefore the focus of teaching at the HOPE Center, as they are usually with their children for more hours each day than any teacher or therapist. Behavioral specialists work intensively with a small number of families, in a preschool-type setting. Children and their parents attend three hours a day, five days a week, for 12 weeks. After receiving 180 hours of hands-on training, the intervention program is transitioned to the home, and ongoing behavioral consultation is provided from the HOPE Center staff. For more information, call Beaumont's Center for Human Development at 248-691-4744.


U.S. American Academy of Pediatrics Will Look for MMR/Autism Link


Study: New Drug May Aid Autistic Children - Schizophrenia Medicine Found to Control Outbursts Associated With Disorder.

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