Autism

 
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    Autism News -- ScienceDaily

  • Sleep quality influences cognitive performance of autistic, neurotypical children

    28 May 2015 | 9:38 am
    One night of poor sleep significantly decreases performance on intelligence tests in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and also in neurotypical children (without ASD). The researchers observed the EEG measures of 13 autistic children and 13 neurotypical children (children with a mean age of 10 years old without an intellectual deficiency or sleep problem and who were not on medication) and found that disruptions in protective brain waves during sleep are associated with lower results on verbal IQ tests.
  • Researchers unravel a link between a genetic mutation and autistic behaviors, then find a way to undo it

    28 May 2015 | 9:38 am
    The mechanisms behind a genetic mutation that produces certain autistic behaviors in mice has been identified by researchers, as well as therapeutic strategies to restore normal behaviors.
  • Differences in RORA levels in brain may contribute to autism sex bias

    27 May 2015 | 9:47 am
    An important sex-dependent difference in the level of RORA protein in brain tissues of males and females has been found by scientists. Specifically, females without autism have a slightly higher level of RORA in the frontal cortex of the brain than males without autism, while the levels of the protein are comparably lower in the brain of both males and females with autism.
  • Zebrafish model gives new insight on autism spectrum disorder

    27 May 2015 | 8:30 am
    Researchers are utilizing animal models to understand how dysfunction of either of two genes associated with autism spectrum disorder, SYNGAP1 and SHANK 3, contributes to risk in ASD. The new findings pinpoint the actual place and time where these genes exert influence in brain development and function.
  • Autism and rare childhood speech disorder often coincide

    27 May 2015 | 7:21 am
    Some children with autism should undergo ongoing screenings for apraxia, a rare neurological speech disorder, because the two conditions often go hand-in-hand, according to researchers. It's estimated that one in 68 children in the United States has autism and one to two in 1,000 have apraxia. With increased recognition and improved evaluation measures, more children are being identified with autism and apraxia. Developmental experts have long noted autism and apraxia seem to frequently coincide.
 
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    Square 8

  • Autism Acceptance Challenge 20: Executive Functioning

    1 May 2015 | 6:55 am
    I often get stuck in a loop. Having a good organized list can help, but not always. Sometimes my inbox has 431 unread messages. I struggle with how to return a phone call, never sure how much access I'm going to have to speech. I start a project with enthusiasm and get derailed when the next big thing comes along, demanding 100% attention. Deadlines are my best friend and archenemy. I sometimes need help with staying on task and I resent that I need help and I resent the people who help me. It's all part of the package.Challenge 20 is for me. You can share it if you want to. It's not an easy…
  • Autism Acceptance Challenge 19 Cannot Happen

    29 Apr 2015 | 6:27 pm
    This can’t happen. Not today. Not yesterday. I made a commitment to write 20 challenge posts this month and there is only one more day. Maybe tomorrow. Should I ask you to watch Wretches and Jabberers or Citizen Autistic? Participate in scripts? Respect boundaries? Yes. I should. None of this is trivial. But today, they are not the most important things. Supporting acceptance of autism and autistic people matters and will always matter to me. The truth is that our lives depend on it. On another day, I will talk about what that means. Today I have to look beyond autism, beyond myself, beyond…
  • Autism Acceptance Challenge 18: Take Back April with Stimtastic

    27 Apr 2015 | 8:30 am
    Being autistic in April is not usually a happy experience. Every year, we are surrounded by reminders that we are not welcome on the planet. The lit up blue buildings and puzzled lapel pins and endless parading of “tragic” statistics and “devastating” costs contribute to an already toxic and willful misunderstanding of what autism is, denying our very right to exist.  There have been Aprils when leaving the house was nearly impossible. What could I say that would not be met with scorn or derision? I have felt truly alone in the world.This year has been better (for me, anyway.)…
  • Autism Acceptance Challenge 17: One Sentence Stories of Acceptance

    25 Apr 2015 | 8:46 am
    Acceptance happens sometimes. When it does, I like to acknowledge and celebrate it. Here are a few of my one sentence stories about autism acceptance:On April 2, everyone in my office was wearing red.The cake said “Good luck Bev and Squawkers.”Share your one sentence stories of autism acceptance in the comments to complete this challenge. 
  • Autism Acceptance Challenge 16: Ask an Autistic

    23 Apr 2015 | 4:59 pm
    Not long ago, I sat in a meeting composed of parents and professionals. The group was interested in learning more about what supports autistic people need. How would they find out? You can probably guess what their solution was: Let’s survey all the parents! Not one person suggested talking to autistic people themselves. I wasn’t having a good speech day and it didn't get any better from there. I wish I could say that I quickly and diplomatically pointed out the error in their groupthink. Some days I can. Some days I just…can’t. It left me feeling all powerless and Twilight…
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    Reports from a Resident Alien

  • Shoulds

    Lisa D.
    22 May 2015 | 9:11 am
    You should do.          I won't do.You should do.          I am I, not you.          I want to. Not should.          You should; but I want.          I can, or could, or might--or I won't.          My choice.You should.          You should; but I won't.Your shoulds are I…
  • Taking marriage for granted

    Lisa D.
    21 May 2015 | 10:17 am
    I can’t help but think how nasty it was of us to deny gay people the formal commitment and legal acknowledgement that straight people have enjoyed for so long.I’m not surprised that the fight for gay marriage has made straight people think about the value of marriage, too; we took it for granted for so long, until we realized what it was like not to be able to marry at all, whether you wanted to or not. I think gay marriage will probably strengthen the institution of marriage, overall.Humans, psychologically, pair-bond. We just do. We want to find another person and take on life together.
  • In the News: Adopted Pit Bull Helps Autistic Teenager Hug and Kiss His Mom For the First Time

    Lisa D.
    29 Apr 2015 | 8:42 am
    Adopted Pit Bull Helps Autistic Teenager Hug And Kiss His Mom For The First TimeIt's not uncommon for autistic people to learn things from animals when humans are too complex to understand. Learning to cuddle with a dog is just so much less complicated than learning how, when, and when it's appropriate to hug a human. I can't help but wonder whether Aspie kid now enjoys hugging his mom, or does it because he knows Mom likes it. Personally, I learned how to back off and stop being annoying from my cat, who would just glare and hiss. People don't glare and hiss, they're too polite to do that,…
  • In the News: Kennedy Apologizes for "Holocaust" Comment

    Lisa D.
    21 Apr 2015 | 7:21 am
    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. apologizes for "holocaust" comment in vaccine debateIn one fell swoop, he's managed to insult both autistics and Holocaust survivors. Quite a feat. A tip, Kennedy: The Holocaust was genocide. It was horrible. It was evil. We never want it to happen again. Autism, on the other hand, is a developmental disorder that doesn't shorten one's lifetime nor take away the same chance at happiness that any human being has, and autistic people and our families are really, really tired of being cast as "catastrophic tragedies".
  • You're Not Like My Child... My Child is Severely Disabled.

    Lisa D.
    29 Mar 2015 | 8:58 am
    I get this sometimes. People look at me; they see I can talk, I can take care of myself, I live on my own with no more than a case manager checking in weekly (thank goodness, by the way; it was long overdue and I'm very pleased to finally be able to depend on someone to help me figure out the little unexpected bits of daily life)...And they say, "You're not like my child. My child is severely disabled. He can't go to college. He can't talk. He won't live on his own. He can't..."I've brought this up with various people, and many times, the response is,…
 
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    Wrong Planet - Asperger / Autism News

  • Autism Job Club

    Bernick
    11 May 2015 | 11:34 am
    The following is an excerpt from Michael S. Bernick and Richard Holden‘s The Autism Job Club, which is now available. If you like what you see, please purchase a copy of this excellent book! Chapter 15: Autism, Craft and Calling It is through the values of craft and calling that will come additional hiring of adults with autism in the practical economy. The autism-focused businesses,  major employer initiatives and employer outreaches set out in the previous chapter are necessary, but not sufficient. They must be tied to answering how adults with autism bring advantage to employers…
  • Coping with Conversation

    androbot01
    8 Apr 2015 | 11:45 am
    Social interaction is like navigating a maze.  One wrong turn can lead to disheartening rejection.  But, a lot of difficulties arise from misinterpretation and misunderstanding.  These are some tricks I use to try to get through successfully. Take charge of social situations.  Social interactions are shaped by both participants.  If someone is being grumpy, be kind to them.   How the other person acts does not determine how you act and there is no rule that one must follow the other’s lead.  Stay true to yourself. Listen and think about what the other has said.  There is a…
  • Revisiting Masculinity: The father’s journey with autism

    RNaseef
    29 Mar 2015 | 11:38 am
    When my son was born in November 1979, I jumped for joy.  When he was diagnosed with autism 4 years later, I thought my head was going to explode.  I couldn’t get the word autism out of my mouth for months. In general, it is harder for men to talk about problems than women. Women seem able to talk about problems and find comfort without needing to fix them. Of course, women do want to fix problems. As for men, when we can’t fix something, we don’t want to talk about it—and this is a factor in male depression and a problem in relationships. As Nelson Mandela wrote, “A boy…
  • What’s the Deal With Us, Anyway?

    Jeffrey Deutsch
    24 Mar 2015 | 8:32 am
    So…Cracked.com’s Robert Evans sat down recently with several high-functioning autistic folks. Since I wasn’t one of them, I get to offer my own perspective Potshot Privileges. Yeah, pop culture gets it wrong sometimes. What else is new? Oh yes, many of us are either unemployed or underemployed, friendless and/or alone. And that’s not really represented on screen, eg, “The Big Bang Theory”. (As for sarcasm…yes, that’s hard for many Aspies to detect. So are lies to hurt others’ feelings. I’d say both of these are about as easy…
  • Day of Mourning 2015: Murder of the Disabled Q&A

    Callista
    3 Mar 2015 | 3:32 pm
    On March 1st, I joined an online vigil for the 2015 Day of Mourning. The point of the vigil is to commemorate people with disabilities who were murdered by their families and caretakers–killed by the people who were supposed to protect them. Filicide of the Disabled: What is it? “Filicide” is a subcategory of homicide. It refers to the killing of a child by the parent. This vigil focuses on disabled people who were killed by their caregivers–usually the parents, but sometimes siblings, relatives, or unrelated household members. Technically, these aren’t all…
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    Left Brain Right Brain

  • With this quick message, you can help push for better services in California

    Sullivan (Matt Carey)
    28 May 2015 | 9:46 am
    As noted in yesterday’s article, we here in California are working to gain back some of the lost ground in services for the developmentally disabled. If you follow the link and spend literally 2 minutes or less, you can send the message below to your legislators. You can also take more time and modify the message to your own unique message. Take the time and be heard. Here’s the message sent for me, with my address and phone number redacted: Assemblymember Senator Message text follows: Matthew Carey [address] May 27, 2015 [recipient address was inserted here] Dear [recipient name…
  • The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration urges you to join the Lanterman Coalition’s efforts to save the community services system.

    Sullivan (Matt Carey)
    27 May 2015 | 6:34 pm
    While I’ve been taking a break, a major legislative effort has been going on in California: an effort to bring funding back to the system here that supports people with developmental disabilities. Below is a letter from The ARC of California and United Cerebral Palsy about the efforts to improve services. If you don’t have the time to read the letter below, go straight to this website and enter your zip code to find your legislators. Follow the quick directions and you will send a message to them right away. Took 2 minutes for me: Take Action. The Last Few Miles of the Marathon to…
  • Lilady: goodbye, old friend.

    Sullivan (Matt Carey)
    26 May 2015 | 10:16 am
    As some of you may know from other writers online, lilady, frequent commenter here at Left Brain/Right Brain, has passed away. She’s known online now largely for her efforts combating misinformation about disability and also vaccines. But her best work was in advocating for her son, who had very significant disability. From her last comment here: My son was born with a rare genetic disorder which caused multiple and profound physical, intellectual and medical impairment (pancytopenia, including leukopenia http://www.md-health.com/Leukopenia.html We depended on herd immunity to protect…
  • I like living in a free country

    Sullivan (Matt Carey)
    25 May 2015 | 12:33 am
    In the world of vaccine antagonistic groups and the fake-medical approach to “treating” autism (how can you “treat” anything with fake medicine like MMS?) we hear a lot about the lack of freedom and how we are in some sort of a police state. Anyone who openly counters the misinformation is likely to be branded a “Nazi” or similar epithet (remember Andrew Wakefield’s video where he claimed the CDC were running a new Tuskegee experiment with vaccines, and that the CDC were worse that Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin? And remember how many groups and blogs…
  • You know, “Dr. Bob”, minority health disparities are HUGE in the autism community.

    Sullivan (Matt Carey)
    1 May 2015 | 12:49 pm
    Robert “Dr. Bob” Sears is advertising himself again on the TacaNow blog. He’s telling us all about how he was an early adopter on biomed approaches to autism and how it’s all about listening to the parents. He tells us about how it all started with a parent asking for a prescription for an antifungal. No discussion of actually testing the kid for a fungal infection, just the standard story: parent asks, DAN doctor writes prescription story, DAN doctor takes credit for any gains, and no mention ever of any adverse reactions. So, clearly, a case of same old/same old. So…
 
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    Susan's Blog

  • Threats from within and without

    Susan Senator
    19 May 2015 | 10:21 am
    With autism, there are threats that come from without, and threats that come from within. Number one external threat: cutting services. School systems. Adult services. Every budget season there are challenges we face on the government level, in the form of proposed cuts to services. This spring is no different; first we had to rally over the Governor’s proposed “9c” cut to Medicaid/Mass Health services in the form of Adult Family Care respite time for the caregivers. What in the world could they have saved financially speaking that would be worth denying 14 days vacation…
  • Push Back, AFC Clients!

    Susan Senator
    7 May 2015 | 11:23 am
    Massachusetts families, advocates, and caregivers. Did you know that Mass Health is filing for a 9C cut, which in this case means WITHHOLDING 2 WEEKS RESPITE TIME FOR ADULT FAMILY CAREGIVERS???? This is unconscionable. Those that work with our guys need time off! Write to Mass Health if you can and tell them they must not do this. As Gary Blumenthal and the ADDP have told their constituents: PUSH BACK!! Protect our vital caregivers’ right to respite! Note: Nat is not an AFC client but there but for the grace of DDS funding goes he! Write to: masshealthpublicnotice@state.ma.us…
  • Does Nat Mind His Disability?

    Susan Senator
    5 May 2015 | 9:04 am
    Can I say this? I hate the fact that I have to pay for people to be with Nat. Pay someone to live with him, pay someone to work next to him at the supermarket. Can I also say this? I am so lucky that I can pay for people to be with Nat and that there are good people for this. But, this whole thing makes me very sad. I think about when I was in therapy, and how it stung that I was not actually friends with my therapist, I was basically a customer. A client. She loved me, I’m sure. But she was working when she was talking to me. She had a life that I was not allowed into. There was an…
  • Praising (and Loving), Not Burying

    Susan Senator
    24 Apr 2015 | 12:44 pm
    I burst into tears today as I was riding my bike — not because of the ride but because of where my mind suddenly went. I was thinking about my Uncle Alby who had just died, and then, of course, of my mom, his little sister. I call her that because around him she really became a younger version of herself, naive, innocent, waiting in joyful anticipation of what Alby would say next. It was thinking of Mom that brought on the tears. Mom, and then Dad. The two of them have been hit very hard by a string of peer and family deaths lately. All of these people died of old age, but they were not…
  • Darkness is Inextricably Linked to Light

    Susan Senator
    23 Apr 2015 | 8:17 am
    My uncle just died. My parents were up here because it was clear that his death was imminent. Their visit also coincided with my very first public bellydance performance. They went right from his deathbed to Cambridge, where the performance was being held. My mom wanted to see me dance, and had planned a while ago to be here for it, but now she felt terribly guilty to be going to this colorful, joyful event, to feel happiness and pride, in juxtaposition to what was going on with her family, at the hospice. But my sister said, “Don’t put off a mitzvah for anything.” She was…
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    Autism's Edges

  • The Unfriendly Skies, Or Post-Traumatic Airlines Syndrome

    15 May 2015 | 8:35 pm
    Reading the comments on the New York Times online in response to the distressing story of United Airlines re-routing a plane to remove a family traveling with an autistic teen from a domestic flight has left me with post-traumatic airlines syndrome. We've had our share of airline and airport meltdowns, and the comments on this Times article have left me with flashbacks of the judgmental
  • Hello Kitty Magic

    5 Jan 2015 | 5:59 pm
    We were looking for something special to do in LA that would give our girl a break from the challenges of Dementiaville (aka helping take care of grandma). Of course our girl Sweet M would always go for Disneyland. But the Magic Kingdom with holiday crowds and a new and not-so-great disability access program didn't sound too magical to me. Where would we find our magic? Turns out it was
  • Our Year of Barely Blogging

    4 Jan 2015 | 1:14 pm
    Actually it's more than a year that we've been barely blogging. When last I posted, dear readers -- if any of you are still out there reading — I promised so very much more than I could deliver. I promised I'd write about how our girl's dad helped her increase her Regents* exam score by 22 points. I promised I'd write about her fledging friendship and her trip with her class to the Grand
  • Our Home at Autism's Edges

    21 Apr 2014 | 1:03 pm
    There's no doubt that we've been mighty silent over here at Autism's Edges. We've reported nothing, and missed most of our friends in the autism world. Some noticed and checked in, and we let them know privately what was going on. Then last month MamaGenius reached out on Twitter and asked where we'd gone: We've been fighting a massive luxury condo development in our formerly quiet
  • Autism's Edges Visits the Lap of Luxury

    18 Aug 2013 | 11:40 am
    photo credit: wikimedia.org We decamped from the New York City heat to visit with my family in Los Angeles. On our girl's list of things she wanted to do in LA were: Disneyland. A waterpark (preferably Six Flags). And Rodeo Drive. Yes, Rodeo Drive. I'm not sure where she got the idea that Rodeo Drive was worth seeing – we've never been exactly a label-obsessed family (unless Hanna
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    The Voyage

  • A Post to Guardian Dad For Autistic Kid

    17 May 2015 | 2:31 am
    Content warning- disablism.Yesterday the Guardian published a letter from a man to his autistic son entitled, A letter to … my son, who has autism, for whom I’ll always do my best. Read this at your peril as it is truly vile.With just a few deviations, this letter follows the tried and tested Assembly Manual for Autism Articles TM  which I created in 2008.Guardian Dad starts off describing Autistic Kid's arrival into the world, how he felt "total, unconditional love" and envisaged watching Autistic Kid "grow up, go to university, find love, then maybe settle down and…
  • Yes to Marriage Equality

    18 Apr 2015 | 2:32 am
    I've just written about our wedding on April 9 and described what a beautiful and perfect day it was. I had married before, 19 years ago. It was an unhappy marriage that I tried for many years to fix before coming to accept, with the support of many people around me and the help of Women's Aid, that staying married would destroy my life and likely those of my children. The separation happened four years ago and the horrendous task of divorcing took a few years more.I am forever grateful to the people who helped the children and me through that time. I am indebted to all those who over…
  • Our Wedding

    18 Apr 2015 | 1:50 am
    Thursday April 9th was the best and happiest day of my life so far. My three children, our closest friends and beloved family members gathered with me and the man I love, to witness our marriage. We had the ceremony in Belfast City Hall with a registrar who did everything she could to make it special and personal while also accommodating Ryan's needs. We and the children walked in together and Ryan read out his own words:"I am happy today because my mum and Micheál are getting married. That is great and loving and wonderful.Micheál is my friend. He is funny and sometimes silly. We go…
  • Never Say Never

    3 Mar 2015 | 9:45 am
    In Saturday's Guardian was an short piece called "What I'm really thinking: the grandmother of an autistic child" in which a woman describes an outing with her 7 year old grandson Jimmy. Obviously we need to have some insight into the difficulties this causes her because that's the standard narrative for any and all articles on autism which centre on a family member and not autistic people themselves. So Grandma describes how "the red-faced Jimmy who is almost out of control" is "screaming and lunging violently at the locked doors" of some public toilets. Later when Jimmy has settled Grandma…
  • Assembly Manual for Autism Articles

    1 Mar 2015 | 4:51 am
    I haven't seen one of these for a while- a newspaper article on a parent's view of autism that adheres rigorously to the the template I wrote in 2008. Today offering is titled Autism and ABA: 'My beautiful, fun little boy was slipping away from me'. In this we learn how wealthy, beautiful and accomplished Tanja Gullestrup uses tough-love therapy to "stop her losing [her three year old son] to this isolating condition".So here's Step 1-4 of the Autism Article TM Template (Step 5 is optional and refers to vaccination-bashing autism articles) :1: Baby is born2: Everyone rejoices3: Baby…
 
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    Life With Joey

  • 18 Years

    Joeymom
    24 May 2015 | 5:42 am
    Still going strong.
  • Luminaria

    Joeymom
    23 May 2015 | 7:55 pm
    Joey has a lot of difficulty processing the whole idea of death. Already a tough subject for young people, this can be extremely daunting for Joey in understanding that life ends, and there is a permanence in death that he just cannot wrap his brain around. It becomes a huge anxiety trigger.Happy Memorial Day.This is the 20th year of the Luminaria at Marye's Heights. I feel it is important for my boys to understand that freedom is not free. People die for their country, their families, their ideas. History isn't all cool houses, quaint costumes... and weaponry is not just cool toys.Wars are…
  • Climbing the Ivy

    Joeymom
    16 May 2015 | 9:50 pm
    Today is Ivy Day at Smith College, my alma mater. Yep, that one on the right? That's me... 22 years ago. Want to hear something else funny? That dress was a size 18. I had difficulty finding it, because walking into a store and finding clothes in a size 18 was almost unheard-of 22 years ago. I loved LL Bean clothes, because they came up to a 20. Yes, my friends, when people fuss about people being 280 pounds, that is what 280 pounds looks like. That is what we consider "fat" in this country.I dream of being a size 20 now. An 18 seems out of the question. I should note some…
  • Happy Blogiversary to Me!

    Joeymom
    9 May 2015 | 8:44 pm
    Well, 9 years ago today, Life With Joey was presented to the world. How far have we come?Nine years ago, Joey was four years old.He had about 30 words he could regularly access. He loved his Bus- the one he carried with him so constantly, when he once put it down accidentally at Wakefield, we back-trekked the whole way around the walking trail until we found it, because it was Bus.We were just learning that we were Joey's sole real advocate. We were just starting to butt our heads against school staff and school politics. Other people were helpful, offered advice, mentioned some things that…
  • Teenager

    Joeymom
    10 Apr 2015 | 7:55 pm
    That's right. It's the big 1-3. Joey is an official teenager today. That's my little man. His Royal Majesty, King Joey. Grandma even allowed balloons in her house for the occasion. Incliding one that swam about the living room. Yep. Dinner at our favorite Japanese steakhouse! Joey loves the "magic show."Brothers, adventuring together.
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    Look Me In The Eye

  • Protecting Your Home From Fire

    4 May 2015 | 5:32 pm
    While a fireplace or woodstove can be peaceful, an out of control fire in the home is one of the most frightening things anyone can imagine.  I had a candle set the wall screen on fire in my bedroom 35 years ago, and almost got burnt up. That left me with a lifelong concern and vigilance about the risk of fire.  With the arrival of spring, I thought I’d you some constructive advice on how to protect yourself and your home from fire.You do not want this to be youMost articles about fire protection focus on keeping hazards out of the home – don’t smoke in bed, don’t smoke when…
  • Should Autism be Celebrated?

    4 Apr 2015 | 1:03 pm
    The James River shoreline, near Williamsburg, VA (c) John Elder RobisonAutism is a neurological difference that’s associated with some gifts and a great many disabilities.  For a person to be diagnosed on the autism spectrum, they must have significant impairments as a result of autism.  We may have gifts too, but disability remains the basis for diagnosis.  Some autistic people are rendered non-speaking by their condition, and I can’t imagine who would celebrate that.  Others live with significant medical compilations like epilepsy.  I’ve yet to meet anyone who…
  • Dangers of Genetic Engineering in the Forest

    9 Mar 2015 | 8:32 am
    NEW JERSEY MAN KILLED IN QUEBEC MAPLE SUGAR EXPLOSION – that is a headline you will never see, but tragedies like that happen every year. Yet the news is suppressed because no one wants to kill the cash cow.  The result: one unsuspecting innocent after another gives their life for tourism, as dollars make a one-way trip across the US-Canada border.   Quebec officials boast that they are the #1 producer of maple sugar and syrup.  “Vermont is a distant #2,” they say derisively.  Meanwhile rumors swirl.  Are they injecting maple growth hormone into their…
  • Autism in India and America

    22 Feb 2015 | 7:36 pm
    What’s the most interesting difference between Indian autism and American autism?  I think it’s the way parents and others perceive it.Indian and American scientists both lament the low level of scientific understanding in their respective countries.  What’s interesting is how that affects people’s interpretation of autism.In American we have a secular culture of blame.  “Someone did me wrong” is an all-pervasive theme in our culture.  We interpret everything from the behavior of other countries to the conduct of ex-spouses through that lens.When it comes to…
  • Have you heard about Neli Latson?

    31 Dec 2014 | 2:52 pm
    He’s a young man with Autism and Intellectual Disability who has been incarcerated since August 2013 as a result of behavior that results from his disability.  He has been held in solitary confinement for most of that time and is presently at a Virginia state prison. You can learn more about this case on the webpage the Arc of Virginia has dedicated to Neli Latson: http://www.thearcofva.org/advocacy/current-advocacy-issues-and-activities/reginald-neli-latson/ Neli is not a criminal. He does not belong in a jail or a prison.  His tragic situation is the result of events surrounding…
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    Adventures in Autism

  • Julie Stikes It Rich!

    Ginger Taylor
    25 May 2015 | 9:57 am
    CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR GOOD FRIEND JULIE GERBERDING!She is officially a Merck Millionaire, and it only cost her the health and neurologicial functioning of at least 2% of our population!!!"Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) EVP Julie L. Gerberding sold 38,368 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.99, for a total transaction of $2,340,064.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 31,985 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,950,765.15. "
  • DON'T DO IT, ALICE!!! GO BACK TO THE GARDEN PARTY!

    Ginger Taylor
    2 May 2015 | 2:57 pm
    Any artists out there? I need a picture of Alice after being in Wonderland for about a decade. Fat, bitter, barely sane, cigar in one hand as she pours whisky into a tea cup with the other.
  • Dear Susan...

    Ginger Taylor
    1 May 2015 | 11:15 am
    I am offically loosing it. I just vented at one of my mom's oldest friends. Known her since I was in 7th grade. Love her... she is a good woman who has endured great hardship with admirable grace and faith in God.Long story short..Mom: "Susan just had a grandbaby, send vaccine info"Me: "Sending basic Hep B birth series info."Susan: "Polio is bad."Me: "Susan, take this seriously, you are pissing me off."Susan, "I don't know why you are offended. I know how hard you work on autism awareness."And then I lost my shit. A decade of watching baby after baby after baby after baby fall... and not…
  • Surgeon General Uses Elmo to Sell Vaccines to Minors

    Ginger Taylor
    18 Apr 2015 | 8:05 pm
    It is unethical to market pharmaceuticals to children. It is unethical to market pharmaceuticals to children.Children cannot make informed consent decisions, so it is unethical to market pharmaceuticals to children.But that is what the Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA is doing.  And his target audience is three and a half year olds. While not so subtlety taunting those who are resistant to vaccinating.The Surgeon General met with Elmo, a three and a half year old monster, to tell him that vaccines are safe.  I guess he didn't feel that a three and a half year old would…
  • A Note on Who You May or May Not Want To Follow in the California Fight on SB 277

    Ginger Taylor
    16 Apr 2015 | 7:22 am
    Hey Californians! First... brilliant job yesterday and for the last several months on educating your Senators on the insanity of SB 277! Cried watching the hearings, and laughed/danced at the outcome. The pressure needs to stay on, but I will be shocked at this point if the bill is not dead this time next week. We should plan an online party next wed night! (Sure I'm getting ahead of myself, but we need some happy time after all this, don't we?)But on to more somber and less fun topics.The fight on this bill in CA has woken up and brought in so many new people to the war to defend our…
 
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    How Life Changes

  • Tying Knots

    V.
    9 May 2015 | 11:42 am
    At the end of April I left my job in cardiac step down to enter an operating room nurse training program at a large teaching hospital.  It was a unique opportunity to learn the OR, and to find out if I am suited for that world.  Many people commented on how much I will miss the more direct patient care of step down or ICU, and what a shame it will be for my patients and their families not to have my teaching and advocacy at the bedside.  One fellow nurse said, “But you’re such a people person, will you like OR?” In a way I am a people person, but I’m also a…
  • Going Private

    V.
    9 May 2015 | 10:56 am
    Some new adventures have led me to enabling privacy settings on the blog.  Please do feel free to register to visit, and apologies for the inconvenience.
  • Shock to the heart

    V.
    18 Feb 2015 | 10:56 am
    On Saturday, I floated from my regular post-op cardiac surgery unit to labor and delivery, where a 28 week pregnant woman had come in for an irregular heart rhythm. The patient had her own L&D nurse, as well as myself. The purpose of my assignment was to monitor and document her rhythm, and take vital signs every fifteen minutes.  As I got report from the previous nurse, I quickly realized that this patient’s irregular rhythm was not something that would resolve easily.  Her heart rate ran between 150 and 180 beats per minute and the typical medications used to slow the…
  • Nursing 101: Keep it to Yourself

    V.
    10 Feb 2015 | 12:01 pm
    One of the biggest challenges of day to day nursing is seeing a bigger picture that the patient or the family can’t or won’t see, and trying to figure out how much of that information to communicate or hold back.  The obviously depressed post-op patient.  The terminal cancer patient.  The 80 year old who hasn’t been able to swallow since surgery and who now has a permanently placed feeding tube.  “When will he eat again?” the family asks, wanting you to have the answer. I remember asking these same questions when my son was in the hospital, or after we had…
  • Staffing by pizza

    V.
    19 Jan 2015 | 9:20 am
    I floated to a different unit yesterday, one with a reputation for lousy staffing.  Rather than the typical “step down” ratio of three patients to one nurse, they often have four patients to one nurse, with multiple admissions and discharges.  This is also a unit where there are never enough supplies, and where there are often no nurse assistants or relief nurses to help. Sure enough, within an hour of my arrival I was given an additional patient to go along with my already heavy load:  two bed bound patients (one of whom could not move at all, one of whom was on continuous…
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    Squidalicious

  • How Can Tech Benefit Autistic People? My Comments at IMFAR 2015's ASDtech panel

    Shannon Des Roches Rosa
    22 May 2015 | 5:02 pm
    One of the highlights of the 2015 International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), for me, was being invited to speak on the panel for the ASDtech SIG (Special Interest Group). I've created a Storify compilation of the panel's highlights, but was also given the chance to opine on how tech can best benefit autistic people like (and unlike) my son. So I did, as you might imagine.Sue Fletcher-Watson of Edinburgh University organized the panel and moderated the discussion. My co-panelists were Ofer Golan of Bar-Ilan University and The Transporters; Dan Smith, President of Autism Speaks's…
  • Tools for IEP, High School Transition, and Future Planning Jitters

    Shannon Des Roches Rosa
    27 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    Teens. They can nap. Who knew?[image: teen with short curly brown hairand beige skin sleeping face-down on a brown leather couch, in front of abank of windows filled with daylight.]Leo has a mustache. It's not shave-worthy, not yet -- but it's a mustache all the same. Which means my newly-deep-voiced son is officially a teen, and my lingering denial about him exiting boyhood needs to evaporate. Which means I really have to get serious about planning for his future as a teen, and also as an adult. Not just his personal life, but his school and post-school futures. It's daunting, and I'm…
  • Never Let Things Go: The Much-Beloved Collapsible Tunnel

    Shannon Des Roches Rosa
    26 Mar 2015 | 12:10 pm
    Image: Long neon green collapsible tunnellying on an orange carpetwith two beigey feetses sticking out.Our entire house is in disarray at the moment. For hole in the bucket/If You Give a Mouse a Cookie reasons: For her 16th birthday, we moved Iz into what used to be my office. Finding a place for all the stuff that used to be in my office means revisiting nearly every room in the house. Which meant some of those rooms, after years of paints and glitter glue splattering on walls and play doh being ground into carpets, got recarpeted and repainted. Which meant many more things got moved around.
  • Gratitude for Kindred Autistic Spirits

    Shannon Des Roches Rosa
    2 Mar 2015 | 6:02 am
    Yesterday Leo and I went to the Bay Area Day of Mourning for people with disabilities killed by parents and caregivers. We came at the end, because sitting through vigils is not easy, and I figured it was better for us to bear witness in the manner that works best for Leo.And I am going to tell you a little thing that happened there, a small gesture that happened to us among the palpable grief and solidarity that filled the vigil space.Leo was doing his best to be quiet as Alillia Johnson sang Amazing Grace more beautifully than I thought possible. He tried to be quiet. But he needed to stim…
  • Vaccine Advocates: Don't Discriminate Against My Autistic Son

    Shannon Des Roches Rosa
    9 Feb 2015 | 11:01 am
    Image: a fully vaccinated autistic teen boy running towards the camerain a bright orange sandstone canyonPublic opinion has turned, sharply and loudly, in favor of supporting vaccines. Yay! It took an outbreak of measles at Disneyland for it to happen. Boo! (Your grandmother might have survived her measles, but for others it can be fatal.)But even though formerly wishy washy types are now joining the previously silent pro-vaccine majority in getting righteously riled about the very real harm from anti-vaccine rhetoric, there's still one part of the argument that needs to change. That I'm…
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    Karianna

  • Beyond Josh Duggar

    26 May 2015 | 11:07 am
    A friend wondered why many are so obsessed with the whole Josh Duggar situation. I replied that it is deeply personal for so many people, but for varied reasons. This includes, but is not limited to: people who have been affected by religion, for the positive or for the negative; people who have been abused, whether sexually, emotionally, or other; and people who have been restricted in some way, whether by a narrow-minded religion, helicopter parents, or controlling spouse (or other!) A... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • May those butterflies follow us forever

    18 May 2015 | 2:36 pm
    Eight years ago, we bought a house. Since it was towards the end of the school year, I saw students in session when I visited the local elementary school to get the paperwork to enroll my oldest son for first grade to start that autumn. I got happy little butterflies in my stomach when I parked in the school's lot and walked toward the office. I saw gleeful kids playing on the gorgeous playground. What a campus! A few short months later, I got my son's first-grade teacher assignment, and the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Failed Conservation

    15 May 2015 | 1:43 pm
    I got a new car back in February, and so I'm selling my minivan. Usually I sell the old car pretty quickly after obtaining a new one, but this winter/spring has been very busy with illnesses and obligations and the like. And so, the van has sat in my driveway. Of course I haven't wanted to use it, because I didn't want to add more miles on it before selling it. I was going to be extra-productive this past Tuesday, so decided to take the van for its smog check. But... the battery was dead. So,... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Tides Change

    14 May 2015 | 2:05 pm
    I took a walk around my old neighborhood today. Many of the houses were similar to what they were like when I was growing up, but updated subtly, to keep them current. Others had been expanded noticeably, either blending in nicely to the neighborhood's feel, or seeming a bit garish. Thankfully, most were in the first category. And then of course there were some houses that had fallen into disrepair. I walked past the house where a man died of a heart attack, but his wife was put on trial... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Jury Duty

    21 Apr 2015 | 6:36 pm
    There were 75 of us potential jurors. One wore a "Vegan Outreach" shirt, and carried a large bag with vegan sayings on it. I ate my hard-boiled egg as far away from her as I could, since I already heard her exceptionally loud voice striking up conversations with other jurors. Even if this had been one of the eggs from my neighbor's chickens (it wasn't this time), I know the argument that obtaining the chicks in the first place is cruel. A bummer, since I'd love to have chickens in the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
 
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    Stimeyland

  • The Portrait of Oreo Black & White

    Stimey
    22 May 2015 | 7:41 pm
    Stimeyland Has Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/Stimeyland (Click here to get to the subscription page.) Once you clicked the above and are on the new subscription page, just click how you want to subscribe at the top right. I know this is SO obnoxious. I'm sorry. Please subscribe!! I promise lots of funny new embarrassing stories and heart-string pulling posts if you do! Please? OR! Visit www.stimeyland.com and subscribe by email from the sidebar. http://feeds.feedblitz.com/stimeyland
  • Jack’s Culture

    Stimey
    14 May 2015 | 1:14 pm
    Stimeyland Has Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/Stimeyland (Click here to get to the subscription page.) Once you clicked the above and are on the new subscription page, just click how you want to subscribe at the top right. I know this is SO obnoxious. I'm sorry. Please subscribe!! I promise lots of funny new embarrassing stories and heart-string pulling posts if you do! Please? OR! Visit www.stimeyland.com and subscribe by email from the sidebar. http://feeds.feedblitz.com/stimeyland
  • The Day We Tried To Visit an Artisinal Movie Theater

    Stimey
    10 May 2015 | 7:42 pm
    Stimeyland Has Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/Stimeyland (Click here to get to the subscription page.) Once you clicked the above and are on the new subscription page, just click how you want to subscribe at the top right. I know this is SO obnoxious. I'm sorry. Please subscribe!! I promise lots of funny new embarrassing stories and heart-string pulling posts if you do! Please? OR! Visit www.stimeyland.com and subscribe by email from the sidebar. http://feeds.feedblitz.com/stimeyland
  • Commute Stories

    Stimey
    7 May 2015 | 6:45 pm
    Stimeyland Has Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/Stimeyland (Click here to get to the subscription page.) Once you clicked the above and are on the new subscription page, just click how you want to subscribe at the top right. I know this is SO obnoxious. I'm sorry. Please subscribe!! I promise lots of funny new embarrassing stories and heart-string pulling posts if you do! Please? OR! Visit www.stimeyland.com and subscribe by email from the sidebar. http://feeds.feedblitz.com/stimeyland
  • Loving the Cheetah Nation

    Stimey
    3 May 2015 | 7:19 pm
    Stimeyland Has Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/Stimeyland (Click here to get to the subscription page.) Once you clicked the above and are on the new subscription page, just click how you want to subscribe at the top right. I know this is SO obnoxious. I'm sorry. Please subscribe!! I promise lots of funny new embarrassing stories and heart-string pulling posts if you do! Please? OR! Visit www.stimeyland.com and subscribe by email from the sidebar. http://feeds.feedblitz.com/stimeyland
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    Disability Scoop

  • Study Casts Doubt On Rising Autism Rates

    Mark Roth, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS
    28 May 2015 | 9:20 am
    The largest study of its kind suggests that actual autism rates probably have not changed in recent years, even though diagnoses of the developmental disorder continue to climb.
  • Google Putting Up Millions For Disability Initiative

    Shaun Heasley
    27 May 2015 | 9:13 am
    Google is looking to address the needs of a billion people with disabilities worldwide and it's putting big bucks behind the effort.
  • Pets Reduce Stress In Kids With Autism, Study Finds

    Shaun Heasley
    26 May 2015 | 12:38 pm
    Animals may offer more than comfort for kids with autism, according to new research finding that pets can bring about physiological changes in those with the developmental disorder.
  • Torches To Travel Nation Ahead Of Special Olympics

    Michelle Diament
    26 May 2015 | 12:22 pm
    Three torches will make their way across the country in the coming weeks reaching every state on foot or by bicycle before converging at the Special Olympics World Games this summer.
  • Technology Breaks Silence For Nonverbal Students

    Yamil Berard, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS
    26 May 2015 | 12:12 pm
    For years, educators and parents have reported promising results with iPads among kids with special needs. Now, the technology is proving useful for older students with disabilities too.
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    Square 8

  • Autism Acceptance Challenge 20: Executive Functioning

    1 May 2015 | 6:55 am
    I often get stuck in a loop. Having a good organized list can help, but not always. Sometimes my inbox has 431 unread messages. I struggle with how to return a phone call, never sure how much access I'm going to have to speech. I start a project with enthusiasm and get derailed when the next big thing comes along, demanding 100% attention. Deadlines are my best friend and archenemy. I sometimes need help with staying on task and I resent that I need help and I resent the people who help me. It's all part of the package.Challenge 20 is for me. You can share it if you want to. It's not an easy…
  • Autism Acceptance Challenge 19 Cannot Happen

    29 Apr 2015 | 6:27 pm
    This can’t happen. Not today. Not yesterday. I made a commitment to write 20 challenge posts this month and there is only one more day. Maybe tomorrow. Should I ask you to watch Wretches and Jabberers or Citizen Autistic? Participate in scripts? Respect boundaries? Yes. I should. None of this is trivial. But today, they are not the most important things. Supporting acceptance of autism and autistic people matters and will always matter to me. The truth is that our lives depend on it. On another day, I will talk about what that means. Today I have to look beyond autism, beyond myself, beyond…
  • Autism Acceptance Challenge 18: Take Back April with Stimtastic

    27 Apr 2015 | 8:30 am
    Being autistic in April is not usually a happy experience. Every year, we are surrounded by reminders that we are not welcome on the planet. The lit up blue buildings and puzzled lapel pins and endless parading of “tragic” statistics and “devastating” costs contribute to an already toxic and willful misunderstanding of what autism is, denying our very right to exist.  There have been Aprils when leaving the house was nearly impossible. What could I say that would not be met with scorn or derision? I have felt truly alone in the world.This year has been better (for me, anyway.)…
  • Autism Acceptance Challenge 17: One Sentence Stories of Acceptance

    25 Apr 2015 | 8:46 am
    Acceptance happens sometimes. When it does, I like to acknowledge and celebrate it. Here are a few of my one sentence stories about autism acceptance:On April 2, everyone in my office was wearing red.The cake said “Good luck Bev and Squawkers.”Share your one sentence stories of autism acceptance in the comments to complete this challenge. 
  • Autism Acceptance Challenge 16: Ask an Autistic

    23 Apr 2015 | 4:59 pm
    Not long ago, I sat in a meeting composed of parents and professionals. The group was interested in learning more about what supports autistic people need. How would they find out? You can probably guess what their solution was: Let’s survey all the parents! Not one person suggested talking to autistic people themselves. I wasn’t having a good speech day and it didn't get any better from there. I wish I could say that I quickly and diplomatically pointed out the error in their groupthink. Some days I can. Some days I just…can’t. It left me feeling all powerless and Twilight…
 
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    Facing Autism in New Brunswick

  • Historic Discussion of Adult Autism Care and Treatment in the New Brunswick Legislature May 28, 2015

    H L Doherty
    29 May 2015 | 2:56 am
    Autism Advocacy in front of the New Brunswick Legislature, autistic persons, family and friends gather with MLA Ernie Steeves to advocate for Adult Autism Care and TreatmentIt was an historic day at the New Brunswick Legislature yesterday as discussion and debate began on issues of adult autism care and treatment for the FIRST time to my knowledge that has happened. Opposition MLA Ernie Steeves pictured above in the white shirt and blue tie filed the motion and led the discussion.  Mr Steeves presentation was excellent, well informed and put the issues of adult care and treatment on the…
  • Adult Autism Center Information Protest At The Legislature May 28 at 1:30

    H L Doherty
    24 May 2015 | 4:46 am
    Autism Advocacy NB Event:  Adult Autism Center Information ProtestWhere: NB Legislature Grounds, FrederictonWhen: Thursday, May 28 at 1:30Who: Anyone who wishes to advocate for an adult autism center as the first step in building a comprehensive adult autism care and treatment network with locations in communities around the Province of New Brunswick.Suggestions: Bring a sign stating "Adult Autism Center Badly Needed" or some variation according to your own preference.Demeanor: Polite, Courteous with a view to informing NB MLAs of the need for a NB autism center to provide treatment and…
  • REMINDER: Autism Society New Brunswick Meeting This Saturday 1:00 Room 303 Tilley Hall UNB Fredericton

    H L Doherty
    21 May 2015 | 3:10 am
    REMINDER of ASNB meeting THIS Saturday At 1 PM. ASNB family ADVOCACY is responsible for the early intervention program recognized as an evidence based North American model.Our efforts also led to several hundred autism trained TA's in the school system and for keeping the Stan Cassidy autism team operating after it had been closed.We did these things without public funding, without paying ourselves salaries.We operated totally arms length from government and we were and are transparent.Join us Saturday as we continue the fight for ADULT autism services, treatment and care for those on…
  • Conor Enjoyed Nature With An Osprey Day In His "Back Yard" The North Riverfront Trail, Fredericton

    H L Doherty
    16 May 2015 | 10:13 am
    Conor embraced his right to enjoy nature a couple of times today (so far) with fun walking and running in his "back yard" Fredericton's North Riverfront Trail. He also took time to throw some rocks into the St. John River along the way and check out the neighbors, the Osprey family, as they prepared their nest for some new arrivals. It may not be an evidence based treatment for autism but getting outdoors in nature makes his Dad feel much better and I believe it helps Conor too.
  • Autism and Epilepsy from Facebook to Reality: Conor Experiences Another Seizure

    H L Doherty
    13 May 2015 | 2:42 pm
    UPDATE: I had originally indicated the the persons with Conor when he had his seizure 2 days ago had not seen convulsions.  That is what I was told when I arrived.  Yesterday though I received the notes of the education aide who was with him throughout the seizure and they indicate he was convulsing for several minutes, in other words a classic tonic-clonic seizure including fall and  convulsions.Earlier today I posted to my Facebook page and to the Autism Society New Brunswick FB page the link to Tonic-clonic seizures at Epilepsy.com.  I included the note that it was…
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    ASF Blog

  • Scientists See Clues in Brains of Babies with Autism Before They are Diagnosed

    autismsciencefoundation
    11 May 2015 | 1:27 pm
    By Jason Wolff, PhD The corpus callosum is by far the largest white matter connection in the brain. We now have a great deal of evidence suggesting that connectivity is disrupted in autism. So when we think about connectivity across brain regions, the corpus callosum is an obvious target. There is a steady trend in the literature — dating back nearly two decades — suggesting that autism is associated with a smaller corpus callosum. It’s an important and fairly consistent finding. If over a dozen studies have found a smaller corpus callosum in adults and older children with…
  • A Rapidly Moving Field: Recent Findings in Infant and Toddler Interventions for ASD

    autismsciencefoundation
    7 May 2015 | 2:06 pm
    By Jessica Bradshaw As an Autism Science Foundation predoctoral fellow, I had the privilege of pursuing the answers to fascinating questions about the development of autism spectrum disorder in the first year of life. My research on very early interventions to encourage the development of pivotal social-communicative behaviors led me to questions of outcome measurement. How are we measuring such a complex system of behavior in young infants? How do we know if the intervention is working? How do we even know whether to intervene in the first place? How can we modify already well-established…
  • Confused About the New Autism Risk Findings and IVF? A New Blog Talks to an Expert for Interpretation

    autismsciencefoundation
    30 Mar 2015 | 9:14 am
    By Alycia Halladay, PhD Earlier this week a study came out which examined the risk of autism after in vitro fertilization, or IVF. Data was pulled from California datasets, and it was among the largest study of its kind. A previous study using a nationwide database in Sweden had only shown an increase in risk after only specific types of procedures. In contrast, this latest study showed doubling the risk of ASD, without specifying what type of procedure was involved. The study is important because there have been concerns about the outcome of children conceived via IVF. Because rates of IVF…
  • Putting a New Developmental Perspective into Autism

    autismsciencefoundation
    3 Feb 2015 | 8:28 am
    By Emily L. Casanova, Ph.D. & Manuel F. Casanova, M.D. Across many different fields of study, evidence is emerging that autism is a disorder caused by disturbances of early brain development. Over the last decade, autism research has strongly focused on synapse dysfunction, however a recent genetic analysis has revealed that while synapses are probably dysfunctional in autism, much earlier stages of brain development may be just as foundational to the condition. In humans the production of new neurons continues up into the early part of the third trimester. By comparison, synapses, which…
  • Whole Genome Sequencing: The Next Stage of Understanding Risk?

    autismsciencefoundation
    30 Jan 2015 | 1:51 pm
    A perspective by Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, MD With recurrence risk estimated as high as 20%, there are many families with more than one child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Advances in genetic testing, including availability of clinical microarray testing, with sequencing based technologies on the horizon, could potentially answer families’ questions about what caused their child’s ASD, and what might be the risk to younger siblings. However, a new study published this week, one of the largest to date to use whole genome sequencing (WGS), reports intriguing findings that challenge…
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    Different Roads to Learning Blog

  • Tip of the Week: Avoid Common Ethical Missteps in the Home Environment as a Behavior Analyst

    Different Roads to Learning
    28 May 2015 | 11:08 am
    (Beaumont Health System) Fortunately, we have the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) as a resource. You can see the BACB’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts here. While this code does not take effect until January 2016, it’s important to note that many states have adopted ABA Licensure, which provides for oversight of behavior analysts and implementation of this code, or the specific ethical code that state has adopted. Keep all identifying information confidential. First, all records should be kept in a locked filing cabinet, (not in a binder inside…
  • Federal Government Calls for Greater Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Preschools

    Different Roads to Learning
    27 May 2015 | 5:15 am
    Federal officials say that young children with disabilities should be receiving educational services in inclusive settings in greater numbers. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS) The U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services are encouraging greater inclusion of children with disabilities in preschools, Disability Scoop reports. The Department of Education has reported that while a majority of preschoolers with disabilities did attend general early childhood programs since 2013, more than half received special education in contained environments. States are being urged to…
  • Pick of the Week: KLOO “Catch the Bug” Word Games for Little Readers

    Different Roads to Learning
    26 May 2015 | 4:30 am
    Support learners in reading words to magically making sentences without even knowing how to write with KLOO Catch the Bug Word Games for Little Readers. These word cards contain many high-frequency words that children need to know to progress in their reading ability. This week only, you can take 15% off* KLOO “Catch the Bug” Word Games for Little Readers. Just apply promo code KLOO15 at check-out to redeem these savings! The color-coded system provides a visual cue and guarantees a grammatically correct sentence every time, simply by following the color cues and…
  • Tip of the Week: Two Essential Considerations When Toilet Training Boys

    Different Roads to Learning
    21 May 2015 | 4:00 am
    Last year, I had the opportunity to interview Gary Weitzen, the Executive Director of POAC Autism Services and the Autism Shield Program. (You can see the blog post about that interview here.) In the months since our interview, many of his comments have stuck with me, but one in particular has impacted my daily work with students. He said, “A lot more boys have autism than females but the vast majority of educators in special ed, and in particular with autism, are females.” He went on to provide examples of how this fact influences some skill development, specifically with toilet…
  • Pick of the Week: “Go Fish” Card Games for Social & Emotional Skills

    Different Roads to Learning
    19 May 2015 | 4:15 am
    Here’s a therapeutic twist on the classic Go Fish card game! Hooked on Friendship and Fishing for Feelings teach youngsters about friendship and feelings. This week only, you can take 15% off* your order of Hooked on Friendship and/or Fishing for Feelings, and teach learners social and emotional skills with these easy and fun card games! Enter promo code GOFISH15 at check-out to redeem these savings. With two decks of 50 cards (one deck for grades K–2, the other for grades 3–5), the games are played by posing an open-ended question that the player must answer before he or she can…
 
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    Thrive With Aspergers

  • How to Improve Your Communication in the Workplace

    Stephen Borgman
    26 May 2015 | 6:00 am
    5 Tips for More Effective Communication Earlier in my career, I thought I should be a manager and leader.  And I worked hard enough to get promoted twice to a management position. But I struggled with aspects of the job.  Letting people go was one of the most difficult things for me to deal with. Having taken the Clifton Strengths Finder, I now know that harmony, connectedness, and empathy are my top strengths.  While I’m good at building a consensus and hearing all sides of a matter, I struggle with being direct and assertive in high conflict situations. Over time, I’ve worked on…
  • TWAP008 Would You Like Help Finding Friends?

    Stephen Borgman
    18 May 2015 | 6:00 am
    Daniel Wendler Helps You Improve Your Social Skills A single rose can be my garden….a single friend, my world.  Leo Buscaglia Finding Friends Is Like Playing The Piano (You can listen to the full episode at the bottom of this post) You don’t want to hear me play the piano.  Trust me. I would sound like a cat, yowling in a back alley at 2 am. However, if I read a book about playing the piano, and then started practicing everyday…. And then, if I hired a piano teacher… And if I continued to practice  and get better… I wouldn’t be an expert pianist.  I…
  • Want Work Success? Look at Your Work Environment First

    Stephen Borgman
    11 May 2015 | 5:32 am
    Sensory Strategies To Help You Succeed I’ve been asked, “How do I connect with other co-workers at work”?Many people on the autism spectrum have difficulty communicating with others, but fail to realize that work environment needs to come first. Work Environment:  Take Care of the Basics I’m training for a marathon.At the beginning of my training, I couldn’t believe how much my feet hurt!The pain got to the point where I could hardly walk. Someone suggested I go to a running store.Not K-Mart or Walmart, but rather a specialized running store. While there, they told me to…
  • TWAP007: Now Enjoy Great Parenting Advice From Aspergers 101

    Stephen Borgman
    5 May 2015 | 6:00 am
    Parenting Advice and Resources To Help You “Don’t think of autism as a weight…think of it as wings with which to fly!” Samuel Allen, young man with Aspergers Jennifer Allen had a successful career in broadcasting, production, and marketing.  Shortly after learning about her oldest son’s Aspergers diagnosis, she left her career to become a full-time mother and advocate.  At the time, there was very little information available to learn about autism and Aspergers.  Today, she offers parenting advice and information about Aspergers syndrome the Aspergers 101…
  • Need To Find Love? Ask These Two Questions First

    Stephen Borgman
    27 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    In 2005, I watched the news in disbelief as Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters overwhelmed New Orleans.Wikipedia tells us there were over 50 failures of levees and walls protecting New Orleans.As a result, 80% of the city flooded, and devastation followed. On April 5, 2006, the Corp of Engineers admitted that the levees didn’t fail due to natural forces beyond the intended strength, but rather because “we had problems with the design of the structure.” Wading into the adventure of dating, hoping to find love, requires a sound foundation. In this article, I’m going to share two key…
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    From Inside the Puzzle: Raising a Child with Autism Blog

  • Maturity and Optimism

    Devon Alley
    11 May 2015 | 7:07 am
    This past week was a rough one. I was working long hours each day, and A. was having a crisis at her school. One of her good friends, E., stopped having anything to do with her. I'm still not sure what happened. As much as I can gather, other students...(read more)
  • Her Podcast Debut

    Devon Alley
    4 May 2015 | 6:33 am
    Recently, A. was a guest for my friend Elle’s podcast: Into It. True to the overall theme, this episode focused on one of A.’s very favorite subjects: Pokemon. I’ve mentioned Elle on this podcast before. A. is her goddaughter, and she’s been a close friend...(read more)
  • Just Like Me

    Devon Alley
    27 Apr 2015 | 9:37 am
    You know how they always say that, when your children grow up into teenagers, they will be just like you? I must confess, when it comes to A., this is absolutely true. I'm blessed in a way, because I happened to be a very well-behaved teenager. I minded...(read more)
  • Writing Messages of Hope

    Devon Alley
    21 Apr 2015 | 10:07 am
    A couple of weeks ago, A. started arriving home from school with various affirmations written all over her body. These affirmations proclaimed such positive thoughts as, “You are beautiful just the way you are!” and “You are loved,” and — my personal...(read more)
  • Autism Awareness, Autism Acceptance

    Devon Alley
    3 Apr 2015 | 1:21 pm
    Yesterday, April 2, was World Autism Awareness Day. Many people all over the globe lit things up in blue, shared blog posts, and donated money to various organizations in order to promote autism awareness and increase visibility for the condition. I personally...(read more)
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    We Go With Him

  • Charlie Turns 18

    Kristina Chew
    17 May 2015 | 8:29 pm
    It happened that the date for Charlie's school prom this year fell on his 18th birthday so, after white cake/white frosting mini-cupcakes (many) at school,...
  • Seneca At the SSA

    Kristina Chew
    8 May 2015 | 5:40 pm
    We seem to be heralding Charlie's turning 18 next week by familiarizing ourselves (working through voice mail trees, sitting in beige-themed agency waiting rooms, realizing...
  • Patterns and Colors

    Kristina Chew
    25 Apr 2015 | 9:19 pm
    We went to the Open House at Charlie's school last week and were pleased to see his colored-in picture of a chick (Easter having been...
  • Apassionata

    Kristina Chew
    14 Apr 2015 | 12:17 am
    We are reading a book called Epitaph For a Peach in my Basic Skills English class. It recounts the season in and season out work...
  • As the Bird Flies, Charlie Rides

    Kristina Chew
    6 Apr 2015 | 4:45 pm
    It's Spring Break for Charlie (no longer for me -- that was last week and a couple of weeks ago and Jim is still on...
 
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    Autism from a Father's Point of View

  • The one thing I wish I could tell every depressed autistic child

    Stuart Duncan
    27 May 2015 | 1:01 pm
    Since starting Autcraft, I’ve talked to a lot of depressed autistics, mostly children. Many of them were suicidal. This is not something I recommend for most people to ever try. It is a very heavy burden that can weigh heavy on your heart after a while. I find that this happens a lot for me because I am the ideal candidate for this to happen to. I’m an autistic adult who’s still a kid at heart and once was a depressed autistic kid just like them. To say that I can relate is a massive understatement. For those of you that watch The Flash, the new television series about the…
  • Children with autism that do well are rewarded with cut backs

    Stuart Duncan
    14 May 2015 | 12:26 pm
    An autism parent recently contacted me to ask if I knew of any high schools with special autism programs because she feels that she may be pulling her children out of the school that they’re currently in. Why? Because her son, whom is getting grades of around 80%, is at risk of losing his EA (education assistant) as well as the aides that help him to get his work done, such as a keyboard since he can’t write. Why are they taking these things away from him? Because he’s getting good grades. Why is he getting good grades? Because he has these things. A similar…
  • How to Safely Motivate Autistic Children

    Dr. Alex
    9 Apr 2015 | 4:32 am
    Children with autism have problems interacting with others and may suffer from impaired communication skills. A challenge for parents and teachers is to find a method to motivate these children that is both safe and effective. Developing language, behavioral and social skills can be extremely challenging for some autistic children; however, some tips to aid this effort are highlighted here. Getting to know the child Before you can get started on any type of learning strategy, it is essential you get to know the child in question. This includes: Creating and updated a list of the child’s…
  • This is what happens when the autism community asks the Minecraft community for help

    Stuart Duncan
    6 Apr 2015 | 1:14 pm
    For the second year in a row, I put out a plea to the Minecraft community to help me put a stop to the bullying that happens on Minecraft servers around the world but also bullying that happens anywhere and more specifically, how much more often it happens to those that have autism. For the second year in a row, the Minecraft community answered. This year several people that make YouTube videos of themselves playing Minecraft made some heartfelt and powerful videos sharing their experiences and opinions, helping to support us in our mission. These people did this because they knew that these…
  • A few things you might not know about autistics for Autism Awareness Day

    Stuart Duncan
    1 Apr 2015 | 6:11 pm
    I have had the fortunate opportunity to be able to talk to a lot of children with autism, thousands. Many of those talks are about some very deep and heavy topics. But many of these topics are either not being discussed or not openly enough to where I have been able to come across them. I can only imagine that this means that people don’t know these things. So, for Autism Awareness Acceptance Day, allow me to share with you what I’ve learned. More Likely to be Bullied I’m starting out with something that most people likely do know. In fact, there have been studies done…
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    Living With Autism: A Parent's Perspective

  • Deer Eating In The Dieppe Rotary Park

    Carl Bainbridge
    27 May 2015 | 7:37 am
    Our youngest saw this deer sitting in the bushes eating while we were out for a trail walk recently. It sat there eating while I stood 50 feet away videoing and taking pictures and kept on eating while us and the kids walked right on by it.         The post Deer Eating In The Dieppe Rotary Park appeared first on Living With Autism: A Parent's Perspective.
  • Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants DVD Giveaway

    Carl Bainbridge
    26 May 2015 | 8:50 am
    Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants! Good things come in small packages! That’s certainly the case with the adorable, animated feature Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants.  These endearing insects will be in theaters, On Demand, and on DVD May 26, 2015 from kaboom! Entertainment. This epic adventure has the added twist of almost no […] The post Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants DVD Giveaway appeared first on Living With Autism: A Parent's Perspective.
  • Kinder Minions $40 Prize Pack Giveaway Ends 5/29 CAN Only

    Carl Bainbridge
    22 May 2015 | 11:34 am
    Hey Look The Minions Have Invaded Kinder Eggs I went to the store the other day and I noticed something really cool by the cash.  Right there in a huge display was Kinder eggs with Minions.  There were Minions on the box and in the eggs.  It was a cool thing to see especially since not that […] The post Kinder Minions $40 Prize Pack Giveaway Ends 5/29 CAN Only appeared first on Living With Autism: A Parent's Perspective.
  • A Kinder Egg Hunt For Easter

    Carl Bainbridge
    30 Apr 2015 | 5:24 pm
    A Kinder Egg hunt   Easter is one of the most popular holidays in our home. Our kids always look forward to the family egg hunt. They get so full of excitement just before the event arrives.  Normally we like to hold the egg hunt outside, but because of all the snow we’ve received this […] The post A Kinder Egg Hunt For Easter appeared first on Living With Autism: A Parent's Perspective.
  • Mike The Knight In The Great Scavenger Hunt

    Carl Bainbridge
    29 Apr 2015 | 8:42 am
    Mike The Knight In The Great Scavenger Hunt A few weeks ago I got to take my kids to yet another on of Koba Entertainment’s great live performances.  We have gone to see a few of them over the past couple of  years, however this was a new show with characters that had not been […] The post Mike The Knight In The Great Scavenger Hunt appeared first on Living With Autism: A Parent's Perspective.
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    Speaking In Grace

  • Autism and Outings: How we do it…whatever “it” is

    Speaking in Grace
    29 May 2015 | 1:53 am
    ShareBefore I jump into this, I want to make it very clear…I need you to fully understand and hear me. I am not perfect… We are not perfect… Our parenting…not perfect… Our children… not perfect… Our marriage…not perfect… Understand this: We are just trying to do the best that we can. Having a child with Autism changes things…it doesn’t matter how you attempt to spin it or sugar coat it or portray it…it simply does. There are breathtaking  highs, devastating and heartbreaking lows… and  a hell of a lot of bumpy…
  • Something New: A Book Review

    Speaking in Grace
    25 May 2015 | 5:56 am
    ShareI am not a book reviewer, but I have played one on TV. Well not really… I was recently asked to read a book and review it though. I have to be honest and admit that I actually don’t read a lot of books. The author is probably reading this now and cringing…sorry. I used to read a lot, I loved reading books. I would stay up to the early morning hours to finish a good one. Then I had Cooper. Then Cooper was diagnosed with Autism. Then I could only read books about Autism. Those were not always books that kept me up to the wee hours of the morning, sometimes, but not…
  • Life, Parenting and Knowing

    Speaking in Grace
    17 May 2015 | 7:37 am
    ShareLife. Parenting. Let’s be real, we can’t…and probably shouldn’t…know. I was reading this old post, to remind myself what my thoughts were on parenting, to “gird my loins” (because, hey who doesn’t need a good loin girding) and gather my strength…because you know when we are in the middle of it…sometimes we forget, or loose sight of the “big picture”. So I thought if you happen to be finding yourself in need of a reminder, you might like to read this again too. The following post was originally posted October 30,…
  • Autism and Funerals: “A Tale of Two Cities”

    Speaking in Grace
    7 May 2015 | 1:13 am
    ShareI wish that I was about to peel back the layers of an incredible story, a tale…a discourse and conveyance of secrets exposed…secrets of parenting, marriage and human-ness that would somehow manage to give you hope… Well maybe it’s not all quite so dramatic…and I am definitely not Charles Dickens… But the uniqueness of my family has never been captured quite so vividly, never been stacked so neatly against the typical as it was the day of my Mother’s funeral… Maybe most were oblivious, but as we walked through it, it was… Well, it…
  • Autism and Death

    Speaking in Grace
    5 May 2015 | 1:00 am
    Share  “She died.” Those are the words the man at the funeral home said. I was sitting there with my two brothers and sisters-in-law. We were meeting to make arrangements for our Mother. You see, not too long before that day she had gotten sick… she developed pneumonia and was admitted to the hospital…she had just turned 87 on April 11th. And I didn’t go home fore her birthday like I had planned. Cooper had been having a very difficult time with anxiety and his medication. I just didn’t feel comfortable being 8 hours away from him. I called my Mom and…
 
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    Autism Daily Newscast

  • Press Release – Seller of “Miracle Mineral Solution” Convicted for Marketing Toxic Chemical as a Miracle Cure

    Jo Worgan
    29 May 2015 | 3:34 am
    A federal jury in the Eastern District of Washington returned a guilty verdict yesterday against a Spokane, Washington, man for selling industrial bleach as a miracle cure for numerous diseases and illnesses, including cancer, AIDS, malaria, hepatitis, lyme disease, asthma and the common cold, the Department of Justice announced. Louis Daniel Smith, 45, was convicted […] The post Press Release – Seller of “Miracle Mineral Solution” Convicted for Marketing Toxic Chemical as a Miracle Cure appeared first on Autism Daily Newscast.
  • If you can’t beat them Join them – Katie Hopkins

    Susan Dunne
    29 May 2015 | 12:28 am
    Oh dear, Rent-a-Gob Hopkins is back in the autism news only this time it seems she wants to join us rather than deride us.  “I’m probably on the spectrum” she’s claimed, another pitch for a headline that will fill another few nano-seconds in the media’s drivel machine. If you really want a label, Katie, psychopath might […] The post If you can’t beat them Join them – Katie Hopkins appeared first on Autism Daily Newscast.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – action was awesome

    Maymay
    28 May 2015 | 3:32 pm
    Film and television reviews by our resident autistic film critic Maymay. In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland. From […] The post Mad Max: Fury Road – action was awesome appeared first on Autism Daily Newscast.
  • Waddington’s epigenetic landscape, and being ‘optimally autistic’

    Guest
    28 May 2015 | 2:49 pm
    In 2003, enrolled on a Masters programme indevelopmental psychopathology (the study of atypical development – i.e. conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia and others) I was introduced to Waddington’s epigenetic landscape – shown in this image. For him, the image was about the action of genes on development, but for me and many others the […] The post Waddington’s epigenetic landscape, and being ‘optimally autistic’ appeared first on Autism Daily Newscast.
  • Podcast: Dr. Heather MacKenzie: How to help kids with autism manage their behavior and emotions

    Catherine Pascuas
    28 May 2015 | 2:45 pm
    Heather MacKenzie is a Speech Language Pathologist who has spent her career developing and implementing approaches for enhancing learning in children with special needs. Her focus is on translating current research into sound clinical practice. She has a special interest in children with autism and how to optimize their development. Dr. Heather MacKenzie is a […] The post Podcast: Dr. Heather MacKenzie: How to help kids with autism manage their behavior and emotions appeared first on Autism Daily Newscast.
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    Autism Parenting Magazine

  • Love at First Sight – Making Romance Work When on the Spectrum

    Autism Parenting Magazine
    21 May 2015 | 6:30 pm
    Three years after Tim Holt met Jamie Houghtelin at the San Diego Zoo, he placed a circle of roses on a patch of grass in the place they met, bent down on one knee, and proposed. She accepted and he placed an engagement ring on her finger. They married on Nov. 7, 2010, and recently celebrated their fourth anniversary. Jamie is autistic and Tim is developmentally disabled. “It was a love connection at first sight,” said Beth Gallagher, founder and CEO of LifeWorks, based in San Diego, who introduced the pair. “That’s the first time in my life I knew love at first sight could happen. By…
  • Sensory Processing Difficulties – Dressing For Success

    Autism Parenting Magazine
    15 May 2015 | 6:30 pm
    What is Sensory Processing? Many children with Asperger’s syndrome experience sensory processing difficulties or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).  Sensory processing is the neurological processing and interpretation of sensation within one’s own body and from the environment. In short, it is the brain’s organization and interpretation of the sensory input from everyday use. This is a complex interrelationship of processes, hence the term: sensory integration. Modulation is a term you may hear describing the neurological process which the child’s central nervous system…
  • Dear Grandma and Grandpa – A Plea for Understanding

    Autism Parenting Magazine
    9 May 2015 | 6:30 pm
    Dear Grandma and Grandpa, I know you think I’m rude sometimes. The last time you tried to take me to the movies I screamed and put my hands over my ears because it was too loud and you got mad at me and said I ruined the movie for my little sister. Afterwards, when I was pacing in the back of the restaurant, you told me I needed to sit down with everyone. I heard you tell my mom that she should ignore me when I have a meltdown because all I want is attention. Sometimes I think you don’t like me very much. But I want to let you know, I’m not a bad kid, I’m living with…
  • Can My Child Ever Learn to Live on His Own?

    Autism Parenting Magazine
    3 May 2015 | 6:30 pm
    Parents often ask me “Can my child ever learn to live on his own?” The answer for many of these children is YES. The three main things that hold them back are: the limited expectations of those teaching them, the way we go about teaching, and not starting early enough to teach independent living. At all ages we need to be teaching “independent skills,” whether it be basic personal care (dressing, eating, etc.) when little, or advanced daily living skills (cooking, writing a check, etc.) when they get older. The problem I see is we tend to do way too much for these…
  • How Do I Know if My Child Needs a Guardian?

    Autism Parenting Magazine
    26 Apr 2015 | 6:30 pm
    The question of Guardianship usually occurs around the 18th birthday, due to the fact that in most states the legal age of majority is 18. This means that an individual who attains the age of 18 no longer needs parental consent. This lack of parental consent equates to a lack of parental protection, as well. Guardianship is necessary for an individual who does not understand the impact of their decisions, and may never have that ability. The two most common areas to consider are Health Care decisions and Money decisions. The questions to ask are: Can my child manage their money? Can my child…
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