Updated Friday, June 5, 2015The Director of the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment has received a $10 million grant from the National Institutes for Health to continue his research into the genetic causes of autism as well as the genetic causes of autism in African Americans. The grant will help fund this collaborative research effort on the genetics of autism which includes researchers from UCLA, Yale University, John Hopkins University and more. The grant is part of the NIH’s Autism Centers of Excellence Program. For more information go to: http://www.news-medical.net/news/20130409/Scientist-receives-NIH-grant-to-study-genetic-causes-of-autism-spectrum-disorders-in-African-Americans.aspx
Updated Friday, June 5, 2015Arizona has joined 30 other US states in banning the use of so called “seclusion rooms” where teachers send children with behavioral problems. Under the new law these rooms can only be used with parental consent. For more see: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/law-targets-padded-rooms-autistic-kids/story?id=18892197#.UWPNB5N96Sp
Updated Friday, June 5, 2015A study reported in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that having a child with autism can put parents at an increased risk of stress and lower marital quality in comparison to other parents. The study also reported that access to respite care for these parents can have positive benefits for their relationships. Access to respite care increased marital quality and decreased stress levels. An abstract of the study results can be found here: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10803-013-1812-0
Updated Friday, June 5, 2015An article in The Irish Times reports that some creches in Ireland are unable to cater for children with special needs because they do not have access to adequate supports. The article based on a survey done by Early Childhood Ireland states that lack of funding for Special Needs Assistants is a significant reason why creches cannot accommodate children with special needs. For more detailed survey results see: http://www.earlychildhoodireland.ie/policy-advocacy-and-research/results-of-the-special-needs-survey/ The Irish Times article can be found here: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/creches-forced-to-turn-away-children-with-special-needs-1.1351954
Updated Saturday, August 8, 2015President Obama launched a $100 million project to map the human brain in a similar fashion to what was done with DNA. The Director of the National Institutes for Health explained that this research could have far-reaching implications for diseases such as autism. One of the aims of the initiative is to take photos of human brain activity. This extensive study of the brain could lead to a better understanding of and possible treatment for various neurological disorders including Autism and Alzheimer’s Only time will tell if this project can make a real difference in the lives of people suffering from neurological disorders.
Updated Saturday, August 8, 2015At a conference in Dublin, animal behavior expert and autism advocate, Dr Temple Grandin emphasized the need for children with autism to learn about things which will help them join the workforce. She stressed the importance of children with autism not defining themselves by being autistic but by other things they do such as school projects. Dr Grandin has autism. She recognized the range of disabilities across the autism spectrum but wants children with autism working on projects which will help their career prospects in the future. For more see: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/children-with-autism-must-learn-to-work-1.1350614