Thousands of birthday greetings are mailed to man with Down syndrome

A man with Down syndrome in France got truckloads of cards — some 30,000 from around the world — for his 30th birthday, after his mother put out a call on Facebook that went viral. By the time Manuel Parisseaux’s birthday rolled around on Saturday so many letters had arrived his family in Calais in […]

First autism database is created for law enforcement

by Michael McFall – The Unified Police Department has rolled out a new program to help them deal appropriately with autistic people, a first of its kind in Utah. On a normal call, officers try to assert dominance to diffuse the situation and maintain control, Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said. But when dealing with someone who is […]

Therapy that looks like all play and no work

by Kate Stringer – To the casual observer, speech pathologist Mary Heath’s job looks like all play and no work. But amongst the building blocks and play dough, Heath helps children find their voices. Heath, 40, works for the Douglas Education Service District Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education program, which helps over 300 infants, […]

Military families to receive improved autism coverage

More than 26,000 military families with autistic children are getting better Tricare coverage of applied behavior analysis therapy and related services, which can improve a child’s development and quality of life. But a Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration that began a slow rollout in late October will still leave retirees and reserve component families facing heavy […]

Number of toddlers taking ADHD stimulants shocks doctors

by Josiah M. Hesse – Thousands of the nation’s poorest children under the age of four are being prescribed stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall for ailments they’re too young to even have. A first-ever Centers for Disease Control study estimates that under the Medicaid health care program, doctors have given some 10,000 American toddlers a […]

Researchers identify relevant autism genes

by Raghunandad Avula – Researchers have had recent success in understanding the genetic basis for neuropsychiatric diseases. Kathryn Roeder, an assistant professor in the department of statistics and the Lane Center for Computational Biology at Carnegie Mellon, and Bernie Devlin, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, recently led an international research team that […]

More and more, we choose a chemical solution for ADHD

by Belinda Luscombe – Until recently, 90% of all Ritalin takers lived in the U.S. Now, America is home to only 75% of Ritalin users. But that’s not because Americans are using less of the drug, says a Brandeis professor. That’s because ADHD diagnoses, and treatment via pharmaceuticals are growing in other parts of the […]

FDA acknowledges autism risk from Depakote use during pregnancy

by Jane Mundy – Over the past few years, a number of women who took Depakote while pregnant have filed complaints with LawyersandSettlements regarding a possible link to autism. The FDA has finally acknowledged that exposure to Depakote during pregnancy may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorders. In August 2014, AbbVie Inc. (formerly Abbott), […]

Jerry Seinfeld has no substantial connection to autism

by Rogel Alpher – Jerry Seinfeld told an American television interviewer recently that he believes he is slightly autistic. A bit on the spectrum. Autism lite. Seinfeld based his public self-diagnosis on what he was feeling – that sometimes he doesn’t really understand what people are telling him. As a result, in the minds of […]