Service options become limited for young adults with autism turning 21

Travis Rohrer stocks eggs at the Giant supermarket in Leola.

by Jeff Hawkes – As clanging high in the church’s bell tower died away, Travis Rohrer, a husky 21-year-old with autism, prepared to record the Sunday service. In a Plexiglas-enclosed booth in the back of the church, Rohrer had control of geeky electronics and a view important to him: six twirling ceiling fans, four above […]

Autism drug may not be far off in the future

Autistic children have an excessive amount of synapses, or brain connections between neurons, which doesn’t alter as it should with age, US scientists have revealed. This could help develop a drug normalizing their number even after diagnosis. The results of the research, carried out by US neuroscientists at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), were published in the […]

Assistive technology is not a crutch for special needs students

by Rebecca Ungarino – New gadgets and mobile apps introduced in the past few years are making reading, writing and math more accessible to students with learning disabilities. Text-to-speech apps like Voice Dream Reader and Notability have changed the way students comprehend lessons in areas they normally struggle, said Karen Janowski, an assistive technology consultant […]

I’M NOT RETARDED I’M SMART NOT A MENTAL GIANT BUT I AM INTELLIGENT

by William Stillman – These are the words that were communicated to me by a 16-year old young man whom I was visiting in his rural high school classroom on a crisp and wintry January morning. Like most teens his age, he took classes in keyboarding and computers, and was a fluent two-handed typist. But […]

Asperger’s’ syndrome: A quick overview

by Robyn Steward – When people hear the words Asperger’s syndrome, they often think of children or Albert Einstein – even though he was never formally diagnosed. But here are some things about Asperger’s that are less well known. Asperger’s syndrome, sometimes known as an autistic spectrum disorder, is a lifelong disability which affects people […]

Back to school and autism

by Pamela Gross – The children have been out of school for almost three months now. For weeks, the students have been getting up late, or too early in some cases. They are used to being at home and more often than not, with little structure or concern for time. For many children with autism, […]

Targeting brain circuitry could become new autism treatment

by Rachel Feltman – At every waking moment, your brain is juggling two very different sets of information. Input from the world around you, like sights and smells, has to be processed. But so does internal information — your memories and thoughts. Right now, for example, I’m looking at a peach: It’s yellow and pink, […]

Number of aides in public schools has mushroomed

by Rebecca Klein – The number of adults working in public schools has exploded over the past several decades, and it’s not necessarily because there are many more teachers. According to a report out Wednesday from the right-leaning think tank the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, since 1970, the number of non-teaching personnel in schools has increased […]

Small business owners with autism can thrive

by Joyce M. Rosenberg – When Matt Cottle asked his boss to let him work in the supermarket’s bakery, she told him he’d never do anything more than collect grocery carts. After six years of bagging groceries and pushing carts, Cottle wanted more. He had already learned how to do some baking. Cottle is autistic. […]