Study results point to genetic causes for autism

by Harmeet Kaur- Genetics plays more of a role in the development of autism than environmental causes, according to new research published Sunday in Nature Genetics. The study found that 52% of autism risk comes from common genes, while only 2.6% are attributed to spontaneous mutations caused by, among other things, environmental factors. “These genetic […]

How adults on the spectrum fare with employment

by Laura Shumaker – A few weeks ago I raised the topic of employment options for people with autism spectrum disorders, because wouldn’t it be great if the the intense interests of people with autism translated into jobs–even careers? I followed up by conducting an informal survey with followers of my Facebook Page–a reality check […]

High school kids caught in “immunization war”

by Eryn Brown – Every school day, students at Carlsbad High tune in their classroom televisions to a news show produced by its award-winning broadcast journalism program. Airing from a well-appointed studio on campus, the report covers topics ranging from final exams to nearby wildfires, delivered by a teenage staff that typically goofs around until […]

Farms as workplaces for individuals with autism

by Christina Scotti – In the middle of the English countryside, Lydia Otter has made it her life’s mission to work with people like Peter Griffin, a 26-year-old with severe autism. Griffin can hardly speak, but he has flourished at Pennyhooks Care Farm, a farm community focused on therapeutic agriculture, taking up woodworking and working […]

Without support, students with language-based learning disabilities crumble

by Christopher F. Herman M. Ed. – It is commonly understood that levels of support for students with language-based learning disabilities begin to wane after the completion of grade school. While public elementary programs may offer students a multisensory structured approach to language, many families live in fear of the transition to the middle grades. […]

Family joins brain tissue donation program for autism research

by Sandra Levy – As the number of children with autism climbs, a new network of research institutions is hoping to acquire brain tissue donations from people with autism in order to support research that may ultimately lead to a cure. The Simons Foundation and Autism Speaks have established the Autism BrainNet, a new network […]

Autism male-female ratios are biased

by Virginia Hughes – Imagine you walked down the street and asked random people what autism is. What would they say? My guess: They’d talk about social skills, and the rising prevalence, and probably the vaccine nonsense. And they’d almost certainly mention that it happens to boys. The idea that autism is a mostly male […]

Improved data use should lead to better special ed student outcomes

by Michele Jolin - For far too long, we as a nation have set unnecessarily low education expectations for students with special needs, limiting their choices and opportunities for success. But thanks to a new U.S. Department of Education directive, things are changing for the better. The Department is shifting to a new approach for the nation’s […]

How funding impacts successes and failures of students h disabilities

by Clare McCann – Last month, the Obama administration announced a new plan to hold states accountable for the successes and failures of students with disabilities in the K-12 educational system. Students with disabilities graduate from high school at a rate 20 percentage points lower than the overall student population, and struggle to achieve proficiency in math […]