Burt Bacharach, composer of such songs as "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," has published a memoir which tells of the suicide of his adult autistic daughter. Bacharach's daughter, Nikki, had Asperger's syndrome. She killed herself at age 40 in her home in southern California.
Just weeks before the scheduled release of the newest edition of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM-5), the head of the National Institute of Mental Health has criticized the validity of the work. In a recent interview, Dr. Thomas R. Insel noted that diagnosing mental illness based on symptomology rather than biology can be highly problematic. Changes in how autism is diagnosed are expected in the DSM-5, causing widespread concern about impact on service eligibility.
A couple in Ottawa has reliquished the care of their autistic adult son to the government, according to CTV. On Tuesday, Amanda Telford dropped her 19-year-old son off at the Ottawa office of Developmental Services Ontario, stating that she and her husband can no longer care for him. CTV quotes Telford as stating, "I did everything within the system I could think of to do and I really felt I had no other recourse,” adding, "It wasan absolutely brutal decision.”
A new study surveying 100,000 parents across the United States found 1 in 50 children received an ASD diagnosis. This research was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration, and is thought to reflect previously undiagnosed cases.
A research team from Harvard Medical School has suggested that, based on their examination of two large samples of twins, girls may be genetically "protected" from autism.
University of Missouri researchers have found that youth with ASD receive fewer services to transition them from pediatric to adult health care than youth with other special health care needs. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, points out that youth with ASD and comorbid conditions are at greatest risk for inadequate health care transition services.
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health has demonstrated that some children who present symptoms of autism in childhood may lose those symptoms and the autism diagnosis by adulthood. “Although the diagnosis of autism is not usually lost over time, the findings suggest that there is a very wide range of possible outcomes,” said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. “For an individual child, the outcome may be knowable only with time and after some years of intervention. Subsequent reports from this study should tell us more about the nature of autism and the role of therapy and other factors in the long term outcome for these children.”
The New York Times has published a profile of Danish company, Specialisterne, which employs autistic adults as technical consultants. Founded by Thorkil Sonne, Specialisterne is in the process of expanding in Europe and the United States.
A study published online on November 1 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders examines the rate of college enrollment among young adults with ASD. Findings indicate that young adults with ASD also have one of the lowest overall college enrollment rates, and tend to gravitate toward Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics (STEM). According to Washington University professor and co-author Paul Shattuck, "STEM careers are touted as being important for increasing both national economic competitiveness and individual career earning power. If popular stereotypes are accurate and college-bound youth with autism gravitate toward STEM majors, then this has the potential to be a silver lining story for a group where gloomy predictions about outcomes in adulthood are more the norm.”
According to a supplemental article published today in the journal Pediatrics, spending more time in inclusive educational settings doesn't seem to result in improved future outcomes for students with autism. Researchers found that "Compared with children with autism who were not educated in an inclusive setting (n = 215), children with autism who spent 75% to 100% of their time in a general education classroom (n = 82) were no more likely to attend college (P = .40), not drop out of high school (P = .24), or have an improved functional cognitive score (P = .99) after controlling for key confounders."
“I’m just not sure what to do, or how to help her,” my friend Marie (a pseudonym) said. Her voice trembled slightly.
When I graduated from college, I found out quickly that to support myself in the “real world” I would have to work two jobs.
April wasn’t only Autism Awareness Month. It was National Stress Awareness Month too. Coincidence?
Part II of our story on autistic adults living in rural America.
Friday night, Cameron attended his high school prom. This wasn’t his first prom, as his school invites all high school students to attend each year, and Cameron had attended the year before...
Our family originally qualified for Supplementary Security income for Cody when he was four years old. I was a single mother, not working at the time and my husband, Bill,
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