The Des Moines Register today profiled Jeff Paprocki, an autistic adult with severe behavior challenges including self-injury. Jeff currently lives in a hospital psychiatric ward due to a shortage of community service providers that can support his needs.
The Chicago Tribune reports that a 15-year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome was shot and killed this morning in his home, after cutting a police office with a knife. The teen, Stephon Watts, had a history of aggressive behavior, according to police. The boy's mother has stated that the family was advised by social service professionals to call the police during incidents of violent behavior. A news conference is scheduled for later today to provide further information on the incident.
A handbook on adult guardianship law in the state of Maryland has been updated for the first time in over a decade and is available online in both PDF and interactive formats. The handbook is a collaboration between The Law & Health Care Program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (UM Carey Law) and the Delivery of Legal Services Section Council of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA). This updated version was revised by Virginia Rowthorn, JD, Managing Director of the Law & Health Care Program at UM Carey Law , and Ellen Callegary, JD, a prominent elder law and disability lawyer in Maryland.
The New York Times on Thursday examined how upcoming changes to the newest version of the "Diagnostics and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM-V) may impact diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorders, and as a consequence, access to services. The "DSM" is the resource utilized by doctors and mental health professionals in diagnosing conditions and coding them for insurance reimbursement. The new version is due to be published in 2013.
Researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies examined factors predicting which teens with ASD were likely to become drivers in a study published this month in The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Their conclusions point to a need to address driving in Transition Plans. "Although a significant proportion of teens with higher functioning autism spectrum disorders were driving or learning to drive, the fact that most driving teens' individualized education plans did not include driving goals suggests an area of opportunity for improvement in transition planning. Driving teens were more frequently in regular education settings with college aspirations, which could help schools identify potential drivers," the article notes.
In a BBC interview, a woman with ASD, Alex Jordan, discusses how she feels like a prisoner in her own home due to her inability to cross the street. Jordan, who lives in Dorset, has been stuck by cars seven times in the past year.
A study reported in the January Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that the increased use of respite and home/community aid services was associated with a decrease in the risk of psychiatric hospitalizations for children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD. In their conclusion, researchers noted that, "Respite care is not universally available through Medicaid. It may represent a critical type of service for supporting families in addressing challenging child behaviors. States should increase the availability of respite care for Medicaid-enrolled children with autism spectrum disorders."
Continuing its series on adults with autism, The New York Times today profiles Kirsten Lindsmith and Jack Robison, a young couple with Asperger's syndrome. Robison's father is author John Elder Robison, who also has Asperger's syndrome.
The Simons Foundation has gifted $26.5 million to MIT to establish The Simons Center for the Social Brain. This represents one of the largest single private grants from an individual donor to be aimed at autism research. The creation of the Center appears to be an effort to accelerate research into the neural mechanisms underlying social cognition, and then to translate this knowledge base into improved autism diagnosis and treatment regimens. The Center will likely attempt to create a multidisciplinary approach to autism research within MIT, as well as to utilize the technological innovation for which the University is known. Since its creation in 1994 by Jim and Marilyn Simons, The Simons Foundation has been perhaps the highest-profile source of private foundation funding for autism research in the United States.
San Francisco-based writer, Laura Shumaker, addresses some of the health issues facing adults with developmental disabilities in an interview with the Arc of San Francisco's Alan Fox, Shumaker is the mother of a 25-year-old man with autism.
My daughter wrote a monologue for an acting class about growing up with a sibling on the spectrum.
I’ve come down with an early case of the “Bah Humbugs” this year.
Last Tuesday my sister Connie had to have a surgery.
Here's what really gets to us about the holiday season. It's not the way advertisers assault us, though that's troubling.
By the time you read this, I will have returned from a week’s vacation in Florida with my family.
Schedule-based living, however, can be a tricky proposition. On the one hand, a schedule orders the day, the expectations, and is comforting to Madison who has difficulty with transitions....
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