Friday, October 31, 2014

Scientist Link 60 Genes to Autism Risk

Researchers have found dozens of new genes that may play a role in causing autism, according to two studies published Wednesday in the medical journal Nature.
Scientists identified 60 genes with a greater than 90% chance of increasing a child's autism risk. Previous research has yielded only 11 genes that had been confirmed with this level of certainty.Though other studies have shown the importance of genetics in the development of autism, experts say these new studies zero in on the exact nature of the genetic mutations that cause the disorder

The Man Who Left Wall Street Behind

Feel Good Friday and this is a great way to start your day.
Ben Wright began seeing the world differently when his two youngest children were born with Down syndrome.
He realized educational and career opportunities would be much tougher to come by for kids that are deemed less able to succeed in the eyes of society, so he decided to leave his job at a Wall Street firm and ensure a future for children like his own.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

California Couple Petition Disney for Princess with Down Syndrome

Disney princesses come from different races, even different species, if you count mermaids.
But one California couple believes that heroes or heroines with special needs are underrepresented, and so they’re petitioning Walt Disney Studios to create a Disney princess with Down Syndrome.

When the Doctor Is Not Always a Healer

One of the most thoughtfully written and powerful stories I've seen in quite a while. Hopefully doctors everywhere are listening and apply the lesson to people with any disability. Yes, it's long, but read the full story. You won't be sorry.
t was midnight in the emergency department of my hospital, and the chief resident was on a roll. Clad in green scrubs — two sizes too small for his body, they emphasized his muscular physique — he dashed between the ambulance bay and the critical care rooms.“Wen!” he barked at me, the medical intern. “Come over here to do the ‘rule-out-heart-attack’ in 3.” Two medical students grabbed their notepads and followed the chief resident and me into the room.The patient did not look as if he were having a heart attack. Dressed in a tailored suit, a young man with a neat ponytail sat in bed, texting on his BlackBerry. The nurse’s note said the 31-year- old was having chest pain. His vital signs and electrocardiogram were normal.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Schools Struggle to Keep Up with Autism

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Most kids have tantrums, but not like this one.
It was December 2012, and 18-month-old Keller Garcille had been told "no," that he couldn't have something – a snack, a toy, a certain place to sit — at his daycare. What followed was an epic meltdown. Limbs flailing, face red from screaming and streaming with tears, Keller was inconsolable.That evening, his mother, Erika Garcille, noticed Keller wasn't using his left arm. When she took him to the emergency room, she learned he'd broken his own elbow during the tantrum.

Much More Than a Gym Class

By far the best story of the day. A journalist who understands the concept of seeing beyond disability.
Daniel Hernandez is a 10th grader with striking eyes and a ready smile who is prone to answer questions with a polite “Yes, ma’am.” This young man, who is 16, used to be described as “shy,” but he knows a lot about kayaking: how to set up the seats, put the oars together and how to get in without flipping it over. He knows how to steer the small vessel right, left, and how to stop.
I, however, have never been kayaking. I’m a novice when it comes to most water sports and probably wouldn’t inspire great confidence in any teacher. But Daniel had confidence. He was proud to share what he knew. Excited really. And he wasn’t alone. Daniel was among several of his classmates from American Senior High School in Miami who volunteered to teach me how to kayak.
All of them are students with autism.

Study: Parent-Led Therapy May Help Children with Autism

Parents can learn how to give effective therapy to their children with autism, a new study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry finds.Researchers at Stanford University looked at a type of therapy called Pivotal Response Training (PRT), which is one the of the handful of treatments shown to be effective for kids on the autism spectrum, says Kari Berquist, PhD, study co-author and a clinical instructor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences and an autism clinician at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.