Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tech Startup Hires People with Autism

Mark Leslie is a capable computer programmer who speaks four languages, but until recently the latest entry on his résumé was a retail job he held for six years at a Barnes & Noble in New York City.Like many of the estimated 1.5 million Americans on the autism spectrum, Leslie, who has Asperger's syndrome, is at a disadvantage in traditional office environments. There, he could run into unplanned social interactions that can cause anxiety or risk reporting to a boss ill-equipped to communicate with someone on the spectrum. 

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NYC Council to Vote on 'Avonte's Law'

The New York City Council's Education Committee voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of a law designed to prevent a repeat of the Avonte Oquendo tragedy."Avonte's Law" requires the Department of Education and the NYPD to compile a list of public schools that should have audible door alarms.
The entire council is expected to vote on the law Thursday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

People with Autism Prone to Obesity

In a review of medical records, researchers found that more than 23 percent of children with autism and 25 percent of those with Asperger’s syndrome were obese. Meanwhile, another 15 percent of kids with autism and 11 percent with Asperger’s were overweight.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Staff Working to Keep Individuals Safe At Special Needs Center Near Gaza

Going to the volatile Middle East. Am certain that a similar story exists on the Gaza side. Hoping for some sort of agreement soon to end the bloodshed.

In Ofakim, a sand-choked, barren community minutes from the Gaza border, residents have just 30 seconds when they hear a red-alert siren to run and find cover. For able-bodied members of this impoverished community, that’s precious little time.But what about those who can’t run?At ALEH Negev, a state-of-the-art rehabilitative village for Israeli citizens with severe disabilities, it’s a serious question. Most of the residents at ALEH Negev, which gleams like a spaceship in the middle of Ofakim’s brown desert, are wheelchair-bound and cannot walk on their own. Many cannot speak, use their limbs or practice motor functions without assistance.

Peer-Led Intervention Effective In Helping Parents, Study Finds

Peer-led interventions that target parental well-being can significantly reduce stress, depression and anxiety in mothers of children with disabilities, according to new findings released today in the journal Pediatrics.
In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from Vanderbilt University examined two treatment programs in a large number of primary caregivers of a child with a disability. Participants in both groups experienced improvements in mental health, sleep and overall life satisfaction and showed less dysfunctional parent-child interactions.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Robert Kennedy, Jr.'s Mission to End Use of Thimerosal in All Vaccines

Not trying to cause any more panic, but found this intriguing.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski listened impassively as Robert Kennedy Jr. made his case. He had to talk over the din in the marbled hallway just outside the Senate chambers, where he was huddled with Mikulski, two of her aides and three allies of his who had come to Washington for this April meeting.
Kennedy, a longtime environmental activist and an attorney for theNatural Resources Defense Council, had thought Mikulski would be receptive to an issue that has consumed him for a decade, even as friends and associates have told him repeatedly that it’s a lost cause. But she grew visibly impatient the longer he talked.A mercury-containing preservative known as thimerosal, once used widely in childhood vaccines, is associated with an array of neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, Kennedy told her, summarizing a body of scientific research he and a team of investigators had assembled. Thimerosal, which is an antifungal and antiseptic agent, was taken out of those vaccines in 2001, but it is still used in some flu vaccines. If it was dangerous enough to be removed from pediatric vaccines, Kennedy contended, why was it safe at all?

Telemedicine Providing Access to Doctors

To get the best care for her three autistic children, Mandi Larkin would drive three hours from her family's home in Tifton, Ga., to Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta. The drive to and from Atlanta was exhausting. Missed work, missed school and the long drive were constant sources of stress.
"The accessibility to the doctors in Atlanta is the big thing," Larkin said. "Not everyone has the means to make that kind of a drive. Telemedicine gives us access to the doctors that we normally wouldn't have access to.
"Today, Larkin's children receive world-class medical care at her local hospital via a state-of-the-art telemedicine link to Marcus Autism Center. The recently improved telemedicine system was optimized by scientists at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and Cisco Systems, Inc. Marcus Autism Center's telemedicine room is now a showcase for providers of telemedicine, where improved video capabilities and an ergonomic suite allow patients in rural Georgia to meet face-to-face with medical specialists in Atlanta.