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Here you will find articles regarding Autism and other related issues.

Social Robots Improving the Lives of People with Autism

Jun 12, 2017

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disabilities in which communication can be hindered in social interactions both verbal and non-verbal. There is a wide spectrum within the effects autism has on a person including intellectual disabilities, physical and mental health issues such as seizures, ADD or ADHD, anxiety and phobias.

robotsWhen placed in a social setting with those without autism, people who do not understand autism may jump to the conclusion that this person is socially awkward, lacks emotion, doesn’t understand humor, or the other nuances of communication learned through time. Social settings can include everything from small talk at the register, expressing empathy to someone’s problems, workplace dynamics, meeting new people, and countless other interactions.

UN Calls for Recognizing the Rights of People with Autism to Make Their Own Decisions

31 March 2017

Ahead of World Autism Awareness Day, the United Nations today called for recognizing the rights of people with the spectrum neurological condition, which is believed to affect 70 million people around the world.

Let us ensure that we make available the necessary accommodations and support to persons with autism, Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for the Day.

With access to the support they need and choose, they will be empowered to face the key milestones in every person’s life, he added, making decisions such as where and with whom to live, what type of work to pursue and how to manage their personal finances.

Head-Mounted Virtual Reality Could Help People With Autism Learn Social Skills and Develop Employment Opportunities

Issue date: 16 November 2015

Virtual reality technologies (VRTs) using head-mounted displays (HMDs) could help people with autism develop social skills and confidence according to a researcher from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

Dr Nigel Newbutt, Associate Head of Media and Digital Cultures at UWE Bristol, said, With as many as 1 in 68 reported as being diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition, there is the potential for technologies to be used and applied to many affected people. The National Autistic Society, for example, report that around 700,000 people in the UK are affected by an autism condition – a lifelong development disability affecting how a person communicates and relates to other people.

The Life-Changing Impact of Autism Service Dogs

By Elisabeth Geier

A boy walks through the crowded halls of his school tethered to a dog who helps him remain calm in the crowd, find the correct classroom, and get settled in his seat before class starts.

A family enjoys dinner at a busy restaurant with a dog laying patiently at their childs feet.

A young woman sits in a chair with her head in her hands, rocking back and forth; her dog puts his front paws on her lap and applies deep pressure until her body releases tension and she is able to carry on with her day. These are autism assistance dogs in action.

Harper Government Supports Innovative Pilot Program Assisting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder Obtain Employment in the IT Industry

July 23, 2014 Calgary, Alberta Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, together with the Honourable Mike Lake, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry and Member of Parliament for EdmontonMill WoodsBeaumont, announced an investment of $150,000 in support of a pilot program that is providing Information Technology (IT) skills training and career opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Parents of Kids With Autism Fight to Get Service Dogs in Schools

While federal law protects a blind person’s right to be accompanied in any public place by a service animal, the rights of children with autism who rely on trained dogs to keep them safe, regulate unruly behaviour and help them develop socially are not so clear.

National service dog agencies estimate nearly 1,500 children with autism have been paired with an animal. The Toronto Star spoke with families across Canada with the animals, several of whom described drawn-out, draining meetings where “standoff-ish” board officials debated the dog’s value and raised concerns about potential allergies, cultural sensitivities (can a child who is prohibited by religion from drawing an animal be in the same room as one?), strained resources (who would fill the dog’s water bowl?) and liability insurance.

Vanderbilt Study Reveals Senses of Sight and Sound Separated in Children With Autism

by Craig Boerner | Posted on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 ­ 4:00 PM

Like watching a foreign movie that was badly dubbed, children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have trouble integrating simultaneous information from their eyes and their ears, according to a Vanderbilt study published today in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Employment May Lead to Improvement in Autism Symptoms

Jan 10, 2014

More independent work environments may lead to reductions in autism symptoms and improve daily living in adults with autism, according to a Vanderbilt study released in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

iPads Help Late-Speaking Children With Autism Develop Language

by Joan Brasher
Posted on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 — 11:44 AM

The iPad you use to check email, watch episodes of Mad Men and play Words with Friends may hold the key to enabling children with autism spectrum disorders to express themselves through speech.

New research indicates that children with autism who are minimally verbal can learn to speak later than previously thought, and iPads are playing an increasing role in making that happen, according to Ann Kaiser, a researcher at Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development.

Video Could Transform How Schools Serve Teens With Autism

Published: Oct. 17, 2013

Video-based teaching helps teens with autism learn important social skills, and the method eventually could be used widely by schools with limited resources, a Michigan State University researcher says.

The diagnosis rate for Autism Spectrum Disorder for 14- to 17-year-olds has more than doubled in the past five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet previous research has found very few strategies for helping adolescents with autism develop skills needed to be successful, especially in group settings.

“Teaching social skills to adolescents with ASD has to be effective and practical,” said Joshua Plavnick, assistant professor of special education at MSU. “Using video-based group instruction regularly could promote far-reaching gains for students with ASD across many social behaviors.”

Demo Version of AutisMate, SpecialNeedWare’s iPad App for People With Autism, Hits the Market

AutisMate LITE gives users a taste of AutisMate, a uniquely comprehensive, customizable, easy-to-use communication and life skills learning app for adults and children with autism.
(PRWEB) July 03, 2013

SpecialNeedsWare, LLC, a software development firm devoted to helping people with learning and development limitations, has launched AutisMate LITE, a demo version of AutisMate, the company’s application for adults and children with autism.

AutisMate LITE is meant to give users a taste of AutisMate, an app that extends beyond the capabilities of augmentative and assistive communication (AAC) and learning apps through its comprehensive, customizable, and easy to use Smart Scenes™ technology. AutisMate’s

Autism’s New Frontiers PART 2: ‘The bridge to nowhere’

The transition from youth to adulthood is the weakest link in the country’s already fractured approach to caring for children with autism
By Pauline Tam, Ottawa Citizen February 18, 2013

Two years ago, when Ashley Corbett of Arnprior turned 18, she entered Ontario’s Byzantine world of autism services for adults.

At best, the system treated her with benign neglect. At worst, she was invisible to it. Knowing that the wait was long for a coveted place at a provincially funded group home, Linda Murphy put her daughter’s name on the list when Corbett was just 13.

Six years later, she’s still waiting — one of 6,000 Ontarians with developmental disabilities who are on hold for residential care.

Nebraska Doctor Develops Smartphone App for Parents of Autistic Children

By ERIN ANDERSEN / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com
January 16, 2013

If you have a child with autism, now there is an app for that.

This new smartphone/tablet application is designed for parents, with the goal of helping them teach their primarily non-speaking children to communicate.

The app, “MySocius,” was developed by Keith Allen, professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute in Omaha. It was created by the behavior app division of Sector Now, LLC, a Lincoln-based smartphone development company.

Think beyond the apps that let us play games like “Bubbles” and “Jewel Quest.” Beyond apps that track our phones, map our routes or provide a handy flashlight when the lights go out.

MyVoice Breaks Barriers for People With Speech Disabilities By Announcing Wheelchair-Friendly TalkRocket Go App at

Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) July 30, 2012

MyVoice® Inc. today announced TalkRocket Go™, a wheelchair-friendly app for kids and adults with speech disabilities that is

more physically accessible yet more affordable, at just $99. TalkRocket Go lets users connect buttons and switches, including

those on wheelchairs, to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod, and then use those controls to speak words and phrases out loud.

“As a parent of a child with special needs, I can tell you TalkRocket Go is going to make a huge difference for so many

families, including mine,” said Tony Gross, MyVoice’s Community Director. “There’s nothing else quite like it.”

Parents Wire Kids to Prove Teachers’ Verbal Abuse

The Associated Press
Posted April 27, 2012

CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Teachers hurled insults like “bastard,” ”tard,” ”damn dumb” and “a hippo in a ballerina suit.” A bus driver threatened to slap one child, while a bus monitor told another, “Shut up, you little dog.”

Stuart Chaifetz, was told that his son Akian was acting violently at his New Jersey school he decided to investigate. Akian has autism, as do the rest of the students in the class. This prevented him from being able to explain to his father if anything had been happening to him at school.

Plan to Change Autism Definition Has Some Worried

Updated: Fri Jan. 20 2012 20:55:34
Angela Mulholland, CTVNews.ca Staff

Autism advocates are worrying that proposed changes to the way that autism is defined could affect the way that children and adults with the condition access treatment and services.

An expert panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association is considering narrowing the definition of autism as it completes its fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM V, as it’s known.

The DSM is the standard reference book for mental health disorders and hasn’t been revised in 17 years. Most expect the new edition will narrow the criteria for autism to make it more stringent.

Families Push for Autism Funds

By Emma Graney, Leader-Post November 28, 2011

Levi Tetlock is a nine-year-old boy who likes playing with toy planes, watching films and eating popcorn.

He’s skinny for his age and his thick-lashed brown eyes are usually focused on the wall, small clues to the fact he has autism.

Until a few months ago, he didn’t really talk and simple interactions were beyond his grasp. But in September, he started Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) – an intensive, one-on-one form of therapy.

Now, when his mother asks him questions in the living room of their Regina home, he giggles as he answers; he knows his name, age, address, names of his family members, where he went on vacation.

Boy ‘Not Disabled Enough’ to Receive Tax Credit

August 15, 2011

Chloé Fedio
STAFF REPORTER

Susan Roque finds her son’s torn-up socks all over their Sudbury home. It’s an expensive habit she knows 13-year-old Marcus cannot control because he has Asperger syndrome, a form of autism characterized by emotional outbursts and obsessive behaviour.

“If there’s a tear in his sock he’ll start pulling at it. I have socks all over the place with holes everywhere. He just picks at it. He’s very sensory
sensitive. I’m always buying that boy clothes,” said Roque, a single mother of two.

Sticking Up for Her Son

By TONY MUMA, FOR THE SUDBURY STAR
Posted July 13, 2011

Susan Roque has put on her mother-bear hat and she’s ready to step up to the plate and take some swings for her son, Marcus.

Marcus, 13, lives with Asperger Syndrome, a relative of the Autism Spectrum Disorder family. After being diagnosed in 2006, the family retroactively received a Disability Tax Credit for Marcus’s impairment from the province of Ontario and the federal government — until now.

The Roques were recently notified by Canada Revenue Agency that Marcus is no longer eligible for the federal Disability Tax Credit.

Autistic Children Use iPad at Toronto School to Reach Out and Communicate

May 18, 2011 – 14:00
Pat Hewitt, The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Four-year-old Satu Kuisma smiles as she finds a picture of herself and touches it on the screen.

When teacher Sabrina Morey asks the kindergartner to tell her what she did in class that day, Satu taps away on the iPad, selecting pictures for eating,
drawing and playing on swings.

Communication can be a struggle for Satu, who has a rare chromosome disorder. Born at just 2 1/2 pounds, she has had developmental delays, one of the most prominent being her speech. But she’s among dozens of non-verbal children at a Toronto school who are learning to communicate through touch technology.