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Caring for the Caregiver - Insights from Dr. Julie Buckley

submitted by lawilcox

Over the past several days I have been learning and connecting with other parents and professionals at the National Autism Conference in Florida. I was blessed to attend this tremendous conference last year as well and have walked away both years feeling better informed and rejuvenated.
Hearing Dr. Julie Buckley speak about Caring for the Caregiver both years has proven to be one of the highlights of the event in my eyes two years running. Dr. Buckley is not only a physician who works for our children. She is also the mother of a smart, funny daughter with ASD and Dr. Buckely is a cancer survivor. I appreciate Dr. Buckley's unique perspective.

Guest Blog: Professional Acting with Asperger’s Syndrome: Part 1

submitted by lawilcox

Today I am excited to post Part 1 of a new series of posts written by my smart and funny friend, Jen Dodson. Jen’s precious son, "M," is a professional actor who also happens to live with Asperger’s Syndrome and is only 8-years-old. When I put out a call for new contributors several weeks ago, Jen reached out to me because she wondered if other families might be interested in how drama and acting have significantly improved her son's life. I know you’ll be inspired and encouraged after reading this guest series. Please help me welcome Jen to AutismSpot today for Part 1 in this fascinating series of posts!
Professional Acting with Asperger’s Syndrome: Part 1
By Jennifer Dodson
My eight year old son was diagnosed at the age of four with an Autism Spectrum Disorder called Asperger Syndrome. When my husband and I read that Asperger’s is often called the “Little Professor” Syndrome we had our big “ah ha” moment. Our son was already able to read at four years old and he had the vocabulary of a third grader. He was very bright and extremely articulate.

Guest Blog: Autism Through the Eyes of The Average Person

submitted by juliehornok

With Autism Spectrum Disorders affecting boys four times as often as girls, sometimes I worry that most of our featured blog and guest blog posts focus primarily on males with ASD. But, we at AutismSpot realize that raising a girl with autism can bring certain unique challenges for families; that’s why I’m so excited to introduce our next Guest Blogger – Julie Hornok! Julie is a bright, engaging and active mom of three, whose only daughter happens to live with autism. Please help me welcome Julie as she shares her first Guest Blog post below.

Guest Blog: How to Ensure the Needs of Your Child be Met in the School Setting

submitted by lawilcox

This is Adina Rich’s second guest blog for AutismSpot. Adina is a mother of three and is the Chief Education Officer at Rich Educational Consulting. You can read her first guest post HERE. We welcome your comments below. Also, we welcome your comments and thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.
By Adina Rich
“…People say believe half of what you see,
Son, and none of what you hear.
I can't help bein' confused
If it's true please tell me dear?... Cuz I heard it through the grapevine.”

These are the lines of a popular song from the 60’s sung by the late Marvin Gaye, but could just as easily have been written today about programming for kids with ASD. School districts often have difficulty recognizing what an individual child with ASD needs based upon their observations and parent feedback - not on what they’ve “heard” works with kids with ASD.

CBS - Apps for Autism: Communicating on the iPad

submitted by lawilcox

For over a week I've been meaning to share the link to the 60 Minutes segment that recently ran on CBS about communication utilizing iPads with children who live with Autism...but I've been distracted and sidetracked numerous times. However, since I'm a firm believer in late being better than never, here it is - I hope you enjoy it! You can watch the segment HERE or read the transcript HERE.
Additionally, I encourage you to check out this interview from February with Michelle Beck of Pumpkin Littles about the iPad Communication Therapy she and other therapists are using with children in their educational and therapy center in North Dallas. When I interviewed Michelle earlier this year and asked about including preverbal kids in social skills classes/groups, she had this to say, "While they may not speak or may have difficulty communicating, they have a lot to share and they want to be social. The Apple iPad, special software, pioneering therapists and this amazing class now gives those children a voice.

CDC Scandal Exposed Regarding Autism, Vaccines & Mercury

From 10/25/2011 press release: "Documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that CDC officials were aware of Danish data indicating a connection between removing Thimerosal (49.55% mercury) and a decline in autism rates.

Wed, 10/26/2011 - 09:56

UNEP Global Mercury Partnership and Vaccines

submitted by lawilcox

Did you know that the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) is negotiating a “legally binding instrument to reduce mercury exposure” worldwide? The third meeting for the Global Mercury Partnership is scheduled next month in Nairobi. Historically speaking, this is monumental. This group containing government, non-government, public and private entities from 140 countries has chosen to come together to address mercury – one of the most dangerous toxins on earth.
Since Ethan was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and I started to question anything in his environment that could impact his health and wellbeing, I’ve found myself very interested in learning more about mercury and mercury exposure. Many people suffer from the ill effects of mercury exposure, which is (in my opinion) all-too-common these days. People like Ethan may have compounded ill-effects due to impaired detoxification systems. For Ethan’s benefit I try to follow the most recent science and news regarding mercury and I feel compelled to share this news with our AutismSpot readers!

A Less Toxic Halloween for Environmentally Sensitive Families

submitted by KendraFinestead

Right around the corner lurks a yearly extravaganza of ghoulishly engrossing treats and spooktacular tricks. Children have selected their favorite characters to transform into for a night of house-hopping fun. Schools are having fall parties, churches are putting together carnivals, and neighborhoods are stocking up with sugary and corn-syrup laden “goodies”. Does this scare the nightlights out of anyone else?

Gene Variation, Autoantibodies and Autism

From the UC Davis MIND Institute earlier this week: "A study...has found that pregnant women with a particular gene variation are more likely to produce autoantibodies to the brains of their developing fetuses and that the children of these mothers are at greater risk of later being diagnosed with autism." Also mentioned: "...

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 10:17

Guest Piece – Autism Advocacy and Technology News Zone

submitted by lawilcox

This guest piece is written by a man passionate about his vision. David Berkowitz lives in Las Vegas, is an honorably discharged veteran and spent the last 20 years in sales and marketing. David lives with Asperger’s Syndrome and is raising three kids also on the spectrum. Looking to improve the lives of individuals with autism through technology and the arts, David wants to share a bit about his vision with AutismSpot readers. Please help me welcome, David.
By David Joseph Berkowitz
As an individual with high functioning Asperger’s and the father of 3 kids who are also on the spectrum, I have always felt a need to give back to the world and community, to truly do something exceptional, and make a difference for the people with autism.

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