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Autism Spectrum Disorder


Donkey Therapy Helps Kids With Autism

autismtherapy294At Cultivate Care Farms, an outpatient care farm in Bolton, Mass., clients with mental health, addiction and communication disorders come to connect with animals and agriculture as a form of therapy. Care farming is a centuries-old model that originated in the Netherlands, and while it continues to be widely popular Europe, it is gaining momentum in the U.S. About 100 clients, all outpatients, visit Cultivate each week. They can work with horses, sheep and alpacas, but donkeys, in particular, have a way with kids on the autism spectrum. Read more ›


American Psychiatric Association [web resource]

americanpsychiatricassoc363The American Psychiatric Associationn is primarily a professional organization of psychiatrists working together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental illness, including substance use disorders. Read more ›

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Autism Prevalence Now 1 in 40 US Kids, Study Estimates

autism boy324A survey of parents across the United States estimates that one in 40 children has autism spectrum disorder, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Read more ›

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Prenatal Exposure to Air Pollution Linked to Autism Risk, Study Says

airpollution autism310Prenatal exposure to ambient air pollution was associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder, a new study finds. Pregnant women in Vancouver who were exposed to the highest level of environmental nitric oxide, an airborne, traffic-related pollutant, were more likely to give birth to children later diagnosed with autism, the researchers say. Read more ›


American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Autism Resource Center [web resource]

autism286Autism is a condition which is usually diagnosed before a child is three. Autistic children have delayed speech or no speech at all, problems interacting socially, limited interests and odd or repetitive behaviors. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by abnormal brain development and functioning. Many children with autism also have an intellectual disability. Read more ›


Video Game Helps Kids Understand Experiences Of Peers On The Autism Spectrum

PrismAutism215A new game developed by Carnegie Mellon University students is helping elementary schoolers understand what life is like for kids on the autism spectrum.

Created by the university’s Entertainment Technology Center, Prism uses its animal characters as allegories for the challenges those with autism face. Read more ›

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The Things No One Ever Told Us: Successful Strategies for Parents of Children With Autism [video]

CHC’s Gina Baldi explores the signs and symptoms of autism and the benefits of neurodiversity; strategies for the autistic child’s success; how the family and siblings can best support the autistic child; and local resources, promising innovations, apps, programs (Early Support Program for Autism—ESPA), and assistive technologies for kids with autism. Read more ›


Developmental Milestones Checklists for Infants and Young Children [downloadable]

devmilestones210Developmental milestones are behaviors and skills that most children demonstrate at a given age. It’s important to note that all children develop differently. Milestone checklists provide examples of typical development progress at that age. Read more ›


The Relief, and Heartbreak, of Watching My Autistic Son Becoming More Socially Aware

motherson193My 6-year-old son spends many mornings singing and dancing around the house, mostly songs from the movie “Moana,” but also a little from “Coco,” a random spiritual (“I’ve Got Peace Like a River”) and Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”

He also loves ballet, although I have a hunch that he’s mostly drawn to the tutus and the way the dancers twirl. One of his favorite videos features ballerinas wearing LED lights. My son, who is autistic, loves what makes him happy, and swishy tutus and dancing lights make him happy.

So I was a little surprised one morning recently, before summer dance camp, when he stopped me: “Will my friends make fun of me?” I turned to look at him. “No,” I assured him, my voice confident. “They won’t make fun of you.” Read more ›


Report: State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5

1in5reportsnapshot189Stigma, low expectations and lack of understanding help explain why students with learning disabilities are more likely to repeat a grade, get suspended, and leave high school without a diploma, according to the report, The State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5.
Read more ›

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