Sunday, January 28, 2007

Review of Recent Autism-Related News

A roundup of recent news covered in Autism Bulletin:

Research news

A consortium of 11 universities led by researchers at University of Michigan is tackling a DNA study with samples from 3,000 patients to better understand the nature of autism spectrum disorders. Read more here.

News from around the states, and Canada

A leading advocacy group for people with Asperger Syndrome, the Asperger's Association of New England, sought to reassure the public that the condition was not known to precipitate violent behavior; this came in the wake of a fatal stabbing at a Boston area high school on Jan. 19, in which the alleged perpetrator has an Asperger's diagnosis. You can read more here, and also here (the Asperger's Assocation) and here (column by Boston area parent Susan Senator).

Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt proposed spending $3.9 million to improve autism diagnostic and treatment services. Blunt made this proposal in his state of the state speech on Jan. 24. Read more here.

Texas lawmakers are poised to consider a bill that would make it possible for families to use school vouchers to send autistic children to private school. The idea runs headlong into a longstanding debate in Texas over school vouchers. Story here.

A New York assemblyman filed a bill that would make health insurers cover services for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. More information here.

A New Jersey appeals court ruled Jan. 17 that a health plan for state workers improperly denied coverage for parents who sought services such as occupational therapy for their autistic children. Read coverage, including links to court decisions, here.

Arizona is piloting a program to address a wide gap in available services for kids with autism. More on that development here.

Pennsylvania lawmakers elected a new Speaker of the House who has a nephew with autism and pledges to put autism-related services at the forefront of his agenda. More on that development here.

A Washington State autism task force has submitted a set of forward-thinking recommendations designed to support people with autism throughout their lives. The governor and Legislature are supposed to consider what to do next. More on this issue here. The Washington report follows on the heels of another effort in Kentucky to define the scope of the problem and propose solutions for people with autism.

The Ontario government said it would provide autism-related services for 225 children on the province's waiting lists. The province said it also would train more teachers. But families pointed out the waiting lists continue to grow faster than investments in services and people to deliver them. Read more here.

Technology news

British autism researchers released a special DVD intended to help teach children with autism to recognize emotions. Read more here.

Note to readers

Dear readers: Do you find this "news in review" format useful? Please let me know by posting a comment here or sending me an e-mail (michaelsgoldberg AT yahoo DOT com). Thank you for reading Autism Bulletin.


Susan Senator said...

It certainly is helpful, Michael! Thanks.

Dan Halbert said...

Yes, I appreciate the concise review, if you have the time to keep doing it.

Anonymous said...

This was really helpful! I'm doing a project on autism at my school, because my cousin is autistic and this was really interesting!

Thank you!