Dec 9, 2013, NorthJersey.com: Wayne Police creating autism/special needs database
Dec 8, 2013, TIME: Susan Boyle Reveals She Has Asperger's--The British singer says the diagnosis was a relief
Dec 6, 2013, NBC5, West Palm Beach: Impact 5 Autism special, followed by Contact 5 Investigators special Saturday at 8 p.m.
Dec 6, 2013, The UK Dail Mail: Police use 50,000-volt Taser on 15-year-old schoolboy with learning difficulties after being called in over 'scuffle'
Dec 6, 2013, The Atlantic: How to Read About Science
Dec 6, 2013, Hartford Courant: Manchester 'Sensory Santa' Opens Merry Tradition To Autistic Kids And Their Families
Taking into consideration the recent missing person incidents that have occurred in the metropolitan area involving autistic individuals, the Wayne Police Department, in a proactive effort, is reaching out in hopes of better serving the autistic and special needs community. The department is adding pertinent information and photographs into its database of autistic and special needs individuals residing in Wayne Township in the event they go missing. . . .
Everywhere evidence mounts showing autism is a critical condition that we have never had to deal with previously---still we refuse to take any action to address this. I guess we'll just go on pretending that this is normal and acceptable to the bitter end. I posted one comment.
British singer Susan Boyle said her diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, was a relief.
The 52-year-old, who rose to fame for her rendition of Les Miserables's "I Dreamed a Dream" on Britain's Got Talent, told the Observer newspaper that she found out a year ago that she had Asperger's and an above-average IQ, the Associated Press reports.
"I have always known that I have had an unfair label put upon me," Boyle said. "Now I have a clearer understanding of what's wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself."
Boyle, who struggled in school as a child, was treated for nervous exhaustion after her famous performance on "Britain's Got Talent" in 2009. She said she was happy to have a better understanding of the hurdles she faces.
On Saturday, December 7 at 8 p.m. WPTV NewsChannel 5 presents an Impact 5 Autism: Connecting the Pieces half-hour special.
With the number of cases increasing, the show provides viewers with more information about autism, a better understanding of how it affects families, and advice on the best way to communicate with adults on the autism spectrum.
We can predict what's going to be said by the experts (and if "experts" say it, it must be true).
Autism won't be a "crisis," merely a puzzle no one has completely figured out yet. The very title, "connecting the pieces," tells us exactly that.
Notice that the experts are going to help us "understand what autism is and HOW it affects so many people." No one is focused on WHY it affects so many people and we'll all get this strong message: Autism is---it's a given. Our job is to learn how to deal with it.
These reports do the most harm. They convince us that all that can be done is being done. It may be "the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States," but we're not not interested in why it's happening. I'm sure there's be some vague reference to a broader definition and greater awareness and PERHAPS unknown environmental factors, but they'll quickly move on to talking about the need for services.
Most of all, the experts won't be alarmed about a disorder that's rampant among our kids with no known cause. And if they're not worried, parents shouldn't be either.
Autism is treated just like breast cancer. There's a lot of awareness, walks, pink ribbons, calls for a cure, BUT NO ONE TALKS ABOUT WHY BREAST CANCER IS NOW AN EPIDEMIC.
American Cancer Society: "Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime."
Thirty, forty, fifty years ago, breast cancer didn't strike so many women. Why doesn't anyone talk about finding the cause? There's no way this is due to greater awareness and better diagnosing, but no one seems to care about preventing breast cancer.
I guess the real message with all the ribbons for all the causes is that there's no money to be made in prevention and that since so many of our chronic and soaring health conditions are industry-made, it's better not to ask why.
A schoolboy with learning difficuties was hit with a 50,000-volt Taser by police at a special school.
Officers were called to Chelfham Senior School near Plymouth, a special needs school owned by the exclusive Priory Group following an alleged assault on a teacher in a 'scuffle' with pupils.
A 15-year-old was shotwith the electric stun gun after several police units arrived at the school grounds to find three boys allegedly holding two knives.
Police confirmed last night that no officers were injured.
The male teacher in his late 40s suffered chest and facial injuries, which were not thought to be knife related.
The victim was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to Derriford Hospital.
Campaigners reacted with fury yesterday, saying the use of Taser on a vulnerable boy with a complex learning difficulty flouts the guidelines and may have been excessive.
The incident at the school, which specialises in children with learning difficulties including behavioural, emotional and social difficulties and autism, happened at 9.20 pm on December 1, but police did not release any details at the time. . . .
Our society is oblivious to what's happening to our children. First they're damaged by an unchecked, unsafe vaccine schedule, then when the resulting behavior puts themselves and others at risk, they're further victimized. Will this become the standard response when a police action involves the developmentally disabled?
If you took to heart the recent cover story in The Economist, "How Science Goes Wrong," you might be tempted throw your hands up and stop reading about scientific research entirely. The piece describes how scientists often fail to reproduce some of the most frequently cited findings in their fields, calling their conclusions into question. Science writers have also come under fire recently, most notably Malcolm Gladwell, who according to critics in the The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and Slate among others, cherry-picks research to fit his thesis and hangs major arguments on poorly replicated studies in his latest book, David and Goliath.
Even a good study has limitations and weaknesses. Usually the researchers are direct about these in academic papers, and do a decent job of explaining how they might detract from the study's conclusions. Look for science writers to be similarly frank. Examples of weaknesses include: samples that are either very small (which makes it difficult to find a statistically significant difference) or very large (which means tiny, basically meaningless effects might still be statistically significant), or are somehow unrepresentative of the population they're trying to understand (studying animals to learn about human diseases, for example).
Over time, if the research appears to converge on a particular conclusion-the overwhelming consensus that there is no link between autism and vaccines, for example-then you should probably take it seriously.
Now I have posted on the Atlantic before. I signed on with my Facebook and my photo and my name were on etc., but when I tried to post my comment, I got this in RED:
"You do not have permission to post on this thread"
Seriously, it's a pointless article defending scientific studies in the face of increasing criticism.
Either Jennifer Richler is extremely naïve or she thinks we are. There's nothing about WHO FUNDED THE STUDY, which I think is the most important thing to ask.
Maybe the whole reason for the story was to get this sentence. . . .
"Over time, if the research appears to converge on a particular conclusion-the overwhelming consensus that there is no link between autism and vaccines, for example-then you should probably take it seriously."
So, if enough studies have the same findings, the results should be believed. Then what does it mean when, despite over a dozen major studies denying a link, the public just isn't buying it?
Santa Claus is a boisterous guy, with his loud red suit, booming laugh and bouncing belly.
The jolly old elf can intimidate some children (remember the department store scene in "A Christmas Story"?) - but especially kids with autism.
Autistic children can have trouble not only with a big, bearded man quizzing them on their behavior, but also with the typically bustling scene in Santa's court. Ray Lepak of Manchester said he learned of the problem a few years ago when his grandson, Ben, was age 4 or 5. Ben, now 12, remains nonverbal and easily distracted, so visiting a mall Santa was out of the question.
"He'd probably be good for a minute and then he'd bolt," Lepak said. . . .
Lepak went on to perform the role for other autistic children. His "Sensory Santa" is part of a growing trend throughout the nation, according to Lisa Goring of Autism Speaks, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization.
Some autistic children have a heightened sensitivity to sounds, smells and lights, "and all of those things in the mall environment are difficult," said Goring, vice president of family services for the New York City-based organization. Adding Santa to the mix is even more troublesome. Autistic children can have difficulty relating to someone they don't know and also with the concept of the Santa Claus character, Goring said. It's better for those kids, she said, to approach the traditional visit in a quieter, less stimulating way.
We're told why autistic kids can't handle the traditional visits to Santa. They can't handle the "sounds, smells, and lights" normally found in the mall. We learn that autistic kids can be nonverbal and they can bolt, when stressed.
That's just the way autism affects kids. I'm sorry if you can't remember kids like this when you were young. We just didn't recognize them back then. Now we do and there's a "growing trend across the nation" to have 'Sensory Santa' and 'Caring Claus' to accommodate these kids.
Actually, this is Autism 101. It teaches the public about autism. These kids can bolt, they have sensory issues, they may not talk. BUT, that's just autism. So if you have a child like this, don't worry. We're doing lots of things to address this problem.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.