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Boy With Autism Sees Snow White

Child with autism sees Snow White

Many families come home with cute photos and fond memories after a Disney vacation, but for one family from North Carolina, it was a much more profound experience. While on a family trip to Walt Disney World in November, concerned mom Amanda Coley kept a close eye on her son, Jackson, who was diagnosed with autism weeks later.  “He pretty much ignored [all of the characters],” the North Carolina mother told CBS News. “He wasn’t super fearful or nervous; he just didn’t have any interest.” But when “Jack Jack” caught a glimpse of a warm Snow White, his attitude changed. The non-verbal toddler who’s known to shy away from strangers was suddenly all smiles. Read More…

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On the Brink of Breakthroughs in Diagnosing and Treating Autism

autism news blog

There’s a popular saying in the autism community: “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Although this phrase is meant to convey the remarkable variation in abilities and disabilities among people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we’re learning that it also applies to the extraordinary variability in how ASD develops. When I first began doing research on autism decades ago, we thought of it as one condition and aimed to discover its “cause.” Now we know ASD is actually a group of lifelong conditions that can arise from a complex combination of multiple genetic and environmental factors. Read More…

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Study: Kids With Autism Do Well Learning New Words

Children with autism learn new words the same way as other children do, but it takes them longer, a small study found. The researchers compared 15 children with autism, aged 18 months to 7 years, and a control group of 15 children without the developmental disorder. A series of tests showed that both groups of children relied heavily on the same technique to learn new words — they followed a teacher’s gaze as the teacher named an object, the investigators found. Read More…

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Securing the Future of a Child with Autism

There’s a saying repeated in the autism community: “If you know one child with autism, you know one child with autism.” That speaks more to the special support a child on the autism spectrum might require, but it also reflects the financial implications such a diagnosis has for a family. Estimates of the lifetime costs of raising a child with autism range from $1.4 million to $2.5 million, says Adam Beck, professor of health insurance and director of the Center for Special Needs Planning at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. That compares with about $300,000 up until age 18 for a typical child. Read More…

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Program Helps Autistic Workers Find Their Niche

Michael Sanchirico is a whiz with a camera and works effortlessly with software like Photoshop. Yet for years, the talented artist and writer toiled at a retail job, sweeping floors, unloading trucks and feeling frustrated that employers couldn’t see his potential. With the help of a program known as Power to the Grid, Sanchirico now collaborates with the staff at Detroit’s American Jewelry & Loan to create product photography and online sales projects. It’s a position ideally suited for Sanchirico, who is on the autism spectrum and struggled with the hiring process. Read More…

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