Category Archives: Resources

Families Frustrated by Funding Cuts

In what is becoming an all too familiar story for families affected by autism, funding for programs for children has been slashed.

Parents of children with autism in Regina, Canada are disappointed and concerned as a number of popular summer programs have been scaled back or cut altogether.

“You fight every day for services, and the summer program is the one time a year you get intensive services for five weeks, and then you really have nothing for the rest of the year,” Rip Smith said, whose son Max enjoyed the summer program.

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Researchers find Uncommon Bacteria in Digestive System of Children with Autism

Researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University have found that an uncommon bacterium exists in the walls of intestines of children with autism, but not those who do not have autism.The study, led by Brent Williams, tested 23 tissue biopsy samples from children with autism and found that a large portion (12 of the 23) contained the bacteria belonging to the group Sutterella. Even so, the bacteria are generally uncommon, not being found in any of the tissue samples from  children without autism.

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Comprehensive Autism Workforce Development Initiative

An integral component of ICare4Autism’s Global Autism Center for Research and Education in Jerusalem will be the world’s first comprehensive autism workforce development initiative which will encompass workforce entry services for high school students with autism, post-transition supportive services, vocational and employment services ranging from semi-skilled to high functioning individuals, and a special targeted program to place persons with Asperger’s Syndrome in technology sector jobs.

Workforce Entry Services

Services to provide high school students with autism with the opportunity to discover their interests and abilities by participating in a variety of vocational experiences, and works with students and their families to develop realistic transition plans when preparing to leave school and enter the workforce.  Also includes post-transition supportive services and independent life skills reinforcement.

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Aging With Autism

Aging with Autism

Aging with Autism

From The state of Utah has one of the highest rates of autism in the country. In fact, the numbers show, one out of every 133 children has the disorder. But often what we don’t report is the challenges that families with adult autistic children face.

For the past 44-years, Mary Paulsen has done, what any good mother would do, with great love. She has taken good care of her son Philip. He is a grown man who enjoys simple tasks and lives every day of his life, with autism.

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A Parents’ Guide to Managing Vaccinations

What to Do if You Don’t Want Your Child to Get 8 Vaccines at Once



From US News & World Report, by Deborah Kotz
The vaccine schedule that most pediatricians follow, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, takes a one-size-fits-all approach since that’s what’s best for protecting the population at large. Many parents, though, are searching for a schedule that allays their safety concerns, says pediatrician Robert Sears, author of The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child. The CDC recommendations aren’t set in stone; the agency advises doctors to “explore acceptable options,” if that’s what parents prefer, such as immunizing on an “alternative schedule” or delaying vaccinations until a child is closer to school age. Federal law requires doctors to discuss the benefits and risks of any immunization before administering it, so your doctor should be willing to address your questions. After all, says Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, “the doctor-patient relationship isn’t a dictatorship; it’s a negotiation.” Here are some options to consider.

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Free Autism Resource DVD

My Next Steps Video

My Next Steps Video

A first-time diagnosis of autism in a child can be an overwhelming and stressful time for parents and families. My Next Steps: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Autism DVD serves as a roadmap for parents dealing with this challenging period and seeks to provide answers to the many questions that arise during the journey from autism diagnosis to treatment.

The DVD was developed by Raphael Bernier, Ph.D.; Jamie Winter, Ph.D.; and Jennifer Varley, M.S., at the University of Washington Autism Center and contains over 2.5 hours of content. Through interviews with experts and treatment providers, “My Next Steps” familiarizes parents with topics that are crucial in providing the best support for their child. Further insight is provided through the wisdom and validation of parents who have children with autism. The DVD is divided into two parts: Part 1: “What is Autism?” and Part 2: “What Can I Do?”

“My Next Steps” is available to families receiving a diagnosis of autism, and more information, including the freely downloadable film chapters, can be found at the Washington Autism Center Web site. Please e-mail to order your free DVD.

Service Dogs Play Key Role for those with ASD

Service Dogs

Service Dogs

By Tara Parker-Pope

A legal battle in New York City highlights the healing power of dogs for children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Manhattan federal prosecutors have accused the owners of an Upper East Side residence of discriminating against 11-year-old Aaron Schein by preventing him from having a dog, The New York Daily News reports. Aaron has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, often considered a high-functioning form of autism, and his doctors believe a service dog will relieve anxiety and help him cope with the disorder. People with Asperger’s usually have average or above-average intelligence, but they lack the intuitive ability to read social cues and find it difficult to make friends and form relationships.

According to the newspaper, a lawsuit claims the building owners violated the Fair Housing Act by imposing unreasonable demands on Aaron’s parents before allowing a dog. “It is not right or legal for landlords to dictate the unreasonable terms and conditions by which persons with disabilities should live their lives,” said Kim Kendrick, an assistant secretary for the federal Housing and Urban Development Department, to the newspaper. After Aaron’s parents asked the co-op board to make an exception to the building’s strict no-pets rule, the building placed stringent conditions on the family. Among the restrictions reportedly imposed by the building: the dog couldn’t be left alone for more than two hours, it would have to be taken in and out of the building on a service elevator, monitoring of dog walkers who might take it for a stroll, and $1 million in liability insurance for any injury or property damage caused by the dog. A company-hired doctor reportedly agreed the dog was medically necessary. The family is asking a judge to allow them to bring the dog home and award monetary damages because Aaron was discriminated against under the Americans With Disabilities Act, The Daily News reports.

To learn more about the role dogs can play in helping children with autism and Asperger’s, go to the Web sites of 4 Paws for Ability and Autism Service Dogs of America. This YouTube video highlights the story of one family who opted for a service dog for their child with autism.