Autism: Recent Announcements and Updates

Great news out of Calgary, Alberta.
The Honourable Michelle Rempel, together with the Honourable Mike Lake, announced an investment of $150,000 in support of a pilot program that is providing Information Technology (IT) skills training and career opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 
I believe technology is the doorway for most individuals with Autism. It facilitates communication as well as the development of learning all while fostering visually rich minds to cultivate creative and innovative ideas. Anything that provides a voice to the already complex human mind deserves support and recognition.

Pediatricians and Standard of Care
First and foremost, trust your 'mother's intuition', have your child screened for autism if you suspect they are not developing in what you believe to be normal. Also, be aware of the expectations set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics, they recommend screenings during well care visits at 18, 24, 30 months.

London Police Set Up Autism Spectrum Disorder Registry
I love it when proactive steps are taken to protect members of our society, especially those that may need assistance with communication. The London Police have partnered with the London Region Chapter of Autism Ontario in creating an online registry for people with autism spectrum disorder. This registry will provide immediate access to useful and possibly detrimental information. Data will include things like who to call in an emergency, physical characteristics of the individual (to assist in identification) and any sensitivities that the person with autism may display.

Autism is said to be primarily linked to common gene variants
The conclusion in a recent study showed 49% of someone's predisposed assignment for autism stems from common inherited variations in their genes, 3% is due to rare, inherited variants, and 2.6% of the risk of developing autism comes from rare and spontaneous mutations arising in one's own DNA. Basically, genetics seem to play a stronger role in autism risk than environmental factors. According to the study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, "Genetic variation likely accounts for roughly 60 percent of the liability for autism, with common variants comprising the bulk of its genetic architecture," co-lead investigator Joseph Buxbaum said. In addition, Dr. Thomas Insel, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health stated, "Knowing the nature of the genetic risk will help focus the search for clues to the molecular roots of the disorder. Common variation may be more important than we thought,".

The following are autism related articles I have written, I hope you find them useful and informative:

The incidence of persistent toe walking and tight heel cords were found to be higher in children with an autistic spectrum disorder but lower in children with Aspergers syndrome. (Tiptoe walking)

Gifts and toys should be unique and match a child's interests. Children with autism vary in how profound their respective symptoms are. Every child is different, but many children with autism share the same characteristics.

Parenthood is a beautiful yet bumpy journey. It is filled with both dismay and reward. Some of us have bumpier rides and have to take alternate routes at times. However, it is still a journey and it is personalized for each of us.

Dustin Nunn is a published cartoonist with mild autism and the proud author of the comic book, Dustin & Darling. Dustin created all of the characters that are loosely based on himself, his real life dog, Darling, and various other family members.

Free iPhone apps for iPhone, iPod and iPad. Autism apps can help you and your child gain the focus and communication that will enhance their growth in a variety of social and academic areas. These outcomes are impressive and provide great hope for those affected by autism and special needs.

Potty training any child can be quite a challenge. Every child handles this event differently. Potty training a child with autism may seem impossible, but it can be done.

A commentary and analysis of the diagnosis of autism. Defines autism, identifies the latest prevalence figures and describes the latest research and clinical trials. Includes early intervention.

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