Autism in the News

  1. New research linking a stomach bacteria that affects the brain to children with autism spectrum disorder presented at American Society for Microbiology’s annual meeting: http://www.medicaldaily.com/autism-linked-bacteria-stomach-affects-brain-283326
  2. First international review of child vaccine’s showing no link to development of autism spectrum disorder: http://www.healthcanal.com/mental-health-behavior/50947-comprehensive-review-shows-no-link-between-vaccinations-and-autism.html
  3. Help identify priorities for future autism research by taking Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) survey: http://www.shepscenter.unc.edu/product/new-survey-on-priorities-for-autism-research/

Informative Blogs to Follow

Autism Daily Newscast: An official Google News site that reports on important current events for people and children with autism spectrum disorder and their families, in an easy to understand format. News includes issues around health concerns, lifestyle, latest research, and technology as it relates to ASD. 

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Autismbeacon.com: An online community and news resource that provides autism-related information, services and resources.

This month’s favorite posts:

Kids With Special Needs: About.com blogger, Terri Mauro, has two grown children with special needs. Terri writes about special needs topics to provide parents with guidance and support.

This month’s favorite posts:

Helpful Sites

AutismConnect: Provides autism information and resources for parents and community members in Maryland, including statistics, and educational information.

Autism Society of America – Baltimore Chesapeake Chapter: Provides information, advocacy and support for families and individuals with autism. Autism support groups meet the first Thursday of every month throughout the year at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital.

CDC- Autism Spectrum Disorder: Provides the latest educational information into ASD facts, signs and causes, treatments, research and tracking, screening and diagnosis, data and statistics, and shares informational articles.

ConductDisorders.com: Site offers a place for parents in similar situations to share news on the latest research, personal experiences, and helpful advice.

Exceptional Parent Magazine (ep): A 42-year-old, award-winning news resource that provides parents, families, educational professionals, and healthcare professionals with practical advice, emotional support, and the most recent educational information for children and adults with disabilities and special healthcare needs.

Foundation for Autism Support and Training – ARCHway: An online community allowing those impacted by ASD to communicate and share experiences with one another, as they work to find or develop long-term, sustainable housing options for their loved one with autism.

Infants and Toddlers Program: The program offers support, information, and coordinated services in community settings.

Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities (MANSEF): Partners with private/nonpublic special education facilities, families, parent groups, state and local education and government officials, and related service professionals to ensure educational opportunities in the least restrictive environment for all Maryland children and youth with disabilities.

Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE): Resource for residents of Maryland school system, and includes a list of nonpublic education programs approved by MSDE.

NIH – Autism Spectrum Disorder: Provides information on ASD, its causes, early signs and symptoms, who’s at risk, diagnosis, treatments, living with ASD, and clinical trials. 

Pathfinders for Autism: Maryland’s largest autism organization and a resource for individuals, parents, and professionals to find critical information and service providers quickly and efficiently. Parents can find information about diagnosing autism, as well as information about autism categorized by age group.

Resources Finder at Kennedy Krieger Institute: Database to inform families, community members, and professionals about Maryland services, trainings, research, and other information on developmental disabilities and related disorders.

Service/Advocacy Organizations

Abilities Network: The organization provides family training, transition planning into adult services, and after school therapeutic integration programming, to enable individuals with autism to function successfully in the community, and to provide families with the strategies and resources to help their loved one with autism reach their maximum potential.

Advocates for Justice and Education, Inc.: An advocacy group in D.C. that serves as a parent training and information center.

Autism Society of America: Provides information about autism, its causes, symptoms and diagnoses, as well as information to raise awareness about living with autism and how to navigate different treatments and services as a parent or family member.

Autism Speaks: Website serves as an educational platform to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder and the latest research. The organization funds autism research and advocates for the rights of individuals with ASD and their families.

Autism Spectrum Alliance: Provides services that address the needs of children who present signs or symptoms associated with ASD and related developmental disabilities, from diagnosis, to educational services in the home, school, and community.

College Living Experience: Offers post-secondary supports to students with autism and other related disorders in the areas of academics, independent living, social skills, and career development.

DC Autism Parents (DCAP): DC advocacy group created by parents of children with autism for other parents, to provide education, support, services, and research to promote inclusion and awareness.

Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS): Part of the Maryland State Department of Education, DORS offers programs and services that help people with disabilities work or stay independent in their homes and communities, including people with autism.

Maggie’s Light: Supports families caring for young and adult children with developmental disabilities and special needs. The organization provides family support, and engages the community through education, training and partnerships to increase disability awareness and accessibility in the greater community.

Maryland Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health: Supports families with a variety of services and resources, including family navigators, support groups, advocacy opportunities, and webinars and trainings.

National Association of Parents with Children in Special Education: Provides support and assistance to parents whose children receive special education services, including parents of children with autism. The organization provides resources and educational information for parents, as well as provides a platform for parents to ask questions.  

Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER): A parent training and information center for families of children with all disabilities. PACER provides publications, workshops, and other resources to educate families on education, vocational training, employment opportunities, bullying, and other topics that might impact their child.

Parent’s Place of Maryland: Provides peer support and information to families of children with any kind of disability or special health care need so that parents can make informed decisions that support their child's health, education, and development.

Worldforautism.info: Provides resources and services for individuals with autism, their parents, advocates, and service providers in Prince George’s County.  

Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Signs of ASD can start in early childhood and continue over a person’s lifetime. If your child is experiencing problems with social, emotional, and communication skills and you’re worried that he or she might be showing signs of ASD, it’s important to seek help right away, even before there is an official diagnosis.  Talk with your child’s teacher, as well as their doctor or nurse. Keep track of the signs and symptoms you’re observing – the sooner you seek help, the better the chance to treat your child successfully.

To learn more about ASD, its causes, signs and symptoms, and what to do as a parent, view the CDC’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Fact Sheet

The Facts on ASD

Did you know?

  • About 1 in 68 children has been identified with ASD

  • ASD is almost 5 times more common among boys than girls

  • On average, children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4

  • However, children can be diagnosed with ASD as early as age 2

  • And, parents of children with ASD often notice a developmental problem before the child’s first birthday

If you think your child is showing signs of autism, talk to your pediatrician today. Visit the CDC’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Data & Statistics page for more facts and figures.

Resources for Parents of Autistic Children

Parenting is extremely difficult, and raising a child with autism spectrum disorder is even more challenging. You don’t have to face it alone. Helpguide.org has put together a list of places that families with autistic children can turn to for advice, support and advocacy.  Visit “Helping Children with Autism: Autism Treatment Strategies and Parenting Tips” to learn more.