Federal Panel Seeks Input On Autism

Federal Panel Seeks Input On AutismA federal autism advisory panel is looking for public feedback as it prepares to update the government’s priorities for addressing the developmental disorder for the first time in years. The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee is soliciting comments as the group looks to revise its strategic plan. The panel comprised of government officials and members of the autism community is charged with creating and annually updating the federal government’s priorities for autism research, services and policy.

Read the full article here.

Arts for Autism

AFAJoin Autism Speaks Monday, June 20th for an amazing Broadway Show honoring our community! Arts for Autism has combined the power of Broadway stars with the energy of young aspiring artists to perform at the Gershwin Theater for one night only!!

Please consider purchasing a ticket (prices range from $35-$55). Don’t miss this amazing autism-friendly night of song, dance and philanthropy!

100% of ticket sales is donated to the mission of Autism Speaks.

To purchase tickets and learn more go to:

Oklahoma 44th State to Pass Autism Insurance Reform

Oklahoma 44th state to pass autism insurance reformOklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed HB 2962 ensuring meaningful autism insurance coverage in the state. The law will prevent state regulated health insurers from continuing to exclude basic, evidence-based care for children diagnosed with autism. The legislation was sponsored by Senator AJ Griffin and Representative Jason Nelson and received broad, bipartisan support. “I am extremely happy that Oklahoma families will have access to services for their children learning with an autism disorder.  Now we begin the work of building a network of outstanding providers for our state,” said Senator Griffin. Click here to read more.

Autistic People Are Not Failed Versions of “Normal”

They’re different, not less

normal-1When people with developmental disabilities have the support they need to thrive, everyone benefits. In a speech at the United Nations on April 1, Steve Silberman made the case that it’s past time we all learned to honor neurodiversity. An edited version of his text follows. We are living at a very exciting time — a time of great hope for autistic people and their families.
Read the full article here.

The 5 Levels of Inclusion

Autism-AwarenessDehumanization is one of the great societal tragedies. Once we dehumanize a group we are free to exclude them, deny their rights, and inflict violence. Whenever a particular group experiences dehumanization it is the weakest among them who face the most extreme consequences.  On most occasions these are those with disabilities. Inclusion prevents dehumanization. When a group is included they become real to the mainstream population.  What makes them real is the creation of physical, emotional, and intellectual ties or connections.  In short, inclusion makes those previously excluded fully human. When this occurs the mainstream population finds it much more difficult to exclude them socially,

Autistic Adults Shouldn’t Be Children of a Lesser God

A man with a puzzle on his head and a missing piece
April is Autism Awareness Month. While I truly hope Autism Awareness Month becomes Autism Acceptance Month, I realize there is a gaping awareness issue. Everyone is aware of autism in some capacity; they have heard the word at a cocktail party, they know someone either closely or very distantly, or have seen media in our hyper-connected world about autism.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 American children has an autism spectrum disorder.
[Read More at the Huffington Post Blog by Clicking Here]


Treating Developmental Disabilities

B9321304347Z.1_20160311163708_000_GKQDNONE3.1-0March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, a national commemoration advocating opportunities for those affected by developmental disabilities to encourage them to reach their full potential. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 2 percent of the U.S. population, more than 7.5 million people, has a developmental disability. Approximately 125,000 newborn children are added to this group each year.

“Developmental disability” is an umbrella term that describes a chronic condition, identified during the course of a person’s early development, in which there are substantial adaptive functioning deficits related to a physical or mental impairment other than mental illness.

New Autism Book Urges Parents to Give Kids ‘Loving Push’

autism ribbonIn a new book by autism’s most famous spokesperson, Temple Grandin gives credit to her mother for nudging her outside her comfort zone, and she urges today’s parents to do the same for their children.

“The Loving Push,” co-written with psychologist Debra Moore, makes a convincing case that, more than other children, those on the spectrum need to be prodded to reach their potential.

“It can be tough to move our spectrum kids forward, because the autistic brain is usually very sensitive to change and novelty. Routines, rituals, and sameness are the preferred status quo,”