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  1. Florida Passes Safety Bill for Individuals Who...

    March 21, 2016- "Florida Passes Safety Bill for Individuals Who Wander"- The Florida legislature recently passed SB 230- Missing Persons with Special Needs, also known as Project Leo, which will create pilot projects in certain areas of the state to provide locating technology to aid search-and-rescue efforts for person with special needs in cases of elopement. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott. Project Leo sites will be established throughout the state and will be available to individuals that are at risk of wandering. The legislation will also provide locating technology to sheriff’s offices of participating counties and will be distributed by them in conjunction with Florida Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD).

    • Mar 21 2016 03:36 PM
    • by brian
  2. Why Entrepreneurship Holds the Key to Solving t...

    February 11, 2016- "Why Entrepreneurship Holds the Key to Solving the Autism Employment Crisis"- This article comes from Thomas D’Eri, the son of the father-son team that founded Rising Tide Car Wash, an award-winning social enterprise that is one of the only financially viable and operationally proven business models to employ individuals with autism. Thomas has also recently launched Rising Tide University, which is dedicated to expanding these ideals. The car wash employs 35 individuals with autism, which amounts to 80 percent of the staff. According to the article, not only is the company viable, it is destroying the competition.The article concludes with three things every autism entrepreneur must recognize to be successful in their endeavors.

    • Feb 12 2016 11:39 AM
    • by brian
  3. Team Identifies Potential Target for Individual...

    October 5, 2015- "Team Identifies Potential Target for Individualized Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder"- Researchers have discovered a significant, and potentially treatable, relationship between serotonin and genetic mutations present in a subset of individuals with ASD. Serotonin, together with the serotonin receptors it activates in the brain, plays a significant role in neurological processes, including mood, anxiety, aggression, and memory. The study made use of an animal model of mutations in the gene Pten, a risk factor present in a subgroup of people with autism. Treatment of this model with a drug that suppresses the activity of a particular serotonin receptor, 5-HT2cR, can have a dramatic effect. According to one researcher, this discovery is important for understanding the role of this specific subtype of serotonin in autism-relevant behaviors and could lead to new therapeutic strategies.

    • Oct 06 2015 10:22 AM
    • by brian
  4. Scientists Find Mechanism for Altered Pattern o...

    July 15, 2015- "Scientists Find Mechanism for Altered Pattern of Brain Growth in Autism Spectrum Disorder "– Early abnormal growth of the head has been associated with some cases of autism since the 1940’s when the disorder was first described by Dr. Leo Kanner. Recently, researchers from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have uncovered how mutations in a specific autism risk gene alter the basic trajectory of early brain development in animal models. The study focused on the gene PTEN, which is mutated in around 20 percent of individuals with ASD and enlarged heads. The article goes on to discuss how the study was conducted in detail.

    • Jul 20 2015 09:25 AM
    • by brian
  5. Predicting Happiness of Couple Raising Children...

    July 7, 2015- "Predicting Happiness of Couple Raising Children with Autism"- Researchers examined the individual factors that predict relationship satisfaction in couples who parent children on the autism spectrum.  The researchers analyzed individual traits, such as optimism, social and spouse support, benefit finding and coping styles, and how they affect relationship satisfaction of parents who have children with ASD. The study shows that each of these traits was positively associated with better relationship satisfaction. However, only seeking emotional support, spouse support, and benefit findings, which is the ability to find the food during a bad situation, affected both mothers and fathers.

    • Jul 14 2015 08:26 AM
    • by brian
  6. Lawmakers Triple Funding for Special-Needs Scho...

    June 30, 2015- "Lawmakers Triple Funding for Special-Needs Scholarships"-   Florida lawmakers tripled the money allocated for the year for the personal learning scholarship account program, from $18.4 million to $53.4 million. The money will be able to provide scholarship accounts to more than 5,000 special needs students during the upcoming school year. Most families use their accounts to cover private school tuition but they can also tap into them to pay for other costs, including therapy, tutoring, art supplies, textbooks and computer games.

    • Jul 02 2015 09:40 AM
    • by brian
  7. Naples Prom King has Special Story

    May 10, 2015- "Naples Prom King has Special Story"- Garret Price, known as Mr. Popular at Naples High School, was recently elected prom king. Garret has autism and is the survivor or a double-lung transplant at just 8-weeks-old, making his celebration as prom king all the more special.  

    • May 12 2015 10:20 AM
    • by brian
  8. Siblings of Children with Autism Need Earlier D...

    December 5, 2014- "Siblings of Children with Autism Need Earlier Diagnosis"- Researchers have found that the lack of certain communication behaviors in children less than one year of age are indicative that they are likely on the autism spectrum. Furthermore, the researchers believe that if you have one child with autism, the likelihood of birthing another that goes on to develop the disorder is 1 in 5. Researchers believe that these children need to be provided earlier diagnostic evaluations and that parents should look for signs of the disorder as young as 8 months old.

    • Dec 08 2014 01:31 PM
    • by brian
  9. Those With Disabilities: Where Should They Live?

    November 1, 2014- "Those With Disabilities: Where Should They Live?"- A debate involving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities centers on whether government funds should be spent on housing arrangements for these individuals. Some view these group homes as a sequestered environment, a regressive form of thinking that the nation is trying to leave behind as it promotes universal community-based living. Others welcome the options, stating it’s a sustainable alternative for those who may need support and still want a place of their own.  This article details both sides of the debate by focusing on a housing project for that could potentially help nearly 100 individuals with disabilities in Jacksonville, Florida.

    • Nov 03 2014 12:01 PM
    • by brian
  10. State-Backed Scholarships Open New Doors for Di...

    October 26, 2014- "State-Backed Scholarships Open New Doors for Disabled Students"-  Florida has budgeted $18.4 million for this year’s Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts, which can be used for tuition and fees at private schools, therapists, specialists, educational materials and contributions to a prepaid college fund. The amount available per student depends on their location and the severity of their disabilities, but the average is around $10,000. The scholarship amount varies depending on grade level, county of residence, and the student’s level of need.

    • Oct 28 2014 10:04 AM
    • by brian
  11. Pilot Interior Design Course Explores Needs of...

    October 17, 2014- "Pilot Interior Design Course Explores Needs of People with Autism"- A first-of-its-kind interior design program for individuals with autism has recently enrolled individuals at Seminole State College of Florida. The course is designed to improve the functionality of the environments for individuals on the autism spectrum, specifically to simplify the outlay of a kitchen so individuals can prepare their own meals. Read more about ways to improve the functionality of your home to meet the sensory needs of individuals on the spectrum in our recently published article titled Creating a Sensory Friendly Home Environment for Children on the Autism Spectrum.  

    • Oct 20 2014 09:44 AM
    • by brian
  12. Lake Howell to Play Autistic Football Player

    October 1, 2014- "Lake Howell to Play Autistic Football Player"- The Lake Howell High School football team has not had too many memories to cherish thus far in their winless season, but that should change in their upcoming matchup. That is because Christopher Joey Williams, an individual with autism who is on the team, will get to suit up and play at least one down as a reward for the countless hours he has worked with them team at practice and in film sessions. Cj’s play is being limited simply for his safety, but teammates and family members are anxious to see CJ have his moment in the sun after dedicating so much to the team.  

    • Oct 02 2014 11:50 AM
    • by brian
  13. FIU Health Launching a Comprehensive Health Car...

    April 21, 2014- "FIU Health Launching a Comprehensive Health Care Program for Adults with Autism"- FIU Health is launching FIU EMBRACE, a comprehensive and integrated clinical training program dedicated to providing medical and behavioral health care to adults with ASD. FIU EMBRACE will offer their services one Saturday a month starting in May. Initial services will include primary care, gynecology, psychiatry and behavioral health, family emotional support, and laboratory and other diagnostic tests.  

    • Apr 23 2014 09:43 AM
    • by brian
  14. Disney Lawsuit: Families with Autism Claim ADA...

    April 9, 2014- "Disney Lawsuit: Families with Autism Claim ADA Violation"- Sixteen families with children on the autism spectrum have filed a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company for violating the ADA, based on its new policies for disabled guests. Disney changed its options for disabled guests last year after a piece by The New York Post found that wealthy parents were hiring disabled guests as a way to bypass the lines. Under the new policy, families receive a return time to come back to board the line, but when families do they have to continue to wait longer to board the ride, which can be difficult for children with autism.  

    • Apr 15 2014 07:09 PM
    • by brian
  15. Local Autistic Man Lives a Dream with the Marlins

    February 21, 2014- "Local Autistic Man Lives a Dream with the Marlins"- Malcom Harris-Gowdie, a 24-year-old with autism and cerebral palsy, has the unique ability to recall names and number from the sports he would watch on television. Malcolm has always showed an enthusiasm for sports and participates in the Special Olympics. Recently, Malcolm got to check something off his bucket list as he was given the opportunity to interview members of the Miami Marlins. Malcolm’s presence was so welcomed by the ball club that they invited him to take part as a special guest during their Autism Awareness Night on April 4th, an event you can find in our Events Calendar.  

    • Feb 25 2014 11:25 AM
    • by brian
  16. Smart Technology to Help Doctors Detect Autism...

    February 15, 2014- "Smart Technology to Help Doctors Detect Autism Earlier"- Today, autism is usually not diagnosed in children until they reach the age of 4, causing them to miss out on critical intervention time. A recent $2.5 million research grant to Florida State University hopes to lower that age through a project that will screen infants who are only 12 months old using smart technology that can search simultaneously for both autism and communication delays.  Doctors will ask the parents of every infant they examine to answer 10 online questions designed to identify delays in communication skills. The answers automatically will trigger as many as 20 additional, autism-specific questions, which are designed to instantly indicate whether the child is at risk for communication delays or autism so that intervention can begin immediately.

    • Feb 17 2014 12:32 PM
    • by brian
  17. Big Changes for a Mom and her Son on the Autism...

    January 29, 2014- "Big Changes for a Mom and her Son on the Autism Spectrum after he was Voted Out of Class"- In what sounds like a bizarre and almost unreal story, Alex Barton, now an 11-year-old on the autism spectrum, was voted out of his class by his peers…in Kindergarten. In 2008, Barton was sent to the principal’s office for disrupting class, when he returned his classmates were asked by his teacher, Wendy Portillo, to vote on whether or not Barton should remain in class. They voted him out of the classroom. Portillo defended her actions by claiming she felt like it was a teaching moment to show that there are consequences to actions. Today, Alex is a sixth grader on the honor roll who has aspirations of becoming a lawyer when he grows up.

    • Feb 03 2014 03:30 PM
    • by brian
  18. Autistic Child Enjoys, Excels on Football Field

    December 25, 2013- "Autistic Child Enjoys, Excels on Football Field"- Josef Marlow, a 9-year-old with autism, has been called the glue that held his pee wee football together as he aided his team to a perfect season. Josef's ability on the field helped to build confidence and respect from his peers. His mom and coaches agree that the budding nose-tackle is a different person on the field as his insecurities that accompany his autism tend to melt away with the sound of the whistle.

    • Dec 27 2013 09:50 AM
    • by brian
  19. Federal Judge to Florida Medicaid: Cover ABA Now

    November 10, 2013- "Federal Judge to Florida Medicaid: Cover ABA Now"- U.S. District Court Judge Joan A. Lenard has ordered Florida’s Medicaid program to immediately cover ABA therapy for children with autism “to prevent irreversible harm to these children’s health and development.” The suit was brought on behalf of several Florida children with autism on Medicaid against the Florida Agency of Health Care in 2012. Lenard found that the ACHA failed to follow its own procedures, relied on an insurance industry-funded study to debunk ABA, failed to obey a mandate from the Legislature to pursue Medicaid waivers, and determined that ABA was “experimental” on the basis of being sued rather than careful analysis of medical literature.

    Original article no longer available

    • Oct 28 2014 10:09 AM
    • by brian
  20. FIU Student Uses Music to Reach Kids with Autism

    November 6, 2013- "FIU Student Uses Music to Reach Kids with Autism"- Patricia Kayser first noticed music’s therapeutic effects for individuals with autism when she would strum her guitar for her autistic brother. Through the music, her brother began to show signs of change in socialization as he would make better eye contact and became more confidence with physical interaction. In June, she launched Music4Autism, through which children with autism enhance their cognitive, physical, and social skills by engaging in musical activities.

    • Nov 08 2013 10:34 AM
    • by brian
  21. This Robot has 4 Wheels, 1 "Eye" &...

    October 29, 2013- "This Robot has 4 Wheels, 1 "Eye" & the Potential to be a Learning Tool for Autistic Children"- The One robot is under development by a startup and a community of autism patients, parents, and caregivers to help teach communication and social skills to children with developmental disabilities. While the concept of robots in the classroom or for intervention is not new, ROBAUTO, the developer of the One robot, believes the current models of robots are too expensive to be used in the typical classroom or therapy room. The One robot will cost a few hundred dollars and is currently undergoing a refining period to its design before the device is available to a 500 user test market.

    • Oct 30 2013 09:20 AM
    • by brian
  22. Supreme Court to Weight IQ Cutoff for 'Ment...

    October 22, 2013- "Supreme Court to Weight IQ Cutoff for 'Mental Retardation'"- The Supreme Court agreed Monday to clarify the legal standard for intellectual disability in the case of a Florida death row inmate who is illiterate and was once judged to have impairments. In 2002, the justices struck down imposing the death penalty for murderers who are “mentally retarded,” ruling this was cruel and unusual punishment. However, the court did not set a clear standard for what is now commonly known as intellectual disability and left the states some leeway in the matter. Under the current law, some states have used the cutoff score of 70 on the test to measure for intellectual disability. Those who score 70 or above cannot be deemed to have intellectual disabilities, even if psychologists testify the inmate does.

    • Oct 22 2013 12:47 PM
    • by brian
  23. Disabled Students Open Coffee Strand in Titusville

    October 15, 2013- "Disabled Students Open Coffee Strand in Titusville"- Jacob Mullen is a 17-year-old student with autism who is one of 10 students helping to run the Titusville Coffee Pit, the first student-run business in Brevard Public Schools. The students constructed the business from the ground up from obtaining inventory, to counting change, and choosing the name. They will even get to decide what to with the profits, which may go towards a field trip or other class event.

    • Oct 17 2013 09:44 AM
    • by brian
  24. Giving: Autistic Employee an Inspiration in Naples

    October 9, 2013- "Giving: Autistic Employee an Inspiration in Naples"- Michael Mitchell is a Naples High School graduate with autism who is employed at Aldos Ristorante Italiano and Bar in Naples. Mitchell earned the position with help from the Rushman Micah Angel Foundation, which recently expanded its services to provide supported employment opportunities to adults with disabilities. The services Mitchell receives on the job include job coaching and assistive technology. The foundation conducts assessments determining skills for the workplace and the need for supportive services to find individuals competitive, equal paying jobs.

    • Oct 14 2013 10:40 AM
    • by brian
  25. Autism Can't Slow Teenage Golfer in Lutz To...

    September 24, 2013- "Autism Can't Slow Teenage Golfer in Lutz Tournament"- Austin Schoon is on the autism spectrum and has dealt with bullying issues his whole life. Recently, he overcame these hardships to finish in second at the Mini-Masters tournament at the Lutz Executive Golf Center. After many bullying incidents, Austin transferred to Focus Academy, a charter school for students with listening disabilities, where he has made several friends.

    • Sep 26 2013 11:21 AM
    • by brian