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  1. Autism Rate in New Jersey on the Rise

    April 8, 2016- "Autism Rate in New Jersey on the Rise"- According to the most recent CDC estimate, there was a 12 percent increase in the number of autism cases in New Jersey from 2010 to 2012. This brings the prevalence rate in New Jersey to 1 in 41, which represents the highest autism prevalence of the monitored sites. However, there is still some debate about whether this figure indicates that families in New Jersey are more prone to having children with autism or if the state’s doctors and schools are more adept at recognizing the condition.

    • Apr 08 2016 10:14 AM
    • by brian
  2. South River Student with Autism Connects to Wor...

    February 7, 2016- "South River Student with Autism Connects to World through Wrestling"- Kurt Janicki describes wrestling as a conduit to the outside world for his son Erik, who is the 15-year-old manager of the South River High School wrestling program. Erik, or “Coach Erik” as he is known to the team, plays an integral role by running practices and giving pre-match inspirational speeches.  

    • Feb 08 2016 11:27 AM
    • by brian
  3. Parker Drake Bill is on Gov's Desk

    December 21, 2015- "Parker Drake Bill is on Gov's Desk"- After a harrowing ordeal in which an individual with autism was victimized, the New Jersey legislation has sent a bill to Gov. Christie’s desk which would make it a crime to willfully endanger individuals with developmental disabilities. Parker Drake, a 19-year-old with autism, was offered two packs of cigarettes and $20 to jump off the Manasquan jetty into the freezing Atlantic Ocean last February. Although he survived the ordeal, the men who issued the dare were not charged with any indictable offenses because there is no law on the books making what they did a crime.  The legislation that would penalize those who endanger developmentally disabled individuals with up to 10 years imprisonment passed the Assembly last Thursday by a vote of 65-1, with the Senate having passed their version of the bill over the summer.

    • Dec 30 2015 09:57 AM
    • by brian
  4. Rutgers University Debuts First-of-its-Kind Pro...

    November 4, 2015- "Rutgers University Debuts First-of-its-Kind Program for Adults with Autism"- Rutgers University recently announced plans to open the Rutgers Center for Adults Autism Services (RCAAS). Located in two buildings on campus, the center will offer university jobs to 60 adults with autism who are living off campus. Phase two of the project will offer a pilot residential program for 20 adults with autism who will work on campus and live with Rutgers graduate students in an integrated residence. Plans to open the first phase of the center are set for fall 2018, after a few years of fundraising. The project will be completely privately funded and coast a total of $35 million.  

    • Nov 06 2015 04:34 PM
    • by brian
  5. Scientist with Autism Uses Own Experience to In...

    September 8, 2015- "Scientist with Autism Uses Own Experience to Investigate the Disorder in the Lab"- Jason Lunden has a Ph.D. in neurobiology from Temple University and is currently researching how stress and anxiety affect the brains of genetically engineered mice which in the laboratory have shown behavioral and biological traits similar to people with ASD. Lunden’s work is uniquely significant to him because he himself was diagnosed with autism late in life. As a child, Lunden was schooled in special education program before moving and being mainstreamed in regular high school classes. His experiences with bullies, anxiety, and depression have inspired him to focus his research into autism.

    • Sep 10 2015 09:33 AM
    • by brian
  6. A New Jersey Budget Includes Wins for Families...

    July 7, 2015- "A New Jersey Budget Includes Wins for Families with Autism"- There are currently thousands of individuals with disabilities in New Jersey on waiting lists for critical supports and services, but the 2016 budget should amend this injustice. The budget increases funding by $106 million for community placements and related services. Included within the budget is $2 million in housing vouchers for people with developmental disabilities, $3 million in Community Services Waiting List Placements, and funds to increase the hourly rate from $15.50 to $18.00 for all Medical Assistance Recipients – Personal Care.

    • Jul 08 2015 11:26 AM
    • by brian
  7. A Changing Tide: Special Ed Services Shift In-H...

    January 19, 2015- "A Changing Tide: Special Ed Services Shift In-House"- A trend among New Jersey school districts is to keep children with disabilities in expanded in-house services as oppose to sending them to outside schools. To make this possible, districts invested in hiring inclusion facilitators, expanded occupational, physical, and speech therapies, and more into assistive technologies. In New Jersey, between 8 and 9 percent of children with special needs are placed in schools outside their districts, but the national average is less than 3 percent. For one family, out-of-district schooling is a preferred option due to their child’s unique needs, but the school district won’t comply. According to one advocate, where to educate a child with special needs, either in-house or out-of-district, really depends on the student’s needs.

    • Jan 20 2015 11:43 AM
    • by brian
  8. Webber Bill Aids NJ's Autism Programs

    December 11, 2014- "Webber Bill Aids NJ's Autism Programs"- An Assembly panel in New Jersey gave its approval today to legislation that allows voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax returns to support autism programs. The bill was sponsored by Assembly Jay Webber who states “allowing taxpayers to make voluntary contributions through their income tax returns to help combat this terrible problem is an easy and convenient way to help fund the state’s many exemplary autism programs.”

    • Dec 15 2014 02:44 PM
    • by brian
  9. Despite Laws, ABA Therapy Often Hard to Come By

    August 12, 2014- "Despite Laws, ABA Therapy Often Hard to Come By"- This article details the large gaps in coverage many families from Pennsylvania and New Jersey are experiencing when trying to obtain ABA services for autism. Furthermore, the laws that do mandate insurance coverage only do so for children, which means an ever-growing population of individuals are aging out of coverage for services. This article details the lapses in coverage for each of these states using real families’ struggles as examples of the horrid mess that is occurring due to convoluted autism insurance laws.  

    • Aug 13 2014 09:24 AM
    • by brian
  10. Children's Specialized Hospital: Real Life...

    July 11, 2014- "Children's Specialized Hospital: Real Life Tips for Kids with Autism"- The Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Jersey has gathered a number of first-person videos offering various tips for raising a child on the autism spectrum. These videos are generally 5 to 10 minutes long and cover a wide range of topics, some of which include tips for sensory challenges, tips for traveling and vacations, tips for communication challenges, and tips for siblings.  

    • Jul 11 2014 11:26 AM
    • by brian
  11. Strangers Pay Restaurant Bill for Class of Stud...

    May 14, 2014- "Strangers Pay Restaurant Bill for Class of Students with Autism"- A gracious, yet mysterious, couple got the tab for a group of 25 students with autism and their teachers in a New Jersey restaurant last week. The special needs students from Matthew Jago School in Sewaren were dining out at Jose Tejas in celebration of Cinco de Mayo and were informed at the end of their meal that the bill had been taken care of. The couple wished to remain anonymous according to the manager, who stated they were regulars with a grandchild with special needs.

    • May 15 2014 10:08 AM
    • by brian
  12. Anthony Starego, Brick Kicker with Autism, Gets...

    February 3, 2014- "Anthony Starego, Brick Kicker with Autism, Gets Surprise Trip to Super Bowl"-  You may recall reading about Starego over the past year as he fought the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association for the right to remain on the football team as a kicker, despite fulfilling all of years granted for eligibility. Starego won his battle and was awarded a spot on the team, but last Saturday he was honored by Autism Speaks and the HollyRod Foundation as he accepted the inaugural Super Kid Award.

    • Feb 05 2014 09:04 PM
    • by brian
  13. Pearl Meister Greengard Prize Winner Followed a...

    December 6, 2013- "Pearl Meister Greengard Prize Winner Followed a Gut Feeling for 16 Years"- Neurologist and neuroscientist Huda Y. Zoghbi won Rockefeller University's 10th Annual Pearl Meister Greengard Prize for her work with Rett syndrome. For 16 years, she tracked down a gene mutation that causes Rett Syndrome, a form of autism that only affects girls. None of her colleagues supported her hypothesis that the syndrome could be a genetic disorder. Dr. Zoghbi has also identified the cause of a neurodegenerative disease called Spinal Cerebellar Ataxia 1.

    • Dec 09 2013 12:36 PM
    • by brian
  14. Autism and Language Impairment Genetically Linked

    October 30, 2013- "Autism and Language Impairment Genetically Linked"- Recently published research reveals that there is a genetic link connecting family members with autism to those who have language impairment characterized by speech and language difficulties that can’t be explained by cognitive or physical problems. The researchers claim genes in a narrow region of two chromosomes responsible for oral and written language impairments can result in similar behavioral characteristics with one family member developing autism and the other have only language difficulties.

    • Oct 31 2013 09:36 AM
    • by brian
  15. St. Peter's University Hospital gets Grant...

    October 17, 2013- "St. Peter's University Hospital gets Grant for Autism Study"-  Studying biomarkers for autism has the potential to help doctors follow the development of the disorder and related disorders in newborn infants. St. Peter's University Hospital recently received nearly $400,000 in research grants to utilize biomarkers to examine nearly 220 babies in the hope their research will lead to effective treatments for autism. The hope is that research findings in this study will lay the foundation for future research to develop more effective treatments.

    • Oct 18 2013 10:20 AM
    • by brian
  16. St. Peter's Set to Start Early Risk Study o...

    October 11, 2013- "St. Peter's Set to Start Early Risk Study of Autism"- A $400,000 grant from the state of New Jersey will allow St. Peter’s Hospital to test for early biomarkers that could show an increased risk in newborns for the development of autism. The study aims to develop consistent practices in testing of preterm-low-birth-weight babies as well as gather information that can be used in more definitive research to accurately define the risk of autism.

    • Oct 14 2013 10:15 AM
    • by brian
  17. Autistic Teen Placekicker OK'd to Resume Ca...

    September 28, 2013- "Autistic Teen Placekicker OK'd to Resume Career"- After much pleading from the family, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletics Association granted Anthony Starego another year of eligibility as a kicker on Brick High School’s football team. Anthony, who has autism, was able to play after a long, tedious process of his parents appealing to the sports body to allow his eligibility. Initially, the family lost their appeal, but the governing sports body granted Anthony his fifth year of eligibility based on his unique situation and the fact that having him on the team would not cause competition at his position of kicker.

    • Oct 01 2013 11:12 AM
    • by brian
  18. New Way to Study Movement Could Yield Autism Tr...

    September 27, 2013- "New Way to Study Movement Could Yield Autism Treatments"- When conducting a task over and over again you will undergo movements distinctly unique from each previous time. Researchers have developed a statistical model to quantify this variability in movement, which can be applied to the study and treatment of very young children with autism. Researchers are using sensors that can take 240 movements per second to precisely quantify the speed of the person, the acceleration of movement, how the area of the body attached to sensor moves, and if it moves randomly or purposefully.

    • Sep 30 2013 09:32 AM
    • by brian
  19. WebTeam Corporation Unveils Mobile Apps for Aut...

    September 9, 2013- "WebTeam Corporation Unveils Mobile Apps for Autism at New Jersey State House"- The WebTeam Corporation has recently revealed the iLearnNEarn2 app for individuals with autism. The app includes a comprehensive library of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) curriculum-based activities that can be tailored to individual needs and abilities, themes, and rewards. Another debut came in the form of the Autism N Development Disorder (ANDDS) screening app, which can help parents get early indications of autism in children as young as 8 months.

    • Sep 13 2013 01:52 PM
    • by brian
  20. Teen Creates Powerful Education Video to Encour...

    September 9, 2013- "Teen Creates Powerful Education Video to Encourage Understanding of People with Autism"- Alexandra Jackson has created “A Teen’s Guide to Understanding and Communicating with People with Autism,” which is aimed to encourage teenagers to understand and accept peers who have autism spectrum disorder. The film focuses on the positive aspects of autism and includes individuals on the spectrum and their families.

    • Sep 13 2013 12:58 PM
    • by brian
  21. Organization Beats Heat and Breaks Fundraising...

    July 17, 2013- "Organization Beats Heat and Breaks Fundraising Record"- Eden Autism Services’ 10th Annual Eden Autism 5k Race and 1-Mile Fun Run raised a record $165,000 in net proceeds. The July 14th event was filled with music, games, and prizes for the participants who came out to support the organization despite the 90 degree heat.

    • Jul 18 2013 10:08 AM
    • by brian
  22. Autism Research will be Coordinated at Montclai...

    July 15, 2013- "Autism Research will be Coordinated at Montclair State University"- The Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism has recently funded seven grants that total $4.5 million. The projects were funded by a grant program known as the New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence. The information gathered from these studies will trickle down and directly benefit Montclair families.

    • Jul 16 2013 10:36 AM
    • by brian
  23. Senator Calls for Transition Action Plan

    July 16, 2013- "Senator Calls for Transition Action Plan"- Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey has introduced the AGE-IN Act, a bill that would fund research to determine the most effective interventions and support services for young people aging out of the school system. The legislation would create a national strategic action plan and would provide grants to train “transition navigators” who would help youth with disabilities access the supports the need to live independently.

    • Jul 16 2013 09:12 AM
    • by brian
  24. N.J. Encourages Grant Recipients to Work Togeth...

    July 9, 2013- "N.J. Encourages Grant Recipients to Work Together on Autism"- The challenges of studying and treating autism could be made simpler if researchers and healthcare providers who work with children with autism coordinated their efforts. New Jersey state officials and healthcare leaders credited the new Montclair State University Autism Center for Excellence for emphasizing such an approach as new grants were announced by the state council that funds autism research. The center encourages healthcare providers and autism researchers to coordinate services in order to speed up development of new treatments.

    • Jul 10 2013 09:57 AM
    • by brian
  25. Denville's Vedder Going the Distance to Fig...

    July 2, 2013- "Denville's Vedder Going the Distance to Fight Autism"- Kevin Vedder is a former caddie at the Rockaway River Country Club and father of twins, one of which has autism. Vedder has recently returned to his roots to participate in a “Hundred Hole Hike” at his former club to raise money for the Els for Autism Foundation. So far, Vedder has collected more than $9,000 in pledges.

    • Jul 02 2013 11:09 AM
    • by brian