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  1. Zach Lightfoot Finds Routine in Racing Schedule...

    July 17, 2015- "Zach Lightfoot Finds Routine in Racing Schedule Helps Him in Life"- Zach Lightfoot is a 12-year-old with Asperger’s who is excelling on the racetrack. He has accomplished an amazing feat in his three years of go-karting by taking the checkered flag in 30 of the 60 events he has entered. The pre-teen also makes straight A’s at Windsor Middle School and this article details his latest race, which also lead to another victory.

    • Jul 20 2015 02:47 PM
    • by brian
  2. New Insurance Benefit Will Cover More Children...

    June 29, 2015- "New Insurance Benefit Will Cover More Children with Autism"- On July 1st, legislation in Virginia takes effect that will expand the current state of autism insurance coverage. The mandatory benefit covers diagnosis and treatment and applies to ALL insurers except plans offered by self-insured companies and smaller business. The new legislation also extends the cutoff for coverage from age 6 to age 10.

    • Jul 01 2015 09:55 AM
    • by brian
  3. What Cosby Girls Basketball Team Does for Class...

    May 22, 2015- "What Cosby Girls Basketball Team Does for Classmate with Autism Will Warm Your Heart"- Jared Burns, known as the Cosby High School girl's basketball team’s "secret weapon," is considered an integral part of the basketball family. Jared, who has autism, is described as always having a positive attitude and like a “brother” to the team. The team recently celebrated their back-to-back state titles and reserved a special letterman jacket for their manager Jared Burns. Tammy Burns, Jared’s mom, says his extra responsibilities as manager have helped him to overcome some of the obstacles in his life. Jared, who is a rising junior at the high school, will be back in July to help out as a manager for Cosby’s football team as well.

    • May 26 2015 11:28 AM
    • by brian
  4. McAuliffe Signs Autism Legislation

    March 30, 2015- "McAuliffe Signs Autism Legislation"- House Bill 1940 extends the requirement that health insurance providers cover treatments for child with autism. Under the new law, the age limit will rise from six to ten years old. While this is a big step for the autism community in Virginia, advocates vow to return to the General Assembly next year to attempt to repeal the age restriction altogether.  

    • Apr 01 2015 08:59 AM
    • by brian
  5. ABLE Accounts get Green Light in First State

    March 19, 2015- "ABLE Accounts get Green Light in First State"- Virginia has become the first state to pass ABLE legislation three month after President Obama signed the ABLE Act into law. Additionally, Utah and West Virginia have sent ABLE bills to their governors. Despite the legislation’s passage, state governments and the financial industry are likely to need time to set up the new offerings before they are available to consumers and some states are further along than others in this regard. One expert believes it is likely that individuals with have to wait until at least 2016 or 2017 before they can being opening ABLE accounts. Read about the ABLE Act and how it can help your children save money without fear of losing government benefits in our recently published article.

    • Mar 20 2015 09:06 AM
    • by brian
  6. How A Student with Autism Inspired the Thomas D...

    February 26, 2015- "How A Student with Autism Inspired the Thomas Dale Football Team to an Improbably Win"- Cody Alley has autism and is the Thomas Dale High School football team’s biggest fan. Last year, Cody was invited to have a place on the team as their manager for his senior year in high school. Although Cody never gets to suit up and take the field, head coach Kevin Tucker says he’s as an integral part of the team as the starting quarterback. Cody’s importance was demonstrated during a critical playoff game in which the team was down 21-7 before Cody gave an impassioned speech that helped motivate the team to an improbable triple overtime victory. After the game, Cody’s teammates kept telling him that they dedicated the win to him and he has been invited back to the sidelines next year to assist the team even after he graduates.

    • Mar 02 2015 10:51 AM
    • by brian
  7. Senate Panel Backs Extension of Autism Insuranc...

    February 23, 2015- "Senate Panel Backs Extension of Autism Insurance Mandate"- Members of the powerful Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday, unanimously backed a bill that could help 5,000 Virginia children receive health insurance coverage for ASD treatments. The bill would expand coverage for children ages 2 to 10 and has passed the House at a vote of 63-35. According to the article, this expansion is much needed due to the fact that the average age of diagnosis in Virginia is 6 to 7 years old.

    • Feb 25 2015 10:45 AM
    • by brian
  8. New Bill Would Expand Insurance Coverage for Pe...

    February 3, 2015- "New Bill Would Expand Insurance Coverage for People with Autism"-  A new bill looks to expand the current legislation in Virginia, which currently allows for  only children ages two through six to receive autism treatment. The new bill would get rid of the age restriction altogether, requiring insurance companies to cover anyone with autism. For now, the bill is in its infancy, having to pass the House Commerce and Labor Committee, and will face critical opponents who believe the expense is too high to warrant the law’s passage.

    • Feb 05 2015 11:07 AM
    • by brian
  9. Virginia's Governor Should Keep an Autistic...

    January 8, 2014- "Virginia's Governor Should Keep an Autistic Man Out of Prison"- Neli Latson pleaded guilty last Thursday to assaulting a correctional officer in exchange for a six-month sentence, but autism advocates and the Latson family are asking Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to make sure he doesn’t have to serve it.  Latson has autism and an IQ of 69. He was first introduced to the criminal justice system four years ago after he assaulted, and severely injured, a police officer who questioned what Latson was doing outside the public library. After this latest incident, in which Latson punched a guard during a cell transfer, advocates are calling for the governor to grant a pardon so that Latson can get the help he really needs. In fact, Thomas Calverly, who was forced to retire from the injury he incurred during the initial incident, doesn’t believe Latson is entirely unaware of his actions, but believes that the prison system would not rehabilitate Latson in the traditional sense.

    • Jan 12 2015 09:47 AM
    • by brian
  10. JP's Law to Help People with Autism and Int...

    June 18, 2014- "JP's Law to Help People with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities"- New legislation, known as JP’s Law, was recently passed in Virginia that allows people with intellectual disabilities to get a code put on  their Virginia driver’s license or state to ID card to assist them in the event of a wandering episode or a run in with law enforcement.

    • Jun 20 2014 10:33 AM
    • by brian
  11. Greenhouse to Launch VIA's First Micro-Ente...

    February 26, 2014- "Greenhouse to Launch VIA's First Micro-Enterprise"-  The Public Arts Project hosted by the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative has made it so that the Virginia Institute of Autism will soon have a greenhouse to kickstart their adult clients’ first micro-enterprise. The 6x6 greenhouse will provide a welcoming environment for adults on the spectrum to learn about farming. Members of the community will be welcomed into the greenhouse to interact with VIA’s gardeners.

    • Mar 03 2014 11:31 AM
    • by brian
  12. Autism and Disclosure: Is Virginia's 'A...

    February 7, 2014- "Autism and Disclosure: Is Virginia's 'Autism' ID Card Ethical?"- This article discusses the ethics surrounding Virginia’s recent decision to allow individuals with autism the option to have their driver’s license bar code reveal that they are on the spectrum. The author feels that decisions like disclosure are being made by people who do not have autism without direct input from the very individuals whom they propose to support.  

    • Feb 10 2014 10:17 AM
    • by brian
  13. Bill Aims to Help Police ID People with Autism

    January 16, 2014- "Bill Aims to Help Police ID People with Autism"- This article discusses a proposal to put a designation on a individual with autism’s driver’s license or ID card so that officers will realize the individual has been diagnosed with disorder and interact with them accordingly. As currently proposed, the designation would be voluntary and would require a person to provide a letter from a doctor attesting to the autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability.  

    • Jan 20 2014 11:44 AM
    • by brian
  14. Training Program Helps Students With Autism Lan...

    October 8, 2013- "Training Program Helps Students With Autism Land Jobs"- This article is reporting on a Virginia study that had a control group of high school seniors with autism remain in their regular schools, receiving their typical individualized education programs, while a treatment group spent the year in an intensive, custom-designed study and job-training program at a suburban hospital. Upon graduation, 87% of the treatment group landed hospital jobs such as pharmacy assistance and teacher’s aide that paid above the minimum wage. Only 6% of the control group found jobs. A researcher in the study says a key to their success was discovering each student’s unique set of skills.

    • Oct 09 2013 02:38 PM
    • by brian
  15. Faison Complex to House Young Adults with Autism

    September 26, 2013- "Faison Complex to House Young Adults with Autism"-The Faison Centers of Excellence will break ground on a $15 million apartment complex with an electronic remote-monitoring system designed to allow young adults on the autism spectrum to live independently and safely. The facility will include two-way electronic monitoring, a workout room, ground-floor commercial space, and about 1/3 of the facility will be for young adults with developmental disabilities. The other rooms will be rented to teachers and professionals working with the residents with developmental disabilities.

    • Sep 27 2013 08:49 AM
    • by brian
  16. Playground at Virginia Institute of Autism a Su...

    September 6, 2013- "Playground at Virginia Institute of Autism a Success"- Recently, the Virginia Institute of Autism held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce their new autism-friendly playground. As the old playground became rundown and undesirable, local restaurants and donors combined forces to raise $100,000 for the new playground. The playground acts as a play area and as a way for teachers to develop social and language skills in their students.

    • Sep 11 2013 12:43 PM
    • by brian
  17. UA District Intensifies Its Student Interventio...

    September 7, 2013- "UA District Intensifies Its Student Intervention Services"- Upper Arlington City Schools will intensify intervention services for students with special needs through early and more comprehensive testing, pursuing additional training for teachers, and by creating an autism task force. The district will also give all kindergarten students the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP).

    • Sep 11 2013 12:29 PM
    • by brian
  18. Robotics Lab Hosts Autistic Teens in Social Exp...

    August 27, 2013- "Robotics Lab Hosts Autistic Teens in Social Experiment"- An inquiry about students with high-functioning autism led to assistant professor of engineering Chung-Hao Chen to conduct some research. He found that the unique abilities of students with autism were highly sought after by technology companies. He met with Dr. Maria Urbano, director of the Autism Spectrum Disorders Program for Older Adolescents & Young Adults at Eastern Virginia Medical School, to devise a 12-week program. They created a study to determine the social difficulties students with autism have and ways to improve them. The pair hopes to have their study published in the near future.

    • Aug 29 2013 09:46 AM
    • by brian
  19. Study Shows Job Training Results in Competitive...

    July 29, 2013- "Study Shows Job Training Results in Competitive Employment for Youth with Autism"- A study at Virginia Commonwealth University found that intensive job training benefits young individuals with ASD. Specifically, the study demonstrates that nine months of intensive internship training, in conjunction with an engaged hospital, can lead to high levels of competitive employment in areas such as cardiac care, wellness, ambulatory surgery, and pediatric intensive care units. Currently, individuals with ASD ages 18 to 22 remain unemployed after leaving school at rates of 80 percent. However, VCU researchers stated that those who completed the program called “Project SEARCH with Autism Supports” achieved employment at a rate of 87 percent.

    • Jul 31 2013 09:45 AM
    • by brian
  20. Averett University in Danville Expanding Autism...

    July 23, 2013- "Averett University in Danville Expanding Autism Studies Program"- Averett University of Virginia is expanding its autism program that they have offered a graduate certificate for since 2007. The creation of the new department hopes to combine their graduate certificate program with additional classes and advanced help to the community.

    • Jul 25 2013 11:37 AM
    • by brian
  21. Autism No Obstacle to Baseball Dreams

    July 9, 2013- "Autism No Obstacle to Baseball Dreams"- Dustin Powers, a teenager with Asperger’s, attends Goochland High School in Virginia and participates on the school’s baseball team. Powers started at third base this past season and is absolutely infatuated with the game of baseball.

    • Jul 11 2013 11:28 AM
    • by brian
  22. Panera Donating $6,000 to Local Autism Ins...

    June 4, 2013- "Panera Donating $6,000 to Local Autism Institute"- The Panera Bread franchise donated $6,000 to the Virginia Institute of Autism yesterday. The institute supports families in 12 cities and counties in Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley by offering education, outreach, and services.

    **Original article no longer available by publisher

    • Feb 12 2014 12:31 PM
    • by brian
  23. Fredericksburg Autism Action Group Provides Inf...

    May 22, 2013- "Fredericksburg Autism Action Group Provides Information and Networking Opportunities"- Lunch and Learn, created by the Fredericksburg Region Autism Action Group, is an opportunity for community members and parents of those with autism to gather and have their questions about autism answered. Attendees will discuss supports and services for autism over a brown bag lunch once a month.

    • May 23 2013 10:00 AM
    • by brian
  24. Watch Out, Bullies: She's got the Band Behi...

    May 8, 2013- "Watch Out, Bullies: She's got the Band Behind Her"- Emmanuela Kolman’s recent A in band means more than just a good grade. Emmanuela, or Mano, has autism and has used her love for music to make gains in her social and academic life. Mano’s parents were a great influence in helping her become a musician as a way to express herself, as her dad is a music professor at Washington and Lee University and her mom is a counselor working towards her Ph.D. The two plan to write a book about music and their method of using it as a therapy for Mano.

    • May 09 2013 12:05 PM
    • by brian
  25. Lohmann: Exhibit to Raise Awareness of Autism

    May 2, 2013- "Lohmann: Exhibit to Raise Awareness of Autism"- 17-year-old Autumn Cox and her friends helped organize an art exhibit known as “Love Through the Eyes of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” The exhibit featured 50 different artist’s work from kindergarten to 12th grade students from around the Richmond area. Her initiative and idea earned her the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the organization’s top award.

    • May 03 2013 12:54 PM
    • by brian