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  1. Spaces Near Genes May Harbor Pitfalls for Autism

    February 15, 2016- "Spaces Near Genes May Harbor Pitfalls for Autism"- A small study with just 53 families, which each include one person with autism, indicates that sequencing whole genomes could reveal the genetic cause of autism in as much as 30 percent of people for whom faster and cheaper sequencing methods come up short. Researchers searched sequences of entire genomes, genes and the regions between them, for previously unidentified variants that might be involved in autism. Most genetic studies focus on exomes to find mutations, but regions between genes or within genes that are not made into protein can still be deeply involved in modulating gene expression. This article goes into great detail about this study, specifically discussing the specific genetic findings in the various families, and what the findings mean for future research.

    • Feb 15 2016 10:42 AM
    • by brian
  2. Spokane Firefighter Pioneers Alert System to He...

    October 28, 2015- "Spokane Firefighter Pioneers Alert System to Help Autistic Children"-  The Isaac Foundation and Spokane Fire Lieutenant John Goodman are working to develop a groundbreaking alert system to help children with autism and other disorders. The Isaac Alert system will let firefighters know when they are heading to a call where a child with autism resides. Residents register their son with the alert system by providing their address and some of their child’s character traits so that firefighters, who receive extra training to engage with children with autism, know that a child with autism is present and may require further assistance.

    • Nov 02 2015 11:26 AM
    • by brian
  3. Study Suggests Autism is being Overdiagnosed

    October 26, 2015- "Study Suggests Autism is being Overdiagnosed"- Researchers from the CDC and the University of Washington report that autism may be overdiagnosed in as many as 9 percent of children. It also suggests that up to 4 percent of children are helped with early therapy or outgrow their symptoms. Researchers believe the results suggest that some children with developmental delays may be receiving provisional yet inaccurate diagnoses of ASD from non-specialists. They also hypothesize that some children with other learning disabilities are given an autism diagnosis because services are more available in some places for children with autism.

    • Oct 26 2015 12:09 PM
    • by brian
  4. Lessons a Dad Learned Dealing with Insurance an...

    October 20, 2015- "Lessons a Dad Learned Dealing with Insurance and Autism"- This article chronicles one father’s harrowing journey to attain coverage for ABA therapy for his son with autism. Readers will be amazed at the great lengths he went through to provide his son coverage for ABA therapy, and they will learn some valuable lessons along the way.

    • Oct 21 2015 12:18 PM
    • by brian
  5. New Kits Help Seahawks Fans with Autism

    October 19, 2015- "New Kits Help Seahawks Fans with Autism"- The Seattle Seahwaks, notorious for their incredibly loud fans, dubbed the "12th Man," have released an autism kit to make their games more accessible to fans with autism. Partnering with an organization known as "I'm A-OK" out of Oklahoma, the NFL franchise will provide kits containing earbuds, noise cancelling headphones, a sensory toy, and a wristband to indicate to fellow fans that they may experience some difficulty with watching the game.

    • Oct 20 2015 03:36 PM
    • by brian
  6. Easy Screening Test for Autism: Pupillary Light...

    October 14, 2015- "Easy Screening Test for Autism: Pupillary Light Reflex Test, Common in Eye Exams, Detects Disorder in Babies"- A study out of Washington State University has found that a penlight pupil test commonly used by doctors can predict a diagnosis of ASD. The research suggests this simple exam could be an accurate physiological measure of autism. The study included 24 children and teens between the ages of 10 and 17. Half of the participants were on the spectrum. For four trials, the researchers measured the participants’ pupil reflexes in response to four seconds of light in each eye. In 70 percent of the trials, the pupils of the kids with autism took markedly longer to constrict. Although this test included a small sample size, researchers believe that similar findings in larger studies could allow for the pupil reflex test to be routinely performed early in every child’s life to screen for autism.  

    • Dec 18 2015 10:22 AM
    • by brian
  7. UW Part of National Search for Autism Biomarkers

    July 20, 2015- "UW Part of National Search for Autism Biomarkers"- University of Washington researchers are joining a new national, multi-center study of preschool and school-aged children with ASD to identify biomarkers that could allow physicians to diagnose, track, and assess treatments in autism patients. This project is part of a $28 million NIH initiative. Each institution involved will focus on different patient-test data, such as eye tracking, behavioral assessments, electrophysiological or language, among other things. The researchers will collect DNA samples from patients as well as from their parents for future genomic analyses.

    • Jul 22 2015 10:50 AM
    • by brian
  8. Preemies Don't Show Typical Signs of Autism...

    July 2, 2015- "Preemies Don't Show Typical Signs of Autism in Early Infancy"- Premature babies are at a greater risk for developing autism, but a new study indicates that they may not show the typical signs of autism early on. In fact, researchers found that those who avoid eye contact in early infancy are actually less like to show symptoms of autism at age two, compared with premature babies who maintain eye contact during early interactions.  The article goes on to discuss the details of the study and its implications.

    • Jul 06 2015 10:11 AM
    • by brian
  9. A New Study Shows Early Intervention Helps Chil...

    June 11, 2015- "A New Study Shows Early Intervention Helps Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder"- The findings from a recent study reinforce the belief that intensive, early intervention yields lasting results with regards to ameliorating autism symptoms.  Researchers looked at two groups of children with ASD who between 18 and 30 months old, with each group consisting of 24 children. One group received a mix of traditional treatments, while the other group of children spent time working with therapists and parents one on one for 15 hours each week. The latter group received therapy within the context of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and were found to have better communication skills two years after the play sessions ended than the group that received the more traditional intervention. Furthermore, two of the children in the ESDM group were no longer on the spectrum by the time they were six years old.

    • Jun 15 2015 10:28 AM
    • by brian
  10. Seahawks Dream Come True for Autistic Walla Wal...

    January 23, 2015- "Seahawks Dream Come True for Autistic Walla Walla Drummer"- Devon Adams is part of Garrison Middle School’s autism program at Walla Walla and was recently given the opportunity of a lifetime. Devon, an inspiring drummer, was able to play with Blue Thunder, the official Seahawks drumline, during their first playoff game of this postseason. The story gets even better for Devon as Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, who heard and admired Devon’s story so much, he gave him an autographed jersey signed proudly “BEAST MODE,” which is Lynch’s on-field moniker. Devon’s dream now is to earn the right to play with Blue Thunder every Sunday as a permanent member of the drumline.

    • Jan 27 2015 09:57 AM
    • by brian
  11. Court Rules Health Insurers Must Cover Certain...

    October 9, 2014- "Court Rules Health Insurers Must Cover Certain Autism Therapies"- The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that health insurers must cover specific developmental therapies for autism, if they’re medically necessary. The justices unanimously rejected arguments from Regence Blushield, which claimed that the state’s Mental Health Parity Act does not require coverage of neurodevelopmental therapies. The case was brought by the families of two children who require autism treatment.  Regence has appealed to the Supreme Court.

    • Oct 13 2014 11:41 AM
    • by brian
  12. Scientists Closer to Understanding Development...

    July 18, 2014- "Scientists Closer to Understanding Development of Neuron Connections, Implications for Autism"- A new study looked at synapses, or connections between neurons, to see how synapse formation is controlled in the developmental brain. The researchers specifically looked at the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain in the back of your head, and is used primarily for regulating movement, coordination, and “motor learning,” or moving your muscles unconsciously. Researchers found that a complex of proteins called nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase (NuRD) plays a role in regulating construction of the connections between the cerebellum. When researchers blocked the NuRD protein complex they found that certain cells in the region, called granule cells, failed to make connections with other nerve cells, called Purkinje neurons. Without these connections, control of motor learning is impaired.

    • Jul 21 2014 11:13 AM
    • by brian
  13. Settlement Lifts Premera's Restrictions on...

    May 19, 2014- "Settlement Lifts Premera's Restrictions on Autism Therapy"- Premera Blue Cross and its subsidiary, LifeWise Health Plan of Washington, will remove restrictions on neurodevelopmental therapy for autism and set aside $3.5 million to reimburse policyholders who paid for therapy out of pocket. The settlement forces Premera and LifeWise to remove age limits and treatment limitations from any medically necessary speech, occupational, and physical therapy. The lawsuits were brought by five individuals diagnosed with autism and their parents and a settlement was agreed upon after only five days of negotiations with the aid of three mediators.  

    • May 20 2014 08:28 AM
    • by brian
  14. Washington State Kids Win Again in Federal Court

    January 27, 2014- "Washington State Kids Win Again in Federal Court"- A U.S. District Court Judge has ordered Regence BlueCross to stop denying claims for speech and occupational therapy for children with autism after the age of six. The preliminary injunction issued by Judge Richard A Jones marks the latest legal victory for Disability Rights Washington and a Seattle law firm which have filed eight class action lawsuits against Washington state insurers over denials for services for children with autism. According to the article, the Regence order was the largest yet among the various cases and could affect tens of thousands of children.  

    • Jan 28 2014 04:13 PM
    • by brian
  15. Autism: Identity or Disability?

    October 22, 2013- "Autism: Identity or Disability?"- This article begins by briefly discussing the highlights of Sara Gardner’s life, including her autism diagnosis at age 41. After her diagnosis, she sought the support of an Asperger support group and became immersed in her new cultural identity of autism. The shift from disability to cultural identity has been growing as diagnoses of autism rise, society learns more about the disorder, and from recent large pushes from the autism community to be accepted and appreciated.

    • Oct 23 2013 11:10 AM
    • by brian
  16. Autistic Son Inspires Kirkland Mother to Push f...

    October 2, 2013- "Autistic Son Inspires Kirkland Mother to Push for Insurance Reform"- Shayan Forough and his mother Arzu have conquered many obstacles on his path to communication after his autism diagnosis at age 2. Inspired by her son’s diagnosis, Arzu has pushed for autism reform in two states, won a class action lawsuit regarding autism insurance in the state of Washington, and achieved legislative funding for her nonprofit organization Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy. The article concludes with details of her journey to make autism services available to all families.  

    • Oct 04 2013 10:49 AM
    • by brian
  17. Autism Group Plans to Protest Autism Research F...

    September 27, 2013- "Autism Group Plans to Protest Autism Research Fundraiser"- The Self Advocacy Network’s Washington Chapter has plans to protest an upcoming Autism Awareness Walk sponsored by Autism Speaks. The reason for the protest is that the organization is tired of having their disorder portrayed as a tragedy preventing them from living normal lives. The organizers of the walk argue that, while there a number of high functioning individuals on the spectrum who may not require treatment and services, there are many those who are so impaired that they face a lifetime of institutionalization at taxpayer’s expense.

    • Sep 30 2013 09:20 AM
    • by brian
  18. Understanding Autism from an Objective Point of...

    August 27, 2013- "Understanding Autism from an Objective Point of View"- Bellevue College student Kevin May was given the opportunity to interview and explore the aspects of autism as a reporter assigned to cover the annual Autism Day Washington event. May spoke with several individuals about a variety of topics. He spoke with Matt Young, who explained how the Autism Advocacy organization was able to stop a billboard advertising campaign by Seattle Children’s that called for a cure to diabetes, cancer, and autism. In another interview, he spoke with Janelle Hall, the chapter coordinated for Talk About Curing Autism, and a mother of a son who “recovered” from having autism.

    • Aug 29 2013 10:29 AM
    • by brian
  19. Brain Chemistry Differs in Kids with Autism: Study

    July 31, 2013- "Brain Chemistry Differs in Kids with Autism: Study"- New research indicates that children with autism exhibit unusual brain chemistry that can change over time.  In the study, researchers used MRI scans to measure the tissue-based brain chemicals of children at 3 to 4 years, 6 to 7 years, and 9 to 10 years. The researchers found particularly interesting changes in N-acetylaspartate (NAA), a chemical thought to play an important role in the development and regulation of synaptic connections in the brain. Researchers found that at age 3 to 4, children with autism and developmental delay groups had low NAA concentrations in the gray matter of their brains. However, by ages 9 to 10, children with autism had NAA levels that had caught up to those exhibited by typically developing kids, while NAA remained low in the developmentally delayed group.

    • Aug 02 2013 10:39 AM
    • by brian
  20. Washington St. Employees Agree to $3.5 Mil...

    July 9, 2013- "Washington St. Employees Agree to $3.5 Million ABA Settlement"- Washington State employees whose insurance claims for ABA for their children with autism were wrongfully denied will soon be eligible for a $3.5 million reimbursement. In a class action suit brought on behalf of all Washington state workers, the plaintiffs and the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) have announced they have agreed to a preliminary settlement creating a special fund to reimburse families for their out-of-pocket ABA expenses.

    • Jul 11 2013 03:09 PM
    • by brian
  21. Autism Ads Raise Ire, Pulled Off Buses

    July 8, 2013- "Autism Ads Raise Ire, Pulled Off Buses"- Seattle Children’s ads that showed the face of a young child with the tagline “Let’s wipe out diabetes, cancer, and autism in his lifetime,” have been pulled after an online campaign objected to the ad’s juxtaposition of autism with illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s Washington chapter spearheaded the initiative as they view autism as another way of being, not a disease that must be cured.

    • Jul 09 2013 02:44 PM
    • by brian
  22. Bellevue College Looks to Online Software to He...

    April 28, 2013- "Bellevue College Looks to Online Software to Help Autistic Students Collaborate"- An Autism Spectrum Navigators program at Bellevue College in Washington has deployed online learning software to help students with autism improve their small-group collaboration skills. The program includes 50 students who have been taking advantage of a discussion board feature inside “Canvas,” a learning management system from the start-up company Instructure. The program allows instructors to monitor the Navigator students in their discussion groups to see how they handle group projects.

    • Apr 29 2013 09:18 AM
    • by brian
  23. Seahawks Join the Fight against Autism

    March 22, 2013- "Seahawks Join the Fight against Autism"-  Traci and John Schneider, parents of an 11-year-old with autism, will host the second Prime Time: A Spirited Waiter Event to help raise money for Ben’s Fund- a program that provides grant opportunities and helps cover costs associated with medical bills, therapies, and numerous other aspect of supporting children with autism. The event is a partnership between the Schneider’s, Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT), the Seahawks Women’s Association, and the Seattle Seahawks.

    • Mar 25 2013 10:31 AM
    • by brian
  24. Scientists Hunt for 'Mini' Hotspots Lin...

    March 4, 2013- "Scientists Hunt for 'Mini' Hotspots Linked to Autism"- Small regions of DNA that are structurally prone to deletions and duplication are unlikely to play a major role in autism, according to recently published research. The researchers used a specialized chip designed to detect copy number variations smaller than 100,000 base pairs. The is the first to look at “hotspots” of this size.  

    • Apr 17 2013 11:05 AM
    • by brian
  25. Researcher Studies Disorder Associated with Aut...

    February 22, 2013- "Researcher Studies Disorder Associated with Autism, Epilepsy"- Dr. K. Michael Gibson, head of the clinical pharmacology section in Washington State University’s College of Pharmacy, and three other collaborators are conducting a clinical trial to test the experimental drug SGS742. The researchers will make a recommendation to the National Institute of Health as to whether the drug warrants further investment. The drug has been around since the 1990s and has shown some promise for memory improvement, but was not further explored for use in Alzheimer’s disease.

    • Apr 15 2013 09:50 AM
    • by brian