Xena the Warrior Puppy, rescued from abuse, helps 8-year-old boy with autism
April 28, 2013
For most of Jonny Hickey’s eight years of life, solitude has suited him just fine. He adores his mom and dad, of course, and he loves his older brother. He also views some special ed teachers as rare, trusted allies. Still, none of those people could get many words out of him. It’s not that Jonny can’t talk. He knows how to speak, and he can read with proficiency. But autism left him closed off and isolated.


Drug Gives Added Benefit to Those With Autism
April 16, 2013
An anti-anxiety drug that is sometimes prescribed to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been shown to have more benefits than previously thought. In a new University of Missouri (UM) study, propranolol was shown to improve the working memory abilities of those with ASD.


Baby’s Autism Risk Linked to Anti-Epileptic Drug Use During Pregnancy
April 23, 2013
A new study found that using valproate, a drug used to treat epilepsy and other neuropsychological disorders during pregnancy, was associated with an increased risk of autism in children of women taking the drug.Jakob Christensen, Ph.D., of Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark, and colleagues discovered the maternal use of valproate during pregnancy significantly increased the risk of neurological disorders in offspring.


I hired someone with Asperger’s – now what?
April 11, 2013
Last January after a fresh snowstorm, my 9-year-old son asked me to help him build a snowman. I told him that I would be out to help shortly. A couple of minutes later he came running back yelling, “Dad, it’s melting!” That got my attention. It was sub-30 outside, so how could a snowman be melting? I followed him as he ran down the hall to his bedroom. In the middle of his room was a 4-foot tall snowman, melting away.


Autism link to violence is a myth
April 7, 2013
This is Autism Awareness Month, and it’s a good time to set the record straight on autism and violence. After Sandy Hook, there was a lot of talk about whether shooter Adam Lanza had Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, and, if so, whether that played a role in his violent behavior. The response from people touched by autism and autism professionals was immediate and unequivocal: There is no connection between any autism spectrum disorder and violent aggression.


Growing up autistic: My story
April 11, 2013
Growing up as an autistic has never been easy. At 5, I was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, or PDD-NOS, one of the five autism spectrum disorders. Those with PDD-NOS have difficulties in areas of social interaction and communication. While I am high-functioning, my life has been full of enormous ups and downs. There were moments when I didn’t think I was going to succeed.


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