June 22, 2011
By Autism Society
2011 Autism Society National Conference
July 6-9, 2011 • Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center • Orlando, Florida
Click here for more information and to register!
Evaluating Promising Approaches for Children with Autism: Matching Best Practice to Needs
Noting that there has been no true comparison between educational/behavioral/developmental approaches for working with children on the autism spectrum, qualitative research was initiated to investigate Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-handicapped Children (TEACCH), Daily Life Therapy (DLT), Miller Method (MM), and Developmental Individual difference Relationships intervention (DIR). Relational Developmental Intervention (RDI) and Social Communication Emotional Regulation Transactional Supports (SCERTS) are also discussed.
Stephen M. Shore, Ed.D.
Looking Beyond Appearances: Considering the Deeper Meaning of Behavior
Behavior is not always what it appears to be. A student who is adamantly refusing to start his work may be perceived as "non-compliant," but be struggling with anxiety. A student who is throwing chairs may be perceived as "oppositional," but may be overwhelmed by emotions. This video-illustrated presentation blends the perspectives of a parent/educator and a psychologist in order to share information related to identifying the deeper meanings of observed behaviors and developing effective behavior supports.
Julie A. Donnelly, Ph.D. and Sheila Merzer, M.A., L.P.
Moving Professional Development Beyond Workshops and Conferences to Coaching and Outcomes
The Illinois Autism Training and Technical Assistance Project (IATTAP) uses a systems approach to data-based decision-making and involves the development of teams to increase capacity and sustainability at the school level. This session describes how IATTAP uses a layered approach that assists school and district teams to translate training into actual practice in the classroom. IATTAP will report on how this focus has demonstrated the impact of professional development and improved outcomes for students with ASD.
Kathy L. Gould, M.S.
Top-Down and Bottom-up: Choosing the Best Therapies
Much time and energy have been spent debating which therapies are “best” for ASD. This session provides a rational framework for selecting therapies, based on the neuropsychological principles of “bottom-up” and “top-down” learning. We will explain these principles, and show how different therapies for ASD can be ranked, according to their degree of bottom-up or top-down orientation. Bottom-up and top-down approaches each have a role to play, but at different points in the evolution of a child’s ASD.
James Coplan, M.D.
Look!! A Curriculum to Teach Sexual Health to Individuals with AS/HFA
This curriculum was designed to include lessons on both sex and relationship education. Earlier lessons focus more on the “technical” aspects of sex education (anatomy, reproductive health, sexual responses, partnered sex, contraception, and sexually transmitted infections), followed by lessons that explore in more detail social aspects of romantic relationships (preparing for dating, regular dating, stages of relationships, moving into longer term relationships). The curriculum tackles more complicated socio-sexual topics of attitudes, values, differences (e.g., sexual orientation), and sexual coercion.
Melissa Dubie, M.S.
A Rational Approach to Psychopharmacology for Children and Adolescents with ASD
Disruptive behavior is common in children with ASD. In this session the presenters describe underlying neuropsychological and neurophysiologic deficits commonly encountered in ASD (cognitive rigidity, dysregulation of attention, arousal, and sensory processing), and the different pathways by which these deficits culminate in disruptive behavior. Using this framework, participants will be able to “reason backwards” from the observed disruptive behavior to consider its primary cause(s), and use this knowledge as the basis for instituting behavioral and pharmacologic interventions.
James Coplan, M.D.
June 22, 2011
By Liz McGarry
As a college student, I learned a lot of what I know about the world from surfing the Internet. Whether I’m checking out tomorrow’s forecast or the latest YouTube sensation, I rely heavily on my laptop to tell me what I need to know. Although I never want to believe that it could let me down, the truth is that the Internet can sometimes be more of a conniving trickster than a trusty friend. It’s so easy to believe everything that is out there, especially when an article is well written and seems reliable. I like to think that I am an expert at spotting false information, but at my first day at Alternative Choices psychotherapy. I learned that I, too, have fallen victim to a myth that has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years.
Many people have heard this statistic as it has been cited frequently throughout cyberspace and beyond: “Parents of children with autism have an 80 percent divorce rate, much higher than that of the general population.” Although everyone seems to quote it, including the hit television show Parenthood (see the video below), this statistic has yet to be connected with any empirical evidence. In fact, a study last year “revealed no evidence to suggest that children with ASD are at an increased risk for living in a household not comprised of their two biological or adoptive parents.” According to the study, 65 percent of typically developing children lived in a two-parent household, compared to 64 percent of children with an ASD.
This of course does not imply that raising a child with autism is free of challenges. There have been many studies documenting increased parental-related stress and marital dissatisfaction among parents of children with autism. Nevertheless, Dr. Brian Freedman, lead author of the study, emphasizes the important message that a diagnosis of autism is not a diagnosis of divorce. As for me, I thank Dr. Freedman for reminding me that even a good “fact checker” can fall for a faulty statistic. If you’re interested, click here for an article about the study.
Robert Naseef, Ph.D., and Brian Freedman, Ph.D., will be presenting a workshop covering this issue entitled, “From Research to Real Life: Autism, Divorce, and Married Life,” at the Autism Society’s 42nd National Conference on ASDs. The workshop will take place Friday July 8, 2011, in Orlando, Florida. It’s not too late to join us! Register here.
You can learn more about Alternative Choices at http://alternativechoices.com/.
June 21, 2011
By Kendra A. Turner, M.S. Ed.
Every day, autism educators face wide-ranging communication obstacles in special education classrooms around the country. Varying levels of receptive language understanding and expressive language abilities, as well as multiple communication systems and varying levels of technology – not to mention the complications that inevitably accompany communication technology – make this a daunting task. One practical and effective solution, which will be explored in depth at the Autism Society’s 42nd Conference and Exhibition, is the use of situational communication boards.
Mark your calendars for Kendra Turner’s and Krista Smith’s presentation on Friday, July 8, from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m., at this year’s conference in Orlando (register here!). We will be presenting “Situational Communication Boards for Nonverbal Students with Autism,” during which we will discuss practical and effective classroom communication strategies, provide examples of boards created from a variety of inexpensive materials, and present methods for differentiating boards to address the communication needs of students with autism spectrum disorders.
Situational communication boards offer educators and parents the ability to create and implement an expressive communication system for students with autism. For professionals and students, situational communication boards provide simplified access to critically important communication tools that are easy to create, organize, access and maintain. At our July 8 session, we’ll demonstrate how these boards can be made with household items and built into more effective classroom tools. We’ll look beyond standard vocabulary and explore socially and age-appropriate messages, including jargon and slang, that help students develop meaningful relationships with their peers.
If you want to see several effective communication boards up close, learn how to quickly create boards from household items, and discover strategies for addressing the diverse communication abilities of students with autism spectrum disorders, then join our session at the 42nd Autism Society National Conference on July 8.
Kendra A. Turner, M.S. Ed., is a special education consultant and founder of Real Autism Solutions. She specializes in program design and professional development, and shares practical and effective autism education strategies via her blog at RealAutismSolutions.com. In addition to her professional experience, Kendra has an adult sibling with autism.
Krista Smith M.S., CCC-SLP is a certified speech-language pathologist who has worked with children and young adults with autism for the last 10 years. Krista works in public and private schools as well as in private practice. She is a contributor at RealAutismSolutions.com.
June 19, 2011
When we have children, we're supposed to shape their futures and instil in them proper values, good morals, ethics... all that good stuff.
But then something happens when you question whether or not you'll ever get that chance. A doctor says three little words to you that shatter your confidence: "Autism Spectrum Disorder."
Your child's future, your future, your limits, your responsibilities, your own self.... all come into doubt.
For some reason, from what I can tell, it's especially true for us dads. Well, guys, believe it or not, providing you stick through it, it is a good thing.
After a little while, something funny happens. You find that your child isn't the only one making progress, they're not the only one growing up... you do too.
I've always tried to be a good person, going out of my way to help people and be kind to others. But it wasn't until my son was diagnosed with autism that I was reborn. I became someone new... a better someone.
Some things I've learned
Tolerance: I think we've all had those days when we see other children behaving badly and thought to ourselves: "I can't believe their parents let them behave that way." But having children of our own who can't express themselves, can't handle the overwhelming stimulation, can't get the things they want, can't be who they want to be... we begin to understand why those children might be upset, why those parents aren't caving to those crocodile tears and, most of all, how hard it is for both of them. The last thing they need are our judgmental glances.
Being Nonjudgmental: While walking through the mall recently, my wife and I passed a man who clearly did not have much money, possibly not even a house. He did not talk very clearly and didn't seem to have much control over his motor skills. But what he did have was a smile. He pointed to something, mumbled to us and was clearly happy. We smiled and said hello, and glanced to where he pointed.. but not able to understand, we said ok and continued on our way. We both looked at each after, wishing we could do something... but we were not in any position to do that. We both agreed that we certainly could not judge him... not too long ago, we would have both talked about how strange that guy was. Now, all we can think is that this man was someone's son. This man was once a child who has had a whole lifetime of experiences that have led him to this point. We should not judge him. We cannot judge him. He wasn't strange. He is who he is.
Acceptance: It's difficult not to judge those who are different, especially if they seem bizarre compared to what we're used to. But when you put that judgmental tendency aside, you begin to realize just how accepting you can be. I always thought that I was accepting... I had no idea just how hard it is to put away that instinct to label someone as "weird" until I had a child that others would label "weird" themselves. I also see that quality in my son. Everyone is intriguing to him. Everyone is different. And though they may seem bizarre to him, he accepts them. He only wishes that they'd do the same for him.
Compassion: When you have a child who never seems to care if you're stressed or hurt, when you have family that can never seem to understand just how hard it can be sometimes, when you have other people muttering to each other about your child having a meltdown... all you want is for someone to tell you it's ok. To tell you they understand. I used to save my compassion for those who were kind, those that I knew well enough... I was wrong. Thanks to my son, I realize now that compassion should never have to be earned.
Patience: I used to think I was a pretty patient person. I am very much "go with the flow" and don't usually care too much if someone's late or not taking my needs into consideration. As my son got older and missed more milestones, as he tested me more and more, as he had meltdown after meltdown... I realized that I wasn't quite as patient as I used to be. Then came comments from others, lack of support... my patience was tested further. But despite all that, as I learned how and why my son is who he is, I learned that I can wait a little longer; I can put things behind me a little easier. My patience levels are far beyond what they ever were before. I've learned I can wait out a 45-minute meltdown and still be there to calmly console my son when he's ready to hear me.
Unconditional love: My son may one day reveal himself to be an autistic savant... or he may stay where he is or regress to who knows what level. It doesn't matter when it comes to how much I love him. He may never be the person that I pictured him being that very first day I held him in the hospital room... that vision of the future is long gone. But that's ok. His successes, his failures, his future... none of it affects how much I love him. He's still my son. He's still my perfect little boy. He's still my flesh and blood. And nothing, no one and no disorder can ever change that.
A purpose: Until I had children, I was pretty much just living my life day by day, paycheck to paycheck. Having children tends to focus one's purpose quite a bit. But when your child has special needs, your inner instincts take over a bit and you begin to see the world as a big, flawed, dangerous and clumsy place. You start to see that most other people don't have the same acceptance levels for those who are different; they don't have as much patience, tolerance or compassion. Most people fear or ridicule anyone who is different from them and make no effort to understand those differences. What you realize is that your child isn't the only one who needs help. That's when you begin to realize that you're more than just a parent, you're an advocate.
The Father Becomes the Son
I am not the man I once was. I'm a father now. More so, I'm a father of a child with autism. As his father, I'd like to think that I've still been able to teach him good values, morals and ethics. I'd like to think that I've given him the tools he'll need to grow into a strong, valuable and proud adult. The truth is, though, he's done far more for me than I ever could for him.
I've learned to take nothing for granted and appreciate everything in my life. I've learned how to slow down and recognize all of the sights, sounds, tastes, smells and textures around us every day. I've learned how to see the world through the eyes of a child all over again.
I've put away my preconceived notions, expectations and selfish desires. I see people for who they are rather than what I think they may be. I see the future for the unknown and limitless potential that it is. I
see myself as the man I should have been a long time ago. Though he is still young, though he still has so much more life to live... I want to grow up to be just like him.
Stuart also goes by AutismFather on Twitter and Facebook and blogs about autism from a father's point of view at http://www.stuartduncan.name.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to read our other Father’s Day posts this week!
Also, you might be interested in this upcoming session at the Autism Society's national conference: Fatherhood Forum: A Panel Discussing the Special Contributions and Needs of Fathers.
We continue our celebration of Father’s Day this week with a guest blog post from Dan about his “little songbird.”
June 17, 2011
“Every little thing is gonna be all right,” Mikey sings as he runs down the hall with a big smile on his face. The sound is pure heaven to me and I feel myself grinning from ear to ear.
Bob Marley’s song “Three Little Birds” is more commonly familiar from the line that Mikey has made so adorable: “‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.” The song appears in a children’s video that plays during one of Mikey’s TV shows and it has fast become his favorite video to watch.
As any parent of a child with autism can attest, any words that come out of your child’s mouth are heartwarming miracles. Mikey started singing this song the other day and at first it was just adorable and cute, but then after I listened closely and read the lyrics of the song, I felt so uplifted and saw it as if Mikey was really talking to me.
“Don’t worry about a thing”
When it comes to Mikey my normal reaction IS to worry about everything. I would do anything to help him with his autism and I do everything I can to make him happy and loved. As I think of that line I realize I need to stop worrying about the things I can’t change.
“Rise up this mornin’/Smiled with the risin’ sun”
One of the best sounds in the morning is to hear Mikey wake up singing. I can’t think of a better way to start the day and this line makes me remember to cherish that sound.
“Three little birds/Pitch by my doorstep/Singin’ sweet songs/Of melodies pure and true”
Mikey is my little songbird. Most of the time his speech is littered with echolalia and gibberish, but it’s those times, those sweet, sweet times, when he says a word or phrase perfectly, or, when he sings—those are the most pure melodies of truth I can ever hear. For every grunt or whine there are those infrequent times of joy when I hear “I luff you,” and then, then all is right with the world.
“Sayin’, ‘This is my message to you-ou-ou”
I hear you talking to me Mikey. I do. And I will always listen. I can’t wait until the day you can tell me every single thought in your head. I’m listening.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out our other Father’s Day posts this week! Also, you might be interested in this upcoming session at our national conference: Fatherhood Forum: A Panel Discussing the Special Contributions and Needs of Fathers.
Topics:Living with Autism
June 15, 2011
By Shonda Schilling
You most likely recognize Curt Schilling as a Major League Baseball All-Star, a former player of the Boston Red Sox and a World Series championship pitcher. But did you know his son has Asperger’s Syndrome?
New York Times best-selling author Shonda Schilling shares an excerpt from her book The Best Kind of Different, which chronicles the story of her son Grant’s struggle with Asperger’s Syndrome and the heartbreaking and ultimately blissful journey she and her husband took to understanding this often misunderstood syndrome. Shonda spends much time and energy speaking publicly about Asperger’s Syndrome and generating awareness for children with autism spectrum disorders. Interested in hearing more? Then join us at the 42nd annual Autism Society National Conference this July 6-9 in Orlando. Read more about the presentation here:
In this excerpt from Chapter 5: The Trouble with ‘Circle Time,’ Schilling describes coming to terms with Grant’s erratic behavior, and facing and appreciating his differences:
“Grant,” I said, trying to hold his gaze, “until you are willing to sit in circle time every day, we’re taking away your Littlest Pet Shop toys.” At the time, he collected these little magnetic toys. He had buckets full of them. He was always collecting tiny little things. Without hesitation, Grant burst into tears. He cried and cried – to the point that you’d think he’d just lost his best friend. It seemed as if he was overreacting, which he did, often. But he was so affected by the loss of those toys that he finally went to circle time.
And yet, at the same time that he struggled with listening to adults at school, he displayed a level of caring and understanding that was far beyond his years. That year in kindergarten, Grant started removing my purse from my shoulder and carrying it for me. He would also open doors for me. I couldn’t understand how this child – who would constantly rebuff me in public – had learned to be so chivalrous. It didn’t make sense. Curt and I had always tried to teach our children good manners, but this was a bit extreme. Finally, I learned that it was because of William.
In kindergarten, Grant palled around with a child named William who had spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and had been in a wheelchair since the age of one. According to his teacher, Grant insisted upon carrying William’s bag and opening doors for William and his wheelchair. That practice had carried over to me.
One day I overhead Grant talking to his aunt Allison while we were dropping him off at school. He pointed at William and told her, “Aunt Allison, that’s my best friend, William. God made him not to walk.’” After Grant got out of the car, Allison was choked up just talking about Grant’s statement.
These moments, as wonderful as they are in retrospect, were the moments that confused me the most as a parent who was trying to understand her child. Before I knew about Asperger’s, before I knew exactly what it was that made Grant different, the thing I kept coming back to was that he seemed like one big youthful, energetic contradiction. He would do something that would make you angry, and in the same breath he would tell you he loved you. This tendency made me refer to Grant as a child who would pinch you while he was hugging you.
School was a perfect example of this. He would struggle listening to adults, and he would fight us every step of the way as we tried to convince him to be more respectful, but then he’d turn around and display a thoughtfulness and caring that no one else his age was able to. Yet for some reason, one never seemed to carry over to the other. He just never knew when to say when, and that obliviousness shifted his behavior from good to bad.
For years before Grant was diagnosed, this never-ending sea of contradictions was a constant source of confusion. The contradictions were what make you think this is just a phase, that somehow the “bad” part or the “odd” part of the contradiction will one day just stop, leaving only the “good” part behind. Isn’t it funny how willing we are to assume that bad behavior is somehow different, but good behavior is normal? When I think back to what things were like before I knew about Asperger’s, my mind goes to those parking lots and airports where I almost lost it. The tears and the screaming, the nights when I couldn’t sleep because of what he’d done in school that day, or what I worried he might do the next. I also think about how often Grant would do something good, something that other kids just didn’t do. The times when he would say a word or a phrase that would show a level of understanding and complexity that exceeded what I myself thought.
In those moments, I was always caught speechless, trying to understand how the same child who just uttered those words could have had a meltdown in the grocery store over pork chops two nights before. It didn’t make sense.
For a limited time, Harper Collins Publishers’ Bookperk.com is offering signed copies of The Best Kind of Different by both Shonda and Curt Schilling. Click here for more information: http://www.bookperk.com/offer/schilling-the-best-kind-of-different-01
Join Shonda and the Autism Society at the 42nd annual Autism Society National Conference! Register here. The Autism Society will have copies of The Best Kind of Different on sale and there will be a book signing!
Joel, editor of the blog network Autisable, shares his thoughts on fatherhood.
June 14, 2011
Being a dad of a child with autism has its own set of blessings.
Like many fathers, when the diagnosis was confirmed that our son was on the spectrum, there was a sense of relief – and then a sense of loss. Lost dreams, lost moments that may or may not ever be.
Often, I’ve found myself in a state of wanting to have a basic conversation with my son or even play catch – teaching him sports. You know -- what dads often do with their kids.
But there’s something else I’ve found that overrides the sense of loss I once had, and it’s those moments of joy when we experience that connection. The smiles and the hugs I receive when I get home from work. The wrestling, the tickle fights, the reading of books, the watching of videos.
The bond between father and son is still there, and it’s even more than what I expected.
I remember one day trying to explain to someone that my son does understand, but he has his own set of challenges expressing himself. While I was explaining, my son held my hand – and squeezed tightly whenever he wanted to say that he heard me and appreciated me for speaking for him.
I’ve found that the role of a father is more than I ever imagined, and this is due to learning so much from my son, who, even with so few words, has taught me so much.
May you enjoy Father’s Day, and find those moments of joy.
- Joel manages the blog network Autisable, an online community that connects people who want to tackle the puzzle of autism. The mission of Autisable is to be of service to the autism community by providing an open platform where anything autism related can be shared and discussed.
Topics:Living with Autism
In celebration of Father’s Day this Sunday, the Autism Society is featuring guest blog posts from great dads all this week. Happy Father’s Day!
June 13, 2011
By Jim, a member of the Autism Society of Ohio
Although I don’t have a degree in education, it is clear that I am – and will always be – a teacher for Michael, my 22-year-old son with autism. Class is in session during all waking hours when we are together.
If we are watching sports together, I like to ask him “Do you know what the announcer means when he says (fill in the blank)?” This type of question helps me know what part of the language Michael understands, or doesn’t understand. He passed a recent “quiz” when he reported during a basketball game that, “There is a 10-second difference between the shot clock and the game clock.”
A more important class involves social skills. “Remember to look at the person you are talking to” or “Wait for your turn in conversation” are examples of lessons that must be taught and re-taught with some frequency. Other skills, like saying hello and being polite, have been mastered.
On Father’s Day, Michael and went to the golf course together. As we talked about the safe driving of a golf cart, how to “mark” your ball with a coin on the putting green or how to rake a sand trap, I realized that these ongoing life lessons are a huge part of our relationship. All parents teach and model behavior, but the parents of children on the spectrum have the challenge of not letting a teachable moment go by. The rewards of that extra “class time” are well worth the effort.
Looking for more information and resources? Don’t miss our Family Issues webpage.
Autism Society free resource ocument: Next Steps: A Guide for Families New to Autism (must sign in to access). This 8-page document is geared toward families who have just had a child diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. It provides a general understanding of the autism spectrum, an overview of the various treatment options and brief information about education, services and supports that are helpful to children and adults on the autism spectrum.
Visit the Autism Society of Ohio. The ASO includes persons with autism, families, and professionals working together to improve services and support at the state level.
Topics:Living with Autism
June 10, 2011
By Donna Ferullo, Autism Society Director of Programs Research
Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States: It has increased 600% in the last two decades.1 This epidemic within one generation cannot be solely accounted for by genetic causes or wider diagnostic criteria or even increased awareness. Both past twin studies, in which twins have the same genes, but different environments2, and current research efforts3 implicate environmental exposures and gene- environment interactions in the development of autism. Researchers are focused on the effects of environmental exposures both on parents and on their unborn child. There is much more work to do to uncover the mechanisms, but the concept is this: developing fetuses, young children and their parents are exposed to many more chemicals than in the 1970s, when the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 became law.
Today, to a mother carrying BPA, mercury, phlatates, and brominated flame retardants, is born a baby with 200 contaminants already in cord blood.4 The developing brain is exquisitely sensitive to environmental exposures from conception through childhood, and infants and toddlers are often more highly exposed to toxic chemicals by virtue of their small body weight, faster metabolism, and tendency to mouth objects and proximity to the ground where some chemicals reside in dust. Toys, baby care products, crib mattresses, baby bottles and even nursing pillows are imbued with toxic substances unregulated and untested for human safety as well as for their effect on the developing brain. For example, lead, methyl-mercury, arsenic, and toluene have been identified as known causes of neurodevelopmental disorders, yet are poorly regulated, widely available in the manufacturing channels, and not tested in small constant doses or in combination.
During the years following TSCA, we have learned that lead, mercury and other neurotoxic chemicals have a profound effect on the developing brain at levels that were once thought to be safe.5 Exposure to these chemicals at even minute doses during development can cause lifelong effects. Add to this early life constellation more polluted air and water, more viruses, more processed foods, and weakened links in the immune system if one is vulnerable to autism. In some complex combination of insults, little brains reach a tipping point.
Researchers continue to tease out the aspects of this multifactorial breakdown. Meanwhile, we live, breathe and start our families in the presence of toxic chemical mixtures and constant low level toxic exposures, in stark contrast to the way chemicals are tested for safety. In Mind Disrupted6, a 2010 biomonitoring study from the Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative, we tested 12 Americans living near nothing unusual (www.mindisrupted.org). All 12 showed evidence of toxic chemicals in their blood and tissues: mercury, arsenic, triclosan, BPA, phthalates and more. No one is exempt. Some are more vulnerable.
We need chemical policy that protects our most vulnerable citizens. We need to cradle the unborn in an environment safe for brain development and welcome them to a world which removes threats to their healthy continued growth. Because autism is a whole body condition, removing toxic chemicals from the environment of a person with autism also means their persistent medical problems like gut disease, allergies, rashes and seizures may settle to a better quality of life.
1 Hertz-Picciotto and Delwiche, “ The Rise in Autism and The Age at Diagnosis,” Epidemiology: 20:1, Jan 2009
2 Hallmayer et al, “Population Based Study of Twins in California,” presented at INSAR 5/21/2010
3 Hertz-Picciotto and Delwiche, “ The Rise in Autism and The Age at Diagnosis,” Epidemiology: 20:1, Jan 2009 and Herbert, “Autism and Environmental Genomics,” Neurotoxicology. 2006 Sep;27(5):671-84
5 Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative, “The Health Report,” 2011
Autism Society Applauds the Introduction of the "Safe Chemicals Act of 2011"
The Autism Society Environmental Health Initiative
The Autism Society is the only autism-specific organization in the coalition Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a coalition of diverse groups united by their common concern about toxic chemicals in our homes, places of work, and products we use every day.
June 8, 2011
By Autism Society
Julie Strandquist (on right in photo), a mother, pediatric registered nurse and board member of the Autism Society of Washington (Spokane Chapter), traveled to Washington, D.C., in late May to show her support for the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011” (S. 847), legislation that would regulate chemicals put on the market for consumer safety.
“You can monitor your child’s diet, take them to and from therapy, and give them supplements, which is all good. What few parents realize is that what we cook on, clean with, drink from, sleep on, walk on, wash with, etc., is not stringently regulated or tested. There are several hundred toxins in these components that we are exposed to and not informed of the dangers,” Strandquist said.
Related Autism Society press releases:
New Study Finds Toxic Chemicals Pervasive in Baby Products
Autism Society Applauds the Introduction of the "Safe Chemicals Act of 2011"
Environmental Health in the News Today:
Scientists Warn of Chemical-Autism Link
"We live, breathe and start our families in the presence of toxic chemical mixtures and constant low-level toxic exposures, in stark contrast to the way chemicals are tested for safety," said Donna Ferullo*, Director of Program Research at the Autism Society. Read more...
* Donna Ferullo will be blogging about this topic this Friday! Check back here.