Every Sunday, we select the week’s big special needs stories and great blog posts from special needs bloggers.
This week, we bring you eight news stories, six blog posts, and and four articles from the Friendship Circle Resource Blog.
Toronto Star: Teen Suicide, Chasing Down Demons
Austin Piemontese struggled with severe depression, anger management, Tourette Syndrome and other mental disorders. The Teen Run Group Therapy Program is helping Aaustin and a number of other teens with Tourette Syndrome, OCD and other mental disorders improve their quality of life.
Many countries have recently reported a rise in developmental disorders such as autism and ADD, but genetic factors do not take sole responsibility. Researchers are convinced that pollution accounts for at least 25 percent of the increase in autism, ADD, and even dyslexia cases.
Studies show that adults with autism are “chronically underemployed”Estimates are that between 65 and 80 percent of adults with autism are underemployed, compared to the 9 percent unemployment rate for the general population. Forbes discusses the battle to employ individuals with autism and highlights organizations doing a good job.
New York Times: Finding Good Apps for Children With Autism
With the wide variety of iPad apps that can be used to assist children with special needs, choosing the best program out of the thousands available can be a daunting task. The New York Times Gadgetwise Blog highlights several websites that review these special needs apps.
Washington Post: Katherine Ellison’s ‘Buzz’: A Year of Paying Attention
Katherine Ellison’s Buzz is part memoir and part popular science, and “a chronicle of Ellison’s effort to understand and help resolve her teenage son’s behavioral problems.” Ellison’s book looks at how to distinguish between a biological condition and the pressures and anxieties that come with modern life, and is an instructive and scattered guide for parents of “problem children” as they sift their way through the data and research surrounding attention disorders.
Research conducted at the Mind Institute at the University of California at Davis have found that children with regressive autism typically have larger brains than children without the disorder and children with early onset autism. Boys with regressive autism had 6 percent more brain volume than boys without autism and with onset autism. Differences in brain size is also tied to gender—while boys with regressive autism have larger brains, there was no difference in brain size between girls with autism and those without in the study.
U.S. News & World Report: Brain Pathways Seem Disrupted in Kids With ADHD
New research finds that there are abnormalities in certain areas involved with “visual attention” in the brains of children with ADHD. Functional MRI (fMRI) scans showed that kids with ADHD had less activity in their frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes during a focus exercise the researchers conducted. Those three regions have been associated with attention and working memory.
Minneapolis StarTribune: If troubled kids aren’t bipolar, then what is troubling them?
Experts struggle to identify the causes and proper treatment of children with outbursts. Powerful psychotropic drugs may not be the answer.
Mama Be Good: Words That Hurt: Behavioral Terminology
The author writes: “The problem with being a special needs parent is the many labels we hear about our kids. We know too many. The labels get caught in the corners of my mind and emerge like dragons when I need them least, smoking up my perception of my child.” But she does not agree with the “shame-based terminology,” and said it does not determine her relationship with her child, nor does it define her child.
Different Dream: How to Take Better Pix of Kids with Special Needs
Do you have trouble taking pictures of your camera-shy child? Try these four tips, provided by the website No More Bacon, to help you capture better images just in time for the holidays.
Using an iPad in the classroom makes sense, but some teachers are unsure of when to use it with their students. This blog post offers ideas and tips on integrating the iPad into a teacher’s daily classroom routine and specific apps that can be used during each activity. The iPad can be used during waiting time, in learning centers, when learning time concepts, during breaks, and as a reward.
Autisable: When Autism Makes Things Easier
Many times, we think of certain characteristics of autism as challenges or struggles. This blog post, however, shows that some of these quirks can actually make parenting easier.
Stuart Duncan: Children’s book: Ben Has Autism. Ben Is Awesome! [review]
Because autism’s effects can vary from person to person, creating a book for children that explains the disorder is a difficult task. This blog post reviews the book, “Ben Has Autism. Ben Is Awesome!”, which Stuart Duncan calls “a wonderfully enlightening book that does a very very good job of explaining the pros and cons of Autism in a way that anyone, regardless of their age, can relate to.”
Lost And Tired: Has this ever happened to you?
Have any of you ever experienced intolerance while out in public with your child? Maybe a clerk in a store or perhaps a fellow customer? How did you handle it? Lost and Tired shares his experience at a car dealership.
Choosing the right college is a difficult choice, and finding the perfect school for a student with special needs brings additional questions: Will I have academic support? Where will I live? Are there additional costs? This post lists 17 colleges and universities that have support systems for students with special needs.
“Living With Logan” described the negativity that can come with the #youmightbeanautismparentif trend on Twitter, but this Friendship Circle post chose and highlights the hashtag’s top tweets, posts about the hashtag from other bloggers, and #youmightbeanautismparentif’s latest tweets.
Karen breaks down the elements of self-regulation and explains how it relates to emotional and social development. She then gives a list of ways to teach self-regulation.
When kids are buried under a mountain of school materials, assignments, and winter clothes, how do we help them keep track of everything? In her post, Sara gives five tips to help children with autism stay organized and take ownership of the things in their lives: One large binder, chants, agendas, report cards, and notes home.