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Tzvi Schectman
BY Tzvi Schectman

Week in review: 2 New Studies, Special Needs Travel and more

Every Friday  (starting today!) we publish a roundup of whats happening in the news, feature some blog posts we like and spotlight a Special Needs organization doing some good. For daily updates you can always follow us on Twitter @FCMichigan.

Here we go…

In The News

Two Autism Studies: Highways and Lack of Visual Skills

Living near a freeway may be associated with increased risk of autism, according to a study published by a team of researchers from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) and the UC Davis MIND Institute. You can read more about this study at The study is available on the Environmental Health Perspectives website

Kids With Autism May Lack Key Visual Skills
Children with autism may lack certain visual skills needed to be independent in adulthood, new study findings suggest. For example, they might find it harder than other adults to find shoes in the bedroom or apples in the supermarket, according to researchers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.  Read in the article in the New York Newsday or find a source you like on Google News

Adderall Gains Steam…. But not in a good way.
At the beginning of this month reports surfaced that there was an increase of Major League Baseball players getting exemptions to use Adderall, a medication prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Reports in the New York Daily News and other newspapers suggested that this was becoming the latest drug of choice for players looking to gain an edge over their opponents.  Now reports are popping up of students trying to get their hands on Adderall to keep them focused and help them with their school work. An article on Adderall talks about illicit use on the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Campus. Experts are saying that easy access and casual acceptance of Adderall abuse is increasingly common on campuses, including University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Campus, where students coping with high academic demands are turning to illicit use of this drug and other stimulants. An article in Time Magazine however questions how effective Adderall is.

Blog Post You Might Like

Travelling With Autism: A True Story
By: Laura Schumaker
I watched anxiously as the plane filled up. It seemed at first that there would be a space between Matthew and the aisle seat, (ideal) but then a harried woman got on the plane at the last minute and sat next to him.

Please, God. Let her be nice.
Read the rest on Laura’s Blog

5 things to tell every parent right after their child is diagnosed

By: Stuart Duncan
1. Learn what Autism is.
The scariest part of getting the diagnosis is that most of us really don’t know what Autism actually is at the time and so our minds start racing about all the things that must be wrong with our children and all the ways their future is going to be impacted. We start going through our memory files trying to think of every single thing we’ve ever learned or heard about relating to Autism.  Read the rest at

A good organization doing great things: New Directions

New Directions for people with disabilities, inc. is a  non-profit organization providing leisure and educational travel opportunities for teenagers, adults and seniors who have brain impairments such as mild to moderate developmental disabilities, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome and autism. Since 1985, they have taken over 12,000 people with special needs on tours all over the world.

Some of the places they take people to are:

  • Disneyland
  • Disneyworld
  • Las Vegas
  • Cruise to Mexico
  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • Niagara Falls
  • Hawaii

To learn more visit

In case you missed it

Friendship Circle has just completed a successful three month inclusion floor hockey league. The Friendship Circle Floor Hockey League was a real, competitive league with team placement, practices and games. Each team was comprised of both typically-abled players and players with special needs. See below for league highlights. For more information about the league visit

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Tzvi Schectman

Written on December 24, 2010 by:

Tzvi Schectman is the Family Coordinator for the Friendship Circle of Michigan and the Editor of the the Friendship Circle Blog. You can connect with Tzvi on LinkedIn and Google+

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