Study Advocate New Therapeutic Approach for Autism Spectrum Disorders

The social impairments associated with autism spectrum disorder actually may be driven by sensory neurons found outside the brain, according to new research conducted by Penn Medicine. The loss of a particular protein, neurofibromin 1, disrupts peripheral neurons that control how people perceive the environment around them, including their senses of smell and touch. This finding suggests there may be a more accessible therapeutic approach to treating ASD-related symptoms, researchers said. New therapies could restore social behaviors […]

School Decision-Making Tool for Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians

Many parents, caregivers, and guardians face new and difficult choices about how their child will return to school in the fall, such as deciding between in-person and virtual learning. This tool is designed to help parents, caregivers, and guardians weigh the risks and benefits of available educational options to help them make decisions about sending their child back to school. It is organized to provide parents and caregivers with: Information on COVID-19 and why safely […]

Why Training is Needed: Law Enforcement and Autism

Although law enforcement is tasked with keeping the public safe, interactions between first responders and those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other psychiatric conditions can be contentious—and in some cases, deadly. A 2012 study conducted by researchers at Drexel University measured how common it was for youth with ASD to be stopped and questioned by police or arrested. They found that by age 21, 20 percent of youth with ASD had been stopped by police, […]

Since Schools Have Closed Parents of Special Needs Children ‘wearing many hats’

With 8-year-old triplets who go to school in Encinitas, each one on the autism spectrum, Jeff Ladman and his wife Tara felt “like the rug’s been pulled out from underneath” them when the novel coronavirus pandemic closed schools in mid-March and reduced therapy sessions to online only. Two of their sons, second-graders Keith and Holden, have class with special education and mainstream teachers at Flora Vista and are “high functioning,” Ladman said. The third, Jarrett, […]

Rethinking School Startup for Students with Special Needs

Post-pandemic brings new realities, problem-solving to the issues of mandated transportation for the most vulnerable student population. By Amanda Pampuro Getting vulnerable kids to school has always been challenging, but the spread of COVID-19 brings a whole new set of problems. How do you rearrange the school bus so students with wheelchairs are sitting far enough apart to adhere to physical distancing requirements? How do bus drivers and monitors adhere to those same standards when […]