Vaccines DO NOT Cause Autism

– The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that is caused by differences in how the brain functions. People with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in different ways. Recent estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network found that about 1 in 68 children have been identified with ASD in communities across the United States. CDC is committed to providing essential data on […]

Fullerton Cares Autism Foundation

BY JESS BLOCK NERREN, MA Creating authentic autism awareness, acceptance and action in every corner of a Southern California Community. Boyd Houser isn’t just any adorable six-year-old kid who loves to write with chalk, build snowmen and give hugs to his family. He is a little guy who will grow up in a world where inclusion isn’t just a word but also a way of life. Boyd inspired his dad, Larry Houser, to found the […]

Seven Tips To Help Parents This Autism Awareness Month

By Deanna Picon, founder of Your Autism Coach, LLC ( and author of The Autism Parents’ Guide to Reclaiming Your Life has declared Saturday, April 11 as a day for family members and friends to support the parents of children with autism. Apply these simple tips to make a difference in the lives of special needs parents: • Give a well-deserved break.Managing all aspects of a child’s daily living, including personal needs, school activities, therapy […]

An Opportunity for a Living Wage for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum? Electronics Recycling & Refurbishing

BY ERNST VANBERGEIJK, PH.D., M.S.W. Without specific job training, individuals on the autism spectrum face rather bleak employment prospects. At best, the employment rate is 45 percent for this population. Anecdotal reports find that only about 10 percent of  individuals on the autism spectrum find employment. Often, employment is part-time, minimum wage work which does not afford the individual a living wage. Entitlement programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance limit the amount of money […]

Making Sense of Genetic Testing for Autism Spectrum Disorders

BY LAUREN LICHTEN GENETIC ALLIANCE BY LAUREN LICHTEN, MS CGC Although it is a routine recommendation to offer genetic testing to all children who have a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the thought of genetic testing can be unsettling to many parents. It also can be very difficult for families and doctors to obtain clear and accurate information about genetic testing for ASDs in an age where our knowledge of genetics is growing […]


BY KIMBERLEE RUTAN McCAFFERTY  This past summer my family and I spent a day at Great Adventure. It’s the only place Justin, my severely autistic son, willingly stays for more than an hour (I have often joked with my husband that wherever we live has to be within a 30 minute radius of a Six Flags parks.) It’s usually a very fun excursion for us, mostly free of angst, and something I truly enjoy doing as a family. On our last […]

Prevention, Evaluation, And Management Of Low Bone Density – PART 1

BY PHILIP MAY MD  Prevention, Evaluation, and Management of Low Bone Mineral Density (BMD) Encountered in Adults with Developmental and Intellectual DisabilitiesClinical experience and published reports have shown that low BMD is especially common in adults with developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disability, epilepsy, autism, and cerebral palsy. Abstract For various reasons, high frequency of low bone mineral density (BMD) and increased risk for fracture are often encountered in adults with “medically complex developmental disabilities” […]

Read Aloud

BY KIMBERLEE RUTAN McCAFFERTY  Justin bursts into the conference room, sees me, and stops dead in his tracks. A huge smile engulfs his entire face, and he quickly resumes the trajectory that will invariably end in a hug and a kiss from me. The rest of his IEP team laughs at his exuberant welcome, and I smile, grateful every day I get this greeting so frequently. After a few brief kisses Justin is led away […]

How To Organize International Group Travel For Students With Disabilities

BY ERNST VANBERGEIJK, Ph.D., M.S.W  Most non-disabled adults take for granted the ability to travel overseas for business or pleasure. However, for many teens and young adults with disabilities, the ability to travel independently without their parents is a dream. At best, they may have gone on a holiday with their families. They have never traveled to a foreign country with their friends. The benefits of traveling internationally for students with disabilities are numerous. Not […]

Parents Have The Power

BOOK REVIEW This book is intended to provide parents of children with disabilities with the information they need to “make special education work.” Overall, I was very impressed with the theme and presentation. Chapter 1 was extremely helpful in describing the special education process. There is an explanation of referral, evaluation, IEP (Individualized Education Program), triennial evaluation etc. However, missing from “related services” were sensory integration and social skills, which are becoming increasingly common. There […]