Welcome to our All Autism News series! Whether you’re a parent, advocate, professional in the field or individual with autism, All Autism News is here to give you a summary of this past month’s biggest news stories affecting the autism community.

 

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National News

How Many Kids Have Autism? The Latest Estimate — 1 in 40 Kids — Doesn’t Necessarily Mean the Numbers are Rising
NBC News – The new number, published Monday in Pediatrics, is from one of three periodic surveys the government uses to assess autism rates. It’s higher than a different survey’s estimate published earlier this year, but the surveys use different methods and measure different populations of kids so the results aren’t really comparable.

Photos with a Sensory-friendly Santa
Autism Speaks – Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you. Reserve your spot with a sensory-friendly Santa experience today!

LEARN Behavioral Announces Partnership with Cognoa to Empower Parents and Enable Earlier Diagnosis
West –  LEARN Behavioral the leading network of providers serving children with autism and other special needs, today announces a partnership with digital behavioral health company, Cognoa, Inc., designed to improve the timeliness of care and give more children the greatest opportunity for improved outcomes.

For Autistic Boys, the Subway Is Actually Soothing
The New York Times – It’s loud, it’s crowded, it’s delayed because of an earlier incident. But to the minds of boys along the spectrum, it may be a paradise.

 

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Research

Prenatal Exposure to Air Pollution Linked to Autism Risk, Study Says
CNN – Prenatal exposure to ambient air pollution was associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder, a new study finds.

Revised Test Offers Reliable Way to Track Autism Over Time
Spectrum – A recalibrated version of a widely used test for autism may accurately reflect autistic children’s development as they grow and become verbal, according to a new study.

Leading Researchers Call for a Ban on Widely Used Insecticides
MIND Institute – Public health experts have found there is sufficient evidence that prenatal exposure to widely used insecticides known as organophosphates puts children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Autism is Associated with Zinc Deficiency in Early Development—Now a Study Links the Two
Medical Xpress – The emergence of autism in children has not only been linked to genes encoding synaptic proteins—among others—but also environmental insults such as zinc deficiency.

 

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Education

Thirteen-year-old Activist with Autism Wants to Close Seclusion Rooms at Schools
NBC News – According to the latest data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, public school districts reported restraining or secluding over 120,000 students during the 2015-2016 school year, most of them children with disabilities.

Will My Child With Autism Succeed in College?
U.S. News – For students with autism, going to college has become a very attainable opportunity. In fact, more than 44 percent of students with autism receive education beyond high school, according to an article published in Spectrum News.

 

Technology

Intelligent Robots Could Prove to be a Boon for Autism Therapies
Spectrum – More intelligent robots may someday help therapists who work with autistic children do their jobs. In particular, robots could ease heavy workloads, from crunching numbers to analyzing large amounts of data.

Monkey Motion-capture Reveals Social Behavior in 3-D
Spectrum – Once the jacket is on, it’s ‘Lights, camera, action!’: The researchers are using motion-capture technology similar to that used to animate the character Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” to track the subtleties of marmoset social behavior.

 

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Teens & Adults

500,000 Teens With ASD Are Headed To Adulthood. Where Will They Work?
Disability Scoop – Nearly half of 25-year-olds with the disorder have never held a paying job, according to Autism Speaks. Ninety percent of adults with autism are unemployed or underemployed.

ILR Interns Explore Ways Autistic Students Can Move from College to Work
Cornell Chronicle – Chris Rogers ’19 and Nick Martin ’19 worked this summer as interns on a concept designed to improve supports for young adult autistic students at the City University of New York transition more smoothly from college to the world of work.

How One Cafe is Helping People with Autism Break into the Workforce
Today – Many businesses don’t want to take a chance on someone with special needs — and in cases when they do, employees are often given menial tasks such as sweeping floors or cleaning bathrooms, or insufficient hours on the schedule.