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Archive for January 9th, 2011

First Published on AE Monday, 22 December 2008

By T.J. GREANEY of the Tribune’s staff. Published Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sixteen-year-old Collin Driscoll sets up his grandmother Kay McCarthy’s new laptop computer Wednesday in her home. Collin, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, has started his own computer consulting and repair business, HireTheBrain.com.


Sitting in front of a computer in his grandmother’s office this week, Collin Driscoll heard a cacophony of noise.


The whir of the computer fan, the sound of chattering voices in the next room, the buzz of electricity – each attracted his attention. Several years ago, it would have made it impossible for the 16-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome to work, but now he can ignore it.


“What I’ve learned to do is kind of dissect sounds throughout the room, and I can say, ‘OK, that sound is the fan. I can ignore it. That’s my father, that’s my mother. I don’t need to be listening to that right now,’ ” Collin said. “That has helped me a lot.”


Collin, whose condition is on the autism spectrum, has made huge strides. Recently, he and his father started a computer consulting and repair business called HireTheBrain.com.


Collin’s parents say it has been a long road for their son to get to where he is today. They began to notice he was different in the fourth grade. Collin needed literal, concrete instructions from teachers and got in trouble for not paying attention. It was a tell-tale sign of Asperger’s, they say.


“If you tell a kid with Asperger’s to go empty the trash, you need to specify,” Collin’s mother Jeani Dricoll said. ” ‘Go outside, you need to empty the garbage can and then bring back the lid.’ “


Things got worse for Collin when he went to a middle school with an unusual setup. His classroom didn’t have full partition walls, and he could hear everything going on in adjoining classes. “They were basically really large cubicles,” Collin said. “Combined with the tile floors, the hanging ceiling everything just echoed.”


Things got so overwhelming that he stopped going to school and retreated into his own world. He spent most of his day in front of the computer – Colin is a computer prodigy who published his first computer program at age 11 – but he felt it was impossible to interact socially with others. His mother bought him special earplugs and took him to the grocery store for short periods of time just to be around people.


Eventually, Collin said, he started taking classes at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders at MU. He learned how to overcome his sensitivity to sound and how to read social signs such as body language and facial expressions.


“Before, I wouldn’t even necessarily know if someone was upset with me until they said, ‘I’m upset with you’ or ‘You need to go to your room,’ ” he said.


Janine Stichter, associate director of the Thompson Center, said Collin is one of the highest functioning children on the autism spectrum, and with a slight regulation of his behavior he can learn to do anything.


“Their capacity to do things is unlimited,” she said. “For decades and centuries, mainstream society has had people with this very mild form” of autism “holding good jobs and maybe even as leaders.”


Stichter said the center provides classes that encourage children to emphasize their strengths, which often include focus and memory. “They might not make a good sales representative, but they might make a great computer programmer,” she said.


And that is precisely what Collin plans to do. Several months ago, his mother convinced him to take a trip by himself to his aunt’s home in Kansas and to help her trucking company fix its computer system. It was a big step for Collin, but he enjoyed it, and at his aunt’s encouragement decided he wanted to start the business with his father, Steve, an IT programmer who formerly worked for large companies but was forced into semi-retirement after suffering a stroke.


“I’ve gone from being the geek to being his driver,” joked Steve Driscoll, who marvels at his son’s ability with computers.


Collin hopes to grow the company and, through it, improve his social abilities. He hopes someday he can be an inspiration to others with the same condition.


“Hopefully, it will help bring an awareness in the public eye to get more resources for helping other kids like me,” he said.


Source:   http://www.columbiatribune.com/2008/Dec/20081220News007.asp



First Published Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Autism is no barrier to local small business owner


For the Cumberland Times-News
Cumberland Times-News


CUMBERLAND — Because of his autism, 22-year-old Andrew Pegg of Frostburg has not spoken a single word since he was 2 years old. Yet, he owns Andilla Designs & Graphics, a home-based business that personalizes gifts and advertising products.


The Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services and the Maryland Rehabilitation Association recently presented Pegg with its annual Personal Achievement Award at a statewide conference in Ocean City. Andilla Designs & Graphics is evidence that individuals with severe disabilities can build a future with the right mix of community programs and family support.


The award honors a former consumer of the Division of Rehabilitation Services who has overcome barriers to reach personal and economic independence.


Pegg has received assistance from his DORS counselor, Erin Shahan, and his family. Since certain aspects of his business are difficult due to his disability—marketing and driving, for example—he is assisted by Derrick Swandol, a job coach from Spectrum, a local non-profit agency.


A part of the Maryland State Department of Education, DORS, with initial consultation from its Reach Independence through Self-Employment Program, assisted Pegg with his start-up costs and purchase of the equipment he utilizes to make his creations. He continues to acquire new business from individuals as well as organizations.


Pegg communicates well in writing and brings a prepared slide presentation to numerous events, informing and teaching others what individuals with disabilities can accomplish.


Source:   http://www.times-news.com/business/local_story_354000741.html



First Published Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Employment & Support

The National Autistic Society is conducting research into a new benefit called Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). We are looking for autistic adults who have applied for ESA to be involved in research. If this applies to you or someone you care for with autism, and you would like to find out more information, please complete the form below.(see link)


http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1895&a=18370



First Published Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Letter in Braille

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) is working on a project about visual impairment and autism. The project is now under way and will run until August 2010.


The project’s partners are the RNIB, Brookfields School, The National Autistic Society (NAS), and Sunfield. There is a steering group made up of staff from each of these organisations.


The intention is to develop resources that give practitioners information about approaches and strategies that have been used successfully with children who have both visual impairment and autism.


We have run a pilot survey at Brookfields School, looking at the strategies employed there with children in this group. Next, we will be surveying pupils in a number of other schools, including specialist schools for visually impaired children; local authority day special schools; and mainstream schools.


Many practitioners have contacted us to say that they work with pupils who have both visual impairment and autism. We hope to include these children in the survey as well.


While our primary concern is the strategies employed in schools, we will also ask parents and carers of the children who take part in our survey about any strategies they use at home.


For more information, visit the project’s website.


The project can be contacted


  • *by email: vi-autism.medina@tiscali.co.uk
  • *by post: Ian Bell
    Visual Impairment and Autism Project
    c/o RNIB Children’s Services
    RNIB Regional Centre
    58-72 John Bright Street
    Birmingham B1 1BN
  • *by telephone: 07920 252 383.

Notes


Brookfields School is a West Berkshire day school for pupils with learning difficulties, including needs associated with autism and sensory impairment.
www.westberks.org/grouphomepage.asp?groupID=2558


The RNIB’s website is: www.rnib.org.uk


Sunfield, a UK charity, provides residential care, education and outreach support for children with severe and complex learning needs, many of whom have autism. www.sunfield.org.uk



Fireworks over New York
HEADLINES

Boy drowns in pool less than hour into holiday … The twins started school last September at St Eithne’s Primary School a few hundred yards from their home. But a few weeks ago the brothers, who were both autistic, were switched to the special needs unit at a nearby school.”:

http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.2477279.0.Boy_drowns_in_pool_less_than_hour_into_holiday.php


Girl dies from swallowing balloon”:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/northamptonshire/7789753.stm


Suitcase body mother Heather Wardle death’s death was suicide, coroner rules”:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/dec/18/suitcase-body-mother-suicide


Medal for fireman who saved station”:

http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1009523?UserKey=


Measles epidemic feared”:

http://www.tiscali.co.uk/news/newswire.php/news/reuters/2008/11/28/topnews/measles-34epidemic34-feared.html&template=/news/feeds/story-template-reuters.html


Leeds parents urged to get their children immunised”:

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/Leeds-parents-urged-to-get.4830353.jp


Echo takes We Care manifesto to health chiefs in Westminster”:

http://www.thisisexeter.co.uk/news/Echo-takes-Care-manifesto-health-chiefs-Westminster/article-559699-detail/article.html


Halton Borough under fire over autism”:

http://www.runcornandwidnesweeklynews.co.uk/runcorn-widnes-news/runcorn-widnes-local-news/2008/12/24/halton-borough-under-fire-over-autism-55368-22538930/


Anger at changes to services for disabled adults”:

http://www.yourthanet.co.uk/kent-news/Anger-at-changes-to-services-for-disabled-adults-newsinkent19080.aspx?news=local


NAS response to £12m plan for children with communication needs”:

http://www.egovmonitor.com/node/22762


Isle of Wight: Council job fears heighten”:

http://www.iwcp.co.uk/News/Job_fears_heighten_at_council.aspx


Top donors step in to save charities … The philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley, whose foundation has given £1.25m this year to support people with autism, said: “We will maintain our grant giving, even if this means eating into our foundation’s capital. All our planned expenditure [on the scale of last year’s £1.25m] is held in cash.”:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/top-donors-step-in-to-save-charities-1212405.html


Community rallies behind Northumberland charity”:

http://morpeth.journallive.co.uk/2008/12/community-rallies-behind-north.html


Chariots of Fire Riding School “Disabled riding lessons hit by credit crunch”:

http://www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.2478049.0.disabled_riding_lessons_hit_by_credit_crunch.php


Tories attacked for ‘posturing’ on benefits system”:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/dec/29/benefits-disability-james-purnell


New guidelines boost web access”:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7789622.stm


Dial-aRide scheme is under fire”:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/7797713.stm

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RESEARCH


Health Q & A: Autism, dairy not scientifically linked”:

http://www..beaumontenterprise.com/ent-life/health_q_a__autism__dairy_not_scientifically_linked_12-24-2008.html


Common mechanism which acts in both perception and movement”:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/133780.php


LEGO helps social development of autistic children”:

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=253&a=18380


Visual Impairment & Autism Project”:

http://aspie-editorial..blog-city.com/visual_impairment__autism_project_identifying__sharing_pr.htm


Blind man sees his way past obstacles”:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16324-blind-man-sees-his-way-past-obstacles.html

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EDUCATION


ASAN President Ari Ne’eman co-authored a scholarly article with Columbia University Professor Alicia A. Broderick titled “Autism as metaphor: narrative and counter-narrative,” which was published in a special issue of The International Journal of Inclusive Education (Volume 12, Issue 5/6) devoted to Disability Studies in Education.


MPs learn of schools fight”:

http://www.shieldsgazette.com/news/MPs-learn-of-schools-fight.4825120.jp


AuSable has new High School principal”:

http://www.pressrepublican.com/0304_fishing_tournaments/local_story_354225048.html


Are special ed students getting the instruction they need in public schools?”:

http://www.whas11.com/justposted/stories/whas11-topstory-081219-special-ed-students.7b6d31b1.html


Report: State discriminates against autistic children”:

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/nassau/ny-poauti105959253dec10,0,2142057.story


Therapist hopes to open school for autistic children”:

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/children_93077___article.html/porras_school.html

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EMPLOYMENT


HireTheBrain.com “Building brain power – Teen with Asperger’s turns computer skills into business”

http://www.columbiatribune.com/2008/Dec/20081220News007.asp


Andilla Designs & Graphics “Autism is no barrier to small business owner”:

http://aspie-editorial.blog-city.com/andrew_pegg_owner_of_andilla_designs__graphics_receives_pe.htm


Auties.org”:
Individuality, Diversity, Equality, Achievement

Auties..org is an Aspie & Autie friendly site for all people on the Autistic Spectrum who are ready to dare reach out to occupation and employment, open the doors to the community and market their abilities directly to the public and for those interested in supporting these pioneers.

http://www.auties.org/


Prospects”:
http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=473&a=2348


AutismJobs”:
Linking job seekers with vacancies in work related to autism, Aspergers and ASDs
http://www.autismjobs.org/?section=00010009


Current job vacancies within the NAS”:
http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=170


For further employment information, please view”:
http://aspie-editorial.blog-city.com/employment_on_the_autism_spectrum.htm

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GENERAL/HUMAN INTEREST


Bulgaria “Karin Dom Exemplary Center for Disabled Children”:

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=100114


Pictures of Piers”:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24790362-5012694,00.html


Billings boy wins award”:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28102901/


Dancers with big hearts”:

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/3990689.Dancers_with_big_hearts/


Belle saddles up for new life on the farm”:

http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/4010199.Belle_saddles_up_for_a_new_life_on_the_farm/

New York - yesterday, today, tomorrow...

New York


Archived New York Magazine “The New Wave of Autism Rights Activists”:

http://nymag.com/news/features/47225/

Miss Liberty

Center for Autism and Related Disabilities”:

http://www.albany.edu/psy/autism/autism.html

New York Blue Hour

New Jersey/New York Schools: Gersh Academy, Learning Spring Academy, and The Y.A.L.E. Schools”:

http://autismaspergerssyndrome.suite101.com/article.cfm/new_jerseynew_york_autism_schools

Carriage ride in Central Park

New York Daily Photo: Winter Wonderland

http://newyorkdailyphoto.blogspot.com/2008/12/winter-wonderland.html

Times Square, New York

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ADD/ADHD


Teen prescription drug abuse continues increase”:

http://alcoholism.about.com/b/2008/12/26/teen-prescription-drug-abuse-continues-increase.htm


Filmmaker takes common-sense approach to kids and medication”:

http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008812210312


Inhibition, ADHD, and computer games: The Inhibitory Performance of children with ADHD on computerized tasks and games”:

http://www.citeulike.org/user/karlfike/article/3789026


Dopamine, learning, and impulsivity: a biological account of ADHD”:

http://www.citeulike.org/user/Benja/article/553655


ADHD: from brain dysfunctions to behaviour”:

http://www.citeulike.org/user/Benja/article/3783949


Adult ADD/ADHD often tied to childhood”:

http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/2008/12/21/get_healthy/get_healthy/doc57fbe9020f2b6ba58625752200217a8a.txt


Workers, employers make adjustments for ADHD”:

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20081214/BUSINESS01/812140359/1001/BUSINESS


Riyadh “Struggle with ADHD helps Leena grow older than her age”:

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=117318&d=19&m=12&y=2008


Southeast teacher shares expertise with Saudis”:

http://www.daltondailycitizen.com/local/local_story_353184748.html


Holiday medical myths debunked”:

http://www.nbcactionnews.com/content/aroundtheweb/story/Holiday-Medical-Myths-Debunked/DT6iDZ9bq0y45TX8jg6-lA.cspx


Child’s ADHD diagnosis is tied to mother’s health status”:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/547032/?sc=rsmn


ADRES “Adverse Drug Reaction Electronic System(Adverse Drug Reactions Website)”- This website provides patients, doctors, and other medical professionals with a comprehensive examination of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), side effects, and other safety information for both prescription and over-the-counter medications. Our goal is to allow users of our website make informed decisions when taking (patients) or prescribing (doctors) drugs. We are providing unmatched information and analysis tools.

http://www.adverse-drug-reaction.net/

adders.org”
Our objective is to promote awareness to AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and to provide information and as much free practical help as we can to those affected by the condition, both adults and children, their families in the UK and around the World via this website.
http://www.adders.org/


ADDISS” The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service…
http://www.addiss.co.uk/index.html


ADDA”:

http://www.add.org/


hi2u ADHD Pages”:
http://www..adhd..org.uk/


CHADD”:
http://www.chadd.org/am/CustomPages/home/CHADD_Home.htm?CFID=2282059&CFTOKEN=38105335&jsessionid=f2303343221169802693562

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SPORT


Trek the Inca Trail – 14-23 May, 2009”

Be part of this breath-taking open challenge and trek to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1863


Trek Ben Nevis – 19-21 June, 2009”:

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1971


Flora London Marathon 2009”:

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1823


It’s back! The London to Paris Bike Ride 2009 – 15-18 May”:

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1860


5-8th June, 2009 “Five Countries Bike Ride – England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1970


Trek Jordan 2009 – 10th-14th September”:

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1833


“Sky Diving”:

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1722&a=16737

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MUSIC


Rudely Interrupted work their senses overtime”:

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article5365723.ece


Stars Shine for Autism 2009 – 12th March, 2009

Featuring Alfie Boe and the London Chamber Orchestra”:

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1972&a=18050


The AutisMusic Project”:

http://www.autismusic.com/

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ART

Artist: Katie Miller


ASAN Activist Katie Miller won the prestigous Wynn Newhouse Award, an award granted by the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation to highly accomplished fine artists with disabilities. Miller’s winning portfolio consisted of a selection of her artwork and an essay about her life as an autistic artist with other disabilities.


Art Auction – 26 February 2009”:

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1972&a=18049


ARTROOM …….where under 17s can make and display art online”:

http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artroom/index.php

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MOVIES/ENTERTAINMENT


Exclusive screening of The Black Balloon”:

http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=253&a=18402


Actors for Autism”:
http://www.actorsforautism.com/

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BOOKS


New “Challenges to the Human Rights of People with Intellectual Disabilities”

Edited by Frances Owen and Dorothy Griffiths

Foreword by Orville Endicott

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843105909


New “Supporting Young Parents: Pregnancy and Parenthood among Young People from Care”

Authors: Elaine Chase, Ian Warwick, Abigail Knight and Peter Aggleton

Foreword by Ann Phoenix

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843105251


New “Personality Disorder: The Definitive Reader”

Edited by Gwen Adshead and Caroline Jacob

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843106401


How To Be Yourself in a World That’s Different: An Asperger Syndrome Study Guide for Adolescents”

Author: Yuko Yoshida M.D.

Foreword by Lorna Wing

Translated by Esther sanders

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843105046


Supportive Parenting: Becoming an Advocate for your Child with Special Needs”

Author: Jan Starr Campito

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843108511


Wishing On the Midnight Star: My Asperger Brother”

Author: Nancy Ogaz

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843107576


The Dragons of Autism: Autism as a Source of Wisdom”

Author: Olga Holland

http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book.php/isbn/9781843107415


Xpress Reviews – First Look at New Books”:

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6625535.html

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MOVIE

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

http://www..madagascar-themovie.com/

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Planet Rescue Wildlife Vet

VIDEO GAME

Planet Rescue

http://www.primarytimes.net/shopping_channel_planet_rescue_game.php

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One laptop per child prototype

TECH

One Laptop Per Child Ready For Version 2.0”

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16304-one-laptop-per-child-ready-for-version-20.html

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Fireworks exploding in storm cloud

HEALTH

Great Fireworks, Shame About The The Toxic Fallout”

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026875.800-great-fireworks-shame-about-the-toxic-fallout.html

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I, Robot

ROBOTICS

VIDEO “The Year In Robots”

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16289-video-the-year-in-robots.html

divider

Happy New Year!

Here’s to adventure and discovery, to challenge and journeys new.


Here’s to rising to challenges as they present, to learning, to growth, to keeping the spirit of ‘caring’ alive throughout not just one, but all seasons.


Very Best Wishes,

Julie

New York fireworks