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March 2011



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Archive for March 3rd, 2011


Article Date: 03 Mar 2011 – 1:00 PST

A review of more than 160 studies of human and animal subjects has found “clear and compelling evidence” that – all else being equal – happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers.

The study, in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, is the most comprehensive review so far of the evidence linking happiness to health outcomes. Its lead author, University of Illinois professor emeritus of psychology Ed Diener, who also is a senior scientist for the Gallup Organization, of Princeton, N.J., analyzed long-term studies of human subjects, experimental human and animal trials, and studies that evaluate the health status of people stressed by natural events.

Read in Full: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/217955.php


Article Date: 03 Mar 2011 – 0:00 PST

The more honesty and humility an employee may have, the higher their job performance, as rated by the employees’ supervisor. That’s the new finding from a Baylor University study that found the honesty-humility personality trait was a unique predictor of job performance.

“Researchers already know that integrity can predict job performance and what we are saying here is that humility and honesty are also major components in that,” said Dr. Wade Rowatt, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor, who helped lead the study. “This study shows that those who possess the combination of honesty and humility have better job performance. In fact, we found that humility and honesty not only correspond with job performance, but it predicted job performance above and beyond any of the other five personality traits like agreeableness and conscientiousness.”

Read in Full: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/217924.php

Photo taken at Callahan Museum of the American Prining House for the Blind


Thursday 3rd March, 2011.

A new campaign has been launched on World Book Day that aims to greatly increase the number of books made available to blind and partially sighted people.

The RNIB says more than 95 per cent of books that are published never become available in large print, audio or braille.

The charity hopes its Talking Books campaign will tackle a problem for blind people in Britain that it calls ‘unacceptable’.

The RNIB is collecting donations from the public to spend on making more titles avaliable, especially children’s stories.

The campaign has the backing of celebrities, including the writer Julian Fellowes and TV presenter Ian Hislop.

There are almost two million people living in the UK with sight loss.

Source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20110303/tuk-charity-launches-books-for-the-blind-dba1618.html

Braille Book


GEN news highlights: Mar 2, 2011

Researchers are implicating several new candidate genes and genomic variants as contributors to autism and note that many more remain to be discovered. While the gene alterations are individually very rare, they mostly appear to disrupt genes that play important functional roles in brain development and nerve signaling. While an association between genomic variants in certain nervous system processes and autism has been hypothesized in the past, the scientists believe that their work definitively links these biological functions to autism.

“This large study is the first to demonstrate a statistically significant connection between genomic variants in autism and both synaptic function and neurotransmission,” states Peter S. White, Ph.D., a molecular geneticist and director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“Prior genomic studies of autism have successfully identified several genes that appear to confer risk for autism, but each gene appears to contribute to only a small percentage of cases,” adds Xiaowu Gai, Ph.D. “Our approach considered whether groups of genes with common biological functions collectively accounted for a greater percentage of autism risk.” Dr. White was senior author and Dr. Gai was lead author on the study, which appears online in Molecular Psychiatry. The paper is titled “Rare structural variation of synapse and neurotransmission genes in autism.”

Read in Full: http://www.genengnews.com/gen-news-highlights/genetic-roots-of-autism-found-to-be-highly-complicated/81244762/

The National Autistic Society



The Government has announced a one billion pound cut to Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Next week in parliament, MPs will debate plans for a new system which could make it much harder for adults with autism to claim DLA. We have a chance to make them think again.

Our Who benefits? report demonstrates what a lifeline DLA is for many adults with autism and their families. We need to do everything we can make sure the Government’s plans do not unfairly disadvantage people with autism.

We need you to ask your MP to help protect this crucial benefit for people with autism.

Thanks, as always, for your support.


Jane Asher


National Autistic Society



P.S. Following a survey of our campaigners, you now can send an email using an easy read form.



Mar 2 2011

By Dan Coombs


THE father of an autistic 20-year-old man placed in care against his wishes is rejoicing after a High Court judgment this week confirmed that his son would be able to come home permanently.

Hillingdon Council had placed a Deprivation of Liberty order on Steven Neary, which was temporarily over-turned in December.

Reporting restrictions were placed on the case when it was heard in the secretive Court of Protection in central London.

The interim order was made permanent this week and a reporting ban was lifted, as Mr Justice Mostyn decided the case should be in the public domain.

Steven Neary was placed into council care in December 2009 when his father, Mark, of Penrith Close, Uxbridge, became ill with flu.

To his father’s horror, when he recovered the council said it would be unsafe to release Steven as it felt he had displayed ‘challenging behaviour’.

This was disputed by Mr Neary, who said any such behaviour was brought on by being in the council unit in Colham Road, Yiewsley.

Last July, when the Gazette was the first media organisation to take up the story, Mr Neary said: “Being forced into a situation he does not like, finds difficult to understand and gets upset about means he can react to the situation and this gets used as evidence against him.

“Prior to going to the treatment unit, Steven had quite a good life; he was content with his routines and daily activities. Of course he gets anxious at times – that’s autism.”

Yesterday morning (Tuesday) Mr Neary said: “If it hadn’t been for the Gazette, it would not have led to wider media interest in the story.

“I wouldn’t have got a solicitor, as before that I was hitting so many dead ends. I will be forever grateful.

“I am absolutely over the moon, in a state of shock really.”

The support of 5,785 people in a Facebook group also inspired him not to give up, even at moments when victory seemed against the odds.

Read in Full: http://www.uxbridgegazette.co.uk/west-london-news/local-uxbridge-news/2011/03/02/dad-and-autistic-son-reunited-after-high-court-judgment-113046-28266652/

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