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5/5/14 - Autism News

Teacher thanked for rescuing autistic boy

The kindness of a stranger possibly saved the life of a ten year old boy with autism.

It certainly was not a typical day at the office for a high school teacher.

State Police say the boy wandered five miles from his home in Belgrade early Monday morning.

Pat Stanton, dean of students at Maranacook Community High School, came across the boy walking in the middle of Wing Mills Road in Mt. Vernon.

She pulled over and call 9-1-1. By then the boy was in Messalonskee stream holding onto the bridge.

She pulled him out of the water and discovered he had special needs. He walked off and tried to climb into a culvert.

Stanton was able to hold onto him and flagged down a motorist for help. The boy’s mother, Melissa Godin was charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

By Vivien Leigh | WCSH6


5/1/2014 - Autism News

17 Photos Of Children That Show What Autism Is Really All About

Recent statistics collected by the Center for Disease Control say that 1 in 68 children are on the autism spectrum. But as anyone who has been touched by an ASD knows, the kids affected are much more than a number.


Last year, Autism Shines, a project that aims to debunk negative myths about ASDs, asked parents for photos and stories of children on the spectrum to show just that. The project kicked off after the Sandy Hook shooting, when speculations swirled that the killer had autism.

“We wanted to do something to change the world for the people we love, particularly because it felt more and more unsafe for them in the wake of this massacre and the media stories,” organizer Tim Tucker told Babble at the time.

We asked parents to contribute to the “This Is Autism” movement here on HuffPost, and now as this year’s National Autism Awareness Month comes to an end, we’re sharing their stories again. Because the importance of this message extends far beyond the tragedy. It’s forever.

By Mandy Velez | HuffPost – Parents


April 28, 2014

Temple Grandin talks about autism, livestock, life

Holding cellphones for photos and books to be signed, 20 people waited to meet the woman in the black and white Western shirt.

They waited because Temple Grandin, who spoke about autism, livestock and life at a Ventura conference, is a hero in their eyes.

She couldn’t speak when she was 2½ years old. She was diagnosed with autism, a disorder that sometimes blocks goals and achievement.

But she found art and animals. Her mother made her stretch to try new things. Mr. Carlock, her science teacher, helped too.

Those and other forces led to dizzying heights: a doctorate in animal science; a hugely successful career designing animal handling facilities around the world; and what some call an unrivaled role as an advocate for people with autism. She’s an author and the inspiration behind an Emmy-winning movie that bears her name.

On Friday, she flew to Southern California for a conference at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach on autism and Asperger’s syndrome. After 90 minutes of talking and more time signing books, she left to fly to Colorado for a 4-H and FFA event on Saturday.

She’s a workaholic. She attributes the 25 Western shirts in her wardrobe not to autism, rather to being a bit quirky.

“I say it’s OK to be eccentric,” she said, turning evasive when asked her age. “I’m a child of the ’50s and ’60s.”

She’s proud of her role in making slaughter facilities more humane. She’s proud, too, of the moments when parents tell her she’s part of the reason their autistic children went to college.

“I want to see more kids like me succeed,” she said.

On Friday, she spoke of the vast spectrum that is autism, ranging from socially awkward computer programmers in the Silicon Valley to people who face extreme challenges and may have trouble dressing themselves.

The disorder, she said, means her brain works differently.

“When you put a keyword in, I see pictures,” she said. “It’s kind of like Google Images.”

She urged parents and teachers to help kids stretch. She said people too often focus on someone’s weaknesses instead of their strengths.

She showed images and drawings of her brain, explaining how autism can slow her ability to shift attention. She said auditory details can be lost, too.

“I used to think the grown-ups had their own special grown-up language,” she said.

Aiming much of her talk at teenagers, Grandin hammered the importance of after-school jobs and being exposed to new things. Her childhood jobs included cleaning eight horse stalls every day.

She talked about medication, panic attacks and the importance of hands-on classes like auto shop.

Her role models include Albert Einstein. Unable to speak until he was 3, he would be diagnosed with autism today, she said.

When she finished, 300 people stood and applauded. And then many of them hurried to a nearby room for her to sign a book.

Karla Galleguillos, of Los Angeles, met Grandin for a nervous moment before the conference put on by a group called Future Horizons. She came to the event because her son was diagnosed with autism when he was 2. For her, Grandin represents something huge.

“Hope,” she explained.

2014, Ventura County Star


April 23, 2014


USC students create video game to help children with autism



New game Social Clues aims to teach children to make eye contact and recognize others’ emotions.A team of students at the University of Southern California has developed a game called Social Clues, but not for profit, at least not right away. The 35 USC students, who have backgrounds in fields like engineering and design, have made the game to help autistic children. Specifically, the game aims to teach children to make eye contact, listen to others, and recognize others’ emotions.


In Social Clues, children play as one of two characters: ParticiPETE or communiKATE. In an effort to find their lost toys, they must then converse with characters in virtual depictions of real-world settings. Along the way, USC says, children will “learn the dos and don’ts of social interaction.”

In one scene, children must correctly identify the emotional state of a non-player character (NPC), while another asks users to drag an arrow until it aligns with another character’s eyes to teach children about the importance of making eye contact during conversation. A friendly parrot named Sherlock helps the children along the way.

“What we’re trying to do is break down everyday interactions into something very understandable, very manageable,” USC Marshall School of Business MBA student Jeremy Bernstein said in a news release. He worked on the game as its project lead, alongside his wife, Karen Okrent, who is a speech pathologist.

By Eddie Makuch | Gamespot


The History of Autism

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