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April 5, 2012
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News for special education professionals

  Special Report Intro 
CEC Special Report -- Autism Awareness Month (Part II)
CEC SmartBrief continues to take a closer look at autism in recognition of Autism Awareness Month. In Part II of this two-part, in-depth special report, we examine the effect of autism on families, teacher training, and service and support programs for individuals with autism. We also hear two views on the controversial rewriting of the criteria for diagnosing autism in the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic guide.

In case you missed it, Part I, which was published Tuesday, focused on classroom innovations and technology programs used by special-education teachers that benefit children with autism. We also looked at a pilot program in Utah that will fund interventions not otherwise covered by insurance. We also featured new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that 1 in 88 children in the U.S. has autism.

If you don't receive CEC SmartBrief daily, we urge you to sign up for our timely e-newsletter. CEC SmartBrief delivers the essential stories in special education directly to your inbox -- for free.

  Research and Trends 
  • Experts debate changes to autism diagnostic criteria
    Fred Volkmar, of the Yale University School of Medicine and Francesca Happé, of the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, offer in this article their thoughts on the effort to rewrite the criteria for diagnosing autism in the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic guide. Volkmar, author of an upcoming study on the subject, expresses concern that the changes could cause some individuals with higher cognitive abilities to lose their autism diagnoses. However, Happe defends the change, which she says is designed to streamline a contradictory system. New Scientist (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Autism research initiative to focus on new treatments
    A $38.7 million effort among autism advocates, researchers and several large pharmaceutical companies to create new medications to treat autism spectrum disorders is seen as the largest investment in autism research to date. The initiative, known as European Autism Interventions -- A Multicentre Study for Developing New Medications, includes plans to establish European research databases similar to those in the U.S. and a clinical trial network for testing new medications on individuals with ASDs. Disability Scoop (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study considers social skills of individuals with autism
    People with autism may have difficulties with social skills because of differences in the "mirror neuron" system of their brains, new research shows. In people without autism, this area of the brain is stimulated when the individual is watching others, leading the individual to learn new skills. This same area was seen as less active in people with autism, the researchers found, suggesting their ability to mimic others' behavior may be compromised. Disability Scoop (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
 FREE Exclusive Article: Technology Transforms the Autism Classroom
Download a free exclusive article from Autism Spectrum Quarterly (otherwise only available via subscription) on how to tap into the power of technology to transform your special education program.

  Teacher Training 
  • Educators urged to collaborate on strategies to assist children with autism
    About 330 educators from schools in the Auburn, N.Y., area attended a recent workshop on educating children with autism. Topics included strategies for helping students manage stress and maximize their academic learning, as well as the importance of collaboration between teachers, doctors and parents. "We have to be working toward the same goals, in the same direction," said Shawn Stewart, a psychologist and professor who delivered the presentation. The Citizen (Auburn, N.Y.) (3/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Teachers learn techniques for educating children with autism
    A group of teachers, parents, caregivers and others gathered recently for a workshop in Herkimer, N.Y., to learn creative techniques for educating students with autism. The workshop offered strategies for using music and movement to help keep students focused. It is important to provide opportunities for arts education to children with autism, said workshop leader Joanne Lara, president of Autism Movement Therapy. WKTV-TV (Utica, N.Y.) (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Group trains educators in ways to help children with autism
    A center in Arizona helps provide training for educators working in local schools serving children with autism. The Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center coaches teachers on managing transitions and behaviors that can be disruptive in the classroom, and works with officials in at least two states on developing large-scale training programs for educators. KTAR-AM/KTAR-FM (Phoenix) (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Services and Support 
  • Other News
  CEC Resources 
Resources on autism from CEC

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