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Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 2012 Disability News

Walmart sued for not providing accommodations to person with cerebral palsy. Detroit School Board meeting is tomorrow evening at 6:00 pm, Frederick Douglas school on W. Warren ave.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Autism Statistics From Center For Disease Control

Good Evening,

Here is the latest press release from the Center For Disease Control regarding the rise in persons with Autism  (

Press Release
CDC estimates 1 in 88 children in United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder
CDC data help communities better serve these children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study released today that looked at data from 14 communities.  Autism spectrum disorders are almost five times more common among boys than girls – with 1 in 54 boys identified.

The number of children identified with ASDs ranged from 1 in 210 children in Alabama to 1 in 47 children in Utah.  The largest increases were among Hispanic and black children. The report, Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 Sites, United States, 2008, provides autism prevalence estimates from 14 areas. It was published today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“This information paints a picture of the magnitude of the condition across our country and helps us understand how communities identify children with autism,” said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “That is why HHS and our entire administration has been working hard to improve the lives of people living with autism spectrum disorders and their families by improving research, support, and services.”
“One thing the data tells us with certainty – there are more children and families that need help,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We must continue to track autism spectrum disorders because this is the information communities need to guide improvements in services to help children.”
The results of CDC’s study highlight the importance of the Obama administration’s efforts to address the needs of people with ASDs, including the work of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The IACC’s charge is to facilitate ASD research, screening, intervention, and education.  As part of this effort, the National Institutes of Health has invested in research to identify possible risk factors and effective therapies for people with ASDs.

Study results from the 2008 surveillance year show 11.3 per 1,000 8-year-old children have been identified as having an ASD.  This marks a 23 percent increase since the last report in 2009.  Some of this increase is due to the way children are identified, diagnosed and served in their communities, although exactly how much is due to these factors is unknown.  “To understand more, we need to keep accelerating our research into risk factors and causes of autism spectrum disorders,” said Coleen Boyle, Ph.D., M.S.Hyg., director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. 
The study also shows more children are being diagnosed by age 3, an increase from 12 percent for children born in 1994 to 18 percent for children born in 2000. “Unfortunately, 40 percent of the children in this study aren’t getting a diagnosis until after age 4. We are working hard to change that,” said Boyle.
The most important thing for parents to do is to act quickly whenever there is a concern about a child’s development. 
  • Talk to your child’s doctor about your concerns.
  • Call your local early intervention program or school system for an assessment. 
  • Remember you do not need a diagnosis to access services for your child.
To learn more about this study, visit
For information on CDC’s tools to help families track their child’s development, visit
To learn more about the research CDC is doing on autism, visit
To learn more about the Administration’s commitment to combating autism, visit Web Site Icon.
CDC works 24/7saving lives, protecting people from health threats, and saving money to have a more secure nation.  Whether these threats are chronic or acute, manmade or natural, human error or deliberate attack, global or domestic, CDC is the U.S. health protection agency. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Today's Reading and Autism Lesson Plans

Today my nephew and I have been working on his reading skills. Since he likes to cook, we are reading his autographed copy of "Cooking Up Your Dreams" by our friend Chef Keith D. Jones. The book is about how Chef Jones became a chef with great recipes to try. The book is easy to read, with large print and chapters that have positive values for the titles. Last year, my nephew had a chance to meet Chef Jones and assist him with a cooking demonstration for his televised cooking shows. Chef Jones is a native Detroiter that graduated from Cass Tech. One of the things that I admire about him is that he has special needs students learning how to cook in some of his shows. You can see some of Chef Jones' videos on his website:

Here are some other resources and lesson plans for students with autism:

Detroit Special Ed news: Still no comprehensive plan from the emergency manager for Detroit's K-26 Special Ed students. Michigan passed the insurance bill to allow persons with autism to bill insurance companies for services. Michigan parents are slowly finding out that certificates of completion that are given to special needs students and young adults 18-26 in vocational schools are not recognized by the State of Michigan. The certificates are worthless. There is talk about trying to get the students to take GED tests with accomodations. In June 2012, if you or your student do not have a High School Diploma or a GED, you will no longer be eligible for financial aid. Stay tuned for more updates.

Thank you and enjoy your Easter break!
Aurora Harris

Monday, January 23, 2012

American Psychological Assoc. Changes Autism definition

Happy New Year.

The latest news regarding Autism comes from the American Psychological Association's changing the definition of autism, that is causing many parents that have children with autism and adults with asperger to worry about the type of services they will receive in the future. The story ran in a New York Times article last week. Additional info can be found at the Washington Post's blog:
More info on autism definition change from a Washington blog:

Aurora Harris