Monday, July 30, 2007

Preparing for an IEP Meeting

Charles at the Special Education Law blog has linked to an informative web site that helps coach parents at IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings. It's a table of typical comments made by school officials with suggested responses by parents that might help get a more meaningful dialogue going. The law site is out of Colorado, but laws from other states are also cited.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

AS in Adults

Very interesting article in USA Today, by Suzanne Leigh, about diagnosing Asperger's Syndrome in adults. Be sure to check out the comments. This quote is sure to generate some response:
"Almost by definition, an Asperger's person would not form an intimate relationship, get married and have children," says research scientist Katherine Tsatsanis of the Yale Developmental Disabilities Clinic. "They don't form connections. The desire, the drive and the social knowledge is lacking."

The doctors quoted in this article have posted a disclaimer on their website. They say they were misquoted.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


This article by Eliza McGraw in the Washington Post offers a nice detailed description of hippotherapy - "which uses the natural movements of the horse as a tool for physical, occupational and sometimes speech therapy."

"Unlike therapeutic riding, which teaches people with special needs how to ride, hippotherapy (the name derives from the Greek word for "horse") focuses purely on the repetitive motion of the horse's walk, which mimics an average person's gait."

"Therapists may work with adults as well. But William Benda, an emergency physician and advocate of hippotherapy in Big Sur, California, is more enthusiastic about hippotherapy's effects on children than on adults. "The future benefit is much greater for the 4-year-old than a 40-year-old," he says. 'Injury to the brain is static, but the function worsens over time. Children's bodies have to grow around an asymmetrical disability, and they get worse. So we try to catch them as early as possible.' "

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Swimming Lessons

I could really relate to this post from Ali Edwards at A. I like Edwards blog because it's about more than all autism, all the time. Kind of like life.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Social Skills Therapy: Ineffective?

Lisa Jo Rudy has initiated a discussion at on social skills classes for children with ASDs. She refers to a recent review article which looks at studies of social skills interventions. The results are not so great.
See the discussion here.
An article about the study is here.

Study Shows Signs of Autism Appear Early in Some Children

Anita Manning writes in USA Today that "Children with autism can be identified as early as 14 months old, the youngest age at which the disorder has been diagnosed, a study by researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore suggests.
But about half the time, symptoms may not show up until months later. That suggests at least two distinct paths leading to autism: one that starts early in life and one in which a child seems to develop normally and then regresses, losing language and social skills. " Full story here.