Wednesday, November 21, 2007

AS and Sleep

This should come as no surprise to parents of children with Asperger's. But at least they are studying it.
" The first known attempt to evaluate the sleep patterns of children with Asperper Syndrome (AS), taking into account sleep architecture and the cyclic alternating pattern (CAP), finds that children with AS have a high prevalence of some sleep disorders and mainly problems related to initiating sleep and sleep restlessness together with morning problems and daytime sleepiness, according to a new study."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bush Vetoes Funding Bill for Combating Autism Act

From the Autism Society of America Web site:
"On November 13, President Bush vetoed the FY 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill. This bipartisan bill had strong support in both the House and the Senate, but the President objected to the overall funding levels of the bill, which includes modest increases for vital programs - most of which have experienced significant cuts, lost purchasing power or both over the past three years.
This legislation includes significant increases for autism programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration and the National Institutes of Health. These increases represent full funding of the Combating Autism Act, and are critical in improving our ability to diagnose, intervene and develop new therapies for autism. We need this crucial investment!
The House could move to override the President’s veto as early as this week. Contact your Member of Congress and urge them to vote YES on the veto override.
Click here to take action now."

Monday, November 05, 2007

NJ Theater Workshop for Adults with Autism

From Tina Kelley, reported in the New York Times, an article about a 12 week theater workshop at Montclair State University.
"B. Madeleine Goldfarb, the director of outreach and education at the Autism Center, helped get funding for the program. She said of the center’s clients: “Most of them have some sort of passion for something, and can be savantlike within that particular passion. How do you harness that?”
Ms. Goldfarb, who is pursuing more grants for the program, described its roots in discussions with some of the center’s clients.
“They were all sitting in their own little worlds, not communicating with one another around a big conference table, not making eye contact or engaging,” she said. She asked them what their passions were, and the atmosphere quickly became charged as a consensus grew around theater.
“There was a change in connectedness, in reciprocity, in giving suggestions, with other people in the room commenting on suggestions,” she said. “It was astounding.”
By welcoming adults, the workshop fills a crucial need. Suzanne Buchanan, the director of clinical services at the New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community, described “almost a total lack of funding of appropriate programs” for adults with autism, many of whom do not work full time.
“Having a meaningful activity where they’re working productively with others, working toward a common goal, is a really great way for them to spend their time,” Dr. Buchanan said.