Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Local News Relating to Autism

My local newspaper, The Asbury Park Press, was chock full of stories related to autism this morning. First, Shannon Mullen reports on a local composer named Steven Allen, who has written a rock opera called "Day After Day" about a family dealing with autism.

Michael Rispoli also reports on a package of six bills that recently passed through the Health Committee of the New Jersey Assembly. He states, "The package, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts Jr., D-Camden, would require health insurance coverage of therapies for those on the autism spectrum, create the Office of the Advocate for Persons with Autism in the Department of the Public Advocate, establish an state-sponsored autism Web site, create voluntary identification cards for autistics, allow guardians to have better choice in what support services are given to those with autism and urge the state Board of Education to create a student peer program for students with autism." (With all of the state's budget troubles, I wonder if this will get funded.)

There is also an article by Michael Amsel about a local doctor who realized as an adult that he has Asperger's Syndrome. Dr. Henry Kong wrote a book about his experiences called "More Self Than Self: At Autism's Edge".

Finally, there was also a brief USA Today item by Steve Sternberg (Gannett, who owns the Asbury Park Press, also publishes USA Today) article on research into genetic mutations that boost one's probability of having autism.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Genius Genes

This article in the United Kingdom's Telegraph by Colin Blakemore reviews a new book by Irish psychiatrist Michael Fitzgerald. Called Genius Genes: How Asperger Talents Changed the World, it poses the following conundrum:

"As both our knowledge of human genetics and our ability to modify genetic function advance, we shall have to face up to the question of what constitutes normality and what defines a disease.
The richness of humanity and the power of our culture are, in no small way, attributable to the diversity of our minds. Do we want a world in which the creativity linked to the oddness at the fringes of normality is medicated away?"

Saturday, February 16, 2008

People with Autism Sought by Microsoft

Cliff Saran posts at ComputerWeekly.com that Microsoft has hired people with autism through a Danish consultant as software checkers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Larry King

The Thursday, February 14th episode of Larry King Live will feature Jason MacElwain ("J-Mac"), Holly Robinson Peete, Doug Flutie, and Toni Braxton to "bust the myths and present breakthroughs" about autism.