About Autism News and Views

Autism News and Views will provide regular updates on news about Autism. In addition, we have provided important links to a wide variety of web sites that will provide you with information on Education, Health, Safety, Advocacy, Service Providers and much more. Use Autism News and Views as your source for the best information on the Autism Spectrum.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kudos to Jim Cantore; Autism Service Dogs; Act Today for Military Families with Autism; Autism Awareness Among Law Enforcement Personnel; Conference News

"What my children have to deal with on a daily basis is by far more difficult than anything I will ever come in contact with," Jim Cantore--of the Weather Channel-- on his two children with Fragile X after describing his bouts with some furious and dangerous weather over the years.

"A child who connects to a dog connects to the world."

That's the motto for a unique organization known as Autism Service Dogs of America. Their mission is clear and concise: "To make a positive impact on the lives of children living with autism---and their families---by providing exceptionally well trained service dogs." ASDA, a private, non-profit,  was founded in 2002 by Priscilla Taylor, a former special education teacher. You can learn more about ASDA at http://autismservicedogsofamerica.com/. We've also linked to ASDA on this blog.

Act Today For Military Families With Autism wants us to know that one out of 88 children of military families has an autism diagnosis. Their mission is "to raise awareness and provide treatment services to families that cannot afford the treatments and services their children require." Please visit their web site and consider a donation (http://www.acttodayformilitaryfamilies.org/). Do it today!

It's not unusual for law enforcement personnel to encounter someone with autism. If the police officer is not familiar with recognizing some of the behaviors of individuals with autism, potential conflict may result. This is largely due to the police officer's misunderstanding of these behaviors. Fortunately many police departments across the country have been trained in avoiding undue conflict and the risks associated with intervention. Many of these programs teach police officers how to recognize individuals with autism. This recognition may include, but not be limited to, the following:
  • Understanding the individual may not respond well to police commands.
  • Understanding the individual may have some medical issues or concerns that give the appearance to the officer of being on illegal drugs.
  • Understanding the individual may be non-verbal.
  • Understanding the individual may exhibit behaviors such as aggression, self-abuse, pacing and yelling.
In most programs, police officers are also trained in how to respond to an individual with autism who is exhibiting such behaviors.  For example, they are taught to talk in short phrases; allow for delays in response; avoiding responses that may appear threatening to the individual with autism; avoiding touching the individual suddenly and to turn off sirens and flashlights, if possible (the police officer's safety is also of paramount importance).

If your community does not have such police awareness programs, it's vitally important to contact them to start one. Such programs can ensure the safety of both the individual with autism and the police.
(SourceS: Dennis Debbaubt, Police and Autism and Gateways Community Services, Nashua, N.H.).

Please Take a Few Minutes to Review My Blog Resources:
Professionals, parents and advocates, we ask you to review the many links to outstanding and wonderful sites on autism on my blog. Consider taking a few minutes to visit sites such as Athletes Helping Athletes, Actors for Autism, Autism Around the Globe, Autism Hangout, Autism in Black, Autism Votes, Parents Helping Parents, Parent 2 Parent, The Fathers Network, Moms Fighting Autism, Grandparent Autism Network and Jobs 4 Autism. These are but a sampling of the many resources available on this blog site. Take advantage of the information. Take advantage of the help. Just take advantage. Do it today. And please spread the word.


  • 20TH ANNUAL TEXAS AUTISM CONFERENCE. Oct. 13-15, 2011. Houston, Texas. Keynote by: John Elder Robinson author of Look at Me in the Eye, my life with Asperger's. Contact #: 361.561.8524.

  • Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph Over Autism by  Catherine Maurice. This is an especially good book for parents of children with autism.
  • Laughing and Loving with Autism: A Collection of Real Life Warm and Humorous Stories by Wayne Gilpin.
  • Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies and Hope That Can Transform a Child's Life by Lynn Koegel, Ph.D. and Claire LaZebnik.