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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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Breaking News: House Passes CARA; Top Ten Terrific Traits of People with Autism; Taking the Mystery Out of IEP's

"...History suggests that many individuals whom we would today diagnose as autistic---some severely so---contributed profoundly to our art, our math, our science and our literature."---Morton Gernsbacher, parent of a child with Autism.
(I would also add they've contributed to our overall culture in very positive ways)---Editor


The House of Representatives passed The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA). This legislation authorizes $693 million in funding for three additional fiscal years. A personal thank you to all who contacted their representatives advocating for the extending of this very important legislation. Kudos to all!

Autism Support Network ran a terrific piece recently entitled, "Top 10 Terrific Traits Of Autistic People." In short, these traits include, but are not limited to, the following (note: I only use "people first" language, so the text will not always match that of ASN):

  • People with Autism Rarely Lie
  • People on the Autism Spectrum Live in the Moment
  • People with Autism Rarely Judge Others
  • People with Autism Are Passionate
  • People with Autism Are Not Tied To Social Expectations
  • People with Autism Have Terrific Memories
  • People with Autism Are Less Materialistic
  • People with Autism Play Fewer Head Games
  • People with Autism Have Fewer Hidden Agendas
  • People with Autism Open New Doors for Neurotypicals

Allow me a moment to add two more terrific traits to this list.
  • People with Autism Are Very Smart and---just as important--- Very Cool!

So What's So Darn Hard About IEP's Anyway?

My answer may surprise you. Not much. IEP's or Individualized Education Program (IHP's or Individualized Habilitation Plans in the community) are plans that should meet the SPECIFIC needs of each child with Autism or a developmental disability. So I always tell parents---relax. We'll all get through this process. Having said that, what should parents expect from their school district or from their provider?

  1. Get Involved in the Process. Parents---you are a vital part of the interdisciplinary team. Get to know each team member including the teacher, the behaviorist, case manager, health consultant and any other professionals deemed necessary and appropriate to development of the treatment plan.
  2. Learn and Know the Areas That Are Covered in Each IEP. These are generally referred to as the "Goals." These include language skills, communication, verbal skills, gross and fine motor skills, social skills, self-help skills and task completion.
  3. Ensure the IEP is Useful, Valuable and Effective. Although IEP's are generally reevaluated annually, do not hesitate to ask for additional up-date meetings if you have questions about any part of the IEP process.  Your child's teacher is your child's best advocate. Get to know him/her well.


Autism Research Institute Fall 2011 Conference.  Oct. 13-16th.  Las Vegas, NV.  Contact #: 877.644.1184

Maine Autism Conference. Oct. 15, 2011. Augusta Civics Center. Augusta, Maine. Contact #: 207.626.3042

20th Annual Texas Autism Conference. Oct. 13-15, 2011. Raliant Park Convention Center. Houston, Texas.  Contact #: 361.561.8524