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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, December 20, 2011

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form of Flattery; B.J., The Therapy Dog; $26.5 Million Grant for Autism Research; Best Higher Education Programs for Students with Autism; Holiday Gift Guide: Books About Autism

"It was ability that mattered, not disability, which is a word I'm not crazy about using."---Marlee Matlin

"Imitation Is The Sincerest Form of Flattery"

There's a lot of truth to that famous quote. A recent study out of Michigan State University appears to show that teaching children with autism to imitate others may improve their social skills. Researchers have long known that imitation is a critically important development skill. It enables children to interact and learn from one another in meaningful ways. This particular study analyzed children with autism ages 27 months to 47 months. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

B.J.: The Therapy Dog

Children with autism at the Madison Elementary School in Davenport, IA, have a really cool friend. His name is Buddy Junior or B.J. for short. He just so happens to be a 6-year old golden retriever. B.J. is also a therapy dog. The children's interaction with B.J. is an important life-skills learning experience.  Teacher James Cook said, "These guys are practicing their social and communication skills...The interaction is good for them."

B.J. has been visiting the school since he was 1 year old. "There have been times when the children have been tired and having meltdowns, and it kind of helps when B.J. walks in. It distracts them and the behaviors will stop," said Cook.
Quad-City Times

For more information on therapy dogs for autism, visit Autism Service Dogs of America at http://autismservicedogsofamerica.com/ and 4 Paws for Ability at http://www.4pawsforability.org/