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.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What Can We Expect From The DSM-5 Changes; The Importance of Sports Participation; Mercyhurst University Put Students With Autism On Path To Independence; The Autism Response Team

"Expect The Exceptional."...Jerry Komar

DSM-5 Changes: What Can We Expect? And Why It Matters.


While final decisions are still months away, The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is trying to reassure everyone interested in autism that the changes in the DSM-5 will not exclude individuals from diagnosis and treatment. According to the APA, the changes involve merging several diagnoses now listed separately in DSM-5 under one umbrella category as "autism spectrum disorder."

APA contends the changes will lead to more accurate diagnoses and will help physicians and clinicians design better treatment interventions.

Why do the changes matter? Put simply, the changes can lead to profound effects on the lives of individuals. Critics argue that many individuals have been helped immeasurably because of their autism diagnoses. If this changes, will that mean many individuals will be shut out of acquiring previously mandated services and supports? As of this writing, no one knows for certain. But what is certain is any change must be done cautiously, carefully and with a great deal of prudence. To many lives depend on it.
(Sources: CNN, APA)

The Importance of Sports Participation

Participating in sports and recreation is important for everyone including individuals with autism. We've known from years of research that recreation and sports can relieve stress, improve overall health,  help develop confidence, can enhance gross motor skills, improve self-esteem, improve communication and social skills, and can result in a host of other positive outcomes.

What sports activities then are good for children with autism? Below is a list of recommendations (note: children with autism, just like their peers, should be given the opportunity to participate in those sporting activities they like. For example, if your child wants to play baseball and you're comfortable with that, by all means allow him/her to participate. The suggestions below meet most of the criteria referenced above):
  • Swimming
  • Track and Field
  • Bowling
  • Biking
  • Hiking
  • Martial Arts Training
  • Skiing
  • Ice Hockey
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Tennis
  • Sailing
  • Fishing
  • Golfing
(Sources: Livestrong, Healing Thresholds)

Mercyhurst Helps Students With Autism Reach Independence

Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA, offers a unique opportunity and program for students with autism. Mercyhurst understood that the number of adults diagnosed with autism has increased in recent years. They also understood they were able to offer a service and program to meet the unique needs of students with autism on the university level.

Mercyhurst's program includes social tutoring and asserting students toward self-sufficiency. In fact, students become responsible for their own food and medication, usually for the first time, and are required to abide by the university's code of conduct.

One student in the program said recently, "I care more about my future than when I started out." It's clear for this student; he's already looking forward to his future.
(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

 Autism Response Team

Autism Response Team (ART)  is there to help connect families with information, resources and opportunities. ART coordinators are specifically trained to provide this information. The Team can be reached at 888.288.4762 or email familyservices@autismspeaks.org

Conference News

The 6th Annual "All Ages and Abilities" Autism/Asperger's Conference will be held from Feb. 22-24, 2012 at The Sheraton Park Hotel  at the Anaheim Resort. For more information contact: 562.804.5516 or email: autismconferences@gmail.com

Reminder: if you are looking for information and autism resources, take a few minutes to navigate this blog. I am confident you will find what you are looking for. If not, simply contact me at jerryautismpro@gmail.com