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Back to school, back to planning for kids with autism, ADHD

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

The start of a new school year isn’t always easy, especially for kids with developmental and behavioral issues, such as autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Parents of these children may also have concerns about what lies ahead for their youngsters. But keeping a positive outlook is important for a smooth transition, according to Dr. Anson Koshy.”(more)

Learn to recognize autism symptoms in girls

The Toronto Star – Dr. Meng-Chuan Lai

“We often associate autism with males. And while it’s true that more boys than girls are on the spectrum, parents, teachers and doctors have a harder time recognizing this condition in girls. That’s because autism symptoms can be different for girls — and because of stereotypes about autism, and about gender. It starts on the playground. A boy with autism may play by himself and favour games with structured rules. Girls on the autism spectrum are more likely to be near other children and talking — but you’d have to be looking carefully to notice their social struggle.”(more)

Autism Symptoms are Less Obvious in Girls and May Lead to Underdiagnosis

KQED News Mind/Shift – Patti Neighmond and Jane Greenhalgh

“Many more boys are diagnosed with autism every year than girls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disorder is 4.5 times more common among boys than girls. Boys appear to be more vulnerable to the disorder, but there is some evidence that the gender gap may not be as wide as it appears. That’s because the symptoms of autism are often less obvious in girls than they are in boys. Girls can be better at blending in, says Dr. Louis Kraus, a psychiatrist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, who specializes in autism.”(more)

3 ways students with autism benefit from art, music and recreation

E-School News – Meris Stansbury

“According to curriculum therapists, multi-disciplinary sessions appeal to students’ creativity, are relevant to their everyday lives, and help them acquire important skills—especially students with autism. In a recent webinar, “Art, Music & Recreational Therapy: Incorporating Creative Approaches for Students with Autism,” Courtney Carnes, MS, ATR-BC, art therapist; Julie Hopkins, MT-BC, music therapist; and Erin Witschey, CTRS, recreational therapist, discussed how these types of therapies are used to support individuals with autism by focusing on specific needs of younger and older students and targeting a variety of goals.”(more)

Fidget spinners: How they went from being a toy to help autistic kids to being a national phenom

USA Today – Joseph Pisani

“Stores can’t keep them in stock. Parents are scrambling to find them. And some schools have banned them. The mania for fidget spinners — the 3-inch twirling gadgets taking over classrooms and cubicles — is unlike many other toy crazes. They’re not made by a major company, timed for the holiday season, or promoted in TV commercials. They’re more easily found at gas stations or 7-Eleven than at big toy chains. “It just took off,” says Richard Gottlieb, a consultant at Global Toy Experts in New York. Fidget spinners have been around for years, mostly used by kids with autism or attention disorders to help them concentrate. But they exploded in popularity this spring.”(more)

3 innovative communication tips for students with autism

E-School News – Staff Writer

“Communicating can be a challenge for certain individuals with autism. In “Communication Innovations for Individuals with Autism,” Howard C. Shane, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for Communication Enhancement and the Autism Language Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, discussed some innovative communication tips for students with autism. Specifically, different types of communication displays, the Visual Immersion System™ (VIS), and repurposing consumer products to provide Just In Time Communication to individuals with autism.”(more)