In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at Vanderbilt University examined social play exchanges on multiple levels, revealing associations among brain regions, behavior and reactions in children with autism. “Play is a fundamental skill in childhood and an area in which children … Continue reading
A new school is being built in Reading, Berkshire; a collaboration between the National Autistic Society, parents, volunteer groups, local authorities and other schools, the Thames Valley School is among the new breed of free schools in England built to aid five-to-19-year-olds on the autistic spectrum.
Autism gives children the unique ability to concentrate on narrow topics that other kids might find mundane. Fiona Veitch, the school’s head teacher, says she’s driven to use these “special interests” to give the children a vocation and help them learn. She is also working with an architect to make the school as autism-friendly as possible.
The autistic children won’t be educated in isolation from the non-autistic kids. Thomas Valley plans to share its resources and invite mainstream pupils to after-school clubs. Some pupils will also attend classes at other schools.
Veitch and her staff intend to help pupils meet the national expectation of five GCSEs or more, while also providing strategies to help them cope with their autism.
Linda Souza is a San Diego mother fighting to regain custody of her two daughters, both affected by autism spectrum disorder, who she claims were unjustly removed from her guardianship. Linda was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, and argues that she is a victim of discrimination, pointing to widespread injustice in the legal system that robs developmentally delayed adults of their basic rights. Linda’s oldest daughter Amber, 28, describes her mother as a dedicated and caring parent who carefully tended to her daughters special needs. Amber claims that her 13-year old sister’s specific dietary and medical requirements are being overlooked in state-run care, and petitions to have her sisters returned to her mother’s custody.
This case is particularly saddening, and points to larger need for a conversation among advocates and policy-makers regarding the rights of developmentally delayed adults. Linda uses her blog to publicize her mission, and also as a creative showcase for her photography and video work. You can visit Linda’s site here: http://aspiemomto3girls.blogspot.com/