Autism on ABC News website

Autism gets much more coverage in the media in USA compared to Australia.

If you would like to see some of the coverage, especially the TV coverage, check out these web pages ...

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Trying to Solve Autism's Mysteries

When Preston Brown was a young child, doctors diagnosed him with autism. Now they say he doesn't have it anymore.

"He's very aware of his surroundings," said his mother, Jamie Brown, who added that the changes in recent months have been drastic and that doctors have dropped his autism diagnosis.

"He communicates, he has favorites, he has opinions, he has humor," she said. "He makes friends, he is learning at warp speed, he's intelligent. He's happy, he's not sick anymore."

Forum sheds light on new methods in autism care

JEDDAH: To help the growing number of autistic children in the Arab world, the first scientific forum of autism centers in the Arab world began on Sunday night at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The event — entitled “Autism, Reality and Future” — was held under the support of Prince Talal, president of the Arab Gulf Program for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND), and was organized by the Al-Faisalya Women Welfare Society and the Jeddah Autism Center.

Experts call for disability register

Angela Harper-Erini
November 12, 2008


Queensland health experts are seeking a national register of children with disabilities after claims that children have been wrongly diagnosed as autistic to secure disability funding.

Labor backbencher Dean Wells tabled figures in the Queensland parliament on Tuesday indicating that one in every 50 children in the state was diagnosed as autistic.

The figure, obtained from parliamentary library research of government records, was three times the international average.

The Dangers of Autism

Here is a very disturbing story from the media in the USA.

Autism in America: A Perilous Diagnosis
ABC News Medical Unit
Nov. 6, 2008

Liane Willey's father always told her that, if she was ever in trouble, she should find a policeman and ask for help.

In college, Willey befriended a young campus policeman. Recalling her father's advice, she asked him to escort her home late one evening rather than walk alone. Instead, the officer drove away from campus, took her to his trailer home, and raped her.

Does rain cause autism?

Uncertainty over what causes the syndrome has become a trigger for wild speculation, says Mark Henderson

Autism is a highly heritable disorder, which is strongly influenced by genes. But it is not a genetic condition in the same way as Huntington's disease or cystic fibrosis, in which mutated DNA is the one and only cause. It is influenced by environmental factors, but what they are we do not yet know.

The nature and impact of caring for family members with a disability in Australia

by Ben Edwards, Daryl J. Higgins, Matthew Gray, Norbert Zmijewski, Marcia Kingston

Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2008.
ISBN 978-1-921414-02-2. ISSN 1447-1469 (Print); 1477-1477 (Online).

Full Report - The nature and impact of caring for family members with a disability in Australia (PDF 3.3 MB)

Unlocking The Inner-Savant In All Of Us

We are all capable of the extraordinary savant skills displayed by people with autism according to Professor Allan Snyder, speaking at the Royal Society today. Snyder argues that it is our inbuilt expectations of the world that stop us from using them.

Prof Snyder spoke on the savant syndrome and his efforts to 'turn on' autistic savant skills in people who don't have autism at a discussion meeting jointly organised by the Royal Society and the British Academy. Snyder is director of the Centre for the Mind at the University of Sydney, Australia.

the Bercow Review: NAS response

The Bercow review, published today, has confirmed what many parents of children with autism have been telling us: provision for children with speech, language and communication needs is inadequate and must improve.

We strongly welcome Bercow's crucial emphasis on early identification and intervention and support his call for an assessment process and better speech and language services. It is also imperative that parents get the right support to understand both the needs of their child and what help is available to them.

UN co-chairs autism awareness campaign

The United Nations today co-launched a conference on autism designed to promote quicker intervention, more compassion and greater acceptance of those afflicted.

“Not too long ago, those affected by autism-related disorders were set aside: placed in institutions or dismissed as untreatable ‘lost cases’,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s wife, Ban Soon-taek, who co-sponsored the event with First Ladies Laura Bush of the United States and Dorrit Moussaieff of Iceland.

Cancellation of Controversial Autism Study Causes Both Relief and Outrage

A federal health agency has dropped plans for a controversial autism study, pleasing many scientists but disappointing some families with autistic children. The study would have tested a treatment called chelation, which removes heavy metals from the body and is used to treat lead poisoning.

Autism's cost


The perplexing disorder of autism continues to take its toll on children, families and society as a whole. Things are likely to get worse.

Autism is a serious subject, not only for families with autistic children but for the entire nation. The numbers are startling — and alarming. Let's begin right here at home: As of last month there were 424 students officially designated as autistic attending Frederick County Public Schools. Add to that number those who are being educated outside the public schools and many more who exhibit some autistic-like symptoms.


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