Our Facebook page and Twitter pages bring your autism news and human interest stories (almost) every day of the week. Now every Friday we’ll be rounding up the week’s biggest stories in one spot here on our website. If we’ve missed one, let us know and we’ll add it to the post.
How the EU Referendum result will affect those with autism and their families is still unknown. George Osborne said before the referendum that the UK would not be able to “afford the size of the public services that we have at the moment” outside the European Union and would have to “cut its cloth” accordingly.” The Community Care website has a rundown of what the likely implications of Brexit for social care and disabled rights might be.
TV presenter Melanie Sykes has highlighted how hard it can be to get the right educational provision for children with autism. She suggests that this is especially true if they are high functioning, and that the problem is made worse by academisation of the school system. Speaking on This Morning she said,
“We have met a lot of parents whose children have special educational needs who have been told, ‘We have pressure from inspectors to meet academic standards, so your son or daughter does not fit in here.’”
Psychiatric conditions crop up more than twice as often in families that include a child with autism as in the general population. Researchers have found high rates of autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disability, schizophrenia and other mental health problems among siblings of those with an ASD diagnosis. The discovery could help identify offspring with high risk of developing these conditions, which could lead to earlier diagnoses and early intervention.
An app for Google Glass being developed by Standford University is helping children with autism to interpret human emotions. It records and analyses faces in real time. When the device’s camera detects an emotion such as happiness or sadness, the word “happy” or “sad” – or a corresponding “emoji” – flash on the glass display. The developers hope that it will help children on the spectrum to become more socially engaged.
A video of a toddler having a tantrum in a car park went viral this week, but not in the way that the original poster expected. Even parents of children on the spectrum may have unthinkingly judged a parent of a child going ballistic in public. Mike Steele posted a video of a mother dealing with a wriggling, screaming toddler on Facebook with the comment “Spare the rod, spoil the child”, suggesting that the meltdown was due to lack of discipline. Then the mother on the video contacted him to tell him that her child had just been diagnosed with autism…