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US Autism & Asperger Association
October 26, 2012

Welcome to USAAA WeeklyNews, an email newsletter that addresses a range of topics on Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders.


Experts brace for wave of autistic adults

Erin Allday
SFGate

autism adultsGuido Abenes appreciates their concern, but he'd really like his parents to stop worrying about him.

He's 25, he says, and he's doing fine. But he's also autistic, part of the generation of young adults who were born during the first big wave of autism cases in the United States two decades ago and are now struggling to strike out on their own.

"I hear from parents in the Baby Boomer generation who have kids in their 30s now. They come to me and say, 'I'm afraid to die, because who's going to care for my son or daughter?' "

"I tell them sometimes, 'Stop it, I'm doing things, I'm resourceful,' "said Abenes, who is a student at Cal State East Bay. "They're getting the message, I think. But they still worry."

" Many college campuses, including Cal State East Bay, offer extra services for autistic students.

Abenes, who wants to be a therapist someday and travel the world, is fortunate. He joined the College Internship Program in Berkeley, which provides him with a two-bedroom apartment he shares with a roommate, along with intensive, daily academic and developmental support to help him continue to thrive into adulthood.

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Searching for Strengths in the School Setting: To Enrich Dignity, Motivation, and Learning

by Robert Brooks, PhD
Harvard Medical School faculty

Similar to previous years, this past August I had the opportunity to offer presentations at a number of schools and school districts prior to the commencement of the new school year. Although I enjoy speaking with educators at any time during the year, there is a noticeable excitement associated with colleagues seeing each other for the first time in a couple of months, being introduced to new staff, and preparing for their classes.

"Perhaps we can begin by simply asking ourselves when we are thinking about a particular student, "What are this student's strengths and how might I apply them as part of my educational strategies?"

Yet, what has become apparent is that in many public school districts this positive energy is increasingly tempered by concerns and anxieties pertaining to budgetary and financial issues, possible reductions in staff, faculty, and resources, and the need to learn and teach new core curricula that are required by state and federal mandates. In turn, these curricula are tied to standardized tests taken by students, which are used, in part, to assess teacher as well as administrator performance.

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Individualized Instruction is Not One-Size-Fits All

By Wrightslaw

individualized instructionAs a teacher, how can I advocate for a third grade student who receives resource support services, but failed to make any progress in reading or math this year?

The bottom line is the child has a right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). If she did not learn and make progress in the district’s program, the district did not provide her with FAPE.

Her parents paid for a daily specialized reading program for three months. She made astounding progress.

She learned to read and her scores improved greatly. Her parents have now requested the school fund the continuation of this program for reading comprehension and the LMB math program.

The school district says "No." They say they have a solid reading and math program, while not "a cadillac," it works.

The program they use may be good, but it has not been adequate for this child to learn or reach her potential.

You are right. A program the school considers "good"may not be adequate for every child, depending on the child's needs.

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Assuring Care of a Family Member With Special Needs

By RON LIEBER
NY Times

father and sonWith each passing election season, the conversations about the cost of government-provided health care and Social Security get more urgent.

But debates about the deserving and the undeserving and the proper level of budgets and taxes tend to gloss over the issue of disabled people — many of whom must hope that the programs they rely on are not cut, because they have no way to make up the difference.

Mr. Walther, who has a brother with Asperger's syndrome who lives with their parents, said he sometimes saw parents who had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on therapies for their child and arrived in his office with no retirement savings at the age of 50. "That's a loving thing," he said. "But now you have another problem. There is nothing for you. That special needs kid is dependent on you guys, and now you can't support yourself."

There were 5.5 million nonelderly adults with disabilities whose health care was covered by Medicaid in 2009, according to a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation estimate using the most recent numbers available. And an estimated 6.9 million nonelderly disabled people receive Social Security payments under the Supplemental Security Income program, according to federal government figures.

"Part of doing planning is letting family members know what is going on."

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In this issue:

Experts brace for wave of autistic adults

Searching for Strengths in the School Setting: To Enrich Dignity, Motivation, and Learning

Individualized Instruction is Not One-Size-Fits All

Assuring Care of a Family Member With Special Needs


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