What in the World Is Going On - December 2011 Edition - Autism Awareness
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What in the World Is Going On – December 2011 Edition

There has been a lot of buzz in recent months about the use of technology with people on the autism spectrum. Technology is opening up a whole new avenue for teaching and communication. There is an excellent journal called Assistive Technology, which is the official journal of Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). You can view sample copies on-line but it does require a subscription; however, if you are interested in the effective use of technology for people with disabilities, these articles are of high quality and share great ideas on the innovative use of technology.

The Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) does provide some great free downloads on using apps for people with autism. If iPad is your interest, there is a blog called the iPad Training Site that gives instruction on using iPad with people with disabilities. You’ll find their You Tube videos helpful too.

For those looking for a great book on apps, the recently published Apps for Autism by SLP Lois Brady fits the bill. With over 200 apps listed, the book is divided into sections on various topics such as Apps for Speech, Receptive Language, Vocabulary, Life Skills, Organizers, Occupational Therapy concerns like handwriting, and General Education. This is a great way to review apps before purchasing them. Customer reviews of apps are provided as well.

There is a new autism centre going to be built in Toronto, ON that will be the first of its kind to house researchers and youth with autism under one roof. The Kae Martin Campus will have researchers working alongside 520 young people with autism who will live there and be educated in becoming self-sufficient independent adults. There is no model like this proposed one in Canada. The idea is that when students graduate, they will have the necessary life skills to be lead successful adult lives.

The United Nations announced at the beginning of November that it will honour autism awareness next year with a series of postage stamps designed by individuals with autism. The UN will select at least three designs to put into circulation. About 1 million autism awareness stamps are expected to be made available at U.N. offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna.

Looking for a great blog to read by someone on the autism spectrum? Check out Aaron Likens blog called Life on the Other Side of the Wall. Aaron is the Community Education Specialist for TouchPoint Autism Services based in Saint Louis, Missouri and has Asperger Syndrome. He’s been blogging for almost 2 years. You’ll enjoy his honest approach to life on the spectrum. Very informative!

On December 8th, CBC’s David Suzuki’s The Nature of Things program will feature The Autism Engima. The show will give a fresh perspective on autism research with the developing “Bacterial Theory” of autism. About 70 percent of people with autism also have gut issues. If you miss this broadcast, it will be on again December 15th. Go to CBC’s website for details.

And those are the highlights of what in the world is going on in the field of autism for the month of December.

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