August 8, 2000 |
An old joke: "If you want to give God a really good laugh, tell Him your plans. " The way I figure it, I must have the Almighty rolling on the floor by now. See, I've never been short of plans. I planned to have my last child off to college in a few short years. After which, I planned to travel, planned to play, planned to walk around the house in boxer shorts whenever the mood struck. I didn't plan to be raising a little boy with autism. He's not even my child. Rather, he's the 4-going-on-5-year-old son of my 23-year-old stepdaughter.
January 13, 2003 |
A major new government study has found a much higher prevalence of autism than studies done in the 1980s and early 1990s. The findings, though, still don't answer an important question: Is autism truly on the rise? Anecdotal reports from schools, doctors, service agencies and parent groups suggest a dramatic increase in children with the neurological disorder. But some experts say that could simply be a result of growing awareness of the condition: More children are being diagnosed because more people know about it. The new study, done in the Atlanta area, found that 34 of every 10,000 children had autism or a related condition - compared with a rate of 4 to 5 per 10,000 reported in previous studies conducted elsewhere in the last two decades.
September 16, 2005 |
Gloucester County now has the land, the financing and the blueprint for a new $14 million school for students with autism. If all goes as planned, freeholders announced yesterday, about 140 students - ages 3 to 21, most with autism - will enter the Deptford facility in fall 2007. For the first time since it was proposed in the spring, freeholders provided details about how and when the 46,200-square-foot school will take shape. "We are going to build the type of facility that will give these type of children the maximum opportunity to learn," Freeholder Director Stephen Sweeney said during a news conference in Washington Township.
March 25, 2007 |
If you're the parent of a child with autism, it's hard to go places where the entire family can have fun without being worried about the child's behavior and other people's reactions. Autism is a developmental disorder that affects verbal and nonverbal communication skills and social skills. But the Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill is undaunted. Four times a year, the museum's Open Arms program invites families with autistic children for a free night of fun and learning - and networking with other parents and resource groups.
April 20, 2008 |
Imagine for a moment that you're an autistic child. You have trouble processing the sights and sounds obvious to other youngsters. Shades of meaning and facial expressions that others use to navigate social situations are lost on you. With no way to manage unstructured time, your anxiety skyrockets. You might even throw a tantrum. "It's as if someone dropped you off in Tokyo, with only the street signs to go on," autism expert Judy Horrocks said. "After a while, if it's too overwhelming, you don't bother to look at the street signs anymore.
February 22, 2009 |
Betsy Smetona of Haddon Heights quit her job last summer to stay home with her children. Her 23-year-old twins, Megan and Michael, have graduated from the Bancroft School in Haddonfield and can't be left alone. Both have autism, although in different degrees. "It's a big shock to the system when they graduate," Smetona said. "Their schooling was everything to them. It met their social and extracurricular needs. It's hard to find something in the community for Michael and Megan to do. " For the Smetonas and other New Jersey families in a similar situation, help could be on the way. Gov. Corzine signed laws in 2007 and 2008 that are now taking effect to enable early diagnosis of autism, develop screening guidelines for physicians, create a statewide patient registry, and educate emergency responders to recognize developmental disabilities.
January 15, 2009 |
When news came that Temple Grandin was coming to my house for an interview, I was scared. Grandin was coming to discuss her new book, Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals, which continues her quest to explain animals to people and people to themselves. She had been giving a reading nearby, in New Jersey, and said, why not? She is perhaps the best-known person with autism in the United States. Even without that distinction, hers is a singular story: Ph.D.
February 2, 2005 |
John T. Neisworth, a professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University and a prominent authority on autism and early-childhood education, has been charged with 25 counts of child sexual abuse and is scheduled to stand trial in a Maryland courtroom April 19. Neisworth, 67, retired from his full-time professorship in 2002, but he continues to teach a distance-education course on behavior analysis through the university's outreach program, Penn...
October 26, 2013 |
CHESTER SPRINGS - Like a typical mother, Marie Louise Ludwig was thrilled to hear her daughter, Stephanie, say the word Mommy. The fact that it happened when Stephanie, who is autistic, was 15, made the milestone even sweeter. "I think it's a word a lot of mothers take for granted," said Ludwig, who lives in Phoenixville with her husband, Andy, and Stephanie Keir, now 21. But Stephanie, who graduated in June from Devereux in West Chester, can't live with her parents forever.
October 21, 2010
9 tonight COMEDY Jon Stewart hosts this special fund-raiser for autism. It includes sketches, short films and performances by Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman and Chris Rock (right), among many others.