autism

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Man Who Grew 46DD Breasts Wins $2.5M Drug Suit

Family of Austin Pledger says he developed gynecomastia after taking Risperdal

(Newser) - A 20-year-old autistic man won a $2.5 million lawsuit against a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Tuesday after his family and doctor say he developed 46DD breasts after taking an antipsychotic drug, the Philadelphia Daily News reports. Austin Pledger, from Thorsby, Ala., was first prescribed Risperdal, manufactured by Janssen... More »

Teacher Fights Suspension Over Hugging Autistic Child

Cops say they're looking into whether Leo Bennett-Cauchon had other 'victims'

(Newser) - A California special education teacher has spent the last two days protesting outside his employer's administration building after the school district suspended him for hugging a severely autistic 8-year-old boy. Leo Bennett-Cauchon, who was put on paid leave Feb. 3 after admitting to hugging the boy and letting him... More »

Sibling Study Surprises Autism Researchers

'Autisms' a better term than 'autism,' they say

(Newser) - Siblings with autism tend to behave as differently as any other siblings, according to a new study that highlights what the New York Times calls the "exasperating diversity of autism, even in the most closely related individuals." The researchers analyzed genetic material from 85 families that had two... More »

How to Stop the Anti-Vaccine Movement

Peer pressure—and more regulation, writes Michael Hiltzik

(Newser) - In the wake of the Disneyland-linked measles outbreak, which has now hit 87 cases, columnist Michael Hiltzik takes a look back at Jenny McCarthy in a Los Angeles Times piece whose headline dubs her a "public menace" for popularizing the anti-vaccine movement. Hiltzik also reminds us that McCarthy, who... More »

Vacuum Demo: Best Birthday Ever for Autistic Teen

Dylan Johnson, 14, knew more about vacuums than salesman did at his birthday bash

(Newser) - For 25 years, Al Archie has been a salesman for the Kirby vacuum company, but he finally met his match in appliance expertise over the weekend: Dylan Johnson, an autistic teen whose mom had commissioned Archie to come to Chesterfield, Va., to do a vacuum demo for her son's... More »

BPA Alternative Might Be Even Worse

Study suggests it affects brain development

(Newser) - A new study is lending more support to the idea that BPA-free products aren't necessarily safe products. Bisphenol S, or BPS, an alternative to BPA, appears to cause problems in the brain growth of animal embryos, researchers say. After studying zebra fish, whose brain development is seen as similar... More »

Why Autism Rates Have Soared

Study: Most of the uptick is because of better diagnosis, not environmental factors

(Newser) - The rate at which autism is diagnosed around the world has increased dramatically in just a generation, and researchers studying a comprehensive tracking system in Denmark say they can explain the majority of the uptick: new and improved diagnosis. In the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, they argue that the huge... More »

Breathing in Pollution While Pregnant Linked to Autism

3rd trimester seems to be the most at-risk time to inhale fine particulate matter

(Newser) - It's probably not good for anyone to take a deep gulp of polluted air, but for pregnant women it could have a particularly significant effect—including maybe even upping the risk of having an autistic child, Bloomberg reports. A Harvard study published yesterday in Environmental Health Perspectives says that... More »

Google's Big New Project: Autism Research

Company aids in sequencing thousands of genomes

(Newser) - To learn more about the genetics behind autism, researchers are planning to sequence the genomes of thousands of people—and they've enlisted a partner who knows a thing or two about sifting through scads of data. Using its Genomics tool, Google will host on its servers and index the... More »

Jerry Seinfeld Backtracks, 'I Don't Have Autism'

Comedian tells 'Access Hollywood': 'I'm not on the spectrum'

(Newser) - Jerry Seinfeld is on the autism spectr—um, never mind. The comedian is backtracking after he claimed to be mildly autistic in an interview with NBC News , noting, "I think I'm on the spectrum" as "basic social engagement is really a struggle." Now he tells Access ... More »

Jerry Seinfeld: I'm on Autism Spectrum

'Basic social engagement is really a struggle'

(Newser) - Jerry Seinfeld is making headlines for an interview with Brian Williams of NBC in which he says he thinks he's at least mildly autistic. "I think, on a very drawn-out scale, I think I'm on the spectrum," he says. Williams presses him for details, recounts USA ... More »

Accused Killer Mom Wrote Son Was Stolen From Her

Relatives say Jillian McCabe had mental collapse

(Newser) - Jillian McCabe, the Oregon mother accused of throwing her autistic 6-year-old son London off a bridge , was devoted to the boy but went into a downward spiral after her husband developed multiple sclerosis and her father died, relatives tell NBC . She detailed her struggles and the ups and downs of... More »

Broccoli Chemical Could Help Fight Autism Symptoms

Study produces noticeable changes in subjects

(Newser) - A chemical found in veggies like broccoli may help cut down on symptoms in people with autism, a study finds. With the help of parents and caregivers, researchers assigned autism "scores" to 44 males with the disorder, ages 13 to 27; higher numbers on two different scales were linked... More »

Tiny Monet: Autistic Girl, 5, Sells Paintings for Thousands

Iris Grace may struggle to communicate with words, but not on canvas

(Newser) - When Iris Grace Halmshaw's parents first supplied their daughter with painting supplies, they hoped it would be a fun way for the autistic girl to express herself. But instead of stick figures, Iris Grace immersed herself in abstract impressionist painting for hours at a time, often depicting movement in... More »

Man Dies Rescuing Autistic Boy From River

Boyce 'Scoop' Coleman remembered for generosity, big heart

(Newser) - Boyce "Scoop" Coleman's friends and family aren't surprised he was the first to jump into the Hudson River after a 6-year-old autistic boy fell in the water at a barbecue Sunday, the New York Post reports. Coleman, 40, is credited with helping to save the child—witnesses... More »

Celebs Offer Reward After Twisted Ice Bucket Prank

Autistic Ohio teen had feces, urine dumped on head

(Newser) - Drew Carey has offered $10,000 to help find a group of Cleveland-area teenagers who humiliated an autistic boy with their twisted take on the ALS ice bucket challenge. The 14-year-old's mother contacted police after discovering that the group of teens had used the boy's phone to record... More »

6-Year-Old Hits Parkway on ATV, Mom Frantic

Autistic boy slips away on family visit to park

(Newser) - Drivers on the Bronx River Parkway were a little surprised to see a 6-year-old driving his miniature ATV beside them last night. The boy's mom was even more surprised to discover him missing. It started on a family trip to a park in Mount Vernon, New York, where the... More »

'Dangerous' RFK Jr Keeps Slamming Vaccines

Yet people still listen to him, writes Laura Helmuth

(Newser) - Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has grabbed the spotlight in his fight against vaccines, and Laura Helmuth can barely believe it. "Fascinating it is, and absolutely maddening," she writes at Slate. "And dangerous." Kennedy believes that a vaccine preservative, thimerosal, causes autism, even though one medical organization... More »

Police: Autistic Boy, 11, Kept in Cage

Parents face charges of felony child endangerment

(Newser) - The parents of a severely autistic boy have been arrested after investigators determined the 11-year-old had been kept in a large metal cage, possibly to control his violent outbursts, authorities said today. The cage—similar to an extra-large dog kennel—was found in the Orange County, California, home with a... More »

Another Study Finds No Link Between Vaccines, Autism

Researchers conclude vaccinations are generally safe

(Newser) - Another day, another study asserting that vaccines don't cause autism: This time, researchers analyzed 67 different studies and found no evidence that immunizations cause autism. "There is a lot of misinformation out there about vaccines," a co-author tells USA Today . "With the rise of the Internet... More »

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