autism

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Autistic Teen Forgets Words at Talent Show, Audience Jumps in

'They showed him that he is not disabled but he is just differently able-ed'

(Newser) - Jagger Lavely loves music, and Frozen in particular, but the 13-year-old with autism briefly forgot the lyrics to "Let It Go" while performing the song at a middle school talent show in Massachusetts on Saturday. But not to fear: The audience chimed in to help him remember, even though... More »

De Niro Pulls Vaxxed From Film Fest

'We do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for'

(Newser) - Robert De Niro last week defended the decision to screen Vaxxed at the Tribeca Film Festival, saying, "this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion," because he has a child with autism. The actor has since reconsidered, reports the... More »

Dad Learns He's Autistic When Daughter Is Diagnosed

Chris Offer had been with his wife 7 years before diagnosis

(Newser) - In the early days of their relationship, Jessica Offer says she and her now husband Chris Offer would argue over his discomfort in looking people directly in the eye. Then there was the sensitivity to social overload. And after moving in together, the absurd neatness of their kitchen pantry. But... More »

Teacher: Student Attacked Me for Months, District Did Nothing

Colorado teacher files lawsuit against her school district

(Newser) - A Colorado teacher says she's suing her school district because it failed to protect her from a student who attacked her for months and even threatened her life, KDVR reports. "I was told that was my job and I was to get in there and take it,"... More »

All My Autistic Brother Wants Is True Love

In a tender piece for Esquire, Danielle Bacher charts her brother's quest

(Newser) - "My brother has always wanted what most of us do: love," writes Danielle Bacher of her younger brother Randy, 27. Finding it has been a complicated, decade-long pursuit that she charts for Esquire in a piece titled "My Autistic Brother's Quest for Love." Randy's... More »

Police Open Fire on Transgender YouTube Star

Kayden Clarke is killed in his Mesa, Ariz., home

(Newser) - A 24-year-old transgender YouTube star with Asperger's Syndrome apparently threatened suicide last week and ended up dead—when he was shot by police. Officers in Mesa, Ariz., arrived at Kayden Clarke's home on Thursday morning after friends said he'd sent text messages and emails threatening to kill... More »

Birthday Cake Photo Strikes a Chord, for Good Reason

Autistic employee decorates it, and customer keeps it

(Newser) - There's a reason a photo of a birthday cake is burning up the Internet, and it's a nice one. Lisa Sarber Aldrich of Michigan posted the image of the cake, adorned with the phrase "Happy Birthday Mandy," to Facebook with an explanation, reports Fox 5 . The... More »

Customer Rips Autistic Driver, Eatery Fires ... the Customer

Sometimes customer isn't right, he's rude

(Newser) - The old adage about the customer always being right ground to a precipitous halt at one Alaska restaurant earlier this month when aforementioned customer called Little Italy Restaurante to loudly complain that its delivery driver had messed up an order, "was an idiot and strung out on drugs."... More »

New, 'Catastrophic' Numbers Out for US Autism

'We do believe autism is more prevalent'

(Newser) - A new report reveals what appears to be a notable jump in the number US kids with an autism spectrum disorder, Live Science reports. According to a previous CDC estimate from medical records in 2010, one in 68 children had autism. But a new study states it's closer to... More »

Autistic Teen Saves Choking Classmate

He says he learned the Heimlich maneuver by watching SpongeBob

(Newser) - An Autistic teenager in New York is being hailed as a hero after saving a classmate who was choking on an apple, the Staten Island Advance reports. Brandon Williams, 13, was eating lunch Oct. 28 when he saw Jessica Pellegrino—a fellow special-needs student—struggling to breath. He tells the... More »

No, We Don't Need to Worry About the 'Autistic Shooter'

Writer debunks a myth born of ignorance

(Newser) - The mother of the man who opened fire at a community college in Oregon thought her son was autistic, leading to a Facebook page whose name is self-explanatory: “Families Against Autistic Shooters." It ranted against "cold, calculating killing machines" and asked, “What do all shooters over... More »

Dead Autistic Teen Left on Hot Bus for 9 Hours: Family

Hun Joon Lee died on one of S. California's hottest days of the summer

(Newser) - The family of a severely autistic teen found dead on a school bus says he may have been left there for up to nine hours on Friday, one of Southern California's hottest days of the summer, Fox News reports. The mother of Hun Joon Lee, a 19-year-old special needs... More »

Simple Sniff Test May Diagnose Autism

Study: Kids with disorder don't react to pleasant or unpleasant smells

(Newser) - A surprisingly simple sniff test shows promise in detecting autism in kids—perhaps even in those who aren't yet toddlers because it doesn't involve responding to questions. Israeli researchers found that autistic kids don't react strongly to strong smells, of either the pleasant or unpleasant variety, reports... More »

Jim Carrey Has Fiery Reply to California's Vaccine Law

Actor calls the CDC 'corrupt' and the governor 'fascist'

(Newser) - In what can fairly be described as a rant, Jim Carrey voiced his unfavorable opinion of California's new immunization law in a series of tweets last night and early this morning. Hours prior, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that requires all school-age children to be vaccinated, unless they... More »

Prominent Anti-Vax Doctor Dead in Apparent Suicide

Dr. Jeff Bradstreet's office had been raided by feds earlier in week

(Newser) - Authorities say anti-vaccine Dr. Jeff Bradstreet has been found dead in an apparent suicide in North Carolina. The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office said this week that Bradstreet died of "a gunshot wound to the chest, which appears to be self inflicted." Bradstreet, 61, was found by a... More »

Autism Study 'Like No Other' Looks at 5.7M Kids

Older parents, those with age gap at higher risk, say researchers

(Newser) - A massive new autism study adds to the evidence that parents' age plays a role in their children's risk of autism—including the suggestion that a couple with a big age gap has a higher risk. "Though we've seen research on autism and parental age before, this... More »

Millionaire Mom Gets 18 Years for Killing Son

Gigi Jordan says she killed 8-year-old Jude Mirra to save him from dad's abuse

(Newser) - Gigi Jordan, a pharmaceutics entrepreneur worth millions, had a variety of options at her disposal in handling her developmentally disabled son, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Matthew Solomon said yesterday at her sentencing. Instead, she drugged 8-year-old Jude Mirra to death with Ambien and Xanax in 2010, leading Solomon to sentence... More »

Family Kicked Off Flight Over 'Disruptive' Autistic Teen

They warned that hungry girl, 15, might have 'meltdown'

(Newser) - A mom who says she was humiliated when she and her family were kicked off a United Airlines flight because of her autistic daughter's allegedly disruptive behavior wants airlines to learn from the incident. According to a Facebook post from Donna Beegle, the family was on its way home... More »

School Tells Autistic Boy: Take Off That Varsity Letter

Michael Kelley incident sparks debate on varsity jackets

(Newser) - Did Michael Kelley, a boy with Down Syndrome and autism, have his letter jacket taken off him at school? The accusation has triggered squabbling, an online petition, and debate about how to recognize special-needs children in high-school athletics in Wichita, Kansas, KSN reports. Michael's mom, Jolinda, first said a... More »

Driving Vast Majority of Autism: Genes

Environmental factors likely still play some role

(Newser) - In somewhere between 74% and 98% of autism spectrum disorder cases, genes are to blame. So say researchers out of King's College London in the journal JAMA Psychiatry after studying both identical and fraternal twins. In fact, hundreds of genes could contribute to the development of autism, although because... More »

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