Blue Man Group Promises More Sensory-Friendly Shows for Kids With Autism

Blue Man Group announced on Monday that they will continue their partnership with Autism Speaks and host a set of sensory-friendly shows suitable for children with autism in five major U.S. cities over the next year. “Creating a version of our show that is more accessible for families affected by autism has been a very meaningful experience for us,” Phil Stanton, Blue Man Group co-founder said in a press release. “We are thrilled to provide a safe and welcoming environment and are often quite moved by the emotional response to the show.” To make the show…

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Navy funds autism-screening app, hoping for help with PTSD

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Navy is paying for research into an app to screen for autism in the hopes that it could eventually be tweaked to look for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. While developmental and trauma disorders might at first appear strange bedfellows, the researchers and a PTSD expert for the VA say it could be an exciting new direction. Facial expressions can indicate the presence of autism, PTSD and other disorders. The Autism & Beyond app uses a smartphone camera and an algorithm to read children’s facial expressions…

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Autism spectrum has no clear cut-off point, research suggests

New study published in Nature Genetics indicates that genes predisposing people to autism could influence social skills in the wider population. The same genes involved in predisposing people to autism appear to influence social skills in the wider population, suggesting that the autism spectrum has no clear cut-off point, scientists have discovered. Researchers have previously shown that autism is linked not just to one or two powerful genes, but to the combined effect of many small genetic changes. The latest findings, published in Nature Genetics, suggest that social charm, empathy…

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Holly Robinson Peete talks new reality show, autism awareness

For Peete’s Sake is an American reality television series starring Holly Robinson Peete, Rodney Peete, their four kids, and her mom, Dolores. It premieres on March 19, 2016 on the Oprah Winfrey Network, as part of its Saturday-night reality lineup. Holly Robinson Peete has her plate full for the next couple of months. The “21 Jump Street” actress has a reality show debuting on the OWN network and she plans to release book about autism, titled “Same But Different” that she co-authored with two of her children. The 52-year-old actress…

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Tool Could Modify Genes to Treat Cancer, Autism

A new technique could allow scientists to edit and repair the human genome, and perhaps one day treat diseases or conditions linked to our genes. Researchers have figured out how to use the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR-Cas9, on the messenger RNA that carries genetic instructions from the cell’s nucleus to make new proteins. The experiment, by scientists at the University of California, San Diego, could lead to new treatments for diseases caused by malfunctions in the messenger RNA, such as fragile X syndrome, some types of cancer, autism and…

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Pa. to become 1st state to add autism as qualifying condition for medical marijuana

Click here to read full story at wgal.com HARRISBURG, Pa. —Pennsylvania is set to become the first state in the country to explicitly stipulate autism as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. That will happen if the amended version of the bill, a “functional medical marijuana bill,” passes the Senate and gets a signature from the governor. “Functional” states list out the ailments for which doctors can prescribe medical marijuana. In addition to autism, the House-passed version of the bill lists 16 other eligible conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease and cancer.…

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Alpha, Beta Brainwaves Differ in Those With Autism

A new study shows that brain waves in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) differ from those in people without ASD. The findings show that ASD individuals exhibit fewer beta and alpha waves in certain regions of the brain as well as irregular patterns in the frontal lobe. Beta brainwaves are higher frequency waves that dominate when we feel alert, attentive, and are intensely focused. Alpha waves are slower frequency waves that are predominant during a waking restful state. You can read the full story here…

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Stomach Troubles Not Linked to Autism, Study Finds

Gastrointestinal problems don’t cause the disorder, researcher says. Children with autismare not at higher risk for certain digestive system problems than those without the neurodevelopmental disorder, a small study suggests. The researchers focused on gastrointestinal disorders that previous studies suggested might be linked to autism. These include intestinal inflammation; deficiency of the digestive enzyme lactase, associated with lactose intolerance; and increased intestinal permeability, often called “leaky gut.” The results showed that the children with autism were no more likely to have these conditions than typically developing kids. Read the full story…

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Therapy Cat Helps 6-Year-Old Girl With Autism

  Wherever 6-year-old Iris Grace Halmshaw goes, 2-year-old Thula is sure to follow. When Iris is painting outside, Thula is always nearby, exploring in the garden. They play with the same toys in their fairy-tale-like playroom, take baths together, learn new things together, go on adventures and fall asleep together after long, exciting days. They sound like sisters. And while the two best friends are like family, there is one striking difference: Thula is a Maine Coon cat and Iris is a child with autism, diagnosed at age 2. Together…

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Pentagon under fire for proposed cuts to autism care

The Pentagon is under fire on Capitol Hill for a plan that critics say could leave thousands of military families whose children suffer from autism without access to the healthcare coverage they need. For the second time in as many years, the Department of Defense is proposing to slash payments to healthcare professionals who work with autistic children by as much as 15 percent. This would make it difficult for military families to find help for autistic children, critics say. The proposal has outraged dozens of lawmakers from both sides…

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