Holly Robinson Peete: 8 Facts About Autism the Media Is Not Covering

Autism mom Holly Robinson Peete has a great post in the Huffington Post about the things that don’t always grab headlines — things like race, puberty, marital status… read on:

Over the years many parents have reached out to me for emotional support after their child was diagnosed with autism. I particularly remember getting Jenny McCarthy’s phone call shortly after her son’s diagnosis. Like most moms and dads, she needed to connect with somebody who knew first hand the swift gut-kick of this difficult diagnosis, somebody who had been in the trenches for 7 years already.

via Holly Robinson Peete: Shifting Focus: 8 Facts About Autism the Media Is Not Covering.

Technology helps family with autistic sons

Here’s an article about three brothers with autism who have been helped by technology — one who uses computers, one who communicates via PowerPoint slides and one who communicates with an iPod Touch.

Cathy and Bob Strybel, of Orland Park, want to get their three sons out into the world.

“We want to help them find their way,” Cathy Strybel said. “If technology helps them, we’re going to support them the best we can.”

The Strybels have three autistic sons, Patrick, 15, a freshman at Andrew High School in Tinley Park; Danny, 13, a seventh-grader at Jerling Junior High in Orland Park; and Matt, 10, a fifth-grader at Liberty School in Orland Park.

All three boys followed different paths to the diagnosis of autism and Cathy Strybel said the widely accepted genetic markers of autism are not yet found in her boys. She said they would be considered high functioning on the spectrum.

Technology has certainly helped the Strybels.

via Technology helps Orland family with autistic sons :: The SouthtownStar :: News.

Autistic Teen Picks First Two NCAA Rounds Perfectly

An autistic teenager from the Chicago area has done something almost impossible.

Nearly 48 games into an upset-filled NCAA tournament, 17-year-old Alex Hermann is perfect.

“It’s amazing,” he says. Truly.

The teenager predicted that Northern Iowa would beat the Kansas Jayhawks. He picked Ohio to knock off Georgetown. And Cornell to knock off Wisconsin.

via Autistic Teen Picks First Two NCAA Rounds Perfectly | NBC Chicago.

A possible early glimpse of autism’s impact on older siblings

Researchers looking at families with an autistic child say they don’t yet know whether the impacts are the result of having an autistic child in the family or if they might be part of a broader genetic predisposition.

A new study suggests a trend toward developing hyperactivity among typically developing elementary-school-aged siblings of autistic preschoolers and supports the notion that mothers of young, autistic children experience more depression and stress than mothers with typically developing children.

While the impact on older siblings was not statistically significant, the trend may indicate the presence of symptoms associated with broader observable autism characteristics seen in previous studies, says Laura Lee McIntyre, a professor and director of the University of Oregon’s school psychology program.The study was published in the March issue of the journal Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.

Previous research projects have netted mixed findings, but many suggest that families dealing with autism — especially brothers and sisters of an autistic child — also experience symptoms similar to autism: widespread abnormalities of social interactions, communication and behavior.

via A possible early glimpse of autism’s impact on older siblings.