March 31, 2004 |
A group of activists plans to attend the Friday opening of the "United States of Leland" to determine whether the film's portrayal of an autistic boy is a replay of "vicious stereotypes." Ellen Sweeney, 32, of Brick, N.J., began protesting the movie after it was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003; she said she has collected about 1,900 signatures on an online petition against the film. Sweeney, who has not seen the film, is the mother of a 7-year-old boy with autism.
April 9, 2007 |
Scientists are hoping that the first interactive registry for autistic patients younger than 18 will lead to a better understanding of the condition. In a pilot study to determine whether such a novel registry would work, Drs. Paul and Kiely Law at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore recruited 800 families and had them fill out family profiles, including medical and developmental information on their autistic child or children.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 2010 |
Families of children with autism in eastern Los Angeles County appear to have prevailed in a fight to maintain state funding for a popular therapy for the disorder. More than 2,200 families received notice this week of a preliminary settlement in a class-action lawsuit that, if approved by a judge, would force the Eastern Los Angeles County Regional Center to continue to provide the treatment, known as the DIR model (for "developmental, individual difference, relationship-based")
November 3, 2011 |
Doctors, researchers, therapists and the general public should reconsider their biases against people with autism, according to a psychiatrist/neuroscientist who studies the disorder. You may not think you are biased against autistics, but you probably are, writes Dr. Laurent Mottron of the University of Montreal in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature . After all, he was too - and he's an expert in the field. Like most people, if he found a difference between autistic people and members of the general population, he assumed the gap represented some sort of defect - even when there was no evidence to suggest that it was. Many of his colleagues continue to think this way, Mottron writes: “For instance, researchers performing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
January 26, 2009 |
A new study from Italy adds more evidence that a mercury-based preservative once used in many vaccines doesn't hurt children. In the early 1990s, thousands of healthy Italian babies in a study of whooping cough vaccines got two different amounts of the preservative thimerosal from all their routine shots. Ten years later, 1,403 of those children took a battery of brain function tests.
March 13, 2010 |
The federal "vaccines court" ruled Friday in three separate cases that the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal does not cause autism, a finding that supports the broad scientific consensus on the matter but that greatly disappointed parents who are convinced that their child's illness was caused by vaccines. The court had ruled 13 months ago that a combination of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, commonly known as the MMR vaccine, and thimerosal does not cause the disorder, so the new ruling may finally close the bulk of litigation on the matter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2012 |
California lawmakers and advocates for children with autism assailed the state Department of Developmental Services during a hearing Monday over the deep racial and ethnic disparities in how it spends money on the disorder. "Families that are already the most disadvantaged get the least," Martha Matthews, an attorney for the advocacy group Public Counsel, testified before a panel of legislators in Sacramento. "This is exactly the opposite of what it should be. " State Sen. Darrell Steinberg, who heads a committee on autism, called for legislation to provide greater accountability in the $4-billion-a-year entitlement program for people with developmental disabilities.
August 5, 2007
Re "Pesticide link to autism suspected, July 30 The Times' article on a preliminary study linking pesticides to autism shows how politics can interfere with scientific work. The cases of autism in a general area exposed to the chemicals was 465 out of 300,000. This is an incidence of 1 case per 645 births. The article notes the overall incidence of autism is about 1 in 150 births.
December 8, 2007 |
Autism and other brain disorders may be the result of a missing protein important for building communication networks in the brain, MIT researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Neuron. They found that lack of an enzyme called Cdk5, which instructs a synapse-building protein called CASK, leads to a severe deficit in the formation of synapses. Other research has suggested that a deficiency of synapses is associated with autism.
February 13, 2009 |
In a major setback for the fight to link autism to vaccines, a special federal court ruled Thursday that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and vaccines that contained a mercury-based preservative were not connected to the autism that developed in three children.