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Teenage artist with Asperger’s syndrome draws stunning photorealistic pictures (ITV News) – A teenage boy in Wales by the name of Chris Baker has an unusual artistic talent despite the fact that he is Autistic. [Editor’s note: Make sure you watch the video linked to the page! Once the story of Chris is concluded, Meleri Thomas of the Wales National Autistic Society talks about Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.]

Study Finds Link Between Autism, Creativity (disability scoop) – Finally, there is some good news for people on the Spectrum. According to a study done by Martin Doherty of the University of East Anglia in England and co-authors Catherine Best, Shruti Arora, and Fiona Porter, people high on the Autism Spectrum (such as those with Aspergers) are more likely to come up with creative ideas. Mr. Doherty says that this is due to the fact that, “(p)eople with autistic traits may approach creativity problems in a different way. They might not run through things in the same way as someone without these traits would to get the typical ideas, but go directly to less common ones.” [Editor’s note: This is just one of many reasons that many on the Spectrum are upset with Autism Speaks concentration on finding a “cure” for Autism.]

Schools Warned On Speech Services For Kids With Autism (disability scoop) – It appears that most schools fail to address the needs of Autistic students when it comes to speech. Most often, speech-language pathologists are not included when a child’s IEP is formulated. Under IDEA, children with disabilities are supposed to be fully evaluated for their specific needs.

Why “High Functioning” Autism Is So Challenging (about health) – In some ways mentioning geniuses like Einstein and Bill Gates as examples of high-functioning Autistics is not helpful for most high-functioning Autistics. Actually, most have the intelligence of their non-Autistic peers; however, they “may also have significant challenges, which stand in the way of living a comfortable life, succeeding in work or romance, or achieving a sense of self-worth. Those issues are made more challenging, in part, because they surprise and upset others who don’t anticipate odd behaviors or reactions from people who ‘pass for normal’ in many situations.”

Why Schools Over-Discipline Children With Disabilities (The Atlantic) – Despite the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act has been in place for 25 years, there is still much discrimination in schools against children “… with conditions such as oppositional defiant disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, and depression. These are often kids who can’t sit still, who challenge their teachers, or who struggle with social interactions, among other behavioral challenges—all of which can look like deliberate misbehavior or defiance.”

For Students With Disabilities, Transition From High School Brings Unique Challenges (Learning Lab) – For a large number of high school students with disabilities, especially those diagnosed with Asperger’s, the end of the road in services comes at graduation time or when they become 22 years old. After that, they are on their own for the most part. (It is this void that Asperger Works was founded to fill.)

10 Things to Know about the Americans with Disabilities Act (Disability.gov) – In its July Disability Connection Newsletter, disability.gov highlights the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a civil rights law that was put in place to prohibit “discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation and all public and private places that are open to the general public.” Still, there are states that to this day don’t provide adequate disability services (see the article below).

Analysis Ranks Best States For Disability Services (disabilityscoop.com) – Have you ever wondered where your state stood when it came to benefits to people with disabilities? If you live in Arizona, rejoice – your state is number one! On the other hand, if you live in Mississippi, you might as well throw in the towel – your state is last.

5 Ways Employers and Businesses Can Become More Autism-Friendly (The Mighty) – In this post, Ron Sandison recounts an event in his life that triggered him to search for answers to the problem of misconceptions and poor treatment of people on the Spectrum by their employers.

Top 10 Famous People with Autism (Top Tens) – This is a video about some of the most remarkable people on the Spectrum: John Elder Robinson, Temple Grandin, Jason McElwain, Thomas McKean, Tim Page, Dawn Prince-Hughes, Matt Savage, Satoshi Tajiri, Daniel Tammet, and Donna Williams. Each of these people is amazing in his or her way.

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