Participants for Autism Research Project

A graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is conducting a nation-wide study and IRB-approved research on identity for young adults with autism or Aspergers and is looking for young adults aged 18-25 to participate in the study.

This online research will study the experiences and attitudes of individuals on the autism spectrum and will examine how adults with ASD think about themselves and their experiences. Your participation will help advance the understanding of the perceptions and experiences of adults on the autism spectrum.

This nation-wide study will be conducted entirely online and will only take 15-20 minutes to complete.

For more information, please look at the brochure from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

If interested, follow the link on PDF file or click here.

The Autism Partnership Upcoming Events and Services

The Autism Partnership is currently conducting a research study on advances in social skills development through a 16-week program. They are looking for children between the ages of 3-5 years old diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum with the ability to speak in full sentences to participate in the study. The groups will be held at the Autism Partnership in Seal Beach, CA. For more information, please visit the Autism Partnership’s Social Skills Group page.

The Autism Partnership also has some new services available. They are introducing new treatment programs to the Applied Behavioral Analysis services, with Specialized Treatments Programs now available to those who exhibit complex behavioral challenges. Other new services include the creation of a Sibling Connection Group, with goals of providing a comfortable environment for families. Please contact Autism Partnership for more information on these and other programs and services.

Webinar Series on Autism

The Eden II Diagnostic and Outreach Center has a series of webinar programs for Spring 2014. These webinar programs contain a range of topics related to autism, such as Speech and Language, Applied Behavior Analysis, and communications for individuals with ASD. All webinars feature experts in the field, and is formatted to allow the audience to interact with the presenter. If interested, please visit the Eden II Diagnostic and Outreach Center to register.

UC Berkeley PhD Student Seeking Respondents for a Workplace Scenario Questionnaire

Jerred Jolin is a second year student in the Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University. His research interests lay at the intersection of high functioning autism, vocational development and measurement/assessment. Currently, he is working on a project that uses comics as a format to assess transition-age (16-22) student ability to deconstruct (identify key information within) and make judgments about workplace interactions characteristic of employment settings heavy in customer service demands.

If you have a child within the above age range and would like to help this student out with this project, simply click on the link below and get started.

Take the survey by clicking here!

All responses are saved automatically. Please note that it is not necessary to click the “edit form” button at the top right of the screen. Also, if you have a hard time reading the comics and you have an Apple computer, hold down the command (or apple) key on your keyboard and press the key with the “+” sign on it to zoom in–if you do not have an apple computer, hold down the button with the windows logo on it (or try the control key) and press the key with the “+” sign on it to do the same thing. If you have any questions please feel free to email the student at

One more thing: Providing help in the form of clarification, reading the comics aloud, and/or typing your child’s responses is ok. For these purposes, it is important only that the informational content within each response comes from your child.

Jerred hopes to get 100 completed by April 1, 2014

Article: Benefits of Online Education Can Be Life-Changing for Autistic Students

“With autism on the rise, many schools struggle to meet the needs of autistic students. Often, autistic adults do not take the next step to go on to college or meaningful employment, even though they may be incredibly gifted. Letting students fall behind should not be an option.

If traditional classrooms struggle to effectively educate autistic students, what can online education offer autistic learners? Tech tools and virtual learning environments present an opportunity to better serve autistic students with flexibility and resources that are well suited to guide them in learning. The more educators learn about working with autistic students, the better equipped teachers and students will be for success.”

Read more from the article “Autism and Online Learning: A Guide for Teachers” recently featured on the Education Database Online Blog.

“Experts Brace for Wave of Autistic Adults” – San Francisco Chronicle Article

It was in the late 1980s and early ’90s that rates of autism started skyrocketing in the United States. A condition that once was considered rare, with fewer than 2 cases per 1,000 births in the United States, is now thought to afflict 1 in 88 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s unclear exactly what has caused the increase, but factors could include greater awareness and better diagnosing of the condition, as well as an actual rise in cases, perhaps related to environmental factors.

Read more!

Autism Treatment Settled with Blue Shield

Autism treatment dispute settled with Blue Shield

The Associated Press
Posted:   01/31/2012 06:12:55 PM PST

LOS ANGELES—A state regulator has reached an agreement with Blue Shield of California to provide coverage of a pricey type of autism treatment.Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says his department took action against the insurer in July to get Tuesday’s settlement that promises the insurer will comply with the state’s Mental Health Parity law.

The law requires coverage for medically necessary behavioral therapies, including applied behavioral analysis therapy.

Blue Shield spokesman Steve Shivinsky says the settlement confirms the insurer’s existing policy dating back to July 2011, when the state’s other health insurance regulator, the Department of Managed Health Care, made similar demands for HMO policyholders.

Shivinsky says the insurer then began providing ABA services for all of its policyholders, and Tuesday’s agreement only confirms it.

The Autism Society of California

Please take part in this survey.   We hope this will be the largest survey done to date in the state to help identify the needs of individuals on the spectrum and their families. It is available in English and Spanish on a secure server. The closing date is January 31, 2012, so we appreciate your help forwarding the message below that is in both English and Spanish so that we can get an EXCELLENT response!

Emily Iland, President, Autism Society of Los Angeles

It will gather perceptions and experiences relative to the education and services an individual with ASD receives across their entire lifespan in California. The information received will be used to assist the State of California in becoming more responsive to the needs of our community during this turbulent financial time. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and is located on a secure server to ensure that the information collected will remain confidential. We are asking that the survey be completed by January 31, 2012. The results of this survey will be published on our website at by mid-March. Parents and individuals will be given the option of providing their email address so they may receive the results directly as well. Please share these links!



UC Davis Spring Course and FB

Spring Courses @ UC Davis Extension

NEW FACEBOOK PAGE:  UC Davis Extension Autism Spectrum Disorders

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March 13th, 2012

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University of California, Davis -MIND Institute


2825 50th Street Sacramento, CA 95817

For more information: Wilbert Francis, UCLA Tarjan Center,, (310) 206-2626.

Autism And Blinking Patterns Examined In New Study

 The Huffington Post  

Eyes may be the key to the soul, but the act of opening and closing them — and the rate at which children do it — may provide clues to the mind. According to a new study, “blinking patterns” might contain new insights into how children with autism think.

Led by Warren Jones, Ph.D., Director of Research for the Marcus Autism Center at Emory University, the study measured how young children blink when watching a video. The idea for the research originated with an observation made by graduate student Sara Shultz, of the Yale Child Study Center. “[She] saw that while kids were watching [a video], they were blinking less than before or after the video started to play,” Jones told The Huffington Post. “We usually don’t pay attention to blinking, so that set off a train of ideas in our minds.”

Jones explained that during the moment we spend blinking, we lose visual information. Therefore, less frequent blinking can indicate that an individual is more interested by, attracted to, and engaged in whatever is going on around them.

The research team decided to use this concept to study children with autism, comparing the blinking patterns of normally developing 2-year-olds with the blinking patterns of 2-year-olds on the autism spectrum.

“This is a new tool for us to try and understand … what kids with autism are most drawn to, what things are distracting kids from learning or what things are naturally attractive,” said Jones, adding that he and his fellow researchers hope to “use those things in the case of intervention.”

The children in the study were shown a video of a boy and a girl playing. The 2-year-olds who did not have autism generally blinked less frequently when watching the more emotional parts of the movie, while the autistic children blinked less frequently, by an overwhelming margin, when they were watching objects and physical movements.

Information about patterns like these could have big implications when it comes to developing new ways to interact with children who fall on the autism spectrum. “Knowing what factors are naturally driving their attention … could help everyday learning situations,” Jones told The Huffington Post.

And although parents can’t really learn anything from looking at the way their kids blink — these kind of measurements require high-tech laboratory equipment — parsing what attracts a child’s attention can help parents better understand how children with autism interact with the world.

“For parents of kids with autism, one thing that can be a struggle is … understanding what that child’s experience is like. When a kid with autism gets frustrated it’s hard to know what’s driving that frustration,” said Jones. He hopes that this research can lend a helping hand.