How adults on the spectrum fare with employment

by Laura Shumaker – A few weeks ago I raised the topic of employment options for people with autism spectrum disorders, because wouldn’t it be great if the the intense interests of people with autism translated into jobs–even careers? I followed up by conducting an informal survey with followers of my Facebook Page–a reality check […]


Federal special ed funding should not be based on student test scores

by Levi B. Cavener – National Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants to tie test scores for special-education students to the amount of money a state receives from the federal government for reimbursement of special-education services. States that send back high test scores for special-education students will get more money; those with lower scores will get […]


Autistic boy has super powers in twin sister’s eyes

by Gillian Mohney – When Jenn Medvin asked her daughter, Avery, what she wanted to be as an adult, the 6-year-old gave a range of answers from doctor to princess. But when Medvin asked Avery what she thought her twin brother Xander would be, the 6-year-old paused for a second before saying her diagnosed-autistic brother […]


New study confirms ADHD risk from pregnancy smoking

by Randy Dotinga – Children born to women who smoked during pregnancy appear to have an increased risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to new research. The new study also hints — but doesn’t prove — that nicotine-replacement products used during pregnancy, such as patches and gum, could pose the same risk to children. […]

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Gardens as employment sources for young adults with autism

by Amy Rutledge – Nestled on the city’s west side, in the middle of the Illinois Medical District, an unexpected garden cultivating futures as well as flora. “We’re growing everything from tomatoes, pumpkins, summer squash, onions, kale, collards beans and watermelons.” Gwenne Godwin is head grower and farm manager of the Growing Solutions Farm, an […]

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Seattle district office.

A lack of vision at the district level

by Kyle Stokes – Seattle Public Schools’ efforts to educate students with disabilities of all sorts are “in need of urgent, substantial and significant improvement,” according to a scathing report released Tuesday, faulting district staff from the administrative offices all the way down to individual schools. The report itself was commissioned by the district office’s special […]

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Mother of twins with ADHD publishes guide on the disorder

by Matthew Piechalak – A better understanding of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is what Donna Mac hopes to communicate to readers in her new book, “Toddlers & ADHD: Relief for Parents; A guide for Clinicians and Teachers.” Mac, a licensed clinical therapist and a Lombard native, wrote the book for parents, clinicians, pediatricians, teachers, occupational […]