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OARacle Newsletter

IACC Releases 2019-2020 Research Funding Report

In March, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) released its 2019-2020 IACC Autism Research Portfolio Analysis Report. The report analyzes research funding activities across the United States to track autism research funding of federal agencies and private research organizations across the United States.  The report provides comprehensive information about U.S. autism research funding to help…

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Book Awards Feature Neurodivergent Main Characters

In January, the American Library Association (ALA) announced the winners of the Schneider Family Book Awards, as well as the titles selected as honor books. The Awards recognize an author or illustrator for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. In two of the three categories, the award-winning books feature…

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High-Quality Health Care Hard to Find

A study published in December in Disability and Health Journal found that people with cognitive disabilities, such as autism as well as other intellectual and developmental disabilities, reported significant difficulties in receiving high-quality health care. Adults with autism showed no differences when compared with adults with other cognitive disabilities.  In addition to its findings, this…

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First Autistic Lead Character on PBS Kids to Debut in 2024

PBS Kids is bringing its first autistic lead character to tv screens this coming fall in a series named for the that character, “Carl the Collector.” In the PBS Kids press release, Carl is described as “a warm-hearted autistic raccoon who loves collecting things. His talents – a laser-focus pursuit of his goals, attention to…

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Making Travel Better for Autistic People

With the holidays upon us, many of us are traveling – to get away for a vacation or to visit family members. For autistic people, as well as the parents of autistic children, travel has often been too stressful and overwhelming to consider. Recent news articles have highlighted progress in the travel industry, with airlines,…

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Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Restored

In late September, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that nearly 500,000 people, mostly children, who had lost Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage due to procedural errors would be reinstated, according to The New York Times. On September 29, HHS released a letter sent to state health officials emphasizing…

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Upcoming Broadway Musical Puts Autism on Stage

How to Dance in Ohio, a new musical, will open on Broadway on December 10, 2023, at the Belasco Theatre, with previews beginning November 15. The show follows seven autistic adults in Columbus, Ohio, as they prepare for their first dance. They spend 12 weeks practicing their social skills as they get ready for the…

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Why Accommodations Matter

In a recent Biospace article, John Ricco, the co-founder of Atlantic Group Recruiting, explained that autistic employees “often possess a unique skill set that employers can benefit from, including attention to detail, innovative problem solving, and a strong work ethic.” Even with these skill sets, unemployment rates for autistic adults are eight times higher than…

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Advice for the Transition to College

When Ryan Neale went to UCLA, his dream school, he struggled in the first months of his freshman year, hiding his autism and trying to blend in, as he wrote in an essay for Business Insider. In those first months of his freshman year, he “exchanged sleep and self-care for going out and partying —…

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Keep Summer Water Fun Safe

It is summertime, and pools, beaches, lakes, and ponds are wonderful places to enjoy recreation. For autistic children, though, places near water can be dangerous because they have a tendency to wander. A 2018 study that surveyed parents reported that 40% of them said that their child had wandered or attempted to wander at least…

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