autism

When you step inside the Creative Behavior Solutions clinic in Largo, the first thing you notice isn't what you can see, it's what you can hear – the sound of children laughing, clapping and singing.

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In a detailed, 65-page ruling, a federal appeals court Friday said a trial is needed in a legal battle about whether Disney theme parks have taken adequate steps to meet the needs of customers who have autism and cannot wait long times for rides.

More Children Have Autism Than Previously Thought

May 1, 2018
Flickr Creative Commons

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention medical review of more than 320-thousand eight year olds found the number of autism diagnoses had increased by 150 percent from 2000. 

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Police Chief Brian Dugan announced plans Thursday to commemorate Autism Awareness Month. Their new program, "Help Us, Help You" is an online special needs registry for first responders in the city of Tampa.

Buckhorn announced in his State of the City address last year that he wants to make Tampa one of the first cities in America to be designated as autism friendly. This registry is the next step in his initiative.

Florida law enforcement will now undergo training to better understand individuals on the autism spectrum.

House Bill 39, which mandated the training, was filed on Nov. 23, 2016 — four months after a North Miami police officer shot an unarmed behavioral therapist who begged officers in a now-viral video to not shoot the autistic man he was working with.

A new Florida law requiring autism awareness training for law enforcement officers takes effect Sunday.

Emergency_Vehicles / Flickr

The sheriff in Pinellas County has fired a decorated deputy who was recorded taunting an autistic student at the middle school where he provided security and guidance.

Many more boys are diagnosed with autism every year than girls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disorder is 4.5 times more common among boys than girls. Boys appear to be more vulnerable to the disorder, but there is some evidence that the gender gap may not be as wide as it appears.

North Miami Police Department

The North Miami Police Department is firing the commander in charge when an officer shot a therapist who was protecting an autistic man.

Governor Rick Scott recently signed a bill into law requiring autism awareness training for Florida’s law enforcement officers. But, some may not see the merits of the new law—that gained traction after a high profile incident last year.

Evan Granowitz / Flickr

The family of a Florida autistic man has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit over a 2016 police shooting in which the man's caretaker was wounded.

Tiny, 3-D clusters of human brain cells grown in a petri dish are providing hints about the origins of disorders like autism and epilepsy.

An experiment using these cell clusters — which are only about the size of the head of a pin — found that a genetic mutation associated with both autism and epilepsy kept developing cells from migrating normally from one cluster of brain cells to another, researchers report in the journal Nature.

Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo has criticized an autism awareness training proposal for law enforcement officers in the Florida Legislature as “feel-good legislation.” 

North Miami Police Department

Officials say a Florida police officer who shot an autistic man's caretaker is facing criminal charges.

The Florida House has voted to expand autism awareness training for law enforcement. Support for the issue amped up this session after a North Miami officer shot at an autistic man he thought was dangerous.

A bill requiring autism awareness training for law enforcement officers is now heading to the House floor.

For the first time in a decade, the classic children's television show Sesame Street will introduce a new Muppet on the air.

There are many challenges helping adults with autism  join the work force once they haev have aged-out of the school system.

A bill requiring autism awareness training for law enforcement officers is starting to move in both chambers of the Florida Legislature. It comes after a high profile incident that occurred in South Florida last year involving a black man, an autistic man, and law enforcement.

Since the year 2000, there have been a number of policies and regulations enacted on the state and federal level to help children with autism. But eventually, those children grow up. Everything changes when a child with autism becomes an adult.

In the back of a large building at the ARC Gateway campus in Pensacola there is a large industrial paper shredder next to a large room filled with tables and people sorting paper. One of those people is Nikiya Houston, who says her job is pretty simple "To shred paper and to sort paper." 

"When I was taking classes, autism was this little paragraph in a book. not a chapter, not a whole book, it was a little paragraph." Debbie Keremes is sitting in her crowded office at the Autism Center at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital off Bayou Boulevard in Pensacola. She is the manager of the facility as well as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. 

The Autism Society reports a growing number of autism spectrum disorder diagnoses across the country. That's seen an increase in the need for exceptional student education , or ESE, in Florida and elsewhere. Students with autism and other disabilities require special education plans, trained staff, and sensory rooms to help them calm down and deal with the stress of the classroom.

A Duval County teacher has been suspended for putting an autistic student in a closet.

The teacher claims the act was to calm the student down, highlighting  differences in what is considered appropriate ways to deal with special needs students.

The Incident

Charles Jones' 12-year-old son, Malik, has autism. When he found out, Jones says, the news came as a shock — and fodder for plenty of fears.

"It was like a shot in the gut," he says. "I thought my son would be nonverbal, that he would never say 'I love you.' But when he started talking he wouldn't shut up."

As the population of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder keeps growing, so does the number of people with that diagnosis who aren't finding employment.

Though many young adults on the spectrum are considered high functioning, recent research shows 40 percent don't find work — a higher jobless rate than people with other developmental disabilities experience.

The construction of the Florida Holocaust Memorial is one step closer to becoming reality. That's among 20 bills Governor Rick Scott signed into law Wednesday.

Profit, Abuse At Homes For Profoundly Disabled

Dec 15, 2015
Pep Montserrat, special to ProPublica

Three years ago, it looked like the Florida agency that oversees care for children and adults with disabilities had finally had enough.

It filed a legal complaint that outlined horrific abuse at Carlton Palms, a rambling campus of group homes and classrooms near the small town of Mount Dora.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A U.S. representative whose district includes eastern Orange County is becoming more prominent in the controversy over vaccines and autism, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 

Alba Prieto says life with her son Daniel can be a “roller coaster.”

“One day you’re up, one day you’re down,” she says. “But at the end of the day, at the end of the roller coaster, you feel super excited about what you have been doing.”

Daniel Varela, 10, was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old. It’s a spectrum disorder (one with varying degrees of severity) that can make communication and social interaction challenging. 

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