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The Daily Brief

October 23, 2015

PBS NewsHour features Autism Speaks' MSSNG Project

PBS NewsHour took viewers behind-the-scenes of MSSNG on Wednesday night. Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Rob Ring discussed the groundbreaking program, a project by Autism Speaks and Google, that sets out to sequence the DNA of 10,000 families affected by autism. You can learn more about MSSNG here.

Research yields tips for easing anxiety in nonverbal kids with autism

In this week's "Got Questions," a grandparent's nonverbal 6-year-old grandson no longer enjoys trips to the lake after a loud boat engine noise spooked him. Since then, he’s become extremely frightened of any boat engine noise and won’t go near the shore. Read our answers for what can be done to help.

CDC adds real-life scenarios to improve online autism training

Know a health care provider, early educator or other care giver in a position to help recognize children who have autism? The CDC has improved its online Autism Case Training programs with real-life scenarios showing children with autism in a variety of clinic, classroom and home settings. Read more about it here.

When Halloween is not about candy

"At our house we are counting down the days until Halloween and have been for quite some time. My fourteen-year-old son Tate has autism and he has been texting me reminders about Halloween for months. Tate tells me often that Halloween is his favorite holiday. If someone had told me nine or ten years ago that Halloween would someday be Tate’s favorite holiday I’d have been sure they would be wrong." Read more here.

Celebrating Uniqueness Sparks a United States of Fantastic Friends

"When I speak at schools or to health professionals, I ask everyone the same question,
'How many people here want to interact with people who have special needs but do not know how to do so?' Everyone in the room always raises their hands. Read more about Marissa Hacker's nonprofit, "Fantastic Friends" here.

Project Lifesaver takes off in North Dakota

Non-profit Project Lifesaver, that received an Autism Speaks grant earlier this year, works to bring loved ones home after they wander. Now, they're training first responders in North Dakota and are urging parents to sign up for bracelet receivers for free. Read more here.

A moment of pure joy for my son at the Fall fair

"Greyson was excited. Pure, golden, liquid- excitement. Greyson's face frequently does not display what he is thinking or feeling- but this moment- it did. It's like some seeds hidden deep under the earth had finally bloomed." Read more here.

Check out our “In Our Own Words: Living on the Spectrum” blog series!

The In Our Own Words blog series highlights people with autism and their stories through their perspectives. Have a story about growing up with autism? Submit your blog here

Alex and Jamie Schneider are 24-year-old identical twins who are severely affected by autism. Yet, their accomplishments as runners has brought them international attention. The twins ran in Autism Speaks' 4 Miles of Hope race in New York City in 2014. Learn about their incredible story in the video above.