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The Weekend Brief

October 10, 2015

P!nk donates towards iPads for people with autism

The first-ever Autism Speaks to Los Angeles Celebrity Chef Gala was the talk of the town with world-class chefs cooking for the cause. P!nk performed at the event and made a surprise donation of $50,000 towards the Autism Speaks iPads grant program which gives thousands of iPads to low-income families every year. Comedian Conan O'Brien brought the laughs as host of the star-studded fundraiser. Read more. Plus, read more about the Chef Gala from Variety.

Mass General and Autism Speaks ATN receive $15M to improve autism health care

The US Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $15 million to Massachusetts General Hospital and the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) to continue serving as the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) for another five years. Read more here.

Fall dilemma: Child with autism resists change to solid shoes

Great advice from our expert on transitioning your child from summer shoes to colder weather shoes. Read more.

Study: Too much repetition can hinder learning in those with autism

new study suggests that, for those who have autism, repetition of information actually hinders the ability to apply what they’ve learned to new situations.The finding challenges many popular autism education and therapy approaches that emphasize drilling and other forms of repetition.

The study, by an international team of scientists, appears in Nature Neuroscience. Read more about the study here.

Illustrations from an autism mom: "Mom went to give a baby a shower"

This is a follow-up to autism mom and blogger Lisa Smith's post last month. "Tate is different than his siblings but different is not always bad or wrong. Different is just different. I have tried to illustrate some of the ways Tate thinks differently..." Read more here

Why It’s So Difficult to Diagnose Autism in Girls

The past several years have seen an explosion of studies aimed at backing up these one-off observations about how autism presents differently in girls than in boys. This is a welcome development, as understanding the unique presentation of autism in girls will help us to better identify and treat the disorder. Read more at Slate.

Blue Man Group Chicago entertains fans with autism

The Blue Man Group put on a new kind of show Sunday at Briar Street Theater in Chicago. The popular international performance troupe changed up their normal routine to accommodate fans with autism. Read more about the performance on ABC.

Young adults with autism join Kylie Jenner's #StopBullying campaign

Many inspiring people with autism have used Instagram to share their stories of overcoming bullying as part of Kylie Jenner's #IAmMoreThan campaign to #StopBullying. Read more about the campaign here

‘Fruits of Employment’ vineyard employs adults with autism

Fruits of Employment (FOE) is a first-of-its-kind initiative that strategically employs workers with autism and other disabilities at competitive agricultural sites such as apple orchards and vineyards. Read more about the program here

Organization raising money for coffee shop designed to employ students with autism

A new idea is brewing to create a coffee shop in D.C. where you can get your cup o’ joe while local teenagers with intellectual disabilities can get on-the-job training. Read more at FOX 5 DC.

Wash U Study: Racial Disparity in Local Autism Diagnoses

African Americans in the St. Louis Metropolitan area are diagnosed with autism on average six months later than white children, according to a Washington University in St. Louis study. Read more at CBS St. Louis.

30 pieces of advice for employers working with people with autism

“First you have you give [people with autism] a job, a chance to try. Without that, nothing else matters.” Read more from The Mighty.

AMC Theatres sensory friendly film program expands their schedule

AMC Theatres in 2007 started the AMC Sensory Friendly Films program in partnership with theAutism Society to bring a unique movie experience to our community! As part of the program the film showings have their lights turned up and the sound turned down. Read more.

Ties That Bind: Growing up and having a brother on the autism spectrum

"What does it really mean to have a sibling with autism? To wake up each and every day knowing that someone in your family may be different. It’s a question I’ve spent most of the last 12 years trying to answer." Read more here.

Broadway star pens open lett​er after boy with autism interrupts show

Broadway star Kelvin Moon Loh is currently in "The King and I" and during a recent show a young boy with autism shouted loudly from the audience during a quiet scene. According to Kelvin, many in the audience reacted very negatively to the interruption and to the mother. Read more.

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

Introducing the Autism Speaks House to Home Prize!



Currently, 81% of adults with autism live with their aging parents. Homes and residential supports that meet the needs of these individuals, while simultaneously providing opportunities for independence and self-actualization, are already in demand. A major breakthrough that meets the escalating demand for homes and supports for those with autism is needed. Enter the competition here!