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HEALTH
By Joe Burris and Rob Kasper, The Baltimore Sun | April 21, 2010
During a recent first-grade class session at the McDonogh School in Baltimore, 7-year-old Aidan Wade gave an impromptu discussion on what it's like to have a sibling with autism. "My brother Conor is 11, but his brain thinks he's 5," said the Baltimore boy. "He acts kind of different, but that's OK." Aidan's words reflect a broad spectrum of attitudes that one might find in siblings of children with autism, a complex set of developmental brain disorders. How a sibling reacts is often dependent upon the severity of the autism, where the child with autism falls in the birth order and how parents model behavior they expect from each of their children.
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NEWS
By Joe Burris and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
Maryland State Department of Education statistics indicate Howard County schools have the highest percentage of students diagnosed with autism of any system in the state - a fact many local advocates say is a testament to the area's resources and support system. For parents with students diagnosed with autism, Howard is seen as a place where they can access in-school and out-of-school information and assistance. According to 2013 state education department data, Howard County had 764 students with an autism diagnosis - 16 percent of all students.
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HEALTH
Andrea K. Walker | February 20, 2012
Babies who develop autism later in life may show signs of the disease in their brain development as early as six months old, new research has found. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis , the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other institutions looked at brain scans taken on babies at night while they were sleeping. The scans indicate autism may develp in infants over time, according to the findings published online in the American Journal of Psychiatry . By aged 24 months, 28 of 92 infants showed the medical signs for autism spectrum disorders.
FEATURES
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2014
Singer Toni Braxton is grappling with guilt from an abortion she had years ago. In her newly-published memoir, "Unbreak My Heart," Braxton writes that she wonders if her younger son's autism could be a punishment from God because she had an abortion.  Braxton grew up an extremely religious family in Severn.  She wasn't allowed to wear pants -- only skirts and dresses -- and was forbidden from going to the movies, the NY Daily News reports.  " Homework was usually neglected because children at the church where her parents worshiped were obliged to memorize 26 scriptures a week," according to the NY Daily News.  After the singer got engaged to her now-ex husband, she became pregnant while taking the anti-acne drug Accutane, which poses serious health risks to fetuses.
NEWS
March 30, 2005
AUTISM, the developmental disorder that can have such a devastating social, emotional and financial impact on families, now affects as many as one out of every 166 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But recent advances have shown that early diagnosis and treatment can yield positive results, and Maryland is in a position to put research into practice and perhaps lead the nation in making new inroads against it. Researchers have determined that autism is often characterized by unusual brain development, and it is believed that genetics and the environment are contributing factors, although to what extent is still unclear.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2013
Data entry is repetitive and hard to do well - that is, quickly and accurately. Shane Foley is great at it. The 21-year-old Ellicott City man works on two computer screens, eyeing images of handwritten sheets on one and clicking the information into a program on the other. His boss gives him a glowing review. So does the head of the state agency whose contract he's working on. Really something for a young man whose neurologist told his parents, many years ago, to consider institutionalizing him. Foley, who has autism, is the first employee of a program for Marylanders with autism-spectrum disorders.
HEALTH
By Kelly Brewington | kelly.brewington@baltsun.com | December 19, 2009
Nearly 1 percent of children nationwide have autism - with the disorder more than four times more common in boys than girls, according to new figures released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report, which is in keeping with recent studies that tried to put a number on the puzzling neurobiological disorder, finds an average of one out of every 110 8-year-olds showed symptoms of autism, a sharp increase from the widely cited 1 in 150 figure from the CDC's study on autism's prevalence issued two years ago. Another recent report, based on parent surveys, found autism in 1 in every 100 children.
FEATURES
By Kristine Henry,
The Baltimore Sun
| May 14, 2013
Kennedy Krieger Institute has announced a new program that will offer free autism screenings to infants between five and 10 months who have a sibling with autism.  “We launched this initiative to increase the likelihood of identifying children most at risk for ASD,” said Rebecca Landa, director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger. “My hope is that Maryland families will take advantage of this opportunity to seek help sooner and not miss out on early intervention, which can improve lifelong learning, communication and social skills.” For more information or to schedule an appointment visit Kennedy Kreiger's website or call 443-923-7892.
EXPLORE
June 13, 2013
On Tuesday, May 21, my son graduated from HCC, and I want to thank the many people who made his graduation possible. In 1994, he was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder: not otherwise specified, in Prince William County, Va. It became clear that Prince William was not the place for him to receive his education and I was fortunate to get a job in the Howard County School System in 1996. In 1996, Howard County was not the school system it is now for students with autism and other kids on the autism spectrum.
FEATURES
By Kristine Henry,
The Baltimore Sun
| March 29, 2013
We've all heard that vaccines can lead to autism. But we've also heard that it's just a myth. And almost every health expert disputes the vaccine-autism link, as do numerous studies. But it's always in your mind: Am I doing the right thing? Some parents have tried to straddle those two schools of thought by having their infants vaccinated, but asking the pediatrician to space them out more than he or she normally would. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control says that spacing actually has no effect.
NEWS
By Michelle Landrum | April 6, 2014
My bookshelves attest to my worries. They hold book after book about parenting, about temperamental children, about children with sensory challenges, about raising boys, about how to get an accurate diagnosis for your child, about the importance of avoiding diagnostic labels for your child, and so on. Today, in hindsight, I know this: I was wasting precious time on the wrong things. Instead of looking in books and online for clues about my preschooler, our youngest of two sons, I should have acted sooner, been more persistent with his pediatrician about my concerns, and called my county's Infants & Toddlers program.
FEATURES
By Kristine Henry
The Baltimore Sun
| March 15, 2014
Kennedy Krieger Institute's annual ROAR for Autism will be held on April 27 at Oregon Ridge Park. Particiapnts will raise funds for autism research by biking, running or walking.  Organizers say: "The 10th annual event will be a fun-filled day with a meaningful purpose, featuring a 25-mile bike ride, a newly designed 5k course, low-mileage fun walk and a family festival. Cyclists will journey through the scenic countryside of Baltimore County and runners and walkers will enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding Oregon Ridge Park.
NEWS
By Ian Shapira and Dana Hedgpeth, The Washington Post | March 13, 2014
He thought they were his friends. The 16-year-old autistic boy allegedly assaulted by two teenage girls in Southern Maryland is perplexed by the criminal charges they are facing and even considers one of them his girlfriend, according to the boy's mother. "He doesn't appear to be traumatized. He thinks these girls are his friends and is surprised the police are involved," said his mother, who works for a local health department. "But I am glad they are [investigating]. I am glad someone brought this out. " The Post is not naming the mother to protect the identity of the victim, who is a minor.
SPORTS
By Pete Barrett and The Baltimore Sun | January 31, 2014
When his son Owen was diagnosed with autism at 18 months, Pat Skerry did not believe it. "I thought it was way too early," the Towson men's basketball coach recalled. "It could have been other things. I was not really accepting of it. " His wife, Kristen, knew otherwise. "She is the one who moved the chains on it," Skerry said. "She was really good about things, saying, 'What are we going to do next? How are we going to attack this?' She has been a superstar with it. " Now, almost four years later, Owen is increasingly more communicative and his father has grown a movement to raise awareness and funds for a once-unfamiliar cause.
NEWS
By Emilie Eastman, Capital News Service | December 12, 2013
Under a blanket of falling snow, the Mall in Columbia gave no indication on an early morning that in one short hour it would erupt with the chaos of holiday shopping. Inside, the only patrons were a group of families taking advantage of a special opportunity to meet Santa Claus — without waiting in line. For the past several years, the Howard County Autism Society has partnered with the Mall in Columbia to host "Sensory Friendly Santa," a chance for children on the autism spectrum to visit with Santa and get their picture taken without the traditional lights, noise and chaos that might distract or irritate them.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | September 20, 2013
The setting made for an ideal before-and-after illustration. On the left was an aging, rustic and weathered building that once housed Linwood School, an Ellicott City facility providing programs and services for students with autism and related disabilities. A few yards to the right stood the new Linwood School, a bright-red and concrete-gray two-story building that opened at the start of the school year. On Wednesday, Linwood officials and Howard County public and community leaders assembled between the two, many saying the new facility's dedication illustrates the county's improved services to children with autism.
FEATURES
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2014
Singer Toni Braxton is grappling with guilt from an abortion she had years ago. In her newly-published memoir, "Unbreak My Heart," Braxton writes that she wonders if her younger son's autism could be a punishment from God because she had an abortion.  Braxton grew up an extremely religious family in Severn.  She wasn't allowed to wear pants -- only skirts and dresses -- and was forbidden from going to the movies, the NY Daily News reports.  " Homework was usually neglected because children at the church where her parents worshiped were obliged to memorize 26 scriptures a week," according to the NY Daily News.  After the singer got engaged to her now-ex husband, she became pregnant while taking the anti-acne drug Accutane, which poses serious health risks to fetuses.
FEATURES
By Kristine Henry,
The Baltimore Sun
| April 5, 2013
Anne Moore Burnett knew the other moms at the playground were rolling their eyes at her. Her son wouldn't go down the slide unless it was clean, so she was looking around for a stray napkin or anything she could find to wipe it down. As she felt their eyes on her, Burnett found herself almost wishing her son had a visible condition, such as Down Syndrome, so that at least on top of the issues she was dealing with she wouldn't also feel judged by other parents who didn't realize she took these "extra" measures because her son has sensory-sensitive autism.
FEATURES
By Abigail Green | July 25, 2013
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. We've asked pediatrician Dr. Oyebukola Grant, of Jai Medical Center in Baltimore - named a 2013 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - to answer some frequently asked questions about vaccines. Why is it so important to vaccinate babies and young children? The most important reason is because it's one of the main ways we have of preventing illnesses and disease. All the diseases we're immunizing against still exist,  including measles, whooping cough, chickenpox, hepatitis A and B. Children's immune systems are not mature yet. Vaccinating helps to protect them while their immune systems are not yet strong enough to handle things.
EXPLORE
June 13, 2013
On Tuesday, May 21, my son graduated from HCC, and I want to thank the many people who made his graduation possible. In 1994, he was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder: not otherwise specified, in Prince William County, Va. It became clear that Prince William was not the place for him to receive his education and I was fortunate to get a job in the Howard County School System in 1996. In 1996, Howard County was not the school system it is now for students with autism and other kids on the autism spectrum.
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