Friday, May 31, 2013

Able SC Newsletter

Able SC Logo with tag line: Independent Living For All

Note From Executive Director, Kimberly Tissot

Wow - this year has been amazing for us so far! First, we are thrilled to announce that our name is officially Able South Carolina!  Our new name stands for the fact that we [people with disabilities] are able to live independent, active, and self-determined lives. Able SC’s mission is still about the consumers we serve; empowering them to reach their highest level of independence. In addition to our core services, we also have new programs for youth, assistive technology, community trainings and more!  

In February we welcomed our new Assistant Director, Jerri Davison. Jerri comes to us with years of disability rights and community inclusion experience. She is a perfect fit and we all feel lucky to have her on our team! Jerri works in both offices but will be primarily located in our Upstate office. 

We also have a new satellite office in Union County. We are excited to have a physical presence in this welcoming and inviting community. Our organization has come a long way since our opening in 1994, and we are committed to continue to grow and make real change for people with disabilities. I am truly honored to be a part of this organization and work with such a dedicated team! We hope you enjoy our first Able SC Newsletter.


Kimberly Tissot's signature
Kimberly Tissot
Executive Director

We don't just say it. We live it. Able South Carolina is a Center for Independent Living (CIL) - a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability nonprofit that provides an array of independent living services to people of all ages with all types of disabilities, in 23 counties in South Carolina.

AAIDD Annual Meeting

The 137th AAIDD Annual Meeting, Race to Catch the Future, will provide researchers, clinicians, practitioners, educators, policymakers, local, state and federal agencies, and advocates with cutting edge research, effective practices, and valuable information on important policy initiatives.
The conference will be held at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown.

To learn more, please click on the above title.

To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.             

Thursday, May 30, 2013

StoryfestSC 2013

storyfestsc logo

Join us as we kick off Summer Reading programs across the state with award winning authors Peter Brown and Will Hillenbrand.
Storytelling provided by South Carolina’s librarians and storytellers.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
9:00 am-4:00 pm
SC State Museum
301 Gervais Street Columbia, SC 29201
A day filled with family friendly events including author presentations, storytelling sessions with local storytellers and featured storyteller Tim Sonefelt, craft area with face painting, visits from popular characters, and a Readers Theater presentation all free of charge for families as we celebrate reading and stories. Learn about how to join Summer Reading programs in your county. Meet award winning authors and experience the joy of storytelling together.
This year’s event will also include a session for teens featuring the Teen Media SC program highlighting the short films submitted to the State Library’s video contest.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Autism Research Institute Webinar

Immunological Factors, Genes, and the Environment in Autism: 

from Research to Treatment 

Saturday, June 01, 2013 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM (Pacific Time)

Join us for this live, half-day meeting to learn insight into research and current trials that point to the potential benefit of medical treatments to address environmentally-triggered impairments associated with autism spectrum disorders. Physicians, other healthcare professionals and parents are invited to attend.

Topics Include:
  • Environmental Risk Factors in the Development of ASD - Pamela Lein, Ph.D.
  • Biomarkers, Immune-Mediated Disorders and Autism - Judy Van de Water, Ph.D.
  • Current Medical Treatment Trials for Autism - Reymundo Lozano, MD, Ph.D.
  • Panel Roundtable Discussion with audience Q&A
Free, online preregistration is required for both online and in-person attendees. Continuing medical education (CME) for medical professionals and general Continuing Education Units (CEU) are available for non-medical professionals for a processing fee. Presentations will be videotaped and uploaded for public viewing at a later date. 
About the Presenters:

Judy Van de Water, PhD: Dr. Van de Water joined the faculty of the M.I.N.D. (Medical Investigations of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute in 2000, when she began her research on the immunobiology of autism. She has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than fifteen years, and is currently part of the NIEHS-funded Center for Children’s Environmental Health as the principal investigator of the Immunological Susceptibility in Autism project. She is also part of a project funded by NIMH to examine for early biomarkers in the plasma of mothers whose children have autism. 

Pamela Lein, Ph.D., is a Professor at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in the Department of Molecular Biosciences. Dr. Lein received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and her MSEH from East Tennessee State University. She has previously held faculty appointments at Oregon Health and Science University and at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her areas of interest include cell and molecular mechanisms of developmental neurotoxicology, gene environment interactions that influence susceptibility to neurodevelopmental disorders, and the role of the autonomic nervous system in environmentally-induced asthma and cardiovascular disease.

Reymundo Lozano, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Lozano is a Pediatric Geneticist, who has dedicated his research to better understanding the molecular basis of genetic disorders associated with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). He is an International Medical Graduate from Mexico and completed his subspecialty studies at UCLA. He specializes in the treatment of neurodevelopmental genetic syndromes including fragile X syndrome (FXS), Angelman syndrome, 15q duplication syndrome, 22q11 microdeletion syndrome, and Noonan syndrome and other RASopathies. His work focuses on different clinical trials for ASD and FXS. Dr. Lozano is dedicated to finding better treatments and eventually the cure for neurodevelopmental disorders. He is also studying the phenotypic variability of fragile X premutation carries and the additive effects of other “genetic hits” and environmental exposures. He pursues the genetic diagnosis of ASD, using cutting edge technology, including microarrays, mitochondrial function and whole exome sequencing.   Dr. Lozano is an advocate for minority participation in clinical trials and his goal is to provide the necessary information to enhance enrollment and retention of minority participants. He is involved in identifying the linguistic and systemic barriers to early diagnosis and intervention commonly found in Hispanic children with ID and ASD. He is also interested in increasing diversity among medical students and faculty members at UC Davis.  

To learn more, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Sensory Friendly Films

Sensory Friendly Films

Sensory Friendly Films

Don't miss the next Sensory Friendly Film!

June 1, 2013

10 a.m. local time  

 AMC Dutch Square 14
421 Bush River Rd., Unit 80, Columbia, S.C. 29210

Autism RibbonAMC Theatres (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis with the "Sensory Friendly Films" program.
In order to provide a more accepting and comfortable setting for this unique audience, the movie auditoriums will have their lights brought up and the sound turned down, families will be able to bring in their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks, and no previews or advertisements will be shown before the movie. Additionally, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing - in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced unless the safety of the audience is questioned.
Did you go to one of our previous Sensory Friendly Flims? Tell us what you thought!

Tickets are $4-6 depending on location and can be purchased on the day of the event.
To learn more, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Monday, May 27, 2013

SCATP Communication Strategies for Children With ASD

Communication Strategies Training
The South Carolina Assistive Technology Program (SCATP) is a federally funded program concerned with getting technology into the hands of people with disabilities so that they might live, work, learn and be a more independent part of the community. As part of a national network of technology-related assistance programs, our goal is to enhance independence, productivity and quality of life for all South Carolinians through access to assistive technology devices and services. We provide an equipment loan anddemonstration program, an on-line equipment exchange programtraining, technical assistance,publications, an interactive CDROM (SC Curriculum Access through AT), an information listserv and work with various state committees that affect AT acquisition and IT accessibility. We link people with technology and work with consumers, service providers, state agencies and policy makers.

Communication Strategies
Date: May 29, 2013
Time: 4:30 – 6:30
Location: 5 Century Drive Suite 130 Greenville SC 29607
Presenter: Val Gioia
Description: Various strategies used to facilitate communication for children with ASD.

To learn more, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Solving the Mystery of Autism

Solving the mystery of autism

It doesn't sound like much: A tiny bit of skin, plucked from the arm of a child and placed in a dish. But in a Houston lab, the skin cells in that dish may be key pieces to solving the puzzle of autism - what causes it, how to diagnose it and, eventually, how to treat it.
At the Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital, Dr. Mirjana Maletic-Savatic and a team of colleagues are finding new ways to explore the mysteries of autism, which affects one in 88 kids. Studying brain disorders can be tricky - after all, you can't cut into the brain and examine it directly. But now, from their 12th-floor lab in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, this team is using a patient's own cells to re-create human neurons outside the body.
"This is the closest that we can get to the human model of disease," Maletic-Savatic said. "It's a human disease in a dish."
Maletic-Savatic is an assistant professor in pediatrics in the division of child neurology at Baylor College of Medicine and the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital. She's part of an interdisciplinary team working together on the autism puzzle from several angles.
She and her colleagues have two goals: They're looking for ways to diagnose autism much earlier in a child's life, which will help kids get earlier therapy. They also want to learn why autism develops in the first place - a discovery that should lead to better therapy.
Early diagnosis will come first. Maletic-Savatic wants to move up the timeline for diagnosing autism, using brain scans to detect the disorder in a baby's earliest days.
Her lab - which includes, among others, a chemist, a statistician, a cell biologist and an electrophysiologist - does brain imaging, using MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy to observe the connections between parts of the brain, map the flow of water molecules and determine the composition of small molecules in different parts of the brain.
"We are trying to generate a composite biomarker that can help us diagnose autism earlier," she said.
How could it make a difference if a child is diagnosed a few months earlier? The earlier therapists can intervene, the more good they can do. The brain has more plasticity in the first two years of life than it ever will have again. "The earlier you start to do therapy," Maletic-Savatic said, "the more flexible they'll be."
Immediate therapy can help a baby develop better speech and communication. It could also give that child a chance to develop what is missing in many kids with autism: A capacity for imaginative play.
"In this early stage of development, with appropriate intervention, you can really do a lot," she said.
To read more, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

iCan Bike Camp

DSAL (Down Syndrome Association of the Lowcountry) is hosting iCan Bike Camp again this summer, thanks to generous fundraising.  The entire special needs community is invited to participate in learning to ride a 2 wheel bike!

We would greatly appreciate your help in soliciting both riders AND volunteers for the iCan Bike camp.

Would you please help by disseminating flyers for us, to anyone and everyone (individuals and businesses) you think might be interested?

Thank you!

Carrie Davis              
Email:        Mobile: (843) 345-0339
Holly Annibale        
Email:             Mobile: (843) 991-8276

Autism from the Inside


By Laura Rethy and Lorenz Vossen
DIE WELT/Worldcrunch

BERLIN - The traffic on this German road moves along in a neat pattern, changed only when a car makes a right.
When it does, Markus Behrendt turns to look out the window. He may only have seen the turning car – a change in pattern – out of the corner of his eye, but it requires his complete attention. His brain is in high gear. He says: “My memory is filled with nonsense,” by which he means all the unnecessary sensory stimuli around him.
The 38-year-old man takes everything in unfiltered: a radio playing, the rattling of dishes, the rustling of newspaper pages – and all traffic noise. All voices sound equally loud, all stimuli equally important. His brain must sort everything it absorbs. That takes a lot of energy. 
Markus is autistic. Doctors diagnosed him with Asperger’s Syndrome five years ago. Until he was 33, those around him just thought he was odd. Doctors had always told his parents: "He’ll grow out of it, like other boys." But since he found out about his Asperger’s, many things have become a lot clearer for him.
Five hundred kilometers away, the day is beginning with a potential catastrophe. As she does every Thursday, Maria Meier, 28, was supposed to go riding – except today the stables are closed. Luckily there’s an attractive alternative: going to the mall to buy a new coffee machine.
On a bulletin board, Maria re-plans her day: work, go on a drive, buy coffee machine, drink coffee. In the office upstairs sits Alexander Lietzke who heads the live-in center for autism patients called Wohnstätte Moltke-Haus, in Potsdam near Berlin. He had prepared Maria early for the fact that there would be nohorse riding today. The patients here have all been diagnosed with early onset autism; a deep-set developmental disturbance mostly accompanied by intellectual disabilities and impaired speech development.
One of the ways autism manifests itself is that any change in routine can become a huge problem. Maria is also deaf. In sign language she keeps asking Lietzke about the organization of her day. "This asking the same thing over and over is stereotypical behavior, but it’s really a way of communicating and it gives her a feeling of security," he says. Some days, Meier asks the same question up to 50 times.
Even as a child Markus was very different from this. He would sit for hours in a kind of trance. "I remember those situations. I know what I was thinking in those moments – and it was a lot," he says.
Things took a turn for the worse when he started school. His parents remember that they all went through hell. It started with the walk to school. "My parents walked with me, over and over, for months," – out the door, straight ahead, turn twice. For Markus managing this walk was nearly impossible. He would focus on details and forget the larger situation. If something changed – like the way a bush was pruned – he lost track of where he was. Today he knows that "the autistic brain recognizes differences rather than similarities. It’s called ‘weak central coherence.’" The brain doesn’t register what something is if its appearance changes even slightly.
Back in Potsdam, Maria is attending a birthday party and sits with the others around a table. Her concentration is fixed on the coffee cups at the other end of the table. When the celebration is over, she wanders down to see if there’s any coffee left in the cups. Along with household chores, drinking coffee is her favorite thing. 
To read the rest of the story, please click on the above title.
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Monday, May 20, 2013

See-through brains promise to clear up mental mysteries from autism to Alzheimer’s

See-through brains promise to clear up mental mysteries from autism to Alzheimer’s 

If Dr Karl Deisseroth were an architect, he might be replacing stone or brick walls with floor-to-ceiling glass to build transparent houses. But since he is a neuroscientist at Stanford University, he has done the biological equivalent: invented a technique to make brains transparent, a breakthrough that should give researchers a truer picture of the pathways underlying both normal mental function and neurological illnesses from autism to Alzheimer's. In fact, the first human brain the scientists clarified came from someone with autism.

Deisseroth and his colleagues reported in the online edition of the journal Nature on Wednesday that they had developed a way to replace the opaque tissue in brains (harvested from lab mice or donated by people for research) with "hydrogel," a substance similar to that used for contact lenses.

The result is see-through brains, their innards revealed in a way no current technique can: Large structures such as the hippocampus show up with the clarity of organs in a transparent fish, and even neural circuits and individual cells are visible.

Neuroscientists have therefore long dreamed of studying intact brains, said Deisseroth: "That would give you a better chance of working out connections over large distances, which would help you determine structure-function relationships."

Deisseroth's process, dubbed CLARITY (an anagram for the technique), works by a delicate feat of biochemical engineering. It turns out that what makes the brain opaque are the fatty membranes that surround and support its cells. Removing these layers by brute force, however, would make the brain tissue collapse in a puddle of neuro-glop.

The Stanford scientists could see the thalamus and the brainstem, the cortex and hippocampus with the naked eye. Using a microscope revealed the white matter that serves as a brain's transmission lines, carrying signals from one neuron to another in far-flung circuits that underlie mental function.

Crucially, the hydrogel is not only transparent but also permeable. That allows scientists to infuse into the brain special fluorescent dyes and other molecules that attach to just one of the thousands of different kinds of brain cells, and even to individual proteins and other molecules, turning the circuitry a neuroscientist wants to study into chartreuse and other can't-miss hues when viewed in special light.

"You can paint different wires different colors," said Deisseroth, who is one of 15 experts on the team that will map out goals for Obama's brain initiative. "We could see structures down to paired neurons on each side of a synapse," the neural version of seeing that the toe bone is connected to the foot bone and the foot bone to the ankle bone.

Perhaps even more remarkably, the process worked on human brains, despite concerns that the use of preservatives like formalin or formaldehyde might block the hydrogel process. (Mouse brains are studied fresh.)

The scientists clarified one healthy human brain and one autistic brain. Even though the latter had been pickled for more than six years, it took to the new method, revealing numerous "dendritic bridges," ladder-like connections within the brain's white matter that resemble those in Down syndrome.

"CLARITY has the potential to unmask fine details of brains from people with brain disorders without losing larger-scale circuit perspective," said Dr Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, which helped fund the research.

Once other scientists begin to clarify brains, it could "transform the way we study the brain's anatomy and how disease changes it," said Dr Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. "The in-depth study of our most important three-dimensional organ" will no longer be "constrained by two-dimensional methods," and the black box that is the brain could become downright luminous.

To learn more, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Detecting Autism from Brain Activity

Detecting Autism from Brain Activity

Neuroscientists from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the University of Toronto have developed an efficient and reliable method of analyzing brain activity to detect autism in children.  The researchers recorded and analyzed dynamic patterns of brain activity with magnetoencephalography (MEG) to determine the brain's functional connectivity -- that is, its communication from one region to another. MEG measures magnetic fields generated by electrical currents in neurons of the brain.  Roberto Fernández Galán, PhD, an assistant professor of neurosciences at Case Western Reserve and an electrophysiologist seasoned in theoretical physics led the research team that detected autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with 94 percent accuracy. The new analytic method offers an efficient, quantitative way of confirming a clinical diagnosis of autism.  In a study of 19 children -- nine with ASD -- 141 sensors tracked the activity of each child's cortex. The sensors recorded how different regions interacted with each other while at rest, and compared the brain's interactions of the control group to those with ASD. Researchers found significantly stronger connections between rear and frontal areas of the brain in the ASD group; there was an asymmetrical flow of information to the frontal region, but not vice versa.  The new insight into the directionality of the connections may help identify anatomical abnormalities in ASD brains. Most current measures of functional connectivity do not indicate the interactions' directionality.

To read more, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Study Debunks Lyme Disease-Autism Link

Study Debunks Lyme Disease-Autism Link
 (HealthDay News) -- A new study failed to find any evidence to back up a suggested association between Lyme disease and autism spectrum disorders.
Although a prevalence of Lyme disease as high as 20 percent (or even higher) has been reported in children with autism, the new research found no cases of Lyme disease in children when testing recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was done.
Health experts are concerned that if parents suspect that Lyme disease has played a role in their child's autism, they may seek treatment with long-term antibiotic therapy.
"Unless a child has been diagnosed with Lyme disease or another infectious disease, our findings don't support the idea of putting autistic children on antibiotics," said study senior author Armin Alaedini, an assistant professor of medical sciences in the department of medicine and the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center, in New York City.
Results of the study appear in the May 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
To read more, please click on the above title.
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Monday, May 13, 2013

The Arc of South Carolina Best Buddies Program

Friendship is the best gift you can ever give. That’s why The Arc of South Carolina is the host site coordinator for The University of South Carolina’s Best Buddies Program.
Best Buddies pairs people with ID/DD in one-on-one friendships with college students. College Buddy volunteers offer individuals with ID/DD the chance to explore a new way of life through socialization and new-found friendship.
In 2012, more than 75 individuals were paired with a college buddy and enjoyed community outings such as trips to a USC basketball game, Pets Inc. and the SC State Museum.
To learn more, call (803) 748-5020.
To learn more, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Service Implications of the DSM-5 for People with Autism Webinar

Autism NOW Webinar: Service Implications of the DSM-5 for People with Autism

Service Implications of the DSM-5 for People with Autism

Time: Tuesday, May 14, 2013, from 2:00 to 3:30 PM EST
Speakers: The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN)
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) will be released in May and is accompanied by much talk about what this will mean for individuals with autism and their families when it comes to obtaining a diagnosis and receiving services. In this webinar, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) will discuss the various revisions to the autism diagnostic criteria in the DSM-5, along with the service provision implications. Presenters will address breaking down silos between those diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder and those with other autism spectrum disorder diagnoses. This webinar will also provide strategies to help inform educators, clinicians and other professionals about the diversity among people on the autism spectrum. Do not miss this groundbreaking webinar – register today!
To learn more, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Arc of South Carolina Play Group Program

Self-expression is one of the most important parts of human development. For children who are differently-abled, the path to emotional and social health can be difficult. ​
The Play Group is an arts program for differently-abled children and their siblings; activities include acting, art, music and dance. We believe that each individual has talent — sometimes hidden talent, just waiting to be discovered.
As typical siblings model appropriate behaviors, each play practice or artistic outing becomes a creative, inclusive environment with positive outcomes for all.
To learn more, call (803) -748-5020.
To learn more, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Autism Society National Conference and Exposition

Online Registration for the 44th Autism Society National Conference and 
Exposition is NOW OPEN!

To register, please click here
*NEW- The Autism Society is pleased to announce that all individuals on the spectrum receive a complimentary rate for their attendance at this year’s conference!
We are also offering a new family rate that accommodates up to 3 members.
Preconference Workshops are held on Wednesday, July 10.  Preconference Workshops are optional and are not included in the general conference registration.
A Preconference Workshop can be added to a general conference registration for an additional fee of $150 per person.
Below is a listing of the Preconference Workshops available:

Autism Service Initiatives
Wednesday, July 10, 2013-9:00 AM
Nina-Wall Cote, Bureau of Autism Services
Self-Advocacy Meeting, Making the Connections
Wednesday, July 10, 2013-9:00 AM
Behavioral Way to Raise your Child in a Faith-Based Family
Wednesday, July 10, 2013-9:00 AM
Jim Ball and Debi Fillipi
Autism Community Leaders Meeting
Wednesday, July 10, 2013-9:00 AM
Leadership and Autism Needs Assessment
Cracking the Business Code for Competitive Employment Outcomes
Wednesday, July 10, 2013-9:00 AM
Andy Traub and Deb Russell
Special Needs Planning, Where do you start?
Wednesday, July 10, 2013-9:00 AM
Jim Caffrey, Special Needs Alliance

Registration Fees and Categories

Early Bird Rate: Expires May 15, 2013
General Conference Attendee: $300
Individual on the Spectrum: $0
Speaker: $225
Family: $450
Advance Rate: May 16-June 28, 2013
General Conference Attendee: $350
Individual on the Spectrum: $0
Speaker: $225
Family: $520
Late/Onsite Rate:  June 29 and after
General Conference Attendee: $375
Individual on the Spectrum: $0
Speaker: $225
Family: $565

Family rate accommodates no more than 3 family members
Family Rate applications must be processed manually please contact 888-823-4925 for assistance.
To learn more, please click on the above title.
To access the CDR Library catalog, please click on this link.