Author Archives: Nicole Simpson

Spotlight on Savant Syndrome

Amoako Buachie is a 20-year-old artist from Flatbush Brooklyn, New York, who at the age of 15, was diagnosed as an autistic savant with a special ability to draw. His mother, Akosua, who came to the United States from Ghana 18 years ago, says that he has been “carrying around a pencil since he was three.” Remarkably, Amoako can draw and paint from memory without using reference materials.

Posted in Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wandering and Elopement

This survey will help researchers document and understand elopement behaviors and will hopefully lead to the creation and implementation of effective state and federal policies that will provide public awareness, help, and support to parents and caretakers.

Posted in Autism Research | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Spotlight on Jacob Barnett

Jacob Barnett is a 13-year-old child with Asperger’s syndrome who is currently being recruited by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) for a paid research position. Why? Because he has far surpassed the level of what college professors can teach him and university officials believe that Jacob’s skills would be more useful in a research environment.

Posted in Autism Awareness | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Wretcher and Jabberers Coming to a Theatre Near You!

The premise of their journey is to examine and discuss public attitudes about autism and disabilities, and to challenge people to rethink their views. Along the way, they collect new allies for their cause and have life-transforming encounters with many people, including a young, talented painter who had been living a life of isolation. They also display an adventurous streak when they take a ride on a motorized tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka, discuss the meaning of life with a Buddhist monk, and relax in a traditional Finnish sauna.

Posted in Autism Events | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Will a Medical Diagnostic Code for Elopement Protect Those at Risk?

A common misperception of elopement is that it is caused by parental negligence and that parents need to keep a closer watch on their children. On the contrary, parents of individuals with autism are often extremely vigilant and take extraordinary measures to keep their child safe.

Posted in PR and News | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Spotlight on Law Enforcement and Autism

I’d like to believe that police officers have good intentions and are able to make morally sound decisions when dealing with the public. Police departments across the country are taking steps to both protect the community as well as the impaired individual. The International Association of Chiefs of Police made interactions with individuals with autism their main topic of discussion during their 2010 summit.

Posted in Opinion | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pennsylvania Bus Driver Accused of Threatening a 9-Old Autistic Boy with a Crowbar

In December 2010, a 46-year-old male bus driver in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania threatened a 9-year-old autistic child. The incident was recorded on surveillance video. He said to the child, “If you don’t shut your beehive mouth up, I’m going to kill you with this crowbar.” The West Mifflin school district superintendent, Dr. Sardon, called the situation “appalling.” Are you kidding me? How did this guy fool people into hiring him? I myself, find it “appalling” that children were exposed to this bus driver on a daily basis. Charges are pending against the driver, who no longer drives for the West Mifflin school district.

Posted in Opinion, PR and News | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Bill Gates Calls the Autism-Vaccine Link “An Absolute Lie.”

Bill Gates wants to make polio the first disease to be eliminated worldwide. This is quite admirable, and is not the first (or the last) time the Gates Foundation has committed to a worthy cause—especially since they allocate over $1.5 billion per year towards national and global causes aimed at helping the weak and disadvantaged.

Posted in Opinion, PR and News | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

What’s the Deal with Autistic Kids and Thomas the Tank Engine?

So, it seems to me that children love Thomas the Tank because the characters remind them of themselves, which makes perfect sense to me. Any parents have any firsthand experience with this?

Posted in Opinion | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments