Let’s Talk! about changing the definition of autism

January 24, 2012 by cpehrson

picture of a face focusing on the lips

Rates of autism and related disorders like Asperger syndrome have increased dramatically since the early 1980s. Many researchers suspect that these numbers are rising because of vagueness in the current criteria, which are now under review by an expert panel.

Researchers at Yale University found recently that putting into place the proposed changes in the definition of autism could exclude about three-quarters (up to a million) of those now diagnosed with milder forms of autism called Asperger syndrome.  This could potentially reduce their access to the health, educational, and social services they need.

The proposed revision to the American Psychiatric Association’s definition would take effect in 2013, if approved.

What do you think about these proposed changes?

That is our latest Let’s Talk! topic today.  Tell us what you think about the following questions:

What are the benefits of having a narrower definition for autism?

Do you think having a narrower definition of autism would exclude many from receiving services they need and prevent them from reaching their potential?

Do you think having a narrower definition could permit more specific patient care and treatment to those who need it most?

If your life or your child’s may change if autism is redefined, how are you getting your family ready?

Do you have any advice for families who may face these changes?

The Let’s Talk! blog gives readers a chance to let us know how you feel about the issues and concerns that affect the lives of people with disabilities and their families and to hear what others think.

Please let us know of other topics that you would like to talk about.

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Survey Question: What did you learn from Temple Grandin?

November 18, 2011 by cpehrson

Temple Grandin

Many of our readers have learned more about autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders the past few weeks from reading about Temple Grandin’s visit to USU.  Maybe you were one of the lucky ones who had a chance to listen to her in person, or maybe you’ve seen the HBO Temple Grandin movie.

We would love to hear what  you’ve learned from this amazing woman.  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us.

What did you learn that gave you a better way to deal with someone with ASD?

Did Temple Grandin inspire you to change anything in your own life?

What did you like most about Temple Grandin?

Please leave your comments below.



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Let’s Talk! about health care transition for young adults

September 2, 2011 by cpehrson

There is a great blog written by CPD’s Jeff Sheen about transition topics for youth with developmental disabilities.  The blog is sponsored by the New Community Opportunities Center, a training and technical assistance program of the Independent Living Research Utilization organization (ILRU).

The latest CIL Transition blog is about just that–young adults transitioning from pediatric health care to adult health care services.  Youth, and their parents, often have strong ties with their pediatric caregiver and are reluctant to transfer to another doctor when they are older.

Today’s Let’s Talk topic is addressing the benefits and challenges that come when youth need to transition to an adult health care provider.

What challenges did you face when you transitioned from pediatric to adult health care?

What benefits have you found by having an adult health care provider?

What advice would you give to a young adult and their parents who are needing to move to an adult health care provider?

We would love to have you share your experiences with our readers!

Ready, set, Let’s Talk!

Let us know of other topics that you would like to talk about on the Let’s Talk! blog.

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Let’s Talk! about teens who become disabled

May 2, 2011 by cpehrson

The new Let’s Talk! weekly blog gives you a chance to let us know how you feel about the issues and concerns that affect the lives of people with disabilities and their families and to hear what others think.

This week’s topic is from Janet who wanted to start a discussion about children in the pre-teen and teen years who have recently become disabled in some way.

She says, “We read a lot about the early intervention with young kids but what about intervention for kids disabled later in life?”

We welcome your comments on this topic.  Please share with us what you know or what you have learned in your personal or professional life.

In your experience, what service, activity, or person helps pre-teens/teens who are disabled later in life the most?

Do you think school districts are prepared to give them the supports and services that they need?

What do you think is the greatest challenge for a pre-teen/teen to overcome?


Let us know of other topics that you want to talk about.

(Note:  All comments will be filtered to maintain confidentiality and appropriateness.)


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