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Speed coaching event, UCLA PEERS for Careers program



There will be an estimated 700,000 autistic adults aging into adulthood over the next 10 years. Yet, a staggering 80% of autistic adults are unemployed. The UCLA PEERS for Careers program was developed to address the challenges faced by autistic young adults in their transition from college to career and to create a scalable solution to employment barriers faced by autistic individuals to serve as a model of higher education training for colleges across the country.



Autism characteristics in individuals with Down syndrome

Amanda Dimachkie Nunnally, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, UC Davis Mind Institute

There is still much to be understood about the presentation of autism symptoms in individuals with Down syndrome, as some of the core characteristics of autism may overlap with intellectual disability. Individuals with Down syndrome and co-occurring autism tend to have more severe rigid and repetitive behaviors and greater challenges with social communication than do individuals with Down syndrome alone. However, the degree to which symptoms can be attributed to each condition remains understudied.



Decline in looking at faces may signal onset of autism in infants

By Devon Gangi, Assistant Project Scientist, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

A new study from UC Davis Mind Institute supports earlier findings that children who were diagnosed with autism at age 3 had a decreased level of eye gaze as infants compared to children without autism. This gives new insights into development trajectories and may help children get identified earlier.



Developing innovative methods to study the human genome

Medium or large changes to the genome are called structural variations (SVs). SVs are tied to many different diseases and conditions. Researchers at UC Davis Mind Institute are developing new models to understand and study SVs.

Alt text: Research participant sits in EEG booth, wearing red and black cap while facing a computer screen.


The brains of children with autism may not always 'see' body language

Noticing and understanding what it means when a person leans into a conversation or takes a step back and crosses their arms is a vital part of human communication. Researchers at the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Rochester have found that children with autism spectrum disorder may not always process body movements effectively, especially if they are distracted by something else.



The role of maternal autoantibody exposure in brain development and behavior in autism

By Matthew Bruce

A recent collaborative effort by MIND Institute Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) investigators Judy Van de Water, Jill Silverman, and Jacqueline Crawley, as well as researchers from Canada and the United Kingdom, used an animal model to evaluate the effects maternal autoantibodies on offspring brain development.



IGROW Project at Texas A&M University Student Highlight

The future is looking pretty sweet for this amazing young lady! M.W. spent her summer exploring the world of baking and bakery ownership with Liz Smith of Country Road Baking Co.



Community Supports in Crisis: No Staff, No Services

All the progress toward community living that has been made in services for people with IDD over decades is now in jeopardy because of catastrophic labor shortages and pervasive high turnover rates in the direct support workforce. This white paper from ICI and its partners at HSRI and NASDDDS explores the depth of the crisis in the workforce and the impact on people with IDD and sounds the alarm about the nature and scope of the workforce crisis in the IDD service system.



Fall CampLIFE to Take Place October 21-23, Registration to Begin August 1

LIFE - it stands for Leadership, Independence and Friends through Experiences, and it's what embodies the spirit of Camp LIFE, a unique and inclusive camping adventure for children with disabilities and their siblings. Held twice a year at the barrier-free facilities of Camp For All in Burton, Texas, Camp LIFE provides recreation for children ages 5 and up with disabilities and their siblings while offering a weekend of respite for their parents.



MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley to provide Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley is working with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) IDD-BH Unit to administer and disperse Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Pandemic Emergency Assistance Funds (PEAF), which was authorized through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (HR 1319). The TANF PEAF addresses housing and ancillary needs of needy families in which dependent children have or reside with a family who has a diagnosis of a mental health condition, intellectual or developmental disability (IDD), and/or substance use disorder and who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through the provision of direct financial assistance or services aimed at short-term stabilization efforts for families.



Project TAPP Now Offering Professional Development for Teaching Teams at No Cost

Texas A&M University's Project TAPP is excited to provide professional development for teacher and paraprofessional teams working with students with autism spectrum disorder. Participants will receive two-days of PD workshops in autism and. related interventions and follow-up support during the school year.



Reduced levels of IGF-1 levels in the brain found to be an underlying cause for infantile spasms, hinting at a novel therapy

A breakthrough study from Baylor College of Medicine IDDRC-one of AUCD's Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRCs)-has found an underlying cause & novel therapy for infantile spasms, a severe epilepsy in babies.



2022 AUCD Board Elections: Nominations Requested

Deadline: September 9, 2022

AUCD is currently seeking nominations to the AUCD Board of Directors for a three-year term beginning in November 2022.



AUCD 360 - July 2022



CT UCEDD, AUCD, and National Partners Bring Disability Awareness and Inclusion Plenary Session to SOPHE 2022 National Meeting

The UConn UCEDD training director and coordinator of the Certificate of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies in Public Health, Dr. Tara Lutz, was asked to moderate Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) 2022 first-ever plenary on disability and public health. Over 140 participants attended the March 25 virtual event.



KU Multidisciplinary Team Awarded Research Rising Grant

The University of Kansas (KU) has selected a proposal submitted by the KU Life Span Institute for funding under the Research Rising initiative. The goal of the project, Advancing Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research at KU, is to transform understanding of and support for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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