Novel Highlights Autism

Autism affects an estimated one out of 250 children in the United States. That’s a ten-fold increase from just 20 years ago. Autistic children are limited in their social and communication skills — they may appear disconnected from their environment, or find their environment overly stimulating. Now, there’s a new mystery novel out by Amherst author Cammie McGovern. Eye Contact centers around a murder witnessed by a 10-year-old autistic boy. In real life, McGovern has a son with autism. WFCR’s Karen Brown has the story.

Seeking Breakthroughs in Autism Research

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts are conducting a study to determine how children with autism learn speech and language. Autism is a development disorder characterized by cognitive and social impairment. In the wide autism spectrum, some children can talk, others can’t — or at least, not meaningfully. The new study will give autistic children a battery of tests in language acquisition. Lead researcher Shelley Velleman, of the UMass School of Public Health says improving speech might help improve the prognosis for autistic children.