Welcome to the Autism News Network.

October 2009

Important information about the webpage address

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All addresses linking to this site's web address will have to change.  To all those websites which have linked to this homepage or the articles here, we thank you.  When this site was first launched, GeoCities provided free hosting for the site in return for the advertisement sidebar, a service which was picked up by Yahoo.  Over the years, we have considered moving to an advertisement-free site, but
  • our followers bookmarked the site to the geocities address,
  • other sites used links to the GeoCities Pages,
  • it will be a lot of time and effort to reload all the pages to the new host.
On October 26, 2009, Yahoo is closing the GeoCities address, so our hand is forced.  We will begin the migration of the web pages to the host provided by our sponsor. So Please: after October 26,
  • Change you bookmark URL from http://www.geocities.com/fishstep/ to http://www.autismnews.net/ or just go to the new page and bookmark there;
  • If you link to the page, check your link addres to remove the geocities reference
  • Be patient if not every page loads at first, as we have to reload the pages and check internal links ourselves.
  • Inform us by email if a link or page is missing.
We do not intend to change the web pointer (the DNS) until October 26, so that you can continue to access all the geocities pages until then.
Thank you for your views over the years.  We have never accepted any contributions or  a dime of advertising revenue, and we just hope that maybe some of the information on these pages can help some children. 

In the best possible of all worlds, we would update all the information and update the appearance of the site with the advancement of web tools over the years, but that may not happen.  Even though the children are grown now, we do not intend to change the photograph either.

When we started this project, we had a physical, monthly newsletter, which we would type, copy, and stuff into envelopes and stick on a stamp.  Then we started using a webpage.  Perhaps now a blog or a social site would function better.  Keeping the articles up to date with the latest medical research, judicial opinions and legislation is a lot of work.  This project has had up reflect on all the changes, how far we have come, and what new challenges we face today.
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Home Page Contents:
These pages will not be anything slick, but a list any parent can read to learn about help out there.  The news page will list any article of interest, whether scientific, legislative or fundraiser.
Please send your announcement today! 
To post here,  send an email to fishstep@autismnews.net.
To join the e-list group, click: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/AutismNews/join

New Law enacted!
Illinois Senate Bill 1900 mandates coverage for autism, December 12, 2008

puzzle ribbonNews Conferences  (not updated)
Meetings (no longer updated)

Our Mission:

We believe that most of the information about autism is with you, among the parents of children with autism and PDD.
We seek to put you parents together so you can improve the lives of your children and families.
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The on-line eMail list is a vital source of information. Imagine asking a question about your child and having over 400 parents who have faced the same question see the question and offer advice. When you post an eMail question to the list, it is automatically transmitted to everyone on the list.  Those who can answer the question will suggest an answer, and often inspire others to post further leads.  Do you have a question about a particular doctor or a therapy, the side effects of a suggested medication, the policies of a school district, how to handle grandparents, or how to teach a discrete trial drill?  The topics discussed by our on-line group are endless and lively.  You sometimes can get an answer within minutes of posting to the list.

Over the last few years, parents have increased the public awareness of autism and increased the funding of medical research to discover the causes and cures of whatever underlies autism and PDD.  Only when we parents stand united and informed will our children have medical attention they deserve and the protection of their educational rights.  We hope that this network of parents, by facilitating communication among the parents, will form the seeds of progress.
The Autism News Network is noncommercial and your email address will not be sold.  It operates solely on the volunteer efforts of you parents and the newsletter moms and dads.

Being the parent of children with autism or PDD is challenging and demanding. We ask for a blessing on you for your undertakings and hope that your families achieve as much progress as possible.

To join the e-list group, click: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/AutismNews/join

We also have a Parent Packet This is a first source to find help in these parts, and is loaded with facts, phone numbers and lists of help.

The news page lists current information on new theories, fundraisers, tax help, insurance help, art, aid, seminars, and anything our readers suggest.

Action needed:

The Advancement of Pediatric Autism Research Act  of 2000
We all worked hard to get Congress to increase funding on research, education and coordination between agencies.  See what the Act says, and link to bureaucracy progress reports.

Legislation Initiative

Our subscribers are trying to organize efforts to lobby our State government to increase services for autistic individuals and parents.  See how you can help.  Also information about IDEA on a national level. 

Illinois Autism Task Force Final Report, Sept 2005.

New Legislation enacted in 2007


Why   methodology belongs in your child's IEP
Repeated by popular demand, this review of the Federal Regulations is a must reading before any IEP or placement meeting.  Methodology is the most important part ofyour child's education, and you can discuss it at the IEP meeting and include the methodology your child needs into the IEP document itself.

Insurance News Update, a court victory and a new State statute.
New: Illinois should eliminate the "habilitation" exclusion from health insurance

Strategies to combat harassment in the schools.    December 2003. This page lists the laws which prohibit harassment of children with disabilities in the school and strategies for getting bullying and harassment to stop.  Again a work in progress, and your feedback and ideas are welcome.

The Ten Things The Student with Autism Wishes You Knew, By Ellen Notbohm
The Ten Things The Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Schaefer

Prior Written Notice under IDEA: A Potential Tool for Advocating for your Child
Many commentators believe that using a demand for Prior Written Notice may be a powerful tool to get school districts to take a position and commit to giving adequate services for your children.  While the legal efficacy is not clear, especially in Illinois, these resources can help you put a PWN demand together.  It just might work.  This page describes how PWN is used and provides sample letter

Referrals for Evaluations
An article  discussing the timing of placement after a referral for evaluation.  An IEP must be done within 60 days after the parents sign the consent for evaluation.

Extended School Year and Summer School
ESY: It's not just regression-recoupment anymore.  The main factor is: will your child get FAPE - and the ISBE agrees!

Ten Common Mistakes Parents Make During the IEP Meeting

2005: Wrightslaw: 10 Tips: How to Use IDEA 2004 to Improve Your Child's Special Education  by Wayne Steedman, Esq.
2005: Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004: What You Need to Know About IEPs & IEP Meetings (IEP Roadmap)

Primer on Special Education Law

Homeschooling Laws in Illinois
This link leads to a series of pages listing the statutes and cases which apply to schooling a child in the home.  It also includes an Attorney General Opinion on providing your child with a disabilitiy hisor her education by Home Schooling.
This hard-to-find opinion may be useful for those doing a home therapyprogram, together  with TH v. Palatine (Court found the ABA  home program superior to school program) and Florence County v. Carter (parents can choose  a school not accredited by State Board of Ed) (Copies of the TH case, levels I, II and III, can be found at DueProcessIllinois.org.)
Note that students in a homeschool or a private school cannot use due-process to obtain special education services.

Questions and Answers by the U.S. Department of Education

This site was created to provide a "one-stop shop" for resources related to IDEA and its implementing regulations, and will change and grow as resources and information become available. When fully implemented, the site will provide searchable versions of IDEA and the regulations, access to cross-referenced content from other laws (e.g., the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), etc.), video clips on selected topics, topic briefs on selected regulations, links to OSEP's Technical Assistance and Dissemination (TA&D) Network and a Q&A Corner where you can submit questions, and a variety of other information sources.


This is appendix A to the1999 IDEA Regulations, in an easy-to-read format, answering most questions about the IEP process.

  • Official Gov't Printing-Text
  • Official Gov't Printing-PDF form
  • from Edlaw-html
  • Carnosine
    In October 2002, other news media described the results of a study showing children improved using a nutritional supplement called Carnosine.  This page contains some of those articles.

    New law to prevent school districts from discriminating against children the schools think should be medicated

    Packet of  information for parents new to autism
    (tons of leads and contacts)

    Illinois Vaccine Laws
    The statutes, regulations and exceptions to the compulsory laws.

    "For Some Parents, the Care Can't End"

    The Tender Trap: Parents Devoted To a Disabled Child Confront Old Age
    Failing Strength May Force The Communal Care They Dreaded for So Long
    An article describing elderly parents taking care of aging autistic children, Jan. 07, 2004.

    Difficult Choices : Needing Assistance, Parents of Disabled Resort to Extremes
    This is the Looming Crisis...who will take care of our children? and how will we pay for it?  WSJ 09/20/2005

    Rapid Prompting. a CBS News show from July 2003, re a new technique.

    Archives of past newsletters:

    January2001 February2001 March2001 April2001
    May2001 June2001 July2001 August2001
    September2001 October2001 November2001 December 2001

    January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002
    May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002
    September 2002

    February 2003
    March 2003


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