Autism Gene [continued from page 3 ]
Spence’s group screened
genetic material from the child, who previously had been diagnosed with autism. By screening one patient at a time,
the researchers could focus their laboratory resources on a careful analysis
of the structures of all 46 of the patient’s chromosomes in a region called 15q22 – q23.
The research group is studying other patients
who have been diagnosed with autism and also is using brain-scanning technology
to look for developmental and physiological changes in the brain that may
occur in autism. Previously,
the researchers led a national group of physicians and scientists that established
new diagnostic and early intervention procedures for children with autism,
which were adopted by the American Academy of Neurology.
Missing Nixon - A commentary by Jerry Newport
Reprinted with permission:
Jerry Newport is an adult with Asperger Syndrome
who has featured on 60 Minutes 4 years ago. It’s always a treat to listen to him
speak, and ASPEN is very fortunate to have Jerry as a scheduled speaker for
their upcoming April 29, 2001 conference.
Below is his commentary on the current election situation.
It’s gotten that bad. I actually miss Richard Nixon. I never voted for him and have spent
most of my adult life as an Democrat.
But I miss Tricky Dick.
I miss his five O’clock shadow and the geeky way he insinuated his
face into the upper right-hand corner of my TV set on the day of the first
moon landing, to make some silly Presidential announcement, as if he could
upstage Neil Armstrong.
I hope we don’t have four years of gridlock, but I can tell you one thing. If the autistic population had run this electoral show, the problems would never have happened. If we ran the elections, there would be uniform procedures, unambiguous ballots and no forecasts anywhere of any state’s winner until the entire nation had finished voting.
That is the bottom line. The integrity of the process is more important than Bush, Gore or whether the Secretary of State of Florida can trade in her frequent flyer miles for votes. In times like this when neurotypicals getlost in their ambitions, the autistic talent for ruthless objectivity with no regard for social or political context should be allowed to come to our nation’s rescue.
We may have here, a full-employment program for people with autism; in the office of every Registrar of Voters in America. After all, many of us like to do the kind of work that most people find boring and we do it right. We need to show that the most frustrating traits of autistic people can be advantages. I hope we do a better job of this in the future. Meanwhile, time is the greatest judge. For all his mistakes, Richard Nixon will be remembered as a brilliant international statesman. And I hope that all of our idiosyncrasies, my peers will someday be more known for the contributions we make to an orderly, just society where every vote really counts.