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Autism Up

What do young adults with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers need to know as they prepare to exit the school system? It's a question that will be addressed at an upcoming conference hosted by Nazareth College and AutismUp.

We're joined by conference organizers and participants to discuss medical care, housing, employment, and more. In studio:

  • Rachel Rosner, director of education and support services for AutismUp
  • Cyndi Kerber Gowan, lecturer in education at Nazareth College and faculty liaison for LifePrep@Naz
  • Jake Collier, self-advocate

A film called "The Limits of My World" tells the story of a nonverbal young man with autism as he transitions from high school to adulthood. It will be screened at The Little Theatre on Monday, November 12. 

We talk about the challenges young adults like him face, and how parents, caregivers, and community members can help ease that transition. Our panel includes experts and parents who share their personal experiences. Our guests:

  • Sarah Milko, executive director of AutismUp, and parent of a teenager with autism
  • Dr. Stephen Sulkes, M.D., professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Melissa Parrish, Golisano Autism Center Family Navigator at the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, and parent of a teenager with autism
  • Heather Cassano, director of “The Limits of My World”

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk

We discuss disparities in autism diagnosis and treatment. The death of Trevyan Rowe has pushed the Golisano Autism Center to speed up plans to provide some services to families of children with autism in the City of Rochester.

According to the CDC, about 1 in 59 children has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and the percentage of autism among African American and Hispanic children is nearing the percentage in white children. But African American and Hispanic children are less likely to receive ASD diagnoses and intervention services. Why? Studies point to a number of factors, including parent education, difficulty navigating the medical system, cultural barriers, and more.

We talk to the team at the Golisano Autism Center about how they hope to reduce those gaps in the near future. In studio:

There's a lot going on in the local autism community: The U of R has the brand-new Levine Autism Clinic. On South Avenue, there are plans for the new Golisano Autism Center. And this weekend, national experts will be in town to give talks, run workshops, and help lead a conference on autism. So what does the latest research tell us? Our guests:

  • Suzannah Iadarola, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital
  • Chris Hilton, mother, and finance and operations director for AutismUp
  • Terrie Meyn, COO of CP Rochester

This conversation is part of WXXI’s Inclusion Desk, spotlighting issues related to disabilities. The WXXI Inclusion Desk is part of Move to Include — a partnership to encourage thoughtful discussion about issues of inclusion and the differently-abled.

Parents of children with autism have expressed their shock and concern after North Miami police shot a caregiver of a man with autism. Police have said that when Charles Kinsey was shot, they were trying to shoot the man with autism next to him. The officers mistook a toy truck for a gun, despite Kinsey's insistence that the man was frightened and not armed.

For parents, this is an extreme example of what happens when authorities are not trained to understand how to interact with people who have autism. From schools to police, parents want to know if proper training is happening. Our guests will discuss it:

  • Chief Michael Ciminelli, Rochester Police Department
  • Deputy Brian McCoy, Monroe County Sheriff's Department
  • Rachel Rosner, director of education and support services for AutismUp
  • Dave Whalen, director of first responder disability awareness training at Niagara University

ABC News correspondent John Donvan has a brand new book called In a Different Key: The Story of Autism. The book provides a tour of the history of autism -- from scandals and shame, doctors blaming parents for the conditions, to breakthroughs and success.

Donvan is coming to Rochester to be the guest speaker at AutismUp's annual gala on Saturday. The organization recently moved into a large new headquarters in Webster. Our guests:

As part of WXXI's Dialogue on Disability initiative, we discuss a documentary that explores the challenges of romantic relationships for people diagnosed with autism. Autism In Love follows the lives of four adults at different places on the autism spectrum opening up their personal lives as they navigate dating and romantic relationships. The film will be screened Monday night on WXXI. Our guests:

This program is presented as part of Dialogue on Disability Week – a partnership between WXXI and the Al Sigl Community of Agencies – in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series.  Dialogue on Disability is supported in part by The Golisano Foundation with additional support from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation. 

coachJimJohnson.com

If you remember J-Mac's big basketball game at Greece Athena, do you realize it's been ten years?

"I've gone from somebody that's an ordinary autistic kid to somebody who's inspired others."

On Tuesday, Jason MacElwain and his coach Jim Johnson announced a February 11 fundraiser for the growing local support group Autism Up.

"It's just been a wonderful, wonderful ten years and it's just unbelievable," said MacElwain.