Facebook round up

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  1. According to a Disability Scoop article, comedian and actor, Ricky Gervais, is under fire for his new tv show, “Derek”.  Some people have alleged that the portrayal of themain character is a “mockery of people with intellectual disabilities”.  Gervais commented on the subject stating that “Derek is a fictional character and is defined by his creator, me.  He’s based on those people you meet who are on the margins of society.  Nerds, loners, under-achievers”.  “Derek” is set to premiere on Britain’s Channel 4 this week.  Found on Disability Scoop Facebook page.
  2. New research has suggested that autism can now be diagnosed in a matter of minutes.  Harvard researcher, Dennis Wall, says that he can provide a reading of whether or not a child has autism.  He does this by utilizing a web-based tool, seven questions, and a short home video.  According to other researchers’, Wall’s method cut the diagnosis time of autism by nearly 95 percent.  In addition his method was tested against traditional routines in more than 1,000 cases and his “shortened diagnosis procedure achieved near perfect accuracy.  Though this is breaking ground in autism research, Wall’s approach is met by some skeptics.  These skeptics argue that an accurate diagnosis cannot be achieved without face-to-face interaction.  Found on Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Facebook page.
  3. An article on women and autism highlights that the “perception of autism as being a disease of the male brain makes it harder to help autistic girls”.  Staff writer, Anna North, cites several women authors who have autism and have written books on the subject and how several young girls may be underdiagnosed.  In addition, the CDC has reported that 1 in 54 boys are diagnosed with autism, whereas only 1 in 252 girls are.  Many have suggested that there needs to be a “feminist approach to autism” as well as a basic understanding of how autism is experienced by females.  Found on Center for Leadership in Disability Facebook page.
  4. A new study has found that the risk of autism may be tied to mom’s obesity during pregnancy.  The study was published in Pediatrics and involved about 1,000 California children ranging from the ages of 2 to 5.  The process involved a careful analysis of the mother’s medical records and the examination of the association between obesity and autism.  “Women who were more obese during pregnancy were about 67 percent more likely than normal weight women to have autistic children.”   However, a mother’s obesity may only be one contributing factor and not the sole cause of autism.  Found on Center for Disability Rights Facebook page.