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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

State Officials Learn about the Spectrum

When Colin Vieweg goes to the mall, he feels like he’s in a jungle surrounded by howler monkeys all screaming at the same time.
“I just need to go away and stay away from the noise,” the Fargo 12-year-old said. “My mom says that’s because my brain processes noises differently than other people.”
Colin was one of several people who told state lawmakers Tuesday about what life is like living with Asperger syndrome, a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum.
The Human Services Committee is studying autism spectrum disorder and learning about the diagnosis, early treatment and care for individuals with the disorder. The committee is seeking recommendations on how to improve services and what changes the 2013 Legislature should consider.
Lawmakers asked to hear from North Dakotans with autism spectrum disorder to get a better idea of the challenges they face.
In New Jersey, the Star-Ledger reports:
Gov. Chris Christie today toured an autism treatment center that is using public education funds and private donations to teach life skills to 28 students and their families. Christie visited Somerset Hills Learning Institute during the campaign and returned to tout the Bedminster center's research-based approach.
"Of all the visits I made as candidate for governor in 2009 no place affected me personally more than this place," he said in a news conference in the center's lobby, adding: "It's places like this that are helping students and their families every day acquire the necessary skills to live and work as productive citizens of their communities."