autism

A new Florida law requiring autism awareness training for law enforcement officers takes effect Sunday.

The sheriff in Pinellas County has fired a decorated deputy who was recorded taunting an autistic student at the middle school where he provided security and guidance.

Governor Rick Scott recently signed a bill into law requiring autism awareness training for Florida’s law enforcement officers. But, some may not see the merits of the new law—that gained traction after a high profile incident last year.

The Florida House has voted to expand autism awareness training for law enforcement. Support for the issue amped up this session after a North Miami officer shot at an autistic man he thought was dangerous.

A bill requiring autism awareness training for law enforcement officers is now heading to the House floor.

A bill requiring autism awareness training for law enforcement officers is starting to move in both chambers of the Florida Legislature. It comes after a high profile incident that occurred in South Florida last year involving a black man, an autistic man, and law enforcement.

If you had medieval Legos as a kid, The Dragon at Legoland Florida Resort is the roller coaster incarnation. And it’s the biggest, baddest, still very kid-friendly roller coaster at Legoland Florida Resort.

Caught on cell phone videos and magnified by social media, law enforcement incidents dominate the news. Some Florida lawmakers are working on a host of measures to rebuild the relationship between police and the public.

Tampa Lawmaker's Bill Could Boost Autism Screening

Aug 12, 2015

A House Democrat on Tuesday filed a bill that could place new requirements on health insurers related to the screening of children for autism spectrum disorder.

The bill (HB 49), filed by Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, will be considered during the 2016 legislative session.

Under the bill, physicians would screen children if parents suspect the possibility of autism spectrum disorder.

When they deem it "medically necessary," physicians would refer children to specialists for diagnosis.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

How do young adults diagnosed with a form of autism describe themselves?

This week on Florida Matters, we meet Andrew Casey, 23, who interviewed his peers about their diagnosis and how they define themselves. And Andrew explains how he manages with Asperger's Syndrome which is on the autism spectrum.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

You may have heard what scientists and researchers say about autism, but what about the folks who are diagnosed with it? 

This week on Florida Matters, we meet Andrew Casey, who explains how he manages with Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum.

His step-mother, Danielle Casey, and Dr. Karen Berkman with the University of South Florida's Learning Academy also join Florida Matters host Carson Cooper.

A Sarasota County woman accused of killing her autistic stepdaughter will not face the death penalty, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. The prosecution said in court hearings Tuesday it will not seek the death penalty in the case against Melissa Stoddard, who is accused of repeatedly tying the girl down to a board and gagging her. She has plead not guilty and could face life in prison.

Autism Defined by Those with the Diagnosis

Apr 22, 2013
Barcellona family.

Instead of going to the experts to define autism we asked people who had been diagnosed with neurological disorder to explain it.

“Autism is like being on another planet and you don’t know who you are and where you are,” Rachel Barcellona said. “And you try your hardest to fit in and eventually it happens and people accept you and understand you but you’ll always be a little bit different no matter what.”

Barcellona, a high school student, is a model and holds the title Miss Teen American Spirit.

The man who allegedly shot 20 first-graders, seven adults and himself last Friday supposedly had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.

Since then, some may have assumed that Adam Lanza’s violent killing spree was somehow linked to his having a form of autism.

Three Florida mental-health experts who work with autism say the answer is almost certainly no.  Even patients who have the most severe cases of autism would not behave that way – not without some other  form of mental illness or personality disorder.