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Viktor Bevanda sings while he works, the oil pastel in his hand dashing across the paper as he fills in a sketch of a basset hound with bright, vivid colors.

Bevanda, 14, is an immigrant from Serbia and is on the autism spectrum. He’s semi-verbal, meaning he has the ability to speak, but with great difficulty.



Information about what sights, sounds and experiences to expect.

Quiet places to retreat if those experiences get overwhelming.

In High Point, tourism leaders are betting if they can offer these basics for autistic people and their families, they can attract more visitors and dollars to the city while becoming more inclusive.

With Global Accessibility Awareness Day just days away, Apple is previewing a raft of new iOS features for cognitive accessibility, along with Live Speech, Personal Voice and more. The company said it worked in "deep collaboration" with community groups representing users with disabilities, and drew on "advances in hardware and software, including on-device machine learning" to make them work.

The first grader with red hair and an infectious smile can do nothing more than watch.

While his classmates run and climb on Robinson Elementary School's brand-new playground, 7-year-old Finn Hall has to stay on the sidelines. He can't get on the equipment because Finn, who has cerebral palsy, is in a wheelchair. There are no ramps — only stairs — and on the ground level, there's little Finn can do but navigate the bright green poles supporting the play structure.

"It is so frustrating," Finn said after school last week.

Morénike Giwa Onaiwu was shocked when day care providers flagged some concerning behaviors in her daughter, Legacy. The toddler was not responding to her name. She avoided eye contact, didn’t talk much and liked playing on her own.

But none of this seemed unusual to Onaiwu, a consultant and writer in Houston.

“I didn’t recognize anything was amiss,” she said. “My daughter was just like me.”

The Senate has confirmed Glenna Wright-Gallo as assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services at the U.S. Department of Education. Secretary Cardona issued the following statement:

“I am thrilled that Glenna Wright-Gallo, a lifelong educator and accomplished special education leader, has been successfully confirmed as the Department of Education’s new assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services. Ms. Wright-Gallo has spent decades supporting students with disabilities and their families both in the classroom and as an administrative leader in the Utah and Washington public education systems. Her commitment to meeting the needs of the special education community and strong track record of improving outcomes are exactly what we need at this critical moment in our recovery from the pandemic, and I look to working with her to raise the bar for students with disabilities and their families.”

Apr. 30—RED HOOK, N.Y. — U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro, who is the father of child on the autistim spectrum, has introduced federal legislation that provides caregiver skills to families with children who have the same condition.

Molinaro, who represents the 19th Congressional District, said in a statement that the legislation, known as the Autism Family Caregivers Act, is "a bipartisan bill that provides caregiver skills to families who care for children with autism spectrum disorder as well as children with other physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities."

Four Indiana elementary school staff members and a behavioral technician were charged after a 7-year-old special education student was allegedly forced to eat his own vomit with a spoon.

A recent study found that a Medicaid program in Colorado can help address the shortage of home healthcare workers for children with complex medical needs by offering family members certified nursing assistant (CNA) training and paying them for at-home medical care their child requires. Results show that children who received family-CNA care were not more likely to be hospitalized than children cared for by a non-family CNA. Children with family-CNA caregivers also experienced greater care continuity since turnover was not an issue as it tends to be with traditional home healthcare workers. Findings were published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

A national Hershey’s commercial that begins Monday and features the challenges of a Cynthiana second-grader promises to touch “many hearts,” a company spokesperson told the Herald-Leader. Lane Hartzel has cerebral palsy, which in his case means that he is non-verbal and non-mobile. Intellectually, he is “age appropriate,” said his mother, Jennifer Hartzel. He communicates largely through head nods.