autism

John Bender / RIPR

Cranston police have begun special training to help them work better with people with autism. The training is geared toward preventing a police encounter from escalating.

Every Cranston police officer will be trained to recognize the signs of autism. And they’ll be equipped to respond to emergencies involving adults or kids with autism. Cranston police Lieutenant Mark Freeborn says the training should help avoid the misinterpretation that autistic behavior is disobedient, or aggressive.

The Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART) is trying to enroll 2000 kids and adults with autism spectrum disorders in a confidential statewide registry.

Researchers from Brown University, Bradley, and Women and Infants Hospital hope to gather data from registrants to conduct multiple studies over the coming years. Why?

There's an informal but vital network of health care providers, toiling away in neighborhoods and towns everywhere. They may not be doctors or nurses, or CNAs, or techs, but they care for elderly parents and spouses with dementia, children with disabilities, and relatives with injuries. They're family caregivers, and sometimes they need a break.

Here's some help, or at least some promising news, for them.

Connecticut's insurance department has just issued a bulletin that will affect how insurers cover autism - or could. According to this Kaiser Health News story by Michelle Andrews, autism advocates have worked hard over the years to ensure complex conditions like autism get the kind of insurance coverage they need - for long-term behavioral therapy, for example. But now:

I reported recently on the growth of brain science in Rhode Island, mentioning some of the many scientists, doctors, and institutes involved and some of the diseases they're hoping to tackle.

But of course, as with any story, I learned much more in the course of my reporting than I was able to include. Here are a few more neuroscience highlights in the Ocean State:

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