0

Club sponsors autism conference

first_imgNotre Dame’s Special Friends Club will hold its fifth annual Autism Conference on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Carey Auditorium of the Hesburgh Library.Vanderbilt pediatrics professor and Notre Dame alumna Julie Lounds Taylor will give a talk titled “Understanding the Transition to Adulthood with Autism Spectrum Disorder.”Sophomore Thomas Gordon, a member of the Special Friends Club, said Taylor is a leader in examining how people with autism interact with the rest of society.“Dr. Taylor’s research program investigates how individual, family and societal factors interact to promote healthy development, and she is especially interested in how families experience the transition to adulthood for young adults affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD),” Gordon said.Gordon said the Special Friends  Club aims to bring speakers to the conference who have made a significant commitment to fighting autism.“The beauty of the Autism Conference is the professionals invited to speak at the event,” he said.“Past speakers have represented a group of individuals who have impacted the knowledge we have of ASD through their research and a lifelong commitment to helping us come closer to understanding ASD.”The Special Friends Club’s president, senior Christina Mondi said our society needs to develop better strategies for supporting autistic individuals and their families.“According to the [Center for Disease Control], roughly 1 [out of] 88 children will be diagnosed with ASD,” Mondi said. “Almost all students will inevitably have a family member, friend, colleague, classmate or neighbor affected by autism. … It is incredibly important that students be aware not only of what autism is, but of how they can play a role in supporting those whose lives and families are affected by it in the classroom, workplace and community. This is not a special interest topic.”The Notre Dame community can help make the transition to adulthood for people with autism smoother, Mondi said.“If individuals with ASD are to reach their fullest potentials as they move into adulthood, they will need the understanding and support of their classmates and community members in doing so,” she said. “This is an area where we, as young college students and emerging professionals, could make a real difference in forging a culture of acceptance for our peers affected by ASD.”The event is open and free for all students. For more information, visit the conference’s website.Tags: Autism conference, Special friends clublast_img read more

0

Plenty of reasons for mass shootings

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionRe Feb. 14 letter, “Guns don’t up and kill by themselves”: James Homan gives a good, but fictional illustration that guns are inanimate tools that are only a problem when they get into the wrong hands. It takes a furious, unstable and/or innocently ignorant human being to pull the trigger. A gun can’t fire by itself. Suicide, accident or mass murder — the difference is basically a matter of numbers and publicity. Killing others is wrong, no matter how many bodies are involved. The Feb. 19 editorial cartoon was spot-on. Many persons and agencies dropped the ball regarding the Parkland high school shooter. The FBI didn’t follow up on several clues to his state of mind. Local law enforcement was called by his own mother and went to the home, but didn’t take further action. The school administration didn’t report expelling the young man for repeated aberrant behavior, in violation of the Florida state law that requires notification to authorities. Neighbors, for their own reasons, failed to report careless shooting of squirrels and their chickens in their own yards. Really, there was plenty of blame to go around, but none of it should fall on the rifle. It was merely the tool of demented destruction. Recent murders in our own region have been committed with: a hammer, a bath towel, a house fire and bare hands.Choice of weapons varies with plan, timing, convenience and motivation or state of mind. The AR-style or modem sporting rifle is one of the most popular firearms in the country, largely due to its ease of mastery. This reason, plus a relatively lower cost of manufacture, is why they were developed for the military. In spite of the rhetoric from over-zealous or ignorant media personnel and ambitious, unscrupulous politicians, the over-the counter AR is not an assault weapon. The real fault in Parkland and in many other cases is lack of communication, cooperation and proper enforcement of many existing laws, along with lazy, inefficient prosecution of unlawful firearms traffickers who are violating U.S. federal law and are allowed to plead to lesser state or local laws.Peter HenningsonSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more