WYSO

Autism

Earlier this week, a State Medical Board of Ohio committee decided there wasn’t enough scientific proof that medical marijuana would help with anxiety and autism spectrum disorder. That reversed a recommendation made earlier this summer that the drug be added to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use in Ohio. But the board's change isn’t sitting well with parents who had hoped to be able to transition their autistic children off prescription drugs to marijuana. 

Officials say an online video-training program for people who interact with autistic individuals is now being used in Ohio.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the state-funded project is believed to be one of the first of its kind in the nation.

An official with the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence says the program began Wednesday to help families, agency workers and others gain skills needed to support children and young adults with autism.

Left to right: Maggie Knopp, Amelie Maruyama, Merida Kuder-Wexler, Mateo Basora, Lucy Dennis, Oskar Dennis, and Kira Hendrickson wait to go onstage for a run-through of "The Farm" at the Amphitheater in Yellow Springs.
Hideo Higashibaba / WYSO

When you go to the theater, there are rules: sit still, don’t make noise, and clap at the end. If you get up to leave, you're often not let back in until intermission.

People on the autism spectrum can have a lot of trouble with those rules, which is why many Broadway shows have altered performances to make them more accessible. Now the Yellow Springs Kids Playhouse (YSKP) is following suit with Arts for All, a special production of their summer show “The Farm.” Organizers say it’s the first performance of its kind in the Dayton area.

Ohio Governor John Kasich was lauded Wednesday by dozens of state legislators and parents of children with autism. They celebrated the Governor's order that, starting next year, will require health insurance policies in Ohio to cover autism treatment.

Michael Wasmer has a daughter with autism. He said the governor's move would help families with autistic children AFFORD the thousands of dollars worth of annual treatment that can bring those kids into the mainstream.

Ohio State University is participating in a large clinical research program to determine if an Alzheimer's disease medication can be used to treat children with autism.  The Columbus Dispatch reports that children with autism from central Ohio can enroll in the program at OSU's Nisonger Center.  The study is evaluating social interaction and communication among autistic children.