Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Boy is empowered by his weakness

Michael Guggenheim's dysgraphia, a learning disorder that impairs his writing, spurred him to open a nonprofit that teaches homeless students how to use computers.

He is 12, a sixth-grader at Los Encinos School in Encino. He can't drive, vote or write much with a pencil, but he started a nonprofit when he was 11 and teaches computer skills to elementary students once a week.

He doesn't regard his dysgraphia, a learning disorder that severely impairs writing, as a disability. Instead, he has turned it into a driving force.

Read LA Times story here.

Chromosome abnormality linked to autism, study finds

Researchers have identified a chromosomal abnormality that seems to increase a person's chances of developing autism.

A group of U.S. researchers, associated with a group of Boston-based hospitals known as the Autism Consortium, conducted complete genome scans of 1,400 samples of DNA from families of autistic children.

They found that in one per cent of people with autism, or similar disorders, a portion of chromosome 16 is either absent or duplicated. This is not inherited from the parents.

Read the rest here