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CASD Chat: January 2022 - Autism and Genetics

Download this month's CASD Chat newsletter (PDF).

Dear Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (CASD) friends and family, this month’s CASD Chat, we are speaking with Hallie Andrew, M.S., C.G.C. Ms. Andrew is a genetic counselor at the Rare Disease Institute and Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children’s National Hospital. She joins us to discuss the topic of genetic testing for individuals who are autistic. We are constantly learning more about the role of genetics in autism, and following an autism diagnosis, many families have questions about genetic testing. We have asked Ms. Andrew to help us answer some of the most common questions we hear about genetic testing.

Interview with Hallie Andrew, M.S., C.G.C.

Profiles Celebrating Neurodiversity

This month we highlight Jordyn Zimmerman. Jordyn recently received her bachelor degree from Ohio University and is completing graduate course work at Boston College. However, getting to these advanced achievements was not a straightforward course.

Jordyn struggled with communication throughout most of her school career. Frustration led to challenging behaviors, making school into a nightmare. Jordyn attended specialized schools through much of high school. When she returned to public school at the age of 17, she was on track to earn a modified diploma with a focus on developing basic work skills.

However, all of this changed for her, once she started using an iPad-based AAC to communicate. Through technology, Jordyn has been able to communicate fully, advocating for herself and others. In addition to completing high school and college, Jordyn writes for blogs and publication and presents nationally. She wa sthe subject of a recent documentary This is Not About Me.

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