Let’s Get Real About Autism

By Jessica Berthold

As the mother of a young son with autism, I am livid at the notion that money and time would be spent on investigating long-debunked claims that vaccines cause autism, as would happen if President-elect Trump creates a new commission on vaccine safetyheaded by a prominent vaccine skeptic. The vaccines-cause-autism fallacy has long been put to rest, and that investment of time and resources would be better spent within the autism community and on pressing public health issues. And as the communications manager of a public health organization, I can confirm that reigniting this issue sends exactly the wrong message. Continue reading Let’s Get Real About Autism

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The Leka smart toy is a robot for children with developmental disabilities

One of the biggest and most biting criticism of modern tech is the industry’s excessive push to solve trivial problems. Nowhere is this theme more apparent than among the sea of forgettable gadgets at CES, itself a trade show that revels in the opulence of Las Vegas and the often hollow promise of our techno-enabled future. Occasionally, there is a device that breaks the mold. Leka, a smart toy from a French startup of the same name, is a tiny spherical robot not unlike Star Wars’ BB-8. Instead of dazzling us with cheap tricks, Leka has a purpose: to help children with autism and other developmental disabilities better learn and communicate with others. Continue reading The Leka smart toy is a robot for children with developmental disabilities

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