CPI President Judith Schubert Publishes Article in Campus Safety

“Unpredictable actions can be behavioral adaptations related to a previous psychological trauma. Individuals with a trauma history will often turn to alcohol or drugs as a means to self-medicate their emotional pain. When the individual stops using a substance to self-medicate, he or she will often look for other behavioral adaptations to fill the gap.”

In a recent Campus Safety article, “Expect the Unexpected: Responding to Unpredictable Behavior,” CPI president Judith Schubert discusses unexpected behaviors that may result when a person who has experienced psychological trauma turns to alcohol or drugs.

In the article, Judith shares a list of six interventions that can be used with a person who exhibits unpredictable behavior. These strategies can help caregivers anticipate behaviors and prevent future crises.


Engaging With People With Asperger’s

In this video, Karen Schoenhals, a woman with Asperger’s, reflects on how her condition hindered her from having social success as a schoolchild. Though she did well academically, she had problems recognizing social signals and vocalizing her emotions.

Learning to play an instrument had a profound effect on her development. “Once I started learning to play piano,” she says, “I realized that there was a whole other way of communicating through music.”

Watch Karen talk about the challenges of living with Asperger’s, as well as things that help people with Asperger’s

Does Diet Affect Autism?

Bread, milk, crackers, cookies, pizza—can what a child eats affect her behavior?

A study conducted at Penn State indicates that a gluten-free, casein-free diet can play a role in improvements in the behavior of kids with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). When kids with autism and GI symptoms eliminated from their diets the proteins found in wheat, cow’s milk, and other foods, parents noted improvements in “language, eye contact, engagement, attention span, and social responsiveness.”

Another study conducted at the University of Rochester, however, determined that gluten- and casein-free diets have no effect on the behaviors of kids with ASD.

Read more about the studies here, and share your thoughts about diet and autism in the Comments section below.

Latest School Crime Report Deals With Greater Context

“During the 2009–10 school year, 85 percent of public schools recorded that one or more crime incidents had taken place at school, amounting to an estimated 1.9 million crimes. This figure translates to a rate of 40 crimes per 1,000 public school students enrolled.”

It’s not just the crimes that occur in school that we need to be concerned about; it’s also what happens when kids are going to and from school.

Taking the perspectives of students, teachers and administrators, and the general population at large, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics covered in a recent report topics such as bullying, weapons, availability of drugs, and perceptions of safety.

Get the full Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2011 report here.

Autism in Their Own Words

“One day, hopefully I can tell the president about autism.”

Sam Wessels may be only 10 years old, but he means what he says. The fact that he can verbalize what he wants is something his mother, Lin, never hoped for: Sam has autism, and had stopped speaking at age three. Today, he wants to tell the world about his autism.

Having a child on the autism spectrum often means reaching goals in different ways. It can be an intensely emotional experience for parents to see their kids finally learning how to swing on their own, or to simply say “I love you.”

CNN iReport strove to capture the experiences of families with kids on the spectrum. Watch as both parents and children talk about their experiences and what autism means to them in “Children With Autism: Nothing for Granted.”

Study: Children With Autism Are Often Targets of Bullying

Did you know that children on the autism spectrum are at high risk for bullying?

The initial results of a survey by the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) are staggering: 63% of 1,167 children with autism between ages six and 15 have been bullied. These children also experience meltdowns and aggressive outbursts triggered by bullies.

Autism Speaks has partnered with the National Center for Learning Disabilities, PACER’s National Bullying Center, and Ability Path in tandem with the new documentary film Bully to release a Special Needs Anti-Bullying Toolkit for parents, educators, and students to help children with special needs who are affected by bullying behaviors.

Read the IAN report and get the toolkit here.

Gifts From the Heart Have No Limit


A simple gift can go a long way in helping heal.

For residents of Milwaukee County’s Crisis Resource Center, sometimes a simple gift is all people need to know they’re cared for. Nancy Maier, a retired schoolteacher, crochets a scarf a day to “give comfort to a person who feels like they have no one who loves them.”

Read more about Nancy’s contribution in “For Weary Hearts, a Coiling Warmth.”