Mary Ann DeKane

April is Autism Awareness Month

31 March 2014 Published in Research News

April is National Autism Awareness Month and the fifth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2nd. This is an excellent time to learn about the impact of autism on citizens and to promote treatment methods and research developments. According to the CDC, 1 in every 110 children has an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In 2003, Governor Granholm declared April as Autism Awareness Month. Corner Pieces, has launched Light It Blue Michigan in recognition of autism awareness. The Mackinac Bridge will be lit blue at sundown on April 2 to kick off the month-long campaign.

According to Light it Blue Michigan, the rate of Autism in Michigan has increased over 100% since 2001, from 5,680 school children to over 15,000, and Michigan has the 4th largest Autistic population in the U.S.

The following general information on Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder is provided by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

What is autism?

Autism is a complex developmental disability that causes problems with social interaction and communication. Symptoms usually start before age three and can cause delays or problems in many different skills that develop from infancy to adulthood.

What is an autism spectrum disorder?

Different people with autism can have very different symptoms. Health care providers think of autism as a “spectrum” disorder, a group of disorders with similar features. One person may have mild symptoms, while another may have serious symptoms. But they both have an autism spectrum disorder.

Currently, the autism spectrum disorder category includes: autistic disorder (autism); asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified as atypical autism.

What are the symptoms of autism?

The main signs and symptoms of autism involve problems in communication, both verbal and non-verbal, social, and repetitive behaviors or routines. The symptoms of autism can usually be observed by 18 months of age.

What are the treatments for autism?

There is no cure, nor one single treatment for autism spectrum disorders. There are ways to help minimize symptoms and maximize learning such as behavioral therapy including speech and language therapy, and occupational and physical therapy. There are no medications that can cure autism spectrum disorders, but in many cases, medication may treat some of the symptoms.

Is there a link between autism and vaccines?

There is no conclusive scientific evidence that any part of a vaccine or combination of vaccines causes autism. Currently the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the most accurate and up-to-date information about research on autism and vaccines. Its Vaccines and Autism Theory web site provides information from the federal government and from independent organizations about vaccines and autism.

Online Access to Michigan Newspapers

12 March 2014 Published in Research News

News Bank has provided the Royal Oak Public with temporary access to many popular Michigan Newspapers. You can read The Detroit News, Oakland Press, Detroit Jewish News and many more online. Click on Michigan in the Shortcuts menu on the left of the resulting page.

You can also access many popular periodicals such as The Atlantic, Smithsonian, and Science News through News Bank, America’s News Magazine (these are part of the online collection; not temporary).

Remember that access to Michigan Newspapers will be available until July 2014. Please try them out and let us know what you think.

Everyone’s Reading 2014

11 March 2014 Published in Books News

Everyone’s Reading at the Royal Oak Public Library! Your ROPL card can help you win a pair of tickets to hear author Chris Bohjalian speak.

Bohjalian will appear at two area venues on Wednesday, April 30 and will discuss his eighth novel, Before You Know Kindness. Three generations of the Seton family have spent a week together each summer for years. This time there is a terrible accident with a gun. This time everything changed.

The Library will start accepting raffle slips on Monday, March 17 for 9 pairs of tickets for the Bohjalian appearance on Wednesday, April 30 at 2:00 pm at The Community House, 380 S. Bates Street, Birmingham, and 17 pairs of tickets for his appearance Wednesday, April 30 at 7:00 pm at Congregation Shaarey Zedek, 27375 Bell Road, Southfield.

The raffle will be held after 6:00 pm on Tuesday, April 22.

“I love visiting Michigan and I am so honored to return to metro Detroit. I travel a lot, and time and time again I am buoyed by the way readers in Michigan really care about what words and reading and books can mean to the soul. I really appreciate the way programs such as this one remind us of the way stories can bring a community together.”

Chris Bohjalian is the critically acclaimed author of 17 books, including nine New York Times bestsellers. His book Midwives was an Oprah book selection. His work has been translated into over 25 languages, and three of his novels have become movies.

Everyone’s Reading is a one book/one community reading program that is in its thirteenth year in Metro Detroit. The program’s goal is to promote dialogue through the shared experience of reading the same book. The event is free, but a ticket is required. The Library’s ticket raffle is only open to Royal Oak Public Library cardholders.

For information about the program or tickets, call the adult reference desk at 248-246-3727.

Try Express SOS Connect!

22 October 2013 Published in News

Can’t make it to the local Secretary of State office? Try Express SOS Connect! Visit Express SOS Connect (created and maintained by the State of Michigan) to do much of your SOS business. What can you do? Here’s an incomplete list (for a complete list, visit the website):

If you still need an office, here are the Oakland County offices (for non-Oakland County offices, visit the branch locator on the SOS website):


SE Oakland County Plus

13401 W 10 Mile Rd

Oak Park, MI 48237


East Oakland County Plus

1111 E Long Lake Rd

Troy, MI 48085


South Oakland County Plus

5263 Telegraph Rd

Southfield, MI 48033


You can always call the Secretary of State using the following number: 888-767-6424

Affordable Health Care Act

21 October 2013 Published in Research News

Confused about the new health care law? Here’s some information to help clear things up! The Affordable Health Care Act went into effect on October 1, 2013. Here’s a list of websites and phone numbers for help and more information.

For Michigan residents who need to sign up, you must use,

If you have problems using, you can call the marketplace using this number: 1-800-318-2596 or alternative methods of contact (chat/FAQs). You can also contact a Navigator or Agent (via HICAP, see below for more information).

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) put together a website to answer many of the questions you might have:

  • Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program (HICAP): At HICAP we offer free help to anyone looking for Health Insurance information. We can help you with questions, worries, disputes, and complaints. If you need health insurance assistance, please call 877-999-6442 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
  • On their website:

For more information on enrolling, Michigan Consumers for Healthcare created a website to help answer your questions:

  • Enroll Michigan’s statewide network of Navigators are available to assist you or your small business, at no cost, in understanding your enrollment options. As the name suggests, Navigators assist consumers in “navigating” the website where consumers must go to access the tax credits that make purchasing private insurance more affordable.
  • A list of federally certified Navigator or Certified Application Counselors for the state can be found on their website as well.

Community Bridges also put together a website to help small businesses/organizations:

  • Navigate Health Reform: We are here to provide fair and impartial navigation outreach and assistance with the Health Care Market Place To provide the information and resources necessary to get a clear picture of the market place, the benefits and rights you have to affordable health coverage. We provide culturally sensitive and linguistic friendly services to individuals, employees and employers. We do not discriminate based on age, disability, national origin, race, religion, genetics or sex (gender).
  • They are putting on a series of events to help people understand the law.

Michigan Legal Help

15 October 2013 Published in Research News

Do you want to be able to handle simple civil legal problems without a lawyer? Do you need to find free and accurate legal information? We are pleased to announce the launching of Michigan Legal Help; a tool that will help Michigan Residents find a lawyer, locate Self-Help Centers, Community Services, and Court Information. The website does not provide legal advice, and is not a substitute for having a lawyer, but it contains tools to help you prepare to represent yourself in court and much more.

Butterfly Garden: Call for Volunteers

06 June 2013 Published in News

The Royal Oak Public Library Butterfly Garden needs volunteers to help with maintaining the garden over the spring, summer and fall.

Maintenance Schedule

  • Saturday, June 15 (10:00 am - 11:00 am)
  • Saturday, June 29 (10:00 am - 11:00 am)
  • Saturday, July 13 (10:00 am - 11:00 am)
  • Saturday, July 27 (10:00 am - 11:00 am)
  • Saturday, September 14 (10:00 am - 11:00 am)

Fall Planting

  • Saturday, August 24 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm)

October Garden Cleanup

  • Date to be announced

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Mary Ann DeKane for more information at 248-246-3714.

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