Monday, September 22, 2014

Tax-Free Disability Savings Account Deal

Federal lawmakers say they’ve reached a deal to move forward on legislation that would establish a new way for people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their government benefits.
Members of the U.S. Senate said Friday that they have an agreement that will allow the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act to proceed.

DOL Grants Promote Employment

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy has announced a total of $8,422,574 in continued funding for organizations that develop models, provide technical assistance and share best practices to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
"Individuals with disabilities have skills and experiences that employers need," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "These federal grants will help connect these workers with employers and put them on the path to economic self-sufficiency."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Harkin Dismay Over Senate Failure to Ratify Disability Treaty

WASHINGTON -- Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement last week following the objection of a Republican Senator to proceed to a vote and ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) - a treaty that builds upon the  (CPRD) - a treaty that builds upon the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to create a framework for disability rights laws in other countries. Harkin is the Senate author of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act

Friday, September 19, 2014

ASD Coverage Options Scarce for Adults

It’s getting easier for parents of young children with autism to get insurers to cover a pricey treatment called applied behavioral analysis. Once kids turn 21, however, it’s a different ballgame entirely. 

Many states have mandates that require insurers to cover this therapy, but they typically have age caps ranging from 17 to 21, says Katie Keith, research director at the Trimpa Group, a consulting firm that works with autism advocacy groups. In addition, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced that all Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs for low-income families must cover comprehensive autism treatment for kids—until they’re 21.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Use of Shocks at Massachusetts School Attracts FDA Attention

CANTON, Mass. — Some cut themselves. Others slam their heads against walls or desks — so hard that one girl detached both retinas and a young man triggered a stroke. Another pulled out all his teeth.
 Self-injury is one of the most difficult behaviors associated with autism and other developmental or intellectual disabilities, and a private facility outside Boston that takes on some of the hardest-to-treat cases is embroiled in a major debate: Should it use electrical skin shocks to try to keep patients from harming themselves or others?

Friday, September 12, 2014

CDC Finds Nearly 8 in 10 Kids Not Screened for Delays

The vast majority of American children may not be receiving recommended screenings for developmental delay, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.In a government survey, parents of 79 percent of young children reported that they had not been asked to participate in screening efforts in the previous year. This, despite recommendations that children are routinely checked at pediatrician visits for signs of developmental issues.

Every Parent Is an Advocate

Proud of one of our parents whose piece is featured on Huffington Post.
I am the mother of two adult children. My son, Daniel, had severe asthma as a child. My daughter, Katie, was diagnosed with a complex seizure disorder, intellectual disabilities and social anxiety issues.I became a strong advocate by necessity.My goal, like that of most parents, has always been to ensure that my children have access to the best and most appropriate opportunities in life. What I have learned over three decades of working toward this goal is that the supports that are available to the parents of a "special" child differ dramatically from those that exist for a family with a "typically developing" child.