Friday, January 30, 2009

Health Workers Who Ignore Abuse Rarely Punished

Thorough story from The Des Moines Register on abuse in a nursing home and a reluctance to report it. With the need for more Direct Support Professionals in all types of programs -- nursing homes, group residences, etc. -- abuse is one area that organizations cannot ignore or tolerate.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lawyer Is Accused of Stealing Disabled People's Assets He Was Assigned to Protect

Unbelievable story in today's New York Times. Maybe in light of everything going on with Bernie Madoff, we shouldn't be surprised. Basically the system that was designed to protect people with disabilities failed big time. Any ideas on how to fix it?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Booming Business Serves Special Needs Families

Corporate America is waking up to the fact that parents of children with special needs can benefit from access to information. It's going to promote goodwill if these companies can provide these parents with access to experts.

In what have become the latest benefit programs, companies including PepsiCo (PEP), KPMG, JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Northrop Grumman (NOC) are offering services that range from parent networks to Web seminars to meetings with financial planners and educational consultants. In addition, a growing crop of advisers is emerging to guide families through the financial, medical, and educational labyrinth.

Trying Anything and Everything for Autism

Check out Jane Brody's column on a family's struggle to cope with their autistic child.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Justice Department Reaches Settlement with Georgia Regarding State Hospitals

Georgia is working to improve the conditions in seven state hospitals caring for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

University of Arizona Developing Tests That Could Improve Lives of People with Down Syndrome

Interesting research going on in Arizone to assess the cognitive abilities of people with Down syndrome.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Olmsted on Autism: Autism Explosion Followed Big Change in MMR Shot

Check out Dan Olmsted's recent investigation on a significant but little-noticed change in the MMR vaccine.

Paul Offit's Book: "Autism's False Prophets" Is Rallying Resistance to the Antivaccine Crusade

A new book defending vaccines, written by a doctor infuriated at the claim that they cause autism, is galvanizing a backlash against the antivaccine movement in the United States.

But there will be no book tour for the doctor, Paul A. Offit, author of “Autism’s False Prophets.” He has had too many death threats.

Monday, January 12, 2009

More Group Homes may be the Answer

There are politicians in New Jersey looking to close down some of the institutions designated for people with developmental disabilities and use the funds for more group homes throughout the community. Moving people with developmental disabilities into group homes is cheaper and gives them more independence to live their lives. For more information on this the link below.

Hockey Team Is for Athletes with Developmental Disabilities

Nice Feature out of Maryland. Too bad there aren't more programs like this and other sports programs designed for children and adults with special needs.

A Sister Copes With Her Brother's Autism

Check out NPR's recent report "Coping with an Autistic Brother: A Teenager's Take" and other comments from New York Times blog.

Friday, January 9, 2009

An Aggressive Plan to Multiply Group Homes

Of course people with developmental disabilities are going to be happier in a smaller, community-based group residence than in a large institution. Unfortunately New Jersey has lagged in funding to provide these residences. Plan is great on paper, but it's time to see it put into action.

What Medicaid Tells Us About Government Health Care

An interesting op-ed piece from yesterday's Wall Street Journal by Scott Gottlieb, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a former senior official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Top Federal Autism Panel Votes for Millions in Vaccine Research

Huffington Post article on a decision made last month that has received little or no media attention.

The Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) has voted to recommend earmarking millions of dollars in research funds from the Combating Autism Act of 2006 to study the possible role of vaccines in the causation of autism. The panel also proposed spending an additional $75 million to study a wide variety of other environmental factors in autism, possibly including parental age, infections, heavy metals, neurotoxins, occupational exposures and "other biological agents."

Disabled Workers a Boon for Some Employers

Bravo to ShopRite for hiring people with developmental disabilities! Especially in this economy, ShopRite clearly recognizes that hiring people with disabilities is not an act of charity, but rather a sound business decision.

Just wish that journalists would understand how calling these individuals "mentally disabled workers," opposed to workers with developmental disabilities (people first language) is not politically correct. Realize it's more words and takes up more space, but hopefully some day this will catch on with the media.