Friday, February 27, 2009

Tight Times Leave Fewer Jobs for People with Disabilities

A story from the Idahostateman that probably applies to virtually every state across the nation. For people with disabilities, this economic turmoil is particularly painful. They are a dedicated, loyal and untapped resource -- even during the best of times.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Vaccine Court: Autism Debate Continues

Two pieces by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and David Kirby are among the more comprehensive articles addressing this debate on Huffington Post. If there is no link, how come a parents of a child with an autism spectrum disorder were awarded more than $810,000 (plus an estimated $30-40,000 per year for autism services and care) in compensation by the court recently?

A Dose of Reality on Vaccines and Autism

The Los Angeles Times weighs-in on the recent special cort ruling that theres no linke between vaccines and autism.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Anatomy of a Scare

Sharon Begley's piece in Newseek examines the vaccine-autism link and how despite a recent court ruling and other scientific studies saying there is no connection, some families can't seem to move on. I have met so many families of young preschoolers who insist that their child was developing just fine and then took a big step back after the vaccines. I've even seen video that's time stamped, showing a young child talking and socializing and then after the vaccines, he seemed to crawl into a shell and wouldn't communicate. He has since been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

Newsweek's Aritcle on Autism and Vaccines Not Especially Convincing

Interesting view posted by Lisa Jo Rudy on Autism

Friday, February 20, 2009

They're Autsitic and They're in Love

I was pretty amazed to see this article about a couple with autism in Glamour magazine of all places. Good news is that autism is making it's way not only into the traditional media, but in pulications like this.

Getting a Take on Stimulus Package

Still trying to figure out the Stimulus Bill's impact on people with developmental disaiblities. Here is one take, keep in mind it's a press release. And a story from Newsday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Disabled Need Doctors

Boston Globe editorial on their story about the difficulties young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities have in accessing health care is on target. Primary care physicians and internists need to be trained to treat this population.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Courts Says Measles Vaccine Not Cause of Autism

(CNN) -- A special court ruled Thursday that parents of autistic children are not entitled to compensation in their contention that certain vaccines caused autism in their children.

A special court denied Mike and Theresa Cedillo's claim that vaccines caused autism in their daughter, Michelle.

"I must decide this case not on sentiment, but by analyzing the evidence," one of the "special masters" hearing the case said in denying the families' claims, ruling that the families had not presented sufficient evidence to prove their allegations.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Autism Coverage Bill Fails in Virginia

RICHMOND, Feb. 11 -- The Senate has effectively killed a bill that would have required insurers to cover autistic children, pleasing business lobbies that argued against new mandates but enraging parents who vowed revenge at the polls.

The fight over mandating autism coverage has gathered intensity nationwide and resonated especially strongly in Loudoun County and other fast-growing areas of Northern Virginia with high numbers of children.

Plan to Help Integrate Disabled People

In this day and age, it's amazing that so some states still keep people with developmental disabilities in institutions. Illionois, in fact, institutionalizes more people with developmental disabilities than any other state in the country. And, Illinois is ranked last in supporting community living for this population. Plans are being proposed to redirect state resources for people with developmental disabilities so they can be part of the community.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Old Perceptions of Individuals with Disabilities Still Exist

Bravo to Lee Wedemeyer, superintendent of the Marion County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, for his column in the Marion Star (Ohio), pointing out a reporter's use of language and just how important and hurtful wordchoice can be when covering a story in this field.

Judge in Autism Case Injects Insult to Sarah Palin

Interesting story from today's Daily News. Personally I could care less about the swipe at Sarah Palin, would love to know more about the case. Realize I'm not the neighbor below or next door, but I'm pulling for the family and the dog.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Teen's Family Transformed After Autism Intervention

Check out CNN's continuing Autism 911 series. This installment is about how a week of in-home therapy has dramatically changed a family's 13-year-old daughter's behavior. The therapy incorporated ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) and was donated by an organization. However, at $20,000 a week, I don't see how families are expected to cope. Clearly the therapy is effective, but what happens once it stops because a family can't afford it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Clerics Are Encouraged to Educate Congregations on Autism Sunday

Sunday, Feb. 8, has been designated as Autism Sunday, an International Day of Prayer for those with autism spectrum disorders. A letter from Diana Jones Ritter, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Autism 911: Help for a Family in Chaos

CNN's ongoing coverage of autism features a slice of life of a family's struggle with their 13-year-old daughter with autism. The Bilson's and other families of children on the autism spectrum are not sure where to turn for help. Hopefully the Applied Behavioral Analysis will help Marissa and her family.

Doctors Reluctant to Treat Disabled Adults, Study Finds

The Arc of Massachusetts, an advocacy group for people with intellectual disabilities, has come out with a new study which finds that many adults with developmental disabilities are still being treated by pediatricians. The study, "Left Out in the Cold: Health Care Experiences of Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Massachusetts," found that many disabled adults face longer waits than most people finding good internists, and that prevents them from get ting the best care for common adult conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, or thyroid disorders. The report found that, among other reasons, many internists avoid patients with disabilities because of uneasiness with them.

Ask any parent and you will hear their struggles to find appropriate medical care, be it an internist, specialist or dentist who understands their adult child's special needs. There is a critical need for doctors to receiving the training and learn more about treating these individuals, who deserve quality medical care just like anyone else.