Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Marketers Lend Voice for the Disabled

Even in this economy, it's great to see some companies supporting people with disabilities. Check out Stuart Elliott's advertsing column in The New York Times. Asurvey released last week by Hill & Knowlton, part of WPP, 75 percent of respondents said that companies “need to be even more charitable and responsible to their communities” during the economic downturn.
That shift in attitudes represents an opportunity to connect with the public on less mercenary — and more altruistic — levels.

Autism Teacher Celebrates Every Gain

Wonderful read in USA Today on a young teacher in Atlanta who works with preschoolers with autism.

Waldrop said she worries that, in general, the public doesn't set very high expectations for children with autism. "People don't expect the kids to be able to do certain things," she said. "But if you work with them, most of our kids do pretty much anything that you can put in front of them."

But, she conceded, even conquering the basic milestones can take time. "When our kids learn how to do things that most people think are really easy -- like washing your hands -- that's exciting," Waldrop said. "It might take months for them to get it, but when they finally do, it is really exciting."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Autism: New Clue to Earlier Detection

Researchers at the Yale Child Study Center find that autism attention differences may start very early. This could lead to even earlier detection and therapies, possibly beginning as early as infancy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Seizing the Day: Young Man Undaunted By Developmental Disabilities

For inspiration, check out the story of Kyle Sanchez, a young man with a developmental disability who was recently named the 2009 Direct Support Professional (DSPs) of the Year for Colorado by ANCOR (the American Network of Community Options and Resources). ANCOR is working hard to increase the professionalism and wages of DSPs across the country. For more information on ANCOR's efforts, including H.R.868, the Direct Support Professionals Fairness and Security Act of 2009, giving states a much-needed option to secure additional federal dollars for the direct support workforce, visit youneedtoknowme.org

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bill would cover more autism therapies

Health care providers have a number of questions about the need for "Applied Behavioral Analysis" treatment, but there are many families claiming it has made a major difference for their autistic children.

This article dives into the important discussion of increased costs versus the lack of services for children with developmental disabilities. It focuses on the state of Maryland, but this is an issue prevelent around the entire country.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mystic boy with multiple disabilities moving into special home

This is a very interesting article discussing how important state programs and resources are to providing the right services for people with disabilities. This particular article focuses on how a special home and school can change a disabled boy's life and save a family, as well.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Children with Disabilities Pose Workplace Challenges for Parents

An expert says that more employers need to be aware of the prevalence and strain of being a working parent with a special needs child.

According to the Boston-based Center for Child and Adolescent Health Care Policy, an estimated 8.6 percent of U.S. workers care for a child younger than 18 with physical or mental disabilities or chronic conditions. That has tripled since 1960, the organization says.

North Carolina Man Doesn't Let Autism Slow Him Down

A wonderful profile of Chad Norman, a 23-year-old with autism, whose volunteer work at a local school is making a difference to the students, teachers and other staff.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Missouri Lawmakers Seek to Mandate Autism Coverage

What are parents who have a child with autism supposed to do? The Associated Press reports that Tom and Jenny Whitty have cashed out their children's college funds, maxed out several credit cards and taken out a second mortgage on their house — all to pay for therapy for their two autistic children. They are running out of money. And their private insurance won't cover the autism treatments.

In the past two years, six states — Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina and Louisiana — passed laws requiring coverage of behavior therapy for autism, which can cost up to $50,000 a year per child.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

US Health Officials Back Study on Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Children - Will Media Take Note?

This is a very interesting article discussing the desire to conduct a study about the immunization schedule...potentially through a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study. There are still many questions regarding the link between vaccines and autism. But, the question is will the media take on this issue all over again or leave it alone?

Evidence Is Slim, But Experts Say Music Therapy is Valuable in Addressing Autism

Wonderful Washington Post article on how music therapy is helping youngsters on the autism spectrum. Music seems to bring out the best in virtually everyone and children on the spectrum are no different.

Gene Could Link Autism, Digestive Problems

Check out USA Today's coverage of interesting research reported in "Pediatrics."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Els Draws on marino's Tale in Caring for Autistic Son

Interesting story from the South Florida Sun Sentinel on how Ernie Els and his son with autism. It seems that after meeting with Dan Marino and hearing about his son with autism, Els was able to go public about his son almost a year ago. Unlike golf, where you can fix your swing or adjust another part of your game, there is no cure for Autism and that's what frustrates Els and so many other families.