Monday, January 31, 2011

Study: Too Many Babies Delivered Too Early

Pregnancy lasts 40 weeks for a reason. At 35 weeks, a baby's brain tips the scales at just two-thirds of what it will weigh by weeks 39 to 40. Going full-term gives a baby's lungs time to mature and improves a baby's ability to suck and swallow. But too many doctors — and moms — are disregarding advice from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to wait until at least 39 weeks to deliver
Desire for convenience and an intolerance for the unpredictability of labor have resulted in thousands of babies being born too early
, according to The Leapfrog Group, which tracks hospital quality.
Now the March of Dimes is calling on hospitals to solve the problem by requiring every physician who schedules an elective delivery before 39 weeks to justify its medical necessity.

'For Once in My Life' Documentary Proves Anything is Possible

A 29-member, multicultural band rehearses in a small room in a Goodwill Industries factory to prepare for a concert in front of mayors from all over the United States, meeting in Miami for a conference. No ordinary band, all the members are severely disabled, either physically or mentally, with disorders that include Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, visual impairments including blindness, brain damage, and autism.

Struggling to Find Quality Work

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Despite federal and state laws that guarantee their right to live and work in their chosen communities, people with disabilities struggle to find quality employment. According to research from the National Disability Rights Network, they face barriers such as segregated work, sheltered environments and low wages.

Students with Autism Preparing for College

BROWNSVILLE, Texas -- Cameron was standing over in the corner of the concert hall with his mother, Kate. There must have been several hundred people waiting in the lobby to go hear the music. Cameron was talking to his mother in a low voice when the teacher spotted them. The teacher noticed that the boy had grown very tall since she had last seen him. Cameron was over six feet. His mother smiled at the teacher and waved at her to come over.
"Kate, Cameron, is that you. Cameron, you are so tall now. How are you?" Cameron answered with a monotone voice, "Fine." "How is school going Cameron?" Again the boy answered flatly, "Fine." The teacher turned the subject to something of interest to him. "Do you still like animals Cameron?" All of a sudden, Cameron’s face became animated and his eyes perked up. He didn’t have to use the conversations that he had memorized. Instead, the door had opened to what he liked to talk about, animals, specifically primates. He knew everything about them. The problem was Cameron only wanted to talk about primates and nothing else.
Cameron always had been a bright boy in school. He was a high functioning child with autism. When Cameron first started in the preschool program for children with disabilities, the boy could not sit still. He barely spoke and if he did, it was echo laic, repeating whatever was said to him. As Cameron grew older, his pronouns were nonexistent at first. He would answer, "Cameron wants water. Cameron is hungry." It took some time to get the boy to use pronouns such as: I, he and she. Now, Cameron was nearing graduation.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Georgia's Lack of Support Is Troubling

Guest column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Dave Blanchard, executive director of All About Developmental Disabilities, a service provider in Georgia.

When a family member is living with a developmental disability like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome or autism, life is filled with daunting challenges.
Some we would expect, such as ensuring quality education and securing safe housing. But there are also challenges with the everyday activities, such as getting to the store or dialing 911 in an emergency.
Families in Georgia, where more than 90,000 individuals are reported as living with developmental disabilities, find these experiences even more challenging. Georgia is ranked 50th in the nation in fiscal support given to individuals with developmental disabilities. That’s dead last. Most of these families do not have access to sufficient support to meet the most basic needs. More than half of Georgia families who are living with developmental disability are living in poverty.

Super Bowl 'Towel War' Means More Work for People with Disabilities

Came across this story on disabilityscoop. Looks like people with disabilities will be busy in Wisconsin for the next few weeks

The towels that fans will wave in the stands at the Super Bowl next week will support not only the players on the field, but also people with developmental disabilities.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are famous for the so-called “Terrible Towel,” a golden rag that hails from the 1970s. It’s produced by a Wisconsin company that employs roughly 50 workers with disabilities who are currently churning out hundreds of thousands of towels in preparation for the big game.
Not to be outdone, the Packers are in the process of developing their own towel ahead of the Super Bowl, which could net even more work for the towel manufacturer and its employees with special needs

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another Option in Idaho Budget Crunch

BOISE, Idaho -- There will be no "bad guy" in the Capitol auditorium at the Idaho Statehouse on Friday, Jan. 28. There will be no Tom Luna versus teachers' unions. There will be no debate over lap tops. The issue coming before lawmakers, while packed with complexity, comes down to a basic question: Are you willing to cut services to Idaho's most vulnerable citizens?
In order to meet Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's projection of an $84 million shortfall, Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare is considering Plan A and Plan B. Plan A would see a hefty budget ax come down on Medicaid-funded services to adults. Wholesale cuts to developmental disability and psycho-social rehabilitative services could result in more than $25 million in reductions. Plan B would include less of an axe and more of a scalpel to select services, resulting in approximately $20 million in savings.
Advocates for the disabled say they need to influence lawmakers that there is a Plan C. It's risky and it may become the political hot potato of 2011. But it's simple.
"We want our legislators to know we support a tax increase if it is necessary to avoid further cuts in Medicaid."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Study: Social Skills in Children with Autism Improve with Time

COLUMBIA, Mo. — A clinical child psychologist has found that many autistic children gain more verbal and social skills over time.
Catherine Lord, who is the head of the University of Michigan’s Autism and Communication Disorder Center, said that while some previous studies stated 50 percent of 9-year-old children with autism were mostly nonverbal, her study found that 14 percent were nonverbal. Lord presented the findings of her study Monday night at a lecture at MU.

Head of N.J. Developmental Disabilities Abruptly Resigns

TRENTO, N.J. — Kenneth Ritchey, the assistant commissioner for the Department of Human Services retired Friday, nearly four years after he was appointed to oversee the Division of Developmental Disabilities.
His boss, Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez, disclosed his departure on Friday afternoon in an e-mail addressed to "DDD stakeholders.''

Monday, January 24, 2011

Suit Focuses on Best Setting to Deliver Care

The Justice Department in a lawsuit against Arkansas is reigniting an emotional fight over the role of residential institutions for people with disabilities.
The suit focuses on one of Arkansas's facilities for people with severe disabilities, the Conway Human Development Center. The state-run institution houses around 510 people off all ages, including children, who typically have intellectual disabilities as well as conditions such as cerebral palsy and physical handicaps.
The suit claims residents aren't being given enough of a chance to move to less-restrictive community settings—such as group homes or family dwellings with professional assistance—and alleges dangerous practices. Conway residents are generally placed in the center by their families, with the exception of a few who are wards of the state, such as children in foster care.
The Justice Department has found itself squaring off not only against the state government, but also against well-organized and vocal groups representing families of residents of state-run institutions. They have prodded state officials to defend the facilities and intervened in the case with a brief defending Conway.

Justice Dept. Probe Looms Over Virginia

In coming weeks, civil rights lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice are expected to deliver a searing critique of Virginia's system for caring for people with profound developmental disabilities.
The commonwealth has been slower than most states in moving hundreds of developmentally disabled people out of large institutions such as the Northern Virginia Training Center on Braddock Road in Fairfax County, and state officials expect that to be one of many problems cited by the Justice Department.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Very Significant Birthday

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Friday marked an important day in the life of a St. Joseph man and an accomplishment of modern society and medical care. Alan Walker, who has Down syndrome, celebrated his 70th birthday with a party at the United Cerebral Palsy building.
This may not seem significant, but in 1929, a mere 12 years before Mr. Walker was born, the average life expectancy for a person with Down syndrome was only nine years, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

52 Percent of Americans Don't Think Vaccines Cause Autism, Poll Shows

Just a slim majority of Americans -- 52 percent -- think vaccines don't cause autism, a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll found.
Conversely, 18 percent are convinced that vaccines, like the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, can cause the disorder, and another 30 percent aren't sure.

Staying Healthy and Well

Larry Roberts, program director at the Finger Lakes Independence Center, provides his perspective in a guest column in the Ithaca Journal.

The Centers for Disease Control says people with disabilities are more likely than people without disabilities to report poorer overall health; having less access to adequate health care; having no access to health insurance; skipping medical care because of cost; and engaging in risky health behaviors, including smoking and physical inactivity.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wakefield Defends Autism-Vaccine Link

Controversial British surgeon Dr. Andrew Wakefield Monday defended allegations by authors that his research citing a possible link between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism were outright "fraudulent."
"There was no fraud, there was no falsification, there was no hoax," Wakefield told George Stephanopolous Monday on "Good Morning America."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bakers with a Special Touch

HENRIETTA, N.Y. — In celebration of everything sweet about pie, several area businesses, along with the School of the Holy Childhood in Henrietta, will be taking part in National Pie Day on Saturday, Jan. 23.
On the holiday created by the American Pie Council, the businesses will be promoting the pies made by adults with developmental disabilities who take part in the Special Touch Bakery, a vocational training program at the School of the Holy Childhood.

Reasons to Laugh at My Son

Wonderful read by Larry Blumenthal,a Web and social media consultant who lives in Bucks County, Pa. He chronicles his son's journey on his blog, "Life with Clay," at

Here's my favorite story about my son Clay. During a free period at school when he was in second grade, Clay was spelling out words with magnetic letters on a white board. He was into brand names that he saw on signs at the time, so he spelled out "STARBUCKS," then "PENSKE TRUCKS."
Clay's teacher noticed and made a big fuss. "That's great, Clay," she said. "You are spelling such big words. Can you spell something else just for me?"
He looked at her, looked at the letters, and with no further hesitation spelled out, "GO AWAY."
Not every student could get away with that, but Clay's teacher laughed and couldn't wait to share the story with me and his mother. Clay, who has autism, does not use speech to communicate. Yet even as a second grader, he knew how to get his message across with enough of a twinkle in his eye to stay out of trouble.

N.J. Governor Proposes Developing Schools in Each County for Children with Autism

PARAMUS, N.J. — Gov. Chris Christie said he is exploring a plan to develop a school in each county that specializes in educating children with autism.
Responding to a question during a town hall meeting Thursday in Paramus, the governor said the idea has merit because it would offer a cost-effective alternative to cash-strapped communities trying to create their own special education curriculum for these students.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The High Cost of Autism: One Parent's Tale

Jonathan Berr, a financial writer and media columnist, offers his perspective on having a child with autism. He is a former reporter with Bloomberg News whose work has appeared in The New York Times, BusinessWeek and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Having an autistic child can be as big a challenge financially as it can be psychologically.
Parents often spend thousands of dollars in the hopes, fleeting as they may be, of finding a cure for the exasperating illness. Autism Spectrum Disorders are developmental disabilities that affect one out 110 children -- a number that includes my four-year-old son, Jacob.

Editorial: Autism Fraud

The New York Times Editorial Page weighed in this morning on the vaccine-autism controversy (for lack of a better word).

The report that first triggered scares that a vaccine to prevent measles, mumps and rubella might cause autism in children has received another devastating blow to its credibility. The British Medical Journal has declared that the research was not simply bad science, as has been known for years, but a deliberate fraud.
The study, led by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, was published in The Lancet in 1998. It was based on just 12 children with supposedly autismlike disorders and purported to find a link between the vaccine, the gastrointestinal problems found in many autistic children, and autism.

Contemplating Independence

CHICAGO -- On the verge of victory in a lingering civil rights suit seeking his freedom from a large institution, 37-year-old David Cicarelli knows one of the first things he'll bring when he finally gets to move into his new home in the suburbs.
"A punch bowl," Cicarelli says, his smile quickly evolving into one of those laughs that makes everybody else smile as he ponders more possibilities. "I could make a cake."
However he celebrates his newfound freedom will be up to him under a negotiated agreement going before a judge Thursday that would allow Cicarelli and other adults with developmental disabilities to leave large institutions and move into smaller homes if they desire.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just When You Thought Vaccine Debate Was Over . . .

New Jersey has the highest rate of autism in the country, with 1 in every 94 children in the state diagnosed with some aspect of the complex neurological disorder.
So, when news broke last week debunking the original study that linked autism to vaccines, parents took notice.
A report in the British Medical Journal outlined new evidence that British doctor Andrew Wakefield and his colleagues deliberately altered some of the data in a 1998 report that linked childhood immunizations to autism.
That study helped launch a worldwide movement encouraging parents to forgo vaccinating their children to protect them from autism, over the objections of doctors who said there was no real scientific proof to justify their fears.
Many doctors and scientists took last week’s news as the final word in the debate: Vaccines don’t cause autism.
But online, the fight continues. Bloggers on both sides of the debate are dissecting the new evidence and what it means for parents wondering whether to vaccinate their children

Illinois Agreement in Civil Rights Case

Definitely looks like a victory for moving people with disabilities into the community, however, how is the state going to provide the funding to provide new residences and support services for these individuals?

CHICAGO — A new settlement in a civil rights case could affect nearly 10,000 adults with developmental disabilities in Illinois, giving more independence to some and allowing others to stay in large institutions.
Click here to find out more!
The compromise agreement, filed Tuesday in federal court in Chicago, takes into account the objections of families who worried a prior version would have forced their family members out of residential facilities. A federal judge rejected the earlier version in 2009 after receiving 2,500 written objections.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Teens Making a Difference

WESTPORT, Conn. -- High school can be daunting for even the most confident teenager. For young men and women with special needs, life can be even tougher.
Everyone needs a friend. Fortunately, area youngsters have a "Circle of Friends," a popular and personal program run by Beth Israel of Westport/Norwalk and started by Freida Hecht.
For a number of Staples High School students, it's the highlight of their week.

Virginia Official Admits State Lags in Moving People into the Community

RICHMOND — Virginia doesn't do nearly as much as it should getting disabled people out of hospitals and functioning in communities, the state's top health and human services official told a state Senate panel Monday.
"This is an area, I think, in which we are extraordinarily inadequate for a lot of reasons," Bill Hazel, Secretary of Health and Human Resources, told members of the Senate Finance Committee.
Hazel introduced plans for the state's $30 million "down payment," a response to a federal investigation into whether the state keeps too many intellectually disabled people in institutions.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Autism, Vaccines and Fraud: Q&A with Author Seth Mnookin

From Time's website -- an article by Nathan Thornburgh, a contributor to Time magazine and co-founder

A UK report published last week offered details about how Dr. Andrew Wakefield falsified his 1998 report linking autism to certain childhood vaccines. The fraudulent study launched more than a decade of misinformation and anxiety surrounding routine vaccinations. Wakefield has been of particular interest to me ever since my daughter's pediatrics office in New York had to be quarantined for a week last year because a child came into the office with German Measles (a disease that vaccines had nearly eliminated in the developed world). Author Seth Mnookin's exquisitely timed book about Wakefield's fraud and the campaigns it inspired, The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear, was released this week. DadWagon spoke with Mnookin about fraud, misinformation and the fallout of Wakefield's disastrous hoax.

Study: More Special-Needs Students Involved in Community, Attend College

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Despite their learning disabilities, Susan Switzer's students are often out and about in the community, visiting the mall, museum, theater and park.
They work a few hours a week at the library, bowling alley and other places.
They also run their own small business from their classroom in the Jefferson Union High School District building in Daly City, making popcorn and greeting cards and selling them to staff and other students.
"I think our program helps them be more engaged (in the community)," said Switzer, a special-education teacher in the district. "They learn appropriate manners, social skills and how to ask for help."
The achievements of those in Switzer's program reflect a new study's findings that show students with disabilities such as speech impairment, intellectual disabilities or autism are more involved in their communities and are attending college in greater numbers than before.

Study Links Closely Spaced Pregnancies to Autism Risk

WASHINGTON -- Closely spaced pregnancies were associated with an increase in the odds of a second child being diagnosed with autism, according to a study involving California children.
The study, which the journal Pediatrics published online Monday, showed the sooner conceptions followed the prior birth of a sibling, the greater the likelihood of the second child having an autism diagnosis.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Reluctant Hero: High School Football Player Is Big Brother to Boy with Disability

Feel-good story of the week from ABC World News about an amazing high school student helping a child with special needs and his family.

MELROSE, Mass. -- His schedule is jam-packed with classes and homework and football practice. But for one Massachusetts high school senior, there is a special place each night for an 8-year-old little boy named Sam.
Rudy Favard, a student at Malden Catholic High School, accepted his school nurse's request to meet with an area family three to four nights a week to carry their severely disabled son up the stairs to his bedroom; a task the family could no longer handle.
"I wanted to help," Rudy, 17, said. "I didn't think it was a big deal." What he found was a family that welcomed him as one of their own.

As Those With Disabilities Suffer, Olmstead's Promise Is Unfulfilled

Washington State Representative Brendan Williams, D-22, has an interesting column on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's blog.

In the 1999 Olmstead decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that under the Americans with Disabilities Act a state is obligated to serve citizens with disabilities in the least-restrictive setting appropriate to care needs.
Writing for the Court, Justice Ginsburg rebuked "unwarranted assumptions" that persons with disabilities "are incapable or unworthy of participating in community life."
As a pioneering state in developing home-and-community-based long-term care options, Washington was ahead of this landmark ruling. Yet the response to the current budget crisis, particularly, shows Olmstead's promise is unfulfilled.

Budget Shortfall Gives Hope to Texas Disability Rights Advocates

Disability rights advocates try year after year to persuade lawmakers to close Texas’ state-supported living centers, the large, institutional-care settings that the United States Justice Department has monitored for dangerous conditions. Every time, their efforts have been rebuffed — by the adamant parents who rely on the facilities to care for their loved ones and by the lawmakers who count on the centers as economic drivers in their districts.
This session, advocates say they have a big plus in their column: the state’s giant budget crunch. They hope lawmakers, facing an estimated $15 billion to $28 billion shortfall, will have to shutter some of the centers, which cost Texas $500 million a year to operate.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Support Available for Military Families with Special Needs Children

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- In the comfort of his own home, 4-year-old Caleb spends 15 hours per week dedicated to constructing puzzles, identifying numbers and letters and reinforcing communication as a means to get what he's after.
For two and a half hours per session, Caleb is engaged in an in-home therapy program with Wellspring, an autism treatment agency.
This type of in-home treatment is now available in the Antelope Valley and to Edwards families through TRICARE and other insurance option

Autism-Vaccine Link Disclaimed, Again

The research that launched an enduring but apparently erroneous belief that autism is caused by a common childhood vaccination has been debunked, disclaimed -- and now debunked again.
Last February the British medical journal the Lancet retracted a study it had published in 1998 in which British researcher Andrew Wakefield suggested that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine triggered autism. Wakefield's science proved shoddy and his methods questionable.
Wednesday that stance was reinforced by the publication in another British medical journal, BMJ, of an analysis that finds Wakefield's research was in fact a fraud.

Court Ruling Finds Regulator Overstepped on Autism

LOS ANGELES -- State regulators shouldn't have sent health insurers a memo on how to handle complaints about autism treatments because it was tantamount to issuing a regulation without it being properly vetted, a judge has ruled.
In the mixed decision filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, Judge Robert H. O'Brien said the state Department of Managed Health Care erred in issuing the memo, but it has a right to want licensed practitioners to provide treatment to autistic children.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Disability Community Offers Cuomo Advice

Interesting guest column in the Albany Times Union by Michael Volkman, a Capital Region resident and an advocate for people with disabilities.

ALBANY -- It is good to see you, Governor. No, we never met before, but I did meet your father a couple of times. In those days, I was just starting out in the advocacy business for people with disabilities who live, work and visit in New York.
You are taking over at a very tough time and have some very hard decisions to make. Many of us in the disability rights community in this state have some big ideas to help you.
One of them has been at the top of our list for a long time. We told your father about it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Washignton, D.C. Weighing the Rights and Care of People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- What happens each day in Hearing Room 109 of D.C. Superior Court happens nowhere else in the country.
One by one, people like J., a man who has profound developmental disabilities and receives community services through the D.C. government, come before a judge for a mandatory annual review that examines almost every aspect of their lives. For J., it includes everything from how much money he has in the bank to what psychotropic drugs he's been prescribed to where he's been lately.

Cuomo Targets Medicaid Spending

ALBANY—Gov. Andrew Cuomo is aiming to reduce the state's Medicaid spending by billions of dollars, exceeding the size of cuts to the program proposed in past years, according to individuals with knowledge of his budget.
The Cuomo administration is considering a cut of about $2.1 billion out of the state's projected spending on Medicaid in the upcoming fiscal year. With federal matching funds, the cut comes to more than $4 billion. That's close to twice the reduction in spending proposed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer in 2007.
Such a cut would effectively freeze Medicaid spending at the current year's level. But because the state is set to receive far less in federal funds, as the stimulus expires, its share of Medicaid costs would still grow by more than $3 billion, a 30% increase.

Achieving Positive Outcomes with Support

MONMOUTH, Ill. — Tabitha Cooper was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome on Sept. 11, 2004 at the age of 23. Her diagnosis explained a lot of the struggles she'd battled in high school. Cooper said she wasn't diagnosed when she was younger because many people thought autism was a mental disorder.
"I always felt different," she said. "There were some times I wanted to be alone. Sometimes I wanted to be around people. I didn't feel like I fit in with any group. I feel like the pinball in the pinball machine going from one group to another."
But Cooper has maintained her independence, relationships and work even though her condition makes life difficult sometimes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Our Year in Autism

Blogs filled with interesting perspectives this morning. Came across this one from The Washington Times by Jean Winegardner.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — I spend a great deal of time looking for progress in Jack, my son with autism. My family, his teachers and his therapists work incredibly hard to help him learn how to work around the deficits that come with his autism. Because we, as parents, live with tiny, incremental changes every day, it's hard to see how far our children come over a course of months.
I was reminded of this last week, when Jack's speech-language pathologist showed me some testing scores and explained how they related to the same test that she'd given him two years ago. He has made incredible improvements in his expressive and receptive language, which got me thinking about what else he's done over the past 12 months.

Opinon: Where Will Your Child with Autism Live When He Grows Older?

Interesting column by Lisa Jo Rudy from While her intentions are good, am just wondering if she and her husband are really thinking long term? By living in a supported residence or an apartment -- receiving supports as needed by direct support professionals -- wouldn't this be increasing Tom's independence and better preparing him for the day his parents can no longer care for him?

Today, my husband was chatting casually with an acquaintance who knows our son Tom. Tom is 14, with high functioning autism; he's verbal, pleasant, but clearly "different." The acquaintance had heard about a nearby residential setting for adults with autism, and mentioned it to my husband. Her thought was that it might be a good option for our son sometime in the future.
My husband thanked her, but let her know that it's our intention to have our son live with us, at least for the foreseeable future (unless he winds up going off to college or making other educational or career choices that take him out of the area). If it seems to make sense, we could certainly help him to find an apartment or other living situation nearby, and provide supports as they're needed.

Scientists Test 'Trust Hormone' for Treating Autism

For decades, parents of children with autism have been searching for a drug or diet to treat the disorder.
Their latest hope is the hormone oxytocin. It's often called the trust hormone or the cuddle hormone. And just to be clear, it has nothing to do with the narcotic oxycontin.
But some children with autism are already being treated with oxytocin, even though it's not approved for this purpose.

In This Class, Students Rise to Challenge

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — As expectations rise for students at reform-entrenched Katherine Brennan/Clarence Rogers School, special education teacher Blanka Jamsek keeps her students on the same upward path.
Her strategy is simple: Challenge, challenge, challenge.
"I have very high expectations for my students," she said.

Teaching Students Benefits of Fitness

DILLSBURG, Pa. -- Many school programs target students' increasing waistlines and decreasing amount of exercise.
Northern Elementary School has gone a step further to help students with disabilities, a group frequently overlooked in this realm.
"Children with developmental disabilities are more likely to be overweight than the general population," said Monica Lazur, United Cerebral Palsy of Central Pennsylvania LifeFit project director.