Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Treatment Focuses on Turning Autism Symptoms Into Strengths

An innovative method to treat children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder attempts to turn their symptoms into strengths.
Dr. Laurence Sugarman, a pediatrician and researcher at Rochester Institute of Technology has developed a treatment method that teaches affected children how to control their psychophysiology and behavior using computerized biofeedback and clinical hypnosis.

Rehab and Habilitation to Be Covered Under ACA

“To rehabilitate,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means “to restore to a former capacity.”
But what if that capacity — be it walking or talking or brushing one’s teeth — was never there in the first place?  In that case, you aren’t talking about “rehabilitation” but “habilitation.”
People need habilitation when they have a congenital defect or disease that impairs the development of basic life skills. For example, autism may leave a child unable to speak. Cerebral palsy may result in language deficits and severe physical limitations. Birth defects may leave a child deaf.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), habilitation services will now be widely covered for the first time in private insurance plans. Rehabilitative and habilitative services are among the 10 “essential benefits” that must be provided by all plans sold on all the state and federally run health insurance exchanges. 

Neighbors Left Out of Planning for Home

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Residents of Cedar Ridge Road are upset that town officials failed to provide an opportunity for the public to comment on a planned 4,600-square-foot Ulster-Greene ARC group home for eight people who have developmental disabilities and medically frailties.
The project was approved by the town Building Department earlier this year, but neighbors were unaware of the plan because town Supervisor Carl Chipman said he was not told of public notice requirements despite the town receiving two registered letters outlining the state law.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Editorial: Time to Do Right By People with Disabilities

About a year ago the Senate fell five votes short of ratifying an international treaty that would improve protections for the disabled. It was an ignoble spectacle as the opponents rebuffed Bob Dole, a former colleague and disabled veteran, who came to the Senate floor to lobby for it. The Senate now has a chance to redeem itself.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

CDC: 2 Million More Kids Diagnosed with ADHD Since 2004

New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals an additional two million kids have attention attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder compared to stats collected nearly a decade earlier.One million more kids are also taking medications to treat their ADHD, according to the new data collected from 2011-2012.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Canadian Company Links Adults with Autism to Jobs

CALGARY — Jay Serdula has a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics, a masters degree in physical oceanography and several years of experience working with the Canadian military. Still, he says finding work has never been easy.“I suspect that a lot of the people who interview me for a possible job, decide after five minutes not to consider me any further,” he says.

Bullying of Teen with Autism Prompts Controversy in Small Iowa Town

Levi Null, 13, has Asperger's syndrome, a developmental disorder characterized by difficulty socializing and obsessive, often repetitive interests or behaviors. His mother, Dawn Simmons, told local news outlet WHO-TV that he gets picked on and "smacked" by his classmates at Melcher-Dallas High School in the town of Melcher-Dallas, which has a population of just 1,288.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

People with Autism Read Facial Expressions with a Focus on the Mouth

The eyes may be the mirror of the soul, but for those with autism, the mouth will have to do.
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center isolated neurons in the brain's amygdala that respond to facial expressions, and tested patients with autism against those without. Both groups could correctly identify a "happy" or "fearful" face, a function long associated with the amygdala.
But when the researchers examined which neurons fired in relation to areas of the face, they found that those with autism "read" the information from the mouth area more than from the eyes and seemed to be lacking a population of nerve cells that respond only to images of eyes.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Seeking a Home for His Son, Father Now Faces Lawsuit From Neighbors

ENID, Okla. — Paul Smith's developmentally disabled son has called the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center in Enid his home for half a decade.
"The state is not doing them any favors by kicking them out," said Smith.
NORCE will close by 2015.  DHS says there are currently 50 residents living at the facility.  Smith wants to move his son, Weston to a home he plans to build, about eight miles away in Garfield County.
"We were being nice, and went to neighbors, told them basically what we are doing," said Smith.

Friday, November 15, 2013

More Support Needed for Adults with Autism, Survey Finds

PHILADELPHIA — Within the next 10 years, nearly half a million young people diagnosed with autism grow into adulthood. A new survey says there will be a big need for supportive services and housing for these autistic adults.
The housing and residential supports survey was conducted over the course of four weeks and included responses from 10,000 caregivers and 400 people with autism spectrum disorder.“There’s no national plan or effort to really strategically deal with so many adults with autism coming into the system,” says Leslie Long, director of adult services for Autism Speaks, which conducted the survey.

Editorial: Cuts Wrong Path for Tenneseeans with Disabilities

Congress and the president are legendary for their skill at kicking the can down the road. But Tennessee government is showing that it knows how to shirk its responsibilities, too.Even after an audit by the state comptroller exposed the alarming status of services for Tennesseans under care of the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, it appears that instead of meeting its obligations to more than 15,000 people who desperately need assistance, DIDD may cut back on care in 2014.

Boys More Likely to Be Premature

Boys are slightly more likely to be born premature than girls, and they tend to fare worse, too, says a new report on the health of the world's newborns.
A baby in the NICU.
"This is a double whammy for boys," said Dr. Joy Lawn of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who led the team of researchers. "It's a pattern that happens all over the world."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

'Disabled People Are Human Like Everyone Else'

This story is taken from Steve Flairty’s 2008 book, “Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes. Marie Braun continues, five years later, to actively advocate for those with disabilities, both around the city of Covington, Kentucky and on a state level. She will soon be enrolling in Gateway Community College to pursue an associate arts degree while continuing her employment at the Salvation Army. 
Marie Braun (Photo provided)
Marie Braun 
Marie Braun learned long ago that life’s playing field is not always level.Born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy in rural Sebastion Branch, in Breathitt County, some 54 years ago, little Marie Louise Miller soon became a case for the child welfare system and was placed into the Old Frankfort State Hospital in Frankfort.
She had wished for something more fulfilling in her life than having her brothers push her around in a banana box at a very young age, but she got an institution in Frankfort instead, a place, Braun said recently, where “people put their children in this home because they thought that they were ‘retarded’ and could do nothing for themselves.”

Opposition to Planned Closing of N.Y. Developmental Center

FENTON, N.Y.  — Troy Carley isn’t just worried about losing his job at the Broome Developmental Center.
He’s also concerned about what will happen to those he cares for should the center close by March 31, 2016.“There’s just some that will never make it (in the community),” said Carley, a supervisor at the center. “They’ll end up in jail. They’ll end up dead.”

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Testing Robots to Aid Kids with Autism

WICHITA — For a group of elementary students at Heartspring, a center for children with autism, robots may be the key to better human interaction.
The students last week danced “Gangnam Style” with a robot, imitating its moves and getting used to its presence.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2013/11/11/3111526/heartspring-testing-robots-to.html#storylink=cpy

5-Year-Old's Autism Service Dog Missing

RYE, N.Y. — An autism service dog that a Rye family said has “transformed their lives” has gone missing, and the family has embarked on an aggressive search.Echo went missing Wednesday night, after the black Labrador retriever apparently left the Fontana family’s home through an open door. The dog was last seen just feet from the family of six’s Dearborn Avenue home, near Milton Road. A subsequent search with the help of friends turned up nothing, but Sunday afternoon, a woman sent the Fontanas an intriguing email.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Support Pours In for Worker with Asperger's

Chris Tuttle has worked at Wegmans in Clay, New York for the past 7 years. On Friday, a woman customer yelled at him for being too slow. Tuttle who has asperger’s was devastated and remained upset and stressed 10 hours later. His sister, Jamie Tuttle-Virkler, decided to try to make things better for her brother by asking for support on Facebook. The response has been unexpected.
Ms Tuttle-Virkler write on this Facebook Page.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Study: Baby's Gaze May Signal Autism

In a study published Wednesday, researchers using eye-tracking technology found that children who were found to have autism at age 3 looked less at people’s eyes when they were babies than children who did not develop autism. But contrary to what the researchers expected, the difference was not apparent at birth. It emerged in the next few months and autism experts said that might suggest a window during which the progression toward autism can be halted or slowed.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bill To Help Ease Transition at Age 22

BOSTON — With the right services, autism advocates say people with developmental disabilities can work and live independently.  But instead, they say, many of them are cut off from special education when they turn 22 and do not qualify for adult services they need from the state’s Department of Developmental Services.
“We have many children who are sitting at home, watching TV, playing on the computer, don’t have access to a day program,” said Barbara L’Italien, spokesperson for The Arc Massachusetts.

Monday, November 4, 2013

New Business Model Helps Provide Jobs

FLEMINGTON, N.J. — Faced with a daunting system that makes it difficult for those with developmental disabilities to access training and employment, Karen Monroy dared to imagine something radically new. “We would rather not use the term developmentally disabled, we would rather emphasize that these are young people who are ‘differently abled’ and work with what they can do — instead of focus on their limitations,” said Monroy, a resident of Flemington who envisioned a new business model to accomplish her goals.
With the help and support of dozens of concerned parents and community members, she established Ability 2 Work, a not-for profit organization dedicated to helping those whom she chooses to describe as “differently abled.”

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lawsuit Claims Undercover Cop Tricked Teen with Autism Into Buying Pot

An undercover police officer tricked a teenager with autism into buying pot for him, a lawsuit filed by the boy's parents alleges.
The 17-year-old, who isn't named in the lawsuit, was arrested with 21 other high school students on drug-dealing charges as part of a sting operation last December at Chaparral High School in Temecula, Calif. His parents, Catherine and Doug Snodgrass, on Wednesday announced a lawsuit in state Superior Court that seeks unspecified damages from the Temecula Valley School District, alleging negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress."Certain parts of my son have been damaged in ways that I think will be permanent," Doug Snodgrass told The Huffington Post.