Child Bearing and The Challenges of Intellectual Disability

By Lydia Furman, MD, Associate Editor, Pediatrics In a recently released issue of Pediatrics, Dr. Hilary Brown and colleagues from Toronto, Canada ask an important question: are mothers with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) more or less likely to have their infants placed in protective custody immediately after birth compared to mothers without such a disability (10.1542/peds.2018-1416)? The authors used several large and complete national health information databases to answer their question. A total of […]

A Connecticut Cafe Provides Jobs For Adults With Disabilities

  Adults with intellectual disabilities often struggle to find work. Over 80-percent are under-employed or not working at all, according to an estimate by the Arc, a nonprofit that assists people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. So a group of Connecticut families started a cafe named BeanZ & Co. to tackle the problem head-on. On a recent day, Lauren Traceski took an order from a customer, then relayed it to her boss, who started up […]

Play and friendship for children with disability

Making friends, playing and getting along with other children are good for all children, including your child with disability. You can support your child as he learns how to play and have friendships. Why friendship and play are good for your child with disability Play and friendships help your child with disability learn all kinds of skills and abilities. After all, children are fantastic teachers of other children. And playing with other children is great […]

Families Face Autism Stigma, Isolation

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute Parents report that their child’s autistic behaviors, combined with social stigma and isolation, make their lives more challenging, according to a new study of the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC). In one of the largest studies of its kind, Ruth L. Fischbach PhD looked at how and why stigma affects families. Stigma occurs when people feel shamed, inferior and isolated because they are different from others.1 Her […]

Autism And The Importance Of Self-esteem

Self-esteem refers to an individual’s opinion of him or herself. People with healthy self-esteem trust their own instincts and abilities, believe that they are worthy of good things happening to them, and are confident that, with effort, they can accomplish any necessary or desired task. Unhealthy self-esteem can range from a dislike of oneself to an over-inflated self-opinion. Research has shown that an individual’s self-esteem strongly influences his or her interpersonal relationships, behavior, and learning. […]

Stress and the Autism Parent

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute Most parents experience stress, but for those raising children with autism, everyday life often brings Stress with a capital S. They need to keep their child from running away, manage meltdowns, wrangle with teachers about special education needs, avoid sights or sounds that overload his senses, and drive to therapists or doctors. And that’s just what Monday looks like. They do all this while sleep-deprived. Many […]

Building Confidence In Children And Teenagers With Autism Spectrum Disorder

When you recognize and build on the strengths, interests and talents of your child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you can develop and strengthen your child’s confidence and self-esteem. Everyday activities give you lots of opportunities to do this. Why confidence is important for children and teenagers Children and teenagers who are confident can cope better when things go wrong. They’re less likely to feel afraid in new or unexpected situations. But children and teenagers […]

Self-identity and self-esteem for teenagers with autism spectrum disorder

During adolescence, your child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is forming an independent identity. This is a normal and important part of becoming an adult, and you can do a lot to support your child and build his self-esteem along the way. Self-identity and self-esteem for teenagers with autism spectrum disorder: what to expect Teenagers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can find it harder than typically developing teenagers to work out who they are and […]

Social Life on the Spectrum

Everyone has some memory that continues to thrill us years later: our first real friend, the first time we went on a date, the time we received an award at work. These memories are sweet and they have a direct impact on our confidence. Human beings derive not just pleasure but also self-respect, a sense of dignity, and a sense of meaning from succeeding socially. Almost always in my line of work as an autism […]

Bullying and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Needs

Children with disabilities—such as physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional, and sensory disabilities—are at an increased risk of being bullied. Any number of factors— physical vulnerability, social skill challenges, or intolerant environments—may increase the risk. Research suggests that some children with disabilities may bully others as well. Kids with special health needs, such as epilepsy or food allergies, also may be at higher risk of being bullied. Bullying can include making fun of kids because of their […]