Williams Syndrome Disability Language Style Guide Recommendations

The WSA recommends using “people first” language as we do in our communications—language that puts the person before their diagnosis. For example, a person with a disability; not “disabled person” Individual with Williams syndrome. Not a “Williams syndrome person or child.” Put the person first. Never mention the disability at all unless it is pertinent to the conversation/communication. Families affected by Williams syndrome, and not WS families. We use the term “individual” quite a bit […]

ALS: ‘Unique’ cells could open up new avenues for therapy

By Maria Cohut Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to the death of nerve cells that control movement, leaving people unable to move and, eventually, to breathe. ALS is fatal and, so far, incurable. Can new findings bring hope for novel therapies? ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects approximately 30,000 people in the United States alone. Still, its causes remain largely unknown. There is currently no cure, […]

High functioning autism through my eyes

Contrary to what professionals thought when I’d been diagnosed, I loved fiction and cultural critique. By Jonathan Rowland At the risk of explaining the obvious to the neurotypicals — people not on the autistic spectrum — in the audience, I know that I am not every autistic person. I can only speak of my experience as a thirtysomething white cis man who grew up in semirural Hertfordshire. This is still an autistic experience and, while […]

Epilepsy Can Follow Traumatic Brain Injury

Did you know that traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause epilepsy? Learn how to protect your brain. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen to anyone, especially young children and older adults. TBIs can range from mild (such as concussions) to severe, life-threatening injuries. They can cause changes in: Thinking and memory; Sensations and balance; Language, such as talking and understanding; and Emotions, such as depression, anxiety, or aggression.1 TBIs can also cause epilepsy Epilepsy […]

Early intervention in autism improves language, IQ and social skills

Major study confirms pioneering treatment approach (SACRAMENTO) —Breakthrough research demonstrating that children with autism as young as 18 months can vastly improve their language, cognition and social skills with an early intervention developed by UC Davis Professor Sally Rogers has been replicated in a major new study. Sally Rogers working with a child Rogers, a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the MIND Institute, began work on a novel developmental approach to autism in […]

Researchers call for the term ‘high functioning autism’ to be consigned to history

Summary: Researchers argue the term “high functioning autism” be abandoned by the scientific community as it is misleading and may create harmful expectations of abilities for children on the autism spectrum. “High functioning autism” is not a diagnostic term. The term is based on IQ assessments rather than functional assessments. While children with ASD may exhibit normal-to-higher IQ for their age, many experience skill based, social and behavioral difficulties that impact their daily lives. Source: […]

Comparing the Economic and Social Prevalence Among Special Needs Children who received health insurance through Medicaid/CHIP

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released an issue brief (below) with an in-depth analysis comparing the economic and social prevalence among special needs children who received health insurance through Medicaid/CHIP, private insurance, a combination of Medicaid/CHIP and private insurance, or who are uninsured. The analysis from Kaiser shows that children with special needs who benefit from Medicaid/CHIP have increased health access and their families experience lower financial burden in comparison to their counterparts. In addition, financial […]

Get Seizure Smart!

About 1 out of 10 people may have a seizure in their lifetime.1,2 Would you know how to help someone during or after a seizure? First aid for any type of seizure There are many types of seizures. Most seizures last for just a few minutes. Here are general steps to help someone who is having any type seizure: Stay with the person and keep them safe from injury until the seizure ends.  After it […]

Getting Help Paying for Mental Illness Medications

Psychiatric medications are an important part of treatment for many people who live with a mental illness. They can improve symptoms and help promote recovery and wellness, but the price for medication can often be an obstacle.  Luckily, there are some options you have for reducing the price of your medication. Health Insurance Health insurance can help protect you from high medical costs. Health insurance provided through work, through a family member or privately purchased, […]

Communication is key at all ages: Learn more during Better Hearing and Speech Month

At least 20 percent of U.S. adults, at some point in their lives, experience significant difficulty in hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, or language—the research areas of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). These challenges can compromise physical and emotional health and affect the social, educational, vocational, and recreational aspects of life. To raise awareness about disorders related to hearing, voice, speech, or language, the NIDCD joins the American Speech-Language-Hearing […]