Severe Birth Defects Not As Lethal As Docs Once Said: Study

by Lindsey Tanner Parents of newborns with rare genetic conditions used to hear the grim words that the severe birth defects were “incompatible with life.” Support groups and social media showing the exceptions have changed the landscape. So has mounting research suggesting that not all such babies are doomed to die. The latest study focuses on trisomy 13 and trisomy 18—genetic conditions that typically cause mental impairment, facial and organ abnormalities, breathing problems, heart defects […]

Excessive Folate, B12 in Pregnancy Dramatically Ups Autism Risk

Pam Harrison BALTIMORE ― Excessive levels of plasma folate and vitamin B12 during pregnancy have been linked to a dramatic increase in autism risk in offspring, new research shows. Investigators at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, found that when maternal plasma folate levels and vitamin B12 levels are >59 nmol/L and >600 pmol/L, respectively, autism risk is increased more than 17-fold. The findings were presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) 2016. “When we […]

Vocational Rehabilitation and Autism – what do we know?

  by Anne Roux and Jessica Rast For many of us, adulthood is inextricably tied to working. For most American adults, our work has strong ties to the rest of our life– our finances, our health insurance and benefits, our ability to take a vacation, our socialization with co-workers, the meaningfulness of how we spend our time. The opportunities and choices we make along our career paths influence our quality of life and shape our […]

Scammers offering to help with disability applications

by Andrew Johnson Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC Scammers are trying to get personal information from people by pretending to help with applications for disability benefits and claims. A recent alert from the Social Security Inspector General warns of this phishing scam, and — whether or not you’ve started an application for benefits — these scammers could contact you. They’re taking a shot in the dark, hoping that you have started an application, […]

National Count of Special Education Students Shows Uptick

By Christina A. Samuels After years of steady decline, the nationwide count of school-age students covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has shown an upswing since the 2011-12 school year based on the most recently available federal data, driven by rapid growth in such disability categories as autism. The count of students ages 6-21 with disabilities fell to a low of 5.67 million in fall 2011, but had risen to 5.83 million by […]

Education Department Introduces New Process to Help People with Disabilities Who Have Student Loan Debt

U.S. Department of Education Acts to Protect Social Security Benefits for Borrowers with Disabilities The U.S. Department of Education announced today a new process to proactively identify and assist federal student loan borrowers with disabilities who may be eligible for Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) loan discharge. This effort was called for by President Obama in his Student Aid Bill of Rights, which details measures to make paying for higher education an easier and fairer […]

The discriminatory reason doctors won’t give a baby the heart she needs

By Timothy P. Shriver April 8 The writer is chairman of the Special Olympics. Lily Parra is 4 months old and needs a heart. But she has been told she can’t have one. Not because she’s too sick but because of deep-seated discrimination against those who have — or might have — a developmental disability. An operation that could give Lily a shot at life, and hope to her family, is being denied apparently not […]

Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 1 in 68 school-aged children in the U.S. have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The new report shows basically no change from the 2014 report in the proportion of school aged-children with ASD. The report also shows that black and Hispanic children continue to be less likely to be identified with ASD than white children. April is National Autism Awareness Month To read the full report click here

Report Shows Medicaid Expansion Can Improve Access to Behavioral Health Care

Nearly 2 million low-income uninsured people with a substance use disorder or a mental illness lived in states that had not yet expanded Medicaid in 2014 Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report showing that states can greatly improve access to behavioral health services for residents by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Substance use disorders and mental illness are prevalent and serious public health problems in American communities. […]

Disability Statistics Annual Report

A Publication of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics The 2015 Disability Statistics Annual Report is a companion volume to the 2015 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium. The Compendium presents many tables of data, including state and national values and trends over time. The Annual Report presents statistics from the 2015 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium tables to address the following types of questions: • How many people with disabilities live in […]