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 […]