Advocates Encourage the Autism and I/DD Community to be Prioritized for COVID-19 Vaccination

The Autism Society of America applauds the global scientific and medical community for developing 95% effective COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, where Pfizer/BioNTech has already received approval for emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Autism Society enlisted the support of other national disability organizations to unite and urge the autism community to be vaccinated as distribution becomes possible. Individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities are at a […]

In What Ways Will Schools Pay for Special Ed. Students Services

Since schools closed in March, Deborah Tomai has sat alongside her son, a 9-year-old with Down syndrome, as he made gains in class, developed as a reader, and grasped concepts, such as regrouping, in math class. But she struggles to keep him focused and motivated during his remote-learning sessions. One day, she left him unsupervised in front of his computer to take a phone call. When she came back minutes later, he was in their […]

Parent-teacher relationship in special education transforms during COVID

Distance learning for children with autism and ADHD: challenges and optimism Patricia Schetter’s youngest son is a high school senior, attending classes online like so many students this year due to COVID-19. Distance learning is a challenge for some students with autism, but there’s optimism, too. “He’s like, ‘Mom, I just want to go back to school. I want to be on campus with my friends,’ ” said Schetter, the coordinator of autism education initiatives […]

Managing Epilepsy in Patients With Intellectual Disability

While an estimated 1.8% of US adults have epilepsy, the prevalence is more than 22% among people with intellectual disabilities.1,2 Managing epilepsy in this patient population can be particularly challenging for a variety of reasons. “This group will have a higher likelihood of communication problems and other issues that make it more difficult to be treated than patients with a higher IQ, and they tend to have more behavioral issues,” Scott Hirsch, MD, a neuropsychiatrist […]

Symptoms of Down Syndrome in Babies and Children

Approximately one in 700 babies is born with Down syndrome, making it the most common chromosomal condition in the United States. “People with Down syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21,” says Amy Houtrow, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s Rehabilitation Institute and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Council on Children with Disabilities. This additional genetic material disrupts typical mental and physical development, and it may […]