COVID-19 hospitalization, death tied to intellectual disability, obesity

Intellectual disability is second only to old age as a risk factor for COVID-19 death, and obesity is linked to coronavirus-related hospitalization and death, two new studies find. Deadlier than heart, kidney, lung disease The first study, led by researchers from Jefferson Health in Philadelphia and published late last week as a commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst, involved analyzing the medical records of 558,672 US COVID-19 patients from January 2019 to […]

How first responders command the emergency: When someone with special needs goes missing

The call comes into the police department for a missing person. Sometimes it’s regarding an adult who didn’t show up for work. It might be a teenager who has run away from home. It might be a child who got separated from their parents while on an outing. Police train for these kinds of missing person cases. But what happens when the missing person has special needs and may be unable to communicate with authorities? […]

Often Overlooked In Pandemic Response Are People With Intellectual Disabilities

Peter Prater’s family wasn’t thinking about COVID-19 when the call came that he had been taken to the hospital with a fever. It was April, and the Tallahassee Developmental Center, where Prater lives, hadn’t yet had any COVID-19 diagnoses. Prater, 55, who has Down syndrome and diabetes, became the Florida center’s first known case, his family said. Within two weeks, more than half of the roughly 60 residents and a third of the staff had […]

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 […]