Preventing Abuse of Your Special Needs Child

Here’s a somber statistic: Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are far more likely to be abused by someone they know than a stranger. Abuse is any behavior that is unwanted, intentionally harmful, demeaning or insulting, or causes the victim to be afraid. This may include physical violence, sexual assault, bullying, emotional maltreatment or neglect. Sadly, because an individual with intellectual and developmental disability may be perceived as an “easy target,” the likelihood of abuse […]

Scientists discover genetic ‘missing links’ underlying mechanism of psychiatric diseases

By Sarah C.P. Williams UCLA researchers, in global collaboration, gain new understanding of brain architecture of autism, schizophrenia Since the completion of the groundbreaking Human Genome Project in 2003, researchers have discovered changes to hundreds of parts of DNA, called genetic variants, that are associated with autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia and other psychiatric diseases. Now, a new, large-scale study has linked many of those changes in DNA to their molecular effects in the brain, revealing […]

Stranger Safety for Your Special Needs Child

When we envision a child with Down syndrome navigating the world without adult supervision, fears about encounters with strangers naturally surface. Many individuals with Down syndrome are friendly and trusting, by nature, and respond warmly to a new acquaintance, a trait that is generally celebrated by those who are privileged to meet them. But, this endearing quality creates a vulnerability that obligates parents to teach them to distinguish between acceptable, harmless exchanges with strangers and […]

2,000 Human Brains Yield Clues To How Genes Raise Risk For Mental Illnesses

Artificial intelligence model improves prediction six-fold It’s one thing to detect sites in the genome associated with mental disorders; it’s quite another to discover the biological mechanisms by which these changes in DNA work in the human brain to boost risk. In their first concerted effort to tackle the latter, 15 collaborating research teams of the National Institutes of Health-funded PsychENCODE Consortium (link is external) leveraged statistical power gained from a large sample of about […]

Office of Community Support for Military Families With Special Needs

If your military family has a family member or child with special needs, there are numerous resources, services and programs available to help you. But where do you start? Here are some top resources. The Exceptional Family Member Program Sometimes half the battle of managing your family member’s care is knowing what resources and services are available and how to access them. The Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, is a great place to begin. […]

Study Looks at Boys and Girls with Autism Who Falsely Screen Negative at an Early Age

A study in 2018 issue of Pediatrics looks at why some children receive negative results on early autism screenings, but then go on to later receive a diagnosis of autism. Authors of “Clinical Features of Children with Autism Who Passed 18-Month Screening” examined the developmental and temperamental profiles of more than 68,000 18-month-old Norwegian infants, all of whom received a negative result on a parent-directed questionnaire designed to screen for autism. The authors found that […]

Myths & Facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder

There are a lot of misconceptions circulating about individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In order to fully meet the needs of students with ASD and support them in inclusive classrooms, it is important to have accurate information about their strengths and challenges. This post clarifies some common myths about autism spectrum disorder and offers resources for further information. MYTH: Everyone with autism is either non-verbal or a savant. FACT: ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder […]

Autism Mutations Make the Brain Less Flexible

Summary: Study sheds light on how SETD5, a gene associated with ASD, alters behavior and may lead to less flexibility in the brain. Source: Institute of Science and Technology Austria. About 1% of patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability have a mutation in a gene called SETD5. Scientists have now discovered what happens on a molecular level when the gene is mutated in mice, and how this changes the mice’s behavior. This […]

Play and friendship for children with disability

Making friends, playing and getting along with other children are good for all children, including your child with disability. You can support your child as he learns how to play and have friendships. Why friendship and play are good for your child with disability Play and friendships help your child with disability learn all kinds of skills and abilities. After all, children are fantastic teachers of other children. And playing with other children is great […]

We are calling on the world to take action for inclusion

Inclusion International is the global network of people with intellectual disabilities and their families. For people with intellectual disabilities and their families the reality is that we are still being left behind and excluded from all areas of society. We work together to make inclusion happen. Today is International Day for Persons with Disabilities. This year the focus is on empowering persons with disabilities to make sure inclusion and equality are real. Today we ask […]