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 […]

Child Bearing and The Challenges of Intellectual Disability

By Lydia Furman, MD, Associate Editor, Pediatrics In a recently released issue of Pediatrics, Dr. Hilary Brown and colleagues from Toronto, Canada ask an important question: are mothers with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) more or less likely to have their infants placed in protective custody immediately after birth compared to mothers without such a disability (10.1542/peds.2018-1416)? The authors used several large and complete national health information databases to answer their question. A total of […]

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 […]

Film challenges IQ testing, limits placed on people with intellectual disabilities

INTELLIGENT LIVES, a documentary by award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib, has its Wyoming premiere at the Fox III Theater on January 8, 2019. INTELLIGENT LIVES stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities – Micah, Naieer, and Naomie – who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. Academy Award- winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional story of his son […]