Neurodiversity Summit explores autism as a difference, not a disorder

Expert speakers and panelists offer their knowledge and experiences (SACRAMENTO) —The UC Davis MIND Institute and Center for Mind and Brain hosted their first Neurodiversity Summit Friday. The all-day event delved into a movement that reframes the conversation about autism. Instead of thinking about it as a disorder, neurodiversity advocates regard it as a difference in the way that some people’s brains work. Although the larger movement includes other differences such as deafness, summit organizers […]

Strategies for July 4th for Special Needs Kids

The 4th of July is an exciting holiday, but for special needs kids it can all be a bit too much. Think about it: fireworks are basically EXPLOSIONS! Things blowing up can be challenging for someone who is sensitive to loud noises. Also, fireworks can’t happen until nightfall, which may mean staying up late. For typical kids that may be a treat, but some special needs kids find a disruption in daily routine very upsetting. […]

New federal research examines guardianships of people with intellectual, developmental disabilities, finds school-to-guardianship pipeline

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a recently released report, new federal research examining guardianships of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) finds data supporting the existence of a “school-to-guardianship pipeline” that results in people with ID/DD being placed under guardianships from their earliest years of majority rather than exploring use of less restrictive decision-making supports. Under guardianship, an individual can have the following rights removed: the right to marry; the right to determine one own’s […]

Parent and Educator Guide to School Climate Resources

This Guide, produced jointly by the Department’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, provides best practices and includes resources school leaders and teachers can utilize as they work to achieve a positive school climate, reduce disciplinary concerns, and enhance school safety. Additionally, the Guide provides information to teachers and school leaders on how they can receive support from the Department’s two technical assistance centers dedicated to […]

Study helps clinicians and families anticipate surgeries for individuals with spina bifida

In a study appearing in PediatricsExternal, CDC scientists and other researchers describe the lifetime occurrence of common surgeries and four key health outcomes in individuals with spina bifida. This information can help clinicians and parents know what surgeries and common health issues may be experienced by individuals with spina bifida as they age. In this study, researchers found that Individuals will all types of spina bifida commonly underwent brain and spine surgeries. More than five […]

The Family Resource Network is Awarding Multiple Scholarships for 2019!

The 2019 Autism Family Services of New Jersey Scholarship Program is open to New Jersey residents with a diagnosis of Autism. This scholarship is unique since it allows graduates pursuing a college, university, technical, trade, or vocational school level education to apply. The AFSNJ Scholarship is not solely based on academic achievement. Meaningful community volunteerism, participation in extra-curricular activities and essay response will all be considered when choosing recipients for these scholarships. Candidates do not […]

Nine Notable Sensory Essentials For Individuals With Autism

By Joelle Polisky In honor of Autism Awareness Month, a group of companies that create sensory tools for individuals with autism curated the Nine Notable Sensory Essentials to help individuals (and, especially, children) with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) navigate everyday life without sensory overload. Autism currently affects one in 59 children in the U.S. and their families. “Overwhelmed by all the products out there for children with Autism? You can feel confident about the Notable […]

President Trump Signs Portman Priority to Help Elderly and Disabled Get Care They Need

The office of Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, issued the following news release: U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) today applauded President Trump for signing into law a six-month extension of the Money Follows the Person Program, which helps transition Medicaid beneficiaries from nursing homes to long-term care in their homes while saving taxpayer money in the process. Portman called for an extension of this program in his bipartisan Ensuring Medicaid Provides Opportunities for Widespread Equity, Resources, […]

Mosquito Bites: Everyone is at Risk!

The most effective way to avoid getting sick from viruses spread by mosquitoes is to prevent mosquito bites. Almost everyone in the world has been bitten by a mosquito. Although most kinds of mosquitoes are just nuisance mosquitoes, some kinds of mosquitoes spread viruses that can cause disease. For most viruses spread by mosquitoes, no vaccines or medicines are available. Mosquitoes bite during the day and night, live indoors and outdoors, and search for warm […]

Alana gift to MIT launches Down syndrome research center, technology program for disabilities

Foundation’s $28.6 million gift will fund science, innovation, and education to advance understanding, ability, and inclusion. David Orenstein | Picower Institute for Learning and Memory As part of its continued mission to help build a better world, MIT is establishing the Alana Down Syndrome Center, an innovative new research endeavor, technology development initiative, and fellowship program launched with a $28.6 million gift from Alana Foundation, a nonprofit organization started by Ana Lucia Villela of São […]