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 […]

Williams Syndrome Overview

Williams syndrome (WS) is a genetic condition that is present at birth and can affect anyone.  It is characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning challenges.  These often occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music. Williams syndrome is caused by the spontaneous deletion of 26-28 genes on chromosome #7.  The deletion occurs in either the egg or the sperm used to form […]

Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP)

Overview The mission of the NINDS Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP) is to encourage and facilitate the discovery of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of epilepsy disorders. The program provides opportunities for researchers from academia and industry in the U.S. and abroad to submit compounds for screening in a battery of well-established rodent seizure models. These tests are performed at a contract facility based at the University of Utah on a blinded and confidential […]

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 […]

Down Syndrome Overview

Down syndrome is the most common and readily identifiable chromosomal condition associated with intellectual disabilities. It is caused by a chromosomal abnormality: for some unknown reason, an accident in cell development results in 47 instead of the usual 46 chromosomes. This extra chromosome changes the orderly development of the body and brain. In most cases, the diagnosis of Down syndrome is made according to results from a chromosome test administered shortly after birth. Just as […]

Holiday Travel Tips for People with Disabilities

The Transportation Security Administration has shared some important tips to help you better prepare for security screening at our Nation’s airport screening checkpoints for the 2018 holiday traveling season. In anticipation of increased wait times and long lines, we are providing the following TSA travel tips: • All travelers should arrive at least two hours early for domestic and three hours early for international flights, to allow plenty of time to get through security screening. […]

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Connie Anderson, Ph.D. IAN Community Scientific Liaison Many behavioral therapies have been used to treat young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including Applied Behavior Analysis and Pivotal Response Training. Older children, teens, and adults with ASD may benefit from another intervention with a behavioral component: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Beyond behavior Therapies based on the science of behavior have been effective for people of all ages, and are an essential item in any mental […]

Understanding Accessible Housing: The Fair Housing Act

An accessible home is one that allows its occupant to do what he or she wants and needs to do, as independently as possible. If you or someone in your family is disabled, your home may need specific modifications to make it accessible for daily living. You are protected under the Fair Housing Act, which stipulates property owners to make, or allow residents to make, a home accessible for those with specific or special needs. […]

Families Face Autism Stigma, Isolation

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute Parents report that their child’s autistic behaviors, combined with social stigma and isolation, make their lives more challenging, according to a new study of the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC). In one of the largest studies of its kind, Ruth L. Fischbach PhD looked at how and why stigma affects families. Stigma occurs when people feel shamed, inferior and isolated because they are different from others.1 Her […]