Autistic Artist Has a Show in Philadelphia’s Fleisher/Ollman Gallery

For years, Lonnie Smith would gather the artwork made by his son, Kambel, and set up small shows at senior centers, libraries, and YMCAs across the Philadelphia region. Lonnie knew his son had a gift, but he couldn’t get anybody else to see it. “No one would come,” he said. “Zero.” It crushed Kambel every time. And so, it crushed Lonnie, too. To soften the blow, Lonnie would sit with his sons, Kambel, now 32, […]

Decreasing Holiday Stress for Families of Children with Autism

The holidays are as joyful as they are stressful, or is it the other way around? The stress of the holidays, visiting family members, and all that comes with the season can be a lot to deal with under any circumstances.  When caring for a loved one with autism or other developmental challenges, this time of year can feel overwhelming as it creates disruption to the routines and structure of your family’s life. Here are […]

Blue Halloween buckets to raise autism awareness

A mom looking to make her son’s Halloween a better experience has made an impact on tens of thousands of people. Omairis Taylor posted about her 3-year-old son on Facebook, explaining that he has nonverbal autism and trick-or-treating has been difficult for them in the past. Last year, she said, she had to explain at every house for five blocks that her son was not going to say “trick or treat” because he is nonverbal. […]

Study links gene to children with physical and intellectual disabilities

Source: The Translational Genomics Research Institute Modern science and data sharing converged to underpin a study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, that identified a gene associated with a rare condition that results in physical and intellectual disabilities of children. The results, published today in the American Journal of Human Genetics, suggest that rare variants in the gene DDX6 are associated with a significant disruption in the […]

Sylvia Colt-Lacayo got a full scholarship to Stanford. But can she afford the care she needs to go?

By Jenny Gold / Kaiser Health News Sylvia Colt-Lacayo is 18, fresh-faced and hopeful as she beams confidence from her power wheelchair. Her long, dark hair is soft and carefully tended, and her wide brown eyes are bright. A degenerative neuromuscular disease, similar to muscular dystrophy, has left her with weak, underdeveloped muscles throughout her body, and her legs are unable to support any weight. Each time she needs to get in or out of her […]

At NCD’s recommendation, all U.S. dental schools will train students to manage treatment of people with intellectual, developmental disabilities

As recommended by the National Council on Disability (NCD), all U.S. dental schools must now revamp their curricula and training programs to be inclusive of patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) recently passed votes requiring dental schools to now train their students in managing treatment of patients with ID/DD. Previously, patients with ID/DD were largely unable to obtain dental care treatment because dental students were simply not required […]

Trump Extends Funding Money Follows the Person Program

The House passed H.R. 3253, the Empowering Beneficiaries, Ensuring Access and Strengthening Accountability Act.  This bill funds the Money Follows the Person program through Fiscal Year 2023.  It also extends the HCBS spousal impoverishment protections through March 31, 2024.  We are pushing the Senate to provide long-term funding for MFP by passing H.R. 3253 or the EMPOWER Care Act.  It is critical Congress act before funding for the program runs out in September 2019. EMPOWER […]

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 […]