Smithsonian Highlights Special Olympics History and Athletes

“Special Olympics at 50” Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion in Sports The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will open “Special Olympics at 50” July 10, a new display showcasing 50 years of Special Olympics. Founded at a time when people with intellectual disabilities (ID) were often institutionalized or hidden away, Special Olympics changes attitudes about the abilities and talents of children and adults with ID—giving them the chance to train their bodies, build confidence, meet […]

Should You Explain the Diagnosis to the Child?

BY: Tony Attwood, Ph.D. The immediate answer is yes. Clinical experience indicates that it is extremely important that the diagnosis is explained as soon as possible and preferably before inappropriate compensatory mechanisms are developed. The child is then more likely to achieve self-acceptance, without unfair comparisons with other children, and be less likely to develop signs of an anxiety disorder, depression or conduct disorder. When and How do you Explain the Diagnosis? At what age […]

The Challenge of Physical Fitness for People with Autism

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network You’ve probably seen the headlines: studies say that children and adults with autism are at risk for an inactive lifestyle and obesity. While the reasons are subject to debate, it’s clear that people with ASD often face unique challenges to physical fitness. The core features of autism – social, communication and behavior problems – can make joining a game of kickball at recess or playing tag with neighborhood kids […]

Health Disparities for Adults with IDD Make Inclusive Health a Worthy Goal

By Janet Shouse Did you know that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities die an average of 16 years earlier than typical Americans? And unlike other Americans, women with IDD die earlier than men with IDD. This is not information any of us really want to hear. So why is this happening? We know that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a higher rate of co-occurring physical disorders, such as epilepsy, chronic constipation, obesity, […]

66 Autistic Children Treated to Back-to-School Shoes by Grant from the Thomas Davis Foundation

Children at Springbrook Autism Behavioral Health receive free shoes for Back to School Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation provides $4,300 Back-to-School shopping spree for children in residential autism treatment program. GREENVILLE, S.C – More than 60 children in Springbrook Autism Behavioral Health’s residential treatment program were treated to a shopping spree to pick out shoes for back to school, thanks to a $4,300 donation from the Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation. “We were so touched […]

Family Matters: Exploring Risks for Obesity in Autism

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute Why are children and adults with autism more likely to be obese than other people?1-3 Studies show that many have extremely picky eating habits, do not exercise as much as others, or take medications that cause weight gain.4-11 While those may affect weight, a new study says the biggest risk factor, at least for youth, has nothing really to do with autism: it’s families.12 Youth whose […]

What does a student with Asperger Syndrome need in a school program?

BY: LYNDA GELLER, Ph.D. Anyone who knows many children and adults with Asperger Syndrome knows that every person’s manifestation of the condition is very different. While they share significant social disability, some are very successful academically, some struggle with accomplishing work; some have intense intellectual interests that lead them to career paths, and others have intense interests that seem to have no practical use; some have a few friendships, others are desperately alone and lonely. […]

How to Create a Family Care Plan for Caregivers

Whether it’s a deployment or training, sometimes our military careers take us away from loved ones and we leave them in the care of others. A family care plan is designed to guide caregivers, providing the important details about child care, school, medical care and family activities. An official family care plan is required for military members and it must be kept up to date. Find your service’s family care plan guidance below: Army Family […]

Sleep Problems Linked to More Severe Autism Symptoms

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute In autism, lost sleep means more than just a drowsy morning: it’s linked to serious problems. A new study of children with autism shows that those who slept less also had lower intelligence scores and more severe autistic symptoms than kids who slept more.1 This is important because insomnia affects from 50 to 80 percent of children on the spectrum, according to estimates.1-5 They are […]

Make a Home Accessible With Department of Veterans Affairs Programs

If you’re disabled, it is important to feel comfortable at home. Depending on your unique needs, modifications such as a wheelchair ramp, wider doorways or even a special doorbell can make a big difference in your accessibility at home. The Department of Veterans Affairs promotes independent living for disabled veterans through several programs. Based on your disability, you may be eligible for a grant to make modifications to your home. Here are a few possibilities […]