Department Archive

Archive of: Special Needs

Title Issue
Graduates on autism spectrum tap into passion

Graduates on autism spectrum tap into passion

What happens when the school bus stops coming for the one in 68 kids diagnosed with autism? The answer could be as simple as developing their interests, as friends and family witnessed when seven exceptional individuals with autism graduated from Exceptional Minds on Sunday to pursue careers in visual effects and digital animation.

Web 2014
Early intervention for your child and family

Early intervention for your child and family

Sometimes, children are born with a condition or special need that impacts their development. Other times, a developmental delay becomes apparent over time, and is noticed by you or your doctor. Early intervention is a support system for children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families.

Web 2014
DSM5: What happened to Asperger’s?

DSM5: What happened to Asperger’s?

It seemed somewhat arbitrary to Billy’s parents to have a diagnosis—and one that fit so well—taken away from him. The change itself, however, wasn’t arbitrary at all, for it reflected new research and ongoing psychiatric practice. The DSM is sometimes referred to as a “living document,” meaning it changes as we learn more about various mental health issues.

Web 2014
Healthy teeth and special needs children: What parents need to know

Healthy teeth and special needs children: What parents need to know

So, what do parents and caregivers need to know in order to ensure healthy little teeth and overall well being for children with special needs?

Web 2014
The role of genetics in autism spectrum disorder

The role of genetics in autism spectrum disorder

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) seems to have increased significantly over the last thirty years, resulting in much speculation about the causes of this disorder. Everything from pollution to vaccines to labor induction/augmentation has been blamed, none of which has been supported by scientific research. However, autism has at least some heritable/genetic component because of the difference in rates between identical and nonidentical twins. A new study adds more evidence to the relationship between genetic factors and autism. Researchers from Kings College London led by PhD candidate Beata Tick used data from the Twins Early Development Study which included all twins born in England and Wales from 1994 through 1996. Evaluations were done on 128 twin pairs in which one twin had an autism diagnosis, using several common screening tools. Tools included a population-based measure (the Childhood Autism Spectrum Test), diagnostic measures (the Development and Well-being Assessment, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, and the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised) and a best-estimate diagnosis. Researchers found that correlation on these measures was higher for identical twins compared to non-identical twins, with a heritability estimate of 56 percent to 95 percent. According to researcher Dr. Francesca Happe, “Our findings suggest environmental factors are smaller, which is important because some parents are concerned whether things like high pollution might be causing autism.” Now, many scientists are working to discover the specific genes that may contribute to a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Dr. Happe says there may be hundreds. ACSH’s Ariel Savransky says, “Hopefully this current study will help to debunk some of the misleading information promulgated to the public regarding the causes of autism. Although this study may be just the tip of the iceberg and there is a long way to go before researchers get definitive results regarding specific genes that may contribute to ASD, the fear that autism is caused by some factor associated with modern lifestyles should be at least partially allayed.”

Web 2014
Happy holiday hints for your child with special needs

Happy holiday hints for your child with special needs

Holidays bring joy and family traditions that warm the hearts of many. For those of us who have children with special needs, the holidays take on an entirely new dimension. Like everyone, we have shopping, cooking, decorating and preparation. However, there are additional ways in which we must ready our children for the holiday season. Children who have autism, Sensory Processing Disorder and self-regulation difficulties need some assistance to navigate the

Web 2014
Children with Autism who live with pets are more assertive

Children with Autism who live with pets are more assertive

Dogs and other pets play an important role in individuals’ social lives, and they can act as catalysts for social interaction, previous research has shown. Although much media attention has focused on how dogs can improve the social skills of children with autism, a University of Missouri researcher recently found that children with autism have stronger social skills when any kind of pet lived in the home.

Web 2014

Facts about the history of autism

Would you ever think that autism is related to schizophrenia? And would you ever think that autism was treated with LSD? While most people may not relate autism with these things, scientists and families once did

Web 2014
October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month

October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month

Did you know that 1 in 10 people have symptoms of dyslexia, including slow or inaccurate reading, poor spelling, poor writing or mixing up similar words? Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability and contrary to some beliefs, it is not due to either lack of intelligence or a desire to learn.

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Caring for chronically ill children

Caring for chronically ill children

As they Grow Special Needs Over the last two decades, the number of children in the United States with chronic illnesses has dramatically increased. According to one study, chronic health conditions in children rose from 12.8 Percent in 1994 to 26.6 percent in 2006 . New advances in technology and medicine have allowed these children to lead longer, more fulfilling, and independent lives than in the past.

Web 2014