Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles – For the Week Ending July 14, 2017

View of Washington's Crossing toward New Jersey

The bridge in the foreground follows the path George Washington too as he crossed the Delaware River, on his way to the Battle of Trenton. New Jersey is to the left of this view from Bowman’s Tower in Pennsylvania.

 

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

 

In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

 

Advancing Opportunities Job Announcement of the Week

Advancing Opportunities is looking for a part-time Registered Nurse, licensed in New Jersey, to deliver health services to clients who are experiencing mental and physical conditions associated with mental illness and developmental disabilities in northern New Jersey. Interested candidates should forward résumé and salary requirements to: hr@advopps.org, or fax them to 609-882-4022.

 

 

Disability in the News (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve)

Here is a list of the seven best school districts in New Jersey for students with autism.

 

Governor Christie signed an executive order to transfer key mental health services of the Department of Human Services to the Department of Health. Several state legislators say they need time to evaluate this move and how it will affect New Jersey residents with an intellectual disability.

 

 

For parents of a Child with a Disability (Parenting)

Perspective: Lessons from my son with autism, as he nears the end of high school

 

ZOOM Magazine for parents of children with autism: The latest issue is out! Another helpful free publication is Autism File.

 

“What Are the Signs My Teen Might Be Misusing ADHD Medications?”

 

 

Special Education

NPR this week featured a study: Holding Kids Back a Grade Doesn’t Necessarily Hold Them Back

 

Opinion: Why model autism programs are rare in public schools: The United States is failing most of its half million school-age children with autism by not giving them a good education.

 

 

Informative, Positive, Noteworthy (or all three!)

“The Secret Lives of Women with ADHD”

 

Naoki Higashida, the author of the acclaimed of The Reason I Jump, has written a new memoir, Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8. As with the earlier book, Higashida (who has severe autism and is unable to express himself conventionally in words) wrote this one with the help of assisstive technology, in the form of an electronic transcriber.

 

 

People with a Disability in the Community (Disability Rights and Acceptance; Inclusion)

Federal officials find fewer states meeting special-education obligations.

 

Doctors with disabilities offer important insights and perspectives.

 

“A Wish for Authentic Disability Representation on Television to Continue, along with a look back in time.

 

 

Disability Awareness and Appreciation

A beautiful piece in the New York Times: The Importance of Finding a Community Family—Especially when both mother and daughter have Ehlers syndrome.

 

Depression is part of many learning disabilities and autism. One writer compiled a list of what she believes to be best 10 blogs on depression.

 

 

Medical News—Research

The social ties between autism and schizophrenia: the two conditions share a long history. Comparing the social features of the two conditions could lead to better treatments and a deeper understanding of each. Links to earlier related articles are included.

 

The New York Times featured an article on the challenges children with autism face in recognizing faces. Genetics often plays a part.

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending April 14, 2017

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending April 14, 2017

Blind students at the American Museum of Natural History in 1918 - disability inclusion.

These blind students in 1918 were able to use their talents, an opportunity not afforded elsewhere at the time.

These blind students in 1918 were able to use their talents, an opportunity not afforded elsewhere.

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, YouTubeGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

 

 

Please stop by our website, http://advopps.org/, and find out all we have to offer. In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

 

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

We’re hiring!We're Hiring! Studio Shot of a Mixed Age, Multiethnic Group of Men and Women Standing in a Line

Advancing Opportunities has immediate openings for part-time Direct-Support Professionals in residential care programs throughout New Jersey. In April, we will be holding job fairs on the following days, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., as follows:

  • Thursday, April 20. Parsippany. Family Resource Network, 322 U.S. Hwy. 46 W., Ste. 290, Parsippany, NJ
  • Tuesday, April 25. Marlboro. Marlboro Free Public Library, 1 Library Ct., Marlboro, NJ

Advancing Opportunities provides supports to individuals with disabilities and their families, so they can live fully in the community.

Our team includes a diverse collection of men and women committed to treating the people and families we serve with dignity and respect and providing the highest quality services and supports.

Employees of the agency enjoy paid training and an excellent array of benefits, including health care and dental benefits for all eligible full-time staff and a 401(k) retirement plan for all eligible employees.

If you are unable to make it to one of the job fair open houses, you can also visit us online, at: http://advopps.org/careers/

 

 

Advancing Opportunities news:

In our quest to become New Jersey’s best-known and most trusted organization for people with disabilities, we at Advancing Opportunities held an important professional seminar. The Assistive Technology Services team on Wednesday, March 22, hosted its first Implementation Workshop on Supporting Adults with Neurogenic Communication Disorders. Eight Assistive Technology professionals learned about the role and purpose of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for adults with these disabilities. The professional workshop took place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Presenting the workshop were Holly Schneider of the Tobii Dynavox Clinical Training and Carroll Stone, Education Team and Regional Consultant. Tobii Dynavox is a well-established manufacturer of assistive technology devices that enable people who cannot communicate verbally to express themselves, a critically important part of independence. The Assistive Technology Center has several models that consumers can borrow to evaluate.

“The Implementation Workshop was very informative,” said Karen Gliniecki, Augmentative Communication Specialist, the Advancing Opportunities team member present at the workshop. “We had good representation of speech and language pathologists from a variety of employment settings: school districts, home health, and hospitals.”

 

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve):

The New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities has made an important announcement regarding Fee for Service and the Comprehensive Assessment Tool.

 

 

Special Education:

Article by autism expert and advocate Barry Prizant: “Speech & Language Pathologists and Autism”

 

 

Advocacy and self-advocacy:

These Women are Bringing Disabilities Education to YouTube: People with invisible disabilities must make their disabilities visible to gain the respect that is rightfully theirs.

 

 

Assistive technology:

Players with disabilities are employing innovative hardware and software hacks to get in the game.

Assistive technology is for gardeners, too!

An amazing assistive technology device enables an artist to create her art and express herself.

 

 

Informative, positive, noteworthy (or all three!):

“Disability isn’t a bad thing, but keeping silent is.” A courageous teen accepts life, so people accept him.

A father’s love for his unborn daughter has inspired a 26.2-mile run through the streets of Boston and raised tens of thousands of dollars for people with Down syndrome.

 

 

Disability awareness and appreciation:

An autistic blogger reflects on her autism. “I am autistic, and that is not a good thing. It’s not a bad thing either. It’s an absolutely neutral thing. It’s a thing.”“I am autistic, and that is not a good thing. It’s not a bad thing either. It’s an absolutely neutral thing. It’s a thing.”

New York Times piece: “Seeing Outside the Disability Box”

 

 

Medical news – research:

Parent-mediated therapy may help babies at risk of developing autism .

A possible new treatment for cystic fibrosis has been uncovered.

 

 

Animals and animal therapy:

Cesar and Andre visit a school to see the positive impact that dogs have on children with autism.

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending March 3, 2017

Douglas A-4 Skyhawk on display at veterans park, Ewing, New Jersey NJ

This beautiful A-4B Skyhawk was donated to the township of Ewing in 1998 as the centerpiece of the General Betor Veterans Memorial Park, located just behind the municipal building… and just minutes from our headquarters! Photo: Daniel L. Berek

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support. As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them. Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

Please stop by our website, http://advopps.org/, and find out all we have to offer.  In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

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Advancing Opportunities has immediate openings for part-time Direct-Support and Family-Support Professionals in residential care programs throughout New Jersey. In March, we will be holding job fairs on the following days, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., as follows:

Wednesday, March 8. Marlboro, NJ. Marlboro Free Public Library, 1 Library Ct., Marlboro, NJ 07746

Thursday, March 9, Parsippany, NJ. Family Support Center of NJ, 322 Rte. 46 W., Ste. 290. Parsippany, NJ 07054

You can also visit us online, at: http://advopps.org/careers/

 

 

Assistive technology:

For the blind, here’s a new actual-reality headset.

These six talented and caring student invented and built a braille assistive technology device to help blind people be more independent.

 

 

Special Education:

News analyis: Are teacher preparation programs in New Jersey failing students with disabilities?

 

 

Informative, positive, noteworthy (or all three!):

An essay in self-acceptance: Why Autism Gives Me the Strength to Fly!

A high school student with cerebral palsy challenges her peers by organizing a conference focusing on ability.

If you have ever struggled with anxiety, these 12 powerful images will seem familiar.

 

 

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance; inclusion):

An entrepreneurial young man with autism and Down syndrome has started his own popcorn business.

This New Jersey swim team of boys with autism showed their athletic excellence.

 

 

Disability awareness and appreciation:

An actually autistic woman explains why she stims and why it’s important to her.

 

 

The arts and disability (people with talent who have a disability):

Punk prosthetics: the mesmerizing art of living sculpture by Mari Katayama.

 

 

Medical news – research:

This scientific article takes a hard look at whether the rise of autism rates throughout the U.S. comes from more awareness, better diagnosis, or something else.

This article examines the scientific research behind interests among children and adults on the autism spectrum.

Genetic variants linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may have been positively selected during human evolution because they also contribute to enhanced cognition, a new Yale study suggests.

An analysis of whole genomes from more than 5,000 people has unearthed 18 new candidate genes for autism.

Excess brain fluid may forecast autism in babies.

Research on the nature and prevalence of catatonic symptoms in young people with autism is documented.

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending February 17, 2017

old-tire-factory-gone-flat

There is often artistic beauty to be found in abandoned places. This was once a major tire factory in Monroe, NJ. Seen in the waning evening light, it still exudes an aura of elegance. Photo: Daniel L. Berek

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support.  As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.  In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them.  Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

 

Please stop by our website, http://advopps.org/, and find out all we have to offer.  In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

 

 

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

That there is a full-time Residential Manager position in Robbinsville, NJ. This position will also oversee the Project Freedom-Hopewell program.

residential-manager-robbinsville-docx_page_1

 

If you are interested in applying for the position, please visit us online, at: http://advopps.org/careers/

 

 

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve):

Individuals with special needs who are cognitively capable have greater say in setting up their own Special Needs Trust.

  

 

 

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting):

ADHD in the News, compilation from CHADD

“Is it teenage moodiness or depression?” External signs can be confusing and deceiving.

 

 

 

College for students with a disability:

This report examines the beneficial aspects of online learning for students with disabilities.
 
 

 

Employment for people with disabilities:

NCSES U.S. federal government report: “2017 Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering (WMPD)”

  

 

 

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance; inclusion): 

Sensory-friendly movies, a rising trend, are for children with autism and many others. It’s an important development in inclusion and accommodation.

 

 

 

Disability awareness and appreciation:

A survey reveals adults on the autism spectrum see their interests as possible fields of study and career paths, as well as ways to mitigate anxiety.

It’s not always visible: Here are six secret signs of hidden depression.

My Autism is not my disability – unaccommodating people are.

  

 

 

Medical news – research:

The faster the brains of children with autism grow in their first year of life, the more severe their autism features are likely to be at age 2.

A major genetic sequencing study spanning seven countries links 38 new genes to autism and developmental delay.

Distinct mutations in the sodium channel may trigger autism and epilepsy.

The largest study of its kind provides robust evidence to confirm ADHD is a brain disorder characterized by delayed development of several brain regions.

Predicting whether someone will go on to develop autism is currently impossible. A new algorithm that measures brain development may change this.

 

 

 

Animals and animal therapy:

For one young woman with autism, black cats are very lucky!

A pet chicken helped a mom understand her autistic son.

A South Dakota man with Tourette syndrome finds peace around the animals he loves.

 

Meet Edward V. Roberts, Disability Advocate

ed-roberts-78th-birthday-backup-6291986716819456-hp

This is the wonderful doodle that appeared on the Google search page on January 23, in honor of the birthday of Edward V. Roberts.

Born on this day, Edward Verne Roberts was an American activist. The first student with multiple severe disabilities to attend the University of California, Berkeley, Edward was a pioneering disability advocate. A campus at the prestigious university has been named in his honor. In 2010, he was recognized in a state day in California. In addition, his wheelchair has been preserved at the Smithsonian, “in recognition of obstacles overcome.”

Google featured this little known but important figure in today’s doodle. They also provide an online video and exposition dedicated to Roberts and the history of the disability rights movement.

“So I decided to be an artichoke—
prickly on the outside but with a
big heart.”

 

In addition to the informative links above that tell of the life of Edward Roberts, UC Berkeley has archived his oral history.

 

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending December 16, 2016

winslow-junction

Winslow Junction was once the busiest railway crossings in the state of New Jersey. Today, it is home to a virtual museum of old rail locomotives and cars, such as this vintage diesel engine. The Southern Railroad Company f New Jersey still operates local services from this point, with old but lovingly maintained equipment, also a feast for rail fans. Photo: Daniel L. Berek

 

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support.  As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.  In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them.  Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.

Please stop by our website, http://advopps.org/, and find out all we have to offer.  In addition, we are specialists in the area of assistive technology and offer a huge array of services; the Assistive Technology Center is New Jersey’s premier source of information and equipment.

 

 

 

Advancing Opportunities job announcement of the week:

Advancing Opportunities is seeking caring, compassionate Residential Support Staff for its growing network of New Jersey group residences.

were-hiring-1215

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve):

The UN on December 13 celebrated 10 years of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The U.S. Senate passed the first major mental health legislation in nearly a decade, the 21st Century Cures Act.

 

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting, special needs):

The Mental Health Association of New Jersey’s newsletter has tips and resources (help lines) for managing holiday stress.

Here’s a moving photo essay that documents the care and dedication of parents of children with chronic illness.

Video: Choosing gifts for children with ADHD

 

Advocacy and self-advocacy:

Thirteen people with disabilities, disability advocates, discuss their concerns over health care over the next four years.

A national teen magazine advocates for girls with ADHD:  “This Community Is Smashing ADHD Stigma for Girls”

 

Assistive technology:

Virtual reality technology may improve motor skills in people with damaged limbs.

The solar-powered wheelchair market is expected to gain popularity across the globe

 

Special education (including college for students with disability):

The US Department of Education advises against exclusionary punishment, which has a notably greater effect on students with disabilities.

In addition, the US Department of Education released final regulations on equity in IDEA.

 

Civil rights and accessibility:

The US Department of Education reports a rise in disability complaints.

Equity under IDEA – US Department of Education statement

 

Informative, positive, noteworthy (or all three!):

Andrea Lausell just launched a new series on her YouTube channel: “Disabled and Latinx.”

 

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance): 

Autistic people should not have to pretend to be neurotypical.

 

People with a disability in the arts:

An autistic musician uses his talent to reach out to others with autism.

A New Jersey dancer tells of her experience both with and without hearing aids.

 

Disability awareness and appreciation:

How does the “social model” of disability help? 

 

Medical news – research:

A Drexel University professor derives a method for detecting anxiety in autistic children.

A recent study recommends screening for anxiety in children with autism, as the former causes significant impairment in persons who internalize their emotions.

CHADD has compiled a list of ADHD research articles for the week; some also cover autism.

A new chart showing the loops and twists of DNA in 3-D depicts the genomic region controlling gene expression in developing minds.

National Trends in the Prevalence and Treatment of Depression in Adolescents and Young Adults

 

Employment for people with disabilities:

New EEOC publication – employment rights of people with mental health conditions

 

Living with “Everyday Asperger’s”

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Everyday Aspergers, by Samantha Craft

A little girl, a free spirit, loved to spend hours absorbed in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature.  She saw herself as a caterpillar, “set free upon endless green, nibbling at the gifts before her.”  That is, “until the rain came.”  Caterpillar became Butterfly, lovely and able to reach great heights.  However, as she did so, her world became both smaller and larger.  Everything was unfamiliar and ever-changing.  With all that was good, also came evils Caterpillar had never known.  Yet she was able to see “Caterpillar Land,” and realized that “butterflies don’t have to let go of the caterpillar to fly.”

In the same manner, Samantha Craft goes between adulthood and childhood, relating each one to the other.  The challenges of Butterfly are those of an autistic woman on the higher end of the spectrum – Asperger’s.  Craft offers 150 vignettes of “everyday Asperger’s,” providing an insight into living with – and ultimately accepting – the condition.  Though most of the time, Craft speaks as Butterfly, in some of the pieces, she ventures into memories of her childhood and teen years, when she was Caterpillar.  These vignettes are not in chronological order.  I fact, at times they seem random, a reflection of the thought process of someone with ADHD, a condition that often accompanies autism.  Yet, everything is held together by the book’s theme of describing life with “Everyday Apserger’s.”

Early on, Craft refers to herself as “an autistic woman” and “an Aspie,” not “a woman with autism” or “a woman with Asperger’s.”  These conditions are not something she has; they are who she is.  This is the essence of the neurodiversity movement, as described by Craft’s colleague, Steve Silberman, in his groundbreaking book, NeuroTribes.

Craft writes with a spirit of humor and warmth, both of which are present even in her darkest moments.  Craft earned respect and gained a following with her essay, “Ten Traits (Females with Aspergers,” which is included here.  Since then, more and more women (and men) with Aspergers have recognized themselves, identifying with Crafts adventures and misadventures, and Everyday Aspergers is the product of ten years of such essays.  “This journey is all about my identity,” says Craft.  “I’m trying to figure out how Asperger’s defines who I am as an individual.”  This early essay sets the tone for such questions as what role she would like to play, as an alien dropped down from “Planet Aspie” to a world in which they are wired differently.  Or is she different?  Most likely, in keeping with the theme of neurodiversity, we are all different.  That said, Craft still acknowledges the importance of people with Asperger’s in recognizing when they commit social faux pas and how to best adapt to society at large and find peace within themselves.