Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending June 17, 2016

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.

Appalachian Trail Boardwalk

This is the perfect time to discover and enjoy one of New Jersey lesser-known treasures. This section of the Appalachian Trail comprises several boardwalks that travel a scenic and diverse landscape in the northern part of Sussex County, New Jersey. Photo: Daniel L. Berek 2016

 

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve)
A New Jersey mayor recommends centralizing all state supports for people living with disabilities under one state office.

Experts – professionals, academics, and parents – testify at the U.S. Senate on the importance of dyslexia in the workplace and society and the many talents people with dyslexia have.

The US Supreme Court is consulting with the Obama administration on a case involving the definition of a Free and Appropriate Public Education.

UN conference emphasizes the need for the proper diagnosis for people with autism.

 

 

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting, special needs):
Blog piece from an autistic writer and advocate:  Autistic behavior and consequences.

A recent study confirms what parents of children with ADHD have known all along:  these children take longer to fall asleep and sleep less.

Visually impaired young golfers have big dreams at New Jersey golf clinic.

 

 

Special education (including college for students with disability):
A primer on assistive technology in the classroom for students with special needs.  Digital devices and screen capability have helped countless students overcome communication hurdles and obstacles to class participation.

Using drama to boost social skills among students on the autism spectrum.

 

 

Inspirational and Informative (or Both!):
A former Rutgers football player paralyzed in 2010 game asks a friend with cerebral palsy to her prom.

 

 

Advocacy and self-advocacy:
Numerous people thought that Jocelyn, who has dyslexia, wasn’t smart.  Her mom knew better and took her story to the U.S. Senate.

A leading UK advocate for people with learning disabilities speaks out.

 

 

Assistive technology:
From the Ruderman Family Foundation:  When Mass Production Doesn’t Work: The Story of the Adaptive Design Association

The Apple Watch will enable wheelchair users to track their fitness goals.

 

 

People with a disability in the community (disability rights and acceptance):
What started out as therapy, has turned into a business for a young man with Down syndrome in Yukon OK.

 

 

Disability awareness:
A deaf person uses “the music of sign language” to express how sound is very much a part of her life.   She chooses to be empowered by embracing sound in her art and her life, leading to the music of ASL.  This is a fascinating and very positive TED Talk on how a person with a disability can use that very disability to explore and enlighten.
 

Medical news – research:
Research shows that having a first-degree relative with epilepsy significantly increases the risk of being diagnosed with autism; greater similarities in the brain have been identified.

A new study using fMRI finds that the brains of people with dyslexia work differently from those of people with dysgraphia.

A new look at sensory symptoms in autism: is it one or two?

 

 

People with disabilities in the arts:
An interesting conference on disability and the arts is scheduled to take place this September in Norway.

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Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending June 10, 2016

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.

Millville WWII P-47 Memorial

Millville, NJ, is the home of the Millville Army Air Field, an important training center for pilots of the P-47 Thunderbolt. Several pilots were lost in training; the others served during World War II. Their service to the country is honored deeply in this south Jersey community. At the airport is a small but deeply thoughtful museum. Photo: Daniel L. Berek

 

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve)
The state of New Jersey settles lawsuit on graduation requirements
.

 The theater group at Morristown High School was honored with two awards for their advocacy of inclusion of people with disabilities.

A former Rutgers football player paralyzed in 2010 game asks his friend with cerebral palsy to her prom on Thursday night.

 The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation awards high-impact innovative assistive technology grants.

 

 

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting, special needs):
Sensory processing disorder comes in multiple forms among people with autism.

Here are five activities to engage your child with autism.

 

 

Special education (including college for students with disability):
A new book offers advice to students with Asperger’s syndrome as they transition to college or work.

An empathetic special education teacher finds a way to connect with an intelligent but nonverbal student with autism.

 

 

Civil Rights
Critical findings are revealed in civil rights data for students with exceptionalities.

 

 

Inspirational and Informative (or Both!):
A doctor recommended a mom end her pregnancy because her baby would have Down syndrome.  She wants him to know he was wrong.

 

 

Assistive technology:
Spanish scientists create the world’s first child-exoskeleton for infants with muscular atrophy.

 

 

Speech-recognition systems promise the world.  However, for more than nine million people with voice ailments, that world is out of reach.

 

 

Medical news – research:
Research suggests that autism is a neurological condition beyond the brain
.

New molecules have been identified that could help prevent cystic fibrosis.

An informative article examines the prognosis of living with multiple sclerosis.

Important Activities Are Emerging As Autism Awareness Month Is Under Way

Apple releases a short film: The true meaning of autism awareness and acceptance: giving a child with autism a voice. “Not being able to speak isn’t the same as having nothing to say,” says Tami, the mother of Dillan, a 16-year-old with autism. Other outward appearances are equally deceptive: children like Dillan certainly do not lack intelligence.

 

In an effort to provide the public with important information during Autism Awareness Month, leading academic publisher Wiley has made more than 100 free research articles on autism from Autism Research and other leading journals in neuroscience, psychology, and education available for April.

A major meta-analysis: Ability and Disability in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Literature Review Employing the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health-Children and Youth Version – de Schipper – 2015 – Autism Research – Wiley Online Library 

Our Most Notable and Favorite Disability Articles for the Week Ending February 19, 2016

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.

Old Tractor Bergen County Zoo

This old tractor has found new life as a landscape ornament at the Bergen County Zoo, Paramus, NJ. Likewise, the field of assistive technology is constantly evolving, though older, simple technologies still find practical use. PHOTO: Daniel L. Berek, Copyright 2014, 2016

 

 

Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve)
Two important disability conferences are coming to New Jersey, April 2016! One is on dyslexia (and assistive technology); the other is on autism. Advancing Opportunities is a proud sponsor of the Facets of Dyslexia Conference.
Links here: http://bit.ly/1QiytAs

Rutgers, the State University University of New Jersey, will provide housing and full employment for 30 adults with autism.

Complaints of disability-based job discrimination are on the rise, hitting an all-time high, according to federal officials.

What the 2016 National Education Technology Plan means for Students with Learning Disabilities

A federal panel rejects universal autism screening.

 

 

For parents of a child with a disability (parenting, special needs):
A new StoryCorps piece gives voice to a mom and her son with Down syndrome.

 

Inspirational and Informative (or Both!):
This boy with epilepsy won’t let seizures stop him, testimony via StoryCorps

 

 

Advocacy and self-advocacy:
Stevie Wonder advocated for blind people and other people with disabilities
at the 2016 Grammys.

Discussion with the creators of #CripTheVote – Self-advocacy among people with a disability

Here is an excellent source for notable African Americans with a disability who were activists and advocates, either directly or through their art.

 

 

Assistive technology:
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m.
“Mobile and Everyday Technologies for People with Traumatic Brain Injuries.” 

A paralyzed Marine walks again, with a little help from assistive technology.

With the help of an iPad assistive technology app, a young Florida woman is able to communicate with her parents and her best friend after 16 years of silence.

Four members of the Paramusical Ensemble unable to talk or move, use ground-breaking technology to create music with the power of their minds.

The Cybathlon was conceived to test novel assistive technology like prosthetics.  In Olympic style, pilots will race to do common tasks.

 Here are two free apps for children with vision and hearing impairments.

 

 

Disability awareness:
A 16-year-old girl has written a thoughtful blog essay on why the concept of “mental age” is ableist.

A 13-year-old girl with Asperger’s gives a beautiful description of what it is like to have the condition – and why she would not trade it away.

 

 

Medical news – research:
The symptoms of lead exposure can be similar to those of ADHD.
Preemies – babies born at extremely low birth weight, who are likely to have ADHD, are also likely to be bullied.

Researchers have taken an important step toward developing a drug treatment for cystic fibrosis.

Hans Asperger and His Groundbreaking Paper

Uta Frith, Editor. Autism and Asperger Syndrome Cambridge University Press, 1991 English translation of Dr. Hans Asperger

In Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Editor Uta Frith has published the first and only English translation of Dr. Hans Asperger’s seminal 1944 paper. The book was published by Cambridge University Press in 1991.

Ever since Johns Hopkins professor Leo Kanner described a condition he called autism in his seminal 1943 paper,”Autistic Disturbances of Affective Conduct,” most professionals and laypeople alike had an impression of autism as being characteristic of highly disturbed, poorly functioning children – and a rare condition, at that.

Then, the following year and an ocean and a world away, a doctor in Vienna, then part of Nazi-occupied Austria, portrayed autistic children of a radically different type.  The Viennese doctor’s name was Hans Asperger; his paper, however, would remain virtually unknown for nearly a half century.  In fact, “Autistic Psychopathy in Childhood” first appeared in English translation in 1991.  This extremely important book, Autism and Asperger Syndrome, presents Uta Frith’s translation for the very first time, all in context of her commentary and a series of other papers by other important researchers.  Most notable is Dr. Lorna Wing, who developed and advocated for the term autism spectrum, especially notable here in that Kanner’s and Asperger’s descriptions of the same condition vary so considerably, this book describing the higher-functioning form of autism that bears Asperger’s name.

Dr. Hans Asperger in his Vienna clinic with autistic boy autism special education human dignity

Dr. Hans Asperger (1906-1980) works with one of his young charges. Asperger believed these children had the potential for unique and noteworthy endeavors and deserved to be afforded full human dignity.

Most notable is that, “far from despising the misfits, he devoted himself to their cause – and this at a time when allegiance to misfits was nothing less than dangerous.”  It bears remembering that Nazism espoused putting people with genetic deformities, such as cognitive disabilities, to death; Nazi ideology deemed these people not worth the bread they ate and a threat to the genetic future of the Aryan race.  By caring and advocating for these children, Dr. Asperger was risking his life.

Going further, “Asperger’s views on the positive value of autism as an important aspect of creative thought and intellectual style are … fresh and provocative.”  In fact, Asperger’s 1944 writing and Frith’s 1991 commentary presaged the current neurodiversity movement, beautifully expressed in Steve Silberman’s “fresh and provocative” book Neurotribes.

NeuroTribes Asperger syndrome and autism book

NeuroTribes carries on where Hans Asperger left off. The 1991 book on the right contains the only English-language translation of Dr. Asperger’s seminal paper.

In Hans Asperger’s paper, it is worth noting his comment that “…those who know such children never cease to be surprised at the striking coincidences of detail.  The autistic personality is highly distinctive despite wide individual differences.  Our method would have failed if it ignored the differences and if it let each child’s unique personality vanish behind the type.”  This observation leads us to the second important paper in this volume, that of Lorna Wing, in which she compares the work of Drs. Asperger and Kanner and outlines her groundbreaking theory of autism being a spectrum of abilities while sharing important characteristics.  Though the other four papers are worth reading as well, these first three make this book, nearly a quarter-century old, essential reading on autism.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Most Notable and Favorite Articles for the Week Ending November 6, 2015

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.

This timber wolf at the Lakota Wolf preserve, Columbia, NJ, looks forward to frolicking in the snow. Photo: Copyright, Daniel L. Berek 2015

This timber wolf at the Lakota Wolf preserve, Columbia, NJ, looks forward to frolicking in the snow. Photo: Copyright, Daniel L. Berek 2015

For parents of a child with a disability:
To the parents of children with special needs who feel bad about having to cancel plans… Again.

Disability awareness:
This week’s inaugural Ruderman Inclusion Summit focused on making the Jewish community and society at large more welcoming for people with disabilities.

Here’s a roundup of the Ruderman Family Foundation Inclusion Summit

Animal Appetites – A woman from Vancouver, BC, Canada, writes a charming children’s book, while her autistic brother illustrates it.

Employment for people with disabilities:
A research study exposes discrimination in hiring people with physical disabilities and Asperger syndrome.

Medical news – research:
A unique research project on developmental dyslexia has been launched at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology in Warsaw, Poland. It is aimed at examining different factors responsible for development of the reading disorder.

Rutgers launches a center for adults with autism.

What about autistic adults?  A new study sheds light on the health needs of adults with autism.

Important steps forward have been made in the hunt for easily measurable biomarkers of autism.

Parenting:
Webinar: NJ DDD Live Supports Program – Individual & Family Focused
Mon., Nov. 9, 4-5 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 2, 10-11 a.m.
Tue., Dec. 29, 4-5 p.m.

This regularly scheduled session gives individuals with intellectual & developmental disabilities and their families an opportunity to ask the Director, Supports Program & Employment Services questions and get the latest news about the Division of Developmental Disabilities Supports Program launched in July 2015. All stakeholders are welcome to attend these webinars, but information provided will be focused on questions submitted by individuals and family members.

To register, or for more information, please go to:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/1352353492200130049