News & Events

August 17, 2020

Disability Community Balks at Senate Republican’s HEALS Act

On July 27, Senate Republicans introduced components of the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act. Their $1 trillion proposal aims to provide additional coronavirus economic relief for Americans beyond the assistance provided by last March’s CARES Act, which unfortunately, did not include disabled adults in its stimulus payments.

August 17, 2020

Young Adults with Severe Autism Need Fewer Supports if Competitively Employed

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University published an additional analysis of an on-going study of employment outcomes using the Project SEARCH model for young adults who are significantly impacted by autism. The model is a partnership of local hospitals, schools, and the departments of vocational rehabilitation.

August 17, 2020

Recommended Autism Screenings Occur About 50% of the Time Per AAP Guidelines

A new study published in Pediatrics reported that autism screenings recommended at 18 and 24 months per American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines take place only 54% of the time. This lower than predicted percentage rate may be due to screening gaps found in two populations: Hispanic children and children who see family practice physicians instead of pediatricians.

August 17, 2020

LA Times Finds Extensive Regression in Special Ed Students Since March

“Stalled progress,” “loss of skills,” “no semblance of education,” “helpless,” “frustration,” “huge regression,” “inconsistent,” ”not sufficient,” are just a few terms parents, teachers, advocates, and therapists used in a recent front-page Los Angeles Times article to describe special education services provided to California’s 760,000 students with disabilities since COVID-19 shutdown schools.

August 17, 2020

Could Oxytocin be the Key to Normalizing Social Behavior in Autism?

Swiss researchers have discovered that a mutation of the neuroligin-3 gene disrupts the hormone oxytocin’s signaling pathway in the brains of mice causing reduced social interactions in the rodents. When the study’s authors repaired the oxytocin system of the mice using a pharmacological treatment their social behavior normalized. This exciting new finding may point to new pharmacological treatments focusing on improved social behavior for individuals with autism.

August 17, 2020

Conveying Educational Needs Via Remote Learning Proves Challenging

School closures have provided students in special education with lessons that are reduced to just minutes a day, coupled with isolation from peers, these students have experienced weak educational programs and loneliness via home learning. These students aren’t the only ones in distress. Special education teachers with advanced degrees and specific certifications feel unprepared and unqualified to instruct via remote education. Parents are frustrated as well, maintaining that in person instruction is critical for their child’s progress. Could there be hope for these groups to adjust to remote learning this fall?

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