All posts filed under: Special Needs

Special Needs

Trump Exploring Panel On Vaccine Safety

via Trump Exploring Panel On Vaccine Safety – Disability Scoop WASHINGTON — Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has warned of a discredited link between childhood immunizations and the development of autism, has accepted an invitation from President-elect Donald Trump to lead a commission “on vaccine safety and scientific integrity,” he told reporters Tuesday. A Trump spokeswoman would not confirm Kennedy’s comment. Kennedy, son of the late U.S. attorney general, said the president-elect “has some doubts” about vaccine policies but said both of them were in favor of vaccines. “His opinion doesn’t matter, but the science does matter, and we ought to be reading the science and we ought to be debating the science,” Kennedy said. “Everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines that we have … (are) as safe as they possibly can be.” Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump transition team, said only that the president-elect was “exploring the possibility” of a commission, but that no decision has been made. “The president-elect enjoyed his discussion with Robert Kennedy Jr. …

Everyone’s Buzzing About Buzzies

Buzzies is a wearable device for children on the spectrum. It uses neuroscience to relieve anxiety and stress. The devices connect remotely through the an App on your smart phone and control the non-invasive vibrating patterns emitted through the device. Buzzies give the user a gentle stimulation or vibration. This bi-lateral alternating stimulation-tactile technology, abbreviated as BLAST, affects the brain and alters the body’s fight or flight mechanism. The technology is mostly associated with EDMR therapy, or the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which is a commonly used method to treat PTSD, anxiety, phobias and other associated psychological disorders. Once you pair the Buzzies, you can choose from one of the pre-settings for Calm, Focus, Improve Performance, manage Anger, reduce Cravings, Sleep, or create a custom setting. Once you hit start, the Buzzies will begin “buzzing” or vibrating bilaterally. It’s this bi-lateral stimulation (called BLAST) that alters the body’s fight, flight, or freeze (F3) response that reduces your stress and anxiety level. For more research information feel free to look at the Research link on their website. Who founded Buzzies? …

An Experimental Autism Treatment Cost Me My Marriage

via An Experimental Autism Treatment Cost Me My Marriage – The New York Times What happens to your relationships when your emotional perception changes overnight? Because I’m autistic, I have always been oblivious to unspoken cues from other people. My wife, my son and my friends liked my unflappable demeanor and my predictable behavior. They told me I was great the way I was, but I never really agreed. For 50 years I made the best of how I was, because there was nothing else I could do. Then I was offered a chance to participate in a study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. Investigators at the Berenson-Allen Center there were studying transcranial magnetic stimulation, or T.M.S., a noninvasive procedure that applies magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain. It offers promise for many brain disorders. Several T.M.S. devices have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of severe depression, and others are under study for different conditions. (It’s still in the experimental phase …

What Donkeys Know About Autism

via What Donkeys Know About Autism – The New York Times Hal Walter always loved donkeys a little more than they loved him. For over 30 years, they’ve fought, kicked, and confused him — and for that, he’s truly grateful. Donkeys have made his temples throb with fury, but they’ve also prepared him for the most perplexing challenge of his life: a boy named Harrison. I traveled to Colorado for a tutorial from Hal in the art of burro racing, the old Rocky Mountain sport of running marathon distances alongside a trotting donkey. I became interested in all things burro by necessity, after we adopted a neglected donkey named Sherman and had to figure out what to do with him. When I heard about burro racing, I was intrigued by three mysteries: How has it survived as America’s second-oldest marathon, right behind Boston? Why do women and older runners often defeat younger men? And most of all, how do you persuade nature’s most obstinate creation that it really wants to run with you? When I …

My Autistic Son’s Lesson: No One Is Broken

via My Autistic Son’s Lesson: No One Is Broken – The New York Times My youngest son, Sawyer, used to spend far more time relating to his imagination than he did to the world around him. He would run back and forth humming, flapping his hands and thumping on his chest. By the time he was in first grade, attempts to draw him out of his pretend world to join his classmates or do some class work led to explosions and timeouts. At 7 he was given a diagnosis of being on the autism spectrum. That was when my wife, Jen, learned about the practice called joining. The idea behind it, which she discovered in Barry Neil Kaufman’s book “Son-Rise,” is brilliant in its simplicity. We wanted Sawyer to be with us. We did not want him to live in this bubble of his own creation. And so, instead of telling him to stop pretending and join us, we started pretending and joined him. The first time Jen joined him, the first time she ran …

A Generation of Autism, Coming of Age

via When Children With Autism Become Adults – NYTimes.com As the explosion of children who were found to have autism in the 1990s begins to transition from the school to the adult system, experts caution about the coming wave. “We estimate there are going to be half a million children with autism in the next 10 years who will become adults,” said Peter Bell, executive vice president for programs and services of the advocacy group Autism Speaks. Services for adults with autism exist, but unlike school services, they are not mandated, and there are fewer of them. Combined with shrinking government budgets, the challenges are daunting. “We are facing a crisis of money and work force,” said Nancy Thaler, executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services. “The cohort of people who will need services — including aging baby boomers — is growing much faster than the cohort of working-age adults that provide care.” To help parents navigate this difficult journey, in January Autism Speaks introduced a free Transition Tool …