Tag Archive for 'adults'

How not to treat people with disabilities: They may die in custody

The story of Robert Ethan Saylor, an adult with Down Syndrome, may seem a bit afield for EBD Blog, but long-time readers will recognize the theme. It’s about the importance of having police officers prepared to recognize and respond to individuals with disabilities in ways that are different than the modal manner for handling usual law enforcement situations.

According to news reports, in January of 2013, Mr. Saylor saw a movie at a theater. As Washington Post reporter Theresa Vargas described it, when the movie ended Mr. Saylor “wanted to watch it again. When he refused to leave, a theater employee called three off-duty Frederick County sheriff’s deputies who were working a security job at the Westview Promenade shopping center and told them that Saylor either needed to buy another ticket or be removed.”
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Self- and other-referents in Autism

I’m going a little afield here, as this is not about children or youth. Still, I thought it might be interesting to a reader or two. Using images of the brains of adults with Autism and other adults without Autism, Michael Lombardo and colleagues examined activity in two parts of the individuals brains considered to be involved in thinking about oneself or about others. They found that the individuals with Autism showed differences from their not-Autistic matches in the area of the brain (cingulate cortex) that is active during social interactions and bonding.

All of the participants who had Autism diagnoses (N=29) were pretty high functioning. They were, on average, 26 years old, their average full-scale IQ was almost 116, and on the ADI-R social, communication, and repetitive scales their average (SD) ratings were 17.87 (4.73), 14.83 (3.58), and 5.78 (2.71) respectively.
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Sleep predictors of later depression

Adolescents who are at risk for later episodes of major depressive disorders differ from their peers who are not at risk on multiple measures of rapid eye movement (REM) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity during sleep, according to a study by Uma Rao and colleagues that appeared this fall in Neuropsychopharmacology . Early depressive episodes that occur during adolescence are strongly associated with other later problems in other areas such as interpersonal relationships, pregnancy, educational attainment, employment, and suicidal behavior; finding predictors of later problems is important for primary and secondary prevention.

Rao and colleagues compared youths at risk for major depressive disorder with peers using electroencephalographic (EEG) and HPA measures. They then followed the youths for 5 years and correlated their EEG and HPA measures with the chances of later episodes of depression. Here’s the abstract:
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Officer training for handling incidents

Reporting on US National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, Joanne Silberner presented a story about police officers handling incidents in which they encounter people with emotional and behavior disorders who are behaving in ways that appear threatening to the officers. Although her story uses adult cases for illustrations, this topic should also be of interest for youths who have EBD and for the families of children with EBD.

Here’s an excerpt from Ms. Silberner’s report.

It’s a situation no one wants to see: An armed police officer is called because someone is in the throes of a psychotic episode. “How the officer handles that situation can have a significant impact,” says Russell Laine, head of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
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Adult stakeholders

The US Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) is seeking citizens’ recommendations about a research agenda. Although this initiative aims at addressing issues for adults in the community, which differs from the focus of EBD Blog (educational issues related to children and youth and their families), I want to mention it here so that readers who may have interests in health, employment, and similar topics will get the news.

This year for the first time, the federally mandated Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) is utilizing an innovative Web-based approach to collect online disability research comments to assist in developing a federal disability and rehabilitation 2010 research agenda. This technology-driven approach gives the public a three-week timeframe from March 27th through April 17th to submit their recommendations. Additionally, registered participants will be invited to review all comments submitted and vote on their top 10 concerns in each topic area during the one-week period from April 22nd through April 29th. Public comments from stakeholders are the focal point of the disability research recommendations in the ICDR Annual Report to the President and Congress.

ICDR stakeholders page.

International comparison of care for Autism

Under the headline “In Switzerland, An Easier Path For The Disabled” on US National Public Radio, Julie Rovner presented a story about international differences in care for individuals with Autism. Ms. Rovner contrasts the experiences of Ellen Wallace, Nick Bates, and their 16-year-old daughter, Tara, with the experiences of Nancy Legendre, Walter Herlihy, and their two daughters, 19-year-old Julia and 17-year-old Lily. Tara, Julia, and Lily all have Autism.

Part of Ms. Rovner’s story is that the children live in different countries—Tara lives near Lausanne (CH), and Julia and Lily live in Gloucester (MA, US)—and, therefore, receive different health care. This feature of their situations affects their options for the girls’ futures.

The parents of Tara, Julia, and Lily are facing the the issues that the parents of many teens with disabilities face: How to provide care for their children during the children’s adulthood. Although it is difficult to generalize from the experiences of these two families except at the very abstract levels, Ms. Rovner’s treatment of the issue is nuanced and informative. Link to the Web-based version of the story.