International Day of Acceptance

Date: January 20, 2022

The International Day o Acceptance was founded by Stevie Hopkins in memory of his sister, Annie in 2010. Annie Hopkins along with her brother Stevie, founded 3E Love, a social entrepreneurial business that is disability owned and operated. 3E Love and the wheelchair heart has become an international brans and a symbol of love, strength, and hope.

International Day of Acceptance recognizes that people with disabilities have social rights and should be treated with respect.. Acceptance Day purpose is to focus on recognizing a disability without trying to change it. Disability acceptance is recognizing that a disability is part of the person and cannot be separated from the person.

Mapping the futures of autistic children

Published by: Spectrum
Written by: Elizabeth Svoboda

Kimberlee McCafferty knew something was different about her son Justin when he was just a baby. He had stopped babbling around his first birthday. He rarely accepted the food she offered or interacted with others, and his favorite pastime was spinning his toys across the wood floor. Before he turned 2, Justin was diagnosed with autism.

The diagnosis sent McCafferty, of Brick, New Jersey, on the kind of medical odyssey familiar to many parents: batteries of behavioral tests, dietary changes and a menu of therapy options. A few months into this journey, an autism specialist at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., examined Justin, who is now 18, and rendered a sweeping judgment about his future. “Your child will never speak or live independently,” the doctor told McCafferty flat out. His words dropped like an anvil, leaving McCafferty shaken. “I remember thinking, ‘That’s a pretty damning statement to make when the child is not yet potty trained.’”

Specialists say families are right to be skeptical of such point-blank verdicts. The business of making such forecasts in young children is fraught, especially because some children defy them in unexpected ways. “We see huge variability in how symptoms progress,” says So Hyun “Sophy” Kim, assistant professor of psychology in clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. “It’s not always easy to predict what’s going to happen down the road.”

Yet researchers have assembled a rich body of data about how autistic people do over time and can provide certain kinds of nuanced projections. The work points to several broad life trajectories for autistic children — rough sketches of how a child’s adolescence and adulthood may unfold. The data also point to subtle, early behavioral markers of future growth or difficulties in specific areas, as well as genetic variants that affect the arc of a child’s trajectory. Some of the research could help clinicians gauge an autistic child’s risk of having mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression as well. Click here to read the rest of the story

Demographic Characteristics, Health Conditions, and Residential Service Use in Adults with Down Syndrome in 25 States

Introduction

The study describes the demographic characteristics and health conditions of individuals with Down syndrome living in a residential setting. The purpose of the study is to analyze health conditions, and impairments across the adult life span.

Methodology

The data was collected from the National Core Indicator Survey from 25 participating states. The sample included 1,199 individuals diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Findings

The researchers concluded the following:

  • Adults diagnosed with Down syndrome comprise of 10 percent of the population using intellectual and developmental disability services in their states.
  • Similar to people diagnosed with an intellectual and developmental disability, people with Down syndrome impairments increased as they grow older.
  • Alzheimer disease is still prevalent among people with Down syndrome.
  • Adults with Down syndrome were more likely to report being overweight. This is especially true for women.
  • People with Down syndrome are more likely to live at home with their parents than residing in a residential facility.

 

Reference

Stancliffe, R.J.; Lakin, K.C.; Larson, S.A.; Engler, J.; Taub, S.; Fortune, J.; Berkshadsky.J. (2012). Demographic Characteristics, Health Conditions, and Residential Service Use in Adults with Down Syndrome in 25 States. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 50(2), 92-108. DOI:1352/1934-9556:50.2.92

Validating autism subtypes: A crucial but often overlooked step in research

Published by: Spectrum Autism Research News
Written by:  HILDE GEURTS, JOOST AGELINK VAN RENTERGEM

The practice of categorizing autistic people into subtypes based on similarities in their traits and abilities is divisive. Subtypes can have negative connotations, evoking images of stereotyping and marginalization.

For decades, the autism spectrum was, by definition, a collection of subtypes, including Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified. But there was no clear clinical distinction between the subtypes, and they did not fully capture the inherent variation among people on the spectrum. So the fifth and most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, to which clinicians refer to make diagnoses, retired them from use in 2013.

That said, there are often good reasons for subtyping. Identifying subtypes of people who share particular genetic variants may be useful, because these variants may be associated with specific medical issues. Subtyping analysis can also be used to demonstrate the nonexistence of certain subtypes. Or it can help researchers to identify who benefits most from a particular kind of support, without focusing on etiology or ontology.

For these reasons, we should not categorically stop conducting subtyping analyses. But research should focus on the discovery of meaningful subtypes of autism. To seek consensus among scientists on the number and nature of subtypes, we conducted a systematic review of the autism subtyping literature. We limited our search to articles published since 2001 that had used a statistical or machine-learning method to discover subtypes of autistic people. These subtyping methods are data-driven: The researchers did not search for a specific number of subtypes and did not specify in advance what the subtypes would look like; they let the data speak for itself.

We identified 156 articles that met our criteria. Of these, 82 percent found that two to four subtypes described their data well. But these subtypes reflected a highly diverse set of measures, including levels of inflammatory markers, scores on autism trait and sensory sensitivity questionnaires, tests of language skills, hormone levels and patterns of facial features, and this diversity made it difficult to find consensus or draw any firm conclusions. Because the samples included variables that are so heterogeneous across many of these studies, it is impossible to determine whether researchers were looking at the same subdivision from different angles or discovering different subdivisions every time. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Coping with Loneliness When Your Spouse Has ADHD

Published by: Healthline
Written by: Erica Cirino

Are you in a relationship with someone who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? If so, you’re not alone. While many people associate ADHD with childhood, it’s also commonly diagnosed in adults.

And while much research has been done to study the lives and well-being of adults with ADHD, less research has been done to understand what it’s like to be a non-ADHD partner who’s in a relationship with or dating someone with ADHD.

However, as more studies are done and more people share their stories, it’s clear there are some challenges to being a spouse or partner of someone with ADHD. Although this condition can affect a marriage or partnership in a variety of ways, one of the most frequent difficulties is an overwhelming feeling of loneliness.

We’ll discuss the many ways ADHD can affect adult relationships, how to seek professional help, and how to cope if you’re the non-ADHD partner.

What symptoms of ADHD can affect a relationship?

ADHD is a chronic mental health disorder that’s marked by symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors and speech. In the United States, it’s estimated that ADHD affects 8.4 percent of children and 2.5 percent of adults.

Experts aren’t completely sure what causes this common mental health disorder. However, research suggests that genetics, physical makeup, and external factors — like a person’s home environment — may contribute to developing the disorder. Click here to read the rest of the story.