Many higher-level persons with autism are fascinated by trains. Trains are predictable: They run on a schedule, are limited to staying on a track that only goes certain places, and have very structured seating plans that no doubt came to be after much consultation between engineers, designers, and draftspersons. To some extent, buses share these […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Category: Individuals with Special Needs
The Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development III (BSD III) are an important tool for measuring the cognitive, motor, and sensory development of the very young. But why is there a need to test infants and small children? We may even recoil from this process, thinking that early testing and assessment may imprint a […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The evolution of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM I, II, III, IV, IV-TR) and upcoming DSM V is an interesting one. The first manual was a short volume with a small number of diagnoses. The diagnosis itself was often not as important as the detailed clinical description written about the patient, often written from […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Counseling Today (a journal of the American Counseling Association in their July 2011 issue reports on a survey released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the needs of families who have children experiencing mental illness. The Adolescent Action Center of NAMI did a survey of over 500 respondents. Each of these was […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
One of the goals of AMHF is to help those with the extraordinary and often isolating emotional problems connected with developmental disabilities and special needs. To this end, I highly recommend two Web sites and blogs. The first one today features a story about a young woman with a severe seizure disorder and how her […]By: Evander Lomke
In Chicago, on June 20, 2011 Vice PresidentBy: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Since part of the mission of AMHF is to keep continual focus on the mental-health needs of the developmentally disabled, a recent article deserves our attention. On June 5, 2011, the New York Times reported that Jonathan Carey, a thirteen-year-old boy who has autism, was asphyxiated and died in the back of a NYS-owned van […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Rearing a child with autism brings challenges too many to mention. A particular sadness, recurring frequently, is the inability to travel with your child due to difficulties that occur in boarding airplanes. Many citizen without autism now avoid the flight lines and procedures, and drive, take the train, or just stay home. For young people […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Over at America magazine, Christopher Pramuk has written a sensitive and provocative article titled ” Hidden Sorrow: Praying through Reproductive Loss”. Part of the beauty of this article is that it makes others aware of the intense grief evoked by this kind of loss. I wrote an accompanying piece Hidden Sorrow, Chronic Sorrow about the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
On March 18, 2011, Daily News columnist Clem Richardson (who writes regularly on “Great People”) featured Peter Campanelli, chief of Institute for Community Living, a nonprofit that helps people with psychiatric disabilities. Richardson wrote about awards Campanelli had won: but interestingly, he was not yet aware of Campanelli’s most intriguing award. With over 150 submissions, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Although many people confuse perfectionism with obsessive compulsive disorders, many see this as two separate entities that require different approaches in understanding. Most of us reading this will have an intuitive idea of what is being talked about, as most of us possess at least small levels of these two characteristics. Philip Gnilka, assistant professor […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
An anonymous letter to the editor appears in the current (February 2011) issue of N.Y. Able Newspaper, “The Newspaper Positively For, By & About The Disabled,” which cuts to the heart of AMHF and its work. “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects six million Americans, two percent of the population. Sadly, OCD is very common and […]By: Evander Lomke
E. Fuller Torrey, psychiatrist and author of Surviving Schizophrenia: A Family Manual, writes in the Wall Street Journal about the necessity of mandated treatment and the responsibility of public-health authorities to monitor those severely mentally ill persons who need this. Torrey writes… “The killing of six people in Tucson is one more sad episode in […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Dr. Sanje Gupta reported this week on results of a large-scale study among women that examined what happens when depression and Type II diabetes co-occur: “Researchers who published the data in the Archives of General Psychiatry looked at more than 78,000 women between the ages of 54 and 79 who were participating in the famous […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
One of the readers of CNN.com wrote in and asked how one goes about finding good mental-health care if one is on SSI and Medicaid. This particular respondent also is limited in transportation. Following is the helpful response. “I have been thinking for a number of weeks about your question. I wish I could tell […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
An article in The Economist, Explaining Autism: Energy drain, suggests that one of the causes of autism may be faulty mitochondria. Mitochondria serve as the power-packs for other cells in the body, especially nerve cells. They take apart sugar molecules and in this process energy that can be used by other cells in the body […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Most readers here probably acknowledge the existence of ADHD: as something they themselves suffer from or as something they know as “true” from its presence in a family member or close friend. Yet it is interesting that a case needs to be made for the existence of this problem. Dr. Perri Klass does so in […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
AMHF mourns the death of David Castronovo. A steadfast supporter of AMHF, Dr. Castronovo was the author or editor of eleven books of literary criticism on subjects ranging from Edmund Wilson and Thornton Wilder to popular classics of the 1950s to “The American Gentleman” to “Blokes: The Bad Boys of British Literature.” Dr. Castronovo was […]By: Evander Lomke
For nearly the past 60 years, the psychiatric profession has published a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual describing different mental conditions that are treated by psychiatrists. The first manual was spiral bound and was made up of fewer than 80 pages. DSM IV has become a major reference work, with hundreds of pages and many auxiliary […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Also posted in AMERICA magazine; please go to here to make comments or read the comments of others Perhaps we cloud this topic with euphemisms: but many a boy or growing young man who is poor at sports faces hurdles of bias, loneliness, and rejection. Despite many ways of compensating (intellectual, musical, artistic), poor athletic […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Dr. Norman Reed, a clinical psychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of violent children and adolescents, has joined our Professional Advisory Board. For nearly 30 years he has worked in various programs for these youngsters in the State of Oregon. Welcome, Dr. Reed!By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
As experts and the public ask for and learn more and more about bullying, not only is its presence in schools better known, but one begins to wonder about all the other situations across the lifespan where bullying occurs. Some possibilities: *Siblings bullying each other *Parents bullying teachers *Cliques that bully other cliques *Boys that […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Eric J. Green writes about Jungian Play therapy in his article Traversing the heroic journey,” which appeared in the March 2010 issue of Counseling Today, published by the American Counseling Association Here are some of his ideas: “One of our primary tasks as child counselors is to provide an emotionally safe and protective space within […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
We have noted previously that a number of insurance companies have found ways to minimize costs of serious and lifelong mental health problems that are covered under the Mental Health Parity Act. A similar dragging of feet seems to be occurring with providing health care (which includes mental health services) to 19-26 year olds. The […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Glenn Close, award-winning actress who has become an advocate for persons with bipolar disorder and other severe mental illnesses, will be the Keynote Speaker at Neuroscience 2010 , the 40th Annual Meeting of the Society of Neuroscience, to be held in San Diego from November 13-17th, 2010. Close has developed a special interest in mental […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Kendra’s Law, passed by the New York State legislature about ten years ago, is set to expire. This law was passed and named after a woman who was pushed to her death by a severely mentally ill person who was not following the prescribed treatment regimen. One of the advocates of this bill is E. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Many of the public and well as the mental health professions have never heard of the phrase “sports wound.” This refers to males who do not display athletic prowess or good eye-hand coordination. As much as we may want to deny this, boys who lack sports ability often are teased and bullied through their growing […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
There’s too much bullying going on and not enough being done to stop it. In all fairness, many have the good will and courage and desire to confront bullying but want to make sure it is done properly so as to not make a bad situation worse. AMHF is monitoring the psychological damage done to […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
On this centenary of Mark Twain’s death, we look back at Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. While psychologists have written thousands if not millions of words on the effects of separation and loss in all our lives, Mark Twain taught about these powerful forces in the lives of two young boys growing up. Tom Sawyer […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
DR VAN ORNUM MEETS WITH NYS GOVERNOR PATERSON For the past two months, AMHF Board Member and Director of Publications, Dr. William Van Ornum, has worked to provide feedback to New York State Governor David Paterson regarding the devastating effect of budget cuts on people with disabilities and the programs that provide services to them. […]By: Evander Lomke