Category: Individuals with Special Needs

AMHF Attends Northeast Conference for Teachers of Psychology

On Friday, October 28, 2011, AMHF attended the 17th Annual Meeting of the Northeast Conference for Teachers of Psychology. This is a group of psychologists, who teach in colleges and universities, dedicated to improving their teaching of undergraduates and graduates. Participants of the group come from a wide range of specialties and interests including developmental, […]

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Some Headlines on Developmental Disabilities

Kathryn Lopez in National Review Online brings to our attention a young lady with Down syndrome who was elected Homecoming Queen of her high school. In juxtaposition to this is a news report from Ann Curry, from Serbia, showing that abuse of the kind that occurred at Willowbrook continues to occur in Serbia. These three […]

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New Books from American Counseling Association

Some good new books from American Counseling Association: Cyberbullying: What Counselors Need to Know, by Sheri Bauman. This book is geared toward counselors, teachers, school leaders, and all professionals who work with children and teens. In a reader-friendly style, the author addresses real-life dangers on the Internet, including offensive, confrontational, and harassing messages; disclosure of […]

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Cuomo Administration Responds to Abuse of Developmentally Disabled

The New York Times continues its coverage of the abuse of the developmentally disabled in New York State: “Moving to end the…lax oversight of the developmentally disabled, the Cuomo administration on Wednesday announced an agreement with the State Police to establish guidelines for reporting possible crimes against the disabled to law enforcement authorities.” The entire […]

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Trains and Tracks and Autism

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 […]

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Bayley Scales Part 1: Infants Assessed, but Adults, Too?

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 […]

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Upcoming DSM-V and Childhood Depression

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 […]

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Primary Care and Mental Illness in Children

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 […]

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Special Needs and the Sandwich Generation

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 […]

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Vice President Biden, David Axelrod, and Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE)

In Chicago, on June 20, 2011 Vice President

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New York Times Alleges Abuse in Large Institutions for Developmentally Disabled

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 […]

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Opening the World to Persons with Autism

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 […]

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Chronic Sorrow: Reproductive Loss, Developmental Disabilities, and Severe Psychiatric Problems

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 […]

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Congratulations Peter Campanelli and New York City’s Institute for Community Living

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, […]

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Learning to Live Less Perfectly

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 […]

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OCD Letter from Able

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 […]

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E. Fuller Torrey: Mandated Treatment Needed

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 […]

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Women, Depression, and Diabetes

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 […]

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On SSI and Medicaid: How Do You Find Good Mental-health Care?

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 […]

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Autism and Mitochondria

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 […]

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ADHD Is Real, Says New York Times

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 […]

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Farewell David Castronovo

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 […]

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DSM V: The Future of Psychiatric Diagnoses

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 […]

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More on the Sports Wound

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 […]

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Dr. Norman Reed Joins Professional Advisory Board

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!

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Bullying Across the Lifespan

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 […]

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Jungian Play Therapy

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 […]

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Insurers Balk on Insuring 19-26 group

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 […]

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Glenn Close to Address Neuroscience 2010 Convention

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 […]

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Mandated Treatment Law Set to Expire

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. […]

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