Category: Individuals with Special Needs

The Sports Wound and Bullying

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 […]

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Stop Bullying Now!

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 […]

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Orphans All (Mark Twain)

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 […]

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Dr. William Van Ornum of AMHF Board of Directors Meets with NYS Governor

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. […]

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Upcoming Changes in the DSM

The profession of psychiatry is now in the fourth edition of the book that classifies mental disorders: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV. The revised version will be published in 2013, and there continues to be debate about what will and will not be included. The New York Times brings this and a spirited discussion in […]

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Funding cuts for the Developmentally Disabled

This article appeared in the December 30, 2009 and January 6, 2010 editions of The Hudson Valley News DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED TO SUFFER FROM PROGRAM CUTS by William Van Ornum We are in a recession. There simply isn’t enough money to keep New York State running as it has in the past. Governor Paterson can’t be […]

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Mental Health: Where Do Your Politicians Stand?

There are some political topics and issues that one party or another seems to own. These concerns are part of the history and ideology of a particular political party and they present themselves, sometimes in slightly or radically different forms, as the years go by and the elections occur every two to four years. From […]

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Astor Services Receives First Stefan de Schill Memorial Award from AMHF

For further information please contact: Sonia Barnes-Moorhead The Astor Home for Children Foundation (845) 871-1117 *protected email* Astor Services for Children & Families Receives the first American Mental Health Foundation’s Stefan de Schill Award FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Rhinebeck, N.Y. (October 8, 2009) — Astor Services for Children & Families is the first recipient of the Stefan […]

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Some Things I Have Learned about Autism

By Dr. William Van Ornum When I was a psychology graduate student at Loyola University of Chicago, my introduction to autism involved observing and learning about a nine-year-old girl who constantly banged her head against hard objects, to the point of bleeding and perhaps even concussion. The saddest part was seeing that nothing seemed to […]

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New Approach to OCD

Mention OCD and you bring up strong feelings in any person or family member that suffers from it. Strange and frightening thoughts that intrude and don’t go away, meaningless gestures and actions that someone is compelled to perform, over and over, fully aware that these behaviors are at best silly and at their worst thieves […]

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Help for Many Children

Each year, hew children with disabilities enter the school system; and each year students who are already enrolled in school become newly diagnosed with a disability. The Individual Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) lists different types of problems experienced by children aged three to twenty-one, and offers services for these children that are paid for by […]

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Kudos to the National Association of the Dually Diagnosed (NADD)

There is an especially fine organization to help persons who, in addition to developmental disabilities, also have a psychiatric diagnosis from the DSM IV-TR. Some examples of dually diagnosed persons would be a Down syndrome person that is also diagnosed with major depression, a mildly retarded person that is also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, or […]

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A Wonderful Place: The Astor Home for Children

For over 55 years, the Astor Home for Children has been providing topnotch care for children and families, both in New York City and Upstate New York communities. It is sponsored by the

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Speech Therapists and Mental Health

Speech and language pathologists and audiologists are a profession that often works with people who have mental conditions: problems in communication can in themselves cause mental-health problems, or can magnify those already present. The goals of speech and language pathologists are to advocate on behalf of persons with communications and other disorders, advance communication science, […]

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The Need for Humility and Enlightened Humanity

Likely we have all seen the terrible story out of Connecticut of the friend that was mauled by the pet chimpanzee of the other friend. It obviously reminds us of the mysteries of the brain. Why would a docile creature suddenly turn? But there is another dimension to the story. This has to do with […]

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Special Needs Children in Harder Economic Times

Parents of special-needs children know this, but others might not. Viz., there is a continuum of care and interventions for special-needs children. During the past 32 years, since the enactment of Public Law 94-142 (PL 94-142), different programs of different intensities (and expense) change, depending on the political or economic climate of the times. For […]

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Genetic Research and Mental Health

The New York Times recently reported on cutting-edge research with direct implications for mental health. Genetic researchers discovered a variety of gene mutations in the genes affecting the enzymes produced by the liver: chemicals that are the first step in changing psychiatric drugs into other chemicals that can then influence the brain. (The variety of […]

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Imperfect Democracy and Mental Health

The January 5, 2009, New York Times reports in its Memo from Pravda that “In Eastern Europe, Lives Languish in Mental Facilities.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/world/europe/05bulgaria.html “A study of guardianship in eight former Communist countries completed last year by the Mental Disability Advocacy Center in Budapest found jaillike regimens for patients with a wide range of mental disabilities, […]

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Preschool Intervention

Now that preschool classes are under full swing, there may be some parents who wonder if their own child is keeping up with milestones. A common reaction of all us may be to try to look at the bright side and call this a “stage” or something “that will be grown out of.” Yes, it […]

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Our New Video

Under the auspices of LanternMedia, the American Mental Health Foundation has produced a short video about its history and program. You may watch it below:

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Learn about Down Syndrome

Here is the link for the American Down Syndrome Association: National Association of Down Syndrome

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Reaching an Autistic Teenager

An excellent feature story about a young man with autism is in the Sunday New York Times for Sunday, October 19, 2008: Reaching an Autistic Teenager

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American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association, a group of over 100,000 psychologists in the U.S.A., offers helpful information for professionals as well as the public on its website: click here for APA link

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DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION

I have been reading a wonderful book, DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and John Ratey. M.D. This book brings to a general trade audience wisdom gained from peer-reviewed studies and research. Unlike some books on this topic, there is no ax […]

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Finding helpers to assist parents

The New York Times on Tuesday August 12th offers an article describing the problems faced by parents with special needs children when it comes to finding “sitters” or “helpers”. They even report on a national service that can match parents with caretakers. When one imagines the difficulty encountered just in finding a sitter for a […]

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special needs and the elderly

Individuals with Special Needs as well as The Elderly…too often, our society wants us to forget they exist. How much easier it is to turn our heads and pretend that we just don’t see. “What you do to the least of mine, you also do to me.” One of the goals of “The New American […]

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