Category: Special Needs

Representative Ted Lieu of California proposes mental-health legislation regarding the executive branch.

Congressman Ted Lieu and U.S.-presidential Mental Health

From the office of Congressman Ted Lieu, 33rd District of California (who replaces Representative Henry A. Waxman): We have been exploring legislation to create a Presidential Psychiatrist position in the White House Medical Unit, similar to the Presidential Physician position that already exists. Although the impetus has certainly been our current president, this concept has […]

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The Sixth Annual Report of The American Mental Health Foundation

This is the sixth Annual Report of The American Mental Health Foundation (AMHF), a research organization formed in 1924, incorporated in New York State December 31, 1954. In 2017, AMHF celebrates 93 years of philanthropic service and activities—“Advancing Mental Health: A Century of Excellence in Mental Health Research.”   Vision: Building a More Compassionate Society—Get Involved!   Mission: AMHF endeavors […]

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AMHF presented "No Person Is Untestable" at the early morning poster session of NEPA.

“No Person Will Be Untestable” Presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the New England Psychological Association

The American Mental Health Foundation presented on October 18, 2014, at the New England Psychological Association conference, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. This was the third annual poster presentation made by AMHF. Executive Director Evander Lomke and professional-advisory-board member Dr. William Van Ornum talked to interested convention-goers about the project under development with Pearson Assessments: “No […]

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Young Geraldo Rivera blew the lid off institutional abuse, reporting on Willowbrook.

No Person Will Be Untestable

The idea of equal and quality medical treatment for all Americans was promoted by Hillary Clinton in her efforts to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system in 1992-93. Many believe this goal has now been brought to fruition via the Affordable Care Act. But as it is impossible to ascertain every special medical need through legislation, […]

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What happens with conditions of the brain and development that are new to science

Having an Impact via Social Media

I do not typically “get personal” in posting News Items and Blogs on the AMHF Web site. This one is an exception. I was inspired by a July 21, 2014, article in The New Yorker from reporter Seth Mnookin entitled “One of a Kind”. Several letters to the editor, appearing in the August 11 & […]

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Special Education in Catholic Schools

This subject interests me on many levels. At the beginning of my career in clinical psychology, I worked directly with hundreds of people with developmental disabilities. Serving as an expert witness for parents, I helped to implement the federal laws noted below. Later, as clinical director of a day-treatment program, and serving as a Board […]

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More Abuse in Group Homes

For several years the New York Times has devoted investigative reporting to the issue of abuse in group homes for the developmentally disabled in New York State. This can be an extremely sensitive topic for parents, who read a story like this and wonder how widespread the problem really is. The Times article implies that […]

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A difficult case

Down Syndrome Guardianship Case

The Washington Post reports (August 2, 2013) that a woman with Down syndrome can go against the wishes of her parents regarding where she lives. Jenny Hatch had been under temporary guardianship, being in group homes, and thus “removed from the life she knew.” Hatch wanted to continue living with her friends while continuing to […]

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Will someone love me, will someone need me, when I'm 64?

Lifetime Plans?

It has always been a concern for parents of the developmentally disabled or children with other handicaps: what will happen when the parents die. Now that life span of many of these individuals has increased, there is even a greater focus on the lives of adults who may in older age become “orphaned” by the […]

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Traditional and modern, simultaneously

Modern Pastoral Counseling

On our AMHF blogs we have tried to feature information about where the Venn diagrams of spirituality and counseling intersect. It seems peculiar that many religious people–from many religions–are reticent to link the spiritual resources and traditions of their faith with modern psychology and psychiatry. When people are depressed, psychotic, or anxious, there is a […]

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Dr. Joyce Brothers paved the way for greater understanding of emotional problems.

Dr. Joyce Brothers, R.I.P.

Dr. Joyce Brothers, who paved the way for television figures as diverse as Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer and Dr. Drew Pinsky, and was essential in making the mass-cultural discussion of deep-seated and uncomfortable emotions in the U.S. a more open forum, died yesterday. As my friend notes in the Los Angeles Times obituary—which quotes him […]

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First, the moon; now, the brain (photo by NASA)

The Future, the Brain

President Barack Obama made headlines with his proposal to encourage American scientists to work toward understanding the great mysteries of the brain. Done as a massive project, this could rival past collective enterprises such as Getting a Man to the Moon; when President Kennedy suggested this, it took everyone’s breath away. It looked unattainable in […]

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Sliding Back toward Willowbrook?

Budget Cuts, Nonprofits, and Developmental Disabilities

Several months ago the Cuomo administration announced that budgets for nonprofit agencies serving the developmentally disabled would be cut. This had led to an outcry from parents, community members, and those who work at these agencies. Recently it was announced that the cuts would be changed. Although this is helpful, it still leaves most organizations […]

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Budget Cuts 2013 Endanger Nonprofits

The Mid-Hudson Valley in New York State may be atypical from many other localities: it has the highest proportion of developmentally disabled persons in the country. Over 10,000 developmentally disabled residents from Willowbrook, Letchworth Village, and Wassaic Developmental Center have been re-integrated into the community. A large number of jobs—private and nonprofit—are part of the […]

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The film helped raise awareness of individuals on the autism spectrum but created misleading impressions

Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Rain Man” (1988)

This is the fifteenth movie in the AMHF series of twenty-one. Rain Man won four Academy Awards at the sixty-first Oscars show: Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Director, and Actor—Dustin Hoffman’s second in a remarkable performance. The film revolves around the relationship between a younger, self-centered brother, likewise played to perfection by Tom Cruise, an inheritance, […]

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Robert Ethan Saylor in his happy times

Man with Down Syndrome Dies in Police Custody

A young man with Down syndrome has died at the very hands of the police he idolized, the Washington Post reports. The death of Robert Ethan Saylor, aetat. twenty-six, occurred while being handcuffed with at least three set of cuffs as he was being taken by three deputies from a theater in Frederick County, Maryland. […]

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"Three generations of imbeciles are enough." (OWH)

Eugenics: Beware of History Repeating Itself

After physicists split the atom, unanticipated positive effects emerged—such as medical isotopes—and many negative ones as well. Where do we store the waste? How do we understand fallout and its deadly effect? What happens when there are nuclear plant accidents? Biologists work in a similar environment as they work to split the genome. Once again, […]

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Recommended Books for 2013

From Counseling Today, some recommendations of new books: *The Danger-to-Self-or-Others Exception to Confidentiality (C. Ahia, University Press of America) This topic has been one that has been in the news this past year with tragedies including the movie theater shooting, train deaths in NYC, as well as the Newtown tragedy. The subject is an important […]

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One of the folks at Abilities First

“I didn’t feel right walking away….”

Word from ABILITIES FIRST in Poughkeepsie, NY October 5, 2012, Poughkeepsie, NY—As Dr. Lori Crispi’s term on the board of Abilities First, Inc., a Dutchess County based nonprofit that serves children and adults with disabilities, was coming to an end, she felt that she couldn’t just walk away. “I enjoyed being part of the organization […]

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More from Abraham Low

Previously I’ve written about Recovery International, founded by psychiatrist Abraham Low in the 1940s in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Low initiated a revolutionary brand of treatment that we now call cognitive therapy: by changing one’s thoughts, one could change troublesome feelings and through practice attain better mental health. Dr. Low used the word apprenticeship to denote […]

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