Not one, but hundreds of autism genes found by researchers

by Sarah Deweerdt – Geoffrey Ondrich and Waylon Cude are both 16 years old. Both boys have autism, and both would rather use their computers than do almost anything else in the world. But that’s just about all they have in common. Waylon is serious and intense, and so is the way he uses his computer: […]

The U.S. role in the global rise of ADHD

by Carolyn Gregoire – Diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have surged globally, rising as much as tenfold in some countries. The disorder has become a cultural and economic phenomenon — but it may not be a medical one, according to one scientist who studies the sociology of health and illness. “Exporting American-based diagnoses […]

First autism database is created for law enforcement

by Michael McFall – The Unified Police Department has rolled out a new program to help them deal appropriately with autistic people, a first of its kind in Utah. On a normal call, officers try to assert dominance to diffuse the situation and maintain control, Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said. But when dealing with someone who is […]

Therapy that looks like all play and no work

by Kate Stringer – To the casual observer, speech pathologist Mary Heath’s job looks like all play and no work. But amongst the building blocks and play dough, Heath helps children find their voices. Heath, 40, works for the Douglas Education Service District Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education program, which helps over 300 infants, […]

More and more, we choose a chemical solution for ADHD

by Belinda Luscombe – Until recently, 90% of all Ritalin takers lived in the U.S. Now, America is home to only 75% of Ritalin users. But that’s not because Americans are using less of the drug, says a Brandeis professor. That’s because ADHD diagnoses, and treatment via pharmaceuticals are growing in other parts of the […]

FDA acknowledges autism risk from Depakote use during pregnancy

by Jane Mundy – Over the past few years, a number of women who took Depakote while pregnant have filed complaints with LawyersandSettlements regarding a possible link to autism. The FDA has finally acknowledged that exposure to Depakote during pregnancy may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorders. In August 2014, AbbVie Inc. (formerly Abbott), […]

Classroom behavior management apps raise privacy worries


By Natasha Singer – For better or for worse, the third graders in Greg Fletcher’s class at Hunter Elementary School always know where they stand. One morning in mid-October, Mr. Fletcher walked to the front of the classroom where an interactive white board displayed ClassDojo, a behavior-tracking app that lets teachers award points or subtract […]

Aggressive boys increasingly put on antipsychotics

by Alan Schwarz – Every time Matthias is kicked out of a school or day camp for defying adults and clashing with other children, his mother, Joelle Kendle, inches closer to a decision she dreads. With each morning of arm-twisting and leg-flailing as she tries to get him dressed and out the door for first […]

Mental health issues of children with intellectual disability need to be addressed

by Richard Hastings, Bruce Tonge, Glenn Melvin, Kylie Gray, Vaso Totsika – High-quality epidemiological research shows children and adolescents with intellectual disability are four times more likely to have diagnosable mental health problems compared to others their age. This mental health inequality clearly needs attention. Part of the problem is a process called diagnostic overshadowing: […]

Let’s train teachers to identify signs of dyslexia

by Elaine Houston – Should teachers in New York State be trained to recognize students with dyslexia? Many parents say “yes.” In fact, parents attending a News Channel 13 education forum this past September urged us to research the issue and we did. Dyslexia is often referred to as the “hidden disability.” Yet, 80 percent […]