All Autistic Behavior is Not Communication

Parents and providers need to recognize when aggression and/or self-injury is driven by biological factors that can be medically treated.

Presume Beneficence

Why is the right (and responsibility) of parents to advocate for their severely autistic and intellectually disabled children being challenged by some Disability Rights advocates?

Data, Not Ideology (Part 2)

Instead of pushing ideologically-based options, why aren't policy-makers investing in evidence-based approaches to increasing happiness in the severely cognitively disabled?

Ideology, Not Data

Some disability advocates and policy makers want to force adults with I/DD into small, dispersed residences. But studies actually suggest size is not the determining factor.

117 Autistic Children and Adults Who Died Deserve Better

Legislation targeting wandering behavior in the developmentally disabled is controversial, but it shouldn't be. Here's everything opponents got wrong about Kevin and Avonte's Law.

Bring on the "Inspiration Porn"

Do stories of compassion and consideration objectify the disabled? In fact, we celebrate connection between different people all the time, as we should.

Education, Not Exploitation

Not all kids with I/DD can succeed in an academic environment. Why we need more options and less judgment.

I Don't Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

Before we can appropriately support the severely developmentally disabled, we need to understand their impairments. Yet parents who describe them are routinely castigated.

How to Fight Back

Agreeing that adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities should have the same rights as the non-disabled is not enough. Here's what we can do to make it happen.

Should Severely Intellectually Disabled Adults Vote?

Our most dependent adults are also the most disenfranchised. Does this create an incentive to neglect them?

Why the FDA's Move to Restrict ECT Should Alarm Us All

The FDA is moving to restrict access to a treatment that 100,000 Americans turn to every year to resolve devastating psychiatric illnesses – including my son. We can stop them.

Censorship in the Name of Privacy

If parents are only permitted to write about their disabled children with their permission, what happens to the stories of our most impaired kids?

Making Severe Autism Visible

Despite many written accounts, severe autism is still not understood by those who have never encountered it. These projects aim to show what this devastating disorder looks like.

Please Stop Whitewashing Autism

Steve Silberman's new book NeuroTribes is just the latest media account to recast autism as a "gift." These Facebook posts reveal, however, that the disorder can also be profoundly disabling. As we set research and policy agendas regarding treatment, education, housing and employment for autistic children and adults, we cannot forget about the most severely impaired.

Is Your Child's Psychiatrist an Autism Expert?

Seventy percent of the autistic population suffers from co-morbid psychiatric disorders, yet psychiatrists receive very little training specific to developmental and intellectual disorders. The Developmental Neuropsychiatry Training Consortium hopes to change that.

Shocking Pseudoscience

In their quest to ban ECT, protesters ignore thousands of studies that support the safety and efficacy of this treatment to ameliorate the symptoms of debilitating and intractable psychiatric illnesses.

Asked and Answered

Hundreds of individuals with developmental disabilities, families, providers and advocates came out yesterday to oppose New Jersey's plan to force all waiver recipients into integrated settings -- whether or not full community inclusion is safe, appropriate, or even desired -- with speakers calling the restrictions "violations of the ADA."

Seinfeld Recants Autism Diagnosis

Although Jerry Seinfeld recanted his autism diagnosis last week, the use of autism and other disorders as slang for various personality traits is ongoing and has a significant impact on those who truly suffer from these conditions. If we can't get society to change, maybe it's time to change the names?

Why has Kelli Stapleton Polarized the Autism Community?

The case of Kelli Stapleton, sentenced this week to 10-22 years after attempting to kill herself and her autistic daughter, Issy, has divided the autism community. Is it possible to raise awareness of the profound challenges faced by those with severe autism and intellectual disability and their families without excusing attempted murder?

Autism Apocalypse by 2025?

MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff recently blamed increasing autism rates on exposure to the herbicide glyphosate and predicted that by 2025 half of all babies born in the U.S. would be autistic, a development that would "risk the demise of the human race and a mass extinction unparalleled by previous events." How would we as a society respond?

Some Kids Really Do Beat Autism, and That's Good News

The recent New York Times article about kids who recovered from autism has generated much debate, from neurodiversity activists who think autism doesn't need to be cured to the parents of severely autistic children who know their children never will be cured. Yet we should all celebrate these findings and their implications for the entire autism community.

To Cage or Not to Cage? That Is Not the Question

As the public has vacillated between condemning the California parents arrested for keeping their autistic son in a cage and sympathizing with their lack of support, we have yet again missed the opportunity to openly discuss the medical treatments available to treat aggressive and self-injurious behaviors in autistic individuals.