Disability News Weekly Roundup – Monday, July 28 – Friday, August 1

Human Interest:
The kids who beat autism (The New York Times Magazine)
No one has figured out what happens inside the brains of people who had autism but no longer do – whether, for example their brains were different from those of other autistic children to begin with, or whether their brains were similar but then changed because of treatment. But recent research on autistic toddlers reveals just how malleable the autistic brain can be.

Special needs children benefit from mainstreaming (PsychCentral)
Researchers at Ohio State University have found the practice of educating children with special needs in regular classes helps to improve the language skills of preschoolers with disabilities. The researchers found that the average language skills of a child’s classmates in the fall significantly predicted the child’s language skills in the spring – especially for children with disabilities. These findings support inclusion policies in schools that aim to have students with disabilities in the same classrooms as their typically developing peers.

In first, state adopts updated ‘handicapped’ symbol (Disability Scoop)
Under a new bill, New York will become the first state to require all new and replacement signage used to signify accessibility for people with disabilities to include a more active, in-motion image of a person using a wheelchair. The state will also change the terminology on such signs, employing the word “accessible” instead of “handicapped.”

Movie theaters may soon be more accessible (Disability Scoop)
Officials at the US Department of Justice are proposing new rules that would require movie theaters to offer captioning and audio description to ensure access for people with hearing and vision disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the proposal, theaters would be required to provide a specific number of closed captioning and audio description devices.

When the caregivers need healing (The New York Times)
All parents endure stress, but studies show that parents of children with developmental disabilities experience depression and anxiety far more often. However, a study published recently in the journal Pediatrics offers hope. It found that just six weeks of training in simple mindfulness and “positive adult development” led to significant reductions in stress, depression, and anxiety among these parents.

Wearable device for early detection of common diabetes-related neurological condition (Science Daily)
Researchers at National Taiwan University Hospital have developed an optical technology that may be able to detect an early complication of diabetes sooner, when it is more easily treated. The small wearable device, called a pupillometer, can hang on a pair of eyeglasses and is only slightly heavier than Google Glass. It is designed to be worn for about half an hour, during which time it monitors the person’s pupils. By measuring five parameters associated with the pupils, doctors may then be able to detect the earliest signs of diabetic autonomic neuropathy.

11-year-old creates unbreakable, spill-proof cup for Parkinson’s (DisabledGo)
An 11-year-old girl from Chicago has designed a spill-proof cup for her grandfather, who has Parkinson’s disease. The Kangaroo Cup features three stabilizing “legs,” is made from unbreakable BPA-free plastic, and is easily stackable. The article includes a video demonstrating the cup.

Using cardboard to bring disabled children out of the exile of wrong furniture (The New York Times)
Design students and volunteers at a storefront workshop in New York City’s garment district are using Elmer’s, hot glue, and cardboard to make furniture that allows children with disabilities to sit, eat, and play with their classmates at standard-size tables. Each piece is built to the precise dimensions required for the child by Adaptive Design, a tiny, life-changing nonprofit enterprise. According to its executive director, all designs are open-source. Adaptive Design encourages people to copy and replicate – with credit.

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