Thursday, July 5, 2012

AUTISM IS A DISABILITY... and not just because it gets you a 'Disability' Parking Spot!

AUTISM IS A DISABILITY!  Autism is a Developmental Disability.  Note the use of People First Language in the title.  Ignorance is running rampant!  Lack of understanding is dangerous!  Lives and livelihoods are at stake!  Stop the senseless bickering and nonsensical comparisons about disabilities, especially if you a affiliated with the disability community(individual, family, agency, organization,etc...).  People with disabilities have enough to contend with in the arenas of non-disabled views and neuro-typical pontifications.  Disability Rights Advocates have fought long battles for parity legislation and are still contending for Equality, Equity, Balance, Fairness, Accessibility, Acceptance, Education, Employment, Health,Housing and other vital rights, resources, services, understanding, acceptance, and support.
Hoping for a universal 'Cease and Desist' order regarding 
AUTISM as a disability will be issued on a global level!

Autism RibbonATN THERE ARE AN INNUMERABLE LIST OF RELIABLE, RELEVANT AND RESOURCEFUL AUTISM & DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AWARENESS, EDUCATION, ADVOCACY AND ACCEPTANCE ENTITIES.  'EnjoyHi5Autism' networks, blogs, and links are just one example. TAKE SOME TIME TO LEARN BEFORE YOU SPEAK, JUDGE, or FORM AN UNINFORMED OPINION. National Autism Awareness Month is every April and  World Autism Awareness Day is every April 2nd.  Acceptance is the key.  Many families living on the Autism Spectrum espouse "EVERY DAY IS AUTISM AWARENESS."  

Below are 2 posts by ThAutcast that prompted 'EnjoyHi5Autism' to pin this raising AUTISM awareness and acceptance commentary. {If you are already aware of and accept Autism is a Disability, simply scroll down to the bottom for these 2 entries.  Otherwise, kindly gain some knowledge and learn to respect Individuals with Developmental Disabilities.  Continue reading and viewing the videos about 'AUTISM IS A DISABILITY.'  Most of the referenced entities effectively utilize social media to communicate their purposes and keep the public and key stakeholders informed and up-to-date.  Click on their blue-highlighted links for more information.}

According to the American Psychological Association the term was first coined by Swiss psychiatrist Paul Eugen Bleuler in 1912, who also coined the term schizophrenia.  The root of the word autism is from the Greek "autos" which means "self". Combine that with the Greek suffix "ismos" which means action or state of being and you get an original root meaning that roughly translates to a state of being absorbed by one's self.  In 1938 Hans Asperger of the Vienna University Hospital adopted the term "autistic psychopaths" as he discussed child psychology. Today a high-functioning form of autism is often diagnosed as Asperger's Syndrome. In 1943 Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins Hospital began using the term autism as we know it today.

... meant by the term "classic" autism? Answer: Classic autism is also referred to as Kanner's autism. Kanner refers to Leo Kanner, the physician who coined the word autism ...

CDC 24/7: Saving Lives. Protecting People. Saving Money through Prevention.


 CDC - Home, Developmental Disabilities, NCBDDD

What are Developmental Disabilities? Developmental disabilities are a diverse group of severe chronic conditions that are due to mental and/or physical ...

What are Developmental Disabilities?

Developmental disabilities are a diverse group of severe chronic conditions that are due to mental and/or physical impairments. People with developmental disabilities have problems with major life activities such as language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living. Developmental disabilities begin anytime during development up to 22 years of age and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.  Learn more about developmental disabilities »

Specific Topics Autism Spectrum Disorders

Inclusion, Integration, Independence, Self-Determination, Productivity

Administration on Developmental Disabilities | Envisioning ...

Administration on Developmental Disabilities, ADD, ADD Future, ADD Envisioning the Future

Transcript: Commissioner's Welcome (PDF) 
Listing of State Councils on DD
To find out more about individual Council and resources available, please click on their web site.
A-I | J-O | P-U | V-Z


Administration on Developmental Disabilities - Wikipedia, the ...  The Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) is the United States federal agency responsible for implementation and administration of the Developmental ...  .

ADD logo

What is a Developmental Disability?

Developmental Disabilities are physical or mental impairments that begin before age 22, and alter or substantially inhibit a person's capacity to do at least three of the following:
  1. Take care of themselves (dress, bathe, eat, and other daily tasks)
  2. Speak and be understood clearly
  3. Learn
  4. Walk/ Move around
  5. Make decisions
  6. Live on their own
  7. Earn and manage an income


Department of Health and Human Services

  Home | Administration for Children and Families

PNS employment grants are designed to improve the employment outcomes of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Learn More

The ADD (The Administration on Developmental Disabilities) works to ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of, and have access to, services, supports, and other assistance and opportunities that promote independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion into the community.
The Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) is the U.S. Government organization responsible for implementation of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, known as the Developmental Disabilities Act, or the DD Act. ADD, its staff and programs, are part of the Administration for Children and Families, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
ADD meets the requirements of the DD Act through the work of its four programs:
  • State Councils on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) Each state has a Developmental Disabilities Council that functions to increase the independence, productivity, inclusion, and community integration of people with developmental disabilities. DDC activities demonstrate new ideas for enhancing people's lives through training activities, through community education and support, by making information available to policy-makers, and by eliminating barriers.
  • Protection and Advocacy Agencies (P&A) Each state has a Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System to empower, protect, and advocate on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities. The P&As are independent of service-providing agencies and offer information and referral services for legal, administrative, and other remedies to resolve problems for individuals and groups of clients. P&As enhance the quality of life of people with developmental disabilities by investigating incidents of abuse and neglect and discrimination based on disability. The P&As also provide an annual opportunity for the public to comment on the objectives, priorities, and activities of the system. This gives clients and others in the community an opportunity to voice their concerns and needs to the P&A.
  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Services (UCEDD) UCEDD is a grant program providing support to a national network of University Centers to support interdisciplinary training, exemplary services, technical assistance, and information/ dissemination activities. University Centers positively affect the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families by increasing their independence, productivity, and integration into communities. University Centers have four broad tasks: conduct interdisciplinary training, promote community service programs, provide technical assistance at all levels (from local service delivery to community and state governments), and conduct research and dissemination activities.
  • Projects of National Significance (PNS) The PNS program awards grants and contracts that promote and increase the independence, productivity, inclusion and integration into the community of persons with developmental disabilities. These projects focus on the most pressing issues for people with developmental disabilities across the country. These projects may involve data collection and analysis, research, technical assistance, projects which improve supportive living and quality of life opportunities, projects to educate policymakers, and efforts to create interagency Federal collaboration.
NACDD serves as the National Voice of State and Territorial Councils on Developmental Disabilities. We support Councils in implementing the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act promoting the interest and rights of people with developmental disabilities and their families. Councils work to promote the independence, integration and productivity of people with developmental disabilities and promote systems change that will eliminate inequities in areas such as employment, education, housing and access to health care.
What Are Developmental Disabilities?
A developmental disability is a severe, chronic disability that begins any time from birth through age 21 and is expected to last for a lifetime. Developmental disabilities may be cognitive, physical, or a combination of both. While not always visible, these disabilities can result in serious limitations in everyday activities of life, including self-care, communication, learning, mobility, or being able to work or live independently. Such disabilities are almost sure to result in a lifetime of dependence on publicly funded services, unless families receive sufficient support, children receive appropriate education, and adults receive appropriate services that enable them to live and work in their local communities.
Approximately 5.4 million Americans have developmental disabilities. Developmental disabilities can occur in any family, no matter what their ethnic, economic, religious or political background.
For more information please visit the
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) 
at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
NASDDDS Report: Realizing the Intent of the DD Act 
Partners in Policymaking

Twenty five years ago, the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities created a      ground-breaking, innovative training program called Partners in Policymaking® to teach parents and self-advocates the power of advocacy to change the way people with disabilities are supported, viewed, taught, live and work. During the past two decades, important issues have been confronted and dramatic changes have been made.
1987-2007, Partners in Policymaking - 21,000 Partners graduates in the United States, 2000 Partners graduates internationally
Navigation links, ADA page head
Current Text of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended including changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-325).  (HTML)| (PDF) The ADA prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandates the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services.
Unless noted, the ADA publications have not yet been updated to reflect
the revisions to the Department's ADA regulations that took effect on March 15, 2011.


Link to Home Page
U.S. Department of EducationSkip Navigation - jump to topic navigation menu
OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) authorizes formula grants to states and discretionary grants to institutions of higher education and other non-profit organizations to support research, demonstrations, technical assistance and dissemination, technology and personnel development and parent-training and information centers.  These programs are intended to ensure that the rights of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their parents are protected.
Charter of the Commission—Public Law 110-315, Sec. 772 — The section of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 authorizing the 
Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities Text | PDF  The final AIM Commission report was posted online on December 6, 2011.
download files MS Word (997KB) | PDF (2.89M)
Additionally, this report is available in DAISY and BRF formats at
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National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)

As part of making special education and related services available to children with disabilities in the public schools, IDEA defines the term “child with a disability.” That definition includes specific disability terms, which are also defined by IDEA, ...  

The IDEA’s disability terms and definitions guide how States in their own turn define disability and who is eligible for a free appropriate public education under special education law. The definitions of these specific disability terms from the IDEA regulations are shown beneath each term listed below. Note, in order to fully meet the definition (and eligibility for special education and related services) as a “child with a disability,” a child’s educational performance must be adversely affected due to the disability. 

1. Autism
…means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engaging in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term autism does not apply if the child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance, as defined in #5 below.
A child who shows the characteristics of autism after age 3 could be diagnosed as having autism if the criteria above are satisfied.
Logo for the National Institute of Mental Health  

Autism Prevalence: More Affected or More Detected?   - National Institute of Mental Health

By Thomas Insel on March 29, 2012  discusses the CDC's latest report on autism prevalence.

What is autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?  Autism is a group of developmental brain disorders, collectively called autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The term "spectrum" refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment, or disability, that children with ASD can have. Some children are mildly impaired by their symptoms, but others are severely disabled.

ASD is diagnosed according to guidelines listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition - Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR).1 The manual currently defines five disorders, sometimes called pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs), as ASD:
  1. Autistic disorder (classic autism)
  2. Asperger's disorder (Asperger syndrome)
  3. Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
  4. Rett's disorder (Rett syndrome)
  5. Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD). 

Since the next major revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will not appear until 2013 (i.e., at least 18 years after DSM-IV was published in 1994), a text revision of DSM-IV, called DSM-IV-TR, was published in July 2000. The primary goal of DSM-IV-TR was to maintain the currency of the DSM-IV text, which reflected the empirical literature up to 1992.


We Believe, Even if We Cannot See


The Premier Source for Developmental Disability News

Autism Surge Due To Diagnostic Changes, Analysis Finds

A new study suggests that changes to autism diagnosis criteria may be more to blame for         rising rates of the developmental disorder than anything else


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AAPD Mission



"disAbilityVOICE - Disability Rights Advocate"
"People with disAbilities are Value-ABLE."


Here are 2 posts by ThAutcast that prompted 'EnjoyHi5Autism' to pin this raising AUTISM awareness and acceptance commentary. 
 [Scroll down for videos related to'AUTISM IS A DISABILITY.'  ]

   Autism Is a Disability

I was a little taken aback by some of the responses to this story about a family with an autistic child who were harassed for using a disabled parking place. There is tremendous resistance to the idea that autism is actually a disability that requires real accommodations, even in our own community.
People wanted to blame the family so much that they made up things that they might have done wrong.
Maybe they didn't have the permit (They did.)
Maybe it wasn't visible (No suggestion of that in the story, not what the officer asked them about.)
Well, anyway, those parking spaces are REALLY for people with REAL disabilities.

Autism is a real disability, folks. And we need to learn to support each other better, because few others are going to. We want so badly to identify with the majority, to pretend our differences don't limit us, that we attack autistic people for needing or getting support.
In order for most autistic people to fully participate in life, we need some accommodations. Those of us who need fewer of them should never sit in judgment of those who need more. And the parents of those who need a lot of support should never assume that the less obvious needs of other autistic people are not real, or that acknowledging them endangers their children.

These are difficult ideas. Brenda Rothman is explaining many of them very clearly in a series of posts about a failure of accommodation when her family visited Walt Disney World. Most recently, she posted her letter to the resort:
It should be of little comfort to you to place the blame on me. Whether I used the "right" language, whether I should have complained, whether I should have requested a supervisor doesn't matter in the end. Partly because we actually did receive the correct disability pass at WDW City Hall, but mostly because denial or ill treatment could happen to anyone, including an autistic. The accommodation request system should be set up with access to the disabled. It should contain system fail-safes to ensure that a disabled person is not denied accommodation because of their very disability - social, language, and communication differences n autism particularly.
Receiving a disabled pass at Disney is of less concern to me than how my son and his fellow autistics are perceived and treated. If Disney, the company that sets the bar for how disabled persons are treated, prioritizes physical disabilities and treats non-apparent disabilities with distrust, then imagine how worse other places will treat them. If a member of the general population at Disney shouts at an autistic child for going through the disabled entrance at an amusement park, where everyone will ride as many rides as they want all day long in a pleasant, stress-free environment, imagine how they will treat an autistic when they feel threatened by a perceived loss of income, job position, taxes, or services...
My concern is not so much individual, but for autistics as a group. WDW should provide accommodations to all autistic persons, not some. WDW should recognize the physical part of autism. WDW should have accommodations and systems already in place for autistics. Autistic persons should not have to prove their needs in a public and dehumanizing way. Autistic persons should not be treated as not really disabled, not as disabled as those with physical disabilities. Autistic persons should not b refused accommodation because they don't appear to have mobility, hearing, or visual disabilities. | A Blogazine for the Aspergers and Autism Community
  Family with Autistic Child Harassed for Using Disabled Parking Spot

Published in Autism         Add new comment
Seven-year-old Joey Avalos and his family were harassed for parking in a spot that they were legally allowed to use because of his autism:
After they finished eating at the restaurant the day before Father's Day, a man driving a hunter-green pickup pulled up behind them. With the engine running, he identified himself as a fire marshal and flashed a badge. Joey covered his ears to muffle the engine noise.
"He then asked us, 'Do you know that that's a handicapped spot?' " Samantha Avalos said. " 'Yes.' I told him. 'Not that it's any matter for you to judge us, but we have an autistic child.' "
The exchange got heated as they tried to explain autism to the man, and Avalos said at one point, they told him to call the police if he thought they were doing something illegal.
The man relented, but not before telling them, "I'm just letting you know this is my job and I'm supposed to enforce parking situations, and your situation is one where you can walk and there were other spots open close to the restaurant."
Chesapeake fire marshal Mike Hoag denies that any of his deputies would have done this:
"It sounds like someone with either a power trip or a beef because they were parking there," he said. "We're here to help people out - not intimidate people or make them feel bad about what they're doing

"Life on the Autism Spectrum can be ENJOYable."

PEATC - Part 1[Parent Education Advocacy Training Center]

PEATC - Part 2 [Parent Education Advocacy Training Center] 

Star Community, Inc Celebration Video

Karen Meyer - WLS [closed caption, American Sign Language with speaking] Plans to integrate people with developmental disabilities into the community                               and out of institutions(2009)

Reflections and New Beginnings - Arlington Developmental Center [Residential Staff reflect on the transition of  the last person from a unit to a home]

DHS Director Lynne Kovich(New Jersey) Addresses plans to build new homes for people with Developmental Disabilities 

Invisible Kansans - Professionals discuss social services budget cuts 
in Developmental Disabilities services (Kansas)

Sharon Lewis - MLK Day 'Shifting Landscapes Current Challenges & Opportunities in DD' Policy - Commission for the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Administration on Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 

Sue Swenson - Countdown to ADA-AAPD

ASAN - Autistic Self-Advocacy Network - 
Commission Sharon Lewis of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities

 AutismNOW - an introduction to the website

Interviewing People with Developmental Disabilities  - Part I
Healthcare Financing Administration (1997)

Interviewing People with Developmental Disabilities  - Part II
Healthcare Financing Administration (1997)

Dr./Psychologist Meredith Griffin - Specialized/Directed Services
Human Services Developmental Disabilities Waiver Program

Kevin Miller introduces keynote speaker Lynnae Rutledge 
at OACB 'Serving People with Developmental Disabilities

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