CLINICIANS VALIDATE THE ABILITY OF THE SUPPORTS INTENSITY SCALE ASSESSMENT TO MEASURE THE INTENSITY OF SUPPORT NEEDS OF PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
A group of five clinicians from the Dual Diagnosis Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Ontario, Canada, ranked the support needs of 50 people with intellectual disabilities as Low, Medium, or High based on written client descriptions that were part of an assessment package for services and then compared the rankings to the scores gleaned from the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) assessment. The SIS is an assessment tool that measures the support needs of a person with an intellectual disability in 85 life areas to help professionals plan services according to the individual’s goals and needs. In the study, it was found that groups with clinician-rated Low, Medium, and High Needs had significantly different SIS Support Needs Index scores in six of seven SIS subscale scores. These results suggest that SIS scores provide valid information regarding the intensity of support needs of individuals with intellectual disability currently receiving services.
The results of this study titled, “Support for the construct validity of the Supports Intensity Scale based on clinician rankings of need” by Jonathan A. Weiss et al., are published in the September/October 2009 issue of Research in Developmental Disabilities. Click here to read the study. To learn more about the Supports Intensity Scale, visit www.siswebsite.org.
PRESIDENT OBAMA TO SIGN THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIESIn a ceremony that was timed to coincide with the nineteenth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), on July 26, 2009, President Obama announced his intention to sign the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), marking a shift in the perception of disability as a human rights issue as opposed to a health or social welfare issue. The UN treaty calls on all countries to guarantee equal benefits, protection, and justice for individuals with disabilities around the world. Signature indicates the country’s interest in joining this treaty, and begins a process in which the US Senate will review and provide advice and consent for ratification. The United Nations estimates that there are 650 million people with disabilities globally and approximately 87% of the world’s population now resides in countries that have signed or ratified the CRPD.
Read more in a news release issued by the United States International Council on Disabilities.
DESIGNING POSITIVE BEHAVIOR PLANS GIVES TEACHERS AND PROVIDERS STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO UNDERSTAND, DESIGN, AND EVALUATE POSITIVE BEHAVIOR SUPPORT PLANS FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES
A new book from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) provides research-based best practices on implementing positive behavior support plans for people with intellectual disabilities in school and service settings. Designing Positive Behavior Support Plans (Second edition) written by Linda M. Bambara and Timothy P. Knoster breaks down all the steps it takes to gather important information about problem behaviors, develop comprehensive support plans, and evaluate the success of a plan. The second edition of the book has twice the subject matter and contains several new sections and updates. To read more about this book including reviews and purchase it, click here.
GENETIC MARKER LINKED TO PROBLEM BEHAVIORS IN ADULTS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
A common variation of the gene involved in regulating serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain may be linked to problem behaviors in adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, new research indicates. The findings are published in the July 2009 issue of the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AJMR). To read “Monoamine Oxidase A Promoter Gene Associated With Problem Behavior in Adults With Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities” by Michael E. May et al., click here. “This research suggests one way we might predict which individuals are at risk of being aggressive and destructive and provide treatment before problems occur,” said Craig Kennedy, a co-author of the study and professor of special education at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education and Human Development.
AJMR is published by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (www.aaidd.org). To see a table of contents from the current issue of AJMR, click here. To learn more about the journal, click here.
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH IN THE NEWS: NEW REPORT ON PRENATAL EXPOSURE TO POLLUTANTS AFFECTING A CHILD’S IQ AND PUBLIC FORUM ON TOXIC CHEMICALS AND PUBLIC HEALTH TO BE HELD IN ILLINOIS IN OCTOBER
Prenatal exposure to environmental pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can adversely affect a child’s intelligence quotient, or IQ, according to new research by the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health. Children exposed to high levels of PAHs in New York City had full scale and verbal IQ scores that were 4.31 and 4.67 points lower respectively, than those of less exposed children. PAHs are chemicals released into the air from the burning of coal, diesel, oil and gas, or other organic substances, such as tobacco. To read a news release on the study, visit http://www.mailmanschool.org/news/display.asp?id=770. To read an abstract on the study titled, “Prenatal Airborne Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Exposure and Child IQ at Age 5 Years” published in the August issue of Pediatrics click here.
On October 2, 2009, from 2-4 pm US EST, seven national groups are hosting a public forum on toxic chemicals and public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The purpose of this forum is to raise awareness among policymakers of the various risks posed by toxic chemical exposures on brain development. Anticipated speakers include Illinois House Representative, Elaine Neckritz; Illinois Attorney General, Congressman Bobby Rush; Dr. Peter Orris and Dr. Anju Usman; and concerned citizens. The forum is being hosted by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the Learning Disabilities Association of America, and the Autism Society of America in partnership with Illinois PIRG, Environment Illinois, the Association for Individual Development, and the Institute on Disability and Human Development at UIC. To RSVP, please contact Laura Abulafia, Director of Education and Outreach of the AAIDD Environmental Health Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org. To download a Save the Date notice and learn more about the AAIDD Environmental Health Initiative, visit www.aaidd.org/ehi.
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH LAUNCHES DETAILED PLAN ON CONDUCTING RESEARCH INTO FRAGILE X SYNDROME
The National Institutes of Health has developed a research plan to advance the understanding of fragile X syndrome and its associated conditions, fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome and fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency. Fragile X syndrome causes intellectual and developmental disabilities and results from a mutation in a gene on the X chromosome. The plan puts forward goals to guide future research, setting research priorities for each of the conditions.
To read the research plan titled NIH Research Plan on Fragile X Syndrome and Associated Disorders click here.