Dear AAIDD Friends and Colleagues:
LATEST ISSUE OF THE AMERICAN JOURNAL ON INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES CONTAINS FINDINGS FROM A NATIONAL SURVEY OF OVER ONE THOUSAND FAMILIES OF INDIVIDUALS WITH FRAGILE X SYNDROME; EDITORIAL REFLECTS ON UTILITY OF SURVEYS IN UNDERSTANDING A DISABLING CONDITION
The November 2010 issue of the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AJIDD) contains 4 papers by Donald Bailey, Jr. et al. on the results of a survey of more than one thousand parents whose families are affected by fragile X syndrome and its associated disorders. The issues covered by these papers include seizures; self injurious behavior; and obesity and physical activity. Also included is an article on how this parent survey has provided new information about the nature and consequences of fragile X syndrome in a cost-effective fashion, suggesting that survey methodology has a useful place in creating new knowledge about intellectual and developmental disabilities. Read an editorial by Dr. Len Abbeduto on The National Fragile X survey. Learn more about AJIDD. AJlDD is published by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD).
WHILE SCIENCE INDICATES THAT HIGHER INTAKE OF ALCOHOL DURING PREGNANCY ADVERSELY AFFECTS THE FETUS, TWO NEW STUDIES SHOW LITTLE OR NO EFFECTS OF OCCASIONAL OR LIGHT DRINKING BY THE MOTHER DURING PREGNANCY
Scientific data continues to indicate that higher intake of alcohol during pregnancy adversely affects the fetus, and could lead to very severe developmental or other problems in the child. However, two recent publications that sparked controversy show little or no effects of occasional or light drinking by the mother during pregnancy, stirring strong reactions worldwide.
A very large population-based observational study from the United Kingdom found that at the age of 5 years, the children of women who reported light (no more than 1-2 units of alcohol per week or per occasion) drinking did not show any evidence of impairment on testing for behavioral and emotional problems or cognitive ability. The findings from this study are published in an article titled “A new method of prenatal alcohol classification accounting for dose, pattern and timing of exposure: improving our ability to examine fetal effects from low to moderate alcohol” by C M O'Leary et al., in the November 2010 issue of The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Read an abstract of the article.
A second study, published in Pediatrics, based on a population in Western Australia examined the associations between dose, pattern, and timing of prenatal alcohol exposure and birth defects and found that there was no association between low or moderate prenatal alcohol exposure and birth defects. Read an abstract on “Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Risk of Birth Defects” by E Geelhoed et al.
THE SUPPORTS INTENSITY SCALE ASSESSMENT® WILL SOON BE AVAILABLE IN 14 LANGUAGES; NEW STUDY EVALUATES THE RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY OF A SPANISH VERSION ON SIS
The original English edition of the Supports Intensity Scale® (SIS) is joined by foreign language editions of Catalan, Czech, Chinese (Complex), Croatian, Dutch, French, Hebrew, and Italian, and soon, an Icelandic version as well as Korean and Portuguese translations of SIS will be published. The Supports Intensity Scale measures support needs of an adult with an intellectual disability in 85 areas in order to help professionals such as case managers plan services based on individualized needs. Learn more at www.siswebsite.org.
Also in SIS news, a study published in the November 2010 issue of the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AJIDD) evaluates the reliability and validity of a Spanish version of the Supports Intensity Scale administered on a sample population in Spain. Read “Adaptation and Psychometric Properties of the Spanish Version of the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS)” by Miguel-Angel Verdugo et al.
Questions on SIS? Send an email to the Director of the Supports Intensity Scale Program, Ravita Maharaj at email@example.com.
U.S. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION ANNOUNCES $10.9 MILLION IN AWARDS UNDER NEW PROGRAMS THAT HELP STUDENTS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES TRANSITION TO POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the award of $10.9 million for 28 grants under two new federal programs that create opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to attend and be successful in higher education. Of the $10.9 million, $10.564 million is being awarded to 27 two- and four-year institutions of higher education or consortia of institutions under the model comprehensive Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID). The Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts-Boston will receive a separate grant of $330,000 to fund a coordinating center to support these TPSID grantees as well as other programs around the country that are working to transition students with cognitive disabilities into higher education. Read a press release.
In related news, the 2010 State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities will be held on October 28 and 29, 2010 at Mason’s new hotel and conference center in Fairfax, VA. The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is a co-sponsor of the event. Learn more about the event.
GENETIC DEFECT FOUND TO CAUSE SEVERE EPILEPSY AND INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY
A research team at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva, Israel has detected a genetic mutation resulting in a progressive disease of severe intellectual disability and epilepsy beginning at infancy. The team, led by BGU Prof. Ohad Birk of the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev determined that the defect is associated with the production of the 21st amino acid, selenocysteine (SEC), which leads to progressive brain atrophy. Read an abstract of “Mutations Disrupting Selenocysteine Formation Cause Progressive Cerebello-Cerebral Atrophy” by Orly Agamy et al. published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
WEBINAR ON NOVEMBER 18 ON FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITIES IN INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY FOR EARLY AND MID-CAREER PROFESSIONALS
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) and The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) are collaborating on a series of webinars aimed at meeting the needs of students, trainees, and early career professionals in the field of disabilities. On November 18, from 4-5pm US Eastern Standard Time, a webinar on “Fellowship Opportunities for Early and Mid-Career Professionals” will be held featuring Joe Caldwell, PhD, Director of Long-Term Services and Supports Policy at the National Council on Aging and Adjunct Assistant Research Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Anne Riordan, MS, Project Specialist with AUCD. Register at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/355760547.
AAIDD F.Y.I. is compiled by Anu Prabhala, Editor, and is published by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Formerly AAMR). Please submit comments, suggestions, tips, and news to firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn about AAIDD products, visit http://bookstore.aaidd.org. For more information on becoming an AAIDD member, visit www.aaidd.org.
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