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International studies conducted by the World Health Organization over the past three decades, have concluded that people with schizophrenia fare better over time in developing countries compared with industrialized nations.  In the current issue of The New York Times Magazine, writer Ethan Watters has an article entitled The Americanization of Mental Illness, wherein he provides some interesting...
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In response to news reports that it may be possible in the future to “cure” Down syndrome by intervening early in development using psychoactive medication, Jenn Power, the mother of identical twins with Down syndrome, responded on the blog Contrarian: “As you know, I have many years of history supporting people with intellectual disabilities. Through...
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Since 2006, Walter Reed Medical Center has been treating soldiers diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) using a healing practice employed in ancient India:  yoga.  Consisting of a series of physical postures, breathing techniques, and relaxation strategies, yoga is seen as instrumental in helping to calm down the autonomic nervous system, or “fight or flight” brain, that has been...
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Researchers at Stanford Medical School have demonstrated that children of bipolar parents score higher on a non-verbal creativity test than children of “healthy” parents.  The study compared creativity scores of 40 bipolar parents and 40 offspring (half of whom had bipolar disorder and the other half of whom had ADHD), with 18 healthy adults and 18 healthy...
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Katie Apostolides, who has Down Syndrome, graduated in 2009 from Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania with an associate’s degree in science.  This makes her one of the first (if not the first) individuals with Down Syndrome to complete a post-secondary degree.  She has had a number of news articles follow her academic progress, including one in...
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A software company in Denmark has created a positive reputation in the industry by hiring people with autistic spectrum disorders because of their special skills.  Seventy-five  percent of the workers at Specialisterne have autism and related conditions.  They specialize in testing computer software and spotting “bugs” that software developers might have missed.  It turns out that their excellent...
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Anxiety can be a crippling disorder.  But in the right quantity at the right time, it can save your life.  A study by William Lee and his colleagues at the Institute for Psychiatry in London in the journal Psychological Medicine, using data from a national British survey of health outcomes, discovered that those individuals who...
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This essay of mine originally appeared in the New Horizons in Education online journal in 2009. The history of special education in the United States is a dramatic one. Without going into the whole legislative history, suffice it to say that during the 1970’s, due in large part to increasing scientific involvement in special needs...
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Despite public fears to the contrary, a new report published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin reveals that schizophrenics are the least likely of any group to commit homicide. According to the report, people have only a one in 14 million risk of being killed by a stranger who has been diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia. ‘What...
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