Newsweek reports on a new study from University College London which claims anti-psychotics are “grossly over-prescribed to people with intellectual disabilities.” Read more
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates the number of adults with any diagnosable mental disorder is nearly 1 in 5, or roughly 43 million Americans. Learn more.
In this investigative series into one of California’s largest group homes for children with mental disabilities and emotional disorders, ProPublica journalists expose failures at nearly every level to protect its troubled residents. The insitution at the center of the story, FamiliesFirst in Davis, was raided by police in June 2013 after a year of responding to hundreds of calls about drug use, rape, violence and negligence. According to reporter Joaquin Sapien’s explanation of how the story was covered, the investigators obtained data through public records requests and drew from interviews with more than three dozen subjects, including social workers and children who worked and lived in the home.
Read more, and watch the accompanying documentary “Sule’s Story,” at ProPublica.
Parents have long struggled to find compassionate health care for adult children with profound disabilities. Those in Kentucky now have a place to go. Read more.
Leon Jones, 64, has an intellectual disability and a swollen right hand that aches from 40 years of hanging live turkeys on shackles that swing them to their slaughter. He also may be the last working member of the so-called Henry’s Boys — men recruited from Texas institutions decades ago to eviscerate turkeys, only to wind up living in virtual servitude, without many basic rights. Read more
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last week to hear San Francisco’s appeal of a ruling allowing a knife-wielding woman with schizophrenia to sue police for shooting her, a case that could set standards for police treatment of people with disabilities. Read more
People with invisible disabilities such as autism often endure unique struggles in finding jobs in standard workplace environments, from actually getting hired to dealing with the workplace itself. Read more
An expert in psychology on Friday told a commission investigating the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that there is no data linking autism to violent tendencies. Matthew Lerner, a professor at Stony Brook University, was among a group of experts who testified on autism spectrum disorder and programs available to help people with autism.
The commission is considering whether the state of Connecticut’s mental health programs are adequate in treating people with mental disabilities, specifically in regard to Adam Lanza, the gunman who killed 28 people in a December 2012 school shooting rampage, including himself. Lanza, 20, was diagnosed with profound autism spectrum disorder in 2006. Read more.
The Food and Drug Administration cleared a new blood test on Friday that can detect mental disabilities in infants. The laboratory test called CytoScan Dx Assay is not intended for prenatal screening but for helping doctors diagnose some developmental disabilities earlier, such as Down syndrome and DiGeorge syndrome.
Whereas other existing tests are generally only used after a child starts exhibiting signs of a disorder, doctors said the new test should be available to use before any signs occur to help get appropriate care right away. Read more.