Recommended Reading for August 31, 2010

Pamela Paul for the New York Times: Can Preschoolers be Depressed?

In the winter of 2009, when Kiran was 5, his parents were told that he had preschool depression, sometimes referred to as “early-onset depression.” He was entered into a research study at the Early Emotional Development Program at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, which tracks the diagnosis of preschool depression and the treatment of children like Kiran. “It was painful,” Elizabeth says, “but also a relief to have professionals confirm that, yes, he has had a depressive episode. It’s real.”

Mary Crawford for the APA Monitor: Parenting with a disability: The last frontier

Social psychologist and bioethicist Asch says that a lack of familiarity may be one reason for professionals’ biases toward people with disabilities. “Very few professionals know people with disabilities as peers,” says Asch, who teaches at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass. “Their only contact with people with disabilities is in a crisis situation, where the professional is [called on for help]. So the notion among some professionals is that people with disabilities always need help and can never give help or nurturance to another human being or provide a child with security or protection.”

Naomi Jacobs for the Guardian‘s Comment is Free: Disabled people do have sex lives. Get over it.

This is not a story about “taxpayers’ money” – most disabled people who have local authority-funded care plans are only allowed to spend these on basic services such as help with washing and dressing. What it is really about is moral outrage over an isolated case, which is also a smokescreen for much more disturbing attitudes towards disabled people’s lives.

CBC News: Down Syndrome group slams Emmys

“With race, sexual orientation and disability, you are talking people’s core identity — things that are unchangeable,” she said. “What do we get out of making fun of things that people cannot change, other than degrading them and making them feel they are not part of society.”

Amber Dance for the Los Angeles Times: In the Works: Microneedle patches could take the sting out of shots

The Band-Aid-like patches, coated with microscopic needles, generally don’t hurt. Moreover, they may actually work better at delivering vaccines and some medications, according to recent research.

3 Comments

  1. I love how the board member of NDSC said Glee had a better portrayal of Down Syndrome than Family Guy. WTF.

    I haven’t seen the Family Guy episode and while the plotline sounds positive/neutral from what I’ve heard, it makes me really upset that people are apparently using the song lyrics to make fun of people with Down Syndrome in real life. If the average person is going to watch that episode and use it as a weapon, maybe Family Guy was irresponsible to write that song, even sarcastically.

    However, I am really annoyed that she said Glee is better. Glee is only good about ID on a really superficial, gooey level where it constantly pats itself on the back. If I understand what the Family Guy episode was about, it was sarcastic but at the heart actually treated the character with DS like a person and not a vehicle for other people to show how nice they are. I wish that people would value portrayals that are satirical but ultimately respectful over portrayals that are “heartwarming” but fucked up at the core.

  2. I think absolutely kids can get depression.
    I can remember being in kindergarten and first grade and crouching crying under the dining room crying for hours & hours feeling so overwhelmed I wanted to die. No physical pain at the time other than maybe a few fleeting hints of what was to come later. My parents hassled me about it and about how sad I felt since I was a kid, kids don’t have anything to be depressed about right? Well… the high stress home and school environment what with the domestic situations and bullying probably didn’t help any.
    Unfortunately I still haven’t ever gotten a formal diagnosis. Does a tentative one from a school counselor count?

    The kids are quoted as saying stuff and doing stuff that sounds awfully similar to what I was saying and doing when I was about that age. I did okay in school work and stuff but social wise I think there was something going on there.

    I’ve struggled off & on with depression ever since then. It doesn’t have my priority right now… but I would not question whether or not kids can get depressed.

  3. The Toronto police are at it again – killing and imprisonment of people with disabilities, and their “crimes” are a direct result of the disabilities. Please spread the word.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/854757–police-knew-of-mental-illness-before-fatal-shooting-family?bn=1

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2010/08/22/g20-mccullough-crossbow-jail.html

    Thank you,
    Dar