Experts tie family history to higher cerebral palsy risk in youths | Mother's birthplace linked to lower cerebral palsy risk in infants | CMS offers guidelines on autism treatments covered by Medicaid
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July 22, 2014
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Disability Update
Experts tie family history to higher cerebral palsy risk in youths
Children who had a twin, sibling or parent with cerebral palsy had significantly higher odds of developing the condition compared with those who did not, a study indicated. The findings warrant further research, which "should consider the possibility of genetic causes as well as genetic susceptibility to environmental causes," researchers wrote in BMJ. (7/15)
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Mother's birthplace linked to lower cerebral palsy risk in infants
The likelihood of developing cerebral palsy was substantially lower among babies born to immigrant mothers in Ontario than those with Canadian-born mothers, according to a study in the journal PLOS One. Mothers who migrated from the Caribbean and East Asia were least likely to birth a child with the condition, researchers said. Science World Report (7/14)
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CMS offers guidelines on autism treatments covered by Medicaid
Medicaid programs across the country need to cover medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services for children with autism, such as applied behavior analysis and speech therapy, the CMS said. Coverage for such treatments was different from state to state, but the introduction of national requirements will have a big effect, advocates said. Disability Scoop (7/17)
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Other News
Assistive Technology
Clinic showcases wheelchair-based sports
An adaptive sports clinic held at the University of Texas at Arlington gave people with disabilities who use power wheelchairs a chance to participate in soccer, hockey and bocce. Clinic organizer Miles Shaffer, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a power wheelchair, said providing opportunities to participate in sports "pushes us further as a society toward equality." The Dallas Morning News (free content) (7/19)
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Analysis: Special-education funding formula creates disparities
A report by the New America Foundation suggests that the formula used by the U.S. Department of Education to distribute special-education funds creates disparity by giving more to smaller states and those with declining enrollment. The report calls on the federal government to update the formula that was created in 1997 and uses 1999-based funding levels. Disability Scoop (7/15)
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Goodwill programs offer students job training, experience
Goodwill's summer paid work-training program for Tennessee students with disabilities or those who are disadvantaged pairs them with a job coach to learn job skills. Goodwill stores in Pennsylvania are holding work programs that give people with disabilities experience at a Goodwill store or a local grocery store. The Tennessean (Nashville) (tiered subscription model) (7/16), The Sentinel (Carlisle, Pa.) (7/19)
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Other News
UCP News
Aquatic exercise can benefit people with CP
In the heat of the summer, jumping in the pool is a refreshing break. But for people with cerebral palsy, it can be therapeutic as well. Recently, UCP interviewed Dr. Deborah Thorpe of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill about the many benefits of swimming for people with CP. Read more on UCP's blog.
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New superhero with CP drawing attention
A young man in Seattle has created a soccer-playing superhero who has cerebral palsy. Inspired by his father, a former professional soccer player, Aaron D'Errico has designed a comic book superhero who he hopes to turn into a narrated motion comic to encourage children to read. The effort has drawn the attention of legendary comic master and creator of Spider-Man, Stan Lee, among others. Read more on UCP's blog.
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People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude."
-- John Maxwell,
American writer, speaker and pastor
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About UCP
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit

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