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IDD Updates - Week of January 22, 2012
January 24, 2012

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) have established a joint partnership to address models of support and services for persons with intellectual disabilities, autism, and mental health issues. Fred Lokuta will serve as the ODP lead. This initiative is intended to “re-define commitment” in the state through the development of:

  • A sustainable resource base, which defines new and innovative outcomes and ideas;
  • Multifaceted competency among the partners;
  • A network of all stakeholders to open doors, create opportunities, and enrich the lives of individuals; and
  • A proactive service delivery system.

The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) January 20 news release indicated a proposed change in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) for autism. The revised manual (to be released in 2013) may include a new category called autism spectrum disorder which would include several previously separate diagnoses including autistic disorder, Asperger’s, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder. The change proposal would have these four disorders classified from mild to severe, rather than just a simple yes or no diagnosis. The APA believes this offers a more accurate diagnosis and will help design better treatment interventions. A copy of the press release is available at www.psych.org. Criteria proposed for the DSM-5 is posted at www.dsm5.org.

President Obama’s State of the Union address today will feature a live panel with senior White House advisors answering questions about the speech (WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU) immediately afterwards. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday a group of policy experts and advisors to the President will have “Office Hours on Twitter.”  The Disability Policy session is on January 27 at 9:00 a.m. Ask a question on Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat. The full Q&A will be posted at WhiteHouse.gov.

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