Invisible Disabilities

Addressing neurological disorders

Invisible Disabilities

I host a radio weekly internet radio show on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel calledLife Altering Events. People often ask me what exactly is a life altering event? I tell them this: It can be something we choose or something that is thrust upon us that dramatically alters the trajectory of our life.

Now, everyone has those “Aha” moments or events that changed your life for better or worse. These life altering events occur in every aspect our professional and personal live, and in the lives of our family. Try as we may, it is impossible to completely separate the events in our personal life from events in our professional life. Believe me, I tried and failed miserably.

What Life altering events present us with opportunities to seize the moment and make difference in our own life, the lives of our loved ones. They also can be a fork in the road where we have a choice; we can fall apart or we can the courage to pick up the pieces, deal with our grief and start moving forward toward better times and better people. It is never too late to have the life you want and deserve.

On September 3, 2019, we will discuss one of the most heartbreaking life altering events, discovering your child has been diagnosed for an incurable disease or disability. Then the fear, panic, and questions set in. As a parent your world falls apart. How did this happen? What did I do wrong? What can I do now? Who do I go to for help? Will my child need a full time caretaker? I will not put my child in a home! Will he/she be able to attend school? What kind of school? Will he/she be able to live an independent life? How will my child survive after I die?

Some disabilities are obvious. People can see a child in a wheelchair, spinal bifida, or cerebral palsy, and maybe even understand what a family is going through. But what about the invisible disabilities?

Neurodevelopment disorders like autism or ADHD. The outward signs are not obvious. We have all seen people react as if a child with these disorders is simply unruly, or the parents cannot control their child. These reactions add to the already overwhelming stress for these families.

The latest estimate of autism is affects—the updated incident report for ASD is 1:59 children in the US—is over 30% percent from the 1 in 88 rate reported in 2008, and more than double the 1 in 150 rate in 2000.

According to the parent reports, 6.4 million children (11% of this age group 4–17 years) have been diagnosed with ADHD, and rates are increasing an average of approximately 5% per year since 2003.

The numbers are staggering, but there is hope coming out of the research, testing and development at University of California Davis' MIND Institute.

I will be interviewing three of the best minds in the world of neurological disorder reseach. Dr. Leonard Abbeduto,the Director, UC Davis MIND Institute and Tsakopoulos-Vismara Endowed Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine.

Dr. Julie Schweitzer Director, Attention, Impulsivity, Regulation (AIR)/ADHD Program UC Davis MIND Institute; CoCenter Mentoring Director of the MIND Institute;

Dr. Judy Van de Water, Dr. Van de Water’s laboratory pursues research programs pertaining to autoimmune and clinical immune-based disorders including the biological aspects of autism spectrum disorders. This includes understanding the role of the maternal immune system during pregnancy in healthy and altered neurodevelopment.

The UC Davis MIND Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) is a collaborative international research center, committed to the awareness, understanding, prevention, and treatment of the challenges associated with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

In 1998, families of children with autism helped found the UC Davis MIND Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders). They envisioned experts from every discipline related to brain development working together toward one goal: finding and developing treatments to reduce the challenges and improve the quality of life for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families.

Today, the MIND Institute brings together members of the community, including families, educators, physicians, psychologists, and scientists. They are collaborating to understand and develop treatments for the challenges facing individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Fragile X Syndrome, Down syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome, and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Join us for this conversation that could change your life.

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Frank Zaccari

Written five books based on life altering events; teaches aspiring entrepreneurs at Arizona State; mentor with the Veterans Treatment Court and University of California Entrepreneurship Academy; Radio show host - Life Altering Events

See all posts by Frank Zaccari