Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Asperger’s: By Any Name Deserving Early and Effective Treatment

I am a guest blogger for Ruderman Family Foundation blog, "Zeh Lezah". This translates from the Hebrew to that we are all "responsible for one another".  Here is my first entry as a gust blogger. To become a subscriber to this very intersting blog, follow this link:

Guest blogger Jo Ann Simons, President/CEO Cardinal Cushing Centers, Hanover, MA

In less than two years, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will be published by the American Psychiatric Association. This detailed book functions as a bible for countless physicians and other health care professionals, as well as government, insurance and legal agencies. Clinicians worldwide use it to diagnose and develop treatment plans and options for mental illnesses and disabilities. But this edition, the 5th, brings with it a huge change: eliminating Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder as separate diagnosis. Instead, both diagnoses will be considered an unnamed subset of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Of course change is rarely greeted with complete enthusiasm and these plans are no exception. Some advocates feel the new definition of Autism Spectrum Disorder is too broad and many within the Asperger’s community prefer being separate from the general autism category. Still others believe it will lead to earlier identification of individuals with what is now called Asperger’s and this in turn will lead to earlier and more effective services. Professionals, too, are divided on the potential impact of this change, with proponents arguing it will give more freedom to physicians to make a diagnosis and greater latitude to decide the best course of treatment on a case-by-case basis.

Here at the Cardinal Cushing Centers, we welcome any change that leads to earlier identification and intervention which in turn leads to improved lives and outcomes for people with disabilities. Although it’s too early to assess the impact of this change and the debate is certain to continue over the next two years and well beyond, there is one other planned change in DSM-5 that we can all get behind: changing the diagnostic term “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability.” This will bring the DSM criteria into alignment with terminology used by other disciplines and organizations and serve as a potent reminder that this disability deserves the consideration and respect of every other one.

– Jo Ann Simons

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cushing Family Member Throwing Out Ceremonial First Pitch Tonight

DUXBURY, Mass. -- A longtime employee of VERC Enterprises is warming up in the bullpen. John Burgess has been selected to throw out the first pitch at the Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park

tonight and I will be there!!!   Join the pre-game show and look for John.

Burgess works at the VERC Pembroke Mobil location stocking the shelves and cooler, and providing general maintenance. Nestle Water is honoring Burgess, one of 40 disabled/challenged employees at VERC, with the chance to take the mound based on his 19 years of service to VERC and his love for his hometown baseball team.

Burgess will get an up-close chance to see his favorite player David Ortiz from a seat of honor. Joining him at the game will be his girlfriend, his father and Richard Cleary, manager of the VERC Pembroke Mobil store.

"We're absolutely thrilled that John will have a chance to throw the first pitch at what should be a great game," said Leo Vercollone, president of VERC Enterprises. "John is a valued employee who always comes to work with a smile on his face -- I have a feeling that smile will be bigger than ever following [the Sept. 15] Red Sox game."

VERC Enterprises is well known for reaching out the disabled community. Earlier this summer the c-store operators -- with locations in Eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire -- hit its goal of having 20 percent of its workforce made up of disabled and/or challenged individuals, as CSNews Online previously reported.

Member of Cardinal Cushing Family Throwing Out Ceremonial First Pitch#.TnIC7VRmZDY.blogger

VERC Employee Throwing Out Ceremonial First Pitch#.TnIC7VRmZDY.blogger

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Noah Picked the Winning Number

 So, you all see that it was a fair drawing, here is a picture of Noah and Donna a member of the teaching staff. Here is what Noah wrote:
Today I got chosen to choose a number from a bucket for the President of our school I felt honored being chosen for this especially since I am a new student. It made me feel welcome here. I number I chose was...32!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You Did It!!!

I promised that I would give away an Ipod shuffle when I reached 50 followers on my blog and we are at 50.I will assign each of you a number between 1 and 50.  Tomorrow, I will put numbers 1-50 in a bag-shake it up and have a student pull one out.  I will notify the winner and I hope to continue to bring you interesting blog entries and another prize drawing....
In the meantime, I want to share with you some photos from our tribute to Hanover's first responders, which we had yesterday to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  Hanover's Police, Fire and EMT's support us each and every day. They are here for us and I was so proud of our student's yesterday who showed their thanks. They read poems, presented them with art work and we all joined together in singing, "Proud to be An American."
A tree was dedicated as well.