Defenceless in the face of possible sexual victimization

Why we need quality sex education for our students with developmental disabilities, too

Defenceless in the face of possible sexual victimizationWhen my sister, who has a developmental disability, and I were growing up in the 1970s and ’80s, neither of us received very much formalized education on sexual health. I eventually learned what I needed to, through friends, the media and books, but she had access to none of that. As a result, she and…

Over-medicating to manage behaviour is damaging and wasteful

It’s time to talk about the overuse of antipsychotics among adults with developmental disabilities

Over-medicating to manage behaviour is damaging and wastefulBy Yona Lunsky University of Toronto and Tara Gomes St. Michael’s Hospital Inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medications – drugs like Risperdal, Zyprexa and Abilify – to seniors, especially those in long-term care with conditions like dementia, has been a hot topic across Canada in recent years. We’ve also increasingly heard about the high numbers of these medications…

Earlier intervention could help Canadians with autism avoid crises

More resources in the community and better training for emergency services are needed

Earlier intervention could help Canadians with autism avoid crisesBy Yona Lunsky University of Toronto and Jonathan Weiss York University The long wait times at hospital emergency rooms across the country are not just a cause for complaint. The high costs associated with emergency services also affect the finances of our publicly funded health system. What’s often lost in these discussions are the ways…

Mental health system ignores those with developmental disabilities

Almost half of those with developmental disabilities are diagnosed with mental illness or addiction and are among the most frequent visitors to ERs

Mental health system ignores those with developmental disabilitiesBy Yona Lunsky University of Toronto and Robert Balogh University of Ontario Institute of Technology With the recent federal commitment to increase mental health funding across Canada, we need to turn our attention toward a group of individuals who are invisible within Canada’s mental health system – a group that has some of the greatest…