DHDD Newsletter - October 2019

Newsletter-Human Development and Disability: Improving Health, Helping Children

A Note from the DHDD Director:

October 1st was the beginning of our new fiscal year, and we officially welcomed the Surveillance Team, Epidemiology Team, and “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” Team to DHDD’s Child Development and Disability Branch. We are excited to work with these teams to continue our progress toward optimizing the health and development of children and adults with, or at risk for, disabilities.

Patricia Dietz, Branch Chief
Child Development and Disability Branch

Patricia Dietz

Patricia Dietz, DrPH, is DHDD’s newest Chief of the Child Development and Disability Branch (CDDB). CDC’s CDDB works to improve early identification of developmental delays and disabilities, track those identified, investigate potential risk and protective factors, and better understand outcomes and service needs. Dr. Dietz previously served as Chief of the Developmental Disabilities Branch, Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders at CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). Dr. Dietz also served as Associate Director for the Program and Performance Improvement Office in the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP). She joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1994 as an officer with the Epidemic Intelligence Service and has since served in multiple roles in the Division of Reproductive Health, the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, and NCHHSTP before joining NCBDDD. Dr. Dietz received a Master of Public Health at the University of North Carolina and a Doctorate of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Georgina Peacock, Director, DHDD

In the Spotlight

Public Health Grand Rounds speakers

Pictured: (Back row (left to right)) – Susan Havercamp, PhD (Ohio St. Univ.), Tim Shriver, PhD (Special Olympics), John Iskander, MD, MPH (CDC), Georgina Peacock, MD, MPH, FAAP (CDC); (Front row (left to right)) – Phoebe Thorpe, MD (CDC) and Liz Weintraub (AUCD).

A CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds on Intellectual Disabilities Look at Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities among U.S. Children

On October 15th, DHDD was honored to welcome our partners Susan Havercamp, PhD, FAAID (Ohio State University), Liz Weintraub (Association of University Centers on Disabilities), and Tim Shriver, PhD (Special Olympics) to present Addressing Disparities in Health Care for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities at CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds (PHGR). This session of Public Health Ground Rounds highlighted efforts to improve health outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities, and how data can be a useful tool to help communities and healthcare professionals reach this goal.

View a recording of this session.

Also, check out a special Beyond the Data conversation with Liz Weintraub and Tim Shriver, where they discuss disability inclusion and how to better understand the needs of people with ID.

A mother and daughter visit the doctor
October is ADHD awareness month!

Being healthy is important for all children and can be especially important for children with ADHD. The core symptoms of ADHD, like impulsivity and inattention, might lead children to behave in ways that can put their health at risk or cause them to forget healthy and protective behaviors. Over time, if not addressed, these risks can lead to injury, disease, or even an earlier-than-expected death.
Having a healthy lifestyle can help children with ADHD deal with stress and difficulties in their daily lives.

Learn more about health risks associated with ADHD and about CDC resources for supporting healthy habits that can help protect children from long-term health risks.

On October 16, DHDD staff participated in a twitter chat on ADHD hosted by the National Institute of Mental Health (@NIMHgov ) to discuss signs, symptoms, treatments, current research, and tips for helping children and adults with ADHD. #NIMHchats.

CDCs Free Milestone Tracker App
CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” Milestone Tracker App

NCBDDD is pleased to offer the Milestone Tracker – a free app for tracking every child’s development in a fun and easy way. This app adds to the popular suite of free, family-friendly materials available through CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program.

The app is available in both English and Spanish. Download the app for FREE in the App Store and on Google Play. As of October 2019, the app has been downloaded more than 320,000 times!

We need your help to spread the word in your community and across your networks! 

We encourage you to email ActEarly@cdc.gov for the complete marketing toolkit with additional English-language or Spanish-language newsletter samples, images, web buttons, flyers, and more.


Health Data and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

In an effort to better understand the health status and prevalence of people with IDD in the U.S., a workgroup comprised of key agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other experts in the field of IDD convened to review the current landscape and future directions related to surveillance for people with IDD. The group has published two reports and a companion summary document:

Check out the Easy Read summary of both reports here: Learning More about Health of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Autism Researchers Identify Potentially Critical Window in Brain Development for Exposure to Air Pollutants

CDC’s Study to Explore Early Development (SEED)* recently published an article in the journal Epidemiology titled, Early Life Exposure to Air Pollution and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Findings from the Study to Explore Early Development.

In this article, researchers evaluated the association between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and exposure to air pollutants (e.g., particulate matter and ozone) during key periods of brain development. SEED’s detailed dataset allowed researchers to take an in-depth look at air-pollutant exposure among participants living in six different areas of the United States during several critical periods.

Findings showed an association between ASD and ozone exposure during the third trimester of pregnancy and between ASD and particulate matter exposure during the first year of life. This is the first analysis of its kind to examine this exposure by period of brain development and geographic region.

*SEED is the largest study in the U.S. to help identify factors that may put children at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DDs).

DHDD’S mission is to lead inclusive programs to optimize the health and development of children and adults with, or at risk for, disabilities.

Newsletter Footer-National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Human Development and Disabilities