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Disability didn’t stop Anthony Ianni from fulfilling his dreams

Feb 28, 2020 | Disability Care News

Diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder at the age of four and faced with the prospect of growing up in an institution with other autistic kids His parents had a choice to make.

Told by specialists that Anthony would barely graduate from high school, would never graduate from college, would never have a shot of being an athlete His family set their sights on a different path. 

By 2012 he was a two-time Big Ten Champion, a Big Ten Tournament Champion, and a member of the 2010 Final Four team., he had won the 2011 Tim Bograkos Walk On award and the 2012 Unsung Player award, and held a degree in sociology from Michigan state university.

Anthony Ianni is especially proud of two things: “not only did I graduate from Michigan State with a degree in sociology but during my time there, I became the first-ever division 1 basketball player with an autism diagnosis.”

What is Pervasive Developmental Disorder?

Pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) refers to a group of disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialisation and communication skills. Often parents notice symptoms in early infancy and typically diagnosis is made before the age of three.

Typical PDD conditions include:

  • Autism
  • Aspergers Syndrome¬†
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
  • Rett’s Syndrome

There are no known treatments for PDD and medications, therapies and special education programs are often used to address specific behavioural problems.

Early intervention enables educational programs and support services that improve lifestyle outcomes for individuals with PDD

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