I have attached a flyer about a very exciting upcoming workshop. On Saturday, September 21st we are offering “Language, Literacy and Deaf Children, Research to Practice” This is a free workshop offered by the Parents Place of Maryland, Parent Connections, Family Support & Resource Center and the Maryland School for the Deaf. The workshop will be held at the Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Campus from 8:30 – 4:00pm
This exciting conference features Dr. Donna Morere who will be discussing the latest research related to Literacy and Deaf Children. Workshop topics also include, reading strategies, writing strategies, assessment tracking, and technology.
This is a full day FREE workshop that you won’t want to miss, a light breakfast and lunch is included.
This workshop is limited to 100 participants so register EARLY.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Family Support & Resource Center
PO Box 894
Columbia, MD 21044
A new study suggests that medications often prescribed to individuals with developmental disabilities are associated with a significantly heightened risk for diabetes.
Researchers found that young people taking atypical antipsychotics like Risperdal, Seroquel, Abilify and Zyprexa were three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within the first year of using the drugs as compared to those taking other psychiatric medications.
The finding, published this month in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, is based on a review of medical records from 1996 through 2007 for individuals ages 6 to 24 enrolled in Tennessee’s Medicaid program. Nearly 29,000 of those studied were prescribed antipsychotics while the remaining 14,400 were taking other types of psychiatric drugs.
Beyond the threefold increase observed in the first year of taking antipsychotics, the study found that the risk for diabetes increased with cumulative dosages and persisted for at least a year after stopping the medications.
Doctors should carefully consider alternatives to antipsychotic medications and ensure that they are keeping tabs on kids who do take the drugs, said Wayne Ray, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University and senior author of the study.
“Children should be monitored carefully for metabolic effects predisposing them to diabetes, and use of the drug should be at the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time,” he said.
Special Education Testing Standards May Soon Be Tightened
The U.S. Department of Education wants to do away with a rule that allows states to count some students with disabilities as academically proficient even if they do not meet grade-level standards.
In a proposal published in the Federal Register late last week, the Education Department formally signaled its intention to end what’s known as the “2 percent rule.”
Under the current policy, some students with disabilities are tested under modified academic achievement standards. States are allowed to count as many as 2 percent of all students as proficient under the No Child Left Behind Act for taking such alternate assessments.
Now, the Education Department is looking to transition away from that approach. Under the agency’s proposal, schools would no longer be able to rely on the modified standards after this school year. Instead, they would be expected to have students take general assessments meeting college and career ready standards.
“We have to expect the very best from our students and tell the truth about student performance, to prepare them for college and career,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. “That means no longer allowing the achievement of students with disabilities to be measured by these alternate assessments aligned to modified achievement standards. This prevents these students from reaching their full potential, and prevents our country from benefitting from that potential.”
Even under the proposed change, students with the most significant cognitive disabilities — as many as 1 percent of all students — would still be allowed to take tests based on “alternate academic achievement standards,” according to the proposal. Rather, the shift away from modified standards is intended to raise expectations for students who can make academic progress when provided with the appropriate supports and instruction, the Education Department said.
The proposal follows through on a pledge Duncan made more than two years ago when he told disability advocates that he wanted to move away from the 2 percent rule.
It’s also a plan that’s been widely favored by disability advocacy organizations. Just last month a coalition of more than 100 groups wrote to President Barack Obama to urge the administration to end the 2 percent rule.
The Education Department is seeking public comment on the proposed rule change through Oct. 7.
The Office of the State Superintendent is excited to announce that it is hosting the District of Columbia’s Second Annual DC Parent and Family Engagement Summit: Passport to Excellence. The Summit is scheduled to take place Saturday, September 7, 2013 from 8am-3:15pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Passport to Excellence is a day-long event designed to not only provide parents with information about the State Education Plan, but also empower, inform and inspire parents by providing vital information and resources to promote successful educational outcomes for their children.
This year, parents will have the opportunity to: attend workshops on topics like bullying prevention, understanding the State Report Card, becoming their child’s first teacher and how to use OSSE’s exciting new resource LearnDC; hear first-hand how the feedback they gave last year has been implemented into the State Education Plan; and talk to community organizations and providers about programs and resources available for students and families.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Iris Bond Gill at email@example.com or Eric Rosser firstname.lastname@example.org .
A new documentary set to premiere on PBS takes a look at life with autism from the perspective of those with the developmental disorder.
The film, “Neurotypical,” looks at individuals with autism at different stages of life. It focuses on Violet, 4, who is struggling to communicate, a teenager named Nicholas who is shy and has trouble relating to girls and Paula, a wife and mother who received a diagnosis as an adult after reading about the condition.
The documentary addresses the challenges that all three — along with others who have autism — face in adjusting to a world designed for typically developing individuals. In candid moments, the film’s subjects share their secrets for overcoming challenging situations like making small talk.
“I began to feel a growing rebellion against what I saw as society’s double standard — either a pervasive need to make people into a rendition of something ‘normal,’ or a tendency to sensationalize the extremes of autism,” said Adam Larsen, the film’s director. “I grew determined to make a film from the viewpoint of autistics.”
“Neurotypical” will have its national broadcast debut Monday at 10 p.m. ET on the POV series on PBS.
DC PARENTS AND FRIENDS OF
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first medical scan that can help diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children by measuring brain waves.
The agency said Monday it cleared the NEBA system to help confirm ADHD for people ages 6 to 17. Doctors can use the device to confirm an ADHD diagnosis or to determine if more testing is necessary.
The device, from Augusta, Ga.-based NEBA Health, measures the frequency of two standard brain waves known as theta and beta waves. Children with ADHD tend to have a higher ratio of these waves than children who don’t have the disorder.
The FDA approved the 15- to 20-minute test based on a study of 275 patients who had attention or behavioral issues. Clinicians evaluated the patients using the NEBA Health System as well as standard diagnostic tools like behavioral questionnaires, IQ tests and physical exams. An independent group of researchers then reviewed the data and reached a consensus on whether each patient had ADHD or not. The study results showed that use of the NEBA System helped doctors make a more accurate diagnosis than using traditional methods alone.
“Diagnosing ADHD is a multistep process based on a complete medical and psychiatric exam,” said Christy Foreman, director of FDA’s Office of Device Evaluation, in a statement. “The NEBA System along with other clinical information may help health care providers more accurately determine if ADHD is the cause of a behavioral problem.”
Estimates of ADHD in U.S. children vary, but the American Psychiatric Association states that it affects 3 to 7 percent of school-aged children.
DC Autism Buddies-NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
DC Autism Buddies is a volunteer-led “Big-Little Buddy” program created by DC Autism Parents (DCAP) to provide one-to-one recreational opportunities for children with autism in the DC Metropolitan Area.
The program is open to children living with autism, ages five to thirteen. The cost of the program is $100 per child ($25 non-refundable application fee is included). This fee and will defray the cost of snacks, supplies, and entertainment.
Each child is paired with a “Big Buddy.” The DC Autism “Big Buddies” are recent college graduates who have been screened individually and interviewed by DCAP to ensure that the best match for your child may be achieved. All Big Buddies are trained by an Autism Specialist.
The program is structured and utilizes visual supports. The goals of DC Autism Buddies include working on the following skills:
- Joint attention;
- Turn taking;
- Play with toys and games;
- and making friends
Parental supervision at DC Autism Buddies sessions are not required. However, if you child is not potty-trained and/or not using the bathroom independently, you must stay at the program site to assist with your child’s toileting needs.
The program normally meets from 1-3pm on the first and third Saturday of every month from October to May, excluding holidays at a DC Public Charter School in NE DC.
DC Autism Buddies 2012-2013 Calendar
(There will be 12 sessions)
6 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Session 1
20 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Session 2
3 Saturday NO SESSION, Autism Speaks Walk,
Volunteers to Report to National Mall
17 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Session 3
1 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Session 4
15 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Session 5
5 Saturday NO SESSION, Winter Break
12 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Session 6**Special Date**
19 Saturday NO SESSION, MLK Jr. Day Weekend
2 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Session 7
16 Saturday NO SESSION, Presidents Day Weekend
2 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Session 8
16 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Session 9
30 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Make-Up Day If Needed
6 Saturday NO SESSION, Autism Awareness Month
20 Saturday NO SESSION, Autism Awareness Month
4 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Session 10
18 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Session 11
1 Saturday DC Autism Buddies Session 12
DC Autism Buddies Program
DC Autism Parents (DCAP)
P.O. Box 60417/Washington, DC 20011
Please contact DC Autism Parents if you require assistance in completing the application.
Space is limited, children are admitted to the program on a first-come first-serve basis.