Archived News: Across the U.S.
New Document on Restraint and Seclusion Released by US Department of Education
The US Department of Education recently issued a new document, “Restraint and Seclusion: Resource Document” that outlines principles for educators, parents, and other stakeholders to consider when developing or refining policies and procedures to support positive behavioral interventions and avoid the use of restraint and seclusion. The goal of this resource document (note that it is not regulatory) is to help ensure that schools are safe and healthy environments where all students can learn, develop, and participate in instructional programs that promote high levels of academic achievement. The document contains 15 principles that highlight how school wide behavioral interventions can significantly reduce or eliminate the use of restraint or seclusion. The document also provides a synopsis of ongoing efforts by federal agencies to address national concerns about using restraint and seclusion in schools, and includes links to state restraint and seclusion policies and procedures.
To access this federal document, click here.
UCEDD Releases Videos on Communication Milestones for Babies Birth to 2 Years and the Increased Prevalence Rate of Autism
Two new videos have just been released by the UCEDD (Rose F. Kennedy Center) in NYC. The videos, regarding communication milestones for babies birth to two years and on understanding the rise in the prevalence rate of autism, were produced by Einstein and feature Dr. Lisa Shulman.
In the public service video for parents, Lisa Shulman, M.D., uses video of babies and toddlers to show the communication milestones expected in typically developing children. She also discusses what parents should do if they suspect their child is developmentally delayed. Click here to view the video.
A new report by the CDC estimates 1 in 88 children in the U.S. have some form of autism. That's a 23 percent increase since 2006 and a 78 percent increase since 2002. In this interview, Lisa Shulman, M.D., speaks with Paul Moniz, managing director of communications and marketing of Einstein, and puts the latest report in context.
Dr. Shulman is associate professor of clinical pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and an attending physician in pediatrics at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore. She is also director of the RELATE program for the diagnosis and treatment of autism and related disorders at Einstein.
Legislation Introduced to Establish Five-Year Federal Grant Program for Training Teachers on ASD
U.S. Rep Mike Doyle, D-Pa and U.S. Rep Jim Moran, D-Va introduced legislation this past April that would establish a five year federal grant program to train teachers about ASD (Disability Scoop, April 30, 2012). The program would benefit schools that have at least 10% of special education students with ASD and would require participating schools to partner with one university and one non-profit to complete the training. The Virginia legislature recently passed Bill 325, requiring school divisions to provide paraprofessionals with behavioral strategies training. With 1 in 88 children now being diagnosed with an ASD, more and more school divisions across the country may require similar trainings. VCU-ACE currently provides a variety of trainings about ASD available to the residents of the Commonwealth including two new online courses about behavioral and instructional strategies for students with ASD.
New Research Being Conducted on Cortical Cell Adhesion and its Effects on Disorders Such as ASD
Science Daily recently reported (April 30, 2012) on new research from University of Iowa regarding cell adhesion in the cerebral cortex and its effect on neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder. The UI researchers examined 22 genes that make adhesion possible among neurons and discovered that the absence of adhesion between cells resulted in reduced dendrite development. One of the researchers, Joshua Weiner, stated that, “Human neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders, mental retardation and schizophrenia all involve dysregulation of dendrite branching and synaptogenesis.” Now that the researchers have identified 22 genes involved in cell adhesion, they plan to focus their research and examine the interactions between cells and whether or not the location and size of growth is affected.
Medication to Reduce Core Characteristics of ASD Being Tested
According to Science Daily (April 25, 2012), National Institutes of Health researchers have reduced two of the three core characteristics of ASD through the use of an experimental compound, called GRN-529. GRN-529 was tested in a strain of mice that displayed autism-like behaviors, and was shown to increase social interactions and decrease repetitive behaviors (self-grooming). Compounds similar to GRN-529 are already in clinical trials for patients with Fragile X and intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently, no medication exists that treats the core symptoms of ASD.
To view the complete Science Daily (April 25, 2012) article, please click here.