WHATZ-IT COLOR SCALE INDICATOR

Whatz-It Color Scale Indicator is a low tech indicator which supports people with autism and other communication difficulties in scaled decision making situations. Its graduated color scale (green to red) allows a selection of intensity rather than identifying an exact number or abstract facial expression. Whatz-it was designed to address problems with communicating difficult concepts, such as pain, when the user is in a potentially stressful situation. When using a simple device like the Whatz-it, […]

Prenatal Testing: Understanding What’s New And How To Get Support And Information Prenatal Testing

BY STEVEN M. EIDELMAN, STEPHANIE MEREDITH AND ROBERT A. SAUL, MD Over the past few years, new non-invasive prenatal screening tests (NIPS) for genetic conditions have been introduced and heavily marketed with the promise of being safer and more accurate — meaning that more families are learning during pregnancy that their child might have a health issue or disability. But, what’s the real impact on families? Are pregnant women getting counseling beforehand so they understand […]

Bullying: Prevalence & Resources – Part 2 of 3

ANNUAL EDUCATION ISSUE BY LAUREN AGORATUS In each state there is a Parent Training and Information (PTI) Center which provides technical assistance to families as well as professionals. PTIs provide information about the rights of the students and the responsibilities of the districts. Research shows that children with disabilities are even more likely to be the victims of bullying than their peers without special needs. Special initiatives have been created to address this issue. Families […]

Taking A Small Step Back To Take A Giant Leap Forward – Part 1 of 3

BY WALTER MAYER, L.M.S.W. Proactively emphasizing and teaching positive expectations and values such as respect, acceptance, empathy, positivity, cooperation and peaceful coexistence can serve to establish a new climate. Lately it seems that, for better or worse, we have all become more aware of ‘bullying’ and its negative impact on children and school culture. Unfortunately, some have gone so far as deeming it an ‘epidemic’. Also unfortunate is the vagueness of the term ‘bullying’ and, […]

Parents Have The Power

BOOK REVIEW This book is intended to provide parents of children with disabilities with the information they need to “make special education work.” Overall, I was very impressed with the theme and presentation. Chapter 1 was extremely helpful in describing the special education process. There is an explanation of referral, evaluation, IEP (Individualized Education Program), triennial evaluation etc. However, missing from “related services” were sensory integration and social skills, which are becoming increasingly common. There […]

Youth Participation In Transition Planning

BY VALERIE LEITER In 2004, Congress added new transition requirements to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), striving to improve youth outcomes after high school. These new requirements say that the Individual Education Program (IEP) must include “appropriate measurable postsecondary goals” and the “transition services… needed to assist the child in reaching those goals.” They also give students the right to participate in planning once their IEP meetings focus on transition from school. It […]

Depression In Adolescents

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 11 percent of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18. Depression can be a chronic illness or a short term reaction to a life stressor. Military lifestyle involves more than just deployments. Stress on the family and adolescent can come as a result of many moves, changing schools, leaving friends and community connections, constant training, and separation of the active duty service member. Deployments are […]

An Endless List Of Role Models

BY H. Barry Waldman, DDS, MPH, PhD & Steven P. Perlman, DDS, MScD, DHL (Hon) These heroes are living proof of the saying, “It is better to try and fail, than to fail to try.” Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.1 Aspiration is a strong desire, longing or ambition.1 Hope and aspirations are the twin pillars which maintain the drive of […]