SUMMER AND SENSORY PROCESSING ISSUES is the title of a new article at the site of the Child Mind Institute. Do you have a child who is sensitive to light, noise, and tactile sensations? This article suggests that you know your child's needs, make a schedule, and avoid surprises. Also recommended: resources to reduce sensory overload. Find the article.
A SCOUT IS trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty,brave, clean, and reverent -- but maybe not Aspie, if a news item from the Chicago area is any indication. A troop evidently revoked a young man's membership after seven years of Scouts with little explanation, prompting a lawsuit from his parents. The national organization promises to "review the matter," according to Disability Scoop. Read more.
ADHD -- LOTS OF ITEMS. Treating ADHD, and the divergent and sometimes contradictory views on this topic, is the subject of an article at the Washington Post. Starting off with Russell Barkley's views, the article gets into brain networks, drugs, behavior management, and more. Find the article. An article at Science Daily describes how smart watches and smartphone apps can become "assistive technology" for kids with ADHD. Current Psychiatry has a feature called "Expanding medication options for pediatric ADHD." Another article at the Washington Post asks "should you give your kid ADHD drugs?" (And we assume the kid in question has ADHD.) And finally, for the intrepid, an article in the journal PLOS ONE is titled "A Longitudinal Twin Study of the Direction of Effects between ADHD Symptoms and IQ." We won't give away the ending, but one sentence in the abstract says, "Early intervention is likely to be key to reducing ADHD symptoms and the associated risk for lower IQ." Your reading report on these items is due by 8am Monday. :-)
AUTISM. A new study shows that social and sensory overstimulation drives autistic behaviors. The study, conducted on rats exposed to a known risk factor in humans, supports the unconventional view of the autistic brain as hyper-functional, and offers new hope with therapeutic emphasis on paced and non-surprising environments tailored to the individual's sensitivity. Read more. Another study indicates that there's a difference in the levels of stress hormones in lower-functioning children with ASD and high-functioning and typical children; find the study write-up. Finally, a dad blogging at the Motherlode feature in The New York Times reveals his skepticism about Autism Speaks and its fund-raising efforts; find the blog.
HOW'S YOUR IEP? Rather, your child's. Does it contain specific and detailed information with measurable goals? Or does it contain filler, along with "thin and insubstantial praise"? A blogger at Edutopia tells what kind of prose should and should not wind up in an IEP. Find the blog.
PILOT PROGRAM FOR EMOTIONAL HEALTH. A program at the University of Alberta apparently "significantly decreased anxiety, depression,and suicidal thoughts among the student population." The program involves screening and interventions. Read more. Or, go to PLOS ONE for the original research article.
THE FREEP (thank you) sent us a link to an article about a link between the brain and the immune system that could have implications for a variety of diseases, including autism and Alzheimer's. Researchers found structures in the body no one had discovered before, a lymphatic system connection to the brain and central nervous system. Find out more.