Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Endrew F and FAPE; "This Thing Called Autism"; And More

IDEA, ENDREW F. The U.S. Department of Education has released a Q&A document to provide guidance on the implications of this year's Endrew F ruling by the Supreme Court. It addresses questions such as
  • How did Endrew F. clarify the standard for determining FAPE and educational benefit?
  • How can an IEP Team ensure that every child has the chance to meet challenging objectives?
  • Is there anything IEP Teams should do differently as a result of the Endrew F. decision?
Find the Q&A. Separately, Education Week reported on commentary by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on the Endrew F case in which she said: "Personalized, student-centered education can help all children thrive, especially children with disabilities. Their education should embrace their diverse traits and aspirations, rather than limiting them with a one-size-fits-all approach." Read more

BOY TO CLASSMATES: "I have this thing called autism." A fourth-grader crafted (with help from his parents) a video to communicate to his classmates the reasons he might seem different and explaining what life and school are like from his perspective. For example: “I can hear and see a lot of things and sounds all at the same time, which sometimes makes it hard to focus on one sound or thought.” The video evidently opened up communication with his classmates. Find an article about the video and also a link to the video. 

MENTAL HEALTH AND THE YOUNG. NBC News did a piece on mental health issues in teens and children in the U.S., noting that while 20 percent of American children have a diagnosable mental issue, only 20 percent of those actually receive treatment. The article notes how depression may first manifest in irritability or anxiety. Find the piece

LANDMARK COLLEGE, in particular its president, Peter Eden, was the focus of an article at Education Dive. The president explains Landmark's approach to serving its student body -- for example, the use of universal design for learning, UDL. He also covers the research and professional development work done at the college, which has $3 million in grant funding for its research center. Eden is quoted: "At the end of the day, what we do is provide an opportunity for young people who do not do well in a traditional one-size-fits-all higher ed model, we give them an opportunity to show us their strengths and their potential." Read more

FACEBOOK APP FOR KIDS. Of the recent release of a Facebook app for kids, The New York Times has this to say: "Facebook immediately reignited a furious debate about how young is too young for children to use mobile apps and how parents should deal with the steady creep of technology into family life, especially as some fight to reduce the amount of time their sons and daughters spend in front of screens." Read more about the different sides of the debate. Separately, the Dana Foundation recently published an article titled "The Truth about Research on Screen Time"; find it

LYING. A guest blogger at ADDitude writes on "The Ugly Truth about ADHD and Lying." The blogger has a twice-exceptional son who evidently, as the saying goes, has a fluid relationship with truth. Find the blog

  • A new article presents the challenges in using three major diagnostic manuals from a scientific perspective and offer some recommendations for re-conceptualizing the mental disorders they describe, according to Science Daily. The researchers "identified four challenges to understanding and classifying mental disorders: what varied combinations of factors cause them, how to diagnose them given that they are not actually distinct categories, thresholds for diagnosis and other purposes such as treatment, and co-morbidity -- the fact that most people with mental illness meet the diagnosis for multiple mental disorders." Read more
  • Newswire reports on research that will help clinicians decide whether to prescribe talk therapy or medication to treat anxiety. An EEG-based test evidently will predict the efficacy of CBT. Read more
  • And finally, this. Making eye contact with an infant makes adults' and babies' brainwaves 'get in sync' with each other -- which is likely to support communication and learning. Read more.

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