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Posts Tagged ‘special needs news’

NYC Bus Strike Updates (Or Lack Thereof)

February 11, 2013 1 comment

Click here for the latest news on the NYC bus strike, now in its fourth week. It sounds like roughly 60-70% of special ed families are finding a way to get to school on a regular basis. As one of them I can attest that it’s not easy, though nothing compared to what this guy is going through to get there, or how this family is dealing without school at all.

Curious – has anyone received reimbursement from the city yet? If so, what was the turn around time once you submitted all of the necessary paperwork? Feel free to email me or post info into the comments section.

DOE Launches Special Education Family Office Hours and P311 Hotline

September 12, 2012 1 comment

Thanks to Anne for sharing!

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The Department of Education’s Division of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners is committed to supporting all families during the citywide expansion of the special education reform initiative.

To this end, it is with great enthusiasm that I am pleased to announce the launch of the Special Education Family Office Hours and a P311 hotline. These additional resources for families were conceived in partnership with City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson.

Beginning August 1, 2012, families that need assistance can call a dedicated hotline for special education support at (718) 935-2007. In addition, families can always contact P311.

Family office hours will be held in nine sites across the five boroughs with day, evening, and weekend hours beginning July 31, 2012. During office hours, a special education specialist will be available for meetings with individual families to help resolve their questions about the special education reform and work to reach solutions to support their child. The complete schedule of dates, times, and locations are available through our family web site at: http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/SpecialEducation/when-is-the-next/2012parent-information-session.htm.

We encourage you to share this information with families and communities. On behalf of all our students, I thank you for your ongoing collaboration and support.

Sincerely yours,

Corinne Rello-Anselmi
Deputy Chancellor
NYC Department of Education
Division of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners
P: (212) 374-5766
F: (212) 374-5599

Change.org Petition: Hospital to my autistic son – No heart for you

August 17, 2012 4 comments

Thanks, Jhanin, for sharing this with me.

Change.org
My son will die without a heart transplant, but the hospital says he can’t have one — because he’s autistic.
Sign My Petition

My son, Paul, will die without a heart transplant. But the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania refuses to put him on the transplant list — because he’s autistic.

Paul is only 23, and he’s amazing. He was diagnosed with a deadly heart condition four years ago, but he battles through it with a smile. He’s smart and creative — we just self-published a story he wrote, and he’s working on a sequel. He loves his nephews. And the whole family loves him.

I don’t know how to tell my son that his doctors refuse to give him the operation that could save his life.

I promised Paul that I would fight for him with every breath, no matter what it takes. But I’m afraid my voice alone isn’t enough. I started a petition on Change.org asking the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to put my son on the transplant list — will you sign?

Paul’s doctor says one of the reasons he doesn’t qualify for a transplant is that he can’t name all the medications he’s on. This is ridiculous, because Paul takes 19 medications. My son has faced discrimination because of his autism all his life, but this time, that discrimination could kill him.

I was devastated when I found out the hospital wouldn’t help Paul — it was the worst moment any mother could imagine. But then I read about another mom who got her mentally disabled daughter on the list for a life-saving kidney transplant after more than 50,000 people signed her petition on Change.org. That’s what inspired me to start my petition for Paul. I know that if enough people sign my petition, the hospital will give my son a chance to survive.

Please sign my petition asking the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to put my son, Paul, on the list for a heart transplant that could save his life.

Thank you,

Karen Corby

Top Ten: Toxins Most Likely To Cause Autism And Learning Disabilities

August 2, 2012 1 comment

Apparently this article came out in April of this year. Good thing we buy BPA free products at home, but not sure how to avoid “automotive exhaust” in NYC…

Top 10 Chemicals Most Likely to Cause Autism and Learning Disabilities

by 

Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC) released a list of the top ten toxic chemicals suspected to cause autism and learning disabilities.

Recently, the CDC reported that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) now affects 1 of every 88 American children – a 23% increase from 2006 and a 78% increase from 2002.

And while there is controversy over how those numbers are reached, it still is worth repeating.  There has been a 78% increase in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the last ten years.  At the same time, the CDC also reported that ADHD now affects 14% of American children.

As these disorders continue to affect more children across the U.S., researchers are asking what is causing these dramatic increases.  Some of the explanation is greater awareness and more accurate diagnosis. But clearly, there is more to the story than simply genetics, as the increases are far too rapid to be of purely genetic origin.

According to the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC) release and data from the research article, “Environmental Pollutants and Disease in American Children (July 2002), “the National Academy of Sciences reports that 3% of all neurobehavioral disorders in children are caused directly by toxic exposure in the environment and another 25% disorders are caused by interactions between environmental factors and genetics. But the precise environmental causes are not yet known”. (Note: the first version of this article included a link to the National Academy of Sciences study from 2000 and has been updated to include a link to the July 2002 study).

So while industry can claim that there is little evidence that these chemicals in isolation or in combination (which doctors now refer to as “synergistic toxicity”) cause autism, the truth is that there is still very little evidence or the toxicological safety studies.  In other words, there is a gap in the science.

There is a huge gap.  According to CNN, the EPA has tested only about 200 of the 80,000 chemicals in use.

But thankfully, that is changing with the work of the team at Mt. Sinai and the extraordinary leadership, courage and intellect of Dr. Phil Landrigan and the urgent call by experts to reform chemical laws.

To guide a research strategy to discover potentially preventable environmental causes and to arm parents and those hoping to be parents with knowledge, the Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC) has developed a list of ten chemicals found in consumer products that are suspected to contribute to autism and learning disabilities.

This list was published today in Environmental Health Perspectives in an editorial written by Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, director of the CEHC, Dr. Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and Dr. Luca Lambertini, also of the CEHC.

You can see the Top 10 chemicals as well as the rest of this article by clicking here.

 

New on childmind.org: Customizing games for your kids, spanking and mental illness, coming of age on medication

July 10, 2012 Leave a comment
THIS WEEK ON CHILDMIND.ORG
July 3, 2012
I’m pleased to tell you about a rather delightful piece on childmind.org (just in time for summer vacation) about games—how to make them work for children of different ages and abilities. It’s delightful because the writer, Michaela Searfoorce, brings such insight and humor to the role of being a mother of three kids. A passionate game-player, Michaela has customized five popular games for her brood, which includes, as she puts it, “a special needs pre-teen, a competitive 3-year-old and a copycat 20-month-old. What’s the secret? We make up our own rules.”What makes her reinvented games irresistible is her acuity in creating fun and engaging experiences for kids. My particular favorite is what she calls “Trivial Pursuit – Dinnertime Edition,” in which she writes questions on cards for each child and deploys them to energize dragging dinner table talk. “This little game has saved many a dinner alone with the kids while Ryan works late and I am out of ideas. The cards make it an ‘official game’ so they will answer anything I ask—pretty genius, right?”——

If you haven’t read her blog, thefoorce.com, I recommend that you check it out. I’m hooked on her weekly installments of conversations with James, her 11-year-old son with multiple disabilities. James is unpredictable, imaginative, perceptive, and occasionally infuriating. In one recent post from the Long Island Rail Road, his little sister points out a train yard and asks him what it is.  “It’s kind of like a nursing home for trains,” says James. “When trains stop working or when they get old they go to train yards.” Here’s another one in which Michaela captures the humor in James’s bad mood on a very rocky morning—something we all need to do on those kind of days.

 —Caroline Miller, Editorial Director

Special Needs News: Week of 3-18-12

March 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Special Needs News Week of 3-8-12

March 7, 2012 Leave a comment
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