Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jenny McCarthy: The day I heard my son had autism

image of bookBy Jenny McCarthy

"I didn't know what was going on with my son Evan. One day he was a completely healthy 2-year-old and the next he kept having life-threatening seizures.

Countless doctors and hospitals couldn't get to the bottom of it, and no one could figure out the right diagnosis. We continued trying different anti-seizure medicines, but they either made Evan act psychotic or like a zombie. Finally, I got an appointment to see the best pediatric neurologist in Los Angeles.

I was beyond nervous in the doctor's office. My heart was beating so loudly that I bet Evan thought it was a drum in the next room."

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Genetic Study

image of mother holding childAN INVITATION
Invitation to participate in a study on mothers of babies with a genetic anomaly or birth defect:

If you or any family you know might be interested, please connect directly to the survey.

Hello! I am a PhD student studying maternal adaptation in women who have given birth to babies who were diagnosed prenatally with a genetic anomaly or birth defect. I need at least 100 mothers 18 years or older to fill out a research questionnaire. This online questionnaire should take approximately 30 to 40 minutes to complete.

If you would be willing to participate, please visit the following website to connect to the survey and get further directions:

The information that is learned from this study may help us design better nursing care and support for mothers who have babies with a genetic anomaly or birth defect, and their babies.

If you have any questions or need more information after completing the survey, please contact me at littlecl@vcu. Thank you for considering the invitation to complete this survey.

Cynthia M. Little, RNC, MSN, WHNP
School of Nursing
Virginia Commonwealth University
Box 980567
Richmond, VA 23298

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bupropion Doesn't Prevent Smoking in ADHD Patients

logo of harvardBy Will Boggs, MD

"The high risk of smoking among young people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not reduced by treatment with the antidepressant bupropion, according to a report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. However, stimulants do seem to cut the likelihood of smoking.

Bupropion is sold under the trade name Zyban when it's prescribed to help people stop smoking, and under the name Wellbutrin when it's prescribed to treat depression or seasonal affective disorder."

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

ADHD Drugs Help Boost Children's Grades

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By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

"Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can perform better at school if placed on long-term drug therapy, a new study suggests

'This is the first study that shows that taking stimulants for ADHD improves long-term school performance,' said lead researcher Dr. William Barbaresi, a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. 'This includes reading achievement, being absent from school and being retained in a grade -- stimulant treatment was associated with better outcomes,' he said."

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Treatment for Depression: Happiness is a Warm Electrode

Image of deep brain stimulation implant"The most promising new treatment for severe depression isn't a pill. It's a permanent implant that shocks the brain. Is this what joy looks like?"

"For the past 20 years, she has suffered from severe depression, a crippling strain of the disease that afflicts as many as four million people. Years of therapy, at least 10 different drugs and six courses of the whole-brain shock technique known as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) all failed to bring Hire lasting relief. Her final hope is this operation, a radical form of neurosurgery called deep-brain stimulation, or DBS. Whereas ECT—a treatment that's been demonized in movies like One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest but is still used on roughly 100,000 patients a year—floods the brain with electricity from the outside, this technique delivers a smaller dose of better-targeted current to an area of the brain believed to be a key regulator of mood."

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

SC Department of Education Regional AT Specialists

Image of girl at computer
The SC Department of Education has recently implemented a new statewide initiative designed to support districts and schools in obtaining the technology tools needed for differentiated instruction. Three new SC Assistive Technology Specialists have been hired (2 more to come) and can provide your district or school free technology tools, trainings and resources.

If you are a teacher, educator or district/school professional and would like to sign up for the AT Connect Listserv to receive additional information about their free services please respond by
October 1st to Elizabeth Bagley at or 803-935-5389.

Here are some of the free services offered:

Free Technology Tools
  • Many free tools available
  • Free computer accessibility options

Free Trainings

  • Freeware, shareware, MS office tools, assessing and evaluating AT needs, intervention strategies

Free Resources

  • Software information
  • Grant opportunities
  • Connections to free community resources

Assistance with:

  • Struggling or at-risk students in regular education classrooms
  • Early intervention prevention - response to intervention
  • Students with disabilities
  • English Language learners

Use of these services will NOT increase workloads. Most of the information will be delivered via monthly electronic newsletter. The goal is to support you in anyway possible.

Mary Jo Schneider
Pee Dee Region (Florence)

Elizabeth Bagley
Midlands Region (Columbia)

Sue Maloney
Low Country Region (Beaufort)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Office of Women's Health Fact Sheets Now In Spanish!

logo of women's health
For the first time, all Office of Women's Health consumer fact sheets are available in Spanish. OWH recently released 42 new Spanish-language publications on a range of topics including depression, generic drugs, heart disease, cosmetics, arthritis, mammography, HIV, and food safety.

These easy-to-read fact sheets complement OWH's other Spanish language materials on diabetes, menopause, and safe medication use. OWH invites organizations and consumers to collaborate with us to distribute these free publications to women and their families.

To download copies of the new Spanish fact sheets, visit:

To order free copies in bulk, visit:

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Chance to Read

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A new PBS show, "A Chance to Read," highlights new strategies that special education teachers across the country are using to help students find success. With a provocative premise that claims society "assumes" children with disabilities can't learn to read well, the program explores an innovative literacy program in Fort Worth, Texas, for students who have cognitive disabilities. Students who have Williams or Down syndromes or autism are making surprising gains in a program devised by a researcher at Southern Methodist University.

"A Chance to Read" also profiles a revolutionary program for deaf and hard of hearing students; highlights the importance --and difficulty -- of learning Braille; follows an unusual program for students who are "twice-exceptional"; and highlights emerging assistive technologies. Hosted by actress Molly Ringwald, who grew up reading to her jazz musician father, who is blind, "A Chance to Read" will air on public television stations this fall (check local listings).

For more information about the show, or to watch it online, please click:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Prenatal Testosterone May Play Autism Role

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"YORK (Reuters) - Children exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb showed more autism-related traits later in life, according to findings that suggest the male hormone may play a key role in the complex brain disorder.

The results support a hypothesis that higher levels of testosterone may contribute to autism and reinforce findings from tests on animals, said Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at Britain's Cambridge University, who worked on the study."

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Food Additives May Cause Hyperactivity: Study

image of juice

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Certain artificial food colorings and other additives can worsen hyperactive behaviors in children aged 3 to 9, British researchers reported on Wednesday.

Tests on more than 300 children showed significant differences in their behavior when they drank fruit drinks spiked with a mixture of food colorings and preservatives, Jim Stevenson and colleagues at the University of Southampton said."

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Too Much TV Ups Kids' Risk of Attention Problems

image of tv"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Young children who watch more than a couple of hours of television a day are more likely to have attention problems as adolescents, researchers from New Zealand have found.

'The two-hour point is very, very clear with our data, very consistent with what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends,' Carl Erik Landhuis of the Dunedin School of Medicine at the University of Otago, the study's first author, told Reuters Health."

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

9% of U.S. Kids Have ADHD

logo of HealthDayBy Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

"Nearly 9 percent of American children have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but only 32 percent of them are getting the medication they need.

That's the sobering conclusion of a landmark new study, the first of its kind based on what doctors consider the "gold standard" of diagnostic criteria -- the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition.

'There is a perception that ADHD is overdiagnosed and overtreated,' said lead researcher Dr. Tanya E. Froehlich, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's Medical Center. 'But our study shows that for those who meet the criteria for ADHD, the opposite problem -- underdiagnosis and undertreatment -- seems to be occurring.'"

For the rest of the article, please click the title above.