Friday, February 29, 2008

Impaired Fetal Growth Linked With Epilepsy Risk

Image of an ultrasound image
"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Infants with impaired growth in the womb, indicated by low birth weight or birth before full term, appear to have an increased risk of epilepsy in early childhood, according to a new study.

Conflicting findings have been reported regarding the relationship between epilepsy and birth weight or gestational age, Dr. Yuelian Sun, of the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and colleagues note in the American Journal of Epidemiology."

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

Study Sheds Light On How Down's Prevents Cancer

Image of Test Tubes

"By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor WASHINGTON, Jan 2 (Reuters) - People with Down's syndrome suffer cancer less than most other people and a study in mice published on Wednesday gives one possible explanation -- they produce higher levels of a certain protein.

The protein may keep tumors from growing, and this finding may help in the development of new cancer drugs, the team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore reported. "

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

Study Finds Why Some Benefit From MS Drug

Image of medicine logo
"CHICAGO (Reuters) - Genetic factors may help reveal which multiple sclerosis patients are likely to benefit from a widely used therapy and explain why some are not helped, according to a report published on Monday.

The treatment involved uses a protein known as recombinant interferon beta to try to treat multiple sclerosis symptoms and perhaps slow the course of the disease, for which there is no known cure."

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

Blind, Deaf Actors Take Centre Stage in Israel

Image of an actor
"By Rebecca Harrison
JAFFA, Israel (Reuters) - The theatre lights dim and the audience settles into their seats -- usually a cue for the actors to deliver their opening lines. Instead, the Nalaga'at troupe start pummeling and stroking each other's hands.

This is not a high-minded avant garde dance piece, but a group of deaf-blind actors, who are captivating audiences in Israel by blending touch, mime, sign language and music on stage in a cabaret-style show about dreams and disability."

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

Monday, February 25, 2008

Diet Change Gives Hyperactive Kids New Taste for Life in Norway

image of child pouring milk
STAVANGER, Norway (AFP) - "Tears streak Rita's cheek as she recalls what it was like trying to figure out what was wrong with her son more than a decade ago, but she breaks into a smile when she explains how changing his diet made all the difference.

'I could tell something was wrong with him as soon as he began eating solids as a baby. It was if the food was draining him,' says Rita, 50, describing how her son Christoffer had yoyoed between passive and hyperactive behaviour until she had removed several staples from his diet including milk and grains.

Christoffer, today a normally developed 14-year-old, is one of 23 children suffering from hyperactive disorders who were put on milk-free diets in 1996-1997 and whose development has been tracked ever since by a small group of educators and researchers in the southwestern Norwegian town of Stavanger."

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

Friday, February 22, 2008

Kelly's Book Review

Image of Kelly

No Time for Me written by John M. Barrett is about Jimmy and his family. Jimmy is always upset because he thinks that he is not important to his family anymore. When Jimmy went to parents day at school he met a new friend Tommy. Tommy’s parents didn’t come either. He knew how Jimmy felt. That’s how they became friends. I think anybody who have parents who are divorced or who are feeling alone you should read this book. It is a really good book.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Talking Book Services Library Announces Student Art Gallery

Image of South Carolina State Library Logo Columbia, SC - Visually impaired/blind K-12 students from across the state will soon have their artwork on display at the South Carolina State Library's Talking Book Services Library. According to Pamela Davenport, "The idea to display student artwork was a result of conversations with the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind and will promote and educate the public about artwork of blind and visually impaired students in South Carolina."

The artwork on display will include wall hangings and sculpture. The gallery's aim is to promote and provide access to art for visually impaired/blind people. Touching the artwork will be encouraged to sighted as well as visually impaired visitors.

The public is invited to a ribbon cutting and reception to open the gallery on Wednesday, March 12, from 10:30am to noon at 1430 Senate Street, Columbia, SC.


Pamela Davenport
Director, Talking Book Services

For more information, please click on the title above.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2008 Vision Summit

Image of South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind
SC Archives and History Center Friday,
March 14, 2008
Registration begins at 8:00 AM
Program 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
$15 registration includes box lunch

This one-day conference will focus on transition strategies for students who are blind or visually impaired. The information presented is relevant to students, parents and professionals. The keynote speaker is Dr. Sandra Lewis of Florida State University. Panel discussions will feature young adults who are blind and SC teachers of the visually impaired.

For more information please contact:
Elizabeth M. McKown
Vision Outreach Services Director
SC School for the Deaf and the Blind
A Palmetto Gold School
101 Executive Center Drive, Suite 120
Columbia, SC 29210
(803) 896-9787 FAX (803) 896-9848
Toll-free (800) 984-4357

Misunderstood Minds

image of school desks
"Millions of American children struggle in school daily because of serious learning problems. The causes are often unknown, specific problems can be difficult to pinpoint, and the long-term effects hard to predict.

Experts know more now than ever before, but the evolution of that knowledge also parallels the rise of standardized tests and the current era of high-stakes testing. The tension between the demand for academic success and the stubborn reality of a problem makes learning difficulties one of the most contentious topics in an increasingly competitive and educated society.

It comes as no surprise that when a child can't read or write or pay attention -- and when the problem doesn't go away -- parents, educators, experts, and policymakers often collide in an earnest struggle to find answers.

Everyone agrees that 'disability' is a term with legal ramifications; virtually all of the funding to support children with specific problems is tied to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. And while learning differences and disabilities don't go away, the research and work of learning experts in the last 40 years translates into effective strategies that help children succeed."

This site is a companion to the PBS special Misunderstood Minds, and profiles a variety of learning problems and expert opinions. It is designed to give parents and teachers a better understanding of learning processes, insights into difficulties, and strategies for responding. Also included in the website are exercises to give people a peek into what it is like for children struggling with learning disabilities, and clips from the documentary.

For more information, please click the title above.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What's Going on at Family Connection

logo of family connection

Monday, February 18
, 6 pm
Autism Connection
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE AND ADVOCACY: Information on PDD Waiver and Budget Cuts in SC. Please come and show your support and educate yourself on how YOU can be a more effective advocate for your children! Craig Stoxen, from the SC Autism Society, will be here to offer you tips and sample letters on how to contact your representatives!
Family Connection Office, 2712 Middleburg Drive 103-B
CHILDCARE IS PROVIDED!!! Contact 252-0914 to pre-register

Tuesday, February 19, 9 am
Morning Coffee at Panera Bread
1007 Bower Parkway at Harbison Blvd

Friday, February 22, 8am to 3pm and February 23, 8am - 4:30pm
Family Connection of SC Annual Of Hopes and Dreams XIV,
Brookland Conference Center, West Columbia

Friday, February 22, 6pm to 8pm
Family Night Social at Edventure Children's Museum
Gervais Street
$5 suggested donation per family. If you bring a PCA or therapist to help with your child, they get in free! There will be additional volunteers to help with your children so that parents can socialize and network.
Contact 252-0914 for more information

Saturday, February 23, 6 pm
Scrapbooking "Pages from the Heart"
The Scrapbook Store
3250 Forest Drive
$2 per person and bring photos. Bring your own supplies or purchase them at the store!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Latino Children's Literature Conference

Image of Conference Logo Woman holding Child April 25-26, 2008

The University of South Carolina 's School of Library & Information Science and College of Education are pleased to announce our First Annual Celebration of Latino Children's Literature on April 26, 2008. This inaugural event marks an exciting time for both the College of Education and School of Library & Information Science.The conference theme for this year is “Connecting Cultures and Celebrating Cuentos.” Special Guests/Speakers: Yuyi Morales, Dr. Kathy Short, and Lucía M. González. Visit

Friday evening, April 25, 7:00pm-9:00pm
An Evening of Cuentos with Yuyi Morales
Lexington County Public Library

Saturday, April 26, 8:30am-5:30pm
Conference Proper
Russell House University Union, University of South Carolina

To view more information, please click the title above.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Virtual Tour of South Carolina's Talking Books Program?

Today I had the great pleasure of getting a one-on-one tour from Pamela Davenport of South Carolina's Talking Books Program, which is housed in the State Library. The South Carolina State Library's Talking Book Services department provides informational and recreational reading materials in accessible formats. The program provides free recorded, Braille, large print and other library materials and resources to eligible South Carolinians of all ages.

An old Talking Book Machine.

Naomi Brady demonstrates the audio editing
equipment and how the recording studio works.
(This was very interesting!)

Overall, I really appreciated witnessing firsthand some of the great services our State Library's Talking Books Program offers. Thank you, Pamela!

NOTE: If you are interested in applying for any of these services or in more information about the State Library and/or the Talking Books Program, call:
Toll Free: 1-800-922-7818
Locally: 803-734-4611
Deaf or Hard of Hearing Citizens: dial 711 followed by 734-4611
Fax: 803-734-4610

The 2008 South Carolina IT and Web Accessibility Conference

logo of South Carolina Web Accessibility

South Carolina Information Technology and Web Accessibility Conference 2008 Wednesday, March 19, 2008 Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center Columbia, South Carolina

This year's featured speaker is Debra Ruh.

Ms. Debra Ruh is the Founder of TecAccess, the leading provider of comprehensive accessible technology programs, disability employment services, and marketing solutions that allow organizations to better serve the worlds largest and fastest growing minority group of people with disabilities and the mature audience.

In addition, this year's conference will broaden its focus into more than just web accessibility. Below are the issues that will be addressed. (Note: These session descriptions are subject to change.
  • Section 508 Compliance: An overview of Section 508 and other accessibility legislation
  • Return On Investment (ROI) of Accessibility
  • Buying Accessible IT Products
  • Moving into the Future: The impact of total technology immersion in our everyday life
To view more information, please click the title above.

Monday, February 11, 2008

South Carolina Assistive Technology Expo 2008

logo of south carolina assitive technology program

South Carolina Assistive Technology Expo 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
Columbia, South Carolina
Free and open to the public
No Pre-registration

Don't miss a once-a-year opportunity!

The SC Assistive Technology Expo showcases the latest assistive technology (AT) devices, equipment, gadgets, and software to help people of all ages live more independently in all areas of life. Over 60 exhibits and 12 concurrent sessions are offered.

Workshops cover topics of interest to people of all ages:
* Assessment for Augmentative Communication
* The Connection Between AT and UDL
* Microsoft Accessibility Options & Computer Access Supports
* Vocational Program for People on the Autism Spectrum
* AC in the School Curriculum
* Low Tech Computer Access
* AT for Persons with Brain Injury or Developmental Disabilities
* Physical Fitness and AT
* Augmentative Communication for Older Adults
* Assistive Technology and the IEP
* Telecommunications Equipment
* Hi & Low Tech Aids for Daily Living and Modifications for the Home

The web site at provides descriptions of this year's sessions and a list of exhibitors from 2007.

Download an Expo flyer at

The same day, we are also offering an Information Technology and Web Accessibility Conference. This Conference would be of interest to IT personnel, procurement offices, web development staffs, or agency administrators. More details about this conference can be found at

For more information about the Expo, call Sally Young at the South Carolina Assistive Technology Program 800-915-4522 or 803-935-5263, or email

Preparing for Puberty and Beyond

logo of South Carolina Autism Society
Mark Steege, LMSW-ACP, LPC and Shannon Peck, LPC of San Antonio will conduct workshops in Columbia and Greenville on March 6-7. The workshops will be a first step toward increased awareness about handling some of the tough issues surrounding Puberty and Sexuality with individuals on the Autism Spectrum.

We will be offering two parent-only workshops (Thursday evening, March 6th in West Columbia and Friday evening, March 7th in Greenville). The workshops will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the West Columbia meeting being held at the SC Autism Society Headquarters and the Greenville meeting being held at the SC Autism Society Greenville Satellite Office.

We are offering the evening workshops designed especially for parents. As we know the subject can be sensitive and difficult to discuss: however, it must be addressed. Cost will be $30 for one parent and $35 for two parents or caregivers. The workshop fee includes one copy of the Steege/Peck workbook Sex Education for Parents of Children with Autism. Sorry, no parent scholarships are offered for these workshops.

Space is limited! Register early!

To register online, please visit

Monday, February 04, 2008

Mercury in Childhood Vaccines Excreted Quickly

image of shot
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- "The latest chapter in the debate over whether childhood vaccines can cause autism was written Wednesday with release of a study that showed the controversial mercury-containing preservative thimerosal is rapidly excreted from babies' bodies and can't reach toxic levels.

'Thimerosal has been used for decades, but the surge in vaccinations caused fear that possible accumulations of ethyl mercury, the kind in thimerosal, might exceed safe levels -- at least, when based on the stringent risk guidelines applied to its better-understood chemical cousin, methyl mercury, which is associated with eating fish,' lead researcher Dr. Michael Pichichero, a professor of microbiology/immunology, pediatrics and medicine at the University of Rochester, said in a statement."

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

Compound Cuts Cerebral Palsy in Preemies

image of baby
NEW YORK - "Doctors can cut the risk of cerebral palsy in half for very premature babies by giving their mothers magnesium sulfate just before they give birth, new research shows.

The mineral compound, also known as Epsom salts, is already used to treat preganancy-related high blood pressure and to stop early labor. Doctors should consider giving it to women about to deliver an extremely preterm infant, said one of the researchers, Dr. John Thorp of the University of North Carolina.

'It's cheap. It's readily available. It doesn't harm anybody. I think it will be widely adopted' said Thorp."

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

5 Points Wheel Program

image of car
The 5 Points Wheels program is up and running. This is a FREE transportation program for adults with disabilities or seniors who do not have transportation. If you think you or someone you might know who could benefit please contact Catherine Graham for the following information:

Riders Release: A standard liability form.
Rider Information Form: You must register with the program before
you can ride.
Flyer and Brochure: For information purposes
Operating Map: THIS IS THE CRITICAL ONE!!! The 5 points wheels program operates in the attached "box" area. There is also a Harbison Wheels program operating in the Harbison area and we are working on one in the Northeast.

We want this service utilized. Riders can go to doctor's appointments or anywhere else (e.g. grocery store, shopping, mall, haircut, movie, etc.) The program is limited by the number of volunteer drivers available, so if you know of anyone who would like to volunteer please have them contact Catherine. The drivers must be between 30-75 years old.

To contact Catherine, please call (803) 434-3189 or email her at