Friday, February 26, 2010

Gene Mutation in Mice Sheds Light on Autism

house mouseTHURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- New research is providing more insight into a gene linked to autism in humans: When the gene is turned off in mice, they have trouble learning and become obsessive.

Researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas report that a drug reduces the obsessiveness in the mice, raising hopes that it might do the same thing in people, although that's not yet proven.

"Clinically, this study highlights the possibility that some autism-related behaviors can be reversed through drugs targeting specific brain function abnormalities," said study senior author Dr. Craig Powell, an assistant professor of neurology, said in a university news release. "Understanding one abnormality that can lead to increased, repetitive motor behavior is not only important for autism, but also potentially for obsessive-compulsive disorder, compulsive hair-pulling and other disorders of excessive activity."

The full article may be viewed by clicking the link in this post's title.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Decade of Decisions: Moving Forward in Developmental and Learning Disabilities

The YAI Network’s International Conference attracts an annual attendance of more than 3,000 people and serves as a major forum for the exchange of ideas and the introduction of new models and strategies that have a positive impact in the field of developmental and learning disabilities. The focus of our conference is on treatment and practices, new models and strategies that enhance the lives of people with developmental and learning disabilities and their families.


  • Advocacy and Self Determination

  • Aging

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Challenging Behavior

  • Clinical Issues

  • Community Inclusion

  • Day Services

  • Early Childhood

  • Employment/Transition

  • Healthcare/Wellness

  • Residential Services

  • Sibling Issues

  • Special Education

  • Strenghtening Families

ALSO... Full-Day Workshops, Film Festival, Poster Sessions, Disability History Museum Exhibit, and Discounts to NYC Restaurants and Attractions!

AND MUCH MORE....Register online at (or click on the title above)

WEBINAR: Transitioning Into Special Education

Transitioning Into Special Education

Date: Wed, Feb 24, 2010

Time: 11:00 AM EST
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Host(s): Tanya Inabinet

Meeting Description: This workshop is for parents or service providers working with young children age three who will be coming to the public school system from early intervention program.

Presenter Information: Tanya is the Regional Education Coordinator for PRO-Parents of SC for seven years serving the midlands of SC. She is the mother of three beautiful daughters, one whom has a disability and attends school in Richland School District One.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Preparing Students for the Real World: A Full Day Workshop on Transition

Transition can be a very exciting, and yet very stressful time for parents and professionals who are preparing adolescents with autism and other developmental disabilities for an exit from the school system, and entrance into “the real world.” This workshop will overview the three major components of transition planning: postsecondary education, employment, and community living. Within each area, participants will learn to use a “one person at a time” approach to transition planning, and utilize assessment tools and strategies to support students with disabilities and their families in weighing out available options and identifying an appropriate path to adulthood.

This workshop is designed for special education teachers, job coaches, board certified behavior analysts, board certified associate behavior analysts, and other professionals who are involved in transition planning for youngsters with autism and other developmental disabilities. This workshop is Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) approved for 6 hours of Continuing Education Credit for qualified participants.

March 25, 20109:00 am-4:00 pm (registration begins at 8amLunch is included in workshop fee. Workshop Fee: $75BACB CEU fee (optional): $20

Location: MAP Columbia Conference Center, 169 Laurelhurst Ave., Columbia, SC

As a function of attending this workshop, attendees will be able to:

Use a “one person at a time” approach to transition planning, based on the principles and procedures of positive behavioral support and person-centered planning.

Identify and use available assessment tools and strategies to support students with disabilities and their families in weighing out available options regarding transition.

Identify the continuum of services available in the areas of postsecondary education, employment, and community living.

Identify essential skills that will allow students to plan for and access the least restrictive alternatives in each area.

Create a collaborative partnership with families, schools, communities, and other professionals in order to divide and share responsibility for transition, thereby maximizing the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Assist families in using technology to access information, networking, financial, and personnel resources relevant to transition.

More information about the workshop including a registration link may be viewed by clicking the link in this post's title.

Monday, February 22, 2010

SC AT Exchange - New Listings

We have had a lot of items post to the exchange in the past few weeks. Please don’t forget to check in frequently. Why? We had a “like new” Acorn Stairlift that was worth over $3000 post and was snatched up within an hour for free. If you only check every other week you may miss the big tickets items that don’t stay up for very long. Also, please don’t forget to check out the “needed” items to help people find the equipment they need for everyday activities.

If you have questions about items on the Exchange, please visit the page at and find the contact information for these and other items. You must login (or create a new account if you are a new user) to see the contact information.

If you have logged in and still have questions please call or email Catherine Leigh Graham at 803-434-3189 or Note: If you can’t get Catherine, call Janet Jendron at (803) 446-2566 and email her at

***SC Assistive Technology Exchange February 2010 Update***
Items Needed

Computers and related
· HP Laserjet PrinterDaily Living
· Boys Shoes For AFO's
· Catheter Adapter Tips
· Commode/Shower Chair
· Diapers-Medium
· Electric Patient Lift
· Feeding Pump Kangaroo
· Jevity 1cal
· Nutrene Jr. Formula
· Pulse Oximeter
· Suction Machine
· Quickie Zippie Tilt-in-Space Wheelchair
· Winsford Feeder vironmental Adaptations
· Ceiling Track Lift
· Therapy Cooler, Breg
· Vitaeris 320 Hyperbaric Chamber

Mobility, Seating & Positioning
· 42" Rifton Prone Stander
· Bath Chair
· Child's Corner Chair
· Craftmatic 1 Bed
· High Low Chair Reduced
· Hoveround MPV4 Scooter
· Invacare Walker model 6270
· Invacare Walker model 6271
· Jazzy Power Chair
· Jazzy Pride 1121 Power Wheelchair
· Merits P182 Powerchair
· Model B330AL Joerns low height electric bed
· Model B675 electric bed, Joerns
· Patient Lift Device, Invacare 2005
· Power Patient Lifter, Hoyer Deluxe Lifter HPL402
· Power Wheelchair, Merius
· Power wheelchair, Jazzy 1120/2000 w/ attendant drive
· Power wheelchair, Permobil C300
· Pride Jet 2 HD (Heavy Duty) Scooter
· Pride LX 12 Power Wheelchair
· Reclining Shower Chair
· Reduced Gap Half-Length Bed
· Small Gait Trainer Reduced
· Small Youth Caregiver Operated Wheelchair
· Squiggles Early Sitting System
· Prone and supine standing frame Gazelle PS
· Convaid Safari Stroller
· Therapeutic Wheelchair Cushion, Vector - Vicair Adjuster 10
· Therapy Air Mattress APM2, Span America
· Youth Caregiver Operated Wheelchair
· Power patient lift device, Guldman- model GH2

· Halo Helment
· Nebulizer, Proneb Ultreya

Recreation, Sports, and Leisure
· Rifton Adaptive Tricycle
· Pool Lift, Recreonics
· Swing Seat, JennSwing Cubby

Speech Communication
· Assistive Tech Speech Communicator, Assistive Tech Mercury II
· Speech Communication Device, ERICA Eye Gaze Speech Generating Device
Vehicle Modification and Transportation
· 2001 W/C Accessible Dodge Sport Caravan
· Dodge 2500 W/C Accessible Van 1998 Full size
· Harmar Wheelchair Lift
· Wheelchair Accessible Van, 2005 Toyota Sienna LE Rampvan
· Wheelchair Accessible MiniVan, 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
· Wheelchair lift, vannator /2000, Black

The SC AT Exchange website may be viewed by clicking the link in this post's title.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Autism-Related Hypersensitivity Better Understood

Autistic child with scales and medicineWEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists report they've gained greater understanding of fragile X syndrome, which causes autism and mental retardation, by studying the brain circuitry of mice.

The researchers, whose findings are published in the Feb. 11 issue of Neuron, say they're developing insights into why some people with fragile X are hypersensitive to things they sense through smell, touch, sound and sight. The cause, they believe, is a developmental delay in a brain circuit that's essential for processing sensory information.

The full article may be viewed by clicking on the link in this post's title.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

FREE Introduction to Microsoft Accessibility Training - March 5, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

An Introduction to Microsoft Accessibility

Time: 9:00am–11:00am

Location: Fast Forward Community Technology Center, 3223 Devine Street, Columbia, SC. Fast Forward is located next to Outspokin Bicycles directly across Devine Street from Earth Fare.

For directions go to: or

Presenters: Val Gioia, Assistive Technology Specialist, SC Department of Education and Mary Alice Bechtler, SC Assistive Technology Program

Description: Are you aware of the many accessibility options that are built right in to the Microsoft Windows operating systems? This workshop will show you how to find and use options that enable people with vision, hearing, or motor difficulties to have better access to the computer. Attendees will have an opportunity for hands-on practice with these options and will be given a CD and other tutorial resources.

Registration and Cost: Free! There is no fee to register for this workshop, but pre-registration is required.

Attendance is limited to 18 participants.

To register for this workshop:
Option 1: Complete the online registration form
Option 2: Email Sally Young at
Option 3: Call Sally Young at (803) 935-5263 or 800-915-4522
Option 4: Fax your registration information to (803) 935-5342. Please include your name, organization, address, email address, phone.

For more information on SCATP Trainings, go to OR Click on the title above.

Accessible Emails

Accessible E-mail: Messages That Everyone Can Read is written by the Division of Blind Services, Florida Department of Education. The PowerPoint version is also available online.

A few points about accessible email are below:

Things to Avoid
· Backgrounds commonly known as stationary

· Special characters like the © (Copyright symbol) or a (smiley face)

· Graphics or clip art, unless you know how to add alt tags


· Fancy fonts such as cursive or graphic signature blocks. Stick with san-serif fonts such as Ariel or Verdana.

Header: One of the most important elements in an e-mail Header is the subject field. The subject field is the first field your reader sees – or in many cases does not see because it is empty. Many people sort their mail according to subject. Leaving the subject field empty, or providing a vague or meaningless subject can confuse your readers. A subject field that just says RE, which means regarding, with no further explanation – is meaningless

Composing a Subject Line
· Write brief concise subjects for your e-mail

· When reusing old e-mails (forwarding or responding) – Rename your subject based on the new content

· If you are part of a team using e-mail, consider using a brief acronym in front of the subject. This acronym can be used for sorting the e-mail messages.

Conclusion: Always make sure that you:

· Provide a concise, clear subject line

· Use plain language in the body of your message

· Remove unnecessary information before forwarding or replying to an email and rename the subject as needed

· Provide a summary for attachments and make sure that attachments are readable by everyone

By following these practices, your e-mail will be much more efficient and accessible to all your recipients. Remember, your goal is to get the message across to everyone the first time.

Extremely premature babies show higher autism risk

premature baby held in palmNEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children born extremely preterm may face a much higher-than-average risk of developing autism later in childhood, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that of 219 children born before the 26th week of pregnancy, 8 percent met the criteria for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at age 11. That compared with none of 153 classmates who were born full-term and included in a comparison group.

The ASD rate was far higher than that in the general population, which experts estimate to be somewhere between one and nine cases per 1,000 children, depending on how strictly the disorders are defined.

The article may be viewed in full by clicking on the link in this post's title.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ADHD Brain May Be a Little Different

image of the human brain THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A link appears to exist between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anomalies in the brain's reward system, a new study suggests.

Spanish researchers used MRI to scan the brains of 42 children with ADHD and 42 other children with no signs of ADHD and found that the ventral striatum was smaller, particularly on the right side, in those with ADHD. The ventral striatum includes the nucleus accumbens, which maintains levels of motivation when a person starts a task and continues to maintain motivation until the task is completed.

The reduced size of the ventral striatum in children with ADHD was associated with symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness, the researchers said.

The study was published recently in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

The full article may be viewed by clicking the link in the post's title.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Zero to Three Call for Proposals 2010

Zero to Three logo 2010 Call for Proposals Now Open

ZERO TO THREE’s National Training Institute is a comprehensive and multidisciplinary conference that focuses on cutting-edge child development research, best practices, and policy issues for infants, toddlers, and families.We seek proposals to be featured in presentations or posters that align with the following topic areas:


Topic areas of specific interest related to services for families and infants/toddlers from birth to three years old include:

Infant/toddler development in all domains
Child care
Reflective supervision
Child welfare
Early intervention (Part C)
Infant mental health
Health care
Services for military families and children
Work across disciplinary or agency lines
Advanced clinical reasoning/practice
Personnel preparation
Impact of culture, language, race, ethnicity, class, and gender onearly development
Family-centered practice
Prenatal health and services

Submissions are invited for:

1 ½ hour presentations that feature:

a) Lessons learned from practice, research, or public policy endeavors

b) Clinical intervention with an individual child (birth to three years old) and, the child’s family (case presentations).


Poster presentations that feature:

a) Research projects and/or new research findings.

b) Program models or practices, especially in experimental/ early stages.
The proposal website may be viewed by clicking the link in this post's title.

Friday, February 12, 2010

SCAPTA Conference April 23-25 in Columbia


American Physical Therapy Association, South Carolina Chapter

2010 Annual Conference

Eight workshop topics with six different speakers:

Tab Blackburn MEd PT ATC

Jill Monger, MS, PT, ATP

Tom Martin, CPO

Nina Chitty, PT, MHS

Stacy Fritz, PT, PhD

Robbie B. Leonard, M.S., P.T

Friday, April 23, 2010 7:30 AM -Sunday, April 25, 2010 12:00 PM

Columbia Marriott1200 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC 29201

View Conference Fees

View Conference Summary

View Conference Agenda

The conference invitation may be viewed by clicking the link in this post's title.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

AT Expo featured on the Peggy Denny TV show

SCATP’s Janet Jendron and Greenville Tech’s Sharon Bellwood can be seen on

“The Peggy Denny Show”

on WGGS TV 16 in the upstate. The dates are:

February 22, 2010 at 1:00 PM
March 15, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Library Hosts Visitor from National Network of Libraries of Medicine

NN/LM southeast logo The School of Medicine Library hosted a visit from Dale Prince, Technology Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeastern Atlantic Region (NNLM SE/A), on February 8, 2010. The NNLM SE/A regional office is located at the University of Maryland Baltimore Health Sciences and Human Services Library and serves Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia. The mission of the NNLM SE/A is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving the public's access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health. Mr. Prince met with Library faculty to learn about the numerous community outreach programs which have been funded by the NNLM SE/A grants including the InfoAble Portal, the free clinics project, and the historical book digitization project. Mr. Prince provided Library faculty and staff with an excellent presentation about the services of the NNLM SE/A and made a visit to Family Connection of South Carolina to meet Jackie Richards, Executive Director, see the results of the InfoAble Portal project.

The news post may be viewed directly by clicking the link in the post's title.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The 16th Annual Family Connection 'Of Hopes and Dreams' Conference

March 19 & 20, 2010
Register now for the 2010 Family Connection Conference, "Celebrate Achievements", at Gateway Baptist Church in Irmo, SC.

56 helpful workshops over two days
81 terrific speakers

3 Saturday workshops in Spanish
Sabado 3 talleres en espanol

Special full-day Saturday workshop
IEP Development & Collaboration Strategies
How to develop meaningful and correct IEPs.
How to work with an IEP team.
In Partnership with SC Autism Society

Download a Conference Brochure and Registration Form Today!

*For registration and more information please click on the title above

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Pathways to Independence Conference March 20-21

Myrtle Beach pier at sunriseDisability Solutions is sponsoring the 11th Annual Pathways to Independence Conference, March 20-21, 2010. The conference will be held at the Springmaid Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC.

This conference is developed for and by people with disabilities. The conference usually attracts about 85% consumers and the other participants are service providers, family members and those interested in disability issues. Last year’s attendance was over 300 participants. We are expecting 350 or more participants this year!!!

11th Annual Statewide Conference Developed By and For People with Disabilities:
Pathways to Independence

Come explore your Pathways To Independence by
attending this conference on disability issues

Saturday, March 20, 2010 from 11:30am – 5:00pm
Sunday, March 21, 2010 from 9:00am – 3:00pm

To be announced.

Springmaid Beach Resort
Myrtle Beach, SC
1-800-770-6895; $59.00 plus tax
call “NOW” to make reservations
(limited number of accessible rooms available)

Registration fees are $40.00; Children 12 and under may attend for free.
All registrations must be postmarked by March 12th, 2010
Registration fee includes a lunch, continental breakfast, all workshops and breaks
Limited Scholarships available to individuals with disabilities!
Please make checks payable to; Disability Solutions

To receive registration material for this conference, please contact: Scottie O’Neal
At Disability Solutions, 963-A West Carolina Avenue, Hartsville, SC 29550
V/TTY: 843-339-2028; Toll Free (V/TTY) 1-866-450-3848;

The conference's webpage may be accessed by clicking the link in this post's title.

Introduction to Vantage Lite

Picture of the Vantage LiteIntroduction to Vantage Lite

8:30am – 3:30pm, Poplar Conference Room, Poplar Building, at Midlands Center in Columbia

Presenter: Sandy Baldwin, M.S.,CCC-SLP, Regional Consultant/Augmentative Communication Specialist, Prentke Romich Company

Description: This course will introduce the participant to the Vantage Lite communication device. The participant will briefly learn about the hardware of the Vantage Lite as well as the Exploration Wizard and Page-based Language Options. The course will cover the various levels of Unity that are found in the most recent software version of the Vantage Lite. Our focus for this training will be on the Unity 45 and 60 Language Patterns.

The participant will learn how to customize the Vantage Lite for the augmented communicator. Participants will learn to create additional vocabulary and modify current vocabulary through creating and modifying activities and pages as well as modifying core vocabulary. Participants will learn how to modify selection techniques, speech and word pronunciations. Participants will learn how to hide/show core keys, hide/show an activity, hide/show a page, and create visual scene page with a link. A brief amount of time will be spent on additional device features such as importing digital images and using the Vocabulary Builder feature.

Participant will need to bring a Vantage Lite or laptop computer.

Cost: Free, but pre-registration is required. This class is limited to 12 participants.

Registration: To register and obtain additional information, visit

Information about the Vantage Lite may be viewed by clicking the link in this post's title.