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Posted: Aug 2, 2004 10:50

August 2004

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SOME PARENTS JUST SAY ‘WHOA’ TO SCHOOL-REQUIRED MEDICATIONS
(June 14, 2004) The Christian Science Monitor.com reported that seven states have laws prohibiting school personnel from recommending psychotropic drugs for children. Over the past few years, 46 bills in 28 states have either passed or are awaiting action. One federal bill, the Child Safety Medication Act, prohibits schools from making medication a requirement of attendance and calls on the Government Accounting Office to track how often schools pressure parents to seek ADHD diagnoses. According to testimony given before Congress in 2000, ADHD diagnosis in children grew from 150,000 in 1970 to 6 million in 2000, representing 12 to 13 percent of US schoolchildren. www.csmonitor.com

IDAHO RIDING CENTER EARNS STATE RECOGNITION
(June 25, 2004) The Idaho Mountain Express reported that Sagebrush Equine Training Center in Boise, ID, received the Leadership in Idaho by Friends of Education (LIFE) award for their “incredible contributions to education.” Blaine County School District Superintendent, Jim Lewis, presented the award to Sagebrush Director, Wendy Collins, during the ceremony. The award was sponsored by the Idaho Association of School Administrators. Collins said the mission of the program is to embrace the person as a whole. Students work with horses to improve physical, cognitive, emotional, social, behavioral, and spiritual functions. www.mtexpress.com

SPAM OFTEN FORGES YOUR ADDRESS
(July 2004) The July 2004 issue of PC World magazine, PC World.com reported that people have often been unfairly given lousy reputations because of the ability of spammers and viruses to forge names in the “From” field of tainted e-mail. Many people don't know about address forging and consider the person named in the “From” box responsible for their inbox misery. However, it's virtually impossible to keep viruses or spammers from forging your e-mail address. And there's no perfect way to avoid the nasty consequences. So be kind to the person mentioned in the “From” line, they often are innocent. http://msn.pcworld.com

SEVERE DEPRESSION ASSOCIATED WITH GREATER NUMBER OF NERVE CELLS IN THALAMUS REGION OF BRAIN
(July 2004) A story in Innovations Report announced that researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas found postmortem brains of patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) showed a 31 percent greater than average number of nerve cells in the portion of the thalamus that regulates emotion. Results showed an increase of 37 percent and 26 percent, in the number of nerve cells in patients with MDD when compared with those without psychiatric problems. Among the subject groups, the number of nerve cells was not affected by taking antidepressants, which reinforces the belief that abnormalities in brain development are responsible for depression. www.innovations-report.com

STUDY FINDS PARENTS ARE BEST ABLE TO EVALUATE CHILDREN WITH ADD
(July 6, 2004) The Boca Raton News reported on a study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics that indicated parents are just as objective as teachers in observing the behavioral changes in their children when they are undergoing treatment for ADHD. Experts agree that this suggests that parents know their children better than other adults. Parents need to start trusting themselves said Dr. Elizabeth Louie, Medical Director for the Center for Precious Minds, which evaluates children with learning difficulties. “This includes noticing improvements during treatment, aiding in diagnosis and keeping track of the changes in their behavior as a consistent basis for comparison.” www.bocaratonnews.com

SIGNIFICANT RESULTS FROM EARLY TREATMENT OF AUTISTIC CHILDREN
(July 8, 2004) A story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that early intervention and treatment of autistic children can yield significant results. Diagnostic tools have improved to the point that autism can be reliably detected by age two, but the average age of diagnosis is about age four, said Dr. Geraldine Dawson, director of the University of Washington Autism Center. She added that the general rule for intervention is the sooner the better.

FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM CONFERENCE
(July 8, 2004) Arc Riverside, 888-818-6298, California Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Organization and Arc California announced a National Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum and related Neurobehavioral Disorders to be held October 28-29, 2004 at the Riverside Convention Center, in Riverside, California. Titled “On the FasTrack to understanding” registration can be found at www.arcriversideca.org.

ONLINE PROVIDER SUED FOR MISUSE OF STUDENT DATA
July 8, 2004) eSchool News online reported a nationwide provider of online admissions applications for colleges, is defending itself against lawsuit allegations from CollegeNET who claims that it misled hundreds of institutions by collecting private information from prospective students including home addresses and social security numbers. CollegeNET also claims that XAP is selling the information for a profit to other vendors like education loan associations, without the applicants' consent. www.eschoolnews.com (This article is now archived, but a simple and free registration to the website will allow access.)

SOS: EFFECTIVE SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAM
(July 10, 2004) The news8Austin.com reported that about 500,000 teenagers try to kill themselves every year, and about 5,000 are successful. Signs Of Suicide (SOS) is a program to help prevent kids from committing suicide, and experts say the program effectively changes attitudes about suicide by emphasizing the connection between suicide and mental illness, particularly depression. The American Journal of Public Health released a study showing the SOS program had reduced suicide attempts by 40 percent. This is the first time in 20 years that a school-based prevention program is making a difference. www.news8austin.com

ONLINE EDUCATION DISAPPOINTS EARLY ENTHUSIASTS
(July 11, 2004) The LA Daily News reported that internet education has disappointed early enthusiasts but has found a niche serving working adults. In the 23-campus California State University system, slightly more than one percent of its 1,800 degree programs are offered online. Private schools that cater to working adults, like DeVry University and the University of Phoenix, rely heavily on the online teaching.

NO CHILD LEFT UN-MEDICATED
(July 12, 2004) The New American.com reported that the British Medical Journal announced President George W. Bush will propose the "New Freedom Initiative," which envisions "comprehensive mental health screening for ‘consumers of all ages,’ including preschool children." According to the Presidential Commission on Mental Health, "Each year, young children are expelled from preschools and childcare facilities for severely disruptive behaviors and emotional disorders." The commission points out that schools are in a "key position" to screen 52 million students and six million adults who work at schools. The article objects that this initiative would put the federal government in charge of screening all children for mental health problems. www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2004/07-12-2004/insider/education.htm

ARE CHILDHOOD OBESITY INITIATIVES SHAPING UP?
(July 14, 2004) The NewsReleaseWire.com reported that in Las Vegas a new research project is raising questions about whether programs and initiatives are taking the right approach against childhood obesity. Experts tout family involvement as key to reducing childhood obesity, but only eight percent of the programs involve other family members. Van S. Hubbard, PhD, Director of the Division of the NIH Nutrition Research Coordination, noted that organizations tackling childhood obesity should look hard at whether they are truly contributing to the solution. www.expertclick.com

MISSOURI SHOWS CALIFORNIA HOW TO CARRY OUT JUVENILE JUSTICE
(July 14, 2004) A story in the San Francisco Bay View.com said Missouri’s juvenile facility, which houses its most serious youth offenders, is looking more like a summer camp for privileged youth. Security staff had no uniforms, no weapons, no pepper spray and inmates were referred to by their first names. The youth, called clients, wear their own clothes, go outside the center and live in dormitory style facilities. The state stresses rehabilitation and creates a therapeutic environment creating a culture where youth deal with the behavior problems together with peer counseling and group processing. Missouri has the most effective juvenile justice system in the country with an astounding 8-15 percent recidivism rate, compared to the California Youth Authority’s astonishing 90 percent recidivism rate. www.sfbayview.com

YOUNGER STUDENTS SIGN UP FOR GED
(July 15, 2004) The Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper reported that increasing numbers of Georgia students are forgoing a high school diploma and enrolling in classes to earn a General Educational Development Diploma, commonly known as the GED. Reflecting a national trend, teens and adults 24 and younger now make up nearly half of all participants in state adult literacy programs, up from 33 percent in 1998, according to Georgia's Department of Technical and Adult Education. Of the 114,008 students enrolled in adult literacy classes last year, most were in GED preparation classes. www.ajc.com (This article is now archived, but a simple and free registration to the website will allow access.)

A RISE IN CHILDRENS’ IQ ATTRIBUTED TO MUSIC LESSONS
(July 16, 2004) A story in GlobeandMail.com said a study published in the Journal of Psychological Science, shows that children who took piano or voice lessons for an entire school year had an additional gain of almost three points more on IQ tests than the average increase of a child not taking music lessons. www.globeandmail.com

MEDICARE CHANGES POLICY ON OBESITY
(July 16, 2004) The Washingtonpost.com reported that the federal Medicare program abandoned a long-standing policy that obesity is not a disease. This decision opens the door for individuals, doctors and companies to receive Medicare payments for therapies for obesity. These include stomach surgery, diet programs, behavioral and psychological counseling. www.washingtonpost.com (This article is now archived, but a simple and free registration to the website will allow access.)

ED APPLIES DATA TO TEACHER DEVELOPMENT
(July 21, 2004) eSchool News online, reported a three-year project aims to create a decision support tool to enable educators to track and manage professional development, report on data from various sources, and create alternative scenarios designed to enhance the practice of teaching in schools. This project is made possible through a $5 million grant from the US Department of Education. www.eschoolnews.com (This article is now archived, but a simple and free registration to the website will allow access.)

CHILDREN OF GAMBLERS SUFFER TOO
(July 24, 2004) An Australian online publication reported that children of problem gamblers are more likely to suffer asthma, allergies and poor grades at school, and often grow up to be addicted to betting. Sharon Forde, of the University of Melbourne, said children were "the forgotten victims" of gambling, experiencing emotional and physical problems as a direct result of their parent's addiction. In addition, clinicians report that the children experience troubled teen years, run away from home, use drugs and suffer depression. www.smh.com (This article is now archived, but a simple and free registration to the website will allow access.)

PARENTS WHO SNOOP
(July 24, 2004) The OrlandoSentinel.com reported that after the shootings at Columbine High School, parents and school administrators throughout the country began snooping on children for signs of trouble. Parents buy high tech gadgets to spy on their kids at home, on the phone and the computer. Proprietors at spy-ware shops say a significant percentage of their customers are parents. www.orlandosentinel.com

COUNTY TARGETS YOUTH VIOLENCE
(July 24, 2004) The Sun Sentinel.com reported that Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Ronald Alvarez, believes there are simple ways to keep kids off the path to violence. Kids need a place to hang out, such as a community center, providing positive role models to mentor youths, counseling to keep family dynamics healthy, and get the troubled teen the help they need, before it is too late. Alvarez was one of the experts who collaborated on a comprehensive report on juvenile violence published by the surgeon general that found the prevention programs in use today have little impact on changing a youth's behavior. The programs that did work incorporated giving kids the skills to make the right choices, monitoring a teen's behavior and reinforcing positive steps, parent training and home visits. www.sun-sentinel.com (This article is now archived, but a simple and free registration to the website will allow access.)

WHEN HOME IS A PRISON
(July 24, 2004) The Guardian Unlimited reported on the political debate over Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (Asbo), illustrating how they either cut crime and mend society, or betray socialism and civil liberties. The Labour party runs Manchester City Council and has issued more that than 300 orders, twice the amount of any city in the country. One Asbo banned a boy from saying the word "grass" in England or Wales until 2010, and a city magistrate banned a boy from misbehaving in school, if he does, he can be sent to prison. Basil Curley is responsible for stretching Asbos to their legislative limits and has no patience with the suggestions that Manchester is instituting an authorized vigilante justice and jailing people for offenses that should not be punishable by prison. www.guardian.co.uk




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