Early intervention works so we should improve its delivery system

by Kevin P. Marks, M.D., FAAP – Early Intervention (EI) depends heavily on early detection. Early detection relies heavily on medical homes. Medical homes must wield evidence-based screening tools in combination with developmental-behavioral promotion to prevent future problems. The Academy already has connected these dots. However, two commonly overlooked barriers to preventing and treating developmental-behavioral […]

Appropriate behavioral interventions help with executive function

by Julie Landry Laviolette – Exercises like rock climbing, structured play sessions and even clapping along to musical beats are being used to help kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, augmenting medication with these structured sessions. About 11 percent of children have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control […]

People wish we would just go away

By Dennis Rosen – It had been several months since I had last seen my patient, and even longer since I’d seen his mother. He was 3 and unable to walk or talk, and when I caught his eye, his face broke open into a huge smile, accompanied by the grunting and rhythmic thrusting of […]

When I talk about dyslexia, my hands sweat

Cisco CEO John Chambers.

by Cisco John Chamber – By anyone’s standards (even his own), Cisco CEO John Chambers has a great and enviable life. He’s fabulously wealthy (paid $21 million last year alone), flies around in his own private jet meeting with presidents and kings bringing tech to rich nations and impoverished countries alike. But sometimes, he remembers […]

How our schools are failing students with special needs

At far too many Florida public schools and private charter schools, support for children with physical, mental and emotional challenges remains inadequate or nonexistent. It’s been this way for years. It’s time state lawmakers and local school leaders stand up for the disabled and demand better of the schools charged with preparing them for life. […]

Federal special ed funding should not be based on student test scores

by Levi B. Cavener – National Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants to tie test scores for special-education students to the amount of money a state receives from the federal government for reimbursement of special-education services. States that send back high test scores for special-education students will get more money; those with lower scores will get […]

Autism research is more collaborative than ever

by Helen Tager-Flusberg – Science is, at its heart, a collaborative process. This is especially true for research addressing complex problems, and autism is certainly complex. For example, to tackle fundamental questions about causes and to move toward targeted treatments, we need to collaborate across disciplines. Another key reason to collaborate is that autism’s enormous heterogeneity requires large samples […]

How technology can level the playing field for students who learn differently

  By Michael T. Dunn, Richard M. Castorani and Christopher F. Herman, M.Ed – The following school profile shows how how important it is to provide students with access to text in meaningful ways. Mr. D’s eighth grade Modern U.S. History class was made up of eleven students, all with a primary diagnosis of Dyslexia and […]

In Finland, special ed supports benefit all students

by Patti White – I wanted to know what the Finnish schools were doing to help their students get the appropriate education for their abilities, both in special education and gifted programs. My own child struggled with learning disabilities in a public school, and I currently teach in a school for the gifted. The special […]

Food dyes and ADHD link is inconclusive but on-going

by Nancy Szokan – Many parents of small children are too young to remember Red Dye No. 2, which was banned from U.S. food products in the 1970s after a furor sparked by Soviet scientists who said it could cause cancer. Red 2 is long gone from U.S. diets — though it’s still present in […]