Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Digest 15

1) In doing some research for some friends I found out that the Special Education Rights and Responsibilities (2005) publication of Protection and Advocacy, Inc. Is available on-line here. Unfortunately there isn't a newer version, and a lot of important changes happened in 2005. However, the first chapter, which gives an overview of special education law, has been annotated to reflect those changes. This resource puts parental rights and responsibilities into plain English, and presents the material in a question/answer format that I find very helpful when I'm looking for one specific bit of information.

2) Another resource for IEP meetings...another reason to consider getting an iPhone? This is an iPhone app that is supposed to help both parents and teachers store information and make sure that a student's IEP meets federal requirements. I do not own an iPhone, so I can't say whether this is useful or not. It sounds good. If you have an iPhone and want to try it out and let me know...

3) This video is a good explanation of Fragile X Syndrome. Fragile X is the only KNOWN cause of autism. A group of parents and professionals caring for individuals affected by Fragile X were in Washington, D.C. this past week advocating for all families with special needs. Because of the link between Fragile X and autism, any basic research that advances diagnosis or treatment of Fragile X could potentially yield progress in the same direction for autism. Learn more from the video or from

4) I recently saw two articles about Kristi Yamaguchi in different magazines. Still caught up in the Olympic spirit (I still have approximately 35 hours recorded on our DVR to watch) I read both articles with increased respect for this icon of figure skating. Now that she has retired from competitive skating she has started a foundation called Always Dream. At least one focus of the organization is to encourage and support children with special needs. They opened an accessible playground in Fremont, CA in January 2010. After reading the first article I was curious about how Ms. Yamaguchi developed this passion. The second article explained that when she was born Ms. Yamaguchi had club feet. Several operations and years of therapy later you'd never know it from watching her skate!

5) I am fascinated by Temple Grandin. There was recently a documentary on HBO about her life. In case you are not familiar, she was diagnosed with autism at age 2.5 years (1950s era) and is now a professor of animal science. She has written a couple of books about her experiences. I reviewed her book Emergence several months ago. Today on twitter I found this video of Dr. Grandin lecturing on autism. It is over an hour long. I haven't watched the whole thing, but the part I have watched so far has been very informative, interesting, and entertaining even! I think we have a lot to learn from her...


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