October 14, 2002

In this Issue:

1. Child Care: States Have Undertaken a Variety of Quality Improvement Initiatives, but More Evaluations of Effectiveness Are Needed. GAO-02-897

Source: Today's GAO Reports - October 07, 2002

A new GAO report entitled: Child Care: States Have Undertaken a Variety of Quality Improvement Initiatives, but More Evaluations of Effectiveness Are Needed is available at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02897.pdf

2. Most Definitive Study of Its Kind Shows That Sleeping on the Stomach Increases Infant SIDS Risk

Source: NIH NEWS RELEASE - October 7, 2002

Researchers have conducted the most definitive study of its kind to show that sleeping on the stomach increases the risk of U.S. infants for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Previously, researchers had relied largely on overseas studies for making the recommendation that infants be placed on the back to sleep in order to reduce their risk for SIDS.

The study focused primarily on SIDS cases among African Americans, a group at roughly twice the risk for SIDS than are Caucasians. The findings appear in Pediatrics, October 2002. The research was supported by the National Institute
of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.... For more information go to: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/releases/infant_sids.cfm

3. Brain Shrinkage in ADHD Not Caused by Medications

Source: NIH NEWS RELEASE - October 8, 2002

A 10-year study by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) scientists has found that brains of children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are 3-4 percent smaller than those of children who don't have the disorder - and that medication treatment is not the cause. Indeed, in this first major study to scan previously never-medicated patients, they found "strikingly smaller" white matter volumes in children who had not taken stimulant drugs. Still, the course of brain development in the ADHD patients paralleled that of normal subjects, suggesting that whatever caused the disorder happened earlier.

Drs. Xavier Castellanos, Judith Rapoport, NIMH Child Psychiatry Branch, and colleagues, report on their magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI) study of 152 boys and girls with ADHD in the October 9, 2002 Journal of the American Medical Association.

For more information go to: http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/oct2002/nimh-08.htm

4. Web-based Autism Information from CDC

Source: AUCDigest - October 10, 2002

CDC's Web-based Autism Information Center was launched the first week of September. The information center focuses on the activities of federal and federally funded programs and the resources affected by these programs. The information center includes: information about autism spectrum disorders; activities of CDC and other federal agencies; state activities funded by CDC; education, services, and research resources; and activities to help children use the Internet to learn more about autism spectrum disorders. Go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html

5. New Resource on State Preschool Accountability

Source: AUCDigest - October 10, 2002

The State Preschool Accountability Research Collaborative (SPARC) announced the availability of specific state profiles for 21 states who have reported having early childhood program or child standards in place for public pre-kindergarten programs. These profiles have been developed as part of a national directed research project, funded through OSEP, which is designed to investigate appropriate practices for the inclusion of preschool children with and without disabilities in Standards Based Accountability Systems. For further information, access: http://www.ihdi.uky.edu/Sparc/profiles.htm

6. Teacher Training Programs: Activities Underway to Improve Teacher Training, but Information Collected Limits Accountability. GAO-03-197T

Source: Today's GAO Reports - October 10, 2002

A new GAO report entitled: Teacher Training Programs: Activities Underway to Improve Teacher Training, but Information Collected Limits Accountability, by Cornelia M. Ashby, is available at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03197t.pdf