February 28, 2003

In this Issue:

  1. Principles for Reauthorizing Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
      Source: www.ed.gov/PressReleases - February 25, 2003
  2. NIH to Host a Symposium on Stress and the Brain
      Source: NIH News Release - February 21, 2003
  3. Results from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN)
      Source: www.cdc.gov/nchs/ - February 27, 2003
  4. Effects of Environmental Toxins and Pollutants on Mental Retardation
      Source: AUCD Digest - February 24, 2003
  5. Federal Interagency Coordinating Council Meeting; Notice of a Public Meeting [OSERS]
      Source: Federal Register: February 14, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 31)

1. Principles for Reauthorizing Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Source: www.ed.gov/PressReleases - February 25, 2003

Secretary Paige today unveiled principles to guide the Education Department's work toward seeking reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the landmark statute that provides for the education of America's 6.5 million students with disabilities. To read these online go to: http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2003/02/02252003.html

2. NIH to Host a Symposium on Stress and the Brain

Source: NIH News Release - February 21, 2003

Researchers have long known that stress and coping ability can have a great impact on health. To commemorate "Brain Awareness Week" (March 10-16, 2003), the NIH will hold a symposium to highlight scientific findings related to the various ways that stress can affect the brain and the body. Speakers will discuss the influence of early rearing on behavioral development, the impact of stress on brain function, the neurobiology of fear and emotion, and the role of trauma in mental health and substance abuse disorders.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 12, 2003 8:30 A.M.-1:00 P.M. (EST)
WHERE: William H. Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health - Bethesda, MD
CONTACT: Michelle Person or Blair Gately (301) 443-6245
To Read the full news release go to: http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/feb2003/nida-21.htm

3. Results from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN)

Source: www.cdc.gov/nchs/ - February 27, 2003

This survey explores the extent to which children with special health care needs (CSHCN) have medical homes, adequate health insurance, and access to needed services. Other topics include care coordination and satisfaction with care. More than 3,000 households with children were screened in order to identify 750 children with special needs in each State. Interviews were conducted with their parents. Also, brief health insurance interviews were conducted for children without special needs to estimate State-level health care coverage using equivalent-sized samples in each State. Finally, for uninsured children from low-income households, questions about parents' awareness of and experience with Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program were asked. It is available at http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/chscn/pages/toc.htm

4. Effects of Environmental Toxins and Pollutants on Mental Retardation

Source: AUCD Digest - February 24, 2003

The American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR) recently received a grant from the John Merck Fund to explore the linkages between environmental pollutants and toxins and the occurrence of disabilities, including mental retardation. According to the Collaboration on Human Health and the Environment, the health problems resulting from environmental toxins cost $325 billion annually. To read more on how toxic substances impact children's health go to http://www.psr.org/resources/pediatric-toolkit.html.

5. Federal Interagency Coordinating Council Meeting; Notice of a Public Meeting [OSERS]

Source: Federal Register: February 14, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 31)

This notice describes the schedule and agenda of the forthcoming meeting of the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council (FICC). Notice of this meeting is intended to inform members of the general public of their opportunity to attend the meeting. The FICC will engage in policy discussions related to mental health services for young children with disabilities and their families. The meeting will be open and accessible to the general public.

DATE AND TIME: FICC Meeting: Thursday, March 13, 2003 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

ADDRESS: U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 505A, Washington, DC 20201.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Obral Vance, U.S. Department of Education, 330 C Street, SW., Room 3090, Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 205-5507 (press 3). Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call (202) 205-5637.
http://www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2003-1/021403b.html