October 3, 2003

In this Issue:

1. The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Publishes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Resource for School and Home

Source: www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/osep/new.html - September 2003

OSEP has published Identifying and Treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Resource for School And Home. This resource guide for families and educators provides information on how ADHD is identified and treated and includes sections on legal requirements, treatment options and helpful hints on how to improve the quality of life at home and at school, for a child identified with ADHD. To download the publication go to: http://www2.ed.gov/teachers/needs/speced/adhd/adhd-resource-pt1.pdf or http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/osep/index.html#adhd-res

2. Paige Hails 30 Years of Progress for Students with Disabilities

Source: www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases - September 26, 2003

U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige today hailed the 30th anniversary of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, saying that the groundbreaking civil rights statute has opened opportunities for millions of students with disabilities and laid the foundation for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law that protects the rights of persons with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal funds. The department's Office for Civil Rights enforces the law at the nation's education institutions.

Paige noted that three decades ago more than a million school-aged children with disabilities received no educational services whatsoever, and only one in five of those students who did receive services was educated in a regular public school building. Today, more than six million children with disabilities receive special education and regular education with services - virtually all of them in regular school buildings. To read the entire press release go to: http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2003/09/09262003a.html

3. Article Assesses Minority Young Women's Knowledge and Prevention Practices Related to Neural Tube Defects

Source: MCH Alert - September 19, 2003

The authors of this article state that folic acid deficiency is linked to the development of neural tube defects (NTDs) and that a challenge facing medical and public health professionals is to improve the knowledge and prevention of NTDs in women of childbearing age. In addition, the authors point out that because a high percentage of women ages 15 through 24 who become pregnant report an unintended pregnancy, it is a challenge to change habits of women who might get pregnant to take a multivitamin daily and increase folate- and folic-acid-fortified food intake. The purpose of the study described in this article was to assess (1) knowledge of Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) and prevention by folic acid, (2) intake of daily multivitamin and folate and folic-acid-rich food, and (3) factors associated with knowledge and prevention practices among sexually active minority young women ...

The authors found that:

  • The mean age of participants was 18; 72% were black, and 28% were Hispanic.
  • Fifty-two percent of participants had heard of folic acid, 45% had heard of NTDs, and 50% had heard that taking multivitamins can prevent birth defects.
  • Significantly more Hispanic than black young women had heard of NTDs.
  • At enrollment, 9% of participants took daily multivitamins.
  • Consumption rates of folic acid/folate-rich foods were poor; adequate folate diet was not associated with knowledge.
  • The follow-up survey indicated that 88% to 92% of participants had knowledge of NTDs and folic acid, and 67% reported taking a daily multivitamin.

The authors conclude that "our study suggests that practitioners should promote daily multivitamin intake among young women."

Chacko MR, Anding R, Kozinetz CA. 2003. Neural tube defects: Knowledge and preconceptional prevention practices in minority young women. Pediatrics 112(3):536-542.

[Originally published in MCHAlert 2003 National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and Georgetown University. Reprinted with permission.]