September 27, 2017

In this Issue:

  1. Assistive Technology & the IEP
      Source: Center on Technology and Disability (CTD)
  2. Expression of Language in Down Syndrome
      Source: Down Syndrome Research Foundation
  3. Educational Advocates: A Guide for Parents - Now in Spanish
      Source: The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE)
  4. NIH Awards nearly $100 Million for Autism Research
      Source: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  5. The Evidence Base for How We Learn
      Source: The Aspen Institute
  6. Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education Guidance Manual
      Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

1. Assistive Technology & the IEP

Source: Center on Technology and Disability (CTD)

This parent tool from the CTD explains the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and how assistive technology may be included to best meet the child's needs. A list of questions are provided to help the parent determine whether assistive technology is needed and other considerations.

The CTD website: www.ctdinstitute.org has a resource library with over 1,000 assistive technology related materials, a webinar center, and a learning center with interactive modules. The site recently published a useful Assistive Technology Glossary (August 2017).

2. Expression of Language in Down Syndrome

Source: Down Syndrome Research Foundation

This new resource (25 minute video) explains successful strategies and practices for language development and explores the use of sign language, visual learning, vocabulary, non-verbal communication, games and language obstacles in young children with Down Syndrome.

Additional resources on Down Syndrome can be found below:

3. Educational Advocates: A Guide for Parents - Now in Spanish

Source: The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE)

This new parent guide from CADRE helps families navigate the special education system with tips for hiring an educational advocate and questions to consider. Additional resources are also included.

4. NIH Awards nearly $100 Million for Autism Research

Source: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

According to this press release (September 2017), NIH has awarded nine research grants totaling nearly $100 million over the next five years for the Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE), a program that supports large research projects aimed at understanding and developing interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The ACE program was created in 2007 from the consolidation of previous programs. Grants have been awarded every five years, and 2017 marks the third cycle of ACE grants.

5. The Evidence Base for How We Learn

Source: The Aspen Institute

This research brief (September 2017) from the Council of Distinguished Scientists makes an evidence based statement with a benefit cost analysis that a prepared workforce in early childhood education is crucial, due to its powerful influence in supporting students' social and emotional development, and academic learning. Integrating social and emotional skills at the forefront of education practice and policy "is foundational to the success of our young people" and "allows individuals to contribute meaningfully to society".

6. Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education Guidance Manual

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

This guidance manual released in April 2017 from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), grew out of the agency's direct experience with early care and education programs placed on or adjacent to a contaminated site, causing harmful chemical exposure to children. To be proactive, this extensive resource was developed to protect children in your community and in the environments where they grow, learn, and play.