January 4, 2019

In this Issue:

  1. Dear Colleague Letter - Early Intervention Services (EIS)
      Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
  2. Inclusion Today, Community Living for Life (Video)
      Source: Administration for Community Living (ACL)
  3. CDC's Milestone Tracker App - Now Available in Spanish
      Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  4. Young Children in the Digital Age: A Parent's Guide
      Source: Defending the Early Years (DEY)
  5. Mobile Detection of Autism through Machine Learning
      Source: PLOS Medicine, Volume 15, Issue 11
  6. New National and State Data Resources from CADRE
      Source: The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE)

1. Dear Colleague Letter - Early Intervention Services (EIS)

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

OSEP has published a new policy letter (December 20, 2018), regarding screening and whether it should be included as part of an evaluation for an infant or toddler suspected of being deaf or hard of hearing, as well as, information on the applicable evaluation timelines and required protocols under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Additional OSEP Memos, Dear Colleague Letters and Policy Letters are publicly available online.

2. Inclusion Today, Community Living for Life (Video)

Source: Administration for Community Living (ACL)

In the latest issue of ACL's blog (December 2018), a video is shared depicting the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' visit to the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Child Development Center in Washington, D.C., "an opportunity to see the center's inclusive model in action and learn about the innovative partnership between the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and Easterseals DC MD VA". Classroom visits and meetings with staff and parents explain how the program operates and its impact on families of children with disabilities.

3. CDC's Milestone Tracker App - Now Available in Spanish

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC recently made its Milestone Tracker app available in Spanish (October 2018). This free mobile app includes resources made available through the Learn the Signs Act Early program. The app has a user friendly interface and helps parents track their child's developmental progress from ages 2 months through 5 years with milestone checklists, photos, videos and reminders for appointments and developmental screenings.

4. Young Children in the Digital Age: A Parent's Guide

Source: Defending the Early Years (DEY)

This new brief published by Defending the Early Years (November 2018) offers families and preschool teachers guidance about healthy child development in the digital age. Through research and case stories, the brief discusses how the over use of screen media has affected how children play and covers six core ideas in early child development, followed by practical ways to implement these ideas in the home or classroom.

5. Mobile Detection of Autism through Machine Learning

Source: PLOS Medicine, Volume 15, Issue 11

There are 20 to 100 behaviors traditional tests evaluate for diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and this can take a long time to complete. This study recently published in PLOS Medicine (November 2018) discusses how researchers gathered over 160 3-minute home videos of children with or without autism and designed a mobile web portal that classifies 30 behavioral features (such as eye contact, social smile, speech patterns, etc.). Through machine learning, video raters with no official education in child development or autism diagnosis were able to accurately detect ASD in short time frames. Further research is necessary to determine if this method will advance ASD diagnosis at greater proportions.

6. New National and State Data Resources from CADRE

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

Last month (December 2018) CADRE published new national and state dispute resolution data and summaries to help stakeholders identify changes and usage trends of the IDEA dispute resolution processes (i.e., procedures to resolve special education disagreements). CADRE has also made available its State (Part B) Dispute Resolution Data Summaries, providing an historical look at annual data submitted by state educational agencies to the Office of Special Education Programs.