September 2006, Vol.6, No.9
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION IS STRONGEST PREDICTOR OF WHETHER A CHILD WITH AN INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY HAS ACCESS TO THE GENERAL CLASSROOM SETTING, NEW STUDY FINDS
A student’s geographic location, rather than the severity of intellectual disability, often determines how s/he will spend future school days, says a new study by researchers at the University of Florida, Gainesville. The study, however, also finds that students with mental retardation are far more likely to be educated alongside typical students than they were 20 years ago. While some states showed little or no progress in educating students with intellectual disabilities, others, including Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Vermont showed major progress in recent times.
Read more on how a move across state lines can affect a child’s educational career athttp://news.ufl.edu/2006/08/08/mainstream/
In other education news, a recent study by the National Center for Educational Accountability explains why some schools can help students reach higher standards while other, similarly-situated schools cannot. The study includes nearly 200 schools in 20 states. Read Just for the Kids Best Practice Studies and Institutes: Findings from 20 States at http://www.just4kids.org/jftk/twenty_states.cfm
THE SIS VANTAGE NEWSLETTER IS NOW AVAILABLE ON THE WEB
Now you can read current and past issues of the free quarterly newsletter, the SIS Vantage, on the Internet at www.siswebsite.org/Newsletter. The SIS Vantage contains latest news and information on the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS), a planning tool for intellectual disability professionals. Currently adopted by four U.S. states and providers worldwide, the SIS is the first assessment tool to focus on a person’s needswhile planning supports, as opposed to measuring what the person lacks.
Latest to adopt SIS is Good Shepherd Communities, a national provider based in Colorado, California, Oregon, and Washington. Read more athttp://www.siswebsite.org/page.ww?section=News&name=Press+Release+Detail&pressrelease.id=28
To learn more about the Supports Intensity Scale, visit www.siswebsite.org. If you have purchased SIS and would like to schedule staff training on the use of the Scale, email@example.com. Here’s what people are saying about SIS training.
RESEARCHERS DISCOVER SEVERAL NEW GENETIC CAUSES OF MENTAL RETARDATION
Scientists at the University of Washington and The Howard Hughes Medical Institute say they have identified a large genetic deletion that causes mental retardation. The scientists report that one form of this cognitive disability, caused by a large deletion that spans six genes on chromosome 17, has characteristic facial, behavioral, and other physical features that can aid clinicians in identifying similar syndromes. The data suggests that the deletion could be involved in about 1% of all cases of mental retardation. Currently, only a few genetic triggers of this cognitive disability have been identified.
Read more about this discovery at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-08/uow-uow081106.php
THE UNITED STATES SENATE PASSES COMBATING AUTISM ACT
On August 4, the United States Senate passed S. 843, the Combating Autism Act, authorizing almost $1 billion in federal funding for autism-related research, early detection, and intervention. This is the first disease-specific legislation passed through the U.S. Senate HELP Committee in more than six years, said Lee Grossman, CEO of the Autism Society of America. To read the summary of major provisions of the Act, visithttp://www.aucd.org/legislative_affairs/documents/summary_combating_autism_act_2006.doc. To read S.843, visithttp://www.aucd.org/legislative_affairs/documents/AutismSenatepassedReportedVersion8-4.pdf. About 7 in every 10 children and adolescents with autism have mental retardation or other problems with their brain function or structure, reports the National Mental Health Association.
In other autism news, a recent National Institutes of Health provides evidence that autism affects the functioning of virtually the entire brain, and is not limited to the brain areas involved with social interactions, communication behaviors, and reasoning abilities, as had been previously thought. Read more athttp://www.nichd.nih.gov/new/releases/autism_affects_brain.cfm
RESIDENTIAL SETTINGS OF 3 PEOPLE OR LESS FOR PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY GROWS OVER TWENTY-FOLD IN THE LAST 30 YEARS; 75% DECREASE IN NUMBER OF PEOPLE LIVING IN INSTITUTIONS DURING THIS PERIOD
While we are all aware of the trend toward deinstitutionalization, it is always interesting to acknowledge just how many persons with intellectual disabilities have moved out of institutions and into residential settings over the last few decades. Noted researcher K. Charlie Lakin and colleagues publish the latest trends in the journal Mental Retardation (Article available for free for AAMR F.Y.I. readers). Between 1977 and 2005, persons with intellectual disabilities living in settings of 6 or fewer increased 20,400 to 291,100 persons, including an estimated growth from 8,700 to 184,000 of people living in settings of 3 or fewer. Persons living in state and non-state institutions of 16 or more residents decreased 207,400 to 67,100 (68%) between 1977 and 2005, including a decrease from 154,600 to 40,100 (74%) in the number of people residing in state institutions.
Download “Changing Patterns in Size of Residential Settings for Persons With Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 1977–2005” from the August 2006 issue ofMental Retardation at http://www.aamr.org/Reading_Room/pdf/LakinMR0806.pdf. To see a Table of Contents from this issue, visit http://aamr.allenpress.com/aamronline/?request=get-toc&issn=0047-6765&volume=44&issue=4
SAVE THE DATE! THE AAMR ANNUAL MEETING WILL BE HELD MAY 21-24, 2007 IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA
The Annual Meeting of the American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR) will be held May 21-24 at the Sheraton Atlanta in Georgia. More details to come onwww.aamr.org, including the availability of student scholarships to attend the conference.
AAMR F.Y.I., a monthly newsletter from the American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR), is compiled by Anna Prabhala, Editor. Please submit comments, suggestions, tips, and news to firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about an AAMR membership, visithttp://www.aamr.org/Membership/index.shtml.
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