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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back To School Tips For Children With Autism; Hispanic Children Often Have Undiagnosed Developmental Delays

Disabilities Are Not Contagious. Ignorance is.

Back To School Tips For Children With Autism

Going back to school, after a long summer, can be a challenge both for parents and children. There are a few tips that can help make the transition more manageable.

  • Start at home preparing your child for returning to school. This should involve new bedtimes, waking up earlier and adjusting to new morning routines. Get organized.
  • You should meet with your child's new teacher. Your teacher should be familiar with your child's current IEP. You should review the IEP before school starts.
  • If your child is attending a new school, familiarize him/her with the new school surroundings. Ask the school for a tour of the school and classroom BEFORE school starts.
  • Let your teacher/teachers know that you are always available to meet with them.
  • When your child returns from school at the end of the day, ask him/her how it was at school. Ask about the teacher. Ask about the new schedule. Ask about any new friends your child met or old friends your child reunited with that first day. In other words, make every effort to allay any anxiety your child might have during the first few days at school.
  • Make time to help your child with his/her homework. Take it slow. Give your child time to adjust to the new schedule at home.
  • After the first week, call your child's teacher and ask the teacher how things are going at school.
  • Every child adjusts differently. It's your job to help alleviate any stress your child might experience those first few days at school.
(The Stir, Yahoo, Oakland County Moms)

Broader Outreach Needed For Hispanic Children With Developmental Delays

Hispanic children often have undiagnosed developmental delays and large numbers of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic children who first were thought to have a developmental delay actually had autism according to new research published in the Journal of Autism.

"Our study raises concerns about access to accurate, culturally relevant information regarding developmental milestones and the importance of early detection and treatment, " said Virginia Chaidez, lead author at UC Davis where the study was conducted. "Autism and developmental delay tend to go undiagnosed when parents are not aware of the signs to look for, and the conditions are often misdiagnosed when parents don't have access to adequate developmental surveillance and screening," added Ms. Chaidez.

The study included 1,061 children living in California who were between 24 and 60 months of age.  The evaluations of Hispanic children were conducted by bicultural and bilingual clinicians in Spanish or English, depending on the primary language used at home.

In comparing results for the children with at least one Hispanic parent with those with non-Hispanic parents, researchers found that diagnostic scores for autism, such as language, socialization and intellectual capabilities were very similar.

A striking outcome was that 6.3% of Hispanic children enrolled in the study who were selected randomly out of the general population met criteria for developmental delay, compared with only 2.4% of non-Hispanic participants. This raised concerns that many Hispanic children with developmental delays may not be getting the services they need.

"That so many children are slipping through the cracks is disheartening," said Robin Hansen, chief  of developmental-behavioral pediatrics at UC Davis. She added, "We need to make sure that all children are getting routine developmental screening, early diagnosis and intervention s they can achieve their fullest potential."

(Examiner, Medical News Today, PRWeb)

Conference News

Arizona "Back To School" Autism/Asperger's Conference. September 13-14, 2012. Phoenix, AZ. For more information, contact: 480.831.2047