A surprising fix for ADD, the new IEP app, and the future of autism diagnosis...
A Closer Look at ADD
Over half of so-called “problem learners” have vision problems—and many are undiagnosed, According to The California Optometric Association (COA). Dr. Corinne Odineal, O.D. with Auburn Family Optometry, says she often sees farsighted kids labeled with ADD or hyperactivity. “If kids have trouble seeing up-close, they’ll have a much harder time in school,” says Dr. Odineal. “They fidget, they don’t want to read… They literally can’t focus—because their eyes can’t focus.”
Experts encourage parents to schedule comprehensive eye exams for their children before sending them back to school, especially since school screenings often miss farsightedness. “I always recommend an eye exam before an IEP,” says Dr. Melissa Barnett, Senior Optometrist at UC Davis. Once detected, glasses can fix the problem quickly and easily, giving your student a whole new outlook on school.
There's (Finally!) an App for That
Keeping it all organized—from the latest research to knowing your rights under state and federal laws—can be a formidable task. But when you’re developing an IEP for your child, that organization becomes essential. Thank goodness for the IEP Checklist iPhone app. Developed by the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center, it helps parents of students with special needs keep it all together and easy-to-access.
Offered in both English and Spanish, the IEP app—the very first iPhone application for special education—displays goals, student placement, prior written notice, and 10 more primary categories. You can even make notes under each category, so all your info is easy to reference. Cost of having this handy app on your side: free, at iTunes.Apple.com. Smoother-running IEP meetings: priceless!
A Urine Test for Autism?
A study published in the June issue of the Journal of Proteome Research found that children with autism have a different chemical fingerprint in their urine than non-autistic children. The researchers behind the study are hopeful their findings may one day lead to a simple urine test to diagnose autism, though they acknowledged such a test is still “a long way off.” A urine test could allow health professionals to identify autism earlier. Earlier diagnosis would hopefully mean earlier interventions and bigger benefits for children and families. —AC