Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Participants Wanted for Youth Birding T-Shirt Art Contest

Like birds? Love to draw? Georgia’s Fourth Annual Youth Birding Competition is offering a T-shirt Art Contest for resident kids.

A winner will be picked from each of these age categories: primary (pre-K-2nd), elementary (3rd-5th), middle school (6th-8th) and high school. One winner will be awarded the grand prize: Their artwork will be used for the 2009 YBC T-shirt and they’ll receive a $100 gift card to Michaels gift card. The three other winners will each receive a $50 Michaels gift card, good for art supplies.

Entering is easy. Participants must draw or paint their favorite Georgia bird on paper or sheet canvas (at least 8-by-10 inches but no larger than 11-by-17 inches). Mail it in a large envelope – flat, not folded – by March 16, 2009, to: Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, YBC Art Contest, 543 Elliott Trail, Mansfield, GA 30055.

On a separate piece of paper taped to the back of the artwork, include the participant’s name, school, age, grade level, mailing address, phone number, parent or teacher’s e-mail address, and species of bird depicted. The birds illustrated must be native to Georgia. (And keep in mind that bold colors may show up better on a T-shirt than faint pencil drawings.)

Only one entry per person is allowed, and it must be the child’s artwork. Participation in the Youth Birding Competition is encouraged but not required to submit artwork for the T-shirt Art Contest.

Competitors in the birding event can pick up their submissions at the April 26 banquet at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, where select artwork will be displayed and winners announced.

Artwork from children and teens who do not take part in the Youth Birding Competition can either be picked up at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield during normal business hours or returned by mail – but only if a large, self-addressed envelope with three first-class stamps is included with the submission.

The 2009 Youth Birding Competition starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 25, and ends at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 26. Groups may use as much or as little of that time to count as many birds as possible throughout Georgia. Although teams may start birding anywhere in the state, they must arrive at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center by 5 p.m. Sunday. While judges examine and score checklists, participants will enjoy a live animal show followed by an awards banquet packed with prizes.

For more information on the T-shirt Art Contest, visit, click “Get Involved” and the “2009 Youth Birding Competition” link. Or, contact the competition’s art contest coordinator, Linda May, at (770) 784-3059 or

The same site includes Youth Birding Competition details, including how to register a team for this exciting event. You can also contact the competition’s coordinator, Tim Keyes, at (478) 994-1438 or

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cartoon Network to Celebrate NATIONAL RECESS WEEK '09 with NBA's Dwyane Wade, Guinness World Record(TM) and $100,000 in School Grants

/PRNewswire/ -- Cartoon Network is taking NATIONAL RECESS WEEK, now in its third year, to record heights in 2009. The March 2-6 celebration will feature sports and fitness celebrities, nearly 7,000 public and private elementary schools, $100,000 in school health and wellness grants and more than 100,000 iconic red rubber balls. Crowning the weeklong campaign will be a nationwide effort by participating kids to set a brand new Guinness World Record in four-square. The multi-faceted pro-social campaign was created in 2006 as part of Cartoon Network's overall GET ANIMATED program to celebrate the multiple physical, emotional and scholastic benefits of daily recess for kids ages 6-12 in elementary schools across the country. The 2009 operation will conclude with spring GET ANIMATED events at Boys & Girls Clubs of America and a 40-city GET ANIMATED Tour this summer.

NBA superstar and Summer Olympics gold medalist Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat guard) will once again serve as national spokesperson and on-air/online PSA host for NATIONAL RECESS WEEK, representing Cartoon Network's ongoing partnership with the National Basketball Association's social responsibility arm, NBA Cares ( Additionally, former tennis pro and BGCA spokesperson Anna Kournikova and health and wellness expert Jillian Michaels (The Biggest Loser) will attend onsite elementary school efforts in Miami and New York on Tuesday, March 3 to set an official Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous game of four-square, a popular indoor/outdoor recess activity. The event will be staged at noon (ET) to accommodate all public and private schools that have registered their students to participate in the Guinness record-setting event. Cartoon Network will stage a minimum 120 concurrent games of four-square with multiple participants in order to set the new world record.

"I've always enjoyed working with kids and I'm grateful that my involvement with the NBA can help shine some needed light on how recess can be both fun and healthy," said Wade. "NATIONAL RECESS WEEK fits right in line with my Wade's World Foundation, which provides support to community-based organizations that promote education, health and social skills for kids in at- risk situations. It's all about what's best for kids, so I'm delighted to play a role in Cartoon Network's yearly campaign."

"This annual event has become a favorite for all of us at Cartoon Network as it offers the opportunity to benefit elementary schools across the country along with the chance to personally volunteer and serve kids in our own neighborhoods," said Stuart Snyder, president and chief operating officer for Turner Broadcasting's Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media group. "Studies have shown that daily recess provides not only vital physical exercise but a much-needed break for all kids to refresh and re-energize for their in- classroom work." Snyder continued, "We're grateful that principals and gym teachers all over the country have embraced NATIONAL RECESS WEEK and recognize recess' rightful place within each school day."

Cartoon Network will once again commit $100,000 in financial assistance to schools that signed up between Jan. 4 and Feb. 15 at for a chance to win one of ten $10,000 recess grants. Winning schools will be selected in five separate regions across the U.S. -- two schools per territory -- and officially awarded the grant during NATIONAL RECESS WEEK. Nearly 7,000 public and private elementary schools participated in this year's free grant drawing.

Mayors in 30 major cities across the country -- nearly twice the number involved last year -- have officially proclaimed March 2-6 as their city's NATIONAL RECESS WEEK. Their shared goal is to help encourage more schools to participate in local recess celebration events and volunteer efforts now and throughout the school year.

Additional partners linking up with Cartoon Network and NBA Cares for the 2009 NATIONAL RECESS WEEK campaign include the National Association for Sport & Physical Education (NASPE), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Physical Activity and Health Branch, the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and the Association of Junior Leagues International.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NIH Study: Educators Favor New Behavior Imaging Technology for Treating Autism in the Classroom

/24-7/ -- In a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), educators overwhelmingly embraced Behavior Imaging technology as a means of more effectively treating children with autism. The study's results are being published at a time when nearly every state in the nation is being forced to cut school budgets and is seeking innovative and cost-effective ways to deliver services to students with special needs.

Dr. Uwe Reischl, M.D., Ph.D, of Boise State University coordinated the study, which examined not only the efficacy of B.I. Capture (a Behavior Imaging tool that captures and stores behavioral events via remote control video) in treating students with autism, but also the ease with which teachers and behavior specialists were able to utilize the technology.

"We are finding that autism educators are far more receptive to using Behavior Imaging than we had originally expected," noted Reischl. "This is especially so for participants who not only want to use it for behavior analysis, but who also see it as a useful tool for assessing student skills, giving or receiving consultation, and training students and staff."

Behavior Imaging (B.I.) is the video capture and secure sharing of behavior in a natural environment for treatment, training, assessment, and other clinical purposes. Initially developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology, the system captures, on video, a child's behavioral episodes in educational, clinical, and home environments. Behavioral data that is captured is then used to characterize recognized aspects of behavior to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, and research of autism. With video that can be viewed, annotated, and stored online, behavioral experts can guide students' progress from anywhere in the world.

Of the participating educators, 74% agreed that B.I. saved time and money by enabling them to easily capture on video what preceded a student's inappropriate behavior (the antecedent, in clinical terms). This critical data can then be used to develop an appropriate behavior program. The majority of the participants reported that they will be able to serve more students than before. With respect to ease of use, 100% of the participants indicated that they did not require any additional training above and beyond what was provided when the technology was first installed.

An earlier phase of the study demonstrated that the technology enabled a 43% reduction in errors when collecting data for a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) program. Now, in addition to more effective clinical diagnoses and treatment, B.I. also can be used to save qualified practitioners time and money by obviating the need to only observe autistic behavior in person.

Application of this technology to staff training, student assessment, and supervision of students by their parents was reported as providing a significant benefit. "This would be tremendously helpful to our organization because we have 16 locations around the world and training and mentorship from central locations to the remote sites would be greatly enhanced with these capabilities", according to one participant. Other participants commented that Behavior Imaging would address a critical need in rural schools, which often lack resident specialists.

Dr. Matthew Goodwin, Director of Clinical Research at the MIT Media Lab and Associate Director of Research at The Groden Center in Providence, RI noted, "Easily gathering, sharing, and reviewing a child's clinically meaningful behavior with B.I. Capture could revolutionize how parents, educators, and behavior analysts collectively understand and support children with autism and related developmental disabilities."

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Center for Puppetry Arts and NACA-Atlanta present A WEEKEND OF CHINESE CULTURE

The Center for Puppetry Arts (CPA) and the National Association of Chinese Americans-Atlanta (NACA-Atlanta) are pleased to present a Weekend of Chinese Culture, March 7 & 8. The weekend will feature performances of Old Man and the Monkeys & other Chinese Tales, by Dragon Art Studio (Tigard, OR), one of the few professional Chinese puppetry companies in the United States, as well as special tours highlighting the Chinese hand puppet collection in the Center’s global puppet Museum, Puppets: The Power of Wonder and other fun-filled activities focused on Chinese culture.

Old Man and the Monkeys & other Chinese Tales is presented as part of the Center’s 2008-09 Family Series, and runs March 3 – March 15, 2009. In this compilation of five traditional and non-traditional tales of Ancient China, stories of compassion, consideration, and the greatest ping-pong match of all time, are told with the grace and precision that only classically trained, veterans of the puppetry stage can tell. Critically acclaimed puppeteer, actress and Beijing Opera singer, Yuquin Wang and master puppeteer and graduate of the Beijing Puppetry Art School, Zhengli Xu, perform short vignettes that are told with beautiful music, ornate characters and, remarkably, no dialogue!

In addition to the performances, the schedule for the weekend includes guided tours of Puppets: The Power of Wonder by Museum Curator Jeremy Underwood at 12pm and 2pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. This tour highlights the Chinese hand puppets in the permanent collection. As an added treat on Sunday from 4-5pm, there will be a Dragon Art Studio backstage tour (included with admission to 3pm show) given by Brenda Xu. This behind-the-scenes peek gives an in-depth look at how Dragon Art Studio successfully blends puppetry and music with elegance, humor, and special effects to create a uniquely entertaining theatrical experience.
Old Man and the Monkeys & other Chinese Tales will be presented in the Downstairs Theater. Showtimes are: Tues – Fri @ 10:30am & 12pm; Sat @ 11am, 1pm, & 3pm; Sun @ 1pm & 3pm.
Tickets for patrons ages 2 and older are $14.82 + tax for the general public and $8.33 + tax for Members.

The All-Inclusive ticket price includes a performance, the Create-A-Puppet Workshop,* and admission into the permanent Museum exhibit Puppets: The Power of Wonder, and special exhibits including Jim Henson: Wonders from His Workshop. *Dual/Family Level and above.
During this special Weekend of Chinese Culture, the All-Inclusive ticket price includes all of the above plus the special tour of the Chinese hand puppet collection on a first-come, first served basis (limit 20 people per tour). Please visit for more information on the Museum.

Order your tickets “FEE-FREE” online at or call the Ticket Sales Office at 404.873.3391. The Ticket Sales Office is open Monday through Saturday from 9am – 5pm and Sunday 11am – 5pm, with extended hours during evening performances. The Center is located in Midtown Atlanta, across the bridge from Atlantic Station, is accessible from MARTA, and has limited free parking.
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Cockroach Allergens Continue to be a Major Trigger of Asthma, Especially in Children

(BUSINESS WIRE)--With a projected $1B spent on the professional cockroach management services in the United States each year, this insect is one of the nation’s most prevalent and potentially hazardous pests. Cockroaches can spread nearly 33 different kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns that as these pests come indoors, their droppings and shed skin lead to allergen accumulation and subsequently, the potential increase for asthma attacks, notably in children.

Recent medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens are responsible for numerous allergic reactions and are one of the leading causes of school absenteeism. In fact, the World Health Organization reported in its 2008 book, “Public Health Significance of Urban Pests,” that children who are not only sensitive to cockroach allergens but also, exposed to high levels of such allergens are 3 times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than other children.

"Cockroach allergens – whether present in homes, schools or other public facilities – pose significant health risks for all humans, especially children," says Greg Baumann, senior scientist for NPMA. "As a major trigger of asthma, which the American Lung Association deems the most common chronic disorder in children, cockroaches are pests that must be properly controlled to prevent the build-up of allergens and the spread of bacteria."

The NPMA offers these tips to prevent cockroaches from coming indoors:

* Vacuum often to reduce cockroach allergens.
* Keep garbage in a sealed container and dispose of regularly to avoid attracting cockroaches.
* Keep any/all food in sealed containers to prevent infestations.
* Properly ventilate basements/crawl spaces to prevent moisture.
* Seal cracks and holes around utility pipes that enter the home to prevent easy access for cockroaches.
* If you find signs of a cockroach infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Girl Scouts of the USA and Microsoft Launch Online Safety Campaign

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Girl Scouts of the USA and Microsoft Corp. joined forces to create LMK (text speak for "let me know") -- an online safety resource where girls are the technology experts on subjects that are often best discussed at a teen-to-teen level, like cyberbullying, predators and social networking. This girl-led campaign allows girls to share their online concerns with peer "tech-perts" about the issues that affect them while raising awareness about how to help keep girls (ages 13-17) safe while surfing the Web. In addition, parents have access to a site specifically geared to their needs, equipping them with the tools necessary to understand and act on the rapidly changing world of online safety.

"Being online is a part of every teenage girl's life," says Shannon, a member of the LMK editorial team. "Now we have a chance to teach our parents a thing or two about the real issues we face every day."

The campaign includes an interactive Web site for girls, as well as an e-newsletter and Web site for adults. Each month, the all-girl editorial board explores a different internet safety topic online and then shares what it learned in the e-newsletter, which is distributed to adults the following month. The e-newsletter and adult site are designed to provide parents with timely guidance and also serve as a tool to help families have open and honest conversations about the dangers that lurk in cyberspace.

In addition, Parry Aftab, Internet security lawyer and founder of the world's largest cybersafety charity, has created the training and will continue to guide the girls and parents through her Question & Answer column on the site and raise awareness about cybersafety. The girls' Web site also features forums, articles, quizzes and polls. Both sites are open to everyone (Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts alike) as well as to any adult who wants to learn about internet safety.

"This collaboration between Girl Scouts and Microsoft not only bridges the digital generation gap between girls and parents, but it also empowers girls to become leaders and advocates for the safe and responsible use of technology," explains Laurel Richie, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Girl Scouts of the USA. "We are excited to work with Microsoft to create a campaign that encourages girls to speak and voice their concerns about internet safety."

Microsoft, which has developed family safety tools such as Windows Parental Controls and Windows Live Family Safety Settings, offers resources and provides online safety guidance in support of LMK. "Most teens understand the internet and technology better than their parents," says Erika Takeuchi, product manager for Windows Client Interactive and Digital Creative Development at Microsoft. "These tools will teach parents effective ways to help protect their families from risks such as file-sharing abuse and exposure to potential dangerous content."

While the full scope of online threats, such as cyberbullying, are difficult to measure, we do know that nearly one in six U.S. children grades six to 10 (that's 3.2 million students) are victims of online bullying each year, according to the National Council of Juvenile Court Judges. Bullying is not "just a phase" or behavior in which "kids will be kids." The repercussions of cyberbullying can be so grave that at least 13 U.S. states have passed or are proposing laws to make it a crime.

With detailed advice and information about online safety issues written by teen girls, this collaboration between the Girl Scouts of the USA and Microsoft provides resources for both teens and parents.

LMK launches nationally today and will by utilized by all 109 local councils. In addition, the campaign will include direct collaboration with ten Girl Scout councils to increase awareness and engagement. These local councils include Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey (Paramus, NJ), Girl Scouts of NC Coastal Pines (Raleigh, NC), Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland (Wichita, Kan.), Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council (Redlands, Calif.), Girl Scouts of Frontier Council (Las Vegas, NV), Girl Scouts of Western Washington (Seattle, WA), Girl Scouts, Hornets' News Council (Charlotte, NC), Girl Scouts of Central Texas (Austin, Texas), Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains (Bedford, NH) and Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (Detroit, Mich.)

For more information, please visit: (the site for girls) and (the site for parents/adults).

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Stories for Children Magazine Announces Wacky Dream Story Contest

/24-7/ -- Make your dreamscape come alive and write about a wacky dream you or one of your characters has had and can't stop talking about it. It's all about the wackiest dream, but make sure it is appropriate for children ages 12 and under.

Submissions accepted: March 1, 2009 thru May 30, 2009

Who can enter? Two categories: one for adults and one for children (17 and under)

Contest Fees: Adults $10 / children FREE

Contest Prizes:
The Top Three stories for both categories will be published in the following months:
1st place—July 2009
2nd place—August 2009
3rd place—September 2009

In addition to publication in Stories for Children Magazine, our Top Three Winners in both categories will receive:

For Adults:
1st Place: A year's subscription to Children's Writer, published by the Institute of Children's Literature.

2nd Place: Writer's Little Instruction Book: Craft & Technique, by Paul Raymond Martin, published by Writer's Digest.

3rd Place: Writer's Little Instruction Book: Getting Published, by Paul Raymond Martin, published by Writer's Digest.

For Youth (17 and under): a $10 gift certificate to a store of their choice.
Judges: The SFC Editors


Specifications: Short stories for children ages 12 and under. Any original, unpublished piece not accepted by any publisher at the time of entry is eligible. Entries can take on any form of wackiness. Maximum word count is 1,200 words. (This is not including your title or byline.) NO sexual, violent, or drug related content. Winners will be selected based on quality and appeal to our readership at Stories for Children Magazine.

All entries must follow Stories for Children Magazine's submission guidelines at:

All submissions must be emailed as an attachment to: by midnight May 30, 2009. In the subject line, write "Wacky Dream Story Contest" and indicate adult or youth category.

No mail-in entries will be accepted! No acknowledgement of the receipt of entries will be sent. Multiple entries are allowed, but must be sent separately.

FOR ADULT WRITERS: An invoice will be sent via PayPal for the contest fee of $10.

FOR YOUNG WRITERS (17 and under): Please follow the submission guidelines above. Plus attach the Minor Release form, which can be found at:


Good luck!

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

CPSC Issues Guidance For Complying With Phthalates Requirements In New Child Safety Law

Starting on February 10, 2009, children's toys and child care articles cannot contain more that 0.1% of six phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP, and DnOPA) regardless of when they were manufactured. The CPSC will abide by a court decision (pdf) issued yesterday ruling that the prohibition on phthalates in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 applies to products in inventory. Phthalates are a group of chemicals (oily, colorless liquids) that are used among other things to make vinyl and other plastics soft and flexible.

A "children's toy" is defined in the statute as a product intended for a child 12 years of age or younger for use when playing. The Commission has previously stated that it will follow the definition of toy in the mandatory toy standard which exempts such things as bikes, playground equipment, musical instruments, and sporting goods (except for their toy counterparts).

The statute also prohibits phthalates over the limit in "child care articles," which include products that a child 3 and younger would use for sleeping, feeding, sucking or teething. By way of example, a pacifier/teether would be an item that would help a child with sucking or teething; a sippy cup would facilitate feeding; and a crib mattress would facilitate sleeping.

Companies must meet their reporting obligation under federal law and immediately tell the Commission if they learn of a children's toy or child care article that exceeds the new phthalates limits starting on February 10, 2009. Companies also should know that the CPSIA generally prohibits the export for sale of children's products that exceed the new phthalates limits.

The agency will be issuing further guidance information next week.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Creative Kids 6-12: The Next "Pop" Artists?

(NAPSI)-For youngsters with an artistic bent, a new contest could be described as being "totally tubular."

That's because, in celebration of a popular frozen snack's 50th birthday, kids have the opportunity to redesign its signature tube--and potentially have their artful creations adorn millions of packages nationwide.

To mark a half century of flavorful snacking, Nestlé Push-Up is launching Push-Up and Create, a search for kids who can create the next great work of "pop" art. Beginning February 2, 2009, children will have a sweet opportunity to demonstrate their creative talents through this unique art contest. Three winning kids will have their designs featured on millions of limited-edition Push-Up tubes.

In addition to having their artwork showcased on this popular frozen snack, each of the three Grand Prize winners will also receive a $1,000 gift card that can be used for art supplies and a $2,500 donation to his or her school.

"Kids and kids at heart love the Nestlé Push-Up tube and its colorful designs," says John Harrison, official taster for the Nestlé Push-Up brand. "What better way to celebrate our 50th birthday than to invite kids to submit their own creations?"

Kids ages 6-12 are invited to design a unique "virtual" tube by visiting, where they can use online design tools to create cool backgrounds, mix colors and sketch their own masterpieces. Think orange tree fields and grape-kissed skies, rainbow sherbet-striped puppies and sequined stars; the options are limitless and creativity counts. Young artists can also download a template from the Web site, print it out and design and mail their masterpiece to Push-Up and Create, P.O. Box 713, New York, NY 10013-0713. Entries must be submitted between February 2 and August 31, 2009.

Nestlé Push-Up is available in four delicious assortments: Nesquik Creamy Delights, Laffy Taffy, Fruit Mania and Rainbow Twisters. These frozen snacks are fun for kids (and kids at heart) and each flavor has 90 calories or less.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Maximum Potential Offers Affordable Training Course for Parents of Children with Autism

/PRNewswire/ -- Parents of children with autism often face a daunting task of paying for the prescribed hours of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy for their children. With the rate of autism listed at 1 in every 150 children, and the average yearly cost of ABA therapy between $20,000 and $50,000, more families than ever are facing an uphill battle to pay for services. Only a handful of states mandate insurance companies to pay for ABA and for those that can't afford therapy, there is little available.

In an effort to provide every family with a chance to help their children, Maximum Potential Group ( of Alpharetta, GA has released an ABA training course that provides parents with an opportunity to learn the principles of ABA. The program gives parents, school systems and caregivers everything they need to make a difference in the lives of their children and students, at a fraction of the cost of traditional therapy options.

"Our ABA course was created by Coby Lund, PhD, BCBA, and Janet Lund, PhD, BCBA, to empower parents and other family members of children with autism to develop an effective and affordable in-home ABA program and give their children a fighting chance," says Garrett Butch, founder of Maximum Potential Group and the father of a six-year-old with autism. "There are too many families in the United States who do not live near a qualified therapist, or do not have the financial resources to pay for 20 to 30 hours a week for intensive ABA therapy. They deserve the same opportunity to treat their children as those who can afford these services."

Maximum Potential's ABA course contains 17 modules on 8 DVDs that allows family members to understand all of the principles of ABA and then work with a child throughout the day. In each of the modules are examples of ABA sessions with children on all levels of the autism spectrum.

"Our goal was to provide an affordable alternative for families who so desperately need help working with their children," Butch said. "Learning how to set up an ABA program as well as learning skills such as data collection, behavior management and social skills programing can really make a difference in the lives of both a parent and a child."

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Children with Special Needs Affecting Behavior More Likely to Use Child Restraints Correctly

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Results of the first large-scale study on child restraint use and injury risk among children with special needs likely to affect behavior (i.e. autism and developmental delays) were released today in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) found that children with special needs likely to affect behavior were more likely to be appropriately restrained in motor vehicles as compared to children with no special needs. Even so, this group of special needs children has a similar risk of injury compared to children without these conditions.

"Children with special needs are driven in private vehicles every day, and we wanted to study their safety in crashes compared with other children," said the study's lead author, Patty Huang, M.D., Fellow, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The results highlight the importance of appropriate restraint use for all children, especially those older than age four. Parents of children with special needs likely to affect behavior should consult their health care provider or a certified Child Passenger Safety technician for vehicle safety advice that accounts for the unique experiences and needs of their child."

Researchers used the State Farm-funded Partners for Child Passenger Safety study to examine real-world crashes involving more than 14,500 children ages 4 to 15 over a four-year period. They point to a number of reasons why children with special needs affecting behavior might be more likely than other children to use child restraints appropriately.

"Children with special needs are more likely to be driven by a parent than their counterparts without special needs, and previous research shows that children riding with their parents are more likely to be appropriately restrained," said Dr. Huang. "In addition, parents of children with special needs are often extra-vigilant when it comes to their children's safety and therefore ahead of the game with safety practices."

Further research is needed to determine why increased likelihood of appropriate restraint use among children with special needs does not translate to a reduced risk of injury. In the meantime, Huang and her colleagues urge parents and physicians to remain vigilant and to follow recommended restraint practices for all children, keeping in mind each child's unique experience as a passenger, and considering any special needs a child may have.

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