“Talk. They Hear You.” a new national public service announcement (PSA) campaign that empowers parents to talk to children as young as nine years old about the dangers of underage drinking was launched today by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The kickoff occurred in conjunction with SAMHSA’s 2013 National Prevention Week—an annual health observance dedicated to increasing awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues.
SAMHSA’s latest report on underage drinking shows that more than a quarter of American youth engage in underage drinking. Although there has been progress in reducing the extent of underage drinking in recent years, particularly among those aged 17 and younger, the rates of underage drinking are still unacceptably high.
“Talk. They Hear You.” raises parents’ awareness about these issues and arms them with information they need to help them start a conversation about alcohol with their children before their children become teenagers.
Visit www.underagedrinking.samhsa.gov for more tips and information.
When: Saturday, October 19th, 2013
Where: Rosemont School of the Holy Child
Keynote Speaker: Robert Naseef, PhD., author of “Autism in the Family: Caring and Coping Together“.
April is Autism Awareness Month, and April 2 is World Autism Day. Nearly one in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. ASDs are a group of developmental disabilities that can result in major social, communication, and behavioral challenges. Onset of symptoms usually occurs between a child’s first and third birthdays. Early identification and intervention can help a child access services and learn new skills; however, most children are not identified until after they reach age 4 years (1).
The CDC’s “Learn the Signs, Act Early” program has tools to help parents and early childhood-care and education providers track children’s developmental milestones and provides information about what to do if there is a concern. This program also offers resources for health-care providers, including the Autism Case Training course, which is available online for individual continuing education credit and as a classroom-based curriculum for pediatric residency programs.
1. CDC. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders—Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 sites, United States, 2008. MMWR 2012;61(No. SS-03).
At the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Regional Autism Center, therapists and parents prepare for the changes in autism diagnoses with the new DSM-V. The fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) is set to published in May, 2013. Paula Barson, MA-CCC-SLP, a speech-language pathologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Regional Autism Center, and Amy Kelly, whose daughter Annie, 11, has autism, recently sat down with ADVANCE to explain how the new changes will affect their lives. Visit the “ADVANCE for Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists” website to watch the interview.
“With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aiming to expand coverage for critical mental health services, a new study by children’s health policy experts at the George Washington University Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS) shows that meaningful improvements will also require state and local governments to address the systemic impediments such as the underdeveloped state of these services across the U.S.
Source: Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (2013).
A recently published study shows that youths with Autism Spectrum Disorder need help transitioning to adult health care. Researcher Nancy Cheak-Zamora found that less than a quarter of youths with ASD receive health care transition services compared to about half of youths with other special health care needs. More needs to be done to understand barriers to care and develop policy and practice guidelines tailored for youth with ASD.
In the meantime, the New York State Institute for Health has created a website for youth and their family caregivers to help them develop skills for transitioning from pediatric to adult healthcare.
HealthyTransitionsNY.org teaches skills and provides tools for care coordination, keeping a health summary, and setting priorities during the transition process. It features video vignettes that demonstrate health transition skills and interactive tools that foster self determination and collaboration. While the workshops are held in New York there are still plenty of free resources available for all.
Earlier this week the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing entitled, What Should America Do About Gun Violence? At the hearing, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) shared a story of the impact that mental health services provided in schools have had on his constituents in Minnesota. He went on to say that learning of the initial need led him to want to do more to ensure access for those who have been diagnosed with a mental illness but still lack the access to treatment and services.
Useful resources are available from the NYU Child Study Center on “Helping children with developmental disabilities cope with traumatic events“.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has a wealth of resources available on trauma and they are continually adding more. One notable example is their publication, “Facts on Traumatic Stress and Children with Developmental Disabilities”.
Statement from the Autism Society: No evidence exists to link autism and premeditated violence. Suggesting otherwise is wrong and harmful to the more than 1.5 million individuals living with autism in the United States. Read their complete statement in regards to the alleged Newtown, CT shooter’s possible autism diagnosis.
Also of note, see the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) statement on media reports regarding the Newtown, CT shooting.