New on our Website? You Can Find Out Here.
for Goals & Objectives for an Upcoming IEP? Click here.
For Expelled Students to Get Back in School Could Become National Model
For most students, being caught in the fall of their senior year with
prescription pills that appeared to be packaged for distribution would dash
any hopes of graduating with their class. They likely would face a 180-day
expulsion, not to mention charges in juvenile court.
Mental Health - Legislation Allows Help Before a Major Incident
Requested change to Kevin’s Law to protect both the public and
persons with mental illness by making it easier for friends and family
members to obtain a court order for outpatient treatment. Michigan
Representative Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt Township) has introduced new
legislation to help family members help loved ones struggling with mental
illness. Leonard’s legislation, House Bill 4674, would amend the assisted
outpatient treatment (AOT) provisions of the Michigan Mental Health Code to
make it easier for friends and family members to intervene on behalf of
loved ones before a major incident occurs. Many persons with severe,
uncontrolled mental illness do not recognize their condition or critical
need for treatment. AOT law permits intervention before severe consequences
result from untreated major mental illness.
Legislation Would Provide Coverage for Wigs for Children Suffering
(MIRS 6-11-15) On the 11th floor of the
Michigan House Office Building, Jaeleen Davis told
reporters and Democratic Party personnel about the time she lost the will to
live after losing every inch of hair on her body at age eight. After being
diagnosed with alopecia universalis -- a condition that causes universal
hair loss, she went from dreaming about being a Broadway star to being told
to "go fetch my hat like a dog" by elementary school classmates, Davis said.
"What they don't tell you in the diagnosis or when you're at the hospital
wondering why your hair is falling out, is that you're also going to lose
your self confidence," Davis said at a press conference today, hosted by
Rep. Sarah Roberts (D-St. Chair Shores). "You're
gonna lose your self-esteem, and you're gonna lose the dreams that you've
held onto, and you're gonna lose that thing that matters most, and it's the
drive and passion to live." Roberts described what
she called "the absolute need" for her soon-to-be-introduced bill, which
would mandate insurance companies to cover the expensive cost -- anywhere
from $1,500 to $2,500 -- of child wig-construction. Retailers don't
mass-produce kid wigs. They have to be custom made, stitched together with
real hair by sensitive wig makers with subtle hands, a deft touch for
technique and a soft-spot for children suffering from hairlessness. Luckily,
Davis found a nonprofit group to stitch her a custom wig at age 10. It
turned her life around. "I am now able to say that I can step up on a stage
in front of thousands and a panel of five judges that are ultimately judging
me, describing me based on a physical beauty that they see," she said,
wearing a plastic tiara atop her blond wig while grinning. "And that
physical beauty involves my hair, whether or not it be mine." Founder and
CEO of the nonprofit group, Maggie VARNEY with Wigs 4 Kids, installed the
new wig for Davis free of charge, as she did for all of the other 2,000
patients who lost their hair from cancer, alopecia universalis or another
illness. Varney said she gets the raw hair from donations, then she ships it
to a California-based company called Tailor Made to have it stitched into
wigs, shipped back to Michigan and installed onto children. Davis was noted
with resounding applause during the House session, during which she even
received a recommendation from Gov. Rick Snyder
for joining the Miss Michigan beauty pageant competition.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Appointments for April 2015
Michigan: Governor Appointments to the Advisory Council on Deaf,
Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing: Ann LIMING, of
Lansing, now retired, most recently worked as a hard of hearing specialist
for the Michigan Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She represents deaf
or hard of hearing persons and replaces Mel WHALEN, who resigned. K.T.
MAVIGLIA, Miss Michigan 2014, of Dundee, is the founder of the KT Maviglia
Foundation for Hearing Disabilities and the co-author of a bill aiming to
improve services and insurance coverage for children with hearing loss. She
replaces Freida MORRISON. Liming will serve the
remainder of a three-year term expiring Jan. 18, 2016. Maviglia will serve a
three-year term expiring Jan. 18, 2018.
Michigan KT Maviglia Brings Attention to Hearing Loss
Michigan Sen. Dale Zorn (R-Ida) and 2014 Miss Michigan winner KT
MAVIGLIA have introduced legislation in the Michigan Senate meant to assist
children with hearing disabilities. The legislation, a reintroduction, would
guarantee children suffering from hearing loss would have hearing aids
covered under their health insurance until age 21. Maviglia was diagnosed
with hearing loss at age nine and has two hearing aids, leading her to
advocate for other children faced with similar hearing disabilities.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Julie Calley recognize Autism Awareness Month
"Different is not less. Different is beautiful."
Click here to watch a new video where Lt. Gov. Calley talks about the
importance of raising both awareness and acceptance for autism.
Get to Know: Kendra Garcia
a moment to support one of the most promising young ladies
come across in a very long time. She has passion and drive, not to
mention she's practically a genius! She is only 21 and is about to finish
her first year of medical school (if you do the math,
that's 5 years of college studies under her belt). Talk about a
go-getter! Help make her dreams come true...oh, and she's a sibling of an
adult with autism. Who better to work in the medical field than someone who
knows what it's like to be one of us? Go Kendra! (We
never post things like this but we're making a one-time exception since we
have known her for almost 15 years.)
The Arya Foundation
Mission: Even the smallest actions can impact a
life. With this belief in mind, The Arya Foundation was inspired to become
what it is today. It motivates us, moves us, and provides the principles for
the vision we believe in. Not everyone can afford the medical supplies and
equipments that are necessary in a child’s life. Sometimes, sadly, the costs
are too high. By giving small financial aid to these families, the costs
become lower and easier to afford. The Arya Foundation was created so that
more than 95% of the money donated would go to families who need help paying
for medical supplies. Providing the financial aid is our way of alleviating
some stress from the families we help. It is our way of improving lives. But
most importantly, it is our way of bringing a smile to the faces of children
who really deserve happiness.
***Applicants must live in St. Louis, Missouri or the surrounding areas.
Michigan Gubernatorial Appointments
(MIRS March 11, 2015) Gov. Rick SNYDER announced the following
appointments and reappointments to the Developmental Disabilities Council:
Andrea SARGENT, of Ludington, was appointed to the Developmental
Disabilities Council for the remainder of a four-year term expiring Sept.
30, 2016. Jane REAGAN, of Williamston, was appointed to the council for the
remainder of a four-year term expiring Sept. 30, 2016. Marnie WILLS, of
Lansing, was appointed to the council for the remainder of a four-year term
expiring Sept. 30, 2016. Paul PALMER, of Lansing, was reappointed to the
council and will serve a four-year term expiring Sept. 30, 2018.
Wayne County Chief Probate Judge Milton Mack is deeply
frustrated with the mental health system in Michigan. He’s seen a lot of
mentally ill people pass through his courtroom in the nearly quarter-century
he’s been on the bench. Many show up again and again. Some are jailed,
treated for a brief time and then released, only to start the cycle all over
again. Soon after Judge Mack got to the Bench, Michigan closed most of its
mental hospitals, part of a wave of “deinstitutionalization” that swept the
nation. Unfortunately, arrangements were never made to ensure adequate
facilities for outpatient care. “Legally, we still have an inpatient system
in an outpatient world,” he told me during an interview in his chambers last
Michigan's Contentious Special Education Proposal Halted
The issue: The MDE had proposed changes that the department said will
simply align Michigan's rules with federal rules. But some advocates for
special education students have raised concerns, saying the changes would
have an adverse effect: among them, giving districts flexibility to overload
classes and giving parents less input. MDE officials have said those
conclusions are based on misinterpretations of the proposed changes.
Are 14 of Attorney John Brower's Latest Special Ed Q&As In One Convenient Spot
New Report Released: A
Using the National Core Indicator and state data to
understand health status and the experiences of persons with
intellectual/developmental disabilities served by the Michigan public mental
health system (Feb 2015).
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley: Advances Made in 2014
Significant progress was made in 2014 to improve the lives of
citizens facing mental health issues, substance use disorders and
developmental disabilities, according to a new report issued today by Lt.
Gov. Brian Calley on behalf of the Mental Health and Wellness Commission.
Legislation Introduced to Replace the Michigan Traumatic Brain Injury
and Prevention Council Introduced on January 27, 2015
Man Teaches Blind and Disabled Kids To Hunt and Fish
Mike Gates can recall — achingly, painfully — the day he lost his
sight. But, "from where I was to where I am today is pretty unbelievable,"
Things I Thought I'd Never Say...Until I Had Boys
Since being a mother to boys has to have some sort of anthropological
distinction to it, I've decided to compile my very own list of observations
of things I never thought I would say until I had boys.
Story About a Mother's Love Brought an Entire Middle School to Tears
If you know anything about middle school, you know that young
teenagers can be hard to motivate and inspire. For former professional
wrestler Marc Mero, however, it only took four minutes to bring an
auditorium full of middle school students to tears with his personal story
about his mother, her passing and his regrets about pushing her away. His
speech is a must watch, but be warned...you'll need a box of tissues by the
Drama Students Meet Real-life Inspiration
Chad DeKatch hopes every production he leads as director of the
Okemos High School theater department is a learning experience for his
students. But for the school's latest play called "The Boys Next Door,"
DeKatch also wanted the experience to be life-changing.
Murky Future For New Michigan Special Ed Rules
(MIRS. Jan 13, 2015) The future is unclear for the Michigan Department of
Education's contentious proposed rules governing special education in
Michigan. This much is clear though: Lt. Gov. Brian CALLEY will continue to
be involved and plans to meet with MDE officials about the next steps. The
proposed rules had to be withdrawn after they failed to sit in front of the
Legislature for 15 days. This came after Calley urged the Joint Committee on
Administrative Rules (JCAR) to not grant the rules passage. Michelle Fecteau,
arguably the State Board of Education member who is the most vocal special
education advocate, tried to get more details out of MDE officials about
what's next for the package. When Fecteau asked MDE spokesman Martin Ackley
about the next step for the rules, he said MDE is still surveying its
options, which could include re-submitting the same rules or going back to
the drawing board and starting anew. He wouldn't say if the rules would be
re-submitted as is or with changes at this point.
Approves Sweeping Legislation to Help Disabled
Congress gave final approval to the most sweeping legislation to help
the disabled in a quarter century, allowing Americans with disabilities to
open tax-free bank accounts to pay for needs such as education, housing and
health care. The bill, called the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act
(ABLE), now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. Modeled after
tax-free college savings accounts, the ABLE bill would amend the federal tax
code to allow states to establish the program. The ABLE accounts would be
able to accrue up to $100,000 in savings without the person losing
eligibility for government aid such as Social Security; currently, the asset
limit is $2,000. Medicaid coverage would continue no matter how much money
is deposited in the accounts.
is Perfect, Anyways?
Michigan Diversion Council Expanding Efforts to Help
Mentally Ill, Developmentally Disabled
The state of Michigan is expanding its efforts to divert the mentally
ill and developmentally disabled from incarceration and get the help they
need by approving an additional six sites for pilot programs focused on
innovative solutions and expanding two existing efforts.
Healthy Habits to Teach Kids Who Worry Too Much
Gov. Must Lead By Example in Hiring People w/Disabilities
Also see the
of Abuse are Outside of IDEA
and Administrative Remedies Do Not Have To Be
The district court erred by dismissing plaintiffs' § 1983 and breach of
contract claims, which arose from allegations that the defendant-school
district's (MCS) aides physically, sexually, and verbally abused the
plaintiff-child, because the § 1983 claims did not arise under the IDEA. In
an issue of first impression, the court also held that the claim for breach
of a settlement agreement need not be exhausted before filing suit.
Resource: Math Blaster
Resource: Special Education
Jumpstart offers free grade and subject based worksheets, printables and
educational games for kids.
Hiccup’s Science Workshop features science experiments, free printables
and worksheets with a focus on the scientific method.
and Software Accessibility for the Disabled
On Mental Health
Issues in Michigan
"Michigan has made great strides in
improving how mental health and wellness issues are handled since a special
commission created by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013 released its recommendations
in January. That Executive Order and commission resulted from a special
message on health and wellness the governor presented in the fall of 2011."
of 125 Twitter Pages Related to Disabilities
Throws Out Mental Retardation: Column
for Summer Camps? Try Bridge Center in
Do Little to Help Moderate Infant Skull Flattening
Luke Reissig wears a helmet that is supposed to correct for skull
flatness. A new report says, however, that these helmets are ineffective.
Pediatricians have long urged parents to put newborns to sleep on
their backs to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome. While the practice
undoubtedly has saved lives, it also has increased the numbers of babies
with flattened skulls.
Mental Health Disorder Fact Sheet for the Classroom
This document gives information regarding
symptoms/behaviors, educational implications and instructional
strategies/accommodations broken down by disorder. A very useful resource
for use in preparing IEPs.
These 'Smart Scales' Cure Anorexia?
75% of patients who used device were free of symptoms a year later.
Last July, our 4-year-old daughter Eliza was diagnosed with a rare
terminal genetic disease called Sanfilippo Syndrome-Type A. In one
terrifying instant, we were told that we would have to watch her fade away
before our eyes.
Teen Reported to Police and Fined for Secretly Filming Bullies
Christian Stanfield, 15, made a seven-minute recording of alleged
bullies at Pennsylvania's South Fayette High School in February. The ADHD
sufferer said he did it after months of harassment. School officials accused
him of wiretapping and called police. A court found Stanfield guilty of
disorderly conduct and fined him $25. His family is suing the school
district and appealing the judge's ruling. Stanfield's mom is furious that
her son, and not his alleged bullies, has been punished.
Details How Disney Movies Helped His Son With Autism
In his new book, “Life, Animated,” Ron Suskind tells the remarkable story
of how Disney movies unlocked his autistic son’s emotions.
Owen Suskind was a typical toddler until age 3, when his developing
language and social skills vanished. He was diagnosed with regressive
autism. Gradually, Owen became fascinated by
Disney movies, watching and re-watching them endlessly. One day, at his
brother Walter’s ninth birthday party, Walter became a bit teary.
“Walter doesn’t want to grow up, like Mowgli or Peter Pan,” said
Owen. Comparing his brother to Disney characters
was the most sophisticated thing Owen, then 6, had uttered in years.
Exposure Linked to Autism
Three decades ago, when I was still in medical school,
autism affected one in 10,000 children. What changed between then and now to
cause one in 50 children to become autistic? Mounting research—not to
mention plain logic—indicates that brain disorders are the result of
excessive exposure to toxins from multiple sources—including the mother,
while in utero. One 2005 study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG)
found that blood samples from newborns contained an average of 287 toxins.
7th Annual Living with Autism Workshop in April
Metro Parent is very excited to
host our 7th
Annual Living with Autism Workshop on April 25th.
you can get all the details!
Stabenow's Effort to Expand CMH Services Signed into Law
President Barack Obama signed into law Tuesday legislation sponsored by
Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow that would expand access to community mental
health services. The legislation has been a personal crusade for Stabenow,
D-Lansing, whose father went undiagnosed with bipolar disorder for about a
decade as she was growing up in Clare. The bipartisan legislation would set
up a pilot program in eight unspecified states to fund comprehensive
community mental health, such as 24-hour emergency psychiatric services.
“It’s really a landmark step forward in community mental health funding,”
Stabenow said Tuesday.
Restrained Boy at Leake and Watts in Yonkers Dies
Michigan Alliance PTI Now Offering Free Webinars
Join Michigan Alliance for Families
as they present a series of webinars focusing on
specific parts of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.
Michigan Law School Program
Highly Recommended! The Education
A one-stop resource for information on the laws
that apply in a school setting. ELC lawyers have years of practical
experience and include John Brower, Bridges4Kids’ resource attorney.
Kids With Autism Love This Software
A program from Google, created for architects,
is an unexpected hit with children on the autism
Tips for Good Advocates
Wrightslaw's Pat Howey says parents need to
understand that the law gives them power to use in educational decisions for
their children. Parents should not be afraid to use their power. But, there
are better ways to obtain positive results than to roar through IEP meetings
in a Mack Truck. Here are Pat's newest tips for effective, successful