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Lead-Poisoning Elimination Board Releases Expansive Plan Tackling Lead
Enacting the recommendations would represent a paradigm shift in how
Michigan approaches environmental lead exposure, moving from reaction to
prevention. Board members were adamant that up-front costs should be no
obstacle. The dividends that would come from lessening the societal costs of
lead exposure -- in lost wages, treatment, educational services and even
incarceration - would make the action more than pay for itself.
New Michigan Law Provides Mental Health Treatment Options
HB 4674, which is aimed at expanding the availability of assisted
outpatient mental health treatment, was signed into law on November 16,
2016, by Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. The legislation updates Kevin's
Law. Kevin's Law was named for a graduate student, Kevin Heisinger, who
attended the University of Michigan. Returning home to Kalamazoo using
public transit, Kevin was killed in the bus station by a man with a long
history of schizophrenia who avoided treatment, and who had been in and out
of the mental health care system for years.
Lawsuit Alleges Flint Schools Failing to Provide Services to Lead-poisoned
Public officials failed children in Flint, Mich., by allowing
drinking water to remain contaminated with lead for 18 months and failing to
provide educational services that could counter the effects of the Flint
lead exposure, a new lawsuit alleges.
A Legal Loophole Might be Exposing Children to Lead in the Nation’s Schools
Children drinking from water fountains at the nation’s schools —
especially in aging facilities with lead pipes and fixtures — might be
unwittingly exposing themselves to high levels of lead, which is known to
cause brain damage and developmental problems including impulsive behavior,
poor language skills and trouble remembering new information.
Profiling in Preschool?
Researchers are just beginning to understand the psychological
mechanisms that lead teachers who see themselves as loving, supportive
figures to discriminate against minorities.
'Sweatshops' or a needed choice?
Michigan debates the future of jobs for workers with disabilities.
Closing workshops would send some workers "back home playing video games in
their parents' basement. It's just not a good outcome."
Disabled Life Is a Life Worth Living
In midsummer, I learned of the death of Laurie Hoirup,a prominent
60-year-old disability rights advocate in California. Laurie drowned in the
Sacramento River after a July 4 celebration. She was well-loved and
accomplished. She’d served as a chief deputy director of the State Council
on Developmental Disabilities for five years and wrote books about living
with a disability.
Letter from Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (9/28/16)
As another great Michigan summer comes to an end, we’d like to take the
opportunity to report work being done to improve the lives of Michigan
citizens with a special update on increased access to behavioral health care
for children. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services continues
to report progress on implementation of the 60 recommendations put forth by
the Mental Health and Wellness Commission to improve both the lives of and
the outcomes for individuals and families living with mental illnesses,
developmental disabilities and substance use disorders in our state.
Our recent progress includes: Children’s
Behavioral Action Team: Reducing days children are re-admitted to Hawthorn
by 65-70 percent with the use of treatment that aims to keep kids at home.
This program works with relatives, guardians and community partners to
transition up to 40 children and youth with intense and complex behavioral
health needs back into their communities.
Additional Beds: Increasing special psychiatric beds for children and adults
with psychiatric and medical needs and for children and adults with
developmental disabilities. The Certificate of Need Commission recently took
action to allow additional beds in areas previously unable to provide these
services. Michigan Child Collaborative Care:
Increasing access to mental health treatment for underserved children and
adolescents through phone consultation to primary care providers and tele-psychiatry
assessment by child and adolescent psychiatrists.
Hawthorn Center Transitional Program: Recently opened and admitted the first
eight children into the unit. Hawthorn Center’s Transitional Program is a
trauma-informed 12-14 bed program for children and youth ages 13 to 17
providing appropriate care as they prepare to transition to a
community-based aftercare setting. The Program’s goal is to reintegrate
youth back into their community into a family or the most family-like
setting. While there remains much work to be done,
our state is taking action to increase access to behavioral health services
for children. We look forward to continuing our work to make a better
Michigan for everyone. For more information on our efforts and state
Increased Disciplinary Discretion Bills Move Out of MI Senate Committee
The Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee, this afternoon, unanimously
voted to report a seven-bill package to the Senate floor that would require
that schools use more discretion regarding disciplinary action. Most
significantly, this discretion would be applied to disciplinary steps that
schools often interpret as being mandated under statute.
IEP Ombudsman Bill Introduced into Michigan House
Creates IEP ombudsman within office of special education. Amends 1976
PA 451 (MCL 380.1 to 380.1852) by adding section 1706. Also, Restraint &
Seclusion Bills Move From Michigan House Committee on 9-22-16. The Michigan
House Education Committee today reported out a package to ban restraint and
seclusion practices except in cases of emergency, led with a special effort
by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.
Website for Spectrum Inclusion
The mission of Spectrum Inclusion is empowering young adults with autism/Asperger's
for employment and independence through resources and mentoring. I am
currently mentoring over 20 young adults on the spectrum sharing articles
Here is an interview he did for WXYZ. Also,
check out this PDF
with 30 of Ron Sandison's articles on Autism.
This site is here to help inform you and enable you to take steps to
secure consumer safety and prevent anyone from injury or harm.
Some Symptoms of Autism Be Reversed With Probiotics?
Industry Database Reveals 16,000 Foods with Toxic Chemical in Packaging
EWG has created the first easily, searchable database of nearly 16,000
processed food and drinks packaged in materials that may contain the
hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A, or BPA.
Lasting Effects on Kids May Start in the Womb
A new study tracked what happened to girls' obesity rates when their
moms were exposed to the chemical while pregnant. (Mother
Admins Push For Leeway On Seclusion Ban; Lawmakers Won't Yield
The devil is in the details of the Lieutenant Governor's legislative
package to scrub seclusion and restraint procedures from the state's
Out How Your High School Ranks
Students Could Not Be Kicked Out For Being
Truant Under New Legislation
Children couldn't be kicked out of school for being chronically absent from
school under legislation that received its first hearing in a Senate committee
by the Numbers: A Breakdown of Bullying Statistics and Facts
Bullying can come in many different forms. Sometimes, mean kids
bother others on the playground, on the bus, or in the halls at school. You
might run into a bully in the lunchroom or in a quiet corner of the library.
Bullies also are mean to people online on social media sites, in email, and
in text messages. But no one is allowed to bully others at any time or in
any place. If you have a problem with a bully or you see someone else
struggling with one, always tell an adult to get help. Teachers, parents,
and other adults will step in to stop the abuse.
Community Mental Health In A Self Determined Way
Currently, every dollar appropriated to support people who use
behavioral health, I/DD, SUD, SED and autism services, passes by contracts
through 3 or more layers of high cost bureaucracy. By the time funds reach
the actual beneficiary of service and the individuals who provide their
direct care, there are pennies left for the individual’s supports and
services and a poverty-level wage for the direct support professional. This
Map of Michigan Parent Support Options: Autism Spectrum Disorders
Download Lt. Governor Calley's Full Report from Special Ed Reform Task Force
Are 14 of Attorney John Brower's Latest Special Ed Q&As In One Convenient Spot
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