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 F.E.A.T. - Chattanooga      NEWSLETTER              Page 3



Power Advocacy Service is a critique of your current IEP using Reed Martin's 111 question checklist, and for each violation they will provide specific strategies in writing to help you attempt to get what you and your child are actually entitled to under the new IDEA requirements. If you would like more information on this service and the cost, email them your name and address and they will get a brochure out to you right away.

For more info.:
The information in this article is educational and not intended to be legal advice.
Reed Martin is an attorney with 30 years
experience in special education law. He has litigated under Section 504, the ADA and the IDEA- He can be reached through
email at:  or


Dead Time  (continued  from page 2)

 1.  Make every moment count. Everywhere you go, carry reaming items and put those
      items in your child's hand.  Talk or
sing about them. Ask questions and if no answer
      (or not able to), then prompt answers or give the answers yourself.  If you
are really
      busy, just tell your child to hold on to it, stand/sit down on the floor and look at it.

 2. Take a PLAY BOX (toys/books/flash cards, etc.) everywhere -
     Put one in the car, for sure, but also take several regularly
rotated items and put them
     in your purse or a special bag. The child will see the bag and possibly become familiar
with it to seek out new items from you while waiting somewhere. This is fun for
    everyone. In driving long distances, it is
hard for most children to be patient and "wait".
    Driving short distances is sometimes tough, too, and usually there are a LOT
of these in
    a typical family's week. Put a toy or book or single flash card in your child's hands.
    Make sure that it is stuff that
can easily require interaction from you but not be too
    distracting while you are driving.

 3. Frequently change what is in the child's hands. Then s/he can't just get fixated on the
     item and/or totally bored. When
driving and coming to a stop sign, take the item away
     and put another one in his/her hands.

 4. Talk - talk - talk -- about what is in his hands, so there is always some form of
     communication going, no matter how basic
or advanced your child's education is at any
     given moment in time. While you are driving, talk about the item in his/her
hands. Try to
     elicit a response - ask questions, etc. Ask questions and model the answers/statements
     so that the child
practices language EVERYWHERE at every opportunity. Rotate the
     toys he/she has at every opportunity. At a stop sign,
take that one away and put another
     one in his/her hands. Then talk about the new item. If there are other children in the car,
     get them involved in the discussion as well. If there are songs related to the item,  sing
     them  all  together. Do not put the radio
on and say nothing   ANYMORE. 
        This is valuable time.     Make use of it.

 5. Get verbal interaction going with everyone in the car-- get him to repeat words, answer
     questions, ask him to point to body
parts (or make a game with everyone in the car,
     someone in a line-up, etc. so that s/he can see and copy --
       "OK everybody -- touch your nose, etc.)

 6.  Engage other children in a group activity anytime and anywhere you can. Parents of
      other  kids usually do not mind if you take single opportunities to engage their child in 
      conversation  while waiting somewhere. Ask your ASD child "Look at that
little girl -
      what color is her coat?", etc.  Or get them both to look at something and tell you what
      it is. This is peer interaction.
Take those brief single moments presented to you, or
     create them as you go, and use them to full advantage.

 7.  For those busy family times where no one is "on" your ASD child  -  Admit it.
     You can't do it, so get someone else on the
job. If  you have older siblings, assign a
     rotational 10-minute toy/ play task or some gross motor games (hopping, jumping,
     tossing). Or if you must invite or hire local neighborhood children or teenagers to come
     over for the dead time period -
even if it is just for half an hour. They come cheap
     (maybe for free), they can come over right away and walk home. You just
have to
     ensure that you plan appropriate and simple play activities.

   Every minute of every day counts.

  Filling in every moment of "dead-time" with productive learning and social interaction is  
  what generalizing is all about. In
order to learn your child needs to interact with the
  environment but your child cannot yet do it on his/her own.

  Like everything in your child's education, however, this needs a  PLAN OF ACTION.
  If you add up all the minutes
of dead time and then add up all the hours, just think about 
  what else could be practiced and learned during that time.



Other Articles of Interest

   --"Sister Fights For Autistic Brother"
   Massachusetts Sun Chronicle  Tuesday, January 18, 2000
   Written by James A. Merolla
   An autistic man becomes prone to violence and is found to have a non-functioning large
   intestine. Two years later a simple blood test reveals he has food intolerances.

    --"We Cured Our Son's Autism":
   Parents Magazine Friday, January 28, 2000--
   This cover story article is in the February 2000
        Written by Karyn Seroussi.

  --"The Virus and the Vaccine":
  Atlantic Monthly - February, 2000 Friday, January 28, 2000--
  A simian (Monkey) virus known as
SV40 has been associated with a number of rare
  human cancers. This same virus contaminated the polio vaccine administered
to 98 million
  Americans from 1955 to 1963. Federal health officials see little reason for concern.
  A growing cadre of medical
researchers disagree.
         By Debbie Bookchin and Jim Schumacher.



From FEAT Daily OnLine Newsletter

Autism Search Narrows
[From The Scientist 14 [l] :, 16,  Jan. 10, 2000.  Written by Steve Bunk.]

  In the effort to pinpoint genes implicated in autism, chromosomes 7 and 13 are emerging
  as strong contenders. Several
groups worldwide have now published results of genomic
  screens, the latest of which is a collaborative effort by five U.S.
  (S. Barrett al., "An autosomal genomic screen for autism"
  American Journal of Medical Genetics
  [Neuropsychiatric Genetics], 88:609-15, Dec. 15, 1999).

 In individuals from 75 families affected by autism, researchers found evidence of mutations
 on chromosome 13 and
supported results from an earlier study implicating chromosome 7.
 Co-author Susan L. Santangelo, a genetic epidemiologist at
New England Medical Center
 and assistant professor of psychiatry at Tufts University Medical School, affirms that several
 genes ultimately will be identified.

  The study's next step is a follow-up analysis of 100 more families, focusing on promising
   genomic regions. Santangelo
predicts the number of genes finally found will be
         "no less than three and hopefully, no more than 10".
   If there are 10, it will
make it very difficult to find any one of them.


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