Not so scientific but inspirational

Stuart Jackson was on a mission.

For years, the Overland Park father had searched for a way to help his son find relief from the stress and anxiety often experienced by children with autism. Like many of those children, Joshua could be soothed through deep touch pressure — the kind of feeling one might get by being tightly hugged or squeezed.

Jackson came across a few potential solutions on the market, but they tended to be clunky, noisy or ineffective. And way too expensive.

So he took it to CAPS — the Center for Advanced Professional Studies in the Blue Valley School District.

And the engineering students rose to the challenge.

 

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More and source: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article5011941.html

Autism researchers have published thousands of papers in recent years. With those numbers, you’d think we’d all be rejoicing over great progress. Yet many people—especially autistic adults—are frustrated by how little benefit has actually materialized. Why?

The simple answer is, we’re studying the wrong things. We’re sinking millions into the search for a “cure,” even though we now know that autism is not a disease but rather a neurological difference, one that cripples some of us while bringing a few others extraordinary gifts. Most of us live with a mix of exceptionality and disability. I know I do.

Research into the genetic and biological foundations of autism is surely worthwhile, but it’s a long-term game (see “Solving the Autism Puzzle”). The time from discovery to deployment of an approved therapy is measured in decades, while the autism community needs help right away.

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More and source: http://www.technologyreview.com/view/533366/fixing-autism-research/

Millions of paralysis sufferers are today offered the possibility of a cure for the first time after a new technique pioneered by British doctors allowed a man with a severed spinal cord to recover the ability to walk. 

A revolutionary implant of regenerative cells has knitted back together the spinal cord of a wheelchair-bound firefighter paralysed from the chest down in a knife attack, restoring sensation and muscle control to his legs. 

The astonishing breakthrough by an Anglo-Polish medical team is the first ever instance where a complete spinal paralysis has been reversed and represents the potential conquering of one of the greatest challenges in medical science. If validated, it offers hope of a life-changing therapy to the 2.5m people paralysed by spinal injury in Britain and across the world. 

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The challenge of inclusion for students with disabilities has been an ongoing conversation in education. For students in my high school, inclusion has primarily meant physical inclusion only -- students with disabilities attended general education classes with typical peers. However, during lunch and after school they were usually alone and isolated from the usual social experiences that their typical peers enjoyed. My students practiced social fluency skills like eye contact and small talk in the classroom, but they never had the chance to put these skills into action by making true friendships. Participating in team sports or landing a part in the school play was only a dream. While I don't think it was ever out of malice or hatred, ignorance towards the students with intellectual disabilities ensured my students were left out of things and never integrated into the fabric of our school community -- and like any other student who feels isolated or alone, my students could feel that they were "outsiders."

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Do teachers really know what students go through? To find out, one teacher followed two students for two days  and was amazed at what she found. Her report is in  following post, which appeared on the blog of Grant Wiggins, the co-author of “Understanding by Design” and the author of “Educative Assessment” and numerous articles on education. A high school teacher for 14 years, he is now the president of Authentic Education,  in Hopewell, New Jersey, which provides professional development and other services to schools aimed at improving student learning.  You can read more about him and his work at the AE site.

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The Long Ride Home

The long awaited sequel of the Horse Boy.

 

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