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UCSC Researchers Design Speech Therapy Game

Children's speech therapy homework, once a list of tedious verbal exercises, may soon get a new face, thanks to an animated video game developed by UC Santa Cruz researchers.Designed for children who have received surgery for cleft palates or lips, the game's colorful animals act like virtual-reality speech therapists, said Sri Kurniawan, associate professor of computer engineering and computational media. She has helped launch a crowdfunding campaign for the game's mobile app development."It's a ...

Posted on: December 19, 2014
New Sound Acquisition App

From speech and language pathologist Esther Giordano, MA, CCC-SLP, comes JUNGANEW: A Herd of Sounds, the first in a series of sound acquisition apps for children. Junganew, a land where sounds are represented by characters and their habitats, is the first educational series where sounds are truly the stars of the show. Come along for an adventure into a beautiful, vibrant world of sounds with the lovable, audible Herd of Sounds -- animals whose names represent a unique sound of the English ...

Posted on: December 17, 2014
New Center for Speech and Language Disorders Opens

New Center for Speech and Language Disorders OpensMonmouth University's new Center for Speech and Language Disorders will open on January 20, 2015. The Center, located at 184 Monmouth Park Corporate Center on Highway 36 in West Long Branch, N.J., will provide speech and language evaluations and therapy for children and adults. The Center will operate on a free-services basis, with a registration fee of $295 per semester.Graduate students working toward a master's degree in speech-language pathology will ...

Posted on: December 15, 2014
Preeclampsia During Pregnancy Associated with Autism Risk

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were more than twice as likely to have been exposed in utero to preeclampsia, and the likelihood of an autism diagnosis was even greater if the mother experienced more severe disease, a large study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found.Women with preeclampsia experience hypertension during the latter half of their pregnancies, and may have increased levels of protein in their urine and edema, or fluid retention. Preeclampsia can develop into ...

Posted on: December 13, 2014
Smoking Can Be risk Factor for Dysphagia

Patients who are regular smokers have a higher rate of dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery, according to data presented at the Cervical Spine Research Society Annual Meeting.Erik C. Olsson, MD, presented results of a cross-sectional cohort study which analyzed 100 patients who underwent anterior cervical spine surgery. The study included 51 males and 49 females, of which 21 patients were active smokers."Smokers had higher preoperative pain scores and were more likely to experience dysphagia. ...

Posted on: December 12, 2014
Taste And Speech Possible Without Tongue

A person's tongue may not be needed for taste or speech, according to a new study conducted at California State University, Long Beach.CSULB Professor Betty McMicken, PhD, initiated the project and partnered with Professor Long Wang, PhD, to conduct the study. They examined the taste and speaking abilities of a person born without a tongue, a condition called Isolated Congenital Aglossia (ICA).There is now evidence that alternative parts of the mouth may be responsible for detecting taste and used for ...

Posted on: December 11, 2014
Autism Live "Festival of Toys"

Autism Live recently announced its "Festival of Toys" holiday contest where families of children with autism can win educational apps and toys through Dec. 18. The contest was started by the host, Shannon Penrod, who has an 11-year-old son with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism Live is a free online web show that provides resources to parents, teachers and practitioners working with individuals with ASD. It airs every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to noon PST at ...

Posted on: December 10, 2014
Minute Movements Provide Clue to Severity of Autism

Imperceptible variations in movement patterns among individuals with autism spectrum disorder are important indicators of the severity of the disorder in children and adults, according to a report presented at the 2014 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in November.For the first time, researchers at Indiana University and Rutgers University report developing a quantitative way to assess these otherwise ignored variations in movement and link those variations to a diagnosis."This is the first time we ...

Posted on: December 09, 2014
Potential Therapy for Common Form of Dementia

Drugs that boost the function of a specific type of neurotransmitter receptor may provide benefit to patients with the second most common type of dementia, according to research by scientists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience.Frontotemporal dementia, known as FTD, is a devastating disease in which patients have rapid and dramatic changes in behavior, personality and social skills. The age of onset for FTD is relatively young, usually striking ...

Posted on: December 08, 2014
Chemo Effect on Brain Cells, Potential Link to Autism

UNC School of Medicine researchers have found for the first time a biochemical mechanism that could be a cause of "chemo brain" -- the neurological side effects such as memory loss, confusion, difficulty thinking, and trouble concentrating that many cancer patients experience while on chemotherapy to treat tumors in other parts of the body.The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows how the common chemotherapy drug topotecan can drastically suppress the expression ...

Posted on: December 06, 2014
Joint Guidance on Meeting Needs of Students With Disabilities

The U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Education (ED) released joint guidance on effective communication with students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which outlines the responsibility of public schools to ensure that communication with students with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities is as effective as communication with all other students. Public schools must apply both the IDEA analysis and the Title II ...

Posted on: December 05, 2014
Girl With Autism Rejected by Santa Over Service Pit Bull

A Southern California mall has apologized to a 7-year-old girl with autism whose Christmas wish was crushed after Santa Claus and elf impersonators rejected her because of her service pit bull named Pup-Cake.Abcde Santos, whose name is pronounced ab-suh-dee, and her family waited in line for 30 minutes at The Shops in Mission Viejo, Orange County, Calif., to meet Santa. When it was her turn, Santa turned her away because he was afraid of Pup-Cake, family spokeswoman Julie Marie Miller said via ...

Posted on: December 04, 2014
Pope Francis Offers Solidarity to People with Autism

Pope Francis tenderly embraced children with autism spectrum disorders, some of whom avoided meeting his gaze, during an audience Saturday aimed at offering solidarity to people living with the condition.The pope urged governments and institutions to respond to the needs of people with autism to help break "the isolation and, in many cases also the stigma" associated with the disorders, which are characterized by varying levels of social impairment and communication difficulties."It is necessary the ...

Posted on: December 04, 2014
Grant to Further Brain Injury, Aphasia Research

Chaleece Sandberg, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at Penn State University, received the 2014 New Century Scholars Research Grant from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation to further her research in language therapy for people who have suffered brain injuries.Sandberg, who joined Penn State in August after completing her dissertation at Boston University, intends to use the $10,000 grant to compare healthy adults' brain activity to that of persons with ...

Posted on: December 03, 2014
Program for Early Autism Detection Receives Support

The Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center will pilot a new program to improve early detection and intervention for infants at high risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder, thanks to significant contributions from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and the Pakis Family Foundation.Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and the Pakis Family Foundation, via the Arizona Community Foundation, have each awarded $25,000 in seed money to SARRC for the "Milestones" program. SARRC is seeking to secure an additional ...

Posted on: December 02, 2014
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