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Fit To Be Taught, Vol. 66

Resources to Help Reach and Teach Autistic Students

Autism Spectrum Disorders are the fastest growing diagnosis of childhood disabilities in the U.S. During National Autism Awareness Month, the NEA is highlighting some of its teacher and parent resources for reaching and teaching students with autism.

Teachers who havent already had at least one student with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in their class soon could be in the minority. Once viewed as a rare condition, autism now affects one in every 150 American children. For boys, that number jumps to almost one in 94, according to information from the National Education Association (NEA). ASDs include a range of autistic behaviors, from some mild impairment of social skills to more severe conditions where children show little awareness of the outside world.

The estimated annual cost of educating and caring for individuals with ASDs is about $90 billion, noted the NEA. Early diagnosis and intervention have shown the potential to reduce treatment costs by two-thirds.

Inclusion policies are bringing more children with ASDs to mainstream classrooms, requiring more adjustments by teachers. Patti Ralabate, senior policy analyst-special education from NEAs Education Policy and Practice Department, talked with Education World about strategies for identifying children with ASDs and meeting their needs in the classroom.

Read the full article on Education World

Wellness News
Network: Spend Money on School Buildings The Healthy Schools Network is calling on Congress to use stimulus money to ensure that more U.S. school buildings are clean, safe, and properly ventilated.

Drinking Water Can Help Prevent Obesity Giving children water instead of sugar-sweetened drinks can help prevent obesity, according to a study.

Helping Kids Make Healthful Choices

Healthy Choices is a school-based nutrition and physical activity program in Massachusetts designed to increase middle-school students fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity as well as reduce the amount of time they spend in front of the television. The program promotes a resource-based approach and encourages collaboration among staff members, students, and communities for program development, implementation, and evaluation.

The specific goals of Healthy Choices are for students to eat between five and nine servings of fruit and vegetables per day; participate in physical activity for at least an hour a day, and to watch television for a maximum of two hours per day.

At least 6,000 students across the state have been involved in the program. Students in schools that offered Healthy Choices were more likely to watch less television, be less sedentary, and more likely to play fewer video/computer games. Girls in intervention schools had a statistic increase in nutrition knowledge as well as had lower body mass index (BMI) scores than girls who did not participate.

Read more about this program at: Healthy Choices.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.


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