|March 1999 Issue||
Our next meeting will be held on Friday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m., organized by Byron Pinkston and Peggy Mitchell, who are taking the 9 month long course Partners in Policymaking, a leadership training program in Chicago. Peggy and Alice Pinkston will speak on IEP (Individualized Education Plan). The meeting will be held at the Recreation Parks District Office, 10 Gateway Drive, Collinsville, IL 62234, right of I-55 at the Collinsville exit, across the street from the Gateway Convention City. "Splash City" is on one side and the Recreation Parks District offices are on the other. Baby sitting services will be provided and a social hour to meet parents with a potluck theme of pasta, salad and bread. Bring your own drinks. We need a volunteer family to provide a dessert.
There was a great Illinois family turnout at the Greater St. Louis Down Syndrome Annual Conference, March 6, with keynote speaker Barbara Gills, author of Changed by a Child: Companion Notes for Parents of a Child with a Disability.
STARnet Illinois Region IV Workshops|
April 29 & 30. 9:00 - 3:00 p.m. Parents Interacting with Infants (PIWI). This workshop will focus on a model that places the parent-child relationship at the heart of early intervention services, emphasizing the reciprocal influence between this relationship and the child's development. Presenter: Tweety Yates, faculty of the University of Illinois at Champaign. Ramada Inn, Mt. Vernon, IL. For information, contact STARnet at 397-8930.
The STARnet Library on-line catalog is now available on-line at: http://www.stclair.k12.il.us, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, contact Pat Adams, Library Media Specialist, 397-8930, extension 177, e-mail: email@example.com
State of Illinois Senate Bill No. 1065 synopsis provided courtesy The Arc of Illinois, 18207-A Dixie Highway, Homewood, IL 60430. (708) 206-1930. Fax: (708) 206-1171. E-mail: TonyPaulauski@aol.com.
Amends the Early Intervention Services System Act. Makes changes to reflect that services shall be provided, to the maximum extent appropriate, in natural environments in which infants and toddlers without disabilities would participate. Removes as eligible infants and toddlers at risk of having substantial developmental delays due to a combination of serious factors. Removes the Department of Public Health as an agency involved in the provision of or payment for services. Removes provision requiring the lead agency to define at least 40 and no more than 60 local service areas and replaces the coordination/advocacy provider with a regional entity designated by the lead agency. Changes the regional entity designated by the lead agency. Changes the requirements for the resolution of complaints by parents. Makes changes regarding how and what fees may be charged. Repeals provision requiring the implementation of the Act as funds become available. Effective immediately.
Two-year-old Karrie Brown of Grafton was the subject of a news report Monday on St. Louis' KMOV Channel 4 with the television crew spending the morning with her and her mother as they carried on their typical routine.
Karrie will begin school this fall as part of the Jersey schools Pre-K program in Grafton.|
Her mother, Sue Brown, spoke to TV reporter Al Wineman about Karrie after he had a report on a news program about children with Down syndrome.
Monday, Wineman and reporter Ray Preston, went through a morning with Karrie, accompanying her to St. Anthony's for physical therapy and then to Jan's Kids Learning Center in Jerseyville. Brown put together some background on Karrie's first two years, recalling some of the thoughts and concerns she has gone through since her birth. Doctors told the family that she wouldn't crawl until she was at least three years old, wouldn't walk or talk until she was five.
"The doctor told me never to expect anything from my daughter."
"Karrie was born on a Monday, had kidney failure on Tuesday, heart surgery on Thursday. Her respiratory system failed on Friday. By Saturday, she still was unconscious and the family was told that she probably wouldn't make it," Brown writes. "She regained consciousness Sunday (Mother's Day) and the next day the doctors told the family of Karrie's "horrible future".
Brown said she was enraged at the misinformation the doctor was giving her, telling her "if I never expect anything from my child, that is exactly what I'll get".
Karrie learned to crawl at 13 months and by 20 months she was walking. Now, she runs and climbs with assistance. She has over 60 words in her vocabulary and uses 160 signs she has been taught. At three months, she began physical therapy, at 12 months, she started speech therapy and at 16 months she began occupational therapy.
"But through it all," she said "it's been important that Karrie has a chance to be a child."
That is where Jan's Kids comes in.
Jan DeSherlia praised Brown not only her devotion to Karrie, but her attitude about her child's ability to thrive as an independent child.
DeSherlia notes that when Karrie comes into Jan's Kids, she knows she must take off her coat, hang it up and put her book bag away.
"How many two-year-old children could be that responsible," DeSherlia commented.
As an educator, she continued, she knows that Brown has "put aside the will to swoop Karrie up and protect her" doing for her more than she would do for another child.
DeSherlia praised Brown as an "extraordinary" person researching, studying and gaining the knowledge of an educator of Down syndrome.
Karrie participates in all preschool activities from painting, to gluing to playing with a parachute.
"She loves school and loves the children," DeSherlia said, "she loves to learn."
"There is a whole world out there for Karrie to love, see and explore just like all the other children," she said.
Brown sums up her feelings, "as Karrie grows, I continue to learn. I've learned that Karrie is going to succeed at what is important to her. I have learned to put my ego aside and look at what my daughter truly needs. I've learned that my hopes and dreams are just that - mine. Karrie has her own agenda and her own hopes and dreams. I try to guide her, nurture her and provide her with the help she needs. But most importantly, I try to let her be just who she is, a beautiful little girl, who happens to have Down syndrome."
Down Syndrome Newsletter Articles
Adapted from the California Protection and Advocacy, Inc. web site.
Before the IEP Meeting:
Piano Lessons Boost Math Scores
Second-grade students who took piano lessons for 4 months scored significantly higher on math tests than children who did not, according to a study in the journal Neurological Research.
The piano/STAR group scored 15% higher than the English/STAR group overall and 27% better on the 16 questions devoted to fractions and proportional math. And both groups performed more than 100% better than the group of children who received no additional instruction.
Shaw hopes his findings will help fuel the fight to get music instruction back into schools. "I understand the point of view that says music should be studied for its own sake, not to develop better skills. And that's fine for middle-class children whose parents can afford music lessons. But what about those children whose families cannot?" he asked. He suspects that the decline of music instruction in schools could be one reason American children do not do as well in math as children from other countries. "Certainly we see that countries where children do well in math, take Hungary for example, also offer years and years of musical training in their schools."
He plans to expand his study to six more schools this fall to demonstrate the effectiveness of playing piano and using the math puzzle software.
Source: Neurological Research 1999;21:139-152.