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News

Trump Exploring Panel On Vaccine Safety

via Trump Exploring Panel On Vaccine Safety – Disability Scoop WASHINGTON — Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has warned of a discredited link between childhood immunizations and the development of autism, has accepted an invitation from President-elect Donald Trump to lead a commission “on vaccine safety and scientific integrity,” he told reporters Tuesday. A Trump spokeswoman would not confirm Kennedy’s comment. Kennedy, son of the late U.S. attorney general, said the president-elect “has some doubts” about vaccine policies but said both of them were in favor of vaccines. “His opinion doesn’t matter, but the science does matter, and we ought to be reading the science and we ought to be debating the science,” Kennedy said. “Everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines that we have … (are) as safe as they possibly can be.” Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump transition team, said only that the president-elect was “exploring the possibility” of a commission, but that no decision has been made. “The president-elect enjoyed his discussion with Robert Kennedy Jr. …

Philosophy Education for Kids

Via Teaching kids philosophy makes them smarter in math and English Schools face relentless pressure to up their offerings in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math. Few are making the case for philosophy. Maybe they should. Nine- and 10-year-old children in England who participated in a philosophy class once a week over the course of a year significantly boosted their math and literacy skills, with disadvantaged students showing the most significant gains, according to a large and well-designed study (pdf). More than 3,000 kids in 48 schools across England participated in weekly discussions about concepts such as truth, justice, friendship, and knowledge, with time carved out for silent reflection, question making, question airing, and building on one another’s thoughts and ideas. Kids who took the course increased math and reading scores by the equivalent of two extra months of teaching, even though the course was not designed to improve literacy or numeracy. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds saw an even bigger leap in performance: reading skills increased by four months, math by three months, and …

Amazon Launches a STEM Club

Amazon has launched a new monthly subscription program for kids. This program includes highly curated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) toys that will encourage kids to learn through play. What’s in a box? Amazon editors work closely with smart brands to handpick the best STEM toys. From programmable robots to crystal kits and chemistry sets. How much does it cost? A STEM Club Toy Subscription costs $19.99/month plus applicable taxes. You can cancel your subscription at any time. For more details go to the site.

Everyone’s Buzzing About Buzzies

Buzzies is a wearable device for children on the spectrum. It uses neuroscience to relieve anxiety and stress. The devices connect remotely through the an App on your smart phone and control the non-invasive vibrating patterns emitted through the device. Buzzies give the user a gentle stimulation or vibration. This bi-lateral alternating stimulation-tactile technology, abbreviated as BLAST, affects the brain and alters the body’s fight or flight mechanism. The technology is mostly associated with EDMR therapy, or the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which is a commonly used method to treat PTSD, anxiety, phobias and other associated psychological disorders. Once you pair the Buzzies, you can choose from one of the pre-settings for Calm, Focus, Improve Performance, manage Anger, reduce Cravings, Sleep, or create a custom setting. Once you hit start, the Buzzies will begin “buzzing” or vibrating bilaterally. It’s this bi-lateral stimulation (called BLAST) that alters the body’s fight, flight, or freeze (F3) response that reduces your stress and anxiety level. For more research information feel free to look at the Research link on their website. Who founded Buzzies? …

An Experimental Autism Treatment Cost Me My Marriage

via An Experimental Autism Treatment Cost Me My Marriage – The New York Times What happens to your relationships when your emotional perception changes overnight? Because I’m autistic, I have always been oblivious to unspoken cues from other people. My wife, my son and my friends liked my unflappable demeanor and my predictable behavior. They told me I was great the way I was, but I never really agreed. For 50 years I made the best of how I was, because there was nothing else I could do. Then I was offered a chance to participate in a study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. Investigators at the Berenson-Allen Center there were studying transcranial magnetic stimulation, or T.M.S., a noninvasive procedure that applies magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain. It offers promise for many brain disorders. Several T.M.S. devices have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of severe depression, and others are under study for different conditions. (It’s still in the experimental phase …

My Autistic Son’s Lesson: No One Is Broken

via My Autistic Son’s Lesson: No One Is Broken – The New York Times My youngest son, Sawyer, used to spend far more time relating to his imagination than he did to the world around him. He would run back and forth humming, flapping his hands and thumping on his chest. By the time he was in first grade, attempts to draw him out of his pretend world to join his classmates or do some class work led to explosions and timeouts. At 7 he was given a diagnosis of being on the autism spectrum. That was when my wife, Jen, learned about the practice called joining. The idea behind it, which she discovered in Barry Neil Kaufman’s book “Son-Rise,” is brilliant in its simplicity. We wanted Sawyer to be with us. We did not want him to live in this bubble of his own creation. And so, instead of telling him to stop pretending and join us, we started pretending and joined him. The first time Jen joined him, the first time she ran …

How To Organize Toys

Here are great ways to organize your kids’ toys without getting overwhelmed. Don’t over-categorize Toys need to be organzied but they don’t have to be put away in alphabetized, color-coded bins. Kids simply love to dump things out and that’s just how they tend to want to put things away – dump everything back into a bin haphazardly. Kids don’t care if one bin is marked “trucks” and one is marked “cars.” If you love to label things, rather than making up a toy classification system on your own, ask your kids how they would like to see their toys categorized. You’ll be surprised by the different ways they view their objects and, even better, if they help you come up with the system, they are more much more likely to follow it. Tote bags are your friend Earmark a specific, lightweight bag (preferably with handles) that can be carried around the house and used as a depository for wayward toys. That way, when you or your child finds a toy that belongs elsewhere, it …