November 1st, 2015

Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children and Adolescents: Evidence-Based Assessment and Intervention in Schools

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children and Adolescents: Evidence-Based Assessment and Intervention in Schools” Edited by Lee A. Wilkinson American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2014   School practitioners could benefit from ASD-themed book Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Current statistics estimate that one in every 88 school-age children and youth has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This population size has produced a corresponding increase in the number of students with ASD attending public schools. Psychologist Lee A. Wilkinson concludes correctly that “Providing effective behavioral supports and interventions to the ever-increasing numbers of children with ASD presents [More]

November 1st, 2015

A night with my invisible friend

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

When my friend had to bow out of an educational event we had planned to attend together, I thought I would be on my own. I never expected to be sitting with a guy who snuck into the auditorium by registering under my name. He was my younger self and he’s been popping up more and more these days since my retirement, reminding me what I used to think and feel about anything and everything. He surprised me that late summer evening when he appeared at a videoconference featuring Dr. Irvin Yalom at Stanford University being interviewed by Dr. Bob [More]

October 1st, 2015

Value of peer specialists recognized

By Phyllis Hanlon

In 1985, Larry K. Brendtro and Harry H. Vorrath developed the “Positive Peer Culture” treatment model, grounded on the principles of building group responsibility and incorporating group meetings, service learning and teamwork into the model. Today, those principles are being implemented at some residential facilities and outpatient settings for individuals with serious mental illness and substance abuse diagnoses. Wellspring & the Arch Bridge School in Bethlehem, Conn. is one such facility that has several peer support structures for its adolescent residential students, according to CEO Daniel Murray, Psy.D. He said that Wellspring has created a strong peer culture that is [More]

October 1st, 2015

Private schools in region honored for expertise

By Janine Weisman

Ten New England private special education schools have been named Schools of Excellence for the 2015-2016 academic year by the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET). Six Massachusetts schools, three in Connecticut and one from Vermont made the list, considered the highest honor a private special education school can achieve through the association. Schools serving students between three to 21 years of age must be open a minimum of 10 months per year, have been operating for at least 10 years, among other eligibility criteria. Students served include those diagnosed with autism, deaf-blindness, developmental delays, emotional disturbance, health impairments, [More]

October 1st, 2015

Use of antipsychotic drugs for ADHD is ‘worrisome’

By Rivkela Brodsky

In recent years, there has been an increase in the prescription of antipsychotic medications to children aged 13-24 in the U.S. – especially adolescent boys, and often for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – according to a recent study in JAMA Psychiatry. The study, published in July, looked at prescription information for antipsychotic medications in patients aged 1-24 in 2006, 2008 and 2010 from the IMS LifeLink LRx Longitudinal Prescription database. The database includes information from about 60 percent of retail pharmacies in the nation. “What we found is that throughout childhood and adolescence, boys are more likely [More]

October 1st, 2015

Conference addresses Hoffman report findings

By Phyllis Hanlon

This year’s annual American Psychological Association conference addressed a wide variety of topics. But topping the list was reaction to and resolution of some of the findings in the recently released Hoffman report. Susan H. McDaniel, Ph.D., Dr. Laurie Sands Distinguished Professor of Families & Health and 2015 APA president-elect, explained that the APA Council of Representatives discussed the main results of the Hoffman report and voted on a number of motions. “They voted to create a Blue Ribbon panel to evaluate and make recommendations for changes to the ethics policy, benchmarking against other organizations to find the best processes [More]

October 1st, 2015

Initiative focuses on child homelessness

By Pamela Berard

Homeless children face immediate needs – such as food and shelter – but the experience also leaves them with more permanent scars. Among them, homeless children are at risk for PTSD because they’ve often been in unsafe traumatic conditions, said Ellen Braaten, Ph.D., associate director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital and director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP). “Even for kids who haven’t been through a trauma, they are frequently in and out of different schools so their education is disrupted, which leads to insufficient performance in academic subjects.” In addition [More]

October 1st, 2015

MassHealth claims have new stipulations

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In order to comply with a section of the Affordable Care Act that went into effect in 2011, Massachusetts recently changed its regulations to require that claims to MassHealth must include the NPI (National Provider Identifier) of the provider as well as that of any provider who ordered or referred the patient for a service. The new ruling took effect on September 1, although MassHealth will not immediately deny claims not properly completed. Instead, providers will receive an informational notification with the paid claim. After November 1, claims will be denied that do not include the proper information. “The initial [More]

October 1st, 2015

Law would expand screening tool

By Rivkela Brodsky

Lawmakers and an organization dedicated to reforming the children’s mental health system in Massachusetts are working to expand a substance abuse screening tool in all public schools across the state. According to information released in April 2014 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 338 residents died because of  unintentional opioid overdoses in 2000. That rose to 668 deaths in 2012, although age was not specified. However, the Children’s Mental Health Campaign – a statewide coalition pushing for the use of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, or SBIRT, in Massachusetts public schools – points to national data that [More]

October 1st, 2015

Mobile app at Walden monitors recovery

By Pamela Berard

A Massachusetts private psychiatric hospital is using a mobile app for co-managing eating disorder recovery in real time. Walden Behavioral Care of Waltham, which provides inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient care for patients with eating disorders, is using the mobile health platform Recovery Record, which can be used on an iPhone, iPad or Android and enables patients and their providers to continuously monitor progress. The app allows users to self-manage their recovery with behavioral monitoring. The system incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; personalized meal plans; clinical goals; and motivation enhancement, such as aspirational songs and supportive statements and emoticons. [More]

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