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Getting an autism diagnosis can take months, even years of doctor's visits, and the diagnosis depends largely on watching a child play. As a result, who gets put on the spectrum and who doesn't can depend on who and where the doctor is.

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Access to health care has improved significantly since Obamacare, with big gains for previously uninsured minorities who were unable to gain access before the law took effect. But insurance isn’t the only barrier to overcome. Entrenched cultural beliefs and the way we deliver care can also limit access.

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Seventeen men and two women are suing the Boy Scouts of America and local chapters in Connecticut, saying a now-dead scoutmaster sexually abused them as children in the 1960s and 1970s.

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In the early 2000s, a unit of Boston Globe reporters known as the “Spotlight" team uncovered child sex abuse in one of Boston’s most powerful institutions: the Catholic Church. 

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A U.S. senator from Connecticut is calling for more oversight of managing toxic polychlorinated biphenyls in public schools. 

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China announced today that it is ending its one child policy. That policy has been blamed for many abuses over the years. All Chinese families will now be allowed to have two children. NPR's Anthony Kuhn is in Beijing and on the line with us. Good morning.

Connecticut Commission on Children / cga.ct.gov

Connecticut was the first state in the nation to pass a law in 2014 that aims to help get kids ready for school by also focusing on their parents.

Jill Stewart flickr.com/photos/nobodyneedstoknow/3972438599 / Creative Commons

A bipartisan working group met for the first time Tuesday to look at the danger presented to children who are exposed to second-hand smoke while riding in a car. 

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Connecticut’s students score well overall on standardized tests. But lower-income minority students in urban areas continue to lag behind their classmates. 

USDA / Creative Commons

Access to health care has improved significantly since Obamacare, with big gains for previously uninsured minorities who were unable to gain access before the law took effect. But insurance isn’t the only barrier to overcome. Entrenched cultural beliefs and the way we deliver care can also limit access.

Recently a neighborhood in Brooklyn made national headlines for a fight over public schools. Lots of affluent, mainly white families have been moving into new condos in the waterfront area called DUMBO, and the local elementary school is getting overcrowded.

The city wants to redraw the zones in a way that would send kids from this predominantly white school to a nearby school where enrollment is over 90 percent black and Hispanic and which draws many of its students from a public housing project. Some parents on both sides of the line balked.

Dannel Malloy flickr.com/photos/governordanmalloy/5354974717 / Creative Commons

The spotlight has been on Connecticut's Department of Children and Families in recent weeks after troubling video showed DCF staff improperly restraining youths at the state's two juvenile detention facilities. Despite the latest controversy,  Governor Dannel Malloy remains supportive of the agency's commissioner.

U.S. Army

Child development experts from Connecticut have created a system to help kids who have behavior problems get the help they need. The pilot program is now being rolled out in several states across the country.

We might not be able to remember every stressful episode of our childhood.

But the emotional upheaval we experience as kids — whether it's the loss of a loved one, the chronic stress of economic insecurity, or social interactions that leave us tearful or anxious — may have a lifelong impact on our health.

metroforensics.blogspot.com

There's a synthetic chemical that's virtually everywhere. Scientists have found it in the blood of polar bears, thousands of miles from any known possible source. It’s found in fish throughout the world. It’s found in old caulk, fluorescent light ballasts, electrical transformers, mining equipment, and even carbonless copy paper.

Most of the kids in the U.S. don't get much time to eat lunch. And by the time those kids wait in line and settle down to eat, many of them feel rushed.

And a recent study suggests that this time crunch may be undermining good nutrition at school.

Andy Wagstaffe flickr.com/photos/forcedrhubarb/5389053867 / Creative Commons

Connecticut has made strides in identifying and helping children who have experienced trauma – with more than 50,000 undergoing trauma screenings since 2007 – but more must be done to ensure all children’s needs are met, according to a report released today.

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There’s no doubt, being a parent is challenging. Some of those challenges have always existed, some are new to the 21st century. We worry about the health of our children. And if we’re lucky enough to have healthy children, we worry about their successes in life. Today, the pressure on parents and children to succeed has escalated dramatically. 

Office of the State Child Advocate

Connecticut's Office of the Child Advocate has released a follow up to their July report on conditions at the state's two juvenile detention centers. 

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New Haven is adding five dental clinics to its public school health centers. But as access to dental care -- especially for children -- is still a concern in some parts of Connecticut.

In New York City, some 65,000 children have enrolled in Mayor Bill de Blasio's new, universal preschool program. To put that number in context, that's more than all the public school students — in all grades — in either Washington, D.C., or Boston. Free pre-K for all 4-year-olds was a key de Blasio campaign promise.

You could say 36-year-old Matt Ray works in paradise — on a barrier island off the Florida's southern coast. As athletic director of the Anna Maria Island Community Center, Ray is doing what he loves.

"I grew up playing sports," he says. "I actually played two years of college basketball. So sports have pretty much been my entire life."

Dylan's Wings of Change

Ian and Nicole Hockley lost  their son, Dylan, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.

Dylan had autism, and some problems with speech and engaging socially. After his death, his parents started a foundation called Dylan's Wings of Change to help children with similar difficulties develop fully. Their Wingman program is little different because it's for all kids.

Libert Schmidt / flickr creative commons

For some time, I've been interested in the thoughtful and caring work of psychologist Dr. Anthony Puliafico, who sees clients in Westchester, New York, especially children who experience anxiety and OCD.

A Balanced Life for Happy, Self-Motivated Kids

Aug 27, 2015
Donnie Ray Jones/flickr creative commons

There’s no doubt, being a parent is challenging. Some of those challenges have always existed, some are new to the 21st century. We worry about the health of our children. And if we’re lucky enough to have healthy children, we worry about their successes in life. Today, the pressure on parents and children to succeed has escalated dramatically. 

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