children

Revelation

Jun 3, 2014
Bureau of Land Management / Creative Commons

His T-shirt says, “I am God”.
I think - My lucky day!
I’ll run over,
shake his hand,
ask for an autograph.
I might never have this chance again.

The federal law that governs special education lays out the goals pretty clearly: Students are entitled to an appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

But some parents of children with autism feel their local public schools aren't meeting their kids' needs. And with autism diagnoses rising, new schools are emerging specifically for autistic children.

Some parents see these specialized schools as a godsend. For others, they raise a new set of questions.

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As a result of repeated sound exposure while in the womb, it now appears a baby can later recognize these sounds, even the theme song of its mother's favorite television show. In other words, there is "neural memory." This is what we learned from a Science magazine story, examining the key findings of a Swedish study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (The author is cognitive neuroscientist Eino Partanen.) Does this explain something about the child musical prodigy? 

Diane Orson / WNPR

The word dulcimer means "sweet sound." There’s no better way to describe this American folk instrument.

Valentin Ottone / Creative Commons

Adults with college degrees are much less likely to smoke than the rest of the population. A new Yale University study searches for the reasons why.  

Steve Honigfeld

Our third Health Equity Forum is a project we’ve been working on for a few years now with our partners at Connecticut Health Foundation, exploring the idea of health equity in Connecticut. How do we make sure that everyone has the best possible health outcomes regardless of race, regardless of how much money you have?

It’s a tricky issue for policy makers, which is why we’re so glad to have as the basis for our conversation a new set of information called the Connecticut Health Care Survey. Six organizations came together to put out this report, which is drawn from some 5400 households interviewed. 

More than 200 girls who were abducted by militants in Nigeria's northeast have been located — but Nigeria's military says it's too risky to try to free them by force. The news comes after reports that the government had been negotiating for at least some of the girls' release.

The U.S. and other nations have contributed manpower and resources to the search for the girls, whose mass kidnapping inspired an international campaign demanding their safe return. U.S. surveillance aircraft have taken part in the search, using sensors that can detect body heat in complex environments.

How hard can it be for school cafeterias to swap white bread for whole-grain tortillas, cut sodium, and nudge kids to put more fruit and vegetables on their trays?

Tougher than you might imagine, according to some schools.

Two kindergartners were seriously hurt after the "bounce house" they were playing in was sent high into the air by a strong gust of wind Monday in upstate New York. Both children needed to be hospitalized after falling out of the inflatable playhouse.

Chion Wolf

The first children's room in a public library may have been in Hartford, Connecticut. The head librarian here, Caroline Hewins was an early advocate for taking seriously the reading needs of children starting in the late 19th century. Prior to that children's lit wasn't really treated as a genre that could stand on its own two feet.  

Today, of course, it's massive and diverse. Its themes range from light to darkness, its language may be mannered or naturalistic, its art may be glorious or crude.  And, there really seems to be a readership for all those possibilities. But, some would say we need more diversity.

Today on the show, we talk about children's books, first from the perspective of two authors and then with a scholar and a librarian.

U.S. Embassy Manila / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Child Advocate Sarah Eagan said the 2014 legislative session was beneficial for the children of Connecticut. 

Overall, Eagan said she's happy with what was accomplished in this short legislative session, including finding room in the budget to pay for 1,020 new preschool spots statewide.

Vernon Police Department

Police have found three missing boys in Bangor, Maine after issuing a multi-state Amber Alert.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

The story of an inmate at York Correctional Facility, known simply as Jane Doe, has caught the attention of Governor Dannel Malloy. She’s a 16-year-old transgender female at the center of a rare transfer of custody from the Department of Children and Families to the Department of Corrections.

Caitlin Regan / Creative Commons

Earlier this week, the General Assembly passed a bonding package allocating $22 million to strengthen school security across the state.

Gov. Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

The Connecticut General Assembly passed a budget this past weekend, which -- along with two other bits of legislation -- expands access to pre-kindergarten education. Advocates have said it doesn't reach the ideal goal of universal preschool, but it's an important step in that direction.

Paul Horton / Creative Commons

School officials and health care professionals joined lawmakers at the state capitol on Thursday, touting the importance of early mental health care intervention for kids. It's a cause that's gotten increased attention since the school shooting in Newtown.

The commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families has resigned following the deaths of three children on her watch.  Child welfare advocates say the focus now needs to shift to fixing problems at the state agency and preventing child abuse.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who had previously rejected DCF Commissioner Olga Roche’s resignation offers, said Tuesday he had reluctantly agreed to accept it now, believing the troubled child welfare agency can’t move forward with her at the helm.

Vu Nguyen / Creative Commons

A bill that would allow schools in Connecticut to stock emergency medication for severe allergic reactions has been referred to the Appropriations Committee. 

It's a Wednesday morning at the Eliot K-8 Innovation School. Teacher Jodi Doyle is working with a small group of preschool students interested in domes.

"What do you think the difference is between a dome and an arch?" she asks.

The lesson doesn't go exactly as planned. Doyle wants the kids to build their domes with wire, but she wants the children to come up with that idea themselves. The kids used wire several months ago for a related project, and she hopes they'll remember.

Andwhatsnext / Creative Commons

Most children with autism are well past their fourth birthday by the time they’re diagnosed with the condition, according to new government data.

Their parents and teachers may have raised red flags earlier, but it takes months or years to confirm suspicions with a formal diagnosis. And therapy rarely starts without one.

Ray Hardman

There are many studies out there touting the benefits of yoga, from increasing flexibility and strength, to helping with more debilitating conditions like chronic headaches and pain. More and more children are practicing yoga, and researchers are just beginning to understand how kids can benefit from the ancient discipline. 

scyther5/iStock / Thinkstock

Two members of Connecticut's congressional delegation have launched a bill that would ban companies from marketing e-cigarettes to children.

But they ran into some vocal opposition during a press conference to launch the legislation.

Federal inspectors found more than 7,100 defects and deficiencies in the Metro-North Railroad over the last decade, but records show regulators launched an investigation only after two high-profile accidents last year. In an open records request by Hearst Media, federal inspection reports between 2003 and 2013 show inspectors last year found broken joint bars and loose or missing rail braces that hold tracks to the ties in Bridgeport, Norwalk, New Haven and Stamford.

Sizing Up Your Children Is A Tricky Business

Apr 7, 2014

When I had a second baby earlier this year, my three-year-old suddenly seemed enormous. "Check out the size of those feet!" I marveled. She seemed so heavy, so tall, so substantial.

She even seemed more capable, more robust. Images of airborne cookware and toppling bookshelves faded. The staircase didn't seem quite so treacherous. Instead, I trusted in her basic competence to scale the kitchen stools without incident and to keep (most) sharp-and-pointy things beyond the envelope of her person.

It wasn't just me: my husband reported the same experience.

Doctors say children shouldn't log more than two hours a day of screen time, though what with phones, computers and TV most children put in much more.

But it may be that not all screens are equally evil.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found that sixth-graders who watched a lot of TV were more likely to eat junk food and drink soda than their peers who spent the same amount of time on the computer or playing video games, researchers from the University of Michigan say.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Our teacher panel welcomed educators from across the state. We broadcasted live from the CPBN Learning Lab, the home of the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet High School Satellite Campus and the Institute for Advanced Media.

Are you a teacher? Why did you decide to enter this profession and what keeps you going back to school every day? Find our tweets from the discussion at #WhereWeTeach, and watch our video of the event below.

The Small Things

A Connecticut-based non-profit has received a major grant to start construction on a village for orphaned children in Tanzania. The Small Things, based in East Haven and Africa, partners with the Nkoaranga Orphanage, which cares for youngsters from birth to five years old.

When they age out of the orphanage, some kids are able to move in with family members or live in foster homes, but most are sent away to boarding schools.

Chion Wolf/WNPR

There's growing tension in Connecticut between parents and guardian ad litem lawyers or GALs, who are appointed to represent minor children in child custody cases.

AndreyPopov/iStock / Thinkstock

Earlier this month, The Connecticut Law Tribune reported that a number of the state’s guardian ad litem lawyers had withdrawn from their child custody cases. Their actions came in response to growing tension within the family courts, where parents and advocates have criticized the system -- and the lawyers in it -- for high fees and lack of oversight.

Pediatricians often recommend some mental health counseling for children who have behavior problems like defiance and tantrums. But counseling can be hard to find. Children are much more likely to get help if the counselor is right there in the doctor's office, a study finds.

The children in the study had behavior problems, and many also had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or anxiety. They were 8 years old, on average, and two-thirds were boys.

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