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Approximately one out of every four Americans is a caregiver for a parents, child, spouse or relative who has a disability, is elderly or is chronically ill. Family caregivers are the backbone of military families and their work is especially important druing times of deployment.... Continue reading here


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Starting October 1, 2013, Americans who are uninsured or who buy their own health insurance will have a new way to shop for insurance: the Health Insurance Marketplace

Sign Up for Health Care Coverage HERE

White House briefing: Enrollment in affordable health insurance options through the Health Insurance Marketplaces, created under the Affordable Care Act, begins on October 1st. Stakeholders from a cross section of organizations attended to hear about the ways the health care law will provide more affordable, better quality health insurance for children and their families. The participants learned about the enrollment process and how ACA expands access to mental health and substance use disorder benefits and what community based organizations can do to help others enroll beginning October 1st. .Affordable Care Act Briefing for the Mental Health Community.




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Carol Broadbent, parent of twin four-year-old girls

Lori Hoffman, grandmother to a boy with learning problems

Karen Goodwin, mother of a son with learning difficulties

Stephanie Vrsnik, Community and Development Director, Nevada PEP

Robin Kincaid, Training Director, Nevada PEP

BY IAN MYLCHREEST -- Parenting ordinary children can be tough enough but special needs children are something else. Teachers and schools often cannot find exactly what they need. Programs like Nevada PEP can often help.

It’s a statewide parent-training organization, PEP Training Director Robin Kincaid says. Most of all, PEP helps families find ways to communicate and collaborate with schools.

Children with special needs or disabilities do create problems that need individual solutions. Carol Broadbent’s twins, for example, suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome. That has left them with significant developmental delays and behavioral problems. “Every day’s battle with stuff,” Broadbent said.

Just getting them into school was problematic and they felt abandoned once Nevada Early Intervention finished providing the initial help. Broadbent and her husband just read a lot but felt they were “just kind of stuck.” The girls’ aggressive behavior made it difficult to find a pre-school that would take them. By the same token, the pre-K school program has helped them. It is a special education class of eight students with a teacher and two aides.

“They’ll always struggle. I know that,” says Broadbent. But, she added, she was happy PEP was able to help her.

Lori Hoffman’s grandson was born with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome, a condition, which required he be born at 35 weeks because of tumors on his kidneys. Numerous surgeries followed to reduce an abnormally large tongue, correct growth abnormalities and deal with intestinal problems. He struggled in school and was finally diagnosed as having a “written expression disorder,” said Hoffman.

“He would just sit there and not do his work. You could ask him and he could tell you everything but he would not write at all, he just wouldn’t do it,” she said. After three years of struggling with this problem, counselors from PEP were able to work with Hoffman to get her son an iPad. Using that at summer school has allowed him to catch up with grade level work.

The first place to begin is the the “individual education program” or IEP. That program is individualized to the special education needs of each child, said Stephanie Vrsnik, Community and Development Director of Nevada PEP.  All special education students must have an IEP, she added. Nevada PEP offers parents clinics and special training in what they need to know to make sure their IEP is working.



WATCH this TED TALK by Aimee, Print Flyer for Jason's Deli then Go Eat & Support!!


Nevada PEP E-Post
Sent Date: March 13, 2013

Nevada PEP Partners with Jason's Deli Entire Month of April

Print Flyer & Present Upon Arrival

Cozy Webinars for the Fall - Presented by Nevada PEP
Stay warm this Winter and get the information you need from the comfort of your home. Click the links below to get a description and register for the upcoming webinars.

Understanding ADHD for Parents - Date: Tuesday 26 March 2013 - Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Civil Rights Agreement Reached with South Carolina Technical College System on Accessibility of Websites to People with Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS), the state's largest higher education system, that will ensure that the websites of SCTCS and its 16-member colleges are accessible to persons with disabilities.

Continue . . .

Valuable Tips for Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible.
The following is a tech-tips video discussing low-tech handwriting tools . . .

A great app for children ages 4 through 8, Aesop's Wheel of Fables teaches the moral lessons of 20 fables through the quick spin of a wheel. If grandparents live out of town, they can pre-record the fables in their voice on the child's device for listening at a later date.
Learn More . . .

An NIMH-funded study published online in Lancet reveals that the five most common disorders—autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disease, schizophrenia, and major depression—all share similar genetic components.
Science Update . . .

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Financing Reform and Innovations has developed a new Information Resource Center to provide people in the behavioral health care field important information about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can improve access to behavioral healthcare services. The Information Resource Center can answer many of the specific questions about how the ACA will affect various aspects of the behavioral health care community, as well as provide updates on the status of the ACA’s implementation.
Press Release . . .

NIMH Director Thomas Insel describes how different perspectives separate the communities interested in autism, and suggests the common ground that would provide an avenue to move forward.
SEE HERE . . .

This brochure, now available in Spanish, helps parents and teachers recognize common reactions children of different age groups experience after a disaster or traumatic event. It offers tips for how to respond in a helpful way and when to seek support.
SEE HERE . . .

Beyond Detention, a new Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention publication series, details the findings of the Northwestern Juvenile Project (NJP), the first large-scale, longitudinal study of drug, alcohol, and psychiatric disorders in a diverse sample of juvenile detainees. The first bulletin provides an overview of the project. Topics covered in future Beyond Detention series bulletins will include suicidal thoughts and behaviors among juvenile detainees, posttraumatic stress disorder and trauma within this population, functional impairment after detention, and barriers to mental health services.

Can Exercise Improve IQ In People With Down Syndrome?
IUsing a method called “assisted cycle therapy,” researchers at Arizona State University say they’re seeing improvement in those with Down syndrome. The approach involves rigorous exercise sessions on a specialized stationary bicycle, with a coach encouraging and monitoring the individual with Down syndrome throughout.

Click HERE for more details . . .

Disability, Literacy Groups Unite On Common Reading Goal
The push to have all children reading on grade level by third grade must include students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, say two advocacy groups who have bonded over this common goal.

Continue . . .

Nevada PEP Joins Nevada's Big Give

Nevada PEP's Social Networks

Statewide Central Office Satellite Office
Toll-Free 800-216-5188 2101 South Jones Blvd, Suite 120 4600 Kietzke Lane, Suite I-202 Las Vegas, NV 89146 Reno, NV 89502 Phone: 702-388-8899 Phone: 775-448-9950
  Fax: 702-388-2966 Fax: 775-448-9603

Problematic School Absenteeism and Selective Mutism

Christopher A. Kearney

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

     Problematic school absenteeism includes school-aged youths who display complete absences from school, skipped classes, tardiness, morning misbehaviors in an attempt to miss school, and/or substantial distress at school that precipitates pleas for future nonattendance. A recent national study revealed that the rate of chronic absenteeism (i.e., missing 10+% of the school year) among American youth may be 10-15%. Chronic absenteeism is higher among low-income students and school dropout rates are highest among Hispanics.

     Some youth are referred to treatment specifically because of absentee problems but such problems can also be an integral part of broader anxiety, mood, or disruptive behavior disorders. Key concomitants of problematic school absenteeism include substance abuse, violence, suicide attempt, risky sexual behavior, pregnancy, delinquency-related behaviors, injury, illness, and school dropout. Longitudinal studies reveal severe consequences of problematic school absenteeism into adulthood, including economic deprivation and psychiatric, social, marital, and occupational problems.

    Treatments for problematic absenteeism involve Tier 1 (preventative), Tier 2 (early intervention), and Tier 3 (complex intervention) approaches. Tier 1 interventions involve school-wide efforts to maintain attendance as well as regular monitoring to identify students with emerging attendance problems. Tier 1 interventions are broad-based in nature and include strategies to improve school climate and safety as well as student health and social-emotional development. Tier 2 interventions include (1) cognitive-behavioral procedures to address anxiety- and non-anxiety-based cases of absenteeism, and (2) those implemented more systemically to boost student engagement and to provide peer and teacher mentoring. Tier 3 interventions include expanded Tier 2 interventions, alternative educational programs, and legal strategies.

     Selective mutism is a persistent and debilitating condition in which a child fails to speak in public situations where speaking is expected. Selective mutism affects 0.2-2.0% of children, with girls slightly more affected than boys. The disorder commonly begins during preschool years but treatment is often delayed by parents or others who believe the problem is temporary. Selective mutism may have a chronic course for some children and can produce significant problems with respect to peer rejection, incomplete verbal academic tasks or standardized tests, or inadequate language or social skills.

     A primary goal of treatment for selective mutism is to increase the audibility and frequency of speech, especially in public situations such as school. The most common and empirically supported treatment components for selective mutism are behavioral in nature. These components include exposure-based practices that are integrated with stimulus fading, self-modeling, and shaping and prompting. Supplementary procedures include negative reinforcement/escape, social skills and language training, family therapy, and anxiety management techniques. Parent-based contingency management procedures are also important to facilitate a child’s more audible and frequent speech and reduce nonverbal compensatory behaviors. These treatment components are typically used in conjunction with one another in various settings and with various people such as parents, school officials, and peers.

Department of Psychology

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

4505 Maryland Parkway

Las Vegas, NV 89154-5030

Office Telephone: 702-895-3305

Office Fax: 702-895-0195