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America’s Child Death Shame

Published: 17 October 2011 Last updated at 07:35 ET, BBC © 2011 “Every five hours a child dies from abuse or neglect in the US. The latest government figures show an estimated 1,770 children were killed as a result of maltreatment in 2009. A recent congressional report concludes the real number could be nearer 2,500.“  “Sixty-six children under the age of 15 die from physical abuse or neglect every week in the industrialised world. Twenty-seven of those die in the US – the highest number of any other country.“ “Over the past 10 years, more than 20,000 American children are believed to have been killed in their own homes by family members. That is nearly four times the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.“ “America’s Death Shame,” was seen on BBC World News affiliates, including PBS and NPR stations in most American cities. The nature of the broadcast is about the magnitude of child abuse — and particularly child-abuse-related deaths — in America. See the full article at BBC ©...

The Rights of Students with Physical or Health Impairments

WHO DOES NEED SPECIAL EDUCATION? Some children with disabilities may need special accommodations in school, and yet not need formal “special education.” These children can include those with epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, muscular dystrophy or other health or physical impairments. These children have rights under a federal law known as “§504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,” and state regulations known as “Chapter 15.” 1. What rights does my child have under §504 and Chapter 15? Under most circumstances, the school district must provide the modifications, accommodations and services that a child with a health or other disability needs to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program. The district must make sure that the child has equal access to all school programs and activities, including extra-curricular clubs or programs, assemblies, lunch and field trips. For example, a district might be required to make changes in a child’s schedule to take account of a health need, dispense medication that the child needs during the school day, allow a child who uses a wheelchair to use the staff elevator, provide a desk or other equipment or material that is modified for the child’s use, or provide assistance to the child for toileting or for traveling around the school building. 2. How do I get the services my child needs? If you believe that your child needs this type of help to participate fully in school, you must write to your school district. In your letter, explain the type of assistance you believe is needed. If you have evaluations, records or prescriptions from a specialist that you are willing to...

Violence and Substance Abuse

Exposure to Violence Linked to Substance Use in Teens (The Nemours Foundation) Children and teens who witness violence or who are victims of violence in their communities are more likely to use dangerous substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs, say researchers from Belgium, Russia, and the United States. A total of 958 Belgian teens, 1,036 Russian teens, and 1,386 American teens between 14 and 17 years old participated in a survey of violence exposure and substance use. Teens were asked to identify whether they had ever been beaten up or mugged, threatened, shot or shot at with a gun, attacked or stabbed with a knife, chased by gangs or individuals, or seriously wounded in a violent incident. In addition, teens were asked whether they had ever witnessed the same events. Teens were also asked whether and how often they smoked, used marijuana, drank alcohol, or used other drugs such as stimulants, heroin, and LSD. Finally, teens were asked whether they had started a fist fight, participated in a gang fight, hurt someone badly in a fight, or carried a weapon in the past year. In all three countries, teens who were exposed to more violence had higher rates of smoking, alcohol use, marijuana use, and other drug use. Exposure to violence in the United States was not as strongly related to substance use as it was in Russia or Belgium. What This Means to You: Although the results of this study do not prove cause and effect, they suggest that teens who are exposed to violence may be more likely to turn to the use of...

Some Adolescent Violence Is Predictable

CHICAGO, May 16 (Reuters Health) – Adolescents who are exposed to violence, abuse alcohol or drugs and have only one parent are at increased risk of killing someone, Dr. Robert Zagar and colleagues from the University of Illinois reported here at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting. Dr. Zagar’s team used data from the juvenile court system in Chicago to develop a set of tools to predict the risk of violence in adolescents that they presented in a report called “Asking the Right Questions to Find Teenage Killers.” Mental health professionals, school counselors and youth officers can use the system to prevent future tragedies like the Columbine High School killings, the researchers report. “The object is not to label them and punish them, but to find them and provide them with services,” Dr. Zagar said during a press briefing. Dr. Zagar and his colleagues compared risk factors for three groups of youth: 101 convicted killers, 101 non-violent youth offenders and a control group of 101 teens from the community. Adolescents with violence in the family, child abuse, gang membership, and alcohol and drug use are at twice the risk of killing someone compared with teenagers without these risk factors, Dr. Zagar said. When those factors are combined with access to weapons, previous arrests, learning problems, and truancy, the teen is four times more likely to become a killer than other youths, he added. For those with an arrest record or a history of school suspensions, the warning signs are obvious. But too often they are missed, Dr. Zagar said. “That means the psychologist, the parent and the teacher, they...

Violence-Related Behaviors in Adolescents

A Cross-national Study of Violence-Related Behaviors in Adolescents June 2004— “Violent behavior among adolescents is a significant problem worldwide, and a cross-national comparison of adolescent violent behaviors can provide information about the development and pattern of physical violence in young adolescents. Smith-Khuri and colleagues examined frequencies of adolescent violence-related behaviors in 5 countries and associations between violence-related behaviors and potential explanatory characteristics.” “A significant body of information currently exists describing violent behavior in the adolescent population of the United States, yet violent behavior in adolescents outside and in relation to the United States is not well characterized. Comparison of violence-related behaviors in US youths with those of their peers in other countries can provide a context for the US findings. Our analysis found that for 3 violence-related behaviors—fighting, weapon carrying, and injuries from fighting—adolescents from 5 European countries were remarkably similar in terms of frequencies, whereas the results were not as uniform cross-nationally for involvement in bullying. This cross-national comparison allows circumspection on whether violent behavior in adolescence is more a function of environmental, cultural, and political influences or to what extent it is part of the normal developmental process of adolescence.” For reference see:  The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent...
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