Other Health Impairments

You’ll find helpful information below for several of the specific disorders categorized generally under Other Health Impairments.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Teacher's Guide to ADHD in the Classroom

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a condition that makes it unusually difficult for children to concentrate, sit still, follow directions and control impulsive behavior. This guide focuses on what educators need to know about teaching kids with ADHD: how it affects children in the classroom — girls as well as boys — and how we teachers can help kids with the disorder succeed in school.

Click this link to read the information.

Down Syndrome

Video: Down Syndrome and Special Needs

Study offers new clues to a possible Down Syndrome treatment

A genetic abnormality in the brain could be integral to Down syndrome, researchers say in a finding that could point to new treatment options for those with the chromosomal disorder. Though it’s long been thought that many biological changes associated with Down syndrome occur prenatally, the study published online this week in the journal Neuron suggests that alterations in the brain continue to present throughout life.

Click this link to read the information.

Information on Down Syndrome

Understanding Down Syndrome. Each year, approximately one in every 800 to 1,000 babies is born with Down syndrome, a condition that may delay a child’s physical and mental development.

Click this link to read the information.

Epilepsy/Seizure Disorders

Epilepsy/Seizure Disorders Basics

Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which clusters of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain sometimes signal abnormally. In epilepsy, the normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed, causing strange sensations, emotions, and behavior or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. Epilepsy is a disorder with many possible causes. Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of neuron activity – from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain development – can lead to seizures.

Epilepsy may develop because of an abnormality in brain wiring, an imbalance of nerve signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, or some combination of these factors. Having a seizure does not necessarily mean that a person has epilepsy. Only when a person has had two or more seizures is he or she considered to have epilepsy. EEGs and brain scans are common diagnostic tests for epilepsy.

For additional information click on the following links:

National Institue of Health Page on Epilepsy
Epilepsy Foundation

Epilepsy Research: Electronic Device Implanted in the Brain Could Stop Seizures

Researchers have successfully demonstrated how an electronic device implanted directly into the brain can detect, stop and even prevent epileptic seizures. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines and INSERM in France, implanted the device into the brains of mice, and when the first signals of a seizure were detected, delivered a native brain chemical which stopped the seizure from progressing.

The results, reported in the journal Science Advances, could also be applied to other conditions including brain tumors and Parkinson’s disease. The work represents another advance in the development of soft, flexible electronics that interface well with human tissue. “These thin, organic films do minimal damage in the brain, and their electrical properties are well-suited for these types of applications,” said Professor George Malliaras, the Prince Philip Professor of Technology in Cambridge’s Department of Engineering, who led the research.

Click this link to go to the article

Absence Epilepsy: When the Brain is Like 'an Orchestra without a Conductor'

At first, the teacher described her six-year-old student as absentminded, a daydreamer. The boy was having difficulty paying attention in class. As the teacher watched the boy closely, she realized that he was not daydreaming. He often blanked out for a few seconds and wouldn’t respond when she called his name. On occasion, he would blink a lot and his eyes would roll-up. The teacher talked to the boy’s parents about his concerning behavior.

His parents took him to the doctor and, after a few tests, he was diagnosed with absence epilepsy and prescribed medication. Absence epilepsy is the most common type of seizure disorders in children. “In about 80 percent of children with absence seizures, the episodes usually stop around puberty. The other 20 percent will continue to have seizures,” said first and corresponding author Dr. Jochen Meyer, instructor of neurology and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. “Absence seizures, even if they stop, are a disabling disorder because they cause children to be momentarily absent during periods of their formative years.”

Click this link to go to the article

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder impacts you, but you don’t know it.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder impacts you, but you don’t know it | Nora Boesem | TEDxRapidCity

As a foster mother to children with FASD, Nora Boesem has seen the effects of alcohol first hand. However, FASD often goes undiagnosed and is creating a burden on us all.

Fetal alcohol disorders are more common than you think

From PBS – “Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a possible result from mothers drinking during pregnancy, has flown under the radar for decades. Now new conservative estimates published in The Journal of the American Medical Association show that anywhere from 1.1 to 5 percent of the U.S. population is affected, meaning it could be more common than autism. Amna Nawaz reports.”


Tourette Syndrome

Information on Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome is characterized by multiple motor tics and one or more vocal tics. A tic is a sudden, rapid, recurrent, nonrhythmic, stereotyped motor movement or vocalization. They may be simple involving only a few movements, such as an eye blink, or a throat-clearing noise) or complex (involving multiple muscle movements or recurrent words or phrases). In Tourette syndrome, the tics may appear simultaneously or at different periods during the illness. The tics may occur many times a day, recurrently throughout a period of more than 1 year).

There is a wealth of information on Tic disorders available in books and on the internet. Some excellent resources include but are not limited to Children with Tourette Syndrome A Parent’s Guide, edited by Tracy Haerle (1992) Woodbine House, Tictionary: A reference guide to the world of Tourette Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for Parents and Professionals (2003) by Becky Ottinger, Autism Asperger Syndrome Publishing Company Kansas, and Understanding Tourette Syndrome: A Handbook for Educators (2001) by the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada.

Information on the internet can be found at the National Tourette Syndrome Association.

NICHCY Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet.

Click this link to read go to the NICHCY page.

Click this link to download a pdf of the Fact Sheet.



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