Tuesday, March 28, 2017

HISD Special Education - Town Hall Meetings

HISD rolling up its sleeves to meet the needs of Houston children with special needs. You might need this service tomorrow - JR
You are invited to a town hall meeting to discuss special education in the Houston Independent School District. Parents will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their input. 
There will be multiple ways for parents to submit questions about special education services in HISD:
  1. Ask a question during the town hall meetings.
  2. Submit your question electronically at computer stations set up at each town hall meeting location.
  3. Email SpecialEducation@HoustonISD.org or visit HoustonISD.org/SpecialEducation to submit a question electronically.
  4. Ask your school for a special education comment card, fill it out, and return it to your school’s front office.
  5. Call your school’s main office to request that a comment card be mailed to you.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Houston Special Education Director Resigns. Were students denied services?

Interesting times.  Does this explain why families are told kids with autism cant be diagnosed until they are 4 or 6 ?  I wondered why this happens. - JR

Houston Special Ed Director Resigns Amid Denial of Services

The director of special education for Houston public schools has resigned amid reports that the school district systematically denied services to thousands of students with disabilities.

The director of special education in Houston public schools resigned Thursday in the wake of reports that the district had systematically denied services to thousands of students with disabilities.
The Houston Board of Education voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Assistant Superintendent Sowmya Kumar ahead of a private committee meeting on special education.
The district did not announce a replacement for Kumar, who had been with the district since 2010.
Several officials declined to comment on the resignation, but board member Diana Davila, who has an autistic nephew and a dyslexic nephew enrolled in HISD schools, said the district is ready to examine and change the ways it identifies and provides services to disabled students.
"I have mixed feelings. We know it's an issue, and we need to work to make sure all students get the services they need - regardless if they have teachers, district staff or trustees in their families," said Davila, who missed the vote because she arrived late. Fellow board members Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Manuel Rodriguez Jr. and Jolanda Jones also were absent.
Some parents and school officials had been calling for Kumar's removal since the Houston Chronicle reported in December that her department pressured schools to lower the percentage of students receiving special education services.
Embraced cap
The Chronicle investigation found that HISD slashed hundreds of positions from the special education department, dissuaded evaluators from diagnosing disabilities until second grade and created a list of "exclusionary factors" that disqualify students from getting services, among other tactics.
Records also showed that the largest school district in Texas enthusiastically embraced a controversial state policy that has effectively capped the percentage of students allowed to receive services at 8.5 percent, driving special ed enrollments down in the state to the lowest in America by far.
As a result, only 7.3 percent of HISD students now receive special education services - a lower rate than in any other of the 50 biggest American cities other than Dallas. The four lowest cities in the country are all in Texas - Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth and Arlington. Cleveland ranks first in America, with 22.5 percent of students receiving special education services, followed by Milwaukee at 20.6 percent and Boston at 20 percent.
Federal law obligates public schools to provide special education services to all eligible children with disabilities. About 13 percent of students nationally receive services.
Hope to see real changes'
State officials have now vowed to eliminate the benchmark, and the U.S. Department of Education is investigating whether students were harmed. As part of the investigation, federal officials visited HISD earlier this month.
The news of Kumar's departure came the same day as HISD launched its own internal review in earnest with the first meeting of a special committee to review the district's special education operations. Among its first tasks is to find an independent firm to audit the district's special education department, which has not been done since 2010.
The committee is slated to present its findings and recommendations to the board either at the end of this year or early in 2018.
Davila said the committee will provide something that's been long-missing in HISD's discussions about special education - parent input.
Other board members promised a transparent and comprehensive review.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

EEG Neuro - Diagnostic Technician Houston - Make a Difference Every Day

Make a Difference Every Day

Open Position –  EEG/Neuro -Diagnostic Technician HOUSTON TX

Send resume and cover letter to this EMAIL

EEG Technician - Pediatric  FT or PT

Houston Specialty Clinic - Houston, TX

Performs electroencephalograph (EEG) testing under supervision, for (mostly) pediatric patients.

Job Duties
  • Attaches and connects electrodes between specified body areas and EEG machine.
  • Performs prescribed testing. Reviews patient's history and educates patient about procedure.
  • Monitors and patient's condition and responds to and reports any adverse reactions.
  • Identifies and corrects for artifacts. Edits and forwards results to attending physician for analysis and interpretation.
  • Scores/graphs, reviews, analyzes, documents, and reports results of diagnostic procedures.
  • High School diploma or GED
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) through the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer with card in-hand before start date, and current AHA BLS must be good through sixty days of hire.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Associate's Degree
  • Strong EEG experience
  • Registered EEG Tech
  • Experience with Pediatrics.
Job Type: Full-time or Part time
Job Location:
  • Houston, TX 77024
Required education:
  • High school or equivalent
Required experience:
  • eeg technician work: 2 years
  • Comparable polysomnographic experience may considered

Monday, March 06, 2017

Mobile phones cancer-causing? Only if you use them over 10 years, we think... maybe...

Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer? 
If you use the for over 10 years....it might increase risk 33%? Really?  Who will be using their phone for less than 10 years?

Cochrane level meta-analyses are very strong from a data perspective.  

Until there is more data, it seems reasonable to use hand free systems or headphones to keep the phone away from the head. 

As an aside, industry funding did not bias studies.

- JR

Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours: a systematic review of association between study quality, source of funding, and research outcomes


Authors Manya Prasad Prachi Kathuria Pallavi Nair Amit Kumar Kameshwar Prasad

Original Article
First Online: 17 February 2017
DOI: 10.1007/s10072-017-2850-8
Cite this article as:
Prasad, M., Kathuria, P., Nair, P. et al. Neurol Sci (2017). doi:10.1007/s10072-017-2850-8


Mobile phones emit electromagnetic radiations that are classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Evidence for increased risk for brain tumours accumulated in parallel by epidemiologic investigations remains controversial. This paper aims to investigate whether methodological quality of studies and source of funding can explain the variation in results. PubMed and Cochrane CENTRAL searches were conducted from 1966 to December 2016, which was supplemented with relevant articles identified in the references.

Twenty-two case control studies were included for systematic review. Meta-analysis of 14 case–control studies showed practically no increase in risk of brain tumour [OR 1.03 (95% CI 0.92–1.14)]. However, for mobile phone use of 10 years or longer (or >1640 h), the overall result of the meta-analysis showed a significant 1.33 times increase in risk.

The summary estimate of government funded as well as phone industry funded studies showed 1.07 times increase in odds which was not significant, while mixed funded studies did not show any increase in risk of brain tumour.

Metaregression analysis indicated that the association was significantly associated with methodological study quality (p < 0.019, 95% CI 0.009–0.09).

Relationship between source of funding and log OR for each study was not statistically significant (p < 0.32, 95% CI 0.036–0.010).

We found evidence linking mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours especially in long-term users (≥10 years).

Studies with higher quality showed a trend towards high risk of brain tumour, while lower quality showed a trend towards lower risk/protection.