Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on September 15, 1990 · Page 8
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 8

Indiana, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, September 15, 1990
Page 8
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Page 8 - Wednesday, September 17, 2003 REGION jin&iana <l>atettt Autism school opens Continued from page 1 day program, focuses on a child's autism first, through communications, sensory and socialization exercises, following the Applied Behavioral Analysis style classroom. It also offers sensory integration and a gross-motor room. Miller and Indiana University of Pennsylvania elementary and special education graduate Matt Scott, MAC's other teacher, also cover everything that a typical school covers. "We work on the autism to get to the academics," said Miller, an early childhood and special education graduate from Clarion University. Currently there are two children enrolled in the center, but that number could reach 12 within the next few weeks after the center gets through reviewing current applications. MAC is still accepting children. In order to accommodate the expected influx of children, MAC has teachers ready to be hired. The center is looking through applications for enrollment and needs to complete individual evaluation plans of each child before he or she can be accepted to the school. lEP's are used by the school to monitor the progress of each child, by goal setting and documentation of the different therapies used in each session. MAC accepts children from ages 2 through 12 from Indiana County and any neighboring county. According to Miller, by the time the children are at about the sixth-grade level, they should be able to re-enter public school. To make the transition as smooth as possible, MAC follows the Indiana Area School District schedule and teaches all the subjects the school district does. "Our main goal is to get them back in the school district," Miller said. "We don't have to, but we follow the Pennsylvania state standards so that the children have the skills to survive in public school once they leave." School districts are key in the enrollment process. Students can either be referred by a school district or enrolled by their parents. If a school sends the child to the center, the school is obligated to pay the tuition and for the busing. Parents pay the expenses otherwise. Both children so far have been enrolled through school districts. "The school districts have all been wonderful," Miller said. Parents and school districts learned of MAC through letters sent by the school, inviting those interested to an open house in July. "A lot of people called and had questions," said Miller, who is originally from DuBois. 'Alqt just showed up for the open house, both teachers and parents." Miller said she and Scott bonded well with the children at a summer camp. Since not every autistic child needs to be in a specialized school because of the different levels of autism, according to Miller, it was hard to see them go. "You form so many attachments it's unreal," she said. "You miss them when they're gone." Miller and Scott still sit around and reminisce about the children, telling stories and sharing memories. The bonds they have created have made the dream of a school for autistic children much more meaningful. "Matt and I see these kids as our own," said Miller, who, with Scott, regularly attends seminars and takes additional training because they specialize in teaching autistic children. "You get attached. I couldn't imagine being in any other field. It's so fulfilling it's unbelievable. We're teaching our future. It's such a powerful thing. This is my dream job." Disorder increasing in U.S. Continued from page 1 • Difficulty in expressing needs, using gestures instead of words • Laughing, crying, showing distress for reasons not apparent to others • Difficulty interacting with others • May not want to cuddle or be cuddled • Little or no eye contact • Uneven gross/fine motor skills • Not responsive to verbal cues • Acts as if deaf although hearing tests in normal range Characteristic behaviors of autism can be detected as soon as early childhood, from 24 months to 6 years. Research indicates that early diagnosis is associated with dramatically better outcomes for individuals with autism. The earlier a child is diagnosed, the earlier the child can begin benefiting from one of the many specialized intervention approaches. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development lists the following behaviors that show that additional evaluation after a doctor's visit is warranted. But if a child does exhibit any of these behaviors, it does not always mean the child is autistic: • Does not babble or coo by 12 months • Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months • Does not say single words by 16 months • Does not say two-word phrases by 24 months • Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age There are no medical tests for diagnosing autism, but there are various screening systems used by doctors like the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT). An accurate diagnosis must be based on observation of the individual's communication, behavior and development levels. Because many of the behaviors associated with autism are shared by other disorders, various medical tests may be ordered to rule out or identify other possible causes of the symptom being exhibited. A brief observation in a single setting cannot present a true picture of an individual's abilities and behaviors. Therefore, parental input is important in making an accurate diagnosis. There is no cure for autism, but there are several treatment options. Treatment should be determined by the child's specific symptoms. Parents should consult a physician to determine which tactic is best suited to their child. (On the Net: wwiv.autism-soci- CONSUMED Indiana High School students formed a large ring for the opening prayers and for songs, assisted by David Altrogge, who played guitar. (Gazette photos by Tom Peel) The 14th annual See You at the Pole, a grass-roots prayer event held in schools nationwide, took place today at Indiana Area Senior High School. This year's theme, "Consumed," is taken from 1 Kings 18:3639. Students gathered before school began in a large group for opening prayer and then broke into smaller groups for prayer. David Altrogge, 19, played the guitar while the group sang songs of worship. Last year, more than 2.5 million teenagers nationally gathered for the day of prayer, which was first started in Burleson, Texas, in 1990. This week also marks Indiana Area Senior High School girls participating in See Q g | 0 b a l Youth Prayer You at the Pole were, counterclockwise from left center, sen- Week, sponsored by iors Laura DellAntonio (wearing the gray sweatshirt), Jessica the Youth Commission Risinger, Chelsie Brown, Jen Cupp, Andrea Walton, Lyndsey of the World Evangeli- Uhron and Alicia Rich. cal Alliance. Final settlement with aide OK'd Continued from page 1 American Center for Law and Justice and $8,567.20 to Nichol's attorney, Joseph Luciana. ARIN made the agreement in exchange for Nichol's dropping of her federal court case, her complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and her collective-bargaining grievance. ARIN also reached an agreement with its insurer, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association insurance Trust/School Claims Service LLC, which will contribute $20,000 to the settlement and cover all legal fees of the law firm it retained to defend ARIN, in excess of a $5,000 deductible. The intermediate unit reached an agreement with Nichol in August, but the settlement was subject to approval by the ARIN board Tuesday. Nichol, 43, of Glen Campbell RD 1, filed her lawsuit against ARIN in May, claiming the educational agency had violated her constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom to exercise her religion when it suspended her. The part of the ARIN policy that had prohibited employees from visibly wearing religious clothing or jewelry was modeled after a long-standing provision of the Pennsylvania Public School Code, which states public school teachers cannot wear religious items in the classroom. As a result of the settlement, ARIN aides can now visibly wear religious jewelry or garments, while ARIN teachers cannot, because the provisions of the public school code are still in effect. Dr..Robert Goad, executive director of ARIN, addressed the inconsistency by telephone this morning. "The intermediate unit still believes that it is odd that a teacher can be prevented from wearing religious garb or insignia while a teacher's aide is now permitted to wear such objects," he said. Coad also reinforced that the injunction applies only to ARIN and its employee handbook and not to school districts or any other intermediate units in the state. Student housing complex opposed Continued from page 1 concerned about the impact of the housing complex. Pellegrene said the council should retain the land as a community park or permit the construction of single-family homes. Others spoke about the need to build a new swimming pool to give children in the borough something to do rather than build apartments for students of the technology school. They said the police department is not large enough to deal with potential problems that would be caused by the increased traffic, speeding, loitering in public all night and the use of alcohol and drugs by some of the students. Robert Clutter, 42, of Sutton, W.Va., a student at WyoTech, said the school has a strong code of conduct that students have to obey or be expelled. Clutter, who has been attending the school for six months, said he was representing the student advisory committee at the meeting to let students and administrators at the school know about the concerns of borough residents. Before opening the meeting for public comment, Andy Baker, council president, said council members would not be commenting on the concerns of the residents because the council did not have answers about the proposed leasing of the land. Baker said he hopes some answers will be available at a public meeting tentatively scheduled for Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at the community center. Baker said no decisions have been made about leasing land in the park to Ambling, a nonprofit development company from the state of California that develops student housing for technology schools, colleges and universities throughout the nation. In a related matter, the council approved seeking proposals from appraisal companies to evaluate any offer made fay Ambling to lease land at the park. Although they were planned before discussions began about student housing at the park, the council adopted ordinances dealing with landlords providing the borough with identifications of tenants in rental properties and the drinking of alcoholic beverages on public streets. . J Both ordinances set fines of up to $300 and jail sentences of up to 30 days for convictions on each violation. Landlords must now.provide a list of tenants in their, housing units to the borough on March 31 and Sept. 30 each year. Nobody is permitted on borough streets with ; beer, wine or liquor in open containers. In other action, the council: • Hired Janelle Lydic of Blairsville and Jason Myers of Bradenville as part-time police officers at $7 an hour. • Received a report from Police Chief Donald Hess that a meeting has been scheduled for Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. to try to organize a neighborhood crime-watch program throughout the borough. How to contact us Dial (724) 465-5555, using the following extensions. News tips Lynn Scott, ext. 258 Sam Bechtel, ext. 269 Family Ginny Filler, ext. 312 Sports Tony Coccagna, ext. 266 WITH MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY, YOU CAN Get back to where There's a new approach to surgery, which gets you out of the hospital and back where you belong more quickly, with less pain and less recovery time. Latrobe Area Hospital makes this possible through Laparoscopy, or minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Using instruments sometimes smaller than the tip of a pen through incisions the size of a button hole, surgeons at Latrobe Area Hospital can perform procedures that reduce the trauma and speed the healing. Miminally Invasive Surgery• Less Recovery • Less Pain • Less Scarring Minimally invasive procedures at LAH can address: • Abdominal Hernia • Gastric Reflux • Some Cancer Surgery • Colon Surgery * Joint Surgery • Thoracic Surgery • Gynecologic Surgery • Hand Surgery • Appendectomy Last month, Barbara had gastric reflux surgery. Today, she is on vacation. Find out if minimally invasive surgery is right for you. To learn more about MIS or for a referral to an LAH physician, please contact us at: 724-537-1434. LATROBE AREA HOSPITAL For more information,call 724-537-1434

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