Category Archives: News

News items

Technical Difficulties

Sorry for the long time since we last posted. We are going through some staff changes at Callier Library and people that normally handle posting responsibilities have either graduated or are being reassigned to other functions in the university. Another announcement about the blog will be made in about a month when staffing issues settle down. Those of us who have been working on COMD News for the last four years appreciate the support we have received from our readers.

Study Suggests Non-Corporal Discipline Aids Children’s Executive-Functioning Ability

Children in a school that uses corporal punishment performed significantly worse in tasks involving “executive functioning” – psychological processes such as planning, abstract thinking, and delaying gratification – than those in a school relying on milder disciplinary measures such as time-outs, according to a new study involving two private schools in a West African country.

from Medical News

4 Ways iPads Are Changing the Lives of People With Disabilities

Touch devices — most notably the iPad — are revolutionizing the lives of children, adults and seniors with special needs. Rahman estimates some 40,000 apps have been developed for this demographic.


How Exercise Can Keep the Brain Fit

For those of us hoping to keep our brains fit and healthy well into middle age and beyond, the latest science offers some reassurance. Activity appears to be critical, though scientists have yet to prove that exercise can ward off serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease. But what about the more mundane, creeping memory loss that begins about the time our 30s recede, when car keys and people’s names evaporate? It’s not Alzheimer’s, but it’s worrying. Can activity ameliorate its slow advance — and maintain vocabulary retrieval skills, so that the word “ameliorate” leaps to mind when needed?

from The New York Times

Oxfordshire man cured of hearing his eyeballs move

A man with a medical condition which meant he heard his eyeballs move in their sockets has been cured.

from the BBC

Biodegradable Pellets Deliver Antibiotics to Help Treat Glue Ear Infection

Clinical researchers at The University of Nottingham have been studying how to improve the treatment of glue ear, a condition common in children during which mucus amasses behind the ear drum and impairs hearing. Typically, grommets are inserted for ventilation, but a considerable number of patients return with infections.

To directly combat this, the researchers developed biodegradable pellets that can be implanted during grommet surgery to deliver antibiotics right to where the infections happen.


Convention Sessions for Associates

The 2011 ASHA Convention, Nov. 17–19 in San Diego, will include a number of educational sessions specifically designed for or of interest to audiology and speech-language pathology assistants. This preliminary list of courses may prove helpful as assistants and supervisors plan their convention schedules. For more information on convention, including registration, visit ASHA’s Convention webpage.

from the ASHA Leader

NSU professors ready to cheer

Two professors at Northeastern State University have begun research to determine the efficacy of general vocal hygiene practices, enlisting cheerleaders at local high schools to participate in the study.

from Muskogee Phoenix

Abbott announces research confirming presence of lutein in key regions of the infant brain

Preliminary new research(1) demonstrates for the first time that lutein, an important phytonutrient (plant-based nutrient) that supports eye health, is the predominant carotenoid present in key areas of the infant brain, including areas that regulate overall brain function, cognition, vision, hearing and speech. This new research, supported by Abbott, was presented by Elizabeth Johnson, PhD, a scientist in the Carotenoids and Health Laboratory at Tufts University, at the 16th International Symposium on Carotenoids, in Krakow, Poland.


Unplanned Babies Develop Vocabulary, Non-Verbal And Spatial Abilities More Slowly

Children of unplanned pregnancies are more likely to have poorer vocabulary, spatial and non-verbal abilities compared to other kids, researchers reported in the BMJ (British Medical Journal). In the majority of cases it is caused by the child being in disadvantaged circumstances.

from Medical News

Aphasia Assessment Materials available online

Included are:

  • The Multimodal Communication Screening Task for Persons with Aphasia: Picture Stimulus Booklet
  • The Multimodal Communication Screening Task for Persons with Aphasia: Scoresheet and Instructions
  • Scanning/Visual Field/Print Size/Attention Screening Task
  • Aphasia Needs Assessment
  • AAC-Aphasia Categories of Communicators Checklist

from the Augmentative & Alternative Communication Centers

Engineers Develop One-Way Transmission System for Sound Waves

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have now created the first tunable acoustic diode-a device that allows acoustic information to travel only in one direction, at controllable frequencies.


New study shows Transcendental Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students

A random-assignment controlled study published today in Mind & Brain, The Journal of Psychiatry (Vol 2, No 1) found improved brain functioning and decreased symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, in students practicing the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique. The paper, ADHD, Brain Functioning, and Transcendental Meditation Practice, is the second published study demonstrating TM’s ability to help students with attention-related difficulties.


Language software promises to help children with autism

Oakland, Calif.-based firm Scientific Learning on Friday announced the launch of new software it says can help improve language and communication skills in children with autism.

Called BrainPro Autism, the new software is made up of game-like exercises coupled with remote monitoring by a seasoned tutor who relays progress to the child’s team of specialists on a weekly basis.

from Smart

Creators of Verbally Assisted-Speech App Voted in Top 3 of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs by BusinessWeek Readers

Verbally is a free augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) aid for people with speech disabilities caused by such things as apraxia, ALS, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, or muscular dystrophy. Since it was launched in March, Verbally has been downloaded more than 28,000 times and is downloaded an average of 210 times per day.

from the Sun