Babies learn to talk following an intricate biological progression. It may sound like babble, but those noises babies make represent distinct milestones along the road to talking. And the absence of sounds can be cause for concern. When GPB reporter Jeanne Bonner had her first child almost two years ago, she started recording the sounds of her baby’s voice. As she reports, Atlanta researchers are conducting the largest-ever study of infant vocal development.
On a farm in Snellville, Georgia, children with special needs are getting an unconventional form of therapy. Parents of these children claim they see progress they have not seen anywhere else. They give credit to the therapists, who happen to be horses. Julian loves to ride. It agrees with him. Marilyn Peterson, known as “Doc” to her friends, adopted Julian as a toddler. She soon learned he’s autistic and has other challenges. Julian is small for a teen; he never went through puberty.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said Wednesday that parents in Georgia should not have to fear prosecution if they use medical marijuana derivatives to treat their children who suffer from intractable seizures. He called on the state’s prosecutors not to charge families who possess the derivative.
State Sen. Tommie Williams and three other General Assembly members Tuesday urged their colleagues to pass legislation this year that would require private health insurance companies in Georgia to cover treatment for autism. Williams’ niece’s daughter, Ava Bullard, is the inspiration for the proposed legislation, Ava’s Law. The issue has been raised at the Legislature for the past five years, Williams said.
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is getting help from health care organizations and a local university to train specialists on early detection of autism and learning disorders. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, the Emory University School of Medicine and the Marcus Autism Center will train the department's infant and toddler specialists to detect and assess developmental disorders during a 12-week program.
A University of Georgia graduate program that prepares elementary school teachers to work with autistic children has received a federal grant of $1.2 million. The money will help the Collaborative Personnel Preparation in Autism project continue its work through 2017.
Georgia Tech is leading a team of universities that received a $10 million federal grant to develop a computerized early warning system for young children who have autism. The five-year National Science Foundation award will go to researchers designing a tool that would use cameras, microphones, and on-body sensors to identify symptoms of autism in children.