Mom Pleased with Support of Autistic Student

When Jill Mitchell first met with Yuma Elementary District 1 to inquire about services available for her autistic son, she was prepared to fight for them.

Mitchell, who moved to Yuma from Woodland Park, Colo., last summer, said services for her son Connor, 10, were not optional – she said she has read books and attended conferences and knows what works.

But despite some criticisms she had heard about special education programs at the district, Mitchell was pleased with what she found. “The fabulous thing about District 1 is that I didn’t need to fight because they agreed on everything,” she said.

The Arizona Department of Education audited Yuma Elementary School District 1 in October after a complaint was filed by a parent. The audit noted that 29 percent of special education teachers have not met the Highly Qualified standard in the subject area they are assigned to teach as mandated under the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. And there are four positions currently filled by long-term substitutes.

Mitchell said she knew that her son needed a paraprofessional “and without blinking an eye, they agreed.”

Via Mom Pleased with Support of Autistic Student

One Million Alzheimer’s Patients Will Reside in California and Florida

Some 5.3 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer’s disease with the number projected growing to as many as 16 million in the coming years.

California and Florida will have the largest population of Alzheimer’s patients with over 500,000 in each state according to a report issued today by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, an industry trade group.  By 2025, six other states will have over 200,000 individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s the most common form of dementia.

“In 2011 the first baby boomers start turning 65 and by 2029 all boomers will be at least 65 years old,” states Jesse Slome, AALTCI’s executive director.  “Unless medical breakthroughs identify ways to prevent or treat the disease, the Alzheimer’s Association projects a 50 percent increase in the number of people afflicted in the years ahead.”

The cost of Alzheimer’s is currently estimated at nearly $200 billion for related medical and long-term care.  Dementia and Alzheimer’s is the leading reason individuals receive benefits from the 8.25 million long-term care insurance policies currently in force.

Based on population data compiled from U.S. Census reports and studies by the Alzheimer’s Association, California and Florida are expected to have the largest number of residents with Alzheimer’s in 2025.  Six states will see the number of Alzheimer’s cases double in the next 15 years and Texas, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina are each expected to have as many as 499,000 cases.

“Americans are living longer lives and that significantly increases the likelihood of being inflicted by Alzheimer’s,” Slome explains.  Death rates for most major diseases have declined according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Death rates for heart disease have declined 8.6 percent from 2000-2005 and 14.4 percent for stroke.  Alzheimer’s disease death rates continue to trend upward, increasing 45 percent during that period.

The 10 states projected to have the largest percentage change in Alzheimer’s cases by 2025 (compared with 2000) are: Utah (127%), Alaska (126%), Colorado (124%), Wyoming (114%), Idaho (100%), Nevada  (100%), Texas (74%), Arizona (67%), Florida (64%) and North Carolina (62%).

Via One Million Alzheimer’s Patients Will Reside in California and Florida