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Transgender Military Ban May Soon Be Lifted

From The Huffington Post

The Ban On Transgender Individuals In The Military May Soon Be LiftedPentagon leaders are finalizing plans aimed at lifting the ban on transgender individuals in the military, with the goal of formally ending one of the last gender- or sexuality-based barriers to military service, senior U.S. officials told The Associated Press.

An announcement is expected this week, and the services would have six months to assess the impact of the change and work out the details, the officials said Monday. Military chiefs wanted time to methodically work through the legal, medical and administrative issues and develop training to ease any transition, and senior leaders believed six months would be sufficient.

The officials said Defense Secretary Ash Carter has asked his personnel undersecretary, Brad Carson, to set up a working group of senior military and civilian leaders to take an objective look at the issue. One senior official said that while the goal is to lift the ban, Carter wants the working group to look at the practical effects, including the costs, and determine whether it would affect readiness or create any insurmountable problems that could derail the plan. The group would also develop uniform guidelines.

During the six months, transgender individuals would still not be able to join the military, but any decisions to force out those already serving would be referred to the Pentagon’s acting undersecretary for personnel, the officials said. One senior official said the goal was to avoid forcing any transgender service members to leave during that time.

Several officials familiar with the planning spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the issue publicly before the final details have been worked out.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Carter said, “we must ensure that everyone who’s able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so. And we must treat all of our people with the dignity and respect they deserve. Going forward the Department of Defense must and will continue to improve how we do both.”

 

Read more @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/13/transgender-in-military_n_7787060.html?ir=Politics&utm_campaign=071315&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-politics&utm_content=FullStory&ncid=newsltushpmg00000003

Related Online CEU Courses:

Gender Identity and Gender Variance is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that presents basic facts about homosexuality, transgendered individuals, and gender identity.

GLB Issues in Psychotherapy is a 6-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that examines psychotherapy with gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for all programs and content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 

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Nutritional Issues Related to Autism

From ScienceDaily

There is consensus that children with autism have selective eating patterns, food neophobia, limited food repertoire, and sensory issues. Researchers now report that there are inconsistent results about the extent and type of nutrient deficiencies.

Review examines nutritional issues related to autism spectrum disorderAbout 1 in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder. This represents a 78% increase in the incidence of autism spectrum disorder since 2002 (although some of the increase may be due to improved diagnostic capabilities). Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder may have poor nutrition because they often exhibit selective eating patterns as well as sensory sensitivity that predispose them to restrict their diets.

The July 2015 issue of Advances in Nutrition, the international review journal of the American Society for Nutrition, features “Nutritional Status of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Do We Know Enough?” This article evaluates the latest scientific studies examining nutritional status and nutritional needs of individuals dealing with these complex behavioral disorders.

The authors of the article examine a number of early warning signs that nutrition scientists have discovered that may alert parents as well as health care providers to the possibility of an autism spectrum disorder. For example, they discuss research suggesting that lower folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 concentrations could be possible biomarkers for earlier diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. In addition, the authors point to abnormally accelerated growth rates in infants and children as a signal of autism.

Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder may be malnourished due to selective eating patterns, limited food repertoire, fear of eating new or unfamiliar foods, hypersensitivity, and other mealtime behavior issues. As a result they may require nutritional supplements or fortified foods to ensure that they fully meet dietary guidelines.

Although not all research findings are consistent, studies do indicate that children with an autism spectrum disorder are more likely to be overweight or obese. Unusual dietary patterns as well as decreased opportunities for physical activity may be contributory factors. Interestingly, the authors also point to studies indicating that individuals with an autism spectrum disorder are also more likely to be underweight than the general population. It appears that their unusual dietary patterns can lead to overweight and obesity as well as underweight.

Given the steep rise in the prevalence of individuals with autism spectrum disorders coupled with their higher mortality rates, the authors point to “enormous public health implications.” They call for more research to help diagnose autism spectrum disorders as early as possible and to develop effective nutritional strategies that enable individuals with an autism spectrum disorder to live healthier lives.

In addition, the authors also note that most nutrition research has focused on the needs of children with autism spectrum disorders. With the number of middle-aged and elderly people with autism spectrum disorders growing, the authors stress the need for research to focus on the nutritional needs of these adult populations as well.

American Society for Nutrition. “Review examines nutritional issues related to autism spectrum disorder.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150715140901.htm>.

Related Online CEU Courses:

Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that describes DSM-5 diagnostic changes, assessment, intervention models, dietary modifications, nutrition considerations and other theoretical interventions.

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment is a 3-hour online CEU course that identifies DSM-5 diagnostic changes in the ASD diagnostic criteria, summarizes the empirically-based screening and assessment methodology in ASD and describes a comprehensive developmental approach for assessing students with ASD.

Autism Movement Therapy is a 2-hour video continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches professionals how to combine movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2015 in Autism

 

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Early Intervention Improves Long-Term Outcomes for Children with Autism

From ScienceDaily

Early Start Denver ModelEarly intervention for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder helps improve their intellectual ability and reduces autism symptoms years after originally getting treatment, a new study shows.

The study is the first in more than 20 years to look at long-term outcomes after early intensive autism intervention. The therapy began when children were 18 to 30 months of age and involved therapists and parents working with the toddlers in their homes for more than 15 hours each week for two years.

The study will appear in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and is published early online.

“When you intervene early in a child’s life, you can make a big difference,” said lead author Annette Estes, director of the University of Washington Autism Center. “We hope this translates to a higher quality of life for people with autism spectrum disorder.”

The therapy, known as the Early Start Denver Model, or ESDM for short, was designed to promote social and communication skills and learning. The research team found that two years after completing the intervention, children maintained gains in overall intellectual ability and language and showed new areas of progress in reduced autism symptoms.

This type of intervention has been shown to help children with autism, but it hadn’t been shown to work with very young children over a longer timescale until now.

These results make the case for autism-specific, one-on-one intervention to begin as soon as autism symptoms emerge, which for many children is before 30 months of age, Estes said.

“This is really important,” she said. “This is the kind of evidence that is needed to support effective intervention policies for children with autism, whether it’s insurance coverage or state support for early autism intervention.”

The researchers studied two groups of young children with autism — the first received community intervention as usual for two years, which was a mix of what was available in the community such as speech therapy and developmental preschool.

The second group received ESDM, which addresses a comprehensive set of goals, is delivered one-on-one in the home, and incorporates parent coaching and parent-delivered intervention with the child. This approach is designed to enhance a child’s motivation and follows each child’s interests in playing with toys and engaging in fun activities, songs and basic daily routines.

After two years of intensive intervention, children in the ESDM group showed a significantly greater increase in IQ, adaptive functioning, communication and other measures than did the comparison group.

“These findings indicate that children who had received the ESDM earlier in their lives continued to progress well with significantly less treatment than the comparison children received,” said co-author Sally J. Rogers, a University of California, Davis professor of psychiatry and co-creator of the Early Start Denver Model intervention.

It was surprising to researchers that two years after the early intervention ended, children who received the one-on-one care saw their autism symptoms reduce further, while children who had participated in community intervention had no overall reduction.

This kind of treatment is important for the well-being of children with autism, but it’s also a good idea economically, Estes added.

“People who are better able to communicate, care for themselves and participate in the workforce at greater levels will need less financial support in their lives,” she said.

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Washington. The original item was written by Michelle Ma. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Related Online CEU Courses:

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment is a 3-hour online CEU course that identifies DSM-5 diagnostic changes in the ASD diagnostic criteria, summarizes the empirically-based screening and assessment methodology in ASD and describes a comprehensive developmental approach for assessing students with ASD.

Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that describes DSM-5 diagnostic changes, assessment, intervention models, dietary modifications, nutrition considerations and other theoretical interventions.

Autism Movement Therapy is a 2-hour video continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches professionals how to combine movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2015 in Autism

 

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Transitioning to the ICD-10-CM

By Julia Besser, MA and Lynn Bufka, PhD

Transitioning to the ICD-10-CMPsychologists and other health professionals have a fast-approaching deadline to contend with in their already busy schedules. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final ruling that Oct. 1 is the mandatory compliance date for all entities subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements to transition to the ICD-10-CM.

On this date, the ICD-10 coding classification will become the new baseline for clinical data, clinical documentation, claims processing and public health reporting. At this time there is no indication that a delay or extension will be presented: Beginning Oct. 1, claims filed using prior versions of the codes from the ICD-9-CM will be denied as unprocessable.

With nearly five times as many codes as the previous version, the ICD-10-CM proves beneficial for psychologists as more specificity will be routinely captured in diagnoses. This can lead to greater individualized care, advanced treatment planning, superior care coordination across fields and Transitioning to the ICD-10-CM improved reliability in research settings.

However, with the increased diagnostic nuances come a significant administrative learning curve as well. The American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) has developed several resources to assist members in creating a smooth transition to the new coding system. Three basic steps are recommended to help with the transition.

The first component is understanding how the basic structure of the upcoming ICD-10-CM varies from the current structure of the ICD-9-CM. Psychologists will typically use Chapter 5 entitled Mental, Behavioral and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. However, disorders related to amnesia and care-provider dependencies, for example, are not found in this behavioral health chapter.

Familiarity should also be developed  with Chapter 6 (Diseases of the Nervous System), Chapter 18 (Symptoms, Signs and Abnormal Clinical and Laboratory Findings, not otherwise classified) and Chapter 21 (Factors Influencing Health Status and Contact with Health Services). And those working in other areas of health will want to become familiar with any additional relevant chapters.

While the former version of the ICD had a mostly numeric structure, the ICD-10-CM utilizes an alphanumeric coding structure. For example, previously the code for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was simply 309.81. The new coding could be either F43.10, F43.11 or F43.12. Each component of the code refers to specific diagnostic information. The letter “F” in this new code refers to the chapter “Mental, Behavioral and Neurodevelopmental Disorders,” while the “43” refers to the section “Anxiety, dissociative, stress-related, somatoform and other nonpsychotic mental disorders.” Finally, the numbers following the decimal point refer to specifiers such as “acute” or “chronic.” Further information on coding structure can be found at: www.apapracticecentral.org.

The second recommended transitional step is to take advantage of the many resources provided for making a successful conversion. The ICD-10-CM Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries is made available for free online via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is an easily navigated document that includes all chapters, subsections and associated codes.

Alternatively, several ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM code conversion websites are available for free public access. One such site is www.ICD10Data.com. It is important to note that these websites are not sanctioned by the CDC and should not be the sole source for establishing the accuracy of conversion data.

The American Psychological Association and APAPO are committed to being a resource for information regarding this upcoming transition. An APA publication entitled “A Primer for ICD-10-CM Users: Psychological and Behavioral Conditions” was specifically created to assist mental health professionals by providing a thorough overview and detailed instructions on navigating the new system. This resource can be purchased via http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4317336.aspx. APAPO members have free access to a web-based ICD-10-CM application. This portal includes the ability to search by keyword, navigate categories of diagnoses or even explore graphical interfaces. Further details can be found at http://www.apapracticecentral.org/update/2014/12-18/memberbenefit.aspx.

Members are also encouraged to contact the APA Practice Directorate’s Office of Practice Research and Policy with further questions via e-mail at SPracticeResearchandPolicy@apa.org or by phone: 800-374-2723, ext. 5911.

Related Article: Providers Frustrated, Seek Accommodation as ICD-10 Draws Near

This article was printed in the July/August 2015 edition of The National Psychologist, a bi-monthly publication intended to keep psychologists informed about practice issues.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for all programs and content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 

 

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Sedentary Lifestyle Can Increase Anxiety

By Lecia Bushak

computer anxietySitting in front of a TV, laptop, or computer all day is certainly bad for your physical health; but it’s also detrimental to your mental health.

We already know that sitting is bad for pretty much every aspect of your health: It weakens your muscles, impairs blood circulation, and increases your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and obesity. But it turns out that sitting all day at work, then sitting all night at home in front of the TV, are detrimental to your mental health, too.

A new study examines how a sedentary lifestyle can increase your anxiety. Researchers out of Deakin University’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research in Australia found that low-energy activities and sitting down likely makes your anxiety worse. Working at a computer all day, watching TV, playing video games, or simply crouching over your phone or laptop in bed are all considered low-energy activities that are eating away at your mental acuity.

Megan Teychenne, the lead researcher of the study, notes that modern society has seen a huge surge of anxiety disorders in recent years. In the US, anxiety affects some 40 million adults, or 18 percent of the population, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. While this increase in anxiety might result from several factors, such as more frequent use of distracting technology and social media or increased urban sprawl and air pollution, the researchers wanted to investigate the link between anxiety and sedentary living.

“We are seeing an increase in anxiety symptoms in our modern society, which seems to parallel the increase in sedentary behavior,” Teychenne said in a press release. “Thus, we were interested to see whether these two factors were in fact linked.”

The study analyzed nine different studies that had previously examined anxiety and sedentary behavior. Five of the nine studies found that sedentary behavior was associated with a higher risk of anxiety.

One-third of American adults are obese, and the majority of Americans live sedentary lifestyles that fuel obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The mental health consequences of the obesity epidemic haven’t been explored, though plenty of studies have associated lack of physical activity with an increased risk of depression and anxiety. When your day is especially sedentary, make the choice to take a step outside and go for a thirty minute walk. The exercise, and hopefully time spent in nature, will do your body and mind good.

“It is important that we understand the behavioral factors that may be linked to anxiety — in order to be able to develop evidence-based strategies in preventing/managing this illness,” Teychenne said. “Our research showed that evidence is available to suggest a positive association between sitting time and anxiety symptoms, however, the direction of this relationship still needs to be determined through longitudinal and interventional studies.”

Source: Constantly Sitting Down, Being Sedentary Could Worsen Anxiety And Mental Health

Related Article: Health risks of spending too long working at a computer – In our modern society, both our careers and our recreational activities are becoming more focused around computers. Although this has many benefits, spending too long working at a computer can cause multiple health issues. There are several steps you can put into place to ensure that you stay healthy and productive whilst working at your computer.

Related Online CEU Course:

Anxiety: Practical Management Techniques is a 4-hour online CEU course for healthcare professionals. Nearly every client who walks through a health professional’s door is experiencing some form of anxiety. Even if they are not seeking treatment for a specific anxiety disorder, they are likely experiencing anxiety as a side effect of other clinical issues. For this reason, a solid knowledge of anxiety management skills should be a basic component of every therapist’s repertoire. Clinicians who can teach practical anxiety management techniques have tools that can be used in nearly all clinical settings and client diagnoses. Anxiety management benefits the clinician as well, helping to maintain energy, focus, and inner peace both during and between sessions. The purpose of this course is to offer a collection of ready-to-use anxiety management tools. Course #40-12 | 2007 | 41 pages | 30 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for all programs and content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 

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