ACHIEVA and HealthMeet

 Your Health Matters

Volume 3 Issue 5                                                                                         May 2014 Edition




In This Issue
Walking Back to Fitness
Healthcare Transition
Diabetes Rates Skyrocket
Inactivity and Chronic Disease
1 in 2 with Disabilities Physically Inactive
Protect Dental Health
Estimating True Serving Sizes
Webinar from Health Matters
Webinars from The Arc of the US

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Walking Your Way Back to Fitness

From Melissa Allen, ACHIEVA's Disability Healthcare Project Coordinator, 
Information taken from Health Matters: The Exercise and Nutrition Health Education Curriculum for People with Developmental Disabilities 

Walking is one of the most natural physical activities and the least likely to cause an injury.  A walking program is an excellent form of exercise as it combines stretching, strengthening and endurance exercises.  Walking briskly, while swinging your arms, can give you many of the benefits of jogging without the strain on your body.  


Walking can be done anywhere, during any season of the year, at no cost.  You can walk alone or with others and you do not need any special equipment, just comfortable shoes.  Usually it is something most people can do for the rest of their lives.  

Walking strengthens muscles and bones and tones legs.  It improves the body's ability to deal with sugar.  It increases calories burned and controls appetite.  You should warm up, stretch and then walk for 15 - 20 minutes five times per week.                                                                                    

Healthcare Transition for Young Adults

From The American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD)


Young adults and their families who are seeking adult-oriented providers often report that it is very difficult to find providers who match their pediatric providers in knowledge about, training in and experience caring for those with disabilities or special healthcare needs.  This is an issue outlined in ACHIEVA's new report titled Transition from Pediatrics to Adult Medical Systems for Young Adults with Disabilities or Special Health Care Needs.


Another resource is a free on-line training program for physicians that is designed to enhance the practice skills of primary care physicians and residents who would like to provide better care to their adult patients with disabilities. To learn more about the series, click here. 

Diabetes Rates Skyrocket in Kids and Teens 

From USA Today


The prevalence of diabetes in children shot up dramatically between 2000 and 2009, a new study shows.  The amount of type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, climbed 21 percent from 2000 to 2009, to 1.93 per 1,000 children.  The prevalence of type 2 diabetes - which is associated with obesity - jumped more than 30 percent in the same period, to a rate of 0.46 per 1,000 kids, according to a study presented Saturday at the Pediatric Academic Societies' meeting in Vancouver, Canada.


Nationwide, nearly 167,000 children and teens younger than 20 have type 1 diabetes, while more than 20,000 have type 2, says study author Dana Dabelea, of the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora, Colo.  "These increases are serious," Dabelea says. "Every new case means a lifetime burden of difficult and costly treatment and higher risk of early, serious complications."  The new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is the most comprehensive available, said David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital, who was not involved in the study.  The research, called the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study, included 3 million children and adolescents in different regions of the USA.

Read more


Inactivity Related to Chronic Disease in Adults with Disabilities 

From Health Matters Program


On May 6,2014 the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) released a new "Vital Signs" report on physical activity for working age adults with disabilities. 


Click here for the full report.

CDC: 1 In 2 With Disabilities Physically Inactive 

From Disability Scoop


In what federal health officials say is a call to action, a new study finds that nearly half of adults with disabilities are physically inactive putting their health in serious jeopardy. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 47 percent of those with disabilities ages 18 to 64 get no aerobic physical activity.  Another 22 percent exercise some but not enough.

The significant number of individuals with disabilities who are inactive is particularly alarming, researchers said, because they found this group is 50 percent more likely to report having a chronic condition like cancer, diabetes, stroke or heart disease.


"Physical activity is the closest thing we have to a wonder drug," said Tom Frieden, director of the CDC. "Unfortunately, many adults with disabilities don't get regular physical activity."


Read more.

Caregivers Protect Dental Health

From Pediatric Online


Many children on Medicaid are not receiving dental care and those who do often first show up with a dental emergency, according to a new study.  Less than half of a group of four-year-old's the researchers followed had ever visited a dentist and caregivers who neglected their own oral health tended to neglect that of their children, too.


"We know that both good oral health and dental problems tend to cluster and re-occur in families," said Kimon Divaris, who led the study at the UNC School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should visit a dentist for their first check-up when their first tooth appears, or no later than their first birthday.  The AAPD recommends check-ups every six months after that to prevent cavities and other problems.


Oral health is part of general health and dental problems in young children have been linked to other negative consequences including discomfort and pain, reduced quality of life, failure to thrive, time lost both from school and parents' work and financial expenditures for families and the health system, Divaris told Reuters Health in an email.


Read more.

 Estimating True Serving Sizes

From Deborah Herlax Enos, a writer, nutritionist and health expert in Seattle.


The American Cancer Society recommends eating 10 servings of vegetables and fruits each day. Additionally, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, most adults should eat approximately 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables daily.


Don't be intimated by the numbers. Here's a simple guide to help you estimate true serving sizes and below that, one way to get more fruits and veggies in your daily diet.  


Serving size: Make a fist and look at it.  Your fist is a good example of what 1 cup of fruits or vegetables looks like.

  • 1 cup of salad greens = 1 serving (you need a full cup of salad greens to make a serving because of the space the greens take up)
  • 1/2 cup of cooked or chopped veggies = 1 serving
  • 1 cup of chopped fruit (for example, 1 cup of fruit salad) = 1 serving
  • 1/2 cup of berries = 1 serving
  • 4 ounces of fruit or vegetable juice = 1 serving (keep in mind there is no fiber in juice so make sure that juices are not your only sources of produce)
For more information about serving sizes, go to

One example of how to hit your 10 servings of produce per day:
  • Breakfast: 1/2 cup of berries added to Greek yogurt = 1 serving of fruit
  • Snack: 1 banana and 1 ounce of nuts = 2 servings of fruit
  • Lunch: 1 cup of green salad with lean protein and an additional 1/2 cup of chopped veggies = 2 servings of veggies
  • Snack: 1/2 cup of snap peas with hummus = 1 serving of veggies
  • Dinner: Lean protein with 1 cup of sauteed veggies and 1 cup of green salad = 3 servings of veggies
  • After-dinner treat: 2 small tangerines = 1 serving of fruit
Total day's produce tally = 10!


Health, Behavior & Healthy Behavior for Children & Adults with I/DD

Webinar from Health Matters Program

Friday, May 16, 2014

2 - 3 p.m. EDT


Presenter: Dr. Leslie Rubin, MD is President and Founder of the Institute for the Study of Disadvantage and Disability (ISDD), Research Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, Medical Director of Developmental Pediatric Specialists in Atlanta and Co-director of the Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Unit (PEHSU) in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.  He is also Medical Director of Developmental Pediatric Specialists and Medical Director of the Adult Down Syndrome Program in Atlanta Georgia.  Dr. Rubin is originally from South Africa where he trained in Pediatrics and came to the USA in 1976.  He was initially at the Hospitals of the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio.  In 1980 he moved to The Children's Hospital in Boston and the Harvard Medical School where he spent 14 years.  In 1994 he moved to Atlanta, Georgia as Director of Developmental Pediatrics at Emory University and Medical Director of the Marcus Center. Since 1998 he has been involved with the Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) at Emory. In 2004 he left the Marcus Center and Emory University and joined the Department of Pediatrics at Morehouse School of Medicine. He has been involved in the health care of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1977 in hospital based settings, in small and large residential settings, in community settings and in home environments.  In 2004, he founded the Institute for the Study of Disadvantage and Disability (ISDD), which is dedicated to improving awareness and understanding of the relationship between social and economic disadvantage and disabilities in children, addressing health disparities, providing outreach education and training, and influencing health care policy and practices. He currently provides interdisciplinary clinical services for children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy and other developmental disabilities at Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital and at Developmental Pediatric Specialists in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) are more likely to have health related problems and also likely to challenges in accessing appropriate health care. These realities are complicated by limitations in communication and by some behavioral expressions of distress. This presentation will review some of the health related considerations and the importance of understanding health promotion in preventing unnecessary medical and behavioral complications for people with IDD. 


Click here to register.


From The Arc of the United States


BMI Screenings for Children and Adolescents in Special Education


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2 - 3 p.m. EDT

Presenters:  Mary Pittaway, MA, RD; Rebecca S. Morley, CLC, MA   


Obesity is a public health epidemic and the crisis is worse for children and adolescents with disabilities, who are 38 percent more likely to be obese than their peers without disabilities.  The Health Fundango Program, conducted by the local health department in Missoula County, MT, was developed to assess the BMI of students throughout the county.  With assistance from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Missoula expanded the program to include assessment, evaluation and interventions related to the BMI of students in special education.  Attendees will learn how the county implemented this program, what roadblocks they encountered and will see results from the large pool of data collected over the three years of this project.

Click here to register.




Environmental Factors for Individuals with Disabilities


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2 - 3 p.m. EDT


Presenters: American Public Health Association (APHA) Disability Section


A team of three presenters from the APHA Disability Section will be conducting a webinar regarding environmental factors for people with disabilities.  The moderator of this webinar is Andy Imparto, JD, the Executive Director of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).    


Michaela Schenkelberg, MPH, will be focusing on her research on physical activity promotion in preschoolers and identifying the influences on physical activity of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.


Mara Nery-Hurwit, MS, research primarily focused on physical activity and health behavior interventions for adults with disabilities.


Natasha Spassiani, will focus on an exploratory case study examining the factors associated with sustaining community-based health initiatives for people with intellectual developmental disabilities (I/DD) living in group homes.  This includes health and community participation for people with I/DD and participatory action research because it ensures that people with I/DD are actively involved in the research process.


Click here to register.




Common Medical Problems in Specialized Care for People with I/DD


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

2 - 3 p.m. DST


Presenter:  Dr. Ted Feigelman  


People with intellectual developmental disabilities (I/DD)  often have the same medical problems as others, but may present them in a different fashion.  It is after much experience that one may be able to develop insights into these presentations.  Dr. Ted Feigelman will discuss some of the common medical issues in this population and the special approaches to address these needs.  


Click here to register.

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Nancy Murray
President, The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh
serving Allegheny, Beaver and Westmoreland Counties
(412) 995-5000 x424