MAC News Updates – Winter 2018

News articles of interest to the MAC community.


  1. 1. Making eye contact with an infant makes adults’ and babies’ brainwaves ‘get in sync’ with each other, which is likely to support communication and learning. (University of Cambridge, ScienceDaily, 11/29/17)
  2. Holding infants- or not- can leave traces on their genes. The amount of physical contact between infants and caregivers can affect children at the molecular level. This is the first study to show in humans that the simple act of touching early in life has deeply rooted and potentially lifelong consequences on genetic expression. (University of British Columbia, 11/27/17)
  3. Deaf children with cochlear implants learn words faster than hearing children. Each year many deaf children get a cochlear implant to connect to the world of sounds. So far, it has not been clear which processes take place in these children when they start to learn language, and why they differ in the level of language they achieve. Now, researchers have found that deaf children with cochlear implant learn words even faster than those with normal hearing. (Max Planck Institute for Human Cognition and Brain Sciences, 1/23/18)

Special Education

Disabilityscoop reported that preschoolers with disabilities were inordinately suspended. Though preschool children with disabilities are only 13% of the nation’s preschoolers, they account for three- quarters of all suspensions and expulsions. An analysis came out in January of 2018 from the Center for American Progress that looked at data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health. Parents were also surveyed. Children ages 3-5 with behavioral problems were 43 times more likely to be suspended or expelled that their non-disabled peers. Those with autism were 10 times more likely to be suspended, while those with developmental delays were 7.5 times more likely. Children with disabilities and children of color have the most to gain from preschool instruction and yet the most likely to lose it. The Center recommended that states implement laws prohibiting suspensions or expulsions of preschoolers. Nothing was mentioned in the report about the rights of these children under IDEA to have their unique needs met and which prohibits suspension for behavior related to their handicapping condition. (Preschoolers With Disabilities Inordinately Suspended, Report Finds, Shaun Heasley,1/22/18).

MAC Offers 2 Scholarships for Children 5 and under for Parents Who Meet Financial Criteria

As a result of a recent fundraiser, MAC is able to offer 2 children 2 free sessions per week of specialized instruction to meet their special needs. Parents are required to provide transportation and to attend the sessions with the child. Referrals are open until the end of March 2018., at that time the selection will be made. An in person interview is required, as well as the provision of all records and reports on the child. For more information call MAC at 201-692-7908.