Lifeline Online Newsletter

LifeSpan Banner

September 2001

News for the investigators, staff and associates of the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies


The Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas

1052 Dole Human Development Center

1000 Sunnyside Avenue

Lawrence, KS 66045-7555 (785) 864-4295 TDD (785) 864-5051

Contents

· Reflections on September 11 Steve Warren

· On His Watch celebration: Thank God for Steve Schroeder! Karen Henry and Paul Diedrich Party (Party Pix at http://lsi.ukans.edu/lsi/party)

· MRDDRC five-year, $7 million core grant officially renewed Karen Henry

· Kudos

· Administration News

Reflections on September 11, 2001

Steve Warren, Director

At approximately 9:45 p.m. the evening of September 11th, my wife and I returned to our hotel room in Beijing, China. The time in Beijing was 12 hours ahead of eastern daylight time in the U.S. So it was 9:45AM in New York. I reflexively flipped on CNN and like millions of people all over the globe, watched in disbelief as the Trade Towers crashed to the ground.

Eva and I were in China as the leaders of a People to People Delegation. The American Association on Mental Retardation and the People to People Ambassador’s Program sponsored our delegation. Our intent was to create bridges between professionals in North America and professionals in China working on problems and issues related to mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

Early the next morning our delegation held a hastily arranged meeting in the hotel.

What do we do now? We couldn’t head home since all international flights into the US had been grounded. We could sit in the hotel glued to CNN and wallow in the tragedy and its aftermath. Or we could go on and do just what we were there for – to create friendships and professional relationships with our Chinese counterparts. After at most 10 minutes of discussion it was clear to everyone in the room that the events of September 11th had only magnified the importance of our mission. That is, mutual understanding, trust, and friendship among people around the world are more important now than ever. This was particularly true for China and the US – two countries that share a complicated history.

Despite what was going on in the U.S., we had a wonderful time in China over the next week. Everywhere we went we saw evidence of China’s rapid development. We met many Chinese professionals who were deeply devoted to the task of enhancing the status, health, education, and overall quality of life of children and adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. Every meeting began with our Chinese counterparts expressing their sincere regrets and sympathy about the events of September 11th. On several occasions individuals approached us on the street simply to express their regrets. We not only felt completely safe in China, but we felt that we were all on the same side now.

There is perhaps an understandable tendency for Americans to want to pull back from the world in the aftermath of September 11, or worse, engage in a little terror and destruction of innocent people ourselves. This would be a true tragedy. We need to continue to travel, to exchange, to communicate with our colleagues all over the world. The events of September 11th were a clear demonstration that the dark side of the human spirit is ever present. The mission of the Life Span Institute and all of our affiliated centers and programs speaks to the highest aspirations of the human spirit. The best response we can make to is to redouble our own efforts in the pursuit of our shared goal to enhance human development across the life span and the planet.

On His Watch celebration: Thank God for Steve Schroeder!

Karen Henry and Paul Diedrich

The accolades, affection, and admiration came from as far away as Peru and New Zealand at the retirement celebration of the “modest self-effacing” internationally known scientist we have called our director for the past 11 years. Steve Schroeder was surrounded by his colleagues, friends, and former students who honored his service to the Life Span Institute and his life’s work in ameliorating developmental disabilities at the KU Alumni Center last Saturday.

The theme of the evening, On His Watch, is how Steve often modestly refers to his tenure as the first director of the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies out of a profound respect for founding director Richard Schiefelbusch.

It was Dick who said it first, but Paul Cheney, Joe Spradlin, Johannes Rojahn, and Steve Warren heartily echoed gratitude for Steve’s leadership—“Thank God for Steve Schroeder!”

Steve took over at a critical juncture when the Bureau of Child Research, Gerontology Center, and the Center for Multicultural Leadership were incorporated into the Life Span Institute. Steve sure-handedly directed the LSI’s consistent, steady growth over the last decade.

With the addition of these and other research groups, the Institute achieved a remarkable scholarly and professional breadth and depth in the entrepreneurial climate that Steve created. His own background in experimental psychology and pharmacology enabled him to provide leadership to support biomedical researchers at the Medical Center and nurture a collaborative biobehavioral approach to the problems of development and disabilities.

His own contribution in this area has come to fruition this year with the culmination of a groundbreaking five-year study of risperidone that holds out great hope for people with self-injurious, aggressive, and repetitive behavior. Helping people with these problems has been a mission that began in a ward of North Carolina hospital almost 40 years ago where Steve was a young psychologist.

And it is not over yet. For starters, the risperidone study is yet to be fully mined. Steve will also continue as the interim director of the Kansas Center for Excellence in Disabilities Education, Research, and Service; as a mentor of his junior colleagues; as the editor or reviewer for several scholarly journals; and as a stalwart supporter, along with Carolyn, of the Ann Sullivan Center in Lima, Peru.

Thank you, Steve, from all of us.

MRDDRC Grant - It's official!

Karen Henry

Here's the release that I sent out. The Lawrence Journal World called this a.m. and may do a whole story on the MRDDRC! Keep your fingers crossed!

Contact: Karen Henry, The Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies (785) 864-0756

September 27, 2001

KU mental retardation research center receives $7 million renewal grant

The Kansas Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Center received a five-year $7 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to continue its internationally recognized research into the causes and treatment of mental retardation and other developmental disabilities.

Known as a core grant, the money allows KU to provide administrative, scientific, and technical infrastructure to support the work of research scientists at the Kansas University Medical Center, KU’s Lawrence campus, and at Parsons and Kansas City, Kansas research sites.

The grants are highly competitive. They can be renewed every five years based on a rigorous review by the NICHD. The Kansas Center, which has been funded continuously for 35 years, is one of only 13 national mental retardation research centers designated and funded by the federal agency.

The NICHD reviewers noted the Center’s longevity and innovativeness:

“Although a long standing Center with rich tradition, this MRRC has continued to evolve scientifically, and has continued to renew itself both in terms of its research foci and core services.”

“Our successful renewal effort reflects the overall strength and relevance of our parent program as well as the agency’s assessment that we are poised to make even greater contributions in the future,” said Director Steve Warren.

The Kansas Center currently provides core support services to 72 research projects that address a wide range of issues relevant to the causes and treatment of mental retardation. Questions being addressed include:

· Can developmental delay due to neglect and lack of stimulation be reversed if a child’s environment becomes supportive and stimulating?

· Can techniques such as brain imaging help develop more precise strategies to improve learning and development?

· Do developmental disorders such as autism have unique "signatures" in terms of brain electrical signals and can these signals be used for very early detection?

Center research has led to real-world applications such as promising drug treatments for severe self-injurious behavior and the peer-to-peer and parent-to-parent programs that are widely used to enable learning and manage problem behavior in children.

Center scientists conduct research and train graduate and post-graduate students in a variety of settings including underserved urban and rural Kansas communities. Training programs include postdoctoral fellowships in mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

The Kansas Center for Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities is the largest and oldest affiliated center of the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies.

KUDOS

· Juniper Garden's director Charles Greenwood and recently retired Joe C. Delquadri received the Division 25-APA’s Fred S. Keller Award for distinguished contribution to the field of education for their development of ClassWide Peer Tutoring (CWPT) for elementary and secondary school-aged children.

· Richard Schiefelbusch, distinguished professor emeritus and founding director of Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, received the Sertoma International Howard P. House award for excellence and achievement in the field of communication disorders.

· Rhonda Montgomery, Gerontology Center director, gave the keynote address at the Administration on Aging Conference dealing the development of the National Family Caregiver Support Program. The plenary session included the Secretary of Aging and Health and Human Services. See http://www.aoa.gov/pressroom/MediaAdvisory2001/caregiver-conference.html for more information.

Administration News

Project Development

Paul Diedrich

Past Submissions not Previously Reported

Three five-year proposals were submitted to the USDE/OSERS/NIDRR competition, Assistive Technology Research Projects for Individuals with Cognitive Disabilities, on August 15, 2001:

1. Irene Grote’s “Writing Technology for Adults with Developmental Disabilities”;

2. Chuck Spellman and Chris Smith’s “Research and Development: Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Self-Instruction; and

3. Michael Wehmeyer’s “Mental Retardation and Technology Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project”.

4. Vincent Francisco, in collaboration with Roderick Bremby, Stephen Fawcett, and Jerry Schultz, submitted a new three-year proposal “Customizing an Internet-based System for Use by REACH 2010 Grantees” to the Department of Health and Human Services/Center for Disease Control on August 20, 2001.

5. Judith Carta, in collaboration with Ann Turnbull, Charles Greenwood, Debra Kamps, Jean Ann Summers, Wayne Sailor, Betsy Santelli, Barbara Thompson and Eva Horn, submitted a new four-year proposal via the University of South Florida (prime contractor) “Advancing Multiple-Levels of Evidence-based Practice for Children with Challenging Behaviors and their Families” to the USDE/OSERS/OSEP competition, Center for Evidence-based Practice: Young Children with Challenging Behaviors, on August 24, 2001.

6. Rhonda Montgomery submitted a new six-month proposal “Alzheimer’s Service System Analysis” to the Department of Health and Human Services/Administration on Aging on August 24, 2001.

7. Rachel Freeman, in collaboration with Chris Smith and Donna Wickham, submitted a new one-year proposal “Kansas Institute for Positive Behavior Support” to the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services - Division of Health Care Policy – Medical Policy/Medicaid Program on September 14, 2001.

8. Rhonda Montgomery submitted a one-year competing continuation “Program Evaluation – Data Collection, Analysis and Reporting to the Department of Health and Human Services/Administration on Aging on September 18, 2001.

Four new RDF applications were submitted to KUCR on September 21, 2001 including:

9. Yo Jackson and Debora Ortega’s “Mental Health, Stress and Protective Factors in Foster Children”;

10. Steven Mills’ “Technology Information - The Pedagogy of the 21st Century”;

11. Wayne Sailor, Ann Turnbull, Michael Wehmeyer and Rachel Freeman’s “School-wide Positive Behavior Support Systems Change and the Physiological Determinants of Problem Behavior”; and

12. Richard Saunders’ “Pilot Behavioral Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease”.

13. Jean Ann Summers submitted her fifth-year continuation “Implementation and Early Outcomes Study - First Things First Initiative in the Kansas City, Kansas School District” to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation on September 28, 2001.

14. Jean Ann Summers and Jane Atwater will submitted their second-year continuation “Midwest Child Care Research Consortium” to the University of Nebraka, Lincoln (prime contractor with DHHS/ACYF) on September 28, 2001.

Upcoming Submissions

1. Susan Kemper will submit her ninth-year non-competing continuation application “Speech Accommodations by and to Older Adults” to NIA on October 1, 2001.

2. Jessica Hellings, in collaboration with Stephen Schroeder, Pippa Loupe and Matthew Reese, will submit a new five-year proposal “Long-Term Risperidone for Aberrant Behavior and MRDD” to NIH in response to their program announcement, Research on Psychopathology in Mental Retardation on October 1, 2001.

New Awards (not previously funded) Information

1. Wayne Sailor received a new seven-month award for his proposal “Kansas City, Kansas Title I Schools on School Improvement” from the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (USD 500), which began June 1, 2001.

2. Sara Sack and Sheila Simmons received a new two-year award for their proposal “Assistive Technology and Agribusiness” from the Kansas Department of SRS which began on June 29, 2001.

3. Martin Gerry received a new one-year award for his proposal “Consortium on Language, Image, Public Information” from the Resource Network International, flow through funds from DHHS, which began July 1, 2001.

4. Hugh Catts received a new five-year award for his proposal “Diagnosis of Developmental Language Impairment” from the University of Iowa, flow-through funds from NIDCD, which began August 1, 2001.

5. Holly Storkel received a new five-year award for her proposal “The Mental Lexicon in Language Acquisition” from NIDCD, which began August 1, 2001.

6. Maria Valdovinos received a new two-year research fellowship award (mentored by Stephen Schroeder) for her proposal “Medication Side Effects Monitoring of People with MR/DD” from NICHD, which began August 5, 2001.

7. Diane Loeb and Judith Widen (KUMC) received a new three-year award for their proposal “A Comparison of Language Intervention Programs” form the University of Texas, flow-through funds from NIDCD, which began September 1, 2001.

8. Sara Sack and Pam Cress received a new three-year award for their proposal “Reusing AT/DME Acquired through Public Funds: Developing a Cost-Neutral, Consumer Driven Program” from the USDE/OSERS/NIDRR which began September 1, 2001.

There are still nine proposals pending award documents, which we hope to report on next month.

Computer Applications Unit Davida Sears

About Dolenet

The Dolenet local area network came up in 1992. It operates 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. This Novell Netware file server, supporting over 200 users, is currently an IBM Netfinity 5600 with a 933MHz processor, 108 Gb of level 5 RAID storage, of which 72 is usable, and 512MB RAM. Dolenet, a local area network, offers:

· Shared, group and individual disk space on the file server, which is backed up daily. We also run Norton AntiVirus software to protect server files from computer viruses. Collaboration within your group or across groups is facilitated by having files stored on the file server.

· Some shared use software, such as application packages, anti-virus software available to all users and various utility software. Dolenet is not primarily an application server, since reduced software and disk space prices have allowed most users to purchase and install software on their local hard drive.

· Backup is completed daily on the Dolenet using a Compaq AIT tape library having a 19 cartridge capacity and running Cheyenne ArcServ software.

· Remote access to Dolenet through KU terminal servers or via FTP.

We charge $40 per year per user account on Dolenet. This charge helps offset the expenses of keeping the server upgraded.

The CAU staff considers Dolenet stability a top priority. Dolenet has been a very stable network overall. One exception occurred in late March and early April, when our Compaq server began to fail in a manner very difficult to diagnose. We responded by putting a backup server into place and, then, purchasing a new server.

Downtime on the server happens as the result of various events. One occasion is for maintenance of the server, which occurs at the rate of about one hour per month and is scheduled at 5:00 a.m. Monday mornings. Another cause of downtime is that the building or campus network fails at some point. Networking and Telecommunications Services, NTS, is responsible for fixing these problems. Third, is the actual failure of the server. This can be caused by a problem with some software on the server, hardware failure or a problem at a user’s system which precipitates failure on the server. Fortunately, unless a hardware failure occurs, most problems with the server itself are fixed by rebooting the server, a process which takes about 10 minutes. The following chart and data table show the stability of Dolenet for the year 2001.

For additional information about Dolenet, look in the CAU web pages.

http://www.lsi.ukans.edu/cau/

Communications Karen Henry

KU Open House - The University is having its first Open House on Saturday, October 6 (see http://www.openhouse.ku.edu/). This year LSI will participate by having a table with literature about our Centers in the administrative offices. Bring anything you want to have on the table to me by Friday, October 5.

MRDDRC brochure - This is printed! Please let me know if you need copies.

LSI brochure - A final draft will be circulated next week. Thanks to all who gave suggestions and constructive criticism. Let me know how many you would like by Friday, October 5.

LSI Website - I hope to have sample new site pages up by October 8.

Comments and questions to: lifespan@ku.edu


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).