Special Education Advocate

Holly Correa has been an educator for over 20 years. She has a M.A. in Educational Leadership, a California Administrative Services credential, in addition to a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential. Her experience teaching students with spectrum challenges such as Asperger’s and Autism, combined with her experience facilitating the IEP process, make her an excellent child advocate. On a personal note, Holly is the mother of a child with high functioning autism and has advocated on his behalf throughout his life. She understands first-hand the impact having a special needs child places on the family, and is passionate about finding just the right combination of support so that everyone thrives.

Please call Holly for your Southern California Advocacy needs. 805 512-2034

Advocacy Training

We have just completed our Advocacy School training classes and the Free School is now open to the public. The nine units cover the entire process from Eligibility to Litigation. The curriculum is perfect for attorneys, psychologists, parents of special needs children and others. Please visit our Online School .

Book Store

Child Behavior
Child Psychology
Down Syndrome
Educational Psych
Gifted and Talented
Home Schooling
Juvenile Justice
Learning Disability
Mental Retardation
Psychological Testing
Special Education
Social Skills
Study Skills

Educational Toys

Social Skills
Gifted Kids

Finding Advocates

If you need to find an advocate for your child, try searching the COPAA database of members who represent special needs children.

So. Cal. Links

SpEd Law



Rene Thomas Folse, JD, Ph.D.

I am an attorney at law and licensed psychologist (PSY 11415) in California.

I have had over thirty five years of experience with disabled adults and children.

I have created this site to help provide useful news and information for parents, educators and advocates. I am retired from professional practice, however if you need further information you may contact Pause4KIDS my affiliated non-profit organization here.

Specific Disabilities

Visual Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Hearing Loss
Developmental Delay
Down Syndrome
Emotional Disturbance
Intellectual Disability
Learning Disability
Spina Bifida
Brain Injury
Other Health

Training Links

It is important that parents have opportunities to enhance their knowlege about their children and the services that are available for them. Here are a few links to orgainizations that provide training.



Psychology License
Child Advocacy
Special Ed


Normal People Scare Me: A Film About Autism

Please See Our Catalog of ADHD Books for More Information About ADHD Please See Our Catalog of Free Online ADHD Videos for More Information About ADHD

Recent ADHD News as of Oct 20, 2018

Early ADHD Treatment Helps Later In School
Tue, 26 Jun 2012 11:01:27 - Pacific Time
New research from Iceland reported in Reuters Health suggests kids who get early treatment for their attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder don't have as much trouble on national standardized tests as those who aren't prescribed medication until age 11 or 12. Common medications used to treat ADHD include stimulants such as Vyvanse, Ritalin and Concerta. "Their short-term efficacy in treating the core symptoms of ADHD -- the symptoms of hyperactivity and attention and impulsivity -- that has been established," said Helga Zoega, the lead author on the new study from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

"With regard to more functional outcomes, for example academic performance or progress, there's not as much evidence there as to whether these drugs really help the kids academically in the long term," she told Reuters Health. To try to answer that question, Zoega and colleagues from the United States and Iceland consulted prescription drug records and test scores from Icelandic elementary and middle school students between 2003 and 2008. Out of more than 13,000 kids registered in the national school system, just over 1,000 were treated with ADHD drugs at some point between fourth and seventh grade - 317 of whom began their treatment during that span.

Kids with no record of an ADHD diagnosis tended to score similarly on the standardized math and language arts tests given in fourth and seventh grade. Those who were medicated for the condition were more likely to have their scores decline over the years - especially when stimulants weren't started until later on. For math exams in particular, students who started on stimulants within one year of their fourth grade tests had an average score decline of less than one percent between that and their seventh-grade exam - compared to a more than nine percent drop for those who didn't get treated until sixth or seventh grade.The difference was especially clear for girls, Zoega and her colleagues reported Monday in Pediatrics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, parent reports suggest close to one in 10 kids and teens in the U.S. have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, and two-thirds of those with a current diagnosis are treated with medication such as stimulants. J. Russell Ramsay, who studies ADHD at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, said kids' trouble in school is usually one of the top reasons parents seek help for their ADHD. When it comes to school performance, "There are obvious benefits of getting started sooner rather than later," he told Reuters Health. "Especially if students are struggling later on, this study would suggest it may be at the very least useful to explore and consider certain treatment options." Read More...

Study Shows Increase Child Use of Stimulant Medication
Mon, 18 Jun 2012 19:11:48 - Pacific Time
The number of drugs dispensed to U.S. minors has dropped slightly over the past decade, bucking the rise in prescriptions to adults, with a drop in the use of antibiotics standing out, according to a government report. But use of other drugs rose, with stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) leading the pack, said the report, published in the journal Pediatrics and summarized by Reuters Health.

From 2002 to 2010, the use of ADHD drugs grew by 46 percent, or some 800,000 prescriptions a year, wrote researchers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The top drug dispensed to adolescents was the stimulant methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, with more than four million prescriptions filled in 2010. "What the article is suggesting is that the number of children that we are treating for attention deficit disorder has gone up," said Scott Benson, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and a spokesperson for the American Psychiatric Association.

"For the most part I think the overall increase reflects a reduction in the stigma. It used to be 'You're a bad parent if you can't get your child to behave, and you're a doubly bad parent if you put them on medicine."

Antibiotic use fell by 14 percent, suggesting that efforts to curb rampant overuse of the drugs "may be working," the researchers wrote. Experts say antibiotics are commonly used to treat infections caused by viruses, although they only work against bacteria - and that has fueled the growth of drug-resistant superbugs.

The findings were based on data from healthcare research firm IMS Health and do not include drugs given at hospitals. Overall, there were 263 million filled prescriptions to minors in 2010, down seven percent since 2002. After taking population changes into account, that corresponds to a nine-percent drop. By contrast, adult prescriptions rose by 11 percent.

Prescription drug classes that showed marked dips among children included allergy medicines, cough and cold drugs, painkillers and antidepressants. Apart from ADHD drugs, asthma medicine and birth control pills also showed increases. The FDA said it could not explain the reasons behind the changes. Read More...

Memory Exercises No Help With ADHD
Wed, 6 Jun 2012 12:17:55 - Pacific Time
For kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or dyslexia, exercises aimed at improving their memory don't seem to help much, according to a new study discussed in My Health News.

Researchers looked at 23 previous studies in which healthy children, children with cognitive disorders, or healthy adults completed some type of training designed to improve their working memory, and the results were compared to those of a control group. The researchers found that working memory training had no affect on the children with disorders, and had only a limited affect on healthy children and adults.

"The training may help you improve your short-term memory when it's related to the task implemented in training, but it won't improve reading difficulties or help you pay more attention in school," said study author Monica Melby-Lervag, of the University of Oslo. Exercises called "working-memory training" programs attempt to improve cognitive function by asking a participant to perform a task while distracted by another task. They are intended to help people perform better by helping them remember relevant information in the short-term.

"The success of working-memory training programs is often based on the idea that you can train your brain to perform better, using repetitive memory trials, much like lifting weights builds muscle mass," Melby-Lervag said.

The researchers found that while the training led to improvements in working memory itself, it had no impact on general thinking skills (verbal, reading or arithmetic skills, for example), nor did it increase children's ability to pay attention in school.

Some computer programs claim to train working memory or are marketed as being beneficial to people with attention problems or learning disorders, the researchers said, but the findings show that "it seems very difficult to justify the use of working memory training programs," to treat language or learning disorders, Melby-Lervag said.

The study was published in the Journal of Developmental Psychology. Read More...

FDA Warns of Counterfeit Adderall
Tue, 29 May 2012 16:55:46 - Pacific Time
The US Food and Drug Administration sent out a warning on Tuesday about counterfeit versions of the drug Adderall -- in a 30-milligram dose -- that are available for purchase online. According to the article in the Boston Globe, Adderall is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, and is classified as a controlled substance and has been in short supply for months.

According to the FDA, the counterfeit version being sold on the Internet contains the wrong active ingredients -- containing tramadol, a narcotic-like painkiller, and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Tramadol isn’t a controlled substance and may be easier to obtain for fraudulent purposes than the active ingredients in Adderall, which are all forms of amphetamine stimulants.

"Consumers should be extra cautious when buying their medicines from online sources," said the FDA in a media statement. "Rogue websites and distributors may especially target medicines in short supply for counterfeiting." Counterfeit Adderall tablets, which are white, look strikingly different from the real version, which is orange/peach in color and manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Real Adderall, in a 30-milligram dose, is imprinted with a "dp" on one side and "30" on the other side of the tablet. Photos of the counterfeit version and the real drug can be found posted by the FDA on flickr. The agency added that the Adderall 30-mg. product may be counterfeit if:

Consumers who suspect they’ve purchased the fraudulent Adderall should file a report online at the FDA’s MedWatch site or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form. Read More...

ADHD Kids Need Exercise
Sun, 27 May 2012 15:48:24 - Pacific Time
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behave better when they exercise, recent research summarized in My Health News suggests. Over the last few years, studies in animals and people with ADHD have shown exercise may reduce impulsivity and improve attention. The findings suggest exercise could be used as an alternative ADHD treatment, or in combination with medications, experts say. Researchers emphasize that studies so far have been small, and much more work is needed to validate these results. And we don't yet know what types of exercise, or what amount, might bring a benefit, experts say. However, the findings raise concerns that taking away recess from kids with ADHD, which is a common form of punishment for acting out in class, might actually fuel more bad behavior, experts say. "In general, kids who have ADHD need to have their gym class, need to have their recess," said Dr. Melvin Oatis, a child psychiatrist in New York City. Generally, if a teacher knows a child has ADHD, they should use other forms of discipline, such as encouraging good behavior, Oatis said.

Currently, many of those who treat children with ADHD believe exercise is helpful, and some use exercise recommendations as an adjunct to, but not replacement for, medication, Oatis said. The idea is that children with ADHD feel less restless and more focused after they expend some energy, Oatis said. However, Oatis noted that this isn't the case for all children — some kids' energy levels are ramped up after exercise, and they can't settle back down, he said.

Exercise and ADHD medications act on the brain in very similar ways, said Thomas Lenz, an associate pharmacy professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. Both are thought to increase levels of brain chemicals called dopamine and norepinephrine, which help people think, focus and control their actions, Lenz said. An imbalance of these chemicals is thought to contribute to ADHD symptoms, Lenz said.

Recently, Betsy Hoza, a psychology professor at the University of Vermont, and colleagues studied 17 children with ADHD, ages 5 to 8. The kids participated in 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise, such as playing tag, before school. After eight weeks, children showed improvements in impulsivity and aggression, and were less likely to interrupt others, Hoza said. In addition, about two-thirds of parents and teachers said the children had improved on the whole after the program. Read More...

ADHD on the Rise: Almost One in 10 Children Diagnosed
Wed, 24 Aug 2011 08:07:21 - Pacific Time
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is on the rise, with nearly one in 10 American children receiving an ADHD diagnosis, according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "ADHD continues to increase, and that has implications for educational and health care because kids with ADHD disproportionately use more services, and there are several co-morbid conditions that go along with it," Dr. Lara J. Akinbami, lead author of the study, told ABCNews.com. From 1998 to 2009, according to the study, the percentage of children ever diagnosed with ADHD increased from 7 percent to 9 percent. The study also found a larger increase in ADHD among children in the South and Midwest regions of the U.S. ADHD is one of the most common behavioral problems in children, characterized by difficulty in sustaining attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. It continues to occur more frequently in boys than girls, and the number of cases increased by about 10 percent in children living in low-income households. "ADHD is genetically based and often unnoticed," said Michael Manos, head of the Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health at the Cleveland Clinic. "We're far better at noticing it now, and that is good." But researchers say it's not clear whether the number of reported cases of ADHD has actually increased or whether there's simply more awareness of the disorder. "Most informed professionals will concur that it is better reported and recognized. This fact has resulted in the prevalence increases," said Manos. Every major ethnic group saw an increase in ADHD except for children of Mexican descent. "Mexican children remain with much lower ADHD prevalence than other Hispanics," said Akinbami. "We tend to miss the differences between Puerto Ricans and Mexicans, and this difference could be largely due to remaining language behaviors and cultural attitudes. Whether this is a real lower prevalence or if it remains unreported is unclear." Past research shows that only about half of children who qualify for an ADHD test actually receive one, researchers noted in the study. "With prevalence rates so high across sex and race, and with the barriers that limit treatment in low-income families, we do a disservice to a large percentage of our population," said Manos. Read More...

ADHD Tied to Risk of Written-Language Disorder in Children
Tue, 23 Aug 2011 11:11:49 - Pacific Time
Children of both genders with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have an increased risk of written-language disorder (WLD), with girls having a significantly higher risk of WLD with reading disability (RD) than boys, according to a study published online Aug. 22 in Pediatrics.Kouichi Yoshimasu, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues investigated the incidence of WLD among 5,718 children (2,956 boys and 2,762 girls) with and without ADHD (born between 1976 to 1982, and 5 years or older). Data were collected from medical, school, and private tutorial records; cumulative incidences of WLD, with or without RD, and hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated. The investigators found that, for both genders, children with ADHD had a significantly higher cumulative incidence of WLD by 19 years of age than children without ADHD (boys, 64.5 versus 16.5 percent; girls, 57 versus 9.4 percent). Compared to boys, girls had a significantly higher magnitude of association between ADHD and WLD with RD (adjusted HR for girls, 9.8; adjusted HR for boys, 4.2); however, there was no significant difference between boys and girls for the association between ADHD and WLD without RD (adjusted HR for girls, 7.4; adjusted HR for boys, 6.6). "Our results show that ADHD is associated with a significantly increased risk of WLD in boys and girls regardless of comorbid RD; however, the magnitude of the risk of WLD with RD associated with ADHD is significantly higher for girls than for boys," the authors write. Read More...

Early ADHD diagnosis a risk factor for depression
Tue, 5 Oct 2010 19:03:46 - Pacific Time
Children who are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at an early age are at greater risk of depression and suicide than other teens and parents need to take the condition seriously, U.S. researchers said on Monday. They said 18 percent of children in a study who were diagnosed with ADHD between ages 4 to 6 were depressed as adolescents - about 10 times higher than adolescents without ADHD. And about 5 percent of children with an early ADHD diagnosis thought about committing suicide at least once, and were twice as likely as other children to have tried it. "This is another pretty powerful demonstration that parents should not disregard ADHD in early childhood," said Benjamin Lahey of the University of Chicago, who worked on the study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. ADHD is one of the most common child mental disorders and is estimated to affect around 3 percent to 5 percent of children globally. Children with ADHD are excessively restless, impulsive and easily distracted, and often have difficulties at home and in school. There is no cure, but the symptoms can be kept in check by a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. For the study, researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, followed 123 children diagnosed with ADHD at age 4 to 6 for up to 14 years, until they reached 18 to 20. They compared these children with 119 children from similar neighborhoods and schools. The children were checked every year for the first four years, then during years 6 through 9 and 12 through 14. "This is a study that ... shows that children diagnosed at 4 to 6 years of age are at increased risk for depression and to some extent suicide during late childhood and adolescence," Lahey said in a telephone interview. Read More...

ADHD meds help, but many parents still against them
Tue, 20 Jul 2010 09:58:06 - Pacific Time
Medication may be the most effective treatment for kids with ADHD but it’s not a cure-all, a new Consumer Reports survey shows. Parents surveyed by the magazine reported using a variety of strategies to improve their kids’ symptoms, such as hiring tutors, switching schools, modifying diets, and changing the way they spoke to their children. The results are good news, says Dr. Orly Avitzur, a neurologist and medical adviser to the magazine. Kids improve the most when medication is coupled with complementary approaches, such as behavioral therapy and strategies to help with academics. Consumer Reports interviewed 934 parents of children with ADHD, asking about a variety of topics, ranging from the impact of medications to the effect of complementary strategies, to which physicians provided the most help. Most families - 84 percent - tried medication at some point, with 67 percent reporting that the drugs helped "a lot”" In general, kids who got a prescription for ADHD were older: The average age of children who had tried medication was 13. Another strategy that got good marks was switching a child to a school that was better suited to handle ADHD. A full 45 percent of the parents who tried this approach said the switch helped "a lot." A similar strategy, hiring a tutor, got thumbs up from 37 percent of the parents who tried it. Parents also reported changing the way they interacted with their children. Some started giving their kids only one instruction at a time - that helped "a lot" for 39 percent of the parents who tried it. Read More...

News Archive

Can Pesticides Cause ADHD?: Mon, 17 May 2010 06:47:04 - Pacific Time: Read More...

ADHD Linked to Interaction of Genetics and Psychology: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 12:58:49 - Pacific Time: Read More...

Pill Popping Kids of America: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 10:32:38 - Pacific Time: Read More...

Synergy between behavioural and pharmacologic interventions for ADHD: Wed, 7 Apr 2010 07:55:54 - Pacific Time: Read More...

ADHD Symptoms Often Subside Within a Year: Mon, 5 Apr 2010 07:11:53 - Pacific Time: Read More...

Commonly Used ADHD Medicines Questioned by Study: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 06:51:41 - Pacific Time: Read More...

ADHD Brain May Be a Little Different: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 04:24:38 - Pacific Time: Read More...

What are the long-term effects of ADHD meds?: Tue, 19 Jan 2010 12:58:53 - Pacific Time: Read More...

New study links phthalates to ADHD: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 05:17:14 - Pacific Time: Read More...

Disconnect Between Brain Regions in ADHD: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 02:30:12 - Pacific Time: Read More...

Seizure drug limits aggression in kids with ADHD: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 05:51:34 - Pacific Time: Read More...

St John's Wort Ineffective for ADHD: Thu, 3 Dec 2009 06:07:10 - Pacific Time: Read More...

Drugs not best option for ADHD: report: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 07:18:40 - Pacific Time: Read More...

Common Plastic Chemical Linked To ADHD: Sat, 28 Nov 2009 07:03:17 - Pacific Time: Read More...

Startled Flies May Provide Insight Into ADHD: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 17:25:14 - Pacific Time: Read More...

Passive smoke causes ADHD in kids: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 17:21:43 - Pacific Time: Read More...

Exposure to smoke, lead ups risk of ADHD: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 17:19:34 - Pacific Time: Read More...

Australian study on genetics of ADHD: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 09:06:03 - Pacific Time: Read More...

Please See Our Catalog of ADHD Books for More Information About ADHD Please See Our Catalog of Free Online ADHD Videos for More Information About ADHD