Becca Meyers, a world-record-holding and multiple medal-winning paralympic swimmer from Baltimore, recently won the ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete with a Disability. Meyers was born with Usher Syndrome, which caused her deafness and will eventually make her go blind. She’s worn cochlear implants her entire life. According to the story in the Baltimore Sun, she heard the news of her win in Glasgow, Scotland while competing at the International Paralympic Committee World Championships. Her ESPY win adds to an already stellar week–the day before the announcement she broke her own world record in the 200-meter IM by taking two seconds of her previous record time.
An article posted today on Forbes offers anecdotal and scientific—what little exists—pros and cons of using marijuana to treat people with autism as well as schizophrenia.
The lack of scientific research might change thanks to the Obama administration’s removal of bureaucratic hoops in studying various chemical found in the plant. In addition, the proposed CARERS Act promoting new applications of medical marijuana enjoys bipartisan support. As noted in the piece, numerous chemicals exist within a marijuana plant, so one could potentially be helpful while another harmful. One example says that heart patients don’t take foxglove, they take digoxin–a chemical found in the foxglove plant.
The article also shares personal success stories and grassroots organizations convinced of the drug’s benefits in treating autism.
ASHA’s professional development program turns 15 this year. To celebrate we’re giving you 15 free continuing education courses. Starting today!
Over the next 15 months—through the end of 2016—you can take a different 30-minute online course each month for free. If you’re swamped one month and don’t get to the free option, don’t worry, you can still complete that month’s course for $15 any time. Each video offers practical takeaways and earns you 0.05 CEUs. Five courses focus on audiology practice, 5 on issues for school-based SLPs and 5 for SLPs in private practice or healthcare settings.
Get started this July 4th weekend with “An Overview of the AAC Assessment Process.”
American Pharoah sprinted to win the first Triple Crown in 37 years. His trainer, Bob Baffert selected brown ear plugs—rather than the typical white cotton used with other horses—that better match the bay colt’s coloring. Many race horses wear ear plugs.
Horses have a wider range of hearing sensitivity than humans. We typically hear from 20 Hertz out to 20,000 Hertz. Horses hear out to 35,000 Hertz. This means they hear a lot of sound not perceived by human ears.
Breeders carefully mate and breed thoroughbred horses to become highly valued racers that perform at exceptional levels. A horse needs a certain amount of alertness to perform at the top, however, galloping hooves, yelling jockeys, cracking whips and cheering fans create a cacophony of noise. Even urban noise such as rescue vehicle sirens on city streets nearby can be heard on the track.
This creates a sound environment that might increase startle responses and make the horse skittish. Because of the noisy environment and the need for a high level of performance, trainers condition them to run at their best with a ‘noisy crowd’ live audience and with unusual noise distractions down on the track.
Some thoroughbreds, like American Pharoah, find this excessive noise unsettling and confusing. They lose focus and become nervous, distracted and might not perform as expected. Ear plugs offer damping and filtering of noise to assist the horse to focus on the race. They are not worn as hearing conservation but rather as a way to calm the horse.
Interesting facts about American Pharoah:
- Foaled February 2, 2012
- Owned by Ahmed Zayat
- Trained by Bob Baffert
- Ridden by Victor Espinoza (for most races)
- 12th Triple Crown winner in history
- Name is misspelled, through an error in registration of the name but is now permanent. Pharaoh is the correct spelling
- Both the correct and incorrect name spellings are registered so another horse cannot use the correct spelling.
Pamela Mason, MEd, CCC-A, is ASHA director of audiology professional practices. email@example.com.
Frank R. Kleffner, 1970 ASHA president and 1981–1985 president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, died at age 89 on June 12, 2015.
Kleffner’s career centered on helping children with communication disorders. After serving in World War II, he received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in speech-language pathology from the University of Wisconsin. He served as the Central Institute for the Deaf’s director of clinics at Washington University in St. Louis for 26 years and was head of the Institute of Logopedics (now Heartspring) in Wichita, Kansas, for nearly two decades.
In 1957, Kleffner and neurologist William M. Landau identified a childhood disorder subsequently known as Landau-Kleffner syndrome and published their findings. Kleffner often commented that: “I am proud of my professional involvement and contributions, which are among the most important in my life’s work.”
His tenure as ASHA president reflected social and political issues that challenged ASHA as well as the nation. Through his leadership, Kleffner took unpopular stands at times for the ultimate good of the organization. He also helped establish a team in the national office that eventually became ASHA’s governmental affairs group. Kleffner received ASHA Honors in 1985.
Kleffner also championed the American Speech-Language Hearing Foundation, which created the annual Frank R. Kleffner Lifetime Clinical Career Award in 1986.
Kleffner’s work transformed the ASHFoundation from a semi-dormant state into the successful and active group it remains today. As president he strove to increase resources, grow programs and create relationships with the corporate sector. In addition, he guided the ASHFoundation toward independence while strengthening ties with ASHA.
Kleffner also launched the Founders Club to elevate donor recognition, started a corporate advisory group, convinced the ASHFoundation trustees to award seed grants to new researchers with the hope of stimulating more giving, and used his marketing savvy to grow visibility and awareness.
Beyond Kleffner’s professional contributions, he was a true Renaissance man. He won many awards for his sculpture and other artwork, he continued to learn throughout his life, and he sustained an adventurous travel spirit. All of his activities and talents included a dose of his well-known humor.
He is survived by his wife, Charlotte; sons Gregory and Douglas Kleffner; daughter Kristine Devine; and six grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be sent to the ASHFoundation, 2200 Research Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20850. A Celebration of Life will be held at Heartspring Conference Center in Wichita, Kansas, on Saturday, July 11, at 1 p.m.
Nancy J. Minghetti is executive director of ASHFoundation. firstname.lastname@example.org.