Entries by Kelly Rain Collin

Introduction to the Juvenile Mental Health Court

The Juvenile Mental Health Court (JMHC) is a specialized court room within the Los Angeles County juvenile delinquency system which serves youth with developmental delays and/or significant mental health needs. It is one of dozens that are spread across the United States. Each JMHC has a slightly different focus, but all are designed to prioritize rehabilitation and treatment via community-based services rather than detention.

Baselines vs Present Levels: Is there a Difference?

Individualized Education Programs (IEP) are both the foundation and culmination of team effort to address the needs of a student with a disability. There are many components to an IEP and seemingly as many acronyms. Many terms are used frequently but not necessarily defined meticulously and therefore some inadvertently become misused. Baseline and Present Level of Performance, for example, are often referred to interchangeably. This is understandable, as they are often closely related. There are, however, important distinctions between the two terms; they are not actually synonymous.

FASD and the Need for Early and Effective Interventions

For centuries we have known about the impact prenatal alcohol exposure can have on a child’s development, yet the predominate culture in the United States minimizes this and turns away from acknowledgement of the repercussions. In fact, when it comes to both breadth and specificity, the known outcomes are rarely taught to professionals in the medical, educational, and mental health fields, leaving most in these disciplines ignorant of the significant needs of persons with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

It is time for this to change.