SIRRI Arizona





Information Session

Wednesday, June 8th

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM


More Information

Please contact SIRRI

at (480) 777-7075 or e-mail

to reserve your seat(s).

If you are unable to attend,

please call for a free

one-on-one Consultation.

Gluten-Free Recipe:



Looking for a fresh idea for a summer picnic or backyard get-together? This cool and breezy quinoa taco salad might be just what you're craving. Laced with lime juice and sea salt, the combo of fluffy quinoa and ripe avocado, spiked with red onion and sunny sweet pepper, served on a crisp bed of romaine lettuce, is a light and healthy twist on the salsa drenched bean and cheese heavy taco salads so ubiquitous years ago. It's a total win for gluten-free vegans and vegetarians.


The original recipe called for diced tomatoes, black beans and cheese, but the flavors were revamped to create a lighter, legume-free vegan version. This vegan quinoa taco salad is also sans tomatoes. No customary black beans here. Quinoa is a complete vegetarian protein, so you really don't need the black beans (as a complementary protein), unless, of course, you're fond of those fiber rich little beauties in your quinoa salad. But if you love black beans with a white hot passion, add 'em in. You can also add crumbled goat cheese or vegan cheese on top, if you desire.


You'll need:

1 cup quinoa cooked in two cups water (Use a rice cooker to do this; here's how.)


Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork. Scoop into a bowl and allow the cooked quinoa to cool while you assemble and prepare your taco salad ingredients:


Extra virgin olive oil, as needed

Juice from 2 juicy limes

Sea salt, to taste

2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro or parsley

1 half small red or purple onion, diced fine

1 small yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced fine

1 cup roasted corn kernels (Frozen, roasted on a cookie sheet for 6-7 minutes, then cooled)

1 large head of crisp romaine lettuce, washed, dried, sliced crosswise

Gluten-free tortilla chips

1 large avocado, pitted, peeled, diced


Drizzle the cooked quinoa with extra virgin olive oil and toss to coat. Squeeze on fresh lime juice and toss again. Season with sea salt, to taste. Add in the fresh chopped cilantro, diced red onion, diced yellow pepper, and roasted corn kernels. Stir lightly to distribute. Taste test and adjust seasoning.


Line four salad bowls or plates with the fresh romaine. Spoon the quinoa salad on the center of the lettuce. Add the diced avocado to each plate. Tuck in a few tortilla chips around the edges. Serve with an extra lime wedge. Serves 4.


More Options:

Add a cup of chilled, drained black beans, if you like your taco salad super hearty.

Add sliced red or yellow cherry or grape tomatoes.

Sprinkle with the cheese of your choice.

Serve with your favorite salsa on the side.



Developmental Disabilities, Including Autism and ADHD, Are on the Rise

By Meredith Melnick

Monday, May 23, 2011


One in six American children now has a developmental disability — a 17% increase over the past decade, driven largely by increases in autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to government researchers.


The new study, published in Pediatrics, found that 15% of U.S. children aged 3 to 17 were diagnosed with a developmental disability in 2006-08 — about 10 million children in all. In 1997-99, that rate was 12.8%, or 8 million children.


While researchers saw increases in a wide range of developmental problems, including stuttering and learning disabilities, the most significant increases were seen with autism and ADHD. Autism rates nearly quadrupled over the study period, from 0.19% of children in 1997-99 to 0.74% in 2006-08. But, overall, ADHD accounted for the greatest number of developmental disability cases; rates rose by 33%, from 5.7% of children in 1997-99 to 7.6% by 2008.


Further, reports Nearly twice as many boys as girls had a disability. ... This might be because some genetic disabilities are more likely to be inherited by males, although it could also be that the symptoms of ADHD and other disabilities are more obvious in boys, and are therefore more likely to be diagnosed, the study notes. Rates were also substantially higher than average among children from low-income families and children on Medicaid. Hispanic children had lower rates of disabilities than white or black children, which perhaps reflects language difficulties and other barriers to accessing health services rather than the true rate of disability.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study was based on data from the National Health Interview Surveys, which included in-person interviews with nearly 120,000 children. Researchers asked parents across the country to report their kids' diagnoses of autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, seizures, stuttering or stammering, hearing loss and blindness.


The reasons for the increases are not clear, but the researchers suggest they may be due in part to increases in preterm birth and the older age of parents. Data show that children who are born prematurely are 30% to 60% more likely to develop ADHD. And a 2010 study found that mothers older than 40 were 50% more likelyto have a child with autism than mothers in their 20s (although even among the high-risk group, the odds were still less than 4 in 1,000). Other key reasons for increases in diagnosis, particularly with autism, are better screening, more awareness and less stigma, and increased vigilance among parents, teachers and pediatricians, the researchers said.


The more children are diagnosed with developmental disabilities, the more demand there is for health and educational services. Particularly with disorders like autism, research suggests that early diagnosis and treatment may be crucial for improving symptoms or even preventing the condition before it develops.


"We are more aware that early intervention is the key to the greatest success in these kids, [but] we need the resources to do that," Alan Hilfer, the director of psychology at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City, told

10 Facts About Memorial Day


Memorial day is a great way to remember our patriotic heroes who sacrificed their lives to help us breathe the air of freedom. This day is observed with families and friends visiting cemeteries and memorials to pay homage to their loved ones.


Memorial Day History:


When was Memorial Day first celebrated? Memorial day was first celebrated on May 30, 1868. It was observed by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers during the first national celebration. Gen. James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which around 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried there.


Why is Memorial Day celebrated on May 30? Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. This date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country


Who started the custom of wearing red poppies? In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem.


We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.


She then came up with an idea of wearing red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.


Memorial Day Trivia:

  • Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of those who have died serving our country.
  • General John Alexander Logan ordered the Memorial Day holiday to be observed by decorating the war dead.
  • On Memorial Day, the flag should be at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff.
  • Red Poppies are recognized as the Memorial Day flower.
  • “Taps” is often played at ceremonies on Memorial Day.
  • Memorial Day was first called “Decoration Day” because of the practice of decorating soldier’s graves with flowers.
  • New York was the 1st state to officially recognize Memorial Day.
  • Flowers and flags are the two most popular items people use to remember soldiers.
  • The south refused to honor the dead on Memorial Day until after World War I when the meaning of Memorial Day changed from honoring civil war dead to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.
  • Memorial Day was declared a federal holiday in 1971.

Formal Observance of Memorial Day:

  • Wear a red poppies on Memorial day to honor those who died serving the United States during war.
  • At 3 p.m. local time, Americans should pause for a moment of silence or listen to “Taps”.
  • Visit cemeteries and place flags or flowers on the graves of veterans.
  • Visit a memorial.
  • Attend a parade to honor fallen heroes.

Informal Observance of Memorial Day:

  • Family and friends get together for a Picnic.
  • Unofficial kick-off of the summer season.

Have a fun, safe, and memorable Memorial Day weekend!



Key Pathogenic Differences Between Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity


Scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Celiac Research have proven that gluten sensitivity is different from celiac disease at the molecular level and in the response it elicits from the immune system. The research, published online in BMC Medicine, provides the first scientific evidence of a different mechanism leading to gluten sensitivity. It also demonstrates that gluten sensitivity and celiac disease are part of a spectrum of gluten-related disorders.


“We found differences in levels of intestinal permeability and expression of genes regulating the immune response in the gut mucosa,” says lead investigator Alessio Fasano, M.D., professor of pediatrics, medicine and physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the Center for Celiac Research. The research documents the genes and the pathways — a sequence of reactions in the small intestine — possibly associated with gluten sensitivity. “Identifying and isolating specific ‘biomarkers’ in the immune response of people with gluten sensitivity could lead to diagnostic tools for the condition,” says Dr. Fasano, who also directs the University of Maryland School of Medicine Mucosal Biology Research Center.


In people with celiac disease, gluten sets off an autoimmune reaction in the small intestine. The complex proteins found in wheat, rye and barley trigger the immune system of a person with celiac disease to attack the person’s small intestine. Left undiagnosed and untreated, celiac disease can lead to the development of other autoimmune disorders, as well as osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions and, in rare cases, cancer.


Unlike celiac disease, gluten sensitivity is not associated with these serious conditions. Common symptoms of gluten sensitivity include abdominal pain similar to irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, headaches, “foggy mind” or tingling of the extremities. There is also evidence that a subgroup of schizophrenic patients and autistic children might be affected by gluten sensitivity. 


The Center for Celiac Research estimates that approximately six percent of the U.S. population, or 18 million people, suffers from gluten sensitivity. This group reacts with some of the same symptoms as people with celiac disease, but gluten-sensitive individuals typically test negative for celiac disease in diagnostic blood tests and show no signs of the damage to the small intestine that defines celiac disease.


“Imagine gluten ingestion on a spectrum, says Dr. Fasano. “At one end, you have people with celiac disease, who cannot tolerate one crumb of gluten in their diet. At the other end, you have the lucky people who can eat pizza, beer, pasta and cookies — and have no ill effects whatsoever. In the middle, there is this murky area of gluten reactions, including gluten sensitivity. This is where we are looking for answers about how to best diagnose and treat this recently identified group of gluten-sensitive individuals,” says Dr. Fasano.


“The Center for Celiac Research is leading the way in the effort to better understand the spectrum of gluten disorders,” says E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland, and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “I have no doubt that further research will lead to new diagnostic tools and treatments for those who suffer from gluten sensitivity.”


The latest research was conducted in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the Department of Experimental Medicine of the University of Naples in Italy, and the Institute of Food Sciences in Avellino, Italy. The BMC Medicine article is titled “Divergence of Gut Permeability and Mucosal Immune Gene Expression in Two Gluten-Associated Conditions: Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity.”


The University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Celiac Research has been at the forefront of education, research, diagnosis and treatment for more than a decade. A groundbreaking 2003 study conducted by the Center for Celiac Research estimated that 1 in 133 people in the United States suffers from the disease. In 2000 the Center for Celiac Research developed a diagnostic blood test that is used to identify the disease. Founded in 1995, the Center for Celiac Research is an international leader in promoting the awareness of celiac disease to provide better care, better quality of life, and more adequate support for the celiac disease community worldwide. 


Summer 2011 Session Dates

for the Sensory Learning Program


Monday June 6 through Friday June 17

Monday June 18 through Friday July 1

Wednesday July 6 through Sunday July 17

Monday July 18 through Friday July 29

Monday August 1 through Friday August 12

Bipolar Disorder and Postural Control: Mind-Body Connection Suggests New Directions for Treatment, Research

ScienceDaily (May 24, 2011)

A new study by motor control and psychology researchers at Indiana University suggests that postural control problems may be a core feature of bipolar disorder, not just a random symptom, and can provide insights both into areas of the brain affected by the psychiatric disorder and new potential targets for treatment.


Problems with balance, postural control and other motor control issues are frequently experienced by people with mood and psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and neurological disorders such as Huntington's and Parkinson's disease, but research into the connections is scant.


If problems with postural control -- maintaining balance while holding oneself upright -- are a core component of bipolar disorder, as the study indicates, the researchers say it is possible that the motor abnormalities could appear before other symptoms, signaling an increased risk for the disorder.


It raises the question of whether therapies that improve motor symptoms may also help mood disorders, said Amanda R. Bolbecker, lead author of the study "Postural control in bipolar disorder: Increased sway area and decreased dynamical complexity," published last week in the Public Library of Science ONE.


"For a number of psychological disorders, many different psychiatric treatments and therapies have been tried, with marginal effects over the long term. Researchers are really starting to look at new targets," said Bolbecker, research scientist in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in IU's College of Arts and Sciences. "Our study suggests that brain areas traditionally believed to be responsible for motor behavior might represent therapeutic targets for bipolar disorder."


The study appears in the online journal PLoS ONE.

Try as we might, humans cannot stand perfectly still.

"Instead, we make small adjustments at our hips and ankles based on what our eyes, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and semi-circular canals tells us," said S. Lee Hong, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology in IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and a study co-author. "The better these sensory sources are integrated, the less someone sways."


The study begins with the understanding that areas of the brain that are critical for motor control, mainly the cerebellum, basal ganglia and brain stem, also aid in mood regulation and are areas where abnormalities often are found in people with bipolar disorder. Postural sway -- a measure of the degree of endless adjustments people make in an attempt to stand still -- is considered a sensitive gauge of motor control that likely is affected by these abnormalities.


In the study, participants who had bipolar disorder displayed more postural sway, particularly when their eyes were closed, than study participants who had no psychological disorders. The troubles, which involved the study participants' proprioception, or ability to process non-visual sensory information related to balance, were not affected by their mood or the severity of their disorder.


"It appears that people with bipolar disorder process sensory information differently and this is seen in their inability to adapt their movement patterns to different conditions, such as eyes open vs. eyes closed or feet together vs. feet apart," said Hong, whose research focuses on how humans control motion. "The different conditions will cause people to use the information their senses provide differently, in order to allow them to maintain their balance."


Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive illness, is a severe psychiatric disorder characterized by extreme, debilitating mood swings and unusual shifts in a person's energy and ability to function.


The study involved 16 people (seven women) with bipolar disorder and 16 age-matched people (nine women) who had no psychiatric disorders. They each stood barefoot and as still as possible on a piece of equipment called a force platform, which measured various aspects of postural sway as they stood with their eyes open and feet close together, eyes open and feet shoulder-width apart, eyes closed and feet together, and eyes closed and feet apart. The measurements during each 2-minute pose included such factors as the area covered by a person's circular sway, how quickly they revolved and the degrees by which the sway moved more front to back or side to side.


Here are more findings from the study:

  • The study is unique, the researchers say, because it does not suggest a "global motor deficit," where people with bipolar disorder have movement problems all around. Instead, it suggests a specific problem adapting to changing sensory input -- when people close their eyes, they rely on a different sources of sensory information, such as proprioception and the vestibular system.
  • The study participants with bipolar disorder displayed a large decline in postural control when their eyes were closed, regardless of the position of their feet.
  • A significant difference between the study groups involved their side-to-side postural control, which is largely a factor of the hips. The participants with bipolar disorder had less control. This difference was not seen in the front-to-back control, which relies on ankle adjustments. It is possible, the researchers wrote, that the participants with bipolar disorder might not have fully developed the control of posture using their hips, which is consistent with developmental factors contributing to bipolar disorder.

Research involving motor control, mood and psychiatric disorders is complicated by the fact that the primary treatment for these disorders is medication, which can have severe side effects including motor control problems. A limitation of Hong and Bolbecker's study is that they could not factor out the effects of the various kinds and combinations of medications taken by their study participants with bipolar disorder.


The study was supported by NARSAD: the Brain and Behavior Research Fund, formally called the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.


Coauthors include Jerillyn S. Kent, IU Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences; Mallory J. Klaunig, Larue D. Carter Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis; and Brian F. O'Donnell and William P. Hetrick, both of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Larue D. Carter Memorial Hospital and the IU School of Medicine.

Did You Know?


SIRRI offers these services for both children & adults:

  • Neurofeedback & Biofeedback
  • qEEG / Brain Mapping
  • Cognitive Retraining: memory, processing & problem solving skills
  • Attention, Concentration & Focus Training
  • Auditory & Visual Processing
  • Reading Development: fluency & comprehension
  • Balance, Coordination & Motor Planning Development
  • Stress & Anxiety Management
  • IEP Advocacy
SIRRI Arizona • 4515 S. McClintock Drive, Suite 208 • Tempe, AZ 85282
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