The Pinnacle Schools Celebrates Autism Awareness Month Apr 23, 2014 03:16AM

Huntsville, AL (PRWEB) April 23, 2014

April is Autism Awareness Month but for Jeff and Nancy Karkut and their son Trae, every day is autism awareness.

When a preschool teacher suggested Trae might have Asperger's Syndrome, Jeff resisted the diagnosis. His wife already had recognized some developmental delays in their son, but Jeff was basically in denial.

After years of following medical advice to cope with their son's repetitive behavior, isolation, anger and social inhibition, the parents reluctantly turned to The Pinnacle School's Elk River Treatment Program. (Read the family's personal journey with autism at

"I cannot begin to tell you how glad I am to have brought my son to this program," Jeff Karkut says today. "This is not a trip to Malibu or some fancy resort. But these are people who have the skill to help your child do things they never thought they could."

Asperger's Syndrome is now more widely known as Autism Spectrum Disorder. On the 2nd and throughout April, autism organizations around the world participate in fundraising and awareness-raising events. The Autism Society is encouraging homes and businesses to "Light It Up Blue" that day with blue lights, and take note of Autism Month throughout April. Individuals can show support by wearing blue.

The Autism Society and affiliate organizations strive to shed light on a developmental disability that affects more than 1.5 million people in the U.S.

Parents can begin watching for signs of ASD even in babies. They include a lack of big smiles or joyful expressions by six months or later; no babbling by 12 months or words by 16 months; no pointing, waving, reaching or showing by 1 year; or a loss of speech or social skills at any age.

The term autism describes a group of developmental brain disorders known more specifically as autism spectrum disorders, which include social and behavioral issues, social challenges and repetitive behavior. The number of children on this autism spectrum is now estimated to be 1 in 88. Improved diagnostic techniques can account for only part of a 1,000 percent increase in the past 40 years. Boys are three to four times more likely to have ASD.

While some people with ASD have exceptional skill in math, music and art, the syndrome is also associated with intellectual disabilities and physical challenges such as sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal problems and motor coordination issues.

Elk River Treatment Program counselors also recognize these signs of ASD:

   •  Limited interests or an unusual preoccupation with a particular subject to the exclusion of other activities
   •  Repetitive routines or rituals
   •  Peculiarities in speech and language, such as speaking in an overly formal manner or in a monotone, or taking figures of speech literally
   •  Socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior and the inability to interact successfully with peers
   •  Problems with non-verbal communication, including the restricted use of gestures, limited or inappropriate facial expressions, or a peculiar, stiff gaze
   •  Clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements

As for the causes of ASD, they are believed to be a blend of genetics and environmental influences. A new study reported by CBS news in March 2014 traces its possible origins to even before birth.

Some environmental links seem to be advanced age of the parents, oxygen deprivation to the baby during delivery and maternal illnesses during pregnancy. Emerging research suggests mothers take folic acid (minimum 600 mcg/day) supplements before and after conception to reduce risk.

Through a specialized program that included structure, goal-setting and physical challenges, the Karkuts saw huge changes in their son. "I hope our experience can help someone else and help save another child," Jeff says.

For more information about The Pinnacle Schools Elk River Treatment Program, visit [

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The Pull of Social Media: Are We Becoming Ever More Individualistic or More 'Herd-like' in Our Decision Making? Apr 23, 2014 03:16AM

New York, NY (PRWEB) April 23, 2014

As our digital universe continues to expand at an exponential rate – doubling in size every two years – what effect is our online behavior having on our decision-making skills? The authors of an article in the latest issue of Behavioral and Brain Sciences argue that we need to be careful not to assume decisions made in the collective realm are typical of all decisions.

The co-authors from the University of Missouri and the University of Bristol make the case that social scientists themselves are in danger of classifying all decisions as socially influenced rather than individually determined, as researchers increasingly to 'big data' sets from sources like Facebook and Twitter to measure trends in human behavior.

Bentley, O'Brien and Brock note that the behavioral sciences have flourished in the past by studying how traditional and/or rational behavior has been governed throughout most of human history by relatively well-informed individual and social learning. In the online age, however, social phenomena can occur with unprecedented scale and unpredictability, and individuals have access to unprecedented social connections.

The 'digital shadow' of every Internet user – the online information created about that person – is already much larger than the amount of information each individual deliberately creates online. These digital shadows are the subjects of 'big data' research, which optimists see as an outstandingly large sample of real behavior that is revolutionizing social science. With all its potential in both the academic and commercial world, the effect of big data on the behavioral sciences is already apparent in the ubiquity of online surveys and psychology experiments, the authors argue. And that can be problematic.

"Studies of human dynamics based on these data sets are novel and exciting but, if not placed in context, can foster the misconception that mass-scale online behavior is all we need to understand how humans make decisions," they write.

The authors have created a new multi-scale comparative map that provides a framework for evaluating how modern collective behavior may be changing in the digital age. The map makes it possible to measure whether behavior is becoming more individualistic, as people seek out exactly what they want, or more social, as people become more inextricably linked, even 'herd-like', in their decision making.

The authors posit that there is no substitute for human experience, so incorporating big data into behavioral science means more than just following the most popular trends; the latter has the potential to undermine the collective wisdom that formed the foundations of the Internet in the first place.

"Humans sample the actions of their peers just by living among them for a lifetime," they conclude. "As long as people trust their own individual experiences, even in observing the behavior of others, a collective wisdom is possible."

Read the full article here:
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About Cambridge University Press
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About Cambridge Journals
Cambridge University Press publishes more than 300 peer-reviewed academic journals across a wide spread of subject areas, in print and online. Many of these journals are the leading academic publications in their fields and together they form one of the most valuable and comprehensive bodies of research available today.

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About Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS)
BBS is the internationally renowned journal with the innovative format known as Open Peer Commentary. Particularly significant and controversial pieces of work are published from researchers in any area of psychology, neuroscience, behavioral biology or cognitive science, together with 10-25 commentaries on each article from specialists within and across these disciplines, plus the author's response to them. The result is a fascinating and unique forum for the communication, criticism, stimulation, and particularly the unification of research in behavioral and brain sciences from molecular neurobiology to artificial intelligence and the philosophy of the mind.
You can download the latest issue here .

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BRAC USA Contributes $1.25 Million to Bangladesh Garment Workers Apr 23, 2014 03:16AM

New York (PRWEB) April 23, 2014

The Bangladesh Humanitarian Fund, an initiative of BRAC USA, announces a grant of $1.25 million to create employment opportunities and secure sustainable futures for 250 garment workers from the Rana Plaza factory complex, which collapsed last year near Dhaka, Bangladesh.

BRAC USA is seeking additional donations to this fund. "Rana Plaza was like Bangladesh's 9/11," says Susan Davis, president and CEO of BRAC USA. "Those who died on April 24 did so working in dangerous conditions to provide a better future for their families and make our own clothing more affordable. For those still grieving, there's nothing that can offset the loss of their loved ones. But we can and should show our solidarity with those who survived.

"We're grateful to those who have contributed to the Bangladesh Humanitarian Fund so far, and welcome these contributions as a crucial first step," Davis adds. "But more is needed. We ask individuals, corporations and others who have benefited from the hard work of Bangladeshi garment workers to challenge themselves to give more."

The grant issued this month is the second of the Bangladesh Humanitarian Fund, which BRAC USA created in March as a part of renewed push for Bangladesh garment workers in the run-up to the one-year anniversary of Rana Plaza, which collapsed on April 24, 2013, killing more than 1,100 people.

Services provided to former Rana Plaza workers will include livelihood training, professional development, entrepreneurship training, assistance with access to employment, and personal counseling support. Services will be provided by BRAC, the global development organization based in Bangladesh, of which BRAC USA is an independent North American affiliate.

The grant comes closely after the Bangladesh Humanitarian Fund's first grant in late March, a $2.2 million donation to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, which supports victims of the Rana Plaza disaster and their families. BRAC USA's Bangladesh Humanitarian Fund seeks to address victim needs and garment worker safety concerns in part by contributing a portion of every gift to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, established in November 2013 by a multi-stakeholder coalition with the International Labor Organization serving as neutral chair.

"Bangladesh has seen significant gains in living standards, halving poverty rates in the last 20 years, thanks largely to women's empowerment. The garment industry has played a tremendous role in this," said Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC, last month when the Bangladesh Humanitarian Fund was announced. "But these gains will mean little if we allow tragedies like Rana Plaza to continue. The words 'Made in Bangladesh' should be a mark of pride, not shame."

BRAC's involvement in Rana Plaza relief began in the immediate hours after the building's collapse, when first-response medical teams from BRAC's health, nutrition and population program worked alongside the Bangladesh Army's medical teams at the site. Later, staff and counselors from BRAC, BRAC University and Dhaka University provided psychosocial support to 473 survivors and victims' families. The BRAC Limb and Brace Center in Savar, the Dhaka subdistrict in which Rana Plaza was located, provided braces to 29 survivors with spinal injuries and prosthetic limbs to an additional 12 survivors.

With support from others, BRAC will continue to provide financial support, livelihood training, seed capital and apprenticeship training to hundreds more victims. Meanwhile, working with other stakeholders, including retailers, government, trade unions and factory owners, BRAC is advocating for a long-term solution to Bangladesh worker safety issues.

BRAC USA welcomes additional contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations. Walmart, Asda, Walmart Foundation, The Children's Place, Gap Foundation, VF Foundation and others, including many individuals, have already made initial contributions. Donations to the Bangladesh Humanitarian Fund will be directed to three specific program areas: support for the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, continued support for BRAC's work to provide counseling and rehabilitation to garment workers, and a reserve that can be used to support a "social safety net" for workers impacted by other tragedies.

All gifts to the Bangladesh Humanitarian Fund are tax-deductible in the United States and will be administered by BRAC USA, an independent 501(c) 3 charitable organization registered in New York State, with fiduciary responsibility resting with its board of directors.


BRAC, a development organization founded in Bangladesh in 1972, is a global leader in creating opportunities at scale as a means to end poverty. With more than 100,000 employees, it is the world's largest non-governmental organization, touching the lives of an estimated 135 million people in 11 countries using a wide array of antipoverty tools such as microfinance, education, healthcare, legal rights training and more.

Learn more at


BRAC USA is an independent, US-based grantmaking affiliate of BRAC formed in 2006 to advance and support BRAC's global mission to create opportunities to unleash human potential and end poverty.

Learn more at

Scott MacMillan
T: 212 808 5615
C: 508 310 3018

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European Wax Center Chula Vista-Terra Nova Rewards Friendly Guests with a New Waxing Deal Apr 23, 2014 03:15AM

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) April 23, 2014

European Wax Center Chula Vista-Terra Nova is making this season extra special by rewarding friendly guests for their connections with the latest promotion - Refer a Friend. Now, the new Refer A Friend program allows all guests to get $5 off every single waxing in Terra Nova, Chula Vista, CA.

With the Refer a Friend program, guests can save $5 on bikini waxing in Chula Vista, California every time. To participate in Refer a Friend, a guest has to just refer a friend to any European Wax Center nationwide. Once the friend mentions the referring guest's name, the referring guest will then automatically get $5 taken off their next hair removal service.

All European Wax Centers keep convenient hours for guests and also have exclusive use of the Paris-designed and patented purple Comfort Wax that makes professional body waxing in Terra Nova, Chula Vista, CA a breeze. European Wax Center is recognized as the leader in hygienic waxing across the golden coast and never double-dips.

Chula Vista residents looking to find out more about the Refer A Friend program can call (619) 420-2929, or stop into European Wax Center in Terra Nova at 300 E H St, Chula Vista, CA 91910.

About European Wax Center

European Wax Center was founded by siblings David Coba, Joshua Coba and Jessica Coba in 2004, and is now recognized as a leader in comfortable and healthy body waxing. The Cobas developed the ultimate wax experience that features the all natural COMFORT WAX™ developed in Paris and the 4 Steps to Gorgeous™ process -- Cleanse, Prepare, Wax, Rejuvenate. As well, features include a clean, professional environment, full-privacy Wax Suites, and exceptional service exclusively for EWC guests. Now, luxurious waxing can be incorporated into everyone's regular routine and skincare regime. European Wax Center enables everyone to feel pampered, beautiful and sexy. For more information about European Wax Center or to inquire about owning a franchise log onto or like us on Facebook at and Twitter @EuropeanWax.

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Don't let the unexpected accident slip you up - Know your rights with premises liability claims involving unsafe conditions in Santa Rosa, California Apr 23, 2014 03:15AM

Santa Rosa, California (PRWEB) April 23, 2014

Compensation for injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident may require the legally liable party to pay for medical bills, lost income, the injuries' occupational effect, the amount of disability and liability.

Anytime a person suffers an injury while on the premises of another party, for example by tripping over debris or falling on ice, it is called a "slip and fall" injury. Proving fault in slip and fall injuries is based on whether or not the premises owner permitted a dangerous condition to persist.

Slip and fall claims follow a slightly different process in each state. A personal injury attorney will make an assessment of the case and determine whether it can be established that the slip and fall was caused by the negligence of the owner of the establishment, at which point a claim for compensation will commence.

How Slip and Fall Happens

Situations where slip and fall might occur in a public place frequently involve the condition of walking surfaces in that it fails to meet safety standards and causes the accident. For example:

   •  Some substance spilled on the floor
   •  Floor surface that has become slick due to being improperly sealed
   •  No 'watch your step' transition sign or marker between step levels
   •  Uneven sidewalk or walkway causing a tripping hazard

Falling in a public place is more than just startling; it can also be very frightening, extremely dangerous and quite painful. As a bystander it is important to never try to move a slip-and-fall victim. Call an ambulance, remain close to the victim, and keep the person who has fallen calm. In personal situations where slip and fall has occurred it is important to try and remain calm, and if possible – make an effort to record the circumstances surrounding the accident (such as with a cell phone), alert the property owner of the situation, and be sure to seek medical attention to treat injuries and symptoms stemming from the fall. And, of course, contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation.

Two Years to File

California law allows for up to two years to file a case in court from a slip and fall accident. This two-calendar year time period usually commences on the date of the accident. If a case is not filed within those two years, the case will not likely move forward. This same time limitation is also relevant for filing a claim with an insurance company. Of course, filing an insurance claim as soon as possible after an accident will help to ensure that the two-year window doesn't become a factor.

Your Personal Injury Attorney

A personal injury attorney will assess each slip and fall case based on the likelihood of recklessness or negligence on the part of the owner of the establishment in which the accident occurred. Items that can help with this process include; photos taken at the scene, contact information for any witnesses and any written correspondence with the property owner that has taken place relevant to the accident. An attorney will also want to view medical reports and documented evidence of lost earnings.

When Compensation May Vary

California has a rule known as "pure comparative negligence" for determining a case when an injured person is partly responsible for the accident that led to their injuries. Under this law the amount of damages an injured person can expect to recover from a slip and fall accident is reduced when the 'victim' is found to be partly responsible for the accident. This type of situation arises, for example, when an accident victim knowingly ignores posted signage warning of potentially harmful scenarios – such as 'Caution – wet floor' or 'Caution – watch your step'.

In this case if the injured party decides to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit in court to seek compensation from the business establishment an insurance adjuster or jury might determine – due to the presence of cautionary signage - that the victim was 20 percent at fault for not paying closer attention to the cautionary sign. Under California's pure comparative negligence rule, in a case filed for damages in the amount of $20,000 – the award would be $16,000, representing the difference of the total damages award ($20,000) minus $4,000 that represents the 20 percent of the fault attributed to 'victim'.

Since California uses a "pure" comparative negligence rule instead of a "modified" one, this calculation remains the same no matter how much of the fault for the accident is assigned to the person who suffered injuries. For instance, if the insurance adjuster or jury had decided the case using a modified rule they could determine that the victim was 90 percent at fault, leaving the final award to the victim at just $10,000.

This legal message is sponsored by The Law Offices of Bill Kuziara. This information is not a guarantee of outcome as each case varies and consultation with an attorney is advised. If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a fall or other accident away from your home, you may have a claim. Visit our website at for more information or contact us at (707) 546-1040 for assistance and legal advice. We are with you every step of the way.

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