Wednesday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Judge Strikes Down Louisiana Law Allowing Kids to Own Guns, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

A Louisiana juvenile court judge rankled the state’s pro-gun activists last week when she struck down portions of a state law allowing minors to carry firearms.

East Baton Rouge Juvenile Court Judge Pamela Taylor Johnson ruled that a law allowing concealed carry for juveniles was unconstitutional, as the statute, which allows Louisiana youth to possess certain firearms, with parental consent, conflicted with an wider law prohibiting juveniles from possessing handguns.

Minority Children Less Likely to be Diagnosed with ADHD, CNN.com

Minority children are far less likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study in this week’s journal Pediatrics.

In fact, authors found that African-American children were 69% less likely to be diagnosed, while Hispanic children were 45% less likely to have an ADHD diagnosis.

New HIV Infections Among Children Have Been Reduced by 50% or More in Seven Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, UNAIDS

A new report on the Global Plan towards elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive (Global Plan) has revealed a marked increase in progress in stopping new infections in children across the Global Plan priority countries in Africa.

The report outlines that seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa—Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia—have reduced new HIV infections among children by 50% since 2009. Two others—the United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe—are also making substantial progress. It highlights that there were 130 000 fewer new HIV infections among children across the 21 Global Plan priority countries in Africa––a drop of 38% since 2009.

Hyperconnectivity Found in Brains of Children with Autism, Study Says, HealthCanal

The brains of children with autism show higher-than-normal connectivity along many neural networks, a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.

The study’s results may contribute to the development of a brain-based test that could be used to diagnose autism at an early stage. The findings, published June 26 in JAMA Psychiatry, were unexpected because they contradict prior reports of reduced brain connectivity in adults with autism.

Megan Mikutis

About Megan Mikutis

Megan Mikutis is a second year student at the University of Houston Law Center. She graduated from the University of Houston – Clear Lake in 2012 with a B.A. in Literature. While obtaining her undergraduate degree, Megan tutored undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students in writing while working for the University of Houston – Clear Lake Writing Center. This summer, Megan worked for the Center for Children, Law, and Policy and had the opportunity to compose a policy statement discussing the disproportionate representation of Limited English Proficient students in special education. Currently, Megan serves as the President of the Student Bar Association as well as a member of the Hispanic Law Student Association. Megan is most interested in education and special education issues.

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