Posts Tagged ‘ autism ’

Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Could Your Child be a Bully?
Eva was a bully. Tall for her age, she used her height to intimidate her peers. She made fun of those without designer clothes and got suspended several times for fighting. She was also well-liked, outgoing, funny — and a victim of bullying herself. (via CNN)

Too Many Pills in Pregnancy
The thalidomide disaster of the early 1960s left thousands of babies with deformed limbs because their mothers innocently took a sleeping pill thought to be safe during pregnancy. (via New York Times)

Nine-Year-Old Rapper’s Adult-Themed Videos Prompt State Probe
A 9-year-old rapper’s adult-themed music videos are finding some new viewers — Massachusetts child welfare authorities. (via CNN)

Higher Levels of Several Toxic Metals Found in Children With Autism
In a recently published study in the journal Biological Trace Element Research, Arizona State University researchers report that children with autism had higher levels of several toxic metals in their blood and urine compared to typical children. The study involved 55 children with autism ages 5-16 years compared to 44 controls of similar age and gender. (via Science Daily)

Robert Gladden Jr. Sentenced in Maryland School Shooting That Wounded Daniel Borowy
A high school sophomore has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for a Maryland high school cafeteria shooting that injured a student with Down syndrome. (via Huffington Post)

State with the Highest Teen Pregnancy Rate is….
Teen pregnancy rates are highest in New Mexico and lowest in New Hampshire, according to a new report on the most current state-level data on pregnancy, birthrates and abortions among 15- to 19-year-olds. (via Fox News)

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Student Athletes Need a Bill of Rights Argues Youth Sports Safety Alliance
Student athletes need access to health care professionals, better-trained coaches and up-to-date equipment, a coalition of groups recommended Wednesday in a call to action aimed at protecting the nearly 8 million students participating in high school sports each year. (via Huffington Post)

Can Autism be Prevented?
According to the CDC, one in 88 children have been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder. The statistic rates used to be one in 150 – so how did we get these new numbers? Dr. Rober Melillo, co-founder of the Brain Balance Achievement Centers, spoke with Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor for FoxNews.com, about the science behind autism, as well the facts and myths surrounding the condition. (via Fox News)

Researchers Spot Attention Deficits in Babies Who Later Develop Autism
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine are able to detect deficits in social attention in infants as young as six months of age who later develop Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry, the results showed that these infants paid less attention to people and their activities than typically developing babies. (via Science Daily)

Can Breakfast Make Kids Smarter?
New research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing has found that children who regularly have breakfast on a near-daily basis had significantly higher full scale, verbal, and performance IQ test scores. (via Science Daily)

Boy in the Bunker: Alabama 5 Year Old Starts the Road to Recovery
A week after he was taken hostage in an underground bunker, Ethan is now free. His ordeal began when 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes boarded Ethan’s school bus, shot the driver and then took the boy to his tiny bunker. FBI agents stormed the room and killed Dykes, but the emotional aftershocks for Ethan may just be beginning. (via TIME)

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Pediatricians Issue First-Ever Diabetes Guidelines for Children
With childhood obesity rates on the rise, pediatricians are doing something they couldn’t have imagined a need for a decade ago: they’re debuting guidelines for managing weight-related diabetes among youngsters. (via TIME)

Top K-12 Senator Tom Harkin to Retire
Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who sits at the top of the Senate panels that deal with both K-12 spending and policy, isn’t planning to seek re-election in 2014. This is a very big deal: Harkin is arguably the most powerful lawmaker in Congress when it comes to education. (via Education Week)

Diet, Parental Behavior and Preschool Can Boost Children’s IQ
Supplementing children’s diets with fish oil, enrolling them in quality preschool, and engaging them in interactive reading all turn out to be effective ways to raise a young child’s intelligence, according to a new report published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. (via Science Daily)

Controversy Over Parents Treating Severely Autistic Son with Medical Marijuana
An Oregon family has turned to medical marijuana to manage their son’s severe autistic rage, KPTV reported. Alex Echols, 11, is severely autistic, and his doctor said Alex’s self-destructive behavior is brought on by tuberous sclerosis, a rare, genetic disorder that affects about 50,000 people in the U.S. (via Fox News)

Schools Background Check Visitors In Illinois For Criminal Record
Visitors to schools in a suburban Chicago, Ill., district are now required to undergo a background check as part of added security measures in the weeks following last month’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. (via Huffington Post)

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Students With Disabilities Have Right To Play School Sports, Obama Administration Tells Schools
When Kareem Dale, now a special advisor to President Barack Obama, was in high school, all he wanted to do was wrestle. But as a student who was partially blind, that wasn’t easy. (via Huffington Post)

Missouri Parents Required To Report Gun Ownership To Schools Under Maria Chappelle-Nadal Bill
A Missouri lawmaker is making waves with a bill that would require parents who own guns to notify their child’s school. (via Huffington Post)

Prenatal Inflammation Linked to Autism Risk
Maternal inflammation during early pregnancy may be related to an increased risk of autism in children, according to new findings supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers found this in children of mothers with elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), a well-established marker of systemic inflammation. (via Science Daily)

Vocabulary Instruction Failing U.S. Students, Expert Says

Vocabulary instruction in the early years is not challenging enough to prepare students for long-term reading comprehension, argues a study led by a Michigan State University education researcher. (via Science Daily)

Baby Born with Heart Outside of Body Finally Leaves Hospital
A baby girl who was born with her heart on the outside of her body, was finally able to leave the hospital after more than four months, the Houston Chronicle said. (via Fox News)

Detroit School Closures, Kristof On Pre-K: Ed Tonight
Detroit is slated to close even more schools, reports CBS. Enrollment in the Motor City has dwindled from 150,000 to a projected 40,000. (via Huffington Post)

Add a Comment

Vaccine Safety Concerns: Will This Story Ever End?

Friday, January 18th, 2013

This guest post comes from our advisor Ari Brown, M.D., a pediatrician in Austin, Texas, the co-author of several books including Baby 411, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

This week, the respected Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report addressing the current childhood immunization schedule. After a thorough review of the scientific literature, the IOM found no major safety concerns with the recommended schedule. Specifically, they cited no relationship of vaccines to autism, attention deficit disorder, or learning disabilities.

Regardless of the landmark report, social media is busy chattering that the U.S. Vaccine Injury Compensation Program recently gave two children with autism monetary awards for their health conditions. As a pediatrician, does it change my opinion about vaccine safety? No. Let me explain why. (Warning: It’s kind of boring, but worth reading about!)

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closely monitor vaccines through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Anyone (doctors, patients’ families, lawyers) may submit a VAERS form if a health issue arises at anytime after vaccination. Obviously, these reports do not prove that a vaccine causes a particular illness. The CDC and FDA review each report to see if there is a pattern of illness after vaccination. VAERS data is available to the public here. Independent of the federal government, six U.S. academic medical centers also evaluate for vaccine side effects. Additionally, the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a database maintained by several managed care groups across the country, monitors potential vaccine safety issues. Bottom line: There are several mechanisms in place to ensure that immunizations are safe.

However, like any medication, no vaccine is 100 percent effective or 100 percent risk-free. Rare, serious reactions can occur with vaccination. And if it happens, it’s devastating. But we take this small risk for the tremendous benefit of protection to ourselves and to others. As such, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in 1988 to compensate those who potentially suffered a vaccine reaction. Those specific disorders are here.

At VICP, lawyers reviews patients’ records and determine whether to award monetary compensation. Yes, you read that correctly—attorneys are making the call here—not doctors, scientists, or vaccinologists. While the decisions from the “vaccine court” do not prove anything scientifically, VICP acts compassionately and does a reasonable job.

Since 1988, 100 million American babies have been born (99 percent of whom have received vaccines) and millions of older children and adults have also been vaccinated. With this huge number of vaccinated Americans, there have been less than 15,000 VICP claims filed. VICP has awarded compensation to 20 percent of those claimants. About one-third of all claims sought compensation for autism, and most claims occurred during the height of vaccine safety concerns in 2002-2004. VICP reviewed these claims collectively and found no substantial evidence linking vaccines and autism to provide compensation.

So then: What’s the story with the kids with autism who received financial compensation? Well, the children’s medical records are not publicly available so it is impossible to know, but they did not receive the awards for autism.

With a severe flu season and twenty children who have died, it’s important to look at the big picture. Most people get shots and endure nothing more than a sore arm.

With the scrutiny given to vaccines, we would know if there was a significant problem. As a pediatrician and a mom, I vaccinated my own kids to protect them. I wouldn’t do anything differently for yours.

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Teachers With Poor Ratings Clustered In NYC, Charter School Quality: Ed Today
The New York Daily News takes another look at the StudentsFirstNY teacher distribution report and finds something stunning: 20 percent of teachers are “bad” teachers in each of 14 Brooklyn schools. (via Huffington Post)

Light Exposure During Pregnancy Key to Normal Eye Development
New research in Nature concludes the eye — which depends on light to see — also needs light to develop normally during pregnancy. (via Science Daily)

Wow—Obese Kids’ Health Is Much Worse Than We Thought
The research looked at over 43,000 kids ages 10 to 17 around the country and asked about kids’ health issues like asthma, diabetes, and pain, as well as developmental and behavioral issues. (via TakePart)

Kids at Center Stage in Emotional Gun Debate
“Dear President Obama,” began a letter from 8-year-old Grant Fritz, with the shaky printing — missed words, spelling errors — of someone just learning how to put thoughts down on paper. (via Reuters)

Flu Vaccine Not Linked to Fetal Death
Getting the flu vaccine while pregnant does not increase the odds that the fetus will die in the womb, according to a new study of tens of thousands of women in Norway. (via Reuters)

Can Children ‘Grow Out’ of Autism?
New research has found that some children diagnosed with autism actually ‘grow out’ of their symptoms – as well as their diagnosis. (via Fox News)

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

No Exercise, More Than Couch, Tied To Fat In Kids
For kids, time spent inactive seems less of a factor in higher body fat than does a lack of exercise, according to a new study. Researchers found that the more minutes kids spent exercising at the pace of a fast walk each day, the lower their body fat percentage was. But the time they spent as couch potatoes made no difference, according to results published in the Journal of Pediatrics. (via Reuters)

Childhood Trauma Leaves Legacy of Brain Changes
Painful experiences early in life can alter the brain in lasting ways. A difficult reality for psychiatrists and counselors of child abuse is that young victims are at high risk of becoming offenders themselves one day, although it’s unclear why. But now a team of behavioral geneticists in Switzerland report a possible reason: early psychological trauma may actually cause lasting changes in the brain that promote aggressive behavior in adulthood. (via TIME)

Sleep Stealers: What’s Keeping Children From Getting Enough Shut-Eye?
The latest research homes in on the biggest sleep robber. Children are sleeping less, and there’s no shortage of reasons why: with television, video games and the internet, they are finding it harder to shut down and go to sleep. (via TIME)

Some Children Lose Autism Diagnosis: Small Group With Confirmed Autism On Par With Mainstream Peers
Some children who are accurately diagnosed in early childhood with autism lose the symptoms and the diagnosis as they grow older, a study supported by the National Institutes of Health has confirmed. The research team made the finding by carefully documenting a prior diagnosis of autism in a small group of school-age children and young adults with no current symptoms of the disorder. (via Science Daily)

Risk To All Ages: 100 Kids Die of Flu Each Year
How bad is this flu season exactly? Look to the children. Twenty flu-related deaths have been reported in kids so far this winter, one of the worst tolls this early in the year since the government started keeping track in 2004. (via Yahoo News)

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

New Autism-Related Gene Variants Discovered
Genetics researchers have identified 25 additional copy number variations (CNVs) — missing or duplicated stretches of DNA — that occur in some patients with autism. These CNVs, say the researchers, are “high impact”: although individually rare, each has a strong effect in raising an individual’s risk for autism. (via Science Daily)

Colicky Babies May Have Wrong Bacteria
Doctors don’t clearly understand why some babies cry excessively and others don’t, but a new study suggests abnormal gut bacteria could play a role. (via My Health News Daily)

Fast Food Linked to Asthma and Allergies in Kids
Obesity isn’t the only potential toll that dinner from the drive-thru may have on your health. It’s not just your waistline that may pay a price for eating fast food meals three or more times a week, but your immune system as well. (via TIME)

Docs Should Know About Kids and Alternative Medicine
Your child’s pediatrician isn’t likely to ask whether you are giving your youngsters herbs or treating them to acupuncture. But enough children are now using alternative therapies that physicians should be inquiring about it, and parents need to volunteer information about any complementary medicine approaches their children are using to avoid any potential harmful interactions with conventional treatments. (via TIME)

Parents Television Council Blasts Torture Scene in ABC’s Scandal-Group Calls for Reform In TV Rating System
ABC could have had better timing. On the same night the entertainment industry was meeting with VP Joe Biden to discuss media violence, the network aired an episode of Scandal that included a graphic, three-minute torture scene.
The coincidence didn’t get by the Parents Television Council, which pointed to the episode as another example of a “failed [TV] ratings system.” (via Adweek)

Add a Comment