Posts Tagged ‘ development ’

Participate in a Survey About Autism and Pregnancy

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

In an ongoing effort to understand autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the Interactive Autism Network is launching another online survey (the Pregnancy and Birth Questionnaire) about the pregnancy and birth experiences of mothers raising children with autism.  Researchers will analyze any “potential links between prenatal, pereinatal, or neonatal factors” and autism, such as specific medications, foods, fertility treatments, ultrasounds, pregnancy and birth complications (including illness or infection),  and induced labor.

IAN is looking for mothers  in the U.S. with children (between ages 0 to 17) who do and don’t have autism to participate in the survey.  Mothers who do have kids with autism must have given birth directly to the child. Register for the online survey on the Interactive Autism Network’s website.

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Preliminary Results from Survey on Autism and Wandering

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Earlier this month, we urged parents to participate in a survey about autism sponsored by the Interactive Autism Network.  The survey aimed to study and understand wandering behavior among children and adults with autism.

In just three weeks, the Interactive Autism Network has received 856  survey participants, primarily parents with children who are autistic.  Preliminary data from the survey, focusing just on children, was released this week in the report, ”IAN Research Report: Elopement and Wandering.”  IAN discovered that about 50% of kids with autism attempted to wander off between the ages of 4 to 10 and about 30% continued to wander between ages 7 to 10.  Half of the parents had kids who wandered off long enough to cause significant worry and concern.  Plus, about 35% of the kids were  rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number.  

The survey also reported 58% of the parents ranked wandering as the most stressful behavior related to autism, and 64% were prevented from pursuing family activities because of the wandering.  Only 19% of the parents have  received guidance from a psychologist or mental health professional while only 14% have received guidance from a pediatrician or physician.

A high number of parents (67%) also reported they didn’t see any seasonal pattern with wandering, and the top 5 reasons (in order) they believed wandering happened was because their kids: enjoyed exploring, liked to visit a favorite place, wanted to escape demands and anxieties, wanted to pursue a special topic, and wanted to escape sensory discomforts.  Read the full report of the preliminary results at Interactive Autism Network.

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Participate in a National Survey About Autism and Wandering

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

The Interactive Autism Network, an online project that aims to collect data about autism spectrum disorder (ASD), recently launched the first nationwide survey to study the experience of wandering (or elopement, bolting, and escaping) among people with autism. 

Individuals with autism have a higher tendency to wander for extensive amounts of time, putting them at risk for trauma, injury, or death.  “Although similar behavior has been studied in Alzheimer’s disease and autism advocates identify elopement as a top priority, virtually no research has been conducted on this phenomenon in ASD,” states Dr. Paul Law, Director of the IAN Project at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.  Recently, 4-year-old Jackson Kastner drowned after wandering away from his home in Monroe County, MI, while four years ago, a 7-year-old boy wandered out of his classroom and ended up at a four-lane highway.  Despite being returned to school safe and sound, poor school supervision continues and he still wanders out of the classroom today.

To understand this wandering behavior and determine who is at risk, IAN is asking all families in the U.S. autism community to participate in the survey, which is funded by the Autism Research Institute, Autism Science Foundation, Autism Speaks, and Global Autism Collaboration.  IAN is asking for information  from families with children and dependent adults who either do or do not wander. To take part in the survey, you must register online at www.ianresearch.org.  If the necessary sample size for the survey is reached, preliminary data might be available on April 20, 2011.

The survey will help researchers answer important questions:

  • How often do individuals with ASD attempt to elope? How often do they succeed? Under what circumstances?
  • Which individuals with ASD are most at risk? At what age?
  • What burden do efforts to thwart elopement behavior place on caregivers?
  • What can be done to protect individuals with ASD and support their families?

If you have a child with autism, please consider taking part in this survey.

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Daily News Roundup

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News RoundupGene Tests Label Kids Sports Stars
Scientists have identified several genes that may play a role in determining strength, speed and other aspects of athletic performance.  Marketers have begun to sell genetic tests based on these findings online for up to $200. Some customers say the test results help them steer their children to appropriate sports. But skeptical doctors and ethicists say the tests are putting profit before science. [MSNBC]
 
Mom Guilt: 94 Percent of Us Have It.  Can We Ditch It for a Week?
BabyCenter declared last week “Guilt-Free Parenting Week. Guilt is the source of a campaign at Baby Center, which reports that 94 percent of moms surveyed feel parenting-related guilt. The challenge: live your life for a week with guilt-free parenting. [Today Moms]
 
Hot-to-Trot Ponies?  Dolls That Wax?  Toys Get Tarted Up
Toy manufacturers began following the marketing strategy “Kids Getting Older Younger” when they realized that toys marketed towards kids between the ages of 8 and 12 were attracting kids who were in the 3-year-old to 8-year-old age range because they wanted to emulate their older brothers and sisters. [Today Parenting]
 
Anesthesia For Kids Necessary, But Cognitive Danger?
An estimated 4 million children receive anesthesia every year, but little is known about their effects on the developing brain. A growing body of data from studies in animals suggests that these drugs could adversely affect neurologic, cognitive, and social development of neonates and young children. [Medical News Today]

Mexico Puts Its Children on a Diet
By all measures, and the obesity starts early. One in three children is overweight or obese, according to the government. So the nation’s health and education officials stepped in last year to limit what schools could sell at recess. [The New York Times]

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Are the ‘Terrible Twos’ Becoming the ‘Terrible Ones’?

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

terrible-twosParents all dread the “terrible twos”—an age when sweet infants suddenly morph into tantrum-throwing toddlers overnight.

Recent research from toddler specialist Dr. Frans Plooij, author of “The Wonder Weeks,” reveals that aggression, manipulation, yelling, disruptive behavior, and a propensity to say “NO!” may actually start right after a toddler turns one.  A baby’s brain rapidly increases in mental capacity after 15 months, thus leaving babyhood behind and entering toddlerhood.  According to Dr. Plooij, a child starts learning “how to assert himself and separate himself from everyone around him.  For the first time, a child understands he is a different person than mommy and his family is a different family than another family…At this age in development, the now-toddler has figured out how to push the right buttons until he gets what he wants” (SFGate.com).

Coining the term “teenaging toddler,” Dr. Plooij sees the early development of the “terrible twos” as a positive—it’s a prime time for parents to teach their kids certain goals, morals, values, and socialization skills.  Good life lessons will lay the groundwork for well-adjusted kids as they grow up and eventually become teens and adults.

See more Parents.com resources on the “terrible twos”:

Has your toddler reached the “terrible twos” yet?  How are you dealing?  What values and life lessons are you teaching?

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