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Friday, April 5th, 2013
Two years ago, Ilene Krom wrote a GoodyBlog post about her twins and their shared autism diagnosis. Today, she is back to give an update on Rachel and Simon, now 6 years old, and what has changed for their family since she last wrote for us.
It has been two years since I’ve written something here, and so much has changed. And yet, so much has remained the same. My twins are still as different as night and day, even though they both have the same multiple diagnoses.
What hasn’t changed is my worry about their future, although that worry has changed shape. Two years ago, their “future” was entering kindergarten. I couldn’t bring myself to look too far ahead (I still can’t). I couldn’t imagine they would ever be ready for the experience that their older brother was already going through. But now, they are 6 years old. They are kindergarteners, and they’ve been handling the new change quite well.
All thanks to early intervention.
Like most things, the earlier you are aware of a problem, the better off you are. Thanks to specialized preschools, they are both on academic tracks. My daughter is in a general education classroom, alongside her typical peers. She is slowly learning to make friends and play with toys in appropriate ways. She has someone helping her get through her day and stay on task. And my son is right next door. He’s in a more specialized classroom where they can address his needs better, but he is still working towards a college-bound high school diploma, my original target for them both.
However, they do stick out a bit. My daughter does things “different” from her classmates. They’ve asked me directly why she is so “strange” (in the innocent way that kindergarteners ask questions). My son still looks like he doesn’t fit in, nor does he have a desire to make friends. This makes them both bullying targets. And every day, I read more stories on the Internet about children on the spectrum being bullied — by their classmates or so-called “friends,” by bus drivers, and even by teachers. I am very comfortable with our situation in elementary school, but what happens as they grow?
I don’t want my kids to conform. I want them to embrace their individuality, but I don’t want to see them chastised for being who they are. And, as they grow, the need to “fit in” will grow, too.
I can’t foresee what their future holds, but they will always know that they are loved, with all of their parents’ and older brother’s hearts. And hopefully they will have the inner strength to brush off anything negative that others may try to push onto them.
Read more from Ilene on her blog My Family’s Experience With Autism.
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Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
Mother’s Touch Could Change Effects of Prenatal Stress
Scientists at the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester, and Kings College, London, have found that mothers who stroke their baby’s body in the first few weeks after birth may change the effects that stress during pregnancy can have on an infant’s early-life development. (via Science Daily)
World TB Cases Fall, But Drug-Resistance A Worry: WHO
The number of people in the world newly infected with tuberculosis fell again last year, dropping by 2.2 percent, but the burden of TB looms large and the pace of diagnosis of drug-resistant strains of the infection is slow, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. (via Reuters)
Are Health Check-Ups Necessary? Study Says Not So Much
The latest review, published in the Cochrane Library from the The Cochrane Collaboration shows that yearly physicals do not reduce the risk of dying from from serious illness like cancer and heart disease, and may cause unnecessary harm instead. (via Time)
Housing Starts Jump to Fastest Pace in 4 Years
Groundbreaking on new U.S. homes surged in September to its fastest pace in more than four years, a sign the housing sector’s budding recovery is gaining traction. (via NBC)
Epigenetic Difference in Twins Explains Different Risk of Breast Cancer
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A research team has identified an epigenetic change in the twin who will develop breast cancer but not in the healthy one. The finding has been advanced this week in the journal Carcinogenesis. (via Science Daily)
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
Babies Understand Words from 6 Months Old, Scientists Say
Babies understand basic words at a much earlier age than previously thought, US scientists claimed. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that infants aged between six and nine months can grasp the meaning of common words months before they can speak them.
Minn. School Board Ends Policy Blamed for Bullying
Minnesota’s largest school district has abandoned a much-criticized policy that required teachers to remain neutral when issues of sexual identity came up in the classroom and replaced it with one that’s meant to foster a respectful learning environment for all students, gay or straight, religious or not, liberal or conservative.
Like Mother, Like Daughter: Eating Disorders Run in Families
Research shows disorders run in families; a relative of a person with an eating disorder is ten times more likely to have the illness than someone without a family history of disorders.
Couple Keeps Twins in Yearlong Quarantine
A Kansas City-area couple quarantines their twins for a year to protect them.
Duggars Talk about Their Miscarriage, Next Pregnancy
Despite the pain of her recent miscarriage, TLC reality-show star and mother of 19 Michelle Duggar says she’d like to have more children if she’s able.
Best Valentine Ever? Six-Year-Old Girl with Cancer Gets Date with Justin Bieber
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Battling a rare form of cancer, Avalanna Routh scored the most coveted Valentine’s Day date in the world this year.
bullying, Duggars, eating disorder, eating disorders, justin bieber, learning language, Michelle Duggar, Minnesota, miscarriage, twins | Categories:
Friday, January 20th, 2012
My twin sister and I (left) are polar opposites: She’s great at science and math, I’m terrible at both. I live in New York City, she lives in a Midwestern suburb. I’m a night owl, she’s a morning person. And so on. But despite our differences, we know for certain that we’re identical twins. We were born at 28 weeks, an incredibly early gestational age even for twins, with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a disease of the placenta that affects only identical twin pregnancies. As a result of the syndrome, I was born at 3 lbs, 12 ozs, with most of the blood; my sister was born at 2 lbs, 12 ozs, with virtually none. After Erin received blood transfusions and we spent 8 and 6 weeks, respectively, in the NICU, we went home without any lasting ill effects from the syndrome.
Our parents, friends, and even strangers have spent a lot of time analyzing how my sister and I differ, and if you’re a twin you know that these comparisons are humorous at best and intrusive at worst. But as it turns out, there’s good reason for scientists to explore how identical twins differ. In “A Thing or Two About Twins,” which appears in this month’s National Geographic magazine, writer Peter Miller offers an in-depth look at how studies of twins can help scientists “untangle the influence of genes and the environment.”
“Because identical twins come from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, they share virtually the same genetic code. Any differences between them—one twin having younger looking skin, for example—must be due to environmental factors such as less time spent in the sun.
Alternatively, by comparing the experiences of identical twins with those of fraternal twins, who come from separate eggs and share on average half their DNA, researchers can quantify the extent to which our genes affect our lives. If identical twins are more similar to each other with respect to an ailment than fraternal twins are, then vulnerability to the disease must be rooted at least in part in heredity.”
It’s a fascinating read and the portraits of twins by photographer Martin Schoeller are stunning–take a look if you have a minute. (Full disclosure: I was an editor at National Geographic Traveler for nearly 6 years, but I don’t know the author of this article.)
Are you a twin, or the parent of twins? Share how you and your twin (or how your twins) differ here!
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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Public Schools Face the Rising Costs of Serving Lunch
The federal government is making school meals more nutritious this year, but also more expensive.
Risks Seen for Children of Illegal Immigrants
Children whose parents are illegal immigrants or who lack legal status themselves face “uniformly negative” effects on their social development from early childhood until they become adults, according to a study by four researchers published Wednesday in the Harvard Educational Review.
Abuse-Related Head Injuries in Kids Rose during Recession
Rates of abusive head trauma in children under age 5 rose during the last recession, suggesting that economic woes may have led parents to lash out against their kids, researchers reported Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Preemies May Face Higher Death Rates as Adults
Health problems are common among premature babies, who are more likely to die than their full-term peers during the first few years of life — and they may also face slightly increased death rates as young adults, a study said.
Woman Delivers Twins from Two Uteruses
A Florida woman gave birth to twins, Natalie and Nathan Barbosa, Sept. 15, but the newborns were born from their mother’s two uteruses, according to ABC affiliate WFTS.
World’s Biggest Sperm Bank Turning Away Redheads
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Redheads are being turned away from the largest sperm bank in the world — because not enough people want children with red hair.
child abuse, illegal immgrants, preemies, recession, redheads, school lunch, sperm bank, sperm donor, twins, two uteruses | Categories:
Friday, September 16th, 2011
Update Urged on Children’s Online Privacy
Aiming to catch up with fast-churning technology that touches children’s lives every day, the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday proposed long-awaited changes to regulations covering online privacy for children.
Number of Kids Poisoned by Household Medications Up 28 Percent
Every year, half a million kids age 5 and younger get into household medications and are poisoned.
White House Details Plans for More Digital Learning
The White House will unveil plans Friday for a research center that aims to infuse more digital learning into the nation’s classrooms. The center, dubbed “Digital Promise,” will aid the rapid development of new learning software, educational games and other technologies, in part through helping educators vet what works and what doesn’t.
Colleges Moving Away from Plastic Water Bottles
According to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), 14 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada have campus-wide bans on the sale of plain bottled water, while another dozen or so have bans that cover a portion of campus.
Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated
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Joshua and Jacob Spates, who spent their first seven months outside the womb as conjoined twins, are recovering in the pediatric intensive care unit of a Memphis hospital after a successful 13-hour surgery to separate them.
bottled water, conjoined twins, digital learning, Go Green, going green, online safety, poisoning, prescription drugs, twins, white house | Categories:
Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
Breastfed children are better behaved
Researchers have found that those who are breastfed for at least four months as babies are 30 per cent less likely to exhibit a range of behavioural problems when they start school. (The Economist)
Why Mothers of Twins May Live Longer
Researchers at the University of Utah report in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B that women who have twins are more likely to live longer, have more children over their lifetime and have offspring closer together, compared with women who had singletons. (TIME)
Study: Five Cups of Coffee a Day Could Prevent Breast Cancer
Drinking coffee could help protect women over 50 from an aggressive form of breast cancer, Swedish scientists said Wednesday. (Fox News)
ADHD Drug Shortages Lead to Hunt for Options
Shortages of drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have sent patients and their families on a hunt for pharmacies with drugs in stock. (Wall Street Journal)
Babies given anti-obesity drugs in the womb
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One hundred obese mums-to-be will be given Metformin as part of a three-year study to tackle obesity rates and reduce the number of difficult births. (The Economist)
Monday, May 2nd, 2011
Mariah Carey gave Nick Cannon quite the present for their 3-year wedding anniversary on Saturday when she gave birth to twins.
“My wife just gave me the most incredible anniversary gift ever in life! I won’t ever be able to top this!” Cannon tweeted.
After the birth, the couple listened to Carey’s song, “We Belong Together.”
The names have yet to be released but Carey’s rep said the baby girl was born first weighing 5 lbs, 3 oz., and was 18 in. Her brother weighed 5 lbs 6 oz, and was 19 in.
Throughout Carey’s pregnancy, the singer did not hesitate to publicize her pregnancy and her belly. In fact, she tweeted photos of her painted pregnant bellies twice – once for her birthday and once for Easter.
Per tradition, the couple renewed their vows the next day in a hospital ceremony conducted by Rev. Al Sharpton who tweeted, ““I am so moved by the sincere spiritual commitment of Mariah and Nick. They have not let success separate them from God. I am so proud.”
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