JULY 2010 - 1 in 20 children suffer symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
CF Special Report
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), formerly known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID), is a condition that exists when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses. It’s often said SPD is like a neurological traffic jam that prevents parts of the brain from processing sensory information appropriately.
“It’s not uncommon for a child with SPD to be easily distracted by extraneous noises. Or often times, children with this disorder are very sensitive to wearing certain fabrics or materials,” said Dr. Robert Reynolds. “It’s a condition that can be very disruptive in a child’s day to day life.”
Symptoms of SPD include:
Some of the symptoms of SPD are similar to ADHD. Therefore, this disorder is commonly misdiagnosed.
Dr. Reynolds supports a therapeutic approach to treatment that does not rely on pharmaceutical intervention. He has found great success in treating behavioral disorders using neurofeedback training. This approach is designed to improve mental functioning in children by re-training the brain through brain mapping.
Brain mapping is a non-invasive technique that takes a picture of an individual’s brain wave activity, thus identifying the proper place on the cortex, or surface of the brain, to target the neurofeedback training. Neurofeedback therapy is a powerful method for regulating brainwave activity through the use of game-like displays on a computer monitor.
Dr. Robert Reynolds has been on the leading edge of neurofeedback training since 1978 and was the first practice to offer the treatment in Connecticut. As a result, his clinic has become a sought after resource in helping students, families, schools and individuals cope with attention, learning and behavior challenges across the lifespan.
Connecticut Educational Services utilizes the most advanced diagnostic and treatment techniques and provides all evaluations and treatments through highly trained licensed professionals. A number of specialists exists locally; ask your physician about their training and experience in this field.
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MAY 10 - Why Do Babies Blow Raspberries?
By Kristen Stewart
Take blowing raspberries, for example, that flaunting of social etiquette when a baby sticks out his tongue and blows spit bubbles. By approximately 4 months of age, babies have gained enough oral motor control to progress from the early open-mouthed noises of a newborn to more complex sounds involving the tongue and lips.
Parents should curb their impulse to run for an umbrella (or check the diaper for a similar sounding explosion of a different kind of bodily fluids). Instead, they should smile, laugh and even—at the risk of offending Great Aunt Edna—blow a raspberry or two of their own.
“Children learn language through back and forth communication,” says Claire Lerner, director of parenting resources at Zero to Three, a national non-profit devoted to promoting health and development of babies and toddlers. By responding to a baby’s raspberries and other sounds with eye contact, imitation and general positive reinforcement, parents are teaching him that he matters and what comes out of his mouth is important. It also encourages him to keep practicing which is a good thing.
Blowing raspberries serves a physiological purpose as well. Like any type of exercise, the more a baby uses his mouth muscles, the stronger they become and the easier it will be for him to put together the different sounds necessary for word formation.
As for parents? Enjoy it now. In just a few short years when he’s torturing siblings and playmates by blowing raspberries, it won’t be nearly so endearing.
“DID YOU KNOW?”
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Recent Crib Recalls
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports these recent recalls of infant cribs. The recall involves the SunKids convertible crib/playpen/bassinet/bed with model number PY256. “SunKids” is embroidered on the bottom left of the crib’s drop side. The convertible cribs have a drop side rail, stationary side rail, canopy assembly and bassinet. The sides of the convertible crib are fabric and mesh.
SIMPLICITY DROP SIDE CRIBS
Hazard: The crib’s plastic hardware can break or deform, causing the drop side to detach. When the drop side detaches, it creates space between the drop side and the crib mattress. Infants and toddlers can roll into this space and become entrapped, which can lead to suffocation.
Description: This recall involves all drop side cribs with a different or “newer” style of plastic hardware from those cribs recalled in September 2007. This newer style of Simplicity hardware can be identified by a flexible plastic tab at the top of the lower tracks. The recalled model numbers include but may not be limited to: 8050, 8325, 8620, 8745, 8748, 8755, 8756, 8765, 8778, 8810, and 8994, 8995, 8996.
Sold at: Department stores, children’s stores and mass merchandisers nationwide from January 2005 through June 2009 for between $150 and $300.
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs and find an alternative, safe sleeping environment for their baby. Consumers should immediately return the crib to the place of purchase for a refund, replacement or store credit.
SUNKIDS CONVERTIBLE CRIBS
Hazard: The sides of the crib are made of mesh that expands, creating a gap between the side and the crib’s mattress if it’s not zipped into place, or a gap between the side and an added mattress. A young child can slip into this gap and become entrapped or suffocate. Also, the crib’s drop side can fail to fully latch, posing a fall hazard to young children.
Description: The recall involves the SunKids convertible crib/playpen/bassinet/bed with model number PY256. “SunKids” is embroidered on the bottom left of the crib’s drop side. The convertible cribs have a drop side rail, stationary side rail, canopy assembly and bassinet. The sides of the convertible crib are fabric and mesh. The mattress support, bassinet, canopy and bed skirt are covered in fabric. The fabric and the mesh were sold in navy blue, light blue, pink, beige, white, beige checker and pink heart.
Sold at: Small juvenile product retailers in New York, New Jersey and California from January 2007 through October 2008 for about $100.
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled convertible cribs and return them to the store where purchased for a full refund. For additional information, contact Suntech Enterprises toll-free at 888-268-8139 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Pacific time), Monday through Friday.
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Crib Safety Starts With Parents
More than half-a-million cribs were recalled by Stork Craft and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission earlier this year. The “voluntary” recall comes as a result of Stork cribs’ metal support bracket, used to support the crib mattress and mattress board, which can crack and break causing the mattress to collapse and create a dangerous gap.
Ten incidents were already reported, and, the worst part is, these were 10 recent incidents, preceded by dozens in 2008 alone. Don Keenan, a nationally recognized child advocate attorney and founder of the Atlanta-based Keenan’s Kids Foundation, a nonprofit child safety organization, says these crib deaths are preventable. “A crib should be the safest place to sleep imaginable,” said Keenan, author of “365 Ways to Keep Kids Safe.” “Cribs are the only baby product manufactured with the intention of leaving a child unattended. Because of this, every necessary measure should be taken to ensure the crib is the safest possible environment.”
This recall of roughly 535,000 products follows millions of crib-product recalls within the past two years. In October 2008, 1.6 million Delta Enterprise cribs were recalled along with 2,000 portable cribs from New York-based company Playkids USA. Meanwhile, dozens of retailers had recalled defective Simplicity bassinets in August 2008, preceded by 1 million Simplicity cribs in September 2007, which was previously the biggest crib recall until Delta Enterprises.
After these recalls, the CPSC said they planned to do more with their performance requirements to help strengthen the problems. But Keenan said it has to start with parents. “The bottom line is that the government cannot be depended upon to protect,” he said, “and it isn’t safe to assume a crib is safe without carefully checking it periodically to make sure all its parts are in proper working order.” Keenan stressed that whether your child’s crib has been recalled or not, not every crib on the market should automatically be considered safe.
He recommended using the following Crib Design Checklist, from “365 Ways to Keep Kids Safe”: • Consistently looking for updated recall information;
• Not using older cribs because they can be unsafe, and many contain lead paint;
When considering a crib’s mattress, parents should make sure the mattress fits tightly and no more than two fingers can fit between the edge of the mattress and the crib. Also remember drop latches need to be too difficult for a child to release in order to be considered safe. This year’s “voluntary” recall asked consumers owning any style of a Stork Craft Baby Crib purchased between May 2000 and January 2009 to “stop using recalled products immediately.”
The cribs were available at JCPenney, Kmart and Walmart stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, BabiesRUs.com, Costco.com and Walmart.com for between $100 and $400. Consumers should contact Stork Craft to receive a free replacement kit, with new mattress support brackets, by calling 866-361-3321 to order the free replacement kit, or log on to www.storkcraft.com.
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AUGUST 2009: Crossing the Breastfeeding Finish Line: How to Reach Your Goal
By Irene Zoppi
Aug. 1 through 7 marks the 18th annual World Breastfeeding Week. Since the celebration began nearly two decades ago, the body of research on the benefits of breastfeeding has been growing every day.
One of the most complete pictures of recent research was released in April 2007 when the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reviewed more than 9,000 abstracts, 86 primary studies and 29 systematic reviews on breastfeeding. The report found clear evidence that breastfed babies have a reduced risk of middle ear infections, diarrhea, stomach flu and severe lower respiratory tract infections. It also found that breastfeeding is likely associated with reduced risk of eczema, asthma, obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, sudden infant death syndrome and necrotizing enterocolitis (which is associated with the high mortality rate for premature infants).
Not only will breastfeeding help you get your little one off to the best possible start, the AHRQ study also chronicled numerous benefits for mom. Women who breastfed had a clearly reduced risk of breast cancer, and breastfeeding was also associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and ovarian cancer.
Nursing provides mom and baby with emotional advantages as well. Breastfeeding is a gentle way for newborns to transition to the world outside the womb. Plus, the skin-to-skin contact that mom and baby engage in while nursing enhances baby’s emotional security and helps mom and baby bond.
From a practical standpoint, breastfeeding also offers some advantages. For moms on the go, breastmilk is always available and always the right temperature. Plus, breastfeeding is easier on the wallet. In fact, formula can cost about $1,200 per year, according to askdrsears.com.
In light of these benefits, many mothers strive to meet the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation to breastfeed for at least a year. Unfortunately, most mothers do not achieve that goal. Only 39 percent of babies born in 2004 (the most recent data available) were breastfed when 6 months old, and only 19 percent were breastfed when 1 year old, according to the CDC National Immunization Survey. In order to achieve the one-year milestone, I advise expectant moms to take the following steps:
• Go to the pros. Plan to learn as much as you can about breastfeeding before baby arrives. Sign up for a class about breastfeeding at the hospital where you will deliver. Speak with a certified lactation consultant (visit http://medela.findlocation .com/ to find one near you) and keep her contact information handy in case you run into any hurdles. Don’t forget to check with your insurance provider before you make an appointment, as some cover lactation services. Also, ask friends and family for referrals to pediatricians who are supportive of breastfeeding in your community.
• Go to your peers. While a good lactation consultant and pediatrician are extremely important to breastfeeding success, sometimes you simply want to talk to someone who has been there before. Support organizations such as La Leche League International (LLLI) and the Nursing Mothers’ Council offer the opportunity to meet and compare notes with other local breastfeeding mothers. Go to www.llli.org or contact your hospital for support groups located in your area.
• Plan for the next stage. For many mothers, the return to work is a critical junction in their breastfeeding journey. In fact, a 2007 survey by the National Women’s Health Resource Center and Medela found that 32 percent of new mothers gave up breastfeeding less than seven weeks after returning to work because of barriers such as lack of privacy, inflexible schedules or lack of refrigeration. If you’re planning on going back to work, your first step is to talk to human resources before your maternity leave. Ask for a clean, private place to pump, and remind them that the health benefits of breastmilk will translate into fewer days when you’ll stay home to take care of a sick baby. Next, make sure you have the right equipment. Choose a double-electric breastpump that mimics what babies do naturally to make pumping as quick and easy as possible. Look for research-based breastpumps that have been demonstrated to imitate a baby’s natural sucking rhythm, which begins with rapid sucking to stimulate milk ejection reflex (MER), followed by longer, deeper sucking once milk starts to flow.
• Get off to the right start. As soon as you arrive at the hospital, tell the doctors and nurses that you are going to breastfeed. Breastfeed as quickly after delivery as possible, preferably within an hour of birth, as this will help you establish your breastfeeding routine and prevent engorgement. If your baby isn’t ready to feed during the first try, make another attempt in a half hour. If you have a visit from a lactation consultant, ask your partner to stay and take notes, so you have easy access to these tips in the coming days.
• Go to your support system. Postpartum adjustment isn’t easy. Make sure your partner and close family members are educated on the benefits of breastfeeding, know your breastfeeding goal, and are prepared to offer encouragement and help.
With the proper planning and support you can meet your breastfeeding goal. Years down the road you’ll be glad you persevered, and look fondly on those quiet moments you and your baby enjoyed as you provided the physical and emotional benefits of breastmilk.
Irene Zoppi is an international board certified lactation consultant and a Medela clinical education specialist.
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