Currently browsing child development posts

AMC Has Beauty and the Beast Sensory Friendly Tomorrow

New sensory friendly logoAMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other special needs “Sensory Friendly Films” every month – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fun new films in a safe and accepting environment.

The movie auditoriums will have their lights turned up and the sound turned down. Families will be able to bring in snacks to match their child’s dietary needs (i.e. gluten-free, casein-free, etc.), there are no advertisements or previews before the movie and it’s totally acceptable to get up and dance, walk, shout, talk to each other…and even sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced during movie screenings unless the safety of the audience is questioned.

Does it make a difference? Absolutely! Imagine …no need to shhhhh your child. No angry stares from other movie goers. Many parents think twice before bringing a child to a movie theater. Add to that your child’s special needs and it can easily become cause for parental panic. But on this one day a month, for this one screening, everyone is there to relax and have a good time, everyone expects to be surrounded by kids – with and without special needs – and the movie theater policy becomes “Tolerance is Golden“.

Families affected by autism or other special needs can view a sensory friendly screening of Beauty and the Beast on Saturday, March 25th at 10am (local time). Tickets are $4 to $6 depending on the location. To find a theatre near you, here is a list of AMC theatres nationwide participating in this fabulous program (note: to access full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Coming soon:  Power Rangers (Tues, 3/28), The Boss Baby (Sat, 4/8) and Gifted (Tues, 4/11)

****************************************************************************************************************************

Editor’s note: Although Beauty and the Beast has been chosen by the AMC and the Autism Society as this month’s Sensory Friendly Film, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for some action violence, peril and frightening images. As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your child.

Kong: Skull Island is Sensory Friendly at AMC Tomorrow

New sensory friendly logoAMC Entertainment (AMC) has expanded their Sensory Friendly Films program in partnership with the Autism Society. This Tuesday evening, families affected by autism or other special needs have the opportunity to view a sensory friendly screening of Kong: Skull Island, a film that may appeal to older audiences on the autism spectrum. 

As always, the movie auditoriums will have their lights turned up and the sound turned down. Families will be able to bring in snacks to match their child’s dietary needs (i.e. gluten-free, casein-free, etc.), there are no advertisements or previews before the movie and it’s totally acceptable to get up and dance, walk, shout, talk to each other…and even sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced during movie screenings unless the safety of the audience is questioned.

Does it make a difference? Absolutely! Imagine …no need to shhhhh your child. No angry stares from other movie goers. Many parents think twice before bringing a child to a movie theater. Add to that your child’s special needs and it can easily become cause for parental panic. But on this one day a month, for this one screening, everyone is there to relax and have a good time, everyone expects to be surrounded by kids – with and without special needs – and the movie theater policy becomes “Tolerance is Golden“.

AMC and the Autism Society will be showing Kong: Skull Island tomorrow, Tuesday, March 14th at 7pm (local time). Tickets are $4 to $6 depending on the location. To find a theatre near you, here is a list of AMC theatres nationwide participating in this fabulous program (note: to access full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Coming Later in March: Beauty and the Beast (Sat, 3/25), and Power Rangers (Tues, 3/28)

****************************************************************************************************************************

Editor’s note: Although Kong: Skull Island has been chosen by AMC and the Autism Society for a Tuesday Sensory Friendly screening, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for brief strong language. As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your family.

Study: Snoring When Pregnant Linked to Low Birth Weight Babies

Snoring while pregnant is linked to smaller babies,” reports The Daily Telegraph. There is also evidence that snoring can lead to an increased risk of a baby having to be delivered by caesarean section.

This news is based on the results of a US cohort study that questioned a group of women during their last trimester of pregnancy (weeks 29 and over).

The researchers asked whether the women “habitually” snored (snoring three to four nights per week or nearly every night), and then followed up their birth outcomes. It found that self-reported “habitual” snoring, in particular snoring before and during pregnancy, was associated with increased likelihood of having a baby small for gestational age. There was also an increased likelihood of caesarean delivery.

The researchers adjusted for a number of factors that could be responsible for any association seen (confounders), such as mother’s age. However, this study cannot show that snoring directly caused the poorer delivery outcomes, as there could be other confounding health or lifestyle factors that were not adjusted for.

snoring when pregnantThe researchers speculate that snoring leads to increased levels of inflammation which could affect the placenta leading to low birthweight. But this hypothesis needs further investigation.

Overall, pregnant women who snore should not be overly concerned by this research that snoring is going to have a harmful effect on their baby. What is important though, is for pregnant women to be able to get adequate rest.

Though, as the researchers suggest, it may be useful for health professionals to ask about snoring symptoms, and if appropriate, recommend treatments.

Why do people snore?

Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft tissue in the head and neck as a person breathes in.

The vibration can be amplified by a number of risk factors, leading to louder snoring. The factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol before going to sleep

Read more about the causes of snoring.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Michigan, US. It was funded by the Gene and Tubie Gilmore Fund for Sleep Research, the University of Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research and the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Sleep.

The results of the study were accurately reported in the media.

What kind of research was this?

This was a cohort study. It aimed to examine the impact of maternal snoring during pregnancy on key delivery outcomes.

These outcomes included mode of delivery (vaginal or via caesarean section) and birth centile. Birth centiles are a method of comparing birthweight to the rest of the population. For example, if birth centile was below the 10th centile, this means that for every 100 infants less than 10 have lower birthweights. In this study, centiles were customised to take into account factors including maternal height, weight, and ethnicity and the infant’s gender and gestational age at birth.

A cohort study is the ideal study design to investigate this question. However, while the researchers adjusted for a number of factors that could be responsible for any association seen (confounders), this study cannot show that snoring caused poorer delivery outcomes. There could be other confounders that were not adjusted for.

What did the research involve?

The researchers recruited 1,673 pregnant women in their third trimester of pregnancy (this study included those of 28 weeks’ gestation or more) who attended antenatal clinics within the University of Michigan.

The women were asked whether they habitually snored or whether they had stopped breathing or gasped for air at night. Habitual snoring was defined as snoring either “three to four times per week” or “almost every day”. If women reported habitual snoring, they were asked when they started snoring. If women snored both before and during pregnancy, their snoring was classified as chronic. If snoring only started during pregnancy, the snoring was classified as pregnancy-onset snoring.

Delivery outcomes were obtained from medical records. The primary study outcomes were birth centile, mode of delivery (vaginal or caesarean section), cord blood gases (which helps determine whether the baby has been deprived of oxygen) and newborn transfer (whether the baby had to go into intensive care).

The researchers looked at whether snoring was associated with poorer delivery outcomes. The researchers tried to control their analyses for important potential confounders, such as mother’s age, body mass index (BMI)pre-eclampsia, number of previous pregnancies and maternal smoking.

What were the basic results?

Of the 1,673 women, 35% reported habitual snoring (26% who had started snoring in pregnancy, and 9% who were “chronic” snorers).

Chronic snoring was associated with:

  • Having a small for gestational age baby (birthweight less than the 10th birth centile) (odds ratio [OR] 1.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02 to 2.66).
  • Having a caesarean section (planned, not emergency) (OR 2.25, 95% CO 1.22 to 4.18)

Pregnancy onset snoring was associated with:

  • Having an emergency caesarean delivery (OR 1.68, 95% CO 1.22 to 2.30)

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers concluded that: “Maternal snoring during pregnancy is a risk factor for adverse delivery outcomes including caesarean delivery and small-for-gestational age. Screening pregnant women for symptoms of SDB [sleep disorders breathing] may provide an early opportunity to identify women at risk of poor delivery outcomes.”

Conclusion

This large cohort study has found that self-reported snoring during the last trimester of pregnancy – and in particular chronic snoring – is associated with having a small for gestational age baby as well as a caesarean delivery.

A cohort study is the ideal study design to investigate this question, and the researchers have attempted to adjust for a number of important potential confounding factors that could be responsible for any association seen, such as maternal age, BMI and smoking status.

However, this study cannot show that snoring directly caused the poorer delivery outcomes, as there could be other health or lifestyle factors not adjusted for that are involved in the relationship.

In addition, in this study snoring was self-reported. It is possible that other women snored who were not aware of it (though the vast majority of women had bed partners, and only 2% of partners complained about snoring when women reported not snoring).

This study cannot tell us whether, if there is a direct link between snoring and poor delivery outcomes, by what biological mechanism this may be.

The researchers speculate that snoring leads to increase levels of inflammation which could affect the placenta leading to low birthweight. But this hypothesis needs further investigation.

Overall, pregnant women who snore should not be overly concerned by this research that this is going to have a harmful effect on their baby.

The research does raise the possibility that it may be helpful for health professionals to ask whether an expectant mother is a snoring, and if so, offer advice or treatment.

Analysis by Bazian. Edited by NHS Choices. Follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter.

Summary

“Snoring while pregnant is linked to smaller babies,” reports The Daily Telegraph. There is also evidence that snoring can lead to an increased risk of a baby having to be delivered by caesarean section.

Links to Headlines

Links to Science





Tomorrow, AMC is Screening Fist Fight Sensory Friendly

New sensory friendly logoAMC Entertainment (AMC) has expanded their Sensory Friendly Films program in partnership with the Autism Society. This Tuesday evening, families affected by autism or other special needs have the opportunity to view a sensory friendly screening of Fist Fight, a film that may appeal to older audiences on the autism spectrum. 

As always, the movie auditoriums will have their lights turned up and the sound turned down. Families will be able to bring in snacks to match their child’s dietary needs (i.e. gluten-free, casein-free, etc.), there are no advertisements or previews before the movie and it’s totally acceptable to get up and dance, walk, shout, talk to each other…and even sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced during movie screenings unless the safety of the audience is questioned.

Does it make a difference? Absolutely! Imagine …no need to shhhhh your child. No angry stares from other movie goers. Many parents think twice before bringing a child to a movie theater. Add to that your child’s special needs and it can easily become cause for parental panic. But on this one day a month, for this one screening, everyone is there to relax and have a good time, everyone expects to be surrounded by kids – with and without special needs – and the movie theater policy becomes “Tolerance is Golden“.

AMC and the Autism Society will be showing Fist Fight tomorrow, Tuesday, February 28th at 7pm (local time). Tickets are $4 to $6 depending on the location. To find a theatre near you, here is a list of AMC theatres nationwide participating in this fabulous program (note: to access full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

****************************************************************************************************************************

Editor’s note: Although Fist Fight has been chosen by AMC and the Autism Society for a Tuesday Sensory Friendly screening, we do want parents to know that it is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for language throughout, sexual content/nudity and drug material. As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your family.

You Can See Rock Dog Sensory Friendly Tomorrow at AMC

New sensory friendly logoAMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other special needs “Sensory Friendly Films” every month – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fun new films in a safe and accepting environment.

The movie auditoriums will have their lights turned up and the sound turned down. Families will be able to bring in snacks to match their child’s dietary needs (i.e. gluten-free, casein-free, etc.), there are no advertisements or previews before the movie and it’s totally acceptable to get up and dance, walk, shout, talk to each other…and even sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced during movie screenings unless the safety of the audience is questioned.

rock-dog-posterDoes it make a difference? Absolutely! Imagine …no need to shhhhh your child. No angry stares from other movie goers. Many parents think twice before bringing a child to a movie theater. Add to that your child’s special needs and it can easily become cause for parental panic. But on this one day a month, for this one screening, everyone is there to relax and have a good time, everyone expects to be surrounded by kids – with and without special needs – and the movie theater policy becomes “Tolerance is Golden“.

Families affected by autism or other special needs can view a sensory friendly screening of Rock Dog on Saturday, February 25th at 10am (local time). Tickets are $4 to $6 depending on the location. To find a theatre near you, here is a list of AMC theatres nationwide participating in this fabulous program (note: to access full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Coming later in FebruaryFist Fight (Tues, 2/28)

****************************************************************************************************************************

Editor’s note: Although Rock Dog has been chosen by the AMC and the Autism Society as this month’s Sensory Friendly Film, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for action and language. As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your child.

How to Reframe Your Child’s Negative, Anxious Self-Talk

Anxious-child-with-negative-thoughtsDo you have a child who is often emotional or moody – or prone to anxiety or depression? If so, you might be familiar with the negative self-talk that often contributes to these conditions. And, actually, any child – or adult – is subject to these thoughts on occasion.

Negative or anxious self-talk – sometimes also called “automatic negative thoughts” – is unhelpful, often skewed thinking that tends to drive negative emotions and behaviors. For example, your daughter might react to a friend who gets angry while playing and goes home, by thinking “I’m no fun to play with….nobody likes me” – and might avoid inviting any other kids to come over and play.

I learned about the concept of negative self-talk years ago through cognitive behavioral therapy while dealing with issues from my childhood. But I was surprised when I first began noticing examples of this thought pattern in my young son. When Elliott was in his first couple of years of elementary school, he would often come home at the end of the day and report that his day was “terrible”.

After digging a little I would often find out that one “bad” thing had happened each of these days – which then tainted the whole rest of the day. This overgeneralization / all-or-nothing thinking is an example of negative self-talk – and caused Elliott to have negative emotions about school and resist going in the mornings.

There are several different types of negative or anxious self-talk. A good reference book on anxiety for teens and kids – My Anxious Mind: A Teen’s Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic (by Michael A. Tompkins, PhD and Katherine Martinez PhD) – gives an interesting classification for these unhelpful thoughts (a summary is listed at the end of this post). This book was recommended to me by a child and family psychologist and is well worth a read.

As the book title suggests, there are ways to deal with and manage such unhelpful thinking – and it’s useful to start early with kids who are prone to negative thoughts. At a minimum, it helps to start by identifying and unpacking the negative thought.

For example, with my son Elliott and his “terrible” days at school, I started asking him if anything good happened during the day. This got him to go over all the events of his time at school and put the “bad” experience into context – and I suggested that one or two bad experiences might not make a whole day terrible. Pretty soon, when I asked him how his day was, Elliott would outline how different parts of the day went (great, so-so, neutral, awful, etc) – and this pattern has persisted for more than five years! Even better, he has generally been much more positive about his school days ever since.

Additional exercises for recognizing and dealing with negative self-talk are provided in My Anxious Mind. Another practical book, with useful exercise to help teens cope with negative thoughts and other drivers of anxiety, is The Anxiety Workbook for Teens, by Lisa M. Schab, LCSW.

Types of Anxious Self-Talk  (from My Anxious Mind: A Teen’s Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic)

Book Ends

This is anxious thinking that assumes there are only two possible outcomes of a situation – both at opposite extremes, with no possibilities in the middle. So, the child in the earlier example might be focused on how the play date with her friend needed to be perfect, and if that didn’t happen it would be a disaster.

Binocular Vision

In this unhelpful thought process, your child will “magnify” the effect of something bad – like failing a test – and assume that he won’t be able to go to college as a result. Or he might “shrink” the importance of something good, like all his excellent grades in other classes.

Fortune Telling

This type of self-talk involves your child thinking he or she can predict the future – usually thinking something bad will happen. For example, your child is engaging in fortune telling if she decides to audition for a part in the school play but spends the weeks leading up to the audition thinking “I’m not going to get the part”. Maybe she will, maybe she won’t – but she doesn’t know, and anxious self-talk won’t help the outcome either way.

Mind Reading

In the earlier example, the girl whose friend got angry and went home assumed that she could read her friend’s mind; that the friend thought she wasn’t fun and didn’t like her anymore. This is the mind reading track – and it’s important for the girl to know she isn’t a psychic and her friend will probably be back to play the next day.

Overgeneralization

With overgeneralization, similar to binocular vision, your child will focus on something small (usually bad) to make broad conclusions or sweeping statements – like, if one friend gets angry at me then no one likes me. Or if your son has one bad soccer game, assuming he’s no good and will get cut from the team.

End of the World

With this anxious track, your child is always expecting something terrible to happen. This could be at school or in relationships with friends, but it could also be thinking that every noise around the house is a burglar.

Should-y/Must-y Thinking

Too many thoughts with “shoulds” and “musts” can set the bar for performance and life experience way too high – and make your child anxious and less confident.

Mind Jumps

In this type of unhelpful thinking your child will jump to conclusions (usually negative) without all the facts – like when hearing that he isn’t invited to a party at a friend’s house, your son assumes his friend doesn’t like him. Getting the facts might tell him otherwise, especially if he finds out it’s a family-only affair (for example).

 

Next Page »