Video: Dyslexia Insights from a Young Man and a Psychologist

Last updated on January 27th, 2016 at 11:23 am

Dyslexia is a common type of learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in the reading and spelling of words. In this video, Daniel tells his story and an expert gives advice on symptoms, causes and treatment approaches.

Editor’s Note: Video Highlights

Daniel’s perspective:  Daniel is a college student and was recently diagnosed with dyslexia

  • Girl point finger at lettersDaniel’s dyslexia issue is processing speed and short term memory
  • He found math hard in school and it was difficult to first learn new things – so he was often left behind
  • Once he was diagnosed, some advice and support helped him:
    • He was given a keyboard to take into lectures, since he could type faster than writing by hand
    • For reading, he got advice to read several words at once – rather than each individual word – it was tiring him out to read before
  • Daniel says he has a terrible short term member but a great long-term memory – if he learns something very carefully, he will always remember it – so he can build off this strength
  • It was easier after he was diagnosed: “I felt like, actually there Is something that is causing it, so I could find ways to help myself then.”
  • “It was far more useful knowing I had dyslexia rather than just struggling and not knowing why.”

Expert perspective:    Dr. David McLoughlin is a psychologist who treats children with dyslexia in his practice

  • Dyslexia is a problem with the language-processing area of the brain which impacts on reading and spelling
  • However, it also impacts a broader range of tasks – such as time management, organization and planning – so rather than just a memory or processing issue, it’s a much bigger syndrome
  • Dyslexia runs in families – we know this from twin studies, research and clinical practice
  • The standard diagnosis process includes measurement of the general ability – and then looking at whether achievements in reading, writing, spelling or math are inconsistent with the child’s general level of functioning
    • They then look at factors in the testing – like memory or processing skills – that might explain any differences
  • General advice for parents of a child with dyslexia:
    • Get them to read – but don’t over-correct them
    • Expect them to forget – reward them for remembering
    • As they get older self-understanding becomes very important
  • The reassuring thing is that if children are properly understood and have the opportunity to develop skills and alternative techniques – they can pursue whatever  they are capable of
    • They just have to do things differently

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 01-11-2016 to 01-17-2016

Last updated on January 25th, 2016 at 10:53 am

twitter thumbIn this week’s Children’s Safety News: Twitter polls become outlet for cyberbullies

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world. Each day we use Twitter and Facebook to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues not on Twitter or FB (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 15 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety Headline of the Week:
How a car seat saved a little boy’s life –

Beware of Plug In Devices: They Can Put Your Family At Risk

Last updated on January 25th, 2016 at 10:52 am

Boy playing video games at homeDo you have a device that plugs in?  Sure you do.  Otherwise how are you reading this?  The point is we all have devices that plug in around our home. Whether it’s a device such as a phone or tablet or a device to make a room smell better, it is a fact of life now that we plug a lot of stuff in.  Some devices are plugged in and left there until they die and some devices are plugged and unplugged daily for recharging. While we have become used to this every day routine of plug and play and really don’t think much about it, it really does require a bit of thought given the fact that some of these chargers and batteries can get pretty hot and  have been responsible for some horrific fires, emergencies, and even deaths.

By now I am sure we have all seen the videos on t.v or online with the new hover boards catching on fire out of nowhere and even causing damage to homes as well.  When charging an electrical device there are some basic steps to keep in mind while doing so:

  1. Do not put the item on anything flammable like a bed or couch
  2. Do not put the item plugged in under anything flammable like a cloth or blanket for the same reason.
  3. Do not put furniture resting directly up against an outlet, whether something is charging or not. There are power surges and all it takes is one spark and the bed or couch can catch fire instantly.
  4. Do not wrap the charging cable with anything flammable. The cables can get hot as well and so can the wrap.
  5. When using scent devices that plug in, do NOT refill them with aftermarket liquid not specifically designed for the device.
  6. When possible, put all the devices charging on a surge protector.
  7. If you have any concerns about your outlets or electrical concerns, please contact a licensed electrician for assistance.

While the companies that make these different products all back their equipment, they all also stand together in warning the public that the cheap versions of their products from overseas have little of the safety designs in them to Urban Wheel - hoverboardprevent these disasters, thus that is why they are so cheap.  In other words, you get what you pay for.

While nothing is fool proof and accidents will happen, taking a quick look around your home and garage and seeing about those batteries that have been charging for days and weeks and that tablet charging on the bed, we can do our part to make sure that a little safety goes a long way.

Thank you and please be safe!

Photo credit: Urban Wheel – Flo Board / Swegway / Hoverboard / Rideable;Ben LarceyCC license

It’s New Year’s Eve Somewhere…Celebrate Early!

Last updated on January 18th, 2016 at 11:02 am

Boy celebrating new year's eveOn New Year’s Eve, my 13-year old son REALLY wanted to ring in the New Year and watch the ball drop in Times Square on the TV – particularly because the year before, while visiting my husband’s parents in Arizona, we lost track of the time difference and completely MISSED midnight on the East Coast – ball drop and all.

So that was a fine plan, except for the fact that we were having friends over – a couple who have a younger boy with ADHD and Asperger’s – and he probably wasn’t going to be able to manage well until midnight, especially as his medication wore off.

My solution was to arrange for us to celebrate New Year’s Eve twice – once at the regular time for our family and once earlier with our friends. But I didn’t want this plan to seem too contrived. My friend’s son is 9 years old and very bright, so I needed a context for this earlier celebration. So, what did I come up with???…..Greenland! We celebrated New Year’s Eve along with the residents of the capital of Greenland – Nuuk (or Gothåb, the Danish name), which is two hours earlier than Eastern Standard Time (e.g. their midnight was our 10pm). To build further credibility for this plan, I shot my girlfriend a text and said that we should all identify some fun facts or trivia about our celebratory focus, especially if this appealed to her son.  We had NO idea what we were creating….

It turns out that this was right up the little guy’s alley. He spent most of the day on the internet (thanks Wikipedia!) and even learned how to use Excel (did I mention he is super bright??). And after an awesome dinner, we ended up playing a Jeopardy-style Greenland trivia game with categories and point levels associated with the difficulty of the question!

A few of the things we learned:

  • Nuuk means “cape” in Greenlandic because it is positioned at the end of a fjord – and is the world’s northernmost capital city
  • Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark – and is the world’s largest island
  • Greenland’s parliament is called Inatsisartut – and is located in Nuuk
  • The economy of Nuuk is focused on fishing and mining of zinc and gold

This might not sound like the most exciting activity for a New Year’s Eve get-together….but since we divided into girl/boy teams (girls won, of course!) – and the adults had the benefit of a little bubbly – it was really a hoot. Plus it addressed the needs of our younger participants – even those with special needs. Depending on where you live, you may have a lot more choices for locations to focus an early New Year’s Eve celebration on – here’s a mom blog that gives other exotic locations to set your celebration to – but either way, I would highly recommend it for next December 31st.

Teen Sex Tips: How to Say No

Last updated on January 20th, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Don’t feel awkward about saying no to sex (or kissing, touching or any other sexual activity). ‘No’ is an important word in sex and relationships. Find out how you can say no.

Nobody has the right to make you go further than you want to. You also have every right to say no, at any point, whoever you’re with. If you want to have sex but your boyfriend or girlfriend or friend doesn’t, you must respect their feelings.

First Time or Not

You might think from what you hear from friends that all young people are having sex. But the average age for having sex for the first time is 16, and not everyone does it at that age. Some people wait until they’re older.

Teen Girl Saying NoSo you’re not the only one saying no. Even if you’ve had sex before, this doesn’t mean you have to do it again. It’s up to you every time.

When you meet someone you like, it might take weeks, months or even years before you’re both ready for sex. Take it slow, and think about your feelings, as well as theirs. Never rush or push each other into it.

Try talking about the relationship. Communicating helps you to know when the time is right, and to know exactly how you both feel, rather than guessing.

How to Say No

People who want to have sex might say things to try to get you into bed. Here are some ideas of what you can say in return:

They say: “Don’t you fancy (*like) me?”
You say: “Yes, but I respect you too,” or “You’re gorgeous but I want to know you better.”

They say: “My friends think we should have done it by now.”
You say: “They don’t know what’s best for us,” or “You should care more about what I think.”

They say: “We don’t need to use a condom.”
You say: “I’m not ready to be a parent and I don’t want to risk getting an infection.”

They say: “Let’s just get it over with.”
You say: “If we wait until we’re ready it’ll be much better.”

They say: “If you loved me you’d want to do it.”
You say: “It’s because I love you that I want to wait,” or “If you loved me you wouldn’t say that.”

They say: “If we don’t do it soon, I’ll explode!”
You say: “You need biology lessons … it’s not bad for you to wait.”

They say: “But you’re 16.”
You say: “Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean I have to. I’ll decide when I’m ready.”

If you both agree to have sex, make sure that:

Practice Saying No

It might sound strange, but try practicing saying no:

  • “No, I’m not ready.”
  • “No, I don’t want to.”
  • “No, it doesn’t feel right.”

Or simply:

  • “No.”

If you don’t want to have sex, anyone who really likes you will respect your decision even if you’ve had sex with them before.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend says something like, “If you loved me you’d do it”, don’t fall for it. It’s emotional blackmail. However much you love or like them, you don’t have to have sex with them to prove it.

Sexual Assault

A sexual assault can range from inappropriate touching to a life-threatening attack. It’s a myth that victims of sexual assault always look battered and bruised. A sexual assault may not leave any outward signs, but it’s still a crime.

Victims are most likely to be young women aged 16 to 24. But men and women of any age, race, ability or sexuality can be assaulted. This could be by a stranger or, much more likely, someone you know. It could be a partner, former partner, husband, relative, friend or colleague. Don’t be afraid to get help.

Find out where to get help after a sexual assault.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is when one person in a relationship is abusive towards another. This could be emotional, physical or sexual abuse, including forcing you into sexual activity against your will. If this has happened to you, help is available.

Find out:

Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.

US Resources:

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 01-04-2016 to 01-10-2016

Last updated on January 25th, 2016 at 10:55 am

twitter thumbIn this week’s Children’s Safety News: One in five children in first grade have spoken to a stranger online

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world. Each day we use Twitter and Facebook to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues not on Twitter or FB (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 15 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety Headline of the Week:
It can happen in minutes: Parents warned about bathtub drowning risks