AMC Will Have Dr Strange Sensory Friendly Tomorrow Evening

Last updated on November 21st, 2016 at 02:03 am

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 Doctor Strange 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.

doctor strangeDoes 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 Doctor Strange tomorrow, Tuesday, November 15th 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 Soon: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Sat, 11/26, Tues, 11/29 and Tues, 12/13)

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Editor’s note: Although Doctor Strange 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 sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense crash sequence. 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.

See a Sensory Friendly Screening of Trolls Tomorrow at AMC

Last updated on November 14th, 2016 at 11:38 am

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.

trolls-poster-200Does 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 Trolls on Saturday, November 12th 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 November: Dr. Strange (Tues, 11/15) and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Sat, 11/26 and Tues, 11/29)

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Editor’s note: Although Trolls 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 mild rude humor. 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.

New Research into the Impact of Digital Media on Homework

Last updated on November 14th, 2016 at 11:38 am

How does the amount of time spent on digital media affect a child’s well being and development, including the ability to complete their homework? New research provides additional insight into this question.

digital media and homeworkTHE PROBLEM: In today’s ever-changing world of technology, how does a parent deal with the pressures of time constraints? When all around you, people are no longer communicating with each other without some kind of digital screen in front of them, how do you make a decision about how much digital media is okay for your child? When does it become too much, so that it interferes with the other facets of a child’s healthy emotional and mental development?

THE STUDY: That was the question that pediatricians from Brown University School of Public Health sought an answer to when they analyzed data on media use and homework habits of 64,000 children aged 6-17 from the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health. This survey, which uses parental and caregiver reports of their children’s activities, is sponsored by the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau and completed every few years by a group at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers presented an abstract of the study, “Digital Media Exposure in School-Aged Children Decreases the Frequency of Homework”, at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Convention in October.

Overall findings were specific and abundantly clear: “Children who spent four to six hours on digital media had 49 percent lower odds of always or usually finishing their homework than those with less than 2 hours per day.” Even 2 or 3 hours a day resulted in a significant negative impact on homework completion.

Note: “Digital media” included: TV, computers, tablets and smartphones, and the research separated out time spent on school work projects.

Facts: Percentage of digital media exposure of the study group.

  • 31% were exposed to less than two hours per day.
  • 36% were exposed to two to four hours per day.
  • 17% were exposed to four to six hours per day
  • 17% were exposed six or more hours per day

THE RESULTS: The effects of digital media exposure on homework completion by children, when compared to children with less than two hours of usage per day:

  • Two to four hours of media usage: children had 23% lower odds of completion.
  • Four to six hours of media usage: 49% lower odds of always or usually finishing their homework.
  • Six or more hours of media usage: 63% lower odds of completion.
  • For every additional two hours of any digital media usage, there was significant decrease in the probability of always or usually completing homework.

Other negative side effects of over-exposure to digital media and the ability for children to flourish, surfaced in the lack of

  • Caring about performing well in school
  • Completing tasks started
  • Interest in learning new things
  • Staying calm in the face of challenges

“Parents should consider these combined effects when setting limits on digital media devices.” according to Stephanie Ruest, MD, FAAP, an author of the study.

Note: The statistics remained the same regardless of child’s age, sex or family income level.

MY THOUGHTS: As a Grandmother of five grandchildren between the ages of eleven and fifteen, I have certainly had the opportunity to observe the problem many times over – and from my perspective, the bottom line is clear. Parents need to pay attention to this study.

They need to make the adjustments to their parenting by not following a “Do as I say, not as I do!” mentality. The study quite clearly answers the question: Yes, there will be damage to children from long-time exposure to digital media. The more the exposure, the more the damage there will be. It WILL have a negative effect on their ability to complete their homework and other projects, get a good night’s sleep and to remain calm in the face of a crisis. The parents are the examples. Will they be willing to make the changes in their own and their family’s lives to be able to nurture stable, responsible, well-adjusted children by making the harder, more adversarial choice to limit their child’s usage of digital media?

Reference

The abstract was presented by co-author Max Rubinstein, MD., a copy of which can be obtained from the AAP Department of Public Affairs at: commun@aap.org. Senior author Annie Gjelsvik, PhD, can be contacted at Annie_Gjelsvik@Brown.edu.

Click here for a link to an AAP article on this study.

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 10-31-2016 to 11-06-2016

Last updated on November 9th, 2016 at 11:41 pm

twitter thumbIn this week’s Children’s Health News: The effects of Zika on babies’ brains go beyond microcephaly, report finds https://t.co/aF4UN0hNgv

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 20 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety Headline of the Week:
In 2014, for the first time, suicides among kids age 10-14 surpassed traffic accidents as a cause of death https://t.co/QtezqPdBsz

Did You Know You Can Impact How Fast Your Child Learns?

Last updated on November 21st, 2016 at 02:03 am

Happy young mother talking with her 9 months old baby sitting on bedUS researchers Betty Hart and Tod Risley had devoted their lives to developing pre-school programs to bring poor underachieving children up to the level of learning of professors’ children. After years of research and work they realised, ‘We failed!’

They concluded that the rate at which a child’s vocabulary grows is a key to the child’s growth in intelligence . . . But

‘Vocabulary growth rates are unalterable by age four’. Something is happening in the homes before children come to early learning programs that enables rapid vocabulary growth.

Consequently they changed the direction of their research and organised a major research project to find out what was happening in the children’s homes before age four.

“The data revealed that,

  • In an average hour together, some parents spent more than 40 minutes interacting with their child, and other parents spent less than 15 minutes.
  • Some parents responded more than 250 times an hour to their child, and other responded fewer than 50 times.
  • Some parents expressed approval and encouragement of their child’s actions more than 40 times an hour, and others less than 4 times.
  • Some parents said more than 3,000 words to their child in an average hour together, and others said fewer than 500 words.
  • The data showed that, for each family, the amount the parents talked to their children was so consistent over time that the differences in the children’s language experience, mounting up month by month, were enormous by age 3.”[1]

“With few exceptions, the more parents talked to their children, the faster the children’s vocabularies were growing and the higher the children’s IQ test scores at age 3 and later. Amount of parent talk accounted for all the correlation between socioeconomic status (and/or race) and the verbal intellectual accomplishments of these 42 young American children.” [2]

Another discovery of Hart and Risley’s work is that families have two kinds of talk—which Hart and Risley call ‘Business talk’ and ‘Extra talk’.

The amount of business talk was similar in all families: “Come here”, “Stop that”, “It’s 12 o’clock.” But there were large differences in the amount of “Extra talk” and these differences were particularly related to children’s intellectual growth.

“. . . when parents engaged children in more talk than was needed to take care of business, the content changed automatically. When parents began to discuss feelings, plans, present activities, and past events, the vocabulary became more varied and the descriptions richer in nuances. Their talk also became more positive and responsive to their children’s talk.”[3]

The “style” of non-business talk was similar across parents. The difference was how often such “extra” talk occurred.

“ . . . the most important aspect of children’s language experience is its amount.”

If parents need to place very young children in childcare, Hart and Risley say,

“the most important aspect to evaluate in child care settings for very young children is the amount of talk actually going on, moment by moment, between children and their caregivers.”[4]

Researchers assume that the speaking of many words to the child, in the home, forces the child’s brain to make many more connections between neurons, and so build a more efficient brain.

References:

  • [1] Hart, Betty, and Todd Risley. 1995. Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Life of Young American Children. Baltimore, London, Sydney: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company. p. xx.
    Hart, Betty, and Todd Risley. 1999. The Social World of Children Learning to Talk. Baltimore, London, Sydney: Paul Brookes Publishing Co.
  • [2] Hart, Betty, and Todd Risley. 1995. Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Life of Young American Children. p. xx
  • [3] Meaningful Differences, p. xx.
  • [4] Meaningful Differences, p. xi.

Holiday Decorations & Kids: Hidden Dangers You Need to Avoid

Last updated on November 14th, 2016 at 11:39 am

the baby around the Christmas tree playing with lightsThe holidays are fast approaching and the preparation has already begun for Thanksgiving and eventually Christmas. Family will be coming over to your home or you will be traveling to theirs for food and festivities. While this time of year is a joyful one please keep in mind the little things that pose a danger to the children. Things like electricity from lights and decorations, breakable objects that can be knocked over onto a child or create sharp edges. Choking hazards are greatly overlooked during the holidays. While we are all aware of toys having choking hazards and warning labels , holiday decorations can have parts that are easily swallowed if found by a child such as small light bulbs, parts from battery operated decorations, holiday village scenes, snacks in snack bowls, and a host of other things that need to be secured and checked.

When I teach CPR classes for new parents, soon to be parents and even grandparents, I encourage everyone to go home and lie on the floor and see the world from a child’s perspective and see what a different world it is. I do this to emphasize a point that there are hidden dangers under furniture and that the children will find anything you have lost like pills, money and other objects. I encourage this around the holidays as well because it will give you a perspective of your home that will allow you to see how easily the holiday decorations and electrical cords can be reached by small children. Give it a try, I promise you it’s an eye opening experience.

I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!