The Child Mind BlogBrainstorm

  • In Praise of Pink Polish
    April 15, 2011 New York Times

    J. Crew ignited a media grease fire after publishing a photo of President and Executive Creative Director Jenna Lyons painting her young son's toenails pink. The photo was included in a promotional email intended to depict quality family time mixed with fashion—what Jon Stewart calls "bondvertizing." Lyons says her son Beckett asked for the polish; the photo's caption read: "Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon." But the fun seems lost on many media pundits, who were scandalized by the polish. The Cultural Media Institute is even calling the photo "blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children." Really, though, the photo is just the latest installment in the nation's on-going debate on "Pink Boys."

    Know More:  Watch CMI's President Harold S Koplewicz discuss pink boys on the Today show.

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  • Shortages of ADHD Medications
    April 15, 2011 CHADD Leadership Blog

    Parents across the nation are struggling to fill prescriptions for the commonly prescribed ADHD medications Adderall and Metadate. This week the FDA added the two medications to its list of Current Drug Shortages, apparently due to an undersupply of the active pharmaceutical ingredient used in both drugs. The shortages are expected to be resolved in the next six to eight weeks; meanwhile parents are turning to Internet forums in search of tips on which pharmacies are still stocked. Here Timothy MacGeorge, the director of the National Resource Center on ADHD, gives struggling parents advice on how to fill their prescriptions.

    Know More:  Long-Term Studies of Children on ADHD Meds 

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  • Catherine Zeta-Jones Treated for Bipolar Disorder
    April 14, 2011 Modern Mom

    A representative for Catherine Zeta-Jones has confirmed that the actress recently checked herself into a mental health facility for five days. The actress has bipolar II disorder, a form of bipolar disorder that is characterized by longer periods of depression and fewer manic episodes. "She went in for a few days because she's about to start working, and wanted to make sure she's in top form, which she is," said a friend of the family. 6 million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder.

    Know More:  Are Chronically Irritable Children Bipolar?

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  • A Generation of Autism, Coming of Age
    April 14, 2011 New York TImes

    Autism diagnoses have risen dramatically since the 1990s, when the health care system began scrambling to create programs and services to aid the growing population of children with autism. Today, the majority of existing autism services, many of them mandated school programs, are still largely focused on young children, while services for adults are much harder to find. Now that the large number of kids diagnosed in the 90s are coming of age—and loosing their support—the deficit is growing, and the health care system is scrambling again. Here the New York Times reports on several new and innovative options for adults with autism, and their families.

    Know More:  Autism treatments that are helping older children

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  • Demi Lovato Opens Up About Eating Disorder
    April 13, 2011 Pop Eater

    In an interview with Seventeen magazine, teen star Demi Lovato discusses the eating disorder that drove her to seek treatment in a rehabilitation facility last November. "I don't think there's going to be a day when I don't think about food or my body, but I'm living with it, and I wish I could tell young girls to find their safe place and stay with it," said the star. Lovato is a musician and plays the role of Sonny on Disney's hit show Sonny With a Chance.

    Know More:  Early Warning Signs of an Eating Disorder

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  • Marketers Are Pushing Sexuality Younger and Younger
    April 13, 2011 USA Today

    Anyone who doubts that parenting young girls has gotten harder in recent years need look no further than Abercrombie Kids, a store selling padded, push-up bikini tops and thongs to ten-year-olds. Targeting products and advertisements toward children is nothing new, but the highly sexualized marketing directed to "tweens"—a term coined by marketers and not psychologists—has many parents on edge. Tweens were originally considered to be kids aged eight to twelve, but, according to one marketer interviewed by the Media Education Foundation, kids as young as four are now considered tweens. "It feels like the boundary between childhood and adolescence has eroded," says expert Lyn Mikel Brown. "There isn't really a childhood that is distinct anymore. It's all about looking like a grown-up girl."

    Know More:  How to Help Your Daughter Have a Healthy Body Image

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  • Mom Kept Cancer Meds from Son with Autism
    April 13, 2011 CBS

    A Massachusetts woman has been convicted of attempted murder after withholding chemotherapy medication from her nine-year-old son with severe autism. The boy died in 2009 of leukemia, despite his estimated 85 to 90 percent chance of recovery. Kristen LaBrie was also charged with reckless child endangerment, and assault and battery. LaBrie testified that she stopped giving her son his medication because it was making him sicker and she didn't want him to suffer more. LaBrie pled guilty to all charges except attempted murder.

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  • A Video Primer on Concussions
    April 12, 2011 The Concussion Blog

    The Concussion Blog posted a video courtesy of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia describing the signs and symptoms of a concussion, and how a concussion should be treated. In the video a brain trauma expert debunks the myth that concussions always involve a period of unconsciousness. The primer also stresses that a player's removal from game play is essential for proper recovery.  

    Know More:  What Parents Should Know About Concussions

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  • Rabbis Sound an Alarm Over Eating Disorders
    April 12, 2011 New York TImes

    Rabbinic leaders are drawing attention to the disproportionate percentage of eating disorders affecting teenage girls in Orthodox Jewish communities. According to one study performed at an Orthodox high school in Brooklyn several years ago, Orthodox girls suffered from eating disorders at a rate fifty percent higher than the general population. In a more recent study, 25 percent of Jewish girls suffered from eating disorders, in comparison to 18 percent of non-Jewish girls. Some women interviewed by the New York Times cite the stresses of adolescence, which can seem magnified in the Orthodox faith where young women are expected to marry early (and fit into a matchmaker-approved dress size). The pressure to become superwomen—young mothers, ideal homemakers and, often, breadwinners who support the family while spouses pursue religious studies—was also described. And, in a culture often centered on food, things can get confusing. "There are a lot of mixed messages," said one woman. "My grandmother would see me and say, 'You look so good, you're so skinny - come eat, eat.'"

    Know More:  Early Signs of an Eating Disorder

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  • Allergies Can Increase the Risk of Depression
    April 11, 2011 New York TImes

    New research suggests that seasonal allergies may be psychologically harmful. While no causal relationship has been established, large studies indicate that allergy sufferers are twice as likely to develop depression.

    Know More:  Is It Depression or Just Teen Angst?

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