The Child Mind BlogBrainstorm

  • Adapting a Show for Children With Autism
    June 7, 2011 New York Times

    Shows adapted for children with autism are few and far between, but Paper Mill Playhouse recently brought tears to a mother's eyes with their new commitment to special "sensory-friendly" shows. "Stone Soup and Other Stories," a children's show to be presented on June 11, is adapted to be more literal, more lighted, and less loud, with other activities designed to make children comfortable during the performance. Executive director of Autism New Jersey, Linda Meyer, said, "For those parents, having Paper Mill listen to them and respond was just such a gift, because this is going to be an opportunity for them to come out and enjoy something with their entire families."

    Know More:  Wretches & Jabberers: Autism Advocacy on the Road

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  • A Disabled Boy’s Death, and a System in Disarray
    June 6, 2011 New York Times

    Concerned parents everywhere should read the New York Times expose on the deplorable conditions of several New York state institutions housing the developmentally disabled. Reporter Danny Hakim focuses particularly on the gross negligence of the Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center where one resident, a 13-year-old boy named Jonathan Carey, was tragically smothered to death in 2007.

    According to Hakim, "Those who run [these institutions] have tolerated physical and psychological abuse, knowingly hired unqualified workers, ignored complaints by whistle-blowers and failed to credibly investigate cases of abuse and neglect, according to a review by The New York Times of thousands of state records and court documents, along with interviews of current and former employees."

    The lack of good treatment options for older or more challenging children with autism and other psychiatric disorders cause many parents like Jonathan's to fight to get their children into these very institutions, where they hope to provide their children with the care that was impossible at home. To learn about the true state of some of these institutions is heartbreaking.

    Know More:  A Boy's Death Is a System's Disgrace

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  • Child Mind Institute in the New York Times
    June 3, 2011 New York Times

    CMI's President Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, is being featured right now in the New York Times. Read the story online here, or turn to page 10 in the Style section of your Sunday paper.

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  • ADHD Diagnosis, Treatment Different Around the World
    June 3, 2011 Psychiatric News

    Scientific Research Council member Stephen Hinshaw, PhD was lead author of a recent report on the differing diagnoses and treatments of ADHD around the world.  The report stemmed from a meeting of 18 international leaders in developmental psychopathology research representing nine countries. Due to the different practices of diagnosing ADHD, the prevalence of the disorder varies greatly from country to country.  Treatment ranged from practically non-existent to suggesting physical exercise as an alternative to medication. The biggest struggle that nearly all nine countries saw was the ability to provide proper care to those with ADHD.

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  • Prenatal Vitamins May Lower Autism Risk
    June 2, 2011 Web MD

    New research shows that women who take prenatal vitamins may be able to reduce the risk that their children will develop autism. Study researcher Irva Hertz-Picciotto, PhD, of the University of California, Davis MIND Institute says, "For the women who didn't take prenatal vitamins, there was about a 60% higher risk of having a child with autism." Women with high-risk genetic makeup benefit even more from taking prenatal vitamins according to the study.

    Know More:  Breakthroughs in Treatment for Autism

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  • Even With Outpatient Mental Health Care, Kids Visit Emergency Room
    June 1, 2011 Science Daily

    A surprising majority of children making a return visit to the ER because of behavior problems or psychiatric issues have an outpatient mental health provider, according to a new study. The Johns Hopkins researchers tracked a cohort that made two visits within 6 months of each other, ScienceDaily reports, and were intrigued to find not only that two thirds of families had access to care outside of the ER on the first visit; by the second visit that number was 85 percent. "It is possible that ERs fulfill an important function," said one pediatric psychiatrist, "in the continuum of care for non-psychotic, non-suicidal patients." The researchers are quick to call for more research, particularly into the specifics of the relationship between outpatient visits and visits to the ER, but the study suggests at least that a serious incident encourages families to seek ongoing care—and that the people who provide that care may be lacking sufficient resources.

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  • Gender Debate: Role Playing, From School to the Sandbox
    May 31, 2011 The Toronto Star

    The Toronto Star has a new article exploring how gender is formed in children. This time Jayme Poisson, the reporter who bought us the original article about the Canadian couple that decided to keep their four-month-old child's gender a secret, interviews several parents about the gender biases they see in their own children. Poisson also quotes the president of CMI, Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, who notes that there are distinct differences between boys and girls that are apparent even from birth.

    Know More:  Dr. Koplewicz on Bringing Up Baby Without Gender

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  • Autism Makes Distinct Changes to Brain’s Gene Patterns
    May 27, 2011 Bloomberg

    New research shows that there are well-defined genetic patterns in the brains of all people with autism. Researchers expect that learning more about these patterns, which occur regardless of an individual's symptoms, will help identify causes of autism and may result in new methods of treatment. Robert Ring of the advocacy group Autism Speaks notes, "This finding teaches us that there may be a final common gene activity network from many different mutations. This opens a new target space for thinking about therapeutic intervention."

    Know More:  Why Combine Autism and Asperger's?

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  • 'The View' Discusses the Genderless Baby Too
    May 27, 2011 The View

    The View is also talking about the Canadian couple that decided to raise their child without gender. Watch the discussion and take note—Barbara Walters quotes CMI President Dr. Koplewicz from his appearance on the Today show.

    Know More:  Bringing Up Baby Without Gender 

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  • Near-Instant Blood Test to Diagnose Depression
    May 26, 2011 The Telegraph

    Researchers have developed a new test that can diagnose depression by measuring the concentration of phosphoric acid in a person's blood. Past studies have shown that blood tests can diagnose depressed patients at an 82 percent success rate, and with nearly instantaneous results. In an interview with the Telegraph Dr. Yoshiaki Ohashi, a board member of the research group behind the study, claimed, "The findings will make it easier for an objective, biological diagnosis of depressive patients. We believe that the use of such a test will make it possible to diagnose patients efficiently at the primary care stage." The blood test may be available for popular use within the next two years.

    Know More:  Is It Depression or Just Teen Angst?

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