The Child Mind BlogBrainstorm

  • 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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  • When Kids Aren't Ready for Romance
    April 11, 2011 Chicago Tribune

    Today kids face a lot of pressure to grow up fast. But the reality is that puberty doesn't happen over night, and not all girls become "boy crazy" at the same age.  So what to do if your daughter isn't in the throes of Bieber Fever like all her friends? Although many parents worry that a teen's (or tween's) delayed interest in romance can actually be harmful to social development, according to the experts disinterest is actually fairly common. "If your kids are wanting to play board games or build forts outside, those are healthy behaviors," says Roni Cohen-Sandler, a clinical psychologist. "You should never discourage your daughter's activities just because some other girls are poring over magazines and gossiping about boys. It's not a race."

    Know More:  Tips for raising healthy, confident teens

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  • Synthetic Drugs Sending Thousands to Emergency Room
    April 8, 2011 The Salt Lake Tribune

    Synthetic drugs imitating marijuana and cocaine are being sold legally in some head shops for as little as $10. It comes as no surprise that American teens are experimenting with these substances; what is a surprise is the increasingly high number of synthetic drug users who end up in the emergency room. With side effect complaints ranging from labored breathing and rapid heartbeats to extreme paranoia, delusions, and even suicidal behavior, many are wondering why these apparently dangerous substances are so widely available. Mike Rozga, whose son tragically committed suicide while under the influence of synthetic pot, says, "These kids weren't looking for anything bad to happen. The truth is, they didn't know what they had gotten themselves into."

    Know More:  The dangerous, legal drug that is becoming popular

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  • Telling the Story of the 10 Plagues, Without Scaring the Kids
    April 8, 2011 The Jewish Daily Forward

    Rivers of blood, infestations, boils—the 10 plagues were scary stuff, and they certainly add drama to the Passover Seder. But from a child's perspective, the plagues might be a little too dramatic. CMI psychologist Clark Goldstein, PhD, gives tips on how to share the story in a child-friendly way that is both age appropriate and informative. "We don't need to get into every aspect of every detail if we think that will be distressing," Goldstein says.  "Emphasize the miracle, God's kindness [to the Israelites]. Sometimes things are not clear, but we'll have trust that God is doing what God does with a purpose."

    Know More:  Advice from Dr. Goldstein on what to do when kids are anxious

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  • Long-Term Ecstasy Use May Damage the Brain
    April 7, 2011 Web MD

    Long-term use of the drug ecstasy may put users at an increased risk of structural brain damage. Researchers found that the brain's hippocampus was smaller in ecstasy users, as was the overall proportion of gray matter. These findings confirm previous studies indicating a relationship between ecstasy and acute swelling and atrophy of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for long-term memory. Atrophy of the hippocampus is a hallmark for cognitive impairment diseases affecting older people, such as Alzheimer's disease.

    Know More:  Tips to keep kids out of trouble.

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  • NYC Schools Chancellor Cathie Black Resigns
    April 7, 2011 New York TImes

    Cathleen Black, the former magazine executive who was appointed chancellor of New York City schools, will be leaving her post after serving just three months. Black had no experience in education or public agencies, and was surrounded by controversy from the moment she was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg.  Despite her tumultuous tenure as schools chief, many are still surprised by her early resignation, which officials say came at the mayor's urging. Bloomberg has announced that Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott will be replacing Black.

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  • Autism Fears, Measles Spike Among Somalis in Minnesota
    April 6, 2011 The Ledger

    A measles outbreak is hitting Minneapolis' large Somali population. The community has already been marked by an apparent rise in autism, and a growing number of Somali American parents have refused to vaccinate their children against measles, fearing that the vaccination will lead to autism. Andrew Wakefield, the author of the now-discredited study linking early childhood vaccines to autism, has been meeting with the Somali community in Minneapolis, and many worry that he is inciting vaccination fears. Wakefield's paper was retracted last year from the journal it was published in, and his name has been erased from the UK medical register. There is no scientific evidence linking vaccines to autism.

    Know More:  Autism, Vaccines, and the Wakefield Fraud.

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