The Child Mind BlogBrainstorm
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.
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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.
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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 ImageView Comments | Add Comment
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.View Comments | Add Comment
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.
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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.'"
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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?View Comments | Add Comment
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 teensView Comments | Add Comment
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 popularView Comments | Add Comment
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 anxiousView Comments | Add Comment