POSTS WITH TAG: developmental delays

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    All children progress at different paces, so sometimes it's natural for parents to overlook or ignore issues their toddler is having with speech.

    But communication disorders are prevalent in America, and early intervention is key in treatment. "Parents should take children for a speech evaluation any time they're concerned," says Diane Paul, PhD, Director of Clinical Issues in Speech-Language Pathology at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

    Knowing what is and isn't normal when it comes to language and speech development is extremely important, so we've broken down five important red flags to look out for. Here, some signs your child might need speech therapy. 

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    Catherine Duke was hanging out at a family-friendly restaurant recently with her young daughters, 3-year-old Ana and 2-year-old Emma. As a stay-at-home-mom, she frequented the restaurant as a way to get out of the house (raise your hand if you’ve been there, done that!) and was friendly with many of the employees there. Which is why what happened next is totally weird and not a little bit disconcerting.

    Emma suffers from an undiagnosed medical condition that has led to developmental delays -- including walking. She didn’t walk until she was 23 months old. Her orthopedist recommended shoes with extra ankle support, which squeak when she walks correctly from heel to toe. The squeaking bothered another customer -- and Catherine was asked to remove her daughter’s shoes or leave the restaurant.

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    As a baby, Brooke Greenberg would grow at a normal rate one month, and then stop entirely the next. Born one month prematurely and weighing just four pounds, her unpredictable growth continued until she was 5 years old -- that's when Brooke stopped growing altogether. For nearly two decades, doctors have remained baffled by her rare condition, ultimately labeling it "Syndrome X." Sadly, the young woman died last week at age 20 and although, physically, she was the size of a toddler and had the diminutive facial features of a young child, her family says she had the heart of a giant. 

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    Recent research suggests that women who have been abused as children were more likely to have a child diagnosed with autism. The women who endured the most stress from physical and emotional abuse were 60 percent more likely to have a child on the spectrum. Those who were abused physically, emotionally, and sexually had a 3.5 times higher rate of having a child with autism.

    Everything that we do and everything that happens to us does have an effect not only on us but our children. And how we treat our own children, and what types of discipline we choose, may effect not only our kids but our grandchildren. Which is very frightening.

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    If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a whole army to raise a special needs child. As any parent of a special needs child will tell you, there's just no way you can do it all on your own. You need a complex web of support. In fact, that web can be so complex, one mom of a special needs child actually sat down and diagrammed it all out for her family.

    Cristin Lind posted "Gabe's Care Map" on her blog, Durga's Toolbox. And it's mind-boggling. Her son, Gabe, has a rare genetic disorder called Coffin-Lowry syndrome. And as you can see just from a glance at his care map, making sure Gabe gets the care he needs is one monumentally chaotic task.

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    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating why 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with autism. During the hearing, the link between vaccines and autism was brought up. This is happening. Right now. New talks bringing up old theories that some feel have been completely debunked. Junk science. And while I don't agree with everything said at this hearing, I am happy it happened. There is no cure, no known cause. We shouldn't stop questioning. we shouldn't stop researching. Perhaps, even, past research could be proven incorrect. We can't stop fighting for answers until we have them. Some feel Congress was out of line, and perhaps this was a waste of time.

    Writer Phil Plait from Slate says, "... vaccines have literally saved hundreds of millions of lives" and he also thinks Congress is "promoting dangerous anti-vaccine quakery," and while I agree with him on this, I also think further research should be done.

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    An 8-year-old boy is at the center of a legal dispute in Coral Springs, Florida, all because a city ordinance prohibits people from keeping certain kinds of animals as pets.

    Kason Ray has Down Syndrome and was given a therapy pig named Twinkie to help him with his developmental and speech delays. His parents chose to give him the Juliana pig as a therapy animal instead of a dog or other pet because Kason's dad and brother are allergic to many types of animals.

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    Parents of kids with special needs know, usually pretty early on, that something is not quite right.

    In a perfect world, they see their doctor, get a clear, treatable diagnosis, and can get to work getting their child the help they need.

    For mom Cricket Azima and her son Kingston, though, they are stuck battling Kingston's many developmental delays without any sort of formal diagnosis. Tests for Angelman syndrome, which his symptoms most closely mirror, come up negative.

    Can you imagine how frustrating that would be? A diagnosis is important to be able to qualify for special needs services through a school system or other public agencies, and probably to have services covered by insurance (although she doesn't mention that).

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    West Coast Avengers cover with Hawkeye wearing a hearing aidLittle Anthony Smith was absolutely sure about one thing -- superheroes did not wear hearing aids. So when his mom Christina D'Allesandro asked the 4-year-old to put on his hearing device -- which they dubbed "blue ear" because of it's color -- he naturally put up a fight.

    She told him that crime fighters did in fact wear hearing aids, but Anthony wanted proof. As with most good moms, Christina didn't give up. She emailed Marvel Comics to see if, on an off chance, there were any superheroes who fit the bill. "I am likely to get stuck in your spam filter," she wrote from their Salem, New Hampshire home. "But you never know..." The long shot paid off.

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  • My Daughter Makes Me Believe in Miracles

    posted by Aunt Becky January 19, 2012 at 8:49 AM in Toddler
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    Last night, as I was tucking my 2-year old snugly in her bed for the 7,364,732th time, she looked at me with her big brown eyes and said, "Mama, I'm so excited for my birthday. I'm gonna be FREEE!"

    The tears welled up and I was thankful for the darkness in her room, so she didn't try to poke at my eyes as I said, "Yes, Baby, you are."

    There was a time when everything was not so clear. A time when I couldn't take for granted that my daughter would turn one, two, or, as she likes to say, "freeee!"

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