October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Spina Bifida is a birth defect that affects the spine and the spinal cord. The membranes surrounding the spinal cord do not close properly.
Facts and Statistics
Each year, about 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida.
There is no known cause
Accumulation of fluid in the brain affects 70% of children.
40% of shunts fail or become in affected and need to be changed within a year.
It can happen anywhere along the spine if the neural tube does not close all the way.
Spina Bifida might cause physical and intellectual disabilities that range from mild to severe depending on the size and location of the opening in the spine.
Myelomeningocele is the most serious type of spina bifida.
Spina Bifida can be diagnosed during pregnancy or after the baby is born.
Some people with Spina Bifida may never experience symptoms
Spina Bifida occurs between the 3rd and 4th week of pregnancy.
Children with Spina Bifida may have difficulty with math, reading comprehension and learning.
Common challenges to learning include, fine and gross motor skills, spatial orientation, communication difficulties and attention and memory.
Some children with Spina Bifida also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Hispanic women have the highest rate of having a child affected by spina bifida, when compared with non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black women. Data from 12 state-based birth defects tracking programs from 1997-2007 were used to estimate the total number of pregnancies affected by spina bifida compared to the total number of live births (also called the prevalence of spina bifida) for each racial/ethnic group:
Hispanic: 3.80 per 10,000 live births
Non-Hispanic black or African-American: 2.73 per 10,000 live births
The special education and IEP process can be stressful and confusing. Many parents turn to a special needs advocate to guide them as they seek services for their child. But how can you find the right advocate?
Unlike attorneys, anyone can call themselves a special education advocate. And while there are training programs for advocates, there’s no formal licensing or certification. That’s why it’s important to do your research before hiring someone. Click here to read the rest of the story
Down syndrome (Trisomy 21) is a chromosomal disorder due to 3 copies of chromosome 21, causing a number of developmental delays, medical and physical disabilities. Learning is one of the areas that is affected by the disorder. Children born with Down syndrome typically have delays in the area of gross and fine motor skills, thinking, short attention span, speech and language difficulties and sequencing. The following links and resources include information on tips and strategies for teaching children with Down syndrome for both parents and teachers.
Halloween Tips to Avoid Meltdowns with Kids! Enjoy these TRICKS to make sure your child’s Halloween experience is a TREAT! You and your children will benefit from these tips and most of them can be applied to children with special needs. Children with Aspergers, Autism, SPD, and general anxiety orders can enjoy Halloween with a few adjustments.
Be flexible! Do not make your definitions of a fun Halloween define your child’s expectation of fun. It is not necessary for children to have the full blown experience in order for them to have a good time. If your child wants to answer the door and hand out candy, then let them do that without guilt. If your child wants to sit on the porch and costume watch, then let them. If they just want to go to bed…… Trust me it will not matter when they go to college!
Decide and let children know ahead of time how many pieces of candy they are allowed to eat while trick-or-treating and after. Let them keep the wrapper to keep count. When they ask for more…ask them to count how many wrappers they have and let them answer their own question. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Visual processing disorder affects the way a person sees or the ability to draw or copy. The child or the student may have difficulty with cutting, copying information accurately or may struggle to cut or paste. This is due to lack of visual motor integration between the eyes and the hands.
The following resources include information on strategies in improving motor skills and free activities and worksheets.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder characterized by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that disrupts functioning in both children and adults
Facts and Statistics
ADHD is a condition characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity
It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood
It is usually diagnosed in childhood and last into adulthood
People diagnosed with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention and or controlling impulsive behavior
70% of people with ADHD in childhood will continue to have it in adolescence
50% will continue into adulthood
ADHD is not caused by watching too much, parenting or having too much sugar
ADHD may be caused by genetics, brain injury or low birth weights
Is a highly genetic, brain-based syndrome that has to do with the brain regulation in executive functioning skills
Children & Adolescents
The 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) interviewed parents and reports the following ADHD prevalence data among children ages 2–17 (Danielson et al. 2018):
6.1 million children (9.4 percent) have ever been diagnosed with ADHD. This includes:
About 388,000 young children ages 2-5 (or 2.4 percent in this age group)
2.4 million school-age children ages 6-11 (or 9.6 percent in this age group)
3.3 million adolescents ages 12-17 (or 13.6 percent in this age group)
5.4 million children (8.4 percent) have a current diagnosis of ADHD. This includes:
About 335,000 young children ages 2-5 (or 2.1 percent in this age group)
2.2 million school-age children ages 6-11 (or 8.9 percent in this age group)
2.9 million adolescents ages 12-17 (or 11.9 percent in this age group)
Treatment used by children ages 2-7 with a current diagnosis of ADHD:
Two out three were taking medication (62 percent).
Less than half received behavioral treatment in the past year (46.7 percent).
Nearly one out of three received a combination of medication and behavioral treatment in the past year (31.7 percent).
Nearly one out of four had not received any treatment (23 percent).
Severity of ADHD among children ages 2-17:
14.5 percent had severe ADHD
43.7 percent had moderate ADHD
41.8 percent had mild ADHD
Co-occuring conditions (children ages 2-17):
Two out of three children (63.8 percent) had at least one co-occuring condition.
Half of all children (51.5 percent) had behavioral or conduct problems.
One out of three children (32.7 percent) had anxiety problems.
One out of six children (16.8 percent) had depression.
About one out of seven children (13.7 percent) had autism spectrum disorder.
About one out of 80 children (1.2 percent) had Tourette syndrome.
One in a hundred adolescents (1 percent) had a substance abuse disorder.
By race or ethnicity (children ages 2-17):
8.4 percent White
10.7 percent Black
6.6 percent Other
6.0 percent Hispanic/Latino
9.1 percent Non-Hispanic/Latino
Adults with ADHD
4.4 percent of the adult US population has ADHD, but less than 20 percent of these individuals seek help for it.
41.3% of adult ADHD cases are considered severe.
During their lifetimes, 12.9 percent of men will be diagnosed with ADHD, compared to 4.9 percent of women.
About 30 to 60 percent of patients diagnosed with ADHD in childhood continue to be affected into adulthood.
Adults with ADHD are 5 times more likely to speed
Adults with ADHD are nearly 50 percent more likely to be in a serious car crash.
Having ADHD makes you 3 times more likely to be dead by the age of 45
Anxiety disorders occur in 50 percent of adults with ADHD.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Down syndrome is defined as a genetic disorder caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21. I have included articles that I have posted over the years to help educate others. Please feel free to share on other social media sites.
October is ADHD Awareness Month. A month designated to bring awareness and acceptance to understanding individuals diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The first studies on ADHD began to surface in 1902 when British Pediatrician, Sir George Still, described a group of children as disobedient and uninhibited. These behaviors were thought to be based on biology since many family members exhibited similar characteristics