‘Sounding it out’ not so easy for children with dyslexia

Published by: Western News
Written by: Jeff Renaud

For years, competent and well-educated elementary school teachers and well-intentioned, if exasperated, parents have routinely repeated a mantra to struggling early readers: “Sound it out.”

But what if a child can’t? What if something in a child’s brain is blocking their very efforts to achieve such a seemingly simple task?

As part of a multi-year project, partly funded by BrainsCAN, cognitive neuroscientists at Western’s Brain and Mind Institute studied children’s brains using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). After a deep dive into the data, they discovered a biological deficit for some that impairs phonological decoding – the ability to sound words out. Click here for the rest of the story.

What Is Spastic Cerebral Palsy? The Most Common Subtype

Published by: Verywell Health
Written by: Heidi Moawad

Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition characterized by impaired motor control due to congenital (from birth) brain defects, often with other associated symptoms. There are four different types of cerebral palsy, and spastic cerebral palsy, also called hypertonic cerebral palsy, is the type that’s diagnosed in 80% of people who have cerebral palsy.

What Is Spastic Cerebral Palsy? 

Spastic cerebral palsy is characterized by diminished motor control and spasticity of the muscles. Spasticity is tightness and rigidity of the muscle, sometimes with a jerky component. Contractures can develop in the affected muscles, resulting in a tight, fixed position of a limb that is difficult to move, even passively.

Spastic cerebral palsy can involve paresis (motor weakness) or plegia (paralysis) of the affected muscles. Three subtypes of spastic cerebral palsy are defined by which parts of the body are affected.

You or your child may have:2

  • Spastic hemiplegia/hemiparesis affecting one limb or the arm and leg on one side of the body
  • Spastic diplegia/diparesis, affecting both legs
  • Spastic quadriplegia/quadriparesis affecting all four limbs

The main difference between spastic cerebral palsy and the other defined types—ataxic cerebral palsy (predominated by coordination and balance problems) and dyskinetic cerebral palsy (predominated by abnormal involuntary movements)—is that spasticity is a predominant symptom of spastic type.

Symptoms 

The symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy can affect one or both sides of the body and might involve just one limb. Impaired voluntary movements, spasms, jerking, tremors, and muscle tightness can be present. In addition to motor effects, spastic cerebral palsy can also cause cognitive deficits, vision impairment, diminished hearing, and seizures.  The condition affects each of the different muscle groups in the body in specific ways. Click here to read the rest of the story

The Success Spectrum: Neurodiversity In The Workplace

Published by: Forbes Magazine
Written by: Evan Ramzipoor

A neurodivergent woman in tech, Whiting has written numerous pieces and given myriad talks on neurodiversity in the workplace. In an interview with ServiceNow, she shared her perspective on hiring and retaining neurodivergent talent, the power of neurodiversity in cybersecurity, and what neurotypical people often get wrong in their efforts diversify the workplace.

How did you get started in cybersecurity?

I’m a natural researcher and a reflective thinker who came from a poorer socioeconomic background: six of us in a three bedroom house. Because of that, I always wanted to be the best version of me possible. I think that’s why I’ve ended up with such a broad range of careers.

At one stage, I was an award-winning jewelry designer who owned multiple jewelry stores and served as the chair of a jewelry guild. At another stage, I collaborated with a group of women on a book called Extraordinary Women, which became an Amazon bestseller. Around the same time, my ex-husband and I separated, and I quit the jewelry business.

I came back to my hometown, where a friend introduced me to Ian, Titania’s founder. He’s very much an innovator, whereas I’m a natural researcher and strategist. I joined the company, became the “Roy Disney” to his “Walt” and we later married. The company let me focus on my passions, one of which is inclusion. This led to an invitation that changed my life. Click here to read the rest of the story.

How I Manage Cystic Fibrosis with ADHD

Published by: Cystic Fibrosis News Today
Written by: BNS Staff

Cystic fibrosis is hard, for an infinite number of reasons. One area I struggle with is compliance. There’s a lot that goes into managing CF on a daily basis: treatments, medications, exercise, nutrition, sleep, etc. It can all feel overwhelming.

I also struggle with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). When I was diagnosed with ADHD at 18, a lot of things started to make sense for me. I began to realize why I struggled so much with things that others didn’t, or why I struggled to remember something like taking my enzymes, even though I’ve had to do this my whole life.

Having ADHD has impacted how I manage my health with CF. Often, it interferes with my treatment compliance. It’s not intentional, but it happens. I used to carry a lot of shame about that, so I kept it to myself.

As an adult, I’ve found that having simple morning and evening routines helps ensure I’m taking my meds, eating breakfast, getting in my treatments, and taking time for exercise. These routines are simple and I tweak them as my needs change.

In the beginning, I had an actual checklist to help remind me of everything. When it’s time for Cayston, I set an alarm on my phone to remember that afternoon dose. I have alarms set to help me remember to check my blood sugars. And I even have notes posted in a few places that say things like “Tired? Confused? Shaky? Sweaty? CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGARS.”

It might seem silly to some, but these things have made a huge difference for me. If I skip just one part of this routine, I’m likely to let the whole thing slide unintentionally and forget to do things like take my meds or do a treatment. Click here to read the rest of the story

Student with cerebral palsy invents automatic stair-climbing wheelchair

Published by: ECNS Wire
Editor: Zhang Dongfang

A college student suffering cerebral palsy has invented an automatic stair-climbing wheelchair to help more people with mobility difficulties.

With a design load of 150 kg, the wheelchair can reach 0.2 meters per second when going up and down stairs and two to three meters per second on level ground.

The intelligent stair-climbing wheelchair has two kinds of motion structures, one with wheels and the other with a track, said Liu Xin, the inventor.

Liu is a junior at Nanchang Hangkong University based in south China’s Jiangxi Province. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth. Natural human behaviors like speaking, writing and walking are extremely difficult for him. After seeing the inconvenient campus life of a senior with paraplegia, he decided to create the automatic stair-climbing wheelchair.

“My wheelchair has two advantages, self-driving along the planned route and voice control,” said the boy.

In 2020, his intelligent wheelchair project won the championship in the provincial mechanical innovation design competition for college students, then won first prize in the national competition and was granted the national invention patent. Click here to read the rest of the story.