National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Date: May 1- May 30, 2022

National Asthma and Allergy Awareness month began in 1984 and is sponsored through the Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAFA).

Asthma is a chronic disease that causes your airways to become inflamed, making it difficult to breathe.

Allergies are one of the most chronic diseases. It occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it causing an allergic reaction.

Facts
  • Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lung airways that causes coughing, chest tightness, and a shortness of breath.
  • 8.3% of Americans have asthma
  • Asthma prevalence is higher in children (9.4 percent) than in adults (7.7 percent).
  • Asthma results in 439,000 hospitalizations and is 1.3 million emergency room visits annually
  • Asthma is the most chronic illness in childhood
  • More than 3,500 people die of asthma each year
  • Asthma symptoms can be triggered by exposure to an allergen
  • Asthma is often hereditary
  • There sis no cure for asthma
  • Weather conditions such as extremely dry, wet or windy weather can worsen an asthma condition.
  • About 32 million Americans have food allergies
  • About 24 million Americans have hay fever

Ways to bring awareness:

Educate yourself by downloading a factsheet: AAFA Asthma Facts and Figures April 2021

Use tools to educate family, friends, school and work

Follow on organizations on social media

Order a T-shirt

raise money and donate to a nonprofit organization

Prader Willi Syndrome Awareness Month

Date: May 1- May 31, 2022

What is Prader Willi Syndrome?

Prader Willi Syndrome is a genetic disorder resulting from an abnormality of chromosome 15 such as a loss of active genes. In most cases (70%) the paternal copy is missing and in some cases (25%), will exhibit two maternal copies of Chromosome 15. The genetic disorder was initially described by John Langdon Down and was named after Drs. Andrea Prader, Heimrich Willi and Alexis Labhart in 1956 and is found in 1 in 20,000 births affecting both sexes. It is also the most common recognized genetic form of obesity.

During childhood, individuals diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome tend to eat constantly leading to obesity and for some, type 2 diabetes will develop. This complex disorder affects appetite,growth, metabolism, cognitive functioning and behavior.

Signs and Symptoms

People with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) tend to never feel full (hyperphagia) which leads to constant eating. Signs in infants include, problems with strength, coordination and balance. Often there are feeding problems at birth, delayed speech and gross motor development. Children may be born with almond-shaped eyes and undeveloped sexual organs. Cognitive disabilities and developmental delays may also be present.

As children began to grow, constant craving for food often leads to behavior challenges including hoarding food, eating frozen food and food left in the garbage causing controlling or manipulative behavior.

Medical Issues

Medical concerns may include the following:

  • Sleep Apnea
  • Respiratory/Breathing
  • High pain tolerance
  • Severe stomach illness
  • Difficulty with vomiting reflex
  • Excessive appetite
  • Binge eating
  • Eye problems
  • Choking
  • Hypothermia
  • Leg Swelling
  • Consuming unsafe items
  • Negative reactions to medications

The Foundation for Prader Research puts out daily fact sheets during awareness month. You can subscribe here. Download here for a fact sheet.

#praderwillawarenessmonth

Is Williams Syndrome the Same as Down Syndrome?

Published by: Medicinet.com

What is Williams syndrome?

Williams syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects approximately one in 25,000 births. The syndrome is named for Dr. J.C.P. Williams, who first diagnosed the condition. He saw a pattern in children at his hospital receiving treatment for cardiovascular problems. These children shared traits like similar facial features and an unusually friendly and outgoing demeanor.

Williams syndrome is also called:

  • Beuren Syndrome
  • Early Hypercalcemia Syndrome with Elfin Facies
  • Elfin Facies with Hypercalcemia
    • Hypercalcemia-Supravalvar Aortic Stenosis
    • WBS
    • Williams-Beuren Syndrome
    • WMS

    What is down syndrome?

    Of all chromosomal conditions, Down syndrome is the most common with one in 700 babies diagnosed with Down syndrome. Most people are born with

    46 chromosomes, but those with Down syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 2.

    While the physical features and behaviors are very similar, there are three different types of Down syndrome: Click here to read the rest of the story.

National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Date: March 1- March 31, 2022

March is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and is used to bring awareness and to educate the general public.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a collection of motor disorders resulting from damage to the brain that can occur before, during and after birth. Congenital cerebral palsy indicates that a person developed cerebral palsy at birth which is the case of the majority of people with cerebral palsy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. It is the most common motor disability in childhood. It is estimated that an average of 1 in 345 children in the U.S. have cerebral palsy. For many years, it was thought cerebral palsy was due to lack of oxygen. Studies show this only accounts for 19% of all cases.

Prevalence and Characteristics
  • Around 764,000 people in the United states have at least one symptom of cerebral palsy
  • Around 10,000 babies are born each year with cerebral palsy
  • Boys are diagnosed more often than girls
  • Cerebral palsy is the mot commonly diagnosed childhood motor disability in the United States
  • Over 77% of children with cerebral palsy have the spastic form
  • More than 50% of all children with cerebral palsy can walk independently
  • African American children with cerebral palsy are 1.7 times more likely to need assistance with walking or be unable to walk at all
  • Around 41% of babies and children with cerebral palsy will have limited abilities in crawling, walking and running.
  • Around 41% children with cerebral palsy in the United states have some form of a cognitive disorder
  • Behavior problems are common in children with cerebral palsy including social skills and anger issues.
  • Seizures are a common associate disorder of cerebral palsy and can range from mild to extreme severe.
  • There is no known cure
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Studies show that about 10 to 20 percent of children with cerebral palsy acquire the disorder after birth. This includes through infections, jaundice, RH incompatibility and severe oxygen shortage in the brain.

Types of Cerebral Palsy

Ataxic- indicates the muscle tone is too low or too loose

  • affects 5 to 10 percent of people with cerebral palsy
  • movements are unsteady and shaking
  • have difficulty making quick movements

Spastic- refers to the inability of  muscle to relax

  • is the most common type of cerebral palsy
  • 70-80% of people have spastic cerebral palsy
  • will have difficulty moving from one position to another

Athetoid-uncontrolled twisting movements

  • Affects 10 to 20% of people with cerebral palsy
  • often have difficulty holding themselves in an upright position
  • muscles move involuntarily causing limbs to twitch

Classifications

Hemiplegia- The inability to move the arm and leg on one side of the body.

Diplegia-The inability to move either both arms or both legs.

Quadriplegia- A type of cerebral palsy that affects all limbs on both sides of the body

Monoplegia- A type of cerebral palsy that affects only one limb.

Resources

 

International Angelman Day

Date: February 15, 2022

What is Angelman Syndrome?

Angelman Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system, characteristics that include developmental delays, intellectual disability, and speech impairments. Angelman syndrome generally go unnoticed until the age of 1 year. Children typically have a happy demeanor and have a fascination with water

Symptoms
  • developmental delay
  • intellectual disability
  • epilepsy
  • microcephaly
  • short attention span
  • happy demeanor
  • hyperactivity
  • hand-flapping
Associated Behaviors
  • tongue thrusting
  • feeding problems during infancy
  • sensitivity to heat
  • frequent drooling
  • attraction to water
Prevalence

Angelman Syndrome  is  a rare disorder and affects 1 in 12,000 to 20,000 a year. Equally to less than 200,000 case a year. Affects all ethnicities and sexes equally.

Resources

Website: International Angelman Day – FeASt – FAST (cureangelman.org)

Teaching Students with Angelman Syndrome – Special Needs Resource and Training Blog (specialneedsresourceblog.com)

Angleman Syndrome and Adulthood – Special Needs Resource and Training Blog (specialneedsresourceblog.com)

#InternationalAngelmanDay