Autism and Learning to Read

Autism Speaks

With the prevalence of autism for children in the United States, one company is hoping it unique reading system will be a blessing to parents seeking new ways to help their autistic kids develop reading skills.
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About 1.5 million people are diagnosed with autism in the United States – a sharp rise from only 1 in 10,000 in the 1970s.

Dr. Temple Grandin, an associate professor at Colorado State University and author of two books on autism, has done significant research into learning for autistic children and lectures on the subject around the world.

“Many people with autism are visual thinkers,” said Grandin, who herself was an autistic child. “I think in pictures. I do not think in language. All my thoughts are like videotapes running in my imagination.”

Therein lies the concept behind the Readent learning system developed by SFK Media Specially For Kids Corp. The program uses “Reading Movies,” interactive film adaptations of classic children’s books in DVD format. As the actors speak, the words appear simultaneously on the screen as text, providing the autistic viewer with written words along with the visual pictures needed to grasp language concepts while learning vocabulary.

“The Readent system incorporates all the modern research for teaching reading to autistic children, including the observations of experts such as Dr. Grandin and other cognitive scientists,” said Len Anthony Smith, chief executive officer of SFK Media. “Its interactive wordplay dictionary and comprehension quizzes and games seem to work wonders for autistic learning.”

Grandin provides the following tips for learning for children with autism.

* Avoid long strings of verbal instructions. People with autism have problems learning and remembering the sequence. Instead, write the instructions down on a piece of paper.

* Use concrete visual methods for learning to teach number concepts, such as a set of blocks that have a different length and color for the numbers one through 10, or wooden “fruit” cut into quarters and halves to teach fractions.

* Many autistic children have problems with motor control in their hands, therefore learning to write neatly is sometimes difficult. To reduce frustration, let your child type on the computer or tablet.

* Keep the keyboard close to the screen. Some children have difficulty remembering something on a computer screen if they have to look up after they hit a key on the keyboard.

* Non-verbal children will find it easier learning words with pictures if they see the printed word on a flashcard. Some individuals do not understand line drawings, so it’s best to work with real objects and photos first.

Your Baby With Teeth

baby with teeth


Teething is the process during which an infant’s teeth start to sequentially grow and with teeth he will be able to eat solid food. Teething can start as early as three months or as late, in some cases, as twelve months. It can take up to several years for all 20 deciduous (more commonly referred to as ‘baby’ or ‘milk’) teeth to emerge. Since the teeth literally tear through or erupt through the soft, fleshy gums of the infant, it’s sometimes referred to as “cutting teeth”.  A baby with teeth will put toys and fingers into their mouths for comfort.

Signs of teething may be recognized by irritability, loss of appetite, chewing and gnawing on objects, swollen or bruised gums, excessive salivation, a raised temperature, and sometimes even earaches and diaper rash. Teething symptoms will usually start to rear their ugly head approximately six months into your baby’s development.   With teeth coming in so soon you will usually find feeding are less often.

During this process you’ll discover your baby loves to chew with teeth that have erupted – on just about anything and everything they can get their little hands on! This can be dangerous if the baby is allowed to chew with teeth on objects which are small enough to be swallowed or which could break while being chewed, creating a choking risk. Teething rings and other toys are often designed with textures that massage a baby’s tender gums.

In cases where the infant is in obvious pain with teeth, some doctors recommend the use of anti-inflammatory or child-safe pain-relief treatments containing benzocaine, such as Baby Orajel. Some babies gain relief from chewing on cold objects with teeth such as a cool washcloth or a specially-designed teething toy that can be frozen. You might also want to massage baby’s gums with a clean finger. Your baby might find it uncomfortable initially. Baby will probably find it comforting after a few gentle rubs.

Pediatric dentists suggest brushing as soon as baby is with teeth.  As soon as they begin to grow, and not to wait for all teeth to come in before introducing an oral hygiene routine. However, the use of adult toothpaste during this process is generally discouraged. Special formulated mouth cleaning products are available for babies and are easily obtain at drug store and super markets.

Diaper Rash


Let’s talk about Diaper Rash. What are the cause , how it can spread when untreated, and how to stop secondary bacterial and fungal infections. Infections of bacteria or fungus can become a nightmare for both you and your baby.

The main cause of diaper diaper rash is urine on baby’s skin. The time between diaper changes can cause, urine begins to change into ammonia and other chemicals and by-products. Fecal matter in the diaper, between baby’s diaper changes, can cause the rapid growth of bacteria and or fungus which will irritate the skin and infect the irritated diaper area.

The breakdown of urine, and the continuous contact with your baby’s skin will result in skin irritation. This begins the diaper rash syndrome that affect most babies. It was believed that Huggies, Pampers and other disposable diapers would be a better than the cloth diapers when introduced to the market. The new diapers were better. But diaper rash is still a problem seen in countless babies.

The most important treatment to diaper rash is PREVENTION!

You must prevent urine from coming into contact with your baby’s delicate skin by putting a barrier on the skin that prevents urine and fecal matter from contacting your baby’s diaper area. Old fashioned petroleum jelly can be used to cover the diaper area and create a barrier that allows the skin to breathe, keeping moisture and other irritants from away from the area. This preventative action of is cheap and very effective. It’s use is accompanied by a healing, soothing action and stops the irritation that produces Diaper Rash.

It is important that the skin to create a barrier that prevents moisture from touching the skin and heals and soothes the diaper area. Many diaper rash products are heavy creams, pastes or lotions and are very expensive. While some create a barrier to keep moisture away from the skin, many of these products contain substance such as zinc oxide that many babies have sensitivities or allergies and should not be used.. The existing moisture can not be released and the healing process is slowed dramatically.

Here are some commonly asked question about diaper rash:
What is it?

1. Diaper rash is an irritation of the skin in the diaper area that is commonly caused by ammonia forming when urine breaks-down.

What are causes ?
1. Diaper rash caused by prolonged contact of a urine soaked diaper on a baby’s skin. The skin turns red and tissue breaks down, creating a rash. This worsens as the skin remains in contact with urine and feces.
2. Chafing or rubbing of diaper or pull ups on the area
3. Possible allergic reaction to diaper or creams
4. Bacterial or fungal infection in rash area
5. Allergies to food can cause urine to be irritating to some babies

Who can get it?
1. It is seen on babies between the ages of 2-24 months
2. It also can happens to babies whose diapers are not changed frequently
3. It may also happen to babies taking antibiotics or are nursing while mother might be taking antibiotics
4. It can also occur on babies when they begin to eat solid foods

What are the symptoms of it?
1. Red, irritated, and sometimes warm skin in and around the stomach, genitals, and inside the skin folds of the thighs and bottom
2. Pain, burning and itching, and a cranky baby!

Is diaper rash contagious?
1. Diaper rash is almost never a contagious skin condition
2. However, fungal and bacteria infections can be transferred from contact

How can I prevent diaper rash?
1. Apply Petroleum Jelly with every diaper change
2. Change baby’s diaper often, and keep the area dry and clean
3. Use a gentle cleanser formulated especially for babies’ skin, such as wipes
4. After washing your baby, gently pat dry the area, do not rub the area
5. The diapers you use should fit properly, so as not to rub against the skin

If your babies bottom does not heal within a few days of treatment or gets worse consult your pediatrician. You baby may have a fungal or bacteria infection that need professional treatment. You doctor may prescribe drops or ointments to treat this type of infection.

‘No Child Left Behind': How Parents Can Help

no child left behind


The No Child Left Behind Act is a landmark education reform law that is improving academic performance across the country. One of its chief aims is to close the achievement gap that separates many disadvantaged, disabled and minority students from their peers.

To do this, it measures student performance and focuses extra resources and attention on those most in danger of falling behind. But what about the schools themselves?
Under No Child Left Behind, schools that receive federal funds to help teach and prepare educationally disadvantaged children must make “Adequate Yearly Progress” in reading, language arts and mathematics. These are clearly defined benchmark goals, which are increased over time. They have been put in place by each of the 50 states based upon what is appropriate for the needs of their local school districts.

If a school does not reach its annual goals as stated in no child left behind law, it is given extra assistance a chance to make improvements. If it again does not succeed the following school year, the school is labeled “in need of improvement.” Extra resources are given to failing schools, and new options and choices are provided to its students and parents.
States release a lists of schools that underperformed at the end of each school year. Parents need to be alert to their school’s status. Underachieving students may be eligible for free tutoring or after-school classes. Some may be entitled to choose another public school that better meets their needs.

Parents of under achieving students in schools “in need of improvement” should contact their local school officials to find out if their children are eligible for these and other services. There are usually transportation accomdations available for these students as well.

If a school continues to fail for five or more years in a row, school officials must develop and implement a two-year plan to improve performance at the school. The local school district will help the school receives needed technical assistance as it develops and implements its improvement plan so no child left behind will work.

Parents can get involved – by enforcing attendance, supervising homework and setting academic goals so no child left behind is successful. These parents are less likely to see their children left behind in school. Ways that parents can help their child’s school succeed include:
1. Attending parent-teacher meetings to address academic or discipline problems.
2. Participating in school board meetings.
3. Volunteering to serve during school hours or in extracurricular activities.
4. Learning about No Child Left Behind and how it can benefit their child.
5. Tapping into community or private-sector resources.
6. Encouraging other parents to become involved.

Learning to Organize

Destination Maternity Corporation

Wanting your child to be organized and stay safe is a learning skill parents want their children to acquire. But sometimes, your kids don’t see learning this skill as desirable. All your kids want to do is play, play and play some more! If you’re having a hard time keeping your child’s room clean and organized, read on for some tips to help you with your child’s learning of this ability.

Make the room efficient for learning to organize. Make use of small drawers and cabinets where you can put your child’s belongings. Utilize anything that fits the design or budget. The easier it to access, the better chance your child has for learning to use it for storage.

For toddlers, hanging their clothes on small hangers on a low hung rod can help them with their learning and help them to feel like they are making their own decisions. These feelings help them to start to “like” how things work, and as they grow they will “like” having their clothes hung. Remember children can only learn these skills when they are easy enough to accomplish.

Organizing a baby’s room is mostly for the benefit of the parent. Grouping the essential things you need in one area will help you find things quicker and make the job of caring for your baby much easier and safer. For example, put all the items you need for changing your baby on or near your changing table. You never want to leave your baby on the table to move across the room to pick up something that’s out of place, and having to pick him up to do that is quite a pain as well. Likewise, arrange baby’s bath basics together including towels and washcloths. Keep them within easy reach when you are bathing your baby. After all, you cannot leave your baby in her tub while you look for the baby shampoo.

Place shelves at reaching height for your child in his or her room. Shelves can be used to put toys on and when your child wants to play, she can easily reach them without having to drag out all the other toys. Book shelves are another way to help your child’s learning. Place shoe boxes or dish tubs on the shelf to make book storage easy.

Place a limit on the toys that are used at one time. Teach your child to play with one toy at a time. Then before she can play with another toy, she must put the first one away. If it’s on a shelf that’s at a level where she can easily access it, this job should be easy learning she just may have to be reminded that the first toy has to be put back before the second one can be taken out.

Make organizing and keeping the room clean fun. Make using special containers for toys with small pieces a fun part of playing with that toy. For example, use a baskets as a toy car garage. Another example of making organization fun would be to place a basketball hoop on top of your little boy’s laundry hamper. He’ll be able to practice learning some basketball moves every time he changes his clothes.

Teach your child how to clean his room. Ask your kids to join you when you are cleaning his room. Point out that there is a place for everything and keeping the room clean is as easy as putting every item back in it’s place. As long as you don’t let the room get too out of hand, cleaning will be easy. Eventually, you can transition to sitting on the bed and telling your little ones what needs to be done. Then later, he will know what to do without you being there.

Keeping a kid’s room clean can truly be a daunting task, but cleaning as you go and keeping organized makes it a lot easier. Follow the tips above and start to get in a habit, it takes practice and some time before you see results but it’s well worth the effort.