Category Archives: Medical

Ways to Help Kids With Special Needs in the Classroom

Why is play so important in early childhood development? Not only does play encourage creativity and imagination but it also facilitates language development, decision making abilities, social skills, fine and gross motor development and problem solving skills that help develop the physical, social and emotional well-being of children. For a child with disabilities, pretend play is even more crucial.

Subject: Quinn, a boy with autism, and the lin...

Subject: Quinn, a boy with autism, and the line of toys he made before falling asleep See more about Quinn at: Date: Circa 2003 Place: Walnut Creek, California Photographer: Andwhatsnext Original digital photograph (cropped and resized) Credit: Copyright (c) 2003 by Nancy J Price (aka Mom) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sensory processing can be difficult for these children and sensory toys are specially designed to help kids with disabilities learn problem-solving skills and gain a measure of control over their environment. More and more teachers and parents of children with disabilities are learning the important role sensory toys play in the life of a child with special needs and are incorporating them into their classrooms and homes.

Sensory toys are not necessarily geared towards a specific age group but rather a developmental level and skill set. A child’s age should not determine which toys are appropriate. Older children with autism, for example, can derive great benefit from toys that are designed for a younger child, such as blocks or a ball. Sensory toys for autism education are particularly important.

Many children with autism have difficulty with various textures and toys like sand and water tables, textured balls and other tactile objects can help a child overcome their difficulties with texture and touch. They can help a child with autism learn to interact with the world around them. In addition, sensory toys can help a child focus and aid in cognitive processing. Studies have shown that children who play with sensory toys during lessons retain more information then when they do not. Also, using sensory aids like a wiggle seat can help students to focus.

Some other helpful hints for the classroom:

  • Provide a fidget toy and/or wiggle seat, cushion or weighted stuffed animal during circle/seated work time.
  • Have a child do something physical in the morning or before any long period of seated time. For example, jump on a trampoline, complete an obstacle course, crash into pillows, push or pull heavy objects or do jumping jacks.
  • Position an easily distracted child away from doors, windows, fans, lights or anything that may be overly stimulating or noisy.
  • Develop consistent routines and picture schedules to help children develop good habits. Children with disabilities often crave routines as it gives them a sense of control. Make sure to try and prepare kids for any changes in routine ahead of time.
  • Once routines are established for a significant period of time, begin changing them slowly to help kids develop coping skills and build their tolerance to change.
  • Always provide positive reinforcement.

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By Allen Yesilevich

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Finding A Dentist For Special Needs Children

Special needs children require a dentist who is trained and educated to deal with them. Many of these patients have other dental concerns that may actually take precedence over the basic line of care that dental professionals extend to children on a regular basis. In spite of this, it is also vital that even the basics are upheld when it comes to caring for the oral cavities of kids with special needs.

– Basic Structure

The basic structure of the oral cavity is something that can be compromised when it comes to special kids. Their own dentists should look to maintain the basic structure of their oral cavities in order for them to be able to function well in this aspect. Many of the children have issues with regards to how they eat, what they eat and what they put in their mouths. Keeping their mouths and teeth in good shape will help to reduce the risk of other conditions that can be very common for children who need extra care and medical attention. The maintenance of good hygiene of the oral cavity is something that will help prevent further complication in this area. Children with harelips and other oral problems will benefit from the right maintenance and hygiene, while they are being evaluated and assessed by other medical professionals for other medical reasons.

– Routines

A dentist can also encourage the kids to get used to the routines that are needed to maintain good oral health. Many special children are not open to other people putting anything into their mouths, so as infants they should get used to the idea of their parents cleaning their teeth and oral cavities for them. Establishing an early routine, such as cleaning the teeth after meals, can help them feel more stable and in control of themselves. As younger children, they will be used to the cleaning routine and may even look forward to it or become adept at doing it themselves. A visit to the dentist as early as infancy can help parents to establish routines and other ways to help their children maintain oral health. It takes patience and understanding to do the cleaning and to teach the child to do it on his or her own.

Another routine that special needs kids must be open to is to floss in between teeth. No matter the state of the oral cavity, when a child eats, some bits and pieces are likely to be stuck in between the each tooth. Flossing can help minimize the risk of decay appearing in between each tooth if it is done regularly. Parents can do this when their children are still too young to handle the floss or may not be able to handle it at all. Rinsing the oral cavity after eating and drinking vitamins and medicines is also something that these children should be able to do. The dentist highly encourages parents to try to get their children to at least rinse their mouths regularly after consuming meals and after taking in sugary medicines, supplements or drinks.

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By Antoinette Ayana

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Treating Hemorrhoid in Children

Hemorrhoid in children is less common in occurrence than in adults. Hemorrhoids are structures found in the anal canal that aid in controlling stool passage. The healthy hemorrhoids become painful when they become inflamed or swollen. There are two types of pathological hemorrhoids- internal and external. The internal type are painless but are accompanied with rectal bleeding. On the other hand, the external types are those that are very painful.

Hemorrhoids are caused by several factors. One of the causes is poor diet. Individuals who suffer with it may lack in certain vitamins and nutrients. Another cause can be frequent and prolonged sitting on hard surfaces. Kids should be allowed to move around every once in a while especially during class. Another probable cause can be constipation. As for the symptoms, they are very similar to the symptoms of hemorrhoids in adults.

There are a lot of possible treatments for hemorrhoid in children. You can opt for surgeries, but for younger individuals it is recommended to stick with natural remedies to treat it.

One treatment for hemorrhoids is to change your child’s diet. It was aforementioned that poor diet can be the culprit in causing it. A change in the diet can greatly help in the treatment process.

Berries, like black and red currant, are fruits that can treat constipation and the said disease. These fruits are loaded with Vitamin C. It also contains an antioxidant called Rutin. This antioxidant has been proven to aid in treating hemorrhoids. Rutin is capable of strengthening the capillaries and can also improve blood circulation. Instead of just feeding kids the berries, you can make them into a juice to make it appealing and tastier to your children.

Aside from berries, you can feed your children with different spices found in your kitchen. Garlic, onion and ginger are some of the spices you can use for treatment. These spices contain fibrin, a fibrous protein that plays an important role in blood clotting. Fibrin helps in curing the tissues around the anal and rectal canal.

Nuts are also effective as a treatment/remedy. Nuts like sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, pistachios, prunes and dried apricots can help in the treatment. Aside from that, it is also recommended to eat food with high levels of Omega-3. Studies have shown that aside from being good for the heart, it can improve blood circulation. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Lastly, feed your child with foods high in fiber. You can feed your child baked and mashed potatoes. Children will have an easy time eating baked potatoes.

Hemorrhoids in children is rather uncommon but not impossible. It is then of utmost importance to take care of your children. Feed him/her with the right kinds of food in the right amounts. Unlike in adults, hemorrhoids found in children can resolve on their own overtime. It is often advised to settle for natural and home remedies instead of turning to medications and surgeries. Take note of these tips to treat your child.

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By William M Mason

Is There a Medical Procedure That Will Make Sure I Conceive a Baby Boy?


Embryo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently received correspondence from a woman who wanted more information about any medical procedures which would ensure that she would get pregnant with a baby boy. She 100% wanted a son and she was very serious about this and was willing to do “whatever it took” to make sure that this is exactly what she got. Actually, there are medical procedures that allow you to chose your baby’s gender and sex. I will discuss them more in the following article.

PGD: The Only Surefire Way To Get A Boy: Right now, the medical procedure with the highest success rate of getting you a boy (or a girl if this is what you want,) is called PGD which stands for “pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.” This takes place in a lab and is basically artificial insemination which takes it to the next level to determine gender.

Here’s how it works. Some of the mother-to-be’s eggs are extracted by a specialists. Then, the father-to-be provides the sperm. The sperm will fertilize the eggs, but this will entirely take place in the lab. Once this happens, the result is several potential embryos. These embryos are then screened for genetic issues, abnormalities, and gender. Only healthy embryos that are the gender that you want (which is in this case is a boy) are then implanted back into the mother. Those that “take” should result in a normal pregnancy. Any left over embryos that meet this criteria can be frozen for future use.

Some Cons Of This Medical Procedure That Determines Your Baby’s Gender: For those who are dead set on having one gender over another, this can most definitely be the answer. But, if there are any negatives or cons to this procedure, the biggest one is probably the cost. Sometimes, people believe that the costs of PGD are included with the cost of the artificial insemination. They aren’t are not. And insemination is expensive, running several thousand dollars for each cycle. If the pregnancy doesn’t “take,” this needs to be repeated. Statistics show that it is about 35% successful each time, so some couples need several rounds before they are successful.

On top of this, the PGD will typically costs another $2,000 to $4,5000 depending on your clinic. So costs alone does keep some couples from going down this route. And, the fact that not every try is successful is another deterrent. Now, some couples do not have a choice with this. They will not be able to become pregnant on their own. Of course if you have some fertility issues and need the help of a lab to get pregnant, then this procedure is only taking what would already be necessary to the next level. But, if you are only going this route because of gender selection, there actually might be another way.

Ways That You Can Try To Make Sure That You Conceive A Boy Without Any Medical Intervention If you can’t afford PGD, there are some things you can try at home. Basically, your goal is exactly the same – to make sure that a Y or boy sperm reaches your egg. Since you can’t test or see the embryos as the lab folks can, you’ll have to go with what we know about how the sperm behaves and how long it lives. Boy producing sperm can not live long so you want to have intercourse late in your fertility cycle. You also want to make your reproductive tract alkaline. This can mean changing your diet and experimenting with douching. Finally, certain sexual positions make a boy conception much more likely.

If you can use all of these things together, you can greatly increase your changes to get a boy baby. And it won’t cost you very much at all.

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By Sandy Dean

Baby Boomers Use Alternative Medicine

Medicine Drug Pills on Plate

Medicine Drug Pills on Plate (Photo credit:

According to a recent study conducted at Ohio State University, about 70 percent of the 50 Plus market use alternative medicine. Funded by the National Institute on Aging, Professor Gong-Soog Hong spearheaded a survey that included almost 900 participants aged 50 and above. 65 percent of seniors who described themselves in poor health said they used some form of alternative medicine they considered either curative or preventive–a higher percentage than any other group.

Baby boomers are searching for other ways to alleviate symptoms such as chronic pain and arthritis, as well as utilizing alternative therapies as preventive medicine. Chiropractic care topped the list with a whopping 43% of respondents, while acupuncture came in last.

Last fall, another survey of baby boomers was conducted by Sorelli B, a national research firm. This particular study showed than more than one third of those surveyed said that chiropractic care prevented the need for prescription drugs and physical therapy. The respondents also believed that chiropractic care helped them avoid back surgery and long, grueling, hospital stays. Close to 60 percent of those surveyed stated they would be willing to petition their insurance companies to include chiropractic as a component of their health care plan even though they were willing to pay for those services out-of-pocket.

The other most popular methods of alternative medicine include massage therapy, breathing exercises, herbal medicine and meditation.

The first study looking at alternative medicine use among seniors with depression finds that close to 20 percent are using gingko biloba, ginseng, St. John’s Wort and other herbal remedies. The surprising findings could cause concern with physicians who treat baby boomers as most patients were unaware of the risks of potential drug interactions.
Helen Kale, M.D., from the University of Michigan says, “The results merit further study and suggest that seniors may have entered the alternative medicine market ina big way, much bigger than we thought.”

Why alternative medicine? Older adults are searching for different kind of treatment to lessen the aches and pains that often come with age. Seniors are reporting problems with daily activities such as carrying groceries, eating or bathing. Moreover, many of them are simply not satisfied with mainstream health care and often have issues with the current state of conventional health care. “Older adults tend to have more chronic illnesses and conventional medicine doesn’t always solve their problems,” says Hong.

In addition, the survey showed that because the treatment of chronic pain is very difficult and demanding, people living in such pain will try everything possible to alleviate it.

According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), the percentage of the 50 plus market who received a massage from a massage therapist in the past five years has almost tripled. Why do baby boomers get massage? For health reasons, according to the survey. Seniors even indicated they seek massage for health reasons (other than stress relief and relaxation) more than any other age group (41 percent).

The least popular practice of alternative medicine surfaced in the U.S. in the 1970s, Acupuncture has gained acceptance as an alternative to traditional Western medicine for pain relief and for treating a variety of other health conditions. Studies show that baby boomers who sufffer from muscle and bone pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and other ranges of problems, are giving acupuncture a try to lessen their symptoms.

The health-minded baby boomer generation is also exercising. Being physically active is the solution to maintaining the quality of life for adults 50 years and older. 16 million seniors exercise at least three times per week. From 1987 to 1995, the number of 50-plus health club members jumped 199%, and the number of 65-plus who joined health clubs jumped a staggering 669%. According to the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), most active adult communities are responding to this need by including wellness centers within their planned communities. Plus, age-targeted programs have been shown to be quite popular with tremendous benefits to other types of senior housing, fitness facilities and publicly-sponsored community recreation programs.

Interestingly enough, day spas are quickly becoming a hot market for those aged 50 and better. Instead of the usual day spa fare of facials and waxing, now medical spas or MedSpas are cropping up in the market. MedSpas take all the comfort and care of day spas, yet add the latest in medical technology. Mud packs and cucumber slices have been replaced with high-tech advanced fluorescence technology, microdermabrasion, and ultrasound technologies–all designed to help the 50 plus market feel better about their appearance.

Although alternative medicine plays a huge role in the lives of baby boomers, when it comes to health, there is no comparison to preventive measures. The Southeastern Institute of Research found that the 50 plus market say some of the most important things to do to stay healthy are to get enough sleep, drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet. It’s no wonder that life expectancy has increased by 30 years in the past century.

As health care costs continue to rise, baby boomers will continue to seek alternative medicine and transform into “health boomers.” They have defined health care because they’re strong, vocal, and know what they want. Boomers are healthier than any generation of seniors in history and live longer, happier lives.

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By C.W. Reichert

Bizarre Trends in Medicine for Baby Boomers

I love to talk about longevity. I think it’s very fascinating to think about and crucial for me to help people plan for. For ages. humans have scrambled to avert their own mortality. Whether it was the Fountain of Youth or the Holy Grail people have sacrificed their lives to extend them.

If you asked your grandparents how long they think they would live they may have guessed around 60-70. If you asked your parents the same question they may have said 70-80. If I asked you, the answer would probably be around 80-90, but with a stronger feeling of uncertainty that it could be longer. More than ever we’re seeing the oldest among us live to incredible ages. Someone living beyond 90 is not terribly uncommon.

My specialty is working with Baby Boomers and when I do financial planning for them I project their financial situation up to age 100 and even then try to plan for a safety net in case they live another 10-20 years (yes, this would be age 120). The math going on in my mind is that let’s say someone is 65. When they turn 85 the year will be 2032.

Question #1: What medical advances have occurred in the last 20 years?

Question #2: Is technological advancement linear or exponential?

Question #3: Is it safe to assume that in the next 20 years we’ll see many wonderful, even bizarre advancements that will be available to you and will prevent you from dying of what people normally die of now?

I love working with an older clientele, but the sad aspect of it is that each year I have several pass away. When I think of what they’ve ultimately died of in the past year they were:

1. Liver cancer

2. Multiple respiratory problems

3. Heart disease/heart attack

4. Advanced dementia

They are all things with many promising cures and treatments on the horizon. Often medical advancements are not outright “cures”, but treatments that keep their disease at bay. In the past 20 years we’ve gotten to the point where if HIV/AIDS is treated and people don’t usually die of it. Breast and prostate cancer have made amazing gains through early detection awareness. Heart disease and blood flow is easily and routinely monitored to catch problems before they happen. However, in the next 20 years here are some things coming down the medical pipeline:

1. Stem cells – Right now scientists can take cells from a patient’s bone marrow and grow: heart ventricles, skin, and a complete bladder.

2. Organ Generation – The team that successfully grew and implanted a bladder is working to grow 20 other organs and tissues. The team expects to be able to create livers, lungs and other complicated digestive organs by around 2016 and hearts by the end of the decade. The implication being a world of replacement organs.

3. Tissue cleansing – Not the type the TV preacher’s talking about. In 2009 scientist took a frog, put it under anesthesia, removed its heart and “rinsed” its cells away until the protein structure of the heart was all that was left, regrew the cells on that structure using the frog’s own stem cells, put it back in him, did froggy CPR and off he hopped with a heart new as the day he was born.

All of these do not involve controversial embryonic stem cells. Which by the way, studies are giving hope that doctors could use umbilical cord blood cells. After a baby is born the parents could donate the placenta and umbilical cord for their stem cells.

While a lot of these things are still in their infancy, the reality is that there are tens of thousands of people walking around right now who have successfully undergone these treatments. It is easy to imagine that 20 years from now, when someone who is 65 today and is 85 then, will have many more medical options available to them that are unimaginable today. But it gets better. These are all solutions coming forth in the next decade. Some ones beyond that are:

1. Perfect DNA replication – When DNA replicates it doesn’t quite go to the end of the strand but stops at the telomere region. The result is that the “daughter” strand is has a shorter telomere region. The cells can only divide a certain number of times until this limit is reached and it results in aging. Also, this mechanism can result in cancer as well. Scientists have recently discovered an enzyme that prevents the telomere region from shortening when DNA duplicates.

2. The blurring of man and machine – Experiments are being done to test how much the human brain and computers can interact. So far, scientists have been able to remotely control a robotic arm just by thinking (the scientist still had both of his arms and this was a third arm to him). The same scientist looked to see if he could understand what a machine was telling him and hooked up a sonar machine to his nervous system and could sense distances and demonstrated it under a blind folded test. He described that with the machine connect this “felt near or far away”. The implications of this are complicated but it suggests that in the future we will have devices available to us that supplement our biology.

3. Nanotechnology – This quickly emerging field has many medical hopes such as reversing Alzheimer’s, reversing aging, very early cancer detection and cell regeneration. The idea is that humans could have microscopic medical machines inside of them that look for problems in their body and fix them physically or inject very specific regions with medicine. This is already happening at some level.

Personally I find all of this fascinating and disturbing. Some of it feels like naïve to even think about as a possibility, but none of it seems biologically impossible. This becomes interesting when it comes to financial planning. Consider this… if someone is 65 now and expects to live 20 years and die at 85, is it not possible that in the next 20 years of medical advances that we’d come up with treatments and detection that will make that person live another 10 years? Now, in that additional 10 years of being on earth, is it not possible that further medical advancements would enable that person to live maybe another 10 years? And in that additional decade… you get the idea.

Right now each year we’re adding about three months to life expectancy and the rate at which we’re adding time to people’s lives is going up. If we get to the point where each year we add another year to life expectancy, it makes the question of “how long should I expect to live?” very ambiguous. When it comes to financial planning for Baby Boomers, this is what is going on in my mind. It’s something that may not happen, but to me it is a risk to be planned for. While the thought of living to 115 is marvelous, it is also a risk that if you retire at 65 it means that your retirement savings needs to last 50 years.

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By Chad R Gordon

Your Baby’s First Medical Check-Up

During the first 24 hours after your baby is born, he will have his first medical checkup. This should be carried out in front of you and your partner so that the medical professional can reassure you that your baby is in perfect condition.

What are the checks that will be carried out?


infant (Photo credit: soupboy)

Weight and Length

Your baby will be measured the moment he is born but your doctor will measure him again during the medical checkup. Normal newborn weight ranges from 5lb 8oz and 10lb. Normal newborn length is between 18 inches and 20 inches.

Your doctor will also measure the head circumference of your baby. This will help the doctor rule out any abnormal brain or skull growth, such as hydrocephalus, microcephaly and craniosynostosis.

Heart and Lung function

Using a stethoscope, your doctor will check that your baby’s heart is steady, and his lungs are strong. However, it is not uncommon for babies to have harmless heart murmur.

Internal Organs

You will also see your doctor poking your baby’s tummy. This is to check that your baby’s internal organs are in place and are not swollen. Your doctor will also check the pulse on your baby’s groin.


The doctor will also check that your baby’s arms are the same length and his legs align. She will also check for any sign of club foot.


Your baby will not be happy with this, as it is uncomfortable, but your doctor will check your baby’s hip joints looking for any dislocation or listening for clicking sound. The clicking sound suggests that the hip is unstable and may be prone to dislocation later on.


Baby boys get their genitals check to see if their testes have descended. Testes descend when the baby is full term. If the doctor can’t feel it, it is possible that it is retractile. It means that it had descended but went back up the abdomen as a reaction to a cold touch. If your baby’s testes haven’t descended, it may need to be persuaded down later.

Spine and Anus

The doctor will put your baby on his back and check that his vertebrae are aligned, and his anus is not blocked.

Eyes and Palate

Finally, your doctor will put her fingers on your baby’s mouth to suck while she checks her eyes and at the same time checking for any cleft on his palate.

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By Hope Varnes

Choose the Gender of Your Baby – Medical Methods

The Choice between the medical and the natural approach for Choosing your baby’s gender is probably easy for most. Going the medical methods is guaranteed for conceiving the gender of your choice but not guaranteed that you will actually conceive, as there are very high miscarriage rates. It is also very costly, in the realm of $20,000 per attempt. There are also the issues of having to take various fertility drugs to reduce the chance of miscarriage. So unless you have other reasons for needing IVF or if you have plenty of money and are OK with a series of medical treatments, the natural approaches may be the best approach for you. But for some after having several children of one gender they may need to balance the family and the medical methods offer higher success rates. For others there may be medical issues that prevent natural conception and IVF adds the bonus of being able to choose your baby’s gender.

English: Blastocyst on day 5 after fertilizati...

English: Blastocyst on day 5 after fertilization Courtesy: RWJMS IVF Program (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Choose the Gender of your Baby – The Medical Approach The two main medical methods of choosing your baby’s gender are MicroSort and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) with PGD, (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis).

MicroSort for Choosing Baby’s Gender – MicroSort is where sperm are collected and then sorted in to male and female, the sperm are then deposited using AI (Arificial Insemination). The sorting process is not 100% accurate but it is claimed that the success rates are around 90% for selecting a girl, and 80% for a boy. This method is probably less invasive than IVF as it basically only involves sorting the sperm then inserting them, and usually people take fertility drugs to increase the chances of conception. MicroSort will probably cost in the realm of $5000. Cheaper than the IVF options.


  • Cheaper than PGD $5,000
  • Relatively simple procedure
  • Some fertility drugs can be used but they are optional
  • Less likelihood of medical complications


  • Still costs $5,000 per attempt
  • Don’t get to conceive in the comfort of your own home
  • Not guaranteed of getting the gender of your choice

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis for Choosing your baby’s Gender – Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis is where several eggs are taken from the ovaries and fertilized outside the body. The embryos are then analyzed for gender and genetic disorders then placed in the uterus. This procedure involves several trips to the doctor, tests for likelihood of success, various fertility drugs and costs around $20,000 per attempt. IVF results in a successful pregnancy only about 10-35% of the time (dependent on the age and health of the woman). So this method may be too expensive for most couples.


  • 100% success Rate
  • Can test for genetic disorders during the procedure


  • Expensive $20,000 +
  • Involves many trips to the doctors
  • Requires fertility drugs which can have negative side effects
  • May have to try several times before having a successful pregnancy
  • Some of the tests and procedures may have harmful effects on the embryo

I hope that helps people clarify the two main medical approaches to choosing their baby’s gender.

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By Sally Goodman