September 20, 2017

1, 2, 3’s of Basic Backpack Wearing


Happy Back to School!  Get tips about the proper ways to wear a backpack, provided by the American Occupational Therapy Association!


CLICK HERE to learn more!!






This workshop will provide participants with an evidenced based introduction to simple sign language skills meant to improve communication in children of all ages and abilities. Course participants will learn more than 100 key words that can be incorporated into their child interactions to improve both expressive and receptive language skills. Improvements in communication and interaction, in turn, serve to enhance a child’s ability to participate in meaningful activities. Skills learned in this course are appropriate for use in pediatric clinical practice, the school environment as well as in the home environment. Course format includes lecture, as well as small and large group activities.

To view the full course flyer:  click here




Brain Patterns at 6 Months Predict Autism in High-Risk Infants

20170607Neuroimaging844Patterns of brain activity in 6-month-old babies accurately predict which of them will be diagnosed with autism at age 2. The findings hint that brain scans may one day help doctors detect autism in infants.

The study is small, and its findings need to be replicated before they can be used clinically. But researchers were nearly unanimous in their praise of the study’s promise for early diagnosis of autism.

“This is a game-changer for the field,” says Kevin Pelphrey, director of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the work.

The study was published today in Science Translational MedicineRead more here….

Virtual Reality a Game Changer for Psychiatry

virtual-reality-1You may be familiar with virtual reality technology from the VR goggles that are increasingly popular for entertainment and games — a headset display, stereo sound and head motion tracking provide an immersive virtual reality experience. Virtual reality technology is also used in simulators for training and it is increasingly being used to help people with mental illness. While it has been used for some time treating people with phobias, advances in technology and greater availability are facilitating expanded use in mental health treatment. Read more here…

Prenatal, Early-Life Toxin, Nutrient Exposure Tied to Autism

170601082239_1_540x360Using evidence found in baby teeth, researchers from The Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Environmental Health Sciences Laboratory and The Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai found that differences in the uptake of multiple toxic and essential elements over the second and third trimesters and early postnatal periods are associated with the risk of developing autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to a study published June 1 in the journal Nature CommunicationsRead more here….

Brain differences in ADHD


Largest imaging study of ADHD to date identifies differences in five regions of the brain, with greatest differences seen in children rather than adults.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with the delayed development of five brain regions and should be considered a brain disorder, according to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

The study is the largest to look at the brain volumes of people with ADHD, involving more than 3,200 people. The authors say the findings could help improve understanding of the disorder, and might be important in challenging beliefs that ADHD is a label for difficult children or the result of poor parenting.  Read more….

Detecting Autism in the Very Young: The Tell-Tale Signs of Babbling, Crying, and Trunk Control

download (5)Pediatricians and nurse practitioners are on the front line with their patients. The parents who come to you have the most experience with you and you have the history that will help to define whether a specialist evaluation is needed. You are crucial to this whole endeavor. We know that we track physical, motor, and language development very well in young children. What might be missing in some cases is tracking social development, particularly the subtle signs.

Parents and practitioners are good at tracking the very obvious signs of ASDs. Those include such behaviors as flapping, spinning, and flagrant disinterest in social engagement. We know that those exist and that we’re really good at picking those up. What tends to fall by the wayside are the more subtle behaviors. Our research from early detection and diagnosis of ASD has shown that tracking these behaviors leads not only to early detection, but also to early diagnosis and access to early intervention, which have very important downstream effects for global development as well as for ASDs. Read more…

Diuretic Continues to Show Promise in Autism

downloadA drug used for decades to treat high blood pressure and other conditions has shown promise in a small clinical trial for autism. The drug, bumetanide, reduced the overall severity of behavioral symptoms after 3 months of daily treatment. The researchers say that many parents of children who received the drug reported that their children were more “present” and engaged in social interactions after taking it. The new findings are among several recent signs that treatments to address the social deficits at the core of autism may be on the horizon. Read more here

Blood Test May Lead to Earlier, More Accurate Autism Diagnosis

download (2)Two metabolic biomarkers accurately predict autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children, new research shows.

A multivariate statistical analysis conducted by investigators at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, “provides unprecedented quantitative classification results” that accurately identify children with ASD and neurotypical children.

For the study, investigator Juergen Hahn, PhD, professor and head, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and colleagues measured blood concentrations of two metabolites — the folate-dependent one-carbon mechanism (FOCM) and transulfuration (TS) pathways — in 83 children with ASD, 47 siblings, and 76 age-matched neurotypical peers. The children ranged in age from 3 to 10 years.  Read more…

Autism risk linked to herpes infection during pregnancy

images (1)Women actively infected with genital herpes during early pregnancy had twice the odds of giving birth to a child later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study by scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The study is the first to provide immunological evidence on the role of gestational infection in autism, reporting an association between maternal anti-herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) antibodies and risk for ASD in offspring. Results appear in mSphere, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

“We believe the mother’s immune response to HSV-2 could be disrupting fetal central nervous system development, raising risk for autism,” says lead author Milada Mahic, a post-doctoral research scientist with the Center for Infection and Immunity and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Read more…