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What is Childhood Development Screening?

What is Childhood Development Screening?

Development screening is a procedure used to identify children of all ages who may show signs of developmental delays. These screenings can allow for earlier detection and intervention for developmentally delayed children. This can improve the health and well being of the child. The earlier the detection the better the outcome for all those involved. There are many opportunities for those children identified with behavioral and/or developmental delays.

In the United States about 17 percent of children have some sort of development or behavioral delay. Less than 50 percent of these children are identified before they begin school. These missed opportunities can cause significant delays and can impact school readiness. Examples of developmental or behavioral disabilities that are screened for include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and intellectual disabilities. Studies have shown that early detection of all these disorders can benefit greatly from early detection.

Development screenings can be done by various healthcare professionals. They can be done by your healthcare provider at the well child visits done in infancy and toddlerhood. Infants and toddlers between the ages of 0-3 should be monitored for development by a primary care health professional. Early intervention has been shown to provide the best results so emphasis is placed on early identification and treatment. Parents look to their healthcare provider for information and guidance although about 65 percent of pediatricians feel inadequately trained to access developmental status in their patients.

Early identification and intervention for children with developmental delays is mandated by law. States are required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to provide early identification and provide services to infants and toddlers. They are mandated to identify developmental delays, establish conditions associated with the delays and identify children at risk for developmental delays. States are also mandated to refer children, free of charge, for comprehensive evaluation by a team of professionals who then, with the family, develops an individualized plan of services. The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center lists early intervention programs by states along with contact information.

Screening tools are not designed to provide a specific diagnosis. A positive screening should be followed up with a more thorough assessment by a specialized professional. Screening tools can be specific for a certain type of disability or a more generalized assessment. If you know what specific type of delay or condition you are looking for it makes it easier to choose the correct healthcare professional to administer the developmental screening.…

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10 Habits of Highly Successful Mothers

“Success” is an ambiguous term to me. How does one measure success? How does one define it? Is success how much money we have in our bank account? Is it how much we have accomplished in our professional life? Perhaps success is the amount of education we earned? Or maybe success is how bright our future paths are…Being first and foremost a mother (in addition to the others duties of my life), the concept of success is one I measure (most of the time), by the happiness and achievements of my children and husband, rather than myself. Looking at success through this lens can be a slippery slope; what if, perhaps, one’s child goes through a naughty phase- does this make the mother unsuccessful? I think not.
But, when your primary energy, time and commitment are targeted toward the health and well-being of those around you, measuring yourself to their achievement is inevitable. I carefully study successful people. Women who are able to achieve motherly success (i.e. their children are super in school, sports, arts and wonderfully behaved), in addition to professional success and marital success are truly captivating to me. I wonder what they think when they meet me, “This woman is does she keep asking me questions….” Well, I am trying to learn learn learn. I love to listen to the little gold nuggets that people do not even know they possess. Little do they know that I grab each little nugget and keep it to review later…(Is that creepy?)
These are the top 10 Little Gold Nuggets of Success which I have carefully extracted from women all over the country:
1. Efficiency is key
There are only 24 hours in the day for all of us. So how is it that some people simply get more done than others? They don’t waste time doing things that someone else can do. When it’s appropriate and the budget allows for it, bring in the reinforcements to do your mundane tasks to give you more time. Successful women schedule carefully and say no to anything that doesn’t work in the schedule.
2. Plan Long-term
Successful women anticipate the needs of the children, their husbands, their jobs, and the school picnic. The most successful women I know have their calendars mapped out for the year.
3. Don’t sweat the drama
There is one thing that women from all generations and all parts of the world share, and that is drama. Sensitivity to everything that is said, goes on, and transpires will ruin even the most focused woman. Do not get involved in nonsense. (I even go so far as to avoid news during the workday so I am not distracted by natural disaster.)
4. Keep the children on the forefront
You can be wildly successful with your career, but if you come home to a crying child because you were the only mother who didn’t come for the Mother’s Day Music Show you have had it. Staying on top of your child’s basic needs and even the most trivial event is important. Schedule time with your child if you must. Create a day a week that is for your children and only them. Carve out time every day to spend real one-on-one time with them. Being in the same room doesn’t count!
5. Stay connected to your husband
If your marriage fails, your children’s life will fall apart. Period. End of story. I’m not suggesting that you can’t piece it back together again but it will take time and healing. Prevent it by staying focused on being connected to your spouse.
6. Don’t overspend, overeat, overdrink
Keep a check on health, on your spending, on your social life. Inventory it weekly. If life spirals out of control in one of these areas, your entire life will suffer.
7. Commit
When your child is on a basketball team and wants to stay home to play with his friends, tell him no and remind him of his commitment to his team. He can play with his friends when he gets home. Committing and staying committed is a key strength to anyone who is successful at anything. Success takes hard work, which can only be achieved through commitment.
8. Say No
People who say yes to everything create an impossible scenario for success. Do not volunteer to be the homeroom mom if you are working 60 hours a week; you will be unsuccessful at work, home and school. People who recognize when they are maxed out are always appreciated for their gracious “no I’m sorry I am over committed” statement. It’s a gift to everyone around you when you say no, and bow out.
9. Baby Steps
Every major achievement is preceded by a series of very small achievements. You cannot achieve success without …

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Happy Family

How Important Is Mom?

This morning one of my best friends was doing a fundraiser at our kids’ school which means she spent the whole weekend getting ready and got up this morning really early so everything would be set by the time the kids start arriving to school. She didn’t want her kids to wake up so early so she decided to leave them home with the hubby so he would bring them at a later time. Well that’s how she realized how much she is needed at home.
Even though she left their clothes ready, they wore something else; the little girl naturally had to brush her hair by herself and hey I’m talking about one of the nicest and greatest dads you can ever meet (if you haven’t met my husband first, of course…)
But the point is how ready our spouses are to do everything by themselves when or if we are not there? Especially if there are kids involved. Well mine says that won’t happen, he prefers to be the first one to go; before me he means, because he will never be ready to embark on the ‘do it all mommy adventure’. And I believe it! Yeah, Moms rule!
Moms multitask more at home or outside than Dads. Think about all the things you can accomplish in any given day; our jobs, groceries, dry cleaners, full time drivers to school, kids’ Dr. appointments, extracurricular activities, help them with homework, projects, don’t forget ‘Mommy I need this and that’ and at the same time take care of dinner, laundry, just to mention a few, I bet you can say more than that. Therefore, have you ever tried to swap each other’s daily routine for one day? From the outside it looks like men work extensively and harder than women but when they have to ‘walk in our shoes’… Oh No, no can’t do. As I always say of course there is an exception to every rule but if there is, it will probably be a very rare one.
After all said and done, I guess we are born to be strong, patient, creative, caring, energetic and any other positive adjective you could think of… but at the same time we can’t stop appreciating how good, helpful and supportive our other halves can be.
Thank you to all the great dads, wonderful moms and lovely kids out there that constitutes the perfect happy family!…

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Highway Hosts: Keeping America Fat

Highway Hosts: Keeping America Fat

Have you traveled lately on an interstate highway? Did you stop at one of the myriad gas stations with convenience stores or one of the highway chain restaurants?

Many of your fellow travelers, maybe not you, exhibit a similar characteristic. They are large people, wide more than tall.

That our First Lady wants to conquer childhood obesity seems to prove the point. America has become a nation of fatties.

The restaurants along the highways contribute to this condition. They are carbohydrate havens.

You don’t have that many choices. If not a fast food establishment famous for its burgers, it is likely a restaurant serving a plethora of taste-good, stick-to-the-ribs belly-expanding food.

Consider the menu at Highway Hosts. Their all-day breakfast specialties feature a week’s worth of carbs in a single sitting. Biscuits and gravy. Pancakes and syrup. Waffles and syrup. Potatoes in six different varieties, many of them fried. Fresh creamery butter on everything. Corn bread and toast and muffins and more biscuits. Makes you hungry, doesn’t it?

No wonder Americans have become unreasonably fat. Going on a road trip can become a culinary disaster and a challenge to your health. You eat those carbs. Then you sit motionless in a car for three hours until you stop again for gasoline and another dose of carbohydrates. Whew!

What are we going to do about it? The military recently announced that 27% of prospective soldiers get rejected because they are too heavy. These are young people.

Consider the increase in the numbers of people with Type II diabetes.

We Americans need to begin to act for ourselves. We must limit what we eat when we travel on the highways. Actually when we stay at home too. We need to reduce our carbohydrate intake. A healthier way of eating must begin at home as well as when we travel.

When you travel by automobile, why not pack a picnic lunch? Select tasty non-fattening foods. Remember your inactivity in the car. Think thin as you pack your foods or sandwiches. Nuts, fresh fruit, cut vegetables all curb the appetite without doing doughy damage. Canned vegetable or tomato juice proves very satisfying. It taste good, provides energy and somewhat eliminates or postpones the need to eat.

At home, read those labels. Buy those veggies. No matter how good our American healthcare, we must do our part.

Maybe Highway Hosts can help us out by serving more vegetables and fewer carbohydrates. Little packages of carrots and celery sticks. Fresh fruit. Fresh unsalted nuts. That’s the way to become a better corporate citizen. They can sell these snacks in their stores.

Healthier, thinner people will live longer. Loyalty from customers with increased longevity will result in more years of business. Something to think about, Highway Hosts.…

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General Article

Memory of Place – Understanding the Person Place Connection

Memory of Place – Understanding the Person Place Connection

Have you ever walked into a person’s home and felt uncomfortable? Like there was something you couldn’t quite put your finger on or even acknowledge in a rational sense? On the other hand, have you ever walked into a place and felt totally at ease, as though almost every detail, down to the smell, made you feel welcome?

Close your eyes, think back to your childhood home, the first place you lived and were aware of your surroundings. Was it a “Miami Beach Modern” clean-lined concrete structure or a “Northwest Craftsman Bungalow” with clapboard siding? Was there a high flat ceiling or were there exposed beams and a pitched roof? How big were the windows? How bright and airy or cozy and enclosed was the living room? Did it have a fireplace?

Now, imagine the home of your dreams. How many features from your childhood home are mirrored in your home of the future? Or even in the home you currently inhabit? This will depend greatly on whether the childhood memories of your home are happy ones.

My big white childhood home in Portland, Oregon had a fireplace where we eagerly hung our stockings each year at Christmas. There was a special corner right next to the hearth for our gift laden Christmas tree. The house had large picture windows that allowed plenty of light and gave us a postcard view of each changing season. Its wide Craftsman-style front porch with stout brick columns welcomed us home from school each day. I can remember feeling safe and secure there.

As an adult, I’ve always been drawn back to neighborhoods like the one I grew up in with its mix of styles and sizes. One such place was Pasadena, California with its Craftsman jewels; the other is in College Park, Florida with its m?�lange of big and small bungalows, revival style cottages and tree-lined streets. For what seems to be an inexplicable reason, these places make me feel like I’m home, like I belong. The reality is we all respond to our memory of place. Those happy childhood thoughts and feelings are forever attached to the place where we first felt them, and our internal subconscious desire is to replicate them.

Now that you’ve been transported to your childhood memories of place, let’s visualize another scenario. Imagine yourself living in just one room, performing every daily task − sleeping, cooking, eating, reading, watching television, making love and raising children – inside only four walls. Just the thought of it makes you cringe. How much we have evolved since the days when homo-sapiens first became cave-dwellers and many of those activities were commonplace!

Just as we have an affective connection to our childhood home, so does our brain have an ancient memory of place embedded deep inside our human response system. The ancient Chinese, grounded in the knowledge that created the Feng Shui philosophy, understood our primal connection to place. How each activity performed within our “cave” was connected to a hierarchy of safety or honor. An example of this is the fight-or-flight response which makes us feel safer when we have a solid wall behind us or as the saying goes “when someone’s got our back”. As a result of this knowledge, they created a road map called the Bagua. This is the starting point from which we can experience our homes, just like taking a journey.…

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Love, Faith and Understanding – A Baby Boomer’s View of Childhood

Love, Faith and Understanding – A Baby Boomer’s View of Childhood

Do you remember the gentle times of childhood where time had no meaning except that you had to be in the house by the time the streetlights were on?; Where summer meant no shoes, being in the sun all day and family trips to the beach? Do you remember running through the sprinklers with the neighborhood kids and not caring that your hair was a tangled mess?

Or what about the night the Comet flew by and you and your whole family laid on the top of the old Chevy and watched the sky for hours?; Or going to sleep in your PJ’s at the drive-in. These are truly the memories a happy childhood is made from.

This windy, brisk weather brought fond memories today of my Dad, Mom and siblings flying kites in the park, or at the end of our cul-de-sac. Always a diamond shaped kite, and we made the tail really long with old sheets ripped into strips, that Mom kept just for that occasion.

Dad would hold it up and we would run fast with the string holder. Then he would run up and show us how to let out the string, a little at a time, gently so the kite would finally catch the wind and nose its way upwards. Then, oh the joy! to watch its exciting dips and flips in the clouds! It was always sad to see it come down, and crash to the earth; But by then we were on to more kiddie things, like the absolute joy of riding down the big grass hills on a big piece of cardboard. You felt like you were really going fast, until your brother went flying by you. Inevitably, you’d crash at the bottom, and then the big trudge uphill to do it all over again!

But I think swinging on the swing was my most favorite thing. The feeling of weightlessness, of touching the sky with your toes outstretched as you climbed higher and higher into the pure joy of being in flight, the wind breezing through your hair and the sun kissing your arms and face.

There are many memories we hold dear of the innocence of childhood. How lucky are we to be the ones who had parents who understood the importance of child-play and family; of learning life’s lessons in a safe environment, with love, faith and understanding.…

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A Strategy to Transform Your Stepfamily in 30 Days

Blended and step families have more than their share of challenges; to stepparents and stepchildren alike, it seems that conflict and negativity are built in. What if I told you that I have a magic formula guaranteed to transform your family in 30 days to experiencing greater harmony and happiness? Well, I do! It’s called appreciation, and when practiced regularly and properly, it can work miracles.
There is a fairly new branch in the field of psychology called Positive Psychology. After more than a century of focus on the effects of trauma and negative experiences on personality and behavior, Positive Psychology turns it all around and instead focuses on what is right. There have now been scores of studies showing the profound effects of positive interactions on productivity, health and happiness. And on cooperation, I might add – a quality in high demand for stepfamilies!
Dr. Don Clifton, who has been dubbed the “father of Positive Psychology” had an extremely simple and powerful model for working with appreciation and recognition, which is described in his book “How Full is Your Bucket?”. He uses a metaphor that’s easy to visualize: each of us has an invisible bucket inside. When the bucket is full (of positive feelings), we feel great; we’re happy, generous, productive and feel connected. When the bucket is empty, we feel awful – our energy is sapped, productivity is lowered and we feel isolated from others. Each of us also has a dipper – we can use the dipper to dip out from others’ buckets (leaving us both in a more negative state), or to dip into others’ buckets, filling them with more positivity. When we fill others’ buckets, a funny thing happens – it fills our own bucket to overflowing.
This may seem overly simplistic, and it is basic – yet powerful. There are hundreds of turning points in a single day; even in mundane situations there is generally a positive or negative charge. And it’s all cumulative: the more negative interactions we have, the more our happiness is eroded. The more positive interactions, the greater our well-being. All of us need recognition, and we don’t get enough. Dr. Gottman, famous for his ability to predict marital success on the basis of the ratio of positive to negative interactions, has found that the “magic” ratio is 5 to 1. Married couples that have at or near that level of positive to negative interactions are highly likely to succeed – when the ratio goes toward 1 to 1, the chances of divorce skyrocket.
Think about your interactions with your spouse, your children, and stepchildren. We are often so focused on “fixing what’s wrong” that our attention, and conversations, tend to be fixated on the negative (“you’re making us late!”, “you didn’t pick up your towel”, “why weren’t you back home when you said you’d be?”, etc. etc. etc.) The world we live in is already a pretty negative place; each of us, including our children, tend to get “beat up” regularly. So why add to the demoralization, when we have a much better chance of getting our children’s cooperation by letting them know we care about them, and believe in them? Think of how you’d feel if someone were watching over you, waiting for you do do something wrong and then make note of it.
Whatever we focus on grows: when we begin to take notice instead of what’s right (even small, insignificant behaviors – “thanks for helping your sister with her backpack”, “I was happy to see you started your homework without being reminded”, “it makes me happy to see you smiling”, etc.) we start to get more positive behaviors. Both positivity and negativity are very contagious.
Here are a few tips for you to begin a practice of appreciation that will begin to change your family dramatically. I highly suggest keeping track of your efforts for 30 days, the time it takes to develop a new habit – it’s the regularity that produces miraculous results.
You must have a plan to make it a reality!
1. Focus on any positive behavior you see occurring, and express your appreciation in a specific way. Focus on progress, not perfection.
2. Be quick to notice small accomplishments, and focus on effort rather than outcome.
Focus on each child’s strengths and refrain from giving recognition that compares them to one another (the last thing you want to increase in a stepfamily is rivalry!)
3. Notice the first thing that comes out of your mouth: is it positive or negative? Are you providing a welcoming environment for the members of your family?
Prevent “bucket-dipping”. Ask yourself throughout the day: am I adding to or taking from that person’s bucket? Use a PAUSE button when you catch yourself “dipping”- and find something to …