Sunday, June 24, 2007

Maybe This Explains Why He Hated Infant Swim Lessons...

My oldest son hated, HATED, swim lessons. Our playgroup playfully signed up our then 5-9 month olds for mommy & kid swim lessons, and we were so excited. Flash forward to the first day, when my son screamed (SCREAMED) for what seemed like forever. Two lessons deep, this hadn't changed. We were outta there.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has long recommended against infant swimming lessons due to the false sense of safety that this practice gives regarding the risk of drowning. Now a new study may add another reason to avoid infant swim lessons. “Infant Swimming Practice, Pulmonary Epithelium Integrity, and Risk of Allergic and Respiratory Diseases Later in Childhood,” examined the role indoor chlorinated pools play in the development of asthma and reduced lung function. The study, conducted in Belgium, found that trichloramine – a chlorine byproduct that gives indoor pools their distinctive “chlorine” smell – is one of the most concentrated air pollutants to which children of developed countries are regularly exposed. The study asserts that this pollutant along with other aerosolized chlorine-based oxidants can be associated with airway changes that predispose children to asthma and recurrent bronchitis later in childhood. They encourage more study and possible regulation of the air quality in the indoor pool environment.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Like a Hole in My Head...

... did I need to find one more time sucking site to peruse. But here it is, fellow Hollywood trashers, enjoy. (The Justin and Cameron dialog being particularly hilarious!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wrong, wrong, wrong

As someone who recently has given up "CSI: Miami" due to how graphic it's become, this is just too much. (A rare case of a "Daily Candy" recommendation gone horribly wrong.)

Budding Author, Proud Mom

NEWS FLASH EDIT -- Sunday, June 17th.

My son didn't write this. Neither did his classmate. It was something they studied for poetry class! Sorry about that! K

Original Post:

From my kindergartner's end of the year writing binder:


Did you hear the storm last night?
I did with my eyes shut tight.

And when the clouds were shifting gears,
Suddenly, I grabbed my ears.

Today, the sun is shining bright!
I'm never scared by storms at night!

(Mom's note: I laughed especially at how hard he's convincing himself on those last two lines, and at his handwritten note at the end stating, "By {me}, Not {her}!!" She is a 1st grader - now 2nd - and he's the only K5'er - now 1st grade. So there's lots of together time, for good and frustrating! Often they interact like siblings...)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Good Labels

I just read this and it really gets me going.

I have two sons who have, at different stages, been diagnosed with sensory integration dysfunction (SID). Some medical doctors (including the ones who first evaluated my eldest) don't even believe SID exists. Suffice to say, it's on the autism spectrum, which includes everything from autism as most of us understand it, to Asperger's syndrome, to Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and so on.

Is Jett Travolta autistic? I certainly have no clue. That he is a celebrity's child puts him under the crosshairs my kids won't ever have to endure. But the notion, whether true or embellished, that he is being denied intervention(s) that could help him, is really troubling to me. I worry more about that than whether it's because his parents are famous, or because they are Scientologists.

I attended a seminar recently where a clinical researcher stated that, in my state, the average age that a child with autism is diagnosed is four and a half years old. It boggled my mind. Knowing about the golden "birth to 3" window, how can it possibly be that we are missing the signs? Those are the kids being evaluated by private doctors. If you are relying on your public school to identify autism, add another year and a half. That's 6 years old, twice as old as the experts recommend in terms of early intervention.

This is a struggle I have had for some time now. I remember when my eldest began speech and occupational therapy, and several people warned me, "You don't want him labeled as a special ed kid." Huh? Deny my child what he needed to progress, because of vanity or some pretense that he didn't need anything? Fast forward to another conversation I had with a former Catholic school teacher, whose son has the same issues. She did not reveal any of her son's issues on his application to (parochial) school, because she said that she knew how those kids were treated, and she didn't want her son to fall into that category. Why would you put those teachers, much less the child, in a situation where everyone is pretending there are no learning issues?

I am lucky. Both my sons function in the "real world" relatively seamlessly. But even so, I'm not hesitant to acknowledge the issues they went through, even if it's been a blip on the longer term radar screen. And at a minimum, we have availed them to every possible avenue of help.

I am also lucky because, as fate would have it, I happened to collide with parents and therapists about the same time as I began to sense something was amiss with my child. So the whole notion of interventions was a lot less foreign and scary, though I've lost a lot of sleep over the years about where we'd end up.

Labels or not, I can't help but advocate that children be given every opportunity to rise above developmental hurdles. Sure, most of this was not on the radar of my own parents -- but neither was cessation of smoking and drinking during pregnancy, benefits of breastfeeding, and use of carseats. Would we really go back to a time where we simply called kids "quirky" and hoped they fit in at some point?