Richard asked about his nearly 5 year old son's poor fine motor skills and its impact on his performance in kindergarten. I recommended a pediatric (works with kids) occupational therapist (OT) and to explore a company called Therapro. They have tons of occupational therapy support tools, but you might want to wait to get recommendations from the OT first.
They have pencil grips and specialized writing paper to train the writer with dysgraphia or just weaker fine motor skills.
I especially like "raised line" writing papers such as Smart Start and Right Line. When you go to these sites, you may see other options. It's expensive, so if you see a sample pack, go for it. If you don't see a sample pack, call and see if you can get a few sheets to test out with your little one. It doesn't hurt to ask! They can only say, "NO!", they're not allowed to punch you in the nose just for asking!
I also addressed the "emerging" uses of vape pens in terms of marijuana. Weed is now being smoked in the vape pens and medical researchers have no idea "what" this is going to lead to.
Some of the data about this dynamic include the following which I did not have a chance to cover in the discussion.
- The Food and Drug Administration is finally getting off its duff and is looking to stopping sales of flavored e-cigarettes if the major manufacturers can’t prove they aren’t pushing these products to children and teens. [We know they are! What's the point in threatening?]
- Between the vaping research and the ongoing studies about vaping, the information is coming out faster than we can make sense of it, but there are a few studies that caught my eye.
- We’re in a better position now to study the effects of weed because it is either legal or has been decriminalized in many states, so people are more willing to accurately report their habits and they’re willing to participate in studies.
- 70,000 people studied by the University of California at San Francisco revealed that those who vaped, in an attempt to stop smoking tobacco, also continued to smoke cigarettes. The risk for a heart attack from smoking both products is five times greater than a non-smoker if both are used on a daily basis.
- The odds of having a heart attack is basically the same for cigarettes and e-devices when used separately.
- So, if you want to avoid a heart attack and you think it’s a good idea to switch to vaping, it isn’t.
- And now, we’re learning that weed causes more damage to a developing brain than drinking booze.
- The American Journal of Psychiatry found that weed has greater short- and long-term consequences than alcohol when measuring four important aspects of teenagers’ thinking and memory skills.
- Weed had “significant” effects on problem-solving, long-term memory, short-term memory and manipulation of information and the ability to stop a behavior when needed.
- Some of the effects were short-term and others, more lasting.
- It’s tough to say what will happen to the brain on a case-by-case basis.
- Let me just say that all of these skills come from an area of the brain known as the pre-frontal cortex which is directly behind the forehead.
- Executive functioning skills involve planning, organizing, sequencing, predicting, regulating emotions so that you stay on an even keel, organizing materials, starting tasks, finishing tasks, shifting gears, cause-and-effect, you get the idea.
- All of these skills are necessary to become self-sufficient, satisfied adults.
- About 4000 kids were studied over the course of 4 years and there was a steady decline across the years.
- Now, it may be the case that alcohol may have a greater impact as the kids drink more later in life, but since kids seem to be making a shift away from alcohol toward weed, it’s important to study the impact of cannabis.
- Of greatest concern to the researchers was that the younger users had long-term damage to the part of the brain associated with substance abuse suggesting they were vulnerable to escalate their use and perhaps expand to other substances.
- Their behavior indicated difficulty with changing their actions in order to meet a goal which is definitely an executive functioning skill.
- I mention these two problems with both vaping and weed to point out that by taking your son’s behavior seriously, you’re protecting his long-term health and adjustment to adulthood.
- None of this information is going to change his behavior, but it may influence yours.
- You are the person to help him to change his behavior. Your primary job in life is to keep him alive.
- Work hard to convince him that becoming angry and punitive will not move the family forward in helping his son learn to make healthy decisions for himself.
- Hotel Transylvania: The Series
- Coco (Day of the Dead from the Mexican culture)
- The Hollow (like "Lost" for tweenagers)
- Mostly Ghostly (from the R. L. Stine book) is just right for middle schoolers and there's a sequel called "Mostly Ghostly: One Night in Doom House"
- Marvel's Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell has dark imagery and fight scenes may make it more suited to the 10+ crowd.
- Spooky Buddies is G rated, so you're good to go. Perfect for the kid who LOVES dogs! Talking group of real Golden Retriever puppies trying to solve a mystery in a haunted house.
- Ghost Patrol is animated. A Halloween adventure for those who just might not be able to sit through a full-length, feature film. 47 minutes long! Previously aired on Disney.
- Monster High film series. There are 14 movies from this animated series so, BINGE! For kids 8+
- A Series of Unfortunate Events has two streaming seasons already up and going, so there's lots to enjoy here. Probably best for tweens because the subject matter is Tim Burton-esque and can be rather grim.
- A Witches Ball is Harry Potter-like and is advertised as "shouldn't scare kids of any age". The main theme is of novice witches at a "Hogwarts-like" school preparing for the annual Witches' Ball.
The Etsy site has other Harry Potter offerings. Have fun and explore!
Check out what you need to know about acute flaccid myelitis which is a polio-type condition.
This isn't going to get any better until the scientists figure out "what" is causing it and develop a vaccine because there is no cure, just like polio.
Be informed so you can talk with your doctor.
We're more familiar with it becoming cervical cancer, but that's not the end of the horror story. Men, in particular, are developing oral cancers at an astonishing rate.
So, if you want to avoid cervical cancer and cancers of the lips, tongue, salivary glands (they're a big deal!), esophagus, tonsils or other sensitive areas, get the vaccine.
Seriously? We have a vaccine for cancer and you won't take the time to get it? Check out the summary of it here.
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