Posts Tagged ‘behavior problems’

More resources for meltdowns

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

child having a meltdownMany parents commented on last week’s post about avoiding and handling tantrums and meltdowns in children. This week, I am referring you to a couple of sites for more info, both for young children and for older kids, too. I think you will find the information to be unique to children with special needs as their tantrums or meltdowns are usually related in some way to their underlying disorder. For example, a child with sensory issues may find getting dressed in the morning to be an uncomfortable experience (at best), which then triggers a meltdown. Likewise, the child with a math learning disability may find the very sight of a math text book extremely anxiety provoking. In other words, usually the behavioral outburst is related to the child’s delay or disability in some way. The key is to fully understand your child’s diagnosis and learn the triggers that will bring on a meltdown or tantrum.

Here is a good fact sheet which may help parents who have kids with a developmental delay or a disability.  NCLD offers info on how various learning disabilities or other diagnoses can affect behavior. I’ve even seen tantrum tracker apps which allow you to identify and track your child’s triggers and establish rewards for appropriate behaviors.

I hope one of these resources will help you to help your child. And remember, you are not alone!

Note:  This post is part of the weekly series Delays and disabilities – how to get help for your child. It was started in January 2013 and appears every Wednesday. While on News Moms Need and click on “Help for your child” in the Categories menu on the right side to view all of the blog posts to date (just keep scrolling down). We welcome your comments and input. If you have questions, please send them to AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Alcohol during pregnancy and FASDs

Friday, September 7th, 2012

pregnant-bellySeptember 9 is International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) Awareness Day. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause FASDs, which include a wide range of physical and mental disabilities and lasting emotional and behavioral problems in a child.

When you drink alcohol during pregnancy, so does your baby. The same amount of alcohol that is in your blood is also in your baby’s blood. The alcohol in your blood quickly passes through the placenta and to your baby through the umbilical cord.

Although your body is able to manage alcohol in your blood, your baby’s little body isn’t. Your liver works hard to break down the alcohol in your blood. But your baby’s liver is too small to do the same and alcohol can hurt your baby’s development. That’s why alcohol is much more harmful to your baby than to you during pregnancy. No amount of alcohol (one glass of wine, a beer…) is proven safe to drink during pregnancy.

Alcohol can lead your baby to have serious health conditions, FASDs. The most serious of these is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Fetal alcohol syndrome can seriously harm your baby’s development, both mentally and physically.  Alcohol can also cause your baby to:
• Have birth defects (heart, brain and other organs)
• Vision or hearing problems
• Be born too soon (preterm)
• Be born at low birthweight
• Have learning disabilities (including intellectual disabilities)
• Have sleeping and sucking problems
• Have speech and language delays
• Have behavioral problems

In order to continue raising awareness about alcohol use during pregnancy and FASDs, the CDC has posted a feature telling one woman’s story and her challenges with her son who has FASD. It’s an eye opener. The CDC’s FASD website has lots more information, too.

Cell phones – bad for baby?

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

cell-phonePeriodically we hear concern about the impact that radiation from cell phones may have on our health. There are a few conflicting studies and the bottom line is we don’t know much.

A study from Denmark published in 2008 showed an association between prenatal and (to a lesser extent) postnatal exposure to cell phones and behavioral problems in children aged 7 years.  The percentage of children with related behavioral problems, though, was small.

And now a recently released study in Spain showed only small differences in the neurodevelopment scores of children exposed to cell phones while still in the womb. The babies exposed to cell phones had higher mental development scores and lower psychomotor development scores (muscular activity associated with mental thought).  The conclusion of this study is that there is not much evidence that a pregnant woman using her cell phone will have a negative effect on the early nervous system development of her baby.

So, it remains unclear whether there is any adverse effect of prenatal exposure to cell phones on fetal development and children’s behavior. With the rapidly increasing use of cell phones in adults and even young children, it is important for additional studies to determine the possible effects of cell phone use. Studies need to examine the higher exposures received by the child’s brain compared with the adult brain; and the vulnerability of the developing central nervous system into the teen years.

In the meantime, pregnant women can limit their cell phone use and parents can limit their children’s cell phone use as well as avoid talking on a cell phone when a child is around until more studies can be done.