Rock for Autism

There is a story on the main USF website about a charity that puts on rock concerts to raise money for autism awareness. The kicker, the person that created and runs this charity is a USF freshman. You can read more about him and his work by following this link.

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The Importance of Sleep

Whats a typical day like for a parent in the Tampa Bay community? I imagine it is something like this for most of us… Wake up early so that you have plenty of time to get the kids ready for school. Make sure they are dressed and have lunches before shoving them out the door to the bus. Take the dog out, shower, grab a quick bite to eat and get ready to leave for work. In 2008 Forbes magazine pegged Tampa as having the sixth worst commute in the nation, so it is safe to assume that many of us are driving a fair distance to get to our places of work. Nine hours later we get to make that drive back home. Make sure the kids finish their homework, make dinner (hopefully not fast food again!), and do some chores around the house.

In our busy lifestyles the one thing that many of us sacrifice is sleep. I group of researchers recently released a new study in the journal Sleep that shows the consequences of not getting enough nightly rest on the academic performance of children. There study focussed on children with ADHD. They were able to determine that a loss of even an hour of sleep per night had negative effects on all of the children involved in the study, but the consequences for the students with ADHD were far worse. Follow this link to read more about their interesting work.

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Filed under ADHD, Healthy Living

Two new providers join the Neurodev team!

Our clinic is excited to welcome Child Development Specialist Dr. Carol Lilly and Clinical/School Psychologist Dr. Kathleen Armstrong. With these additions the Neurodevelopmental Medicine clinic is getting closer and closer to our goal of becoming a “one-stop shop” for children and families dealing with disabilities.

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Happy Holidays!

We hope that everybody has a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!

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How much media should your child be exposed too?

For years parents have had a difficult choice in deciding whether or not to let their young children watch television. “Are programs like “Sesame Street” and “Dora the Explorer” helping my child learn or hurting their growth because of the passive nature of watching television?” A new study conducted by the New York University School of Medicine – Bellevue Hospital Center may have paved the way to finally let us reach an answer to that question. Their study, which you can read more about here, shows that children exposed to program meant for older children or adults show “significantly lower cognitive and language development at 14 months.” The researchers did not find any significant delays in the infants studied that were only exposed to media content meant for young children. Big Bird and Diego might be considered OK for now, but more research is needed before that can be said with any certainty.

How much television do you think is appropriate for your children? Let us know in the comments section!

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Sensitive Santa

On Monday, the St. Petersburg Times ran a story about a special event for autistic kids that took place over the weekend at Westshore Mall. “Sensitive Santa” allowed children with sensory issues to enter a calm area and meet the big man free from loud music, glaring lights, and without the need to climb onto a stranger’s lap. You can read the full story here.

We will be keeping you up to date on other programs being offered to special needs families around the Tampa Bay area as they become available. Please feel free to post any family activities that you know are happening soon in the comments section of this post.

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Filed under ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Healthy Living, Parenting Tips

MRI Scans May Show Signs of Autism

Researchers from the University of Utah and Harvard have been able to use MRI scans to detect differences in the brains of people with autism and neruotypical individuals. Although these are just preliminary findings, it is extremely interesting and may one day offer parents the hope of diagnosing their children sooner.

Read the full article here!

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