The first is an article on how MRIs are being used to diagnose children with autism. In working with many children with autism and their families over the years, I can definitely see the use of MRIs for early detection thus leading to earlier treatment and better outcomes. I know a number of families who did not receive treatment for their child for years because a pediatrician told them their child was just a bit delayed and it was nothing to worry about. However, I do worry about the effect of an autism diagnosis on a family when it leads to parents and caregivers lowering expectations for a child. This particularly concerns me because I see so many infants and toddlers with autistic-like symptoms who never need a true diagnosis beyond a developmental delay because, when given intense early intervention, they can completely reverse these symptoms and become typically functioning, bright and engaging children. The most important part of this early intervention is coaching parents on how to address and treat the individual needs of their children.
Ah...I digress... Here's the article so you can form your own opinions:
The second link comes from a mom with a son that has severe food allergies. I've read a few articles on how children that have food allergies can be bullied in school because of it. This article just provides some research, but two things are really troubling to me - 1) Children are bullying by throwing the allergen or touching the child with it. Some kids even reported having their food contaminated. Many of these children could die from exposure. Super scary. 2) Teachers are doing the bullying. ?? Really??!! Come on.
The third link is to a blog that a good friend turned me on to. Meal times can be such a struggle. Here is one mom's way of combating it by serving lunch in muffin tins and making bento boxes for her kids. She goes a little overboard on the artistic end, but much of is easily reproduced in your kitchen and embraces the spirit of "play." The novelty of it may even get your child to eat some veggies.