Neurological & Development Disorders
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Environmental Effects on Development of Learning Disorders

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This article attempts to isolate the non-genetic variables that lead to an increased likelihood of learning differences. Obviously it is hard to do this, as genetics play a huge role in the development of these disorders. During the developmental stage, particularly the embryonic stage, we are most susceptible to the mutations that would result in these learning differences, thus fetal exposure and exposure at young ages is the most common environmental cause for development of learning differences. Exposure to toxic substances such as alcohol, lead, (methyl)mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (used in hydraulic fluids), and pesticides are most dangerous. The article goes on to discuss projects designed to combat the developmental disorders. This was published in 2001, so these projects probably already happened. They include, an ADHD study, one on pesticide exposure, and the development of a branch of the CDC to study environmental health and disease.  

 

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IEPs . Learning Disabilities . Education | PBS Parents

IEPs . Learning Disabilities . Education | PBS Parents | Neurological & Development Disorders | Scoop.it
Find answers about Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) from our panel of experts.
Leon Gilligan-Steinberg's insight:

Option Yucca: 

 

Golden Ideas: This is an article that gives an overview of IEPs and has different perspectives from multiple education experts. It boils down to the fact that these are contracts between a school and guardians that give IDEA qualified children help in school. The school, teachers and parents work together to best fulfill the plans and strategies put forth by the IEP designed by consultants. They are designed to be tools to help children with learning differences. 

 

Thorns: These are necessary because some schools do not have the flexibility and resources to accommodate students like this. Also, certain school districts are resistant to these IEPs. There aren't many points in this article that are 'thorns' as it is a piece that just gives an overview of IEPs. It is, however, quite repetitive. 

 

Questions: 

-How accessible are the assessments that lead to the IEPs being formulated?

-What are the success rates of the plans laid out by the IEPs?

-How far are the schools willign to go to assist in fulfilling the IEPs? 

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A Prevalence of Behavioral Issues in Children

A special report released in 2005 on children with behavioral issues, found that almost three million American children were reported to suffer from definite...
Leon Gilligan-Steinberg's insight:

Option Kale:

This article is nice because it concisely sums up the facts about the rising number of children diagnosed with behavioral issues. Almost three million American children have definite behavioral issues. 

Also, it discusses how the children are diagnosed.

 

It is weak because it does not give much information past the basic facts. Even though they discuss the facts, there is no interpretation on how this information affects social situations. Also, it is a video that was sponsored by a health system, so it may be slightly biased. 

 

This video could improve by providing a 'spin' on the information and interpreting the scale of the information provided. Obviously, it is a promotional video, so I guess it serves its purpose as that.

 

They discuss violent behavior in children. The diagnosis may be a bit one-sided as well. They determine their behavioral issues based on irritability, isolation and violence. I feel that there are many more symptoms that are important to recognize. 

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Social or Scientific Based Disorder?

Social or Scientific Based Disorder? | Neurological & Development Disorders | Scoop.it
Is 'sluggish cognitive tempo' a valid new childhood disorder?
The Conversation
Sociology influences medicine more than we like to admit.
Leon Gilligan-Steinberg's insight:

Option Broccoli:

 

-Researchers claim to have found a new childhood disorder call sluggish cognitive tempo disorder. This disease is characterized by drowsiness, and low energy levels. There is much debate as to whether or not this is an actual disease, or just social behavior.

-Commenters have discussed the fact that this is just a population seeing issues in children and pegging it on a developmental disorder. 

One individual said that this is just another way for people to give up control of their life and claim that their issue is just a mental disorder rather than something they have power over. 

-I think it is very interesting to see the social impact on science. As mentioned in the article, disorders such as these are diagnosed based in behavior, not facts. Thus, if there is a behavior that seems off, one may want to claim it is a scientific issue rather than how someone acts or was raised. As someone that was diagnosed with ADD, I think it is important not to act like there is nothing one can do. People cannot give up just because they were born with a disease or disorder. Obviously, this is not the easiest thing to do, but why give up rather than fight to improve? 

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Sleep Issues and Children with Developmental Disorders

Sleep Issues and Children with Developmental Disorders | Neurological & Development Disorders | Scoop.it
Information regarding affects of childhood sleep disorders on children with developmental disorders as well as the family unit.
Leon Gilligan-Steinberg's insight:

Yucca:

 

Golden Ideas:

     -Sleep issues and developmental disorders have a positive correlation. In such that their effects often augment each other. This is useful to know because often one can hit two birds with one stone. An example they gave is that by treating a child's periodic limb movement disorder, a sleep disorder, they were able to remove many symptoms of ADHD. 

     -The effects of sleep issues are not limited to the individual. They also severely impact the families of someone with a sleep issue. They can even have a noticeable impact on a community. 

Thorns:

     -There are major empty areas in our knowledge of sleep disorders. Scientists are lacking in much information about this topic. It is important to understand sleep issues because sleep deprivation has horrendously negative effects on mental and physical health (especially in children and young adults). 

     -Children with developmental disorders are much more likely to have sleep issues.

34-86% of children with intellectual disabilities49-89% of children with autistic spectrum disorders25-50% of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

     -A majority of the children suffering through sleep issues do not have treatment. A figure in the reading stated that in a study only 47% of children with sleep issues  received treatment. The number of children that got sufficient treatment is probably much lower. 

Questions: 

      -What assistance is there for children that are suffering from these sleep issues? I know certain schools have support systems for kids with learning disabilities, but do they extend to the sleep issues as well?

     -How severely do these sleep issues impact the ability to perform academically, and socially? 

     -How much of the effects of sleep issues cause those of developmental disorders?

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Sociology of Special Education

Sociology of Special Education | Neurological & Development Disorders | Scoop.it
The author widens the debate about special education by introducing sociological perspectives and considering the structural relationships that are produced both within the system and in the wider society when part of a mass education system develops separately, as ‘special’ rather than normal. She outlines the origin and development of special education, stressing the conflicts involved and the role played by vested interests, and criticizes the current rhetoric of ‘special needs’. Among the issues and dilemmas that she identifies, the problems of selection, assessment, integration and the curriculum for special schools are discussed in details, and the position of parents, pupils and teachers within the system is examined. The author gives particular attention in a separate chapter to the problems and position of ethnic minorities.
Leon Gilligan-Steinberg's insight:

KEEP THIS LINK! It's a helpful book. 

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Children and Mental Illness

Leon Gilligan-Steinberg's insight:

Option Ginger Root:

 

Know: I know that a high percentage of children suffer from mental illness.  There is a wide range of illnesses that fall under this category which all effect children in a variety of ways. These mental illnesses often have a increased effect on children because they occur during their developmental/educational stage.

 

Want: I was hoping to get a nice overview of the topic through this article. I want to learn specifics about certain illnesses. More importantly, I hope to learn how they effect children's educations, and how the environment affects the onset of these illnesses. 

 

Learn: This article was not as descriptive as I hoped. It primarily had a pithy section discussing the facts and statistics of the mental illnesses in children. Approximately 1/5 of children (9-17 years old) in the USA have a mental illness. However, only a tenth of this group are seriously affected by these disorders. This is still a significant amount of children (4 million) that have issues at school or in the home due to these illnesses. There is an increased amount of male children with these disorders than female children do. 

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Pesticide Exposure to French Youth

Pesticide Exposure to French Youth | Neurological & Development Disorders | Scoop.it
The Guardian French children exposed to dangerous cocktail of pesticides, campaigners say The Guardian In total, the laboratory found traces of 53 pesticides believed to affect hormone system of mammals, leading to cancerous tumours, birth defects,...
Leon Gilligan-Steinberg's insight:

Option Ginger Root: 

 

I currently know that the chemicals in pesticides have been linked to developmental disorders. 

Additionally, youth are especially susceptible to developing these disorders because of the pesticides. 

I also know that there is an abundant overuse of pesticides by farmers. 

 

I want to learn about what specific effects these pesticides have on the French youth. 

Also, I want to know why this problem has come around.

And, finally, I want to know what populations it affects primarily. Does it affect the low-income population or just a certain region? 

 

I learned that it the mix of pesticides can be very bad for these youth. 

These children are that get affected live in agricultural areas. They do not ingest the chemicals, but instead are physically exposed to them. 

The French Government has continuously postponed their attempts to control levels of these chemicals, which are endocrine disruptors, and pushed the deadline back by years. 

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Examining the Connection Between Chemicals and Developmental Disorders

Examining the Connection Between Chemicals and Developmental Disorders | Neurological & Development Disorders | Scoop.it
Children are being exposed to more harmful chemicals than ever before, and a Harvard study shows they are contributing to the rise in developmental problems (Harvard Links Developmental Problems To Increasing Chemical Use
Leon Gilligan-Steinberg's insight:

Yucca:

 

Golden Ideas:

-There have been studies done by the Harvard Medical School that looks at the links between the toxic chemicals and the developmental disorders children suffer from. 

-Researchers have been encouraging governments and other public services to decrease the exposition to these chemicals. It is nice that the research may have beneficial effects, and that they are promoting this action. 

 

Thorns: 

-Governments are not focusing on the chemicals. Apparently, instead of attacking the toxic chemicals, they support the companies that are major producers of these chemicals. This may be a fact that is 

-There is a rise in the prevalence of developmental disorders. In fact, 1 in 50 children in the USA are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. This is really concerning. There is debate about whether or not the outside factors are the main cause of the rise in developmental disorders. 

-The mere fact that we are exposed to, and society has allowed their children to be exposed to chemical that have such negative effects. The chemicals being tested included pesticides, industrial chemicals, etc... It seems obvious that these chemicals have negative effects; the real issue is that they are still used, and we are all exposed to them. 

 

Questions:

-Is there a correlation between socioeconomic status and exposure to the chemicals? This would mean a connection between socioeconomic status and prevalence of developmental disorders.

-Why are there not stricter enforcements on the usage of these toxic chemicals? 

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Researchers Explore the Underlying Causes of Distraction

Researchers Explore the Underlying Causes of  Distraction | Neurological & Development Disorders | Scoop.it
Two psychologists from B.C.'s Simon Fraser University say they made a discovery that could revolutionize doctors’ perception and treatment of attention-deficit disorders.
Leon Gilligan-Steinberg's insight:

 

Ginger Root:

 

1. I chose this article because:

         -It was supposed to give insight on the causes of distractions. Obviously, this would be monumental research, and it would have very positive effects. 

         -In this day and age, distraction is a omnipresent due to technological devices and the internet. It can severely impact people's studies, but can also be quite fatal in other situations (i.e. driving). 

 

2. I want to learn more about: 

         -The scientific causes of distraction.

I am hoping to be able to read in in depth description of the neurological factors that contribute to distraction.

          -How this information can be used in order to help people. It is possible that they can narrow down their research in order to isolate a single area of the brain that plays a pivotal part in avoiding distraction. If so, scientists may be possible to recognize if it is not functioning properly in individuals, and help them fix their problems. 

 

3. I learned:

         -In order to avoid distraction, our brains must actually work to suppress other information. It is an active process. This is important because (apparently), this is new information; it is another piece in the puzzle to understanding distraction.

         -Sadly, I did not learn as much as I wanted to about how it will approach the problem. They said it can help progress treatment of attention-deficit disorders, but did not give any insight into how. 

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