What is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or autism, is a developmental disability that can cause significant communication, communication, and behavioral challenges. The thinking, learning, and problem-solving abilities of individuals with autism can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some individuals with autism need only a bit of help in their daily lives; others need more. While there's no cure for autism, early treatment can make a big difference in the lives of many children.
ASD is the fastest growing serious, developmental disability, affecting an estimated one out of 59 kids in America. Autism begins in early childhood and eventually causes problems functioning in society — at work, in school, and socially, for example. Often kids show symptoms of autism within the first year. Autism impacts how people perceive and socialize with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication.
Autism can look different in different people. Kids with autism have a hard time interacting with others. Social skills difficulties are some of the most common signs. A child with ASD might want to have close relationships but not know how. Most have some problems with communication. Kids with ASD also act in ways that seem unusual. Examples of this can include repetitive behaviors like jumping, hand-flapping, constant moving, fixations on certain objects, fussy eating habits, impulsiveness, and aggressive behavior.
The exact cause of ASD is not known, but it's believed that genetic and environmental factors are involved. Research shows that ASD tends to run in families. Changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child with develop autism. Research also shows that certain environmental influences may increase autism risk in people who are genetically predisposed to the disorder. Researchers are exploring whether certain factors such as medications, viral infections, or complications during pregnancy play a role in triggering ASD.
Treatment options may include nutritional therapy, physical therapy, behavior and communication therapies, educational therapies, family therapies, and medications. No medication can improve the core signs of ASD, but specific medications can help control symptoms. For example, antipsychotic drugs are sometimes used to treat severe behavioral problems; certain medications may be prescribed if your child is hyperactive; and antidepressants may be prescribed for anxiety.
Autism can impact your child's quality of life. If you think your child may have autism, find a pediatrician near you and schedule a consultation. Proper diagnosis and treatment of autism can help your child live a happier, more successful life. The earlier children with autism get help, the greater their chance of treatment success.
Why Proper Nutrition is Important
As a parent, it goes without saying that you want what is best for your child. Making sure that your little ones grow up healthy, happy, and prepared for the future is often one of the most difficult, yet regarding, tasks in all of parenthood. This all-important mission to provide a great life for your child encompasses a number of different factors, including one which is the subject of this article: nutrition.
According to recent reports from the CDC, one in five school children within the United States qualify as obese. This epidemic of unhealthy living inevitably creates a number of ill effects in the children who suffer from the condition. Read on to learn how proper nutrition can keep your child at a healthy weight and avoid the consequences of obesity.
Why Obesity Must Be Avoided
Before we examine the intricacies of proper nutrition, it is important that we look at why being overweight/obese is to be avoided:
Onset of chronic diseases: Although they are more often diagnosed in adults, conditions such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes have been increasingly seen in younger children, largely because of poor eating habits.
Childhood habits traverse into adulthood: Humans tend to be creatures of habit, and accordingly, we largely carry childhood tendencies into our adult lives. For this reason, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the National Institute for Health Research has found that “55% of obese children go on to be obese in adolescence, around 80% of obese adolescents will still be obese in adulthood and around 70% will be obese over age 30.”
Obesity shortens life: The National Institute of Health has found that obesity has the possibility of shortening life spans by up to fourteen years, and with the established link between childhood and adulthood obesity, it’s essential to promote healthy
Other Benefits of Proper Nutrition
The most obvious benefit of providing proper nutrition for your child is that they are then much more likely to maintain a healthy weight, and thus avoid all of the dangers associated with obesity. In addition to escaping the clutches of type 2 diabetes and a shortened life expectancy, your little one will also feel the immediate advantage of higher physical energy levels and increased brain activity. These boosts to your child’s wellbeing can be attributed to an increased bloodflow throughout the body, allowing them to not only stay healthier, but feel happier as well!
If you need help with getting your child on the path of proper nutrition, contact your local pediatrician today—we’re here to help!
You've about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. You wonder if your child is showing signs of this brain-based disorder. Is he just bratty and disruptive, or is something amiss? At Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg, your children's doctor, Dr. Farnoush Jamali, helps families decipher the complexities of an ADHD diagnosis, getting children the help they need to function at their very best.
What is ADHD and its symptoms?
ADHD is a developmental and behavioral disorder based in the brain. In other words, children, teens, and adults with this condition have brain functions and structures different from individuals who do not. In fact, a test called a functional MRI can help a physician make a definitive diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, reports Healthline.
Typically, children's doctors, such as Dr. Farnoush Jamali, refer children for additional evaluation (beyond a routine physical examination) when they show symptoms such as:
- Extreme restlessness (cannot sit still)
- Inability to finish homework or chores
- Very limited attention span
- Impulsiveness at school and at home
- Does not listen well to conversations or directions
- Forgetful and distracted
- Constantly talking
Most children show symptoms by age 6 reports the National Institute for Mental Health. Signs must be severe and persistent to confirm a diagnosis, and parental input is key to proper evaluation.
Also, parents should not feel concerned that ADHD is their (or their child's) fault. This disorder, while seemingly has a hereditary component, does not come from poor parenting skills, a sugary diet, or other environmental factors, says the National Institute for Mental Health.
It begins with an appointment at Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg where your children's doctor will discuss his or her symptoms. Dr. Jamali may refer your youngster to a specialist in ADHD, such as a psychiatrist or neuropsychologist, who may order specialized tests.
Frequently, a care plan includes behavior modifications and changes to the child's education program. Social skills groups help kids interact with with others without interrupting or fidgeting. Medications such as Adderall, a stimulant, normalize behaviors, making them easier to manage.
Worried about ADHD? We can help
At Prime Pediatrics, Dr. Jamali and her team in Gaithersburg, MD, want families to feel comfortable discussing every concern about children's health and well-being. That includes behavioral health. If your youngster exhibits signs of ADHD, and you wish an expert opinion, call the office for an appointment. We are open Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 5:30 pm.
At some point in our childhood, we might have experienced chicken pox. While chicken pox most often occurs in children under the age of 12, it can also occur in adults who never had it as children.
Chickenpox is an itchy rash of spots that look like blisters and can appear all over the body while accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Chickenpox is very contagious, which is why your pediatrician in places a strong emphasis on keeping infected children out of school and at home until the rash is gone.
What are the Symptoms of Chickenpox?
When a child first develops chickenpox, they might experience a fever, headache, sore throat or stomachache. These symptoms may last for a few days, with a fever in the 101-102 F range. The onset of chicken pox causes a red, itchy skin rash that typically appears on the abdomen or back and face first, then spreads to almost any part of the body, including the scalp, mouth, arms, legs and genitals.
The rash begins as multiple small red bumps that look like pimples or insect bites, which are usually less than a quarter of an inch wide. These bumps appear in over two to four days and develop into thin-walled blisters filled with fluid. When the blister walls break, the sores are left open, which then dries into brown scabs. This rash is extremely itchy and cool baths or calamine lotion may help to manage the itching.
What are the Treatment Options?
A virus causes chickenpox, which is why your pediatrician in will not prescribe an antibiotic to treat it. However, your child might need an antibiotic if bacteria infects the sores, which is very common among children because they will often scratch and pick at the blisters—it is important to discourage this. Your child’s pediatrician in will be able to tell you if a medication is right for your child.
If you suspect your child has chickenpox, contact your pediatrician right away!
A childhood diagnosis like autism produces many questions and concerns. Arming yourself with knowledge about this condition and what it means for your child is a necessity in order to properly provide care for your young one. Find out more about childhood autism with Dr. Farnousuh Jamali at Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg, MD.
What is autism?
At its core, autism itself means that a child has challenges in social communication and exhibits restricted, repetitive behaviors. Often, the symptoms of autism begin in early childhood and occur persistently, interfering with the daily life of the child. The symptoms of autism may vary in intensity and happen alongside certain physical or mental conditions.
Does my child have autism?
The symptoms of autism can vary greatly from person to person as this condition has a very wide spectrum. However, some of the most common signs of autism include:
- Repetitive behaviors like hand-flapping or rocking
- High-energy or constantly moving
- Difficulty pretending or participating in “make-believe”
- Picky eating
- Short attention span
- Aggressive behavior
- Trouble playing, sharing, or talking with others
- Preference for being alone
- Doesn’t like to be comforted while upset
- Has a hard time identifying or understanding their own or others’ emotions
- Avoids physical contact
Many children who fall on the autism spectrum do not speak at all or have delayed speech. Often, children may also have a flat or monotone voice if they do speak. They may also not use common gestures like waving or pointing.
Childhood Autism in Gaithersburg, MD
If you suspect your child may be on the autism spectrum, a consultation with their doctor can help you understand and manage their condition. An early diagnosis can greatly improve the quality of life of children with autism and their families. Since there is no single diagnostic test, your child’s pediatrician will observe their behaviors and look at the big picture along with autism spectrum specialists to make a final diagnosis.
For more information on childhood autism, please contact Dr. Farnousuh Jamali at Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg, MD. Call (301) 977-2440 to schedule an appointment for your child today!
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