Infants and Toddlers

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The importance of vocabulary

The importance of vocabulary

Every time a young child learns a new word, his or her world expands. Vocabulary development is directly connected to a child’s ability to think, follow directions, express thoughts, and navigate social interactions. Children with rich vocabularies become better readers and stronger communicators during the school age years and beyond.

Almost three-quarters of parents turn car seats to face forward too early

Almost three-quarters of parents turn car seats to face forward too early

Many parents don’t follow guidelines that call for using rear-facing car seats until age 2, according to National Poll on Children’s Health data. Using a rear-facing car seat until a child is age two reduces risk of serious injury, but close to one-quarter of parents report they turned the seat around before their child was even one year old, according to a new University of Michigan study.

Newborns know more than we think

Newborns know more than we think

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Archive »Young Children

New ideas that will transform your children’s relationship with each other

New ideas that will transform your children’s relationship with each other

Many parents of more than one child say that sibling fighting is the most frustrating part of parenting. No matter what they do, their kids fight—over toys or turns, or just because the child had a hard day and their brother or sister is the easiest person to take it out on. Spending one-on-one time with each child is still one of the most effective ways to reduce sibling rivalry.

Steps to encourage an attitude of gratitude in children

Steps to encourage an attitude of gratitude in children

I am learning to practice gratitude as an adult. But what would it be like if we could introduce the concept of gratitude to our children when they are young? If gratitude just became a part of their vocabulary, a daily habit like brushing their teeth or eating dinner? If they can experience the magic of gratitude early, perhaps the practice wouldn’t feel so challenging or foreign to them.

 Everything we need to know about social media – we learned in

Everything we need to know about social media – we learned in

We live in a culture virtually enveloped by digital media, 24/7. For adults and children alike, social media has become central to our very identities -- both in how we interact with our close friends and family, and in the many ways we present ourselves to, and engage with, our broader worlds.

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Archive »Tweens & Teens

How parents are negatively impacting  their kids’ future before college

How parents are negatively impacting their kids’ future before college

Expert says parents can save time and money by making sure they ask their future college students the right questions, avoid common mistakes like making the wrong decision about what to study or where to go to school which can have costly and time-consuming consequences. Switching majors or schools or even going back to school after you start working can all jack up the cost of obtaining a higher education and subsequent student loan debt.

Six smart things college students should do for their eyes

Six smart things college students should do for their eyes

While accurate vision plays a vital role in learning, college students can be susceptible to a host of vision and eye problems such as injury, infection and increased nearsightedness that can complicate life in and out of class.

BBB tips to avoid college financial aid scams

BBB tips to avoid college financial aid scams

The college application process is an exciting, but expensive time for high school students. Scholarships, grants and financial aid are all common elements in the process and unfortunately, so are scams. With a new school year right around the corner, your Better Business Bureau is warning college-bound students and their parents to be wary of financial aid fraud.

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Archive »Special Needs

Healthy teeth and special needs children: What parents need to know

Healthy teeth and special needs children: What parents need to know

So, what do parents and caregivers need to know in order to ensure healthy little teeth and overall well being for children with special needs?

The role of genetics in autism spectrum disorder

The role of genetics in autism spectrum disorder

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) seems to have increased significantly over the last thirty years, resulting in much speculation about the causes of this disorder. Everything from pollution to vaccines to labor induction/augmentation has been blamed, none of which has been supported by scientific research. However, autism has at least some heritable/genetic component because of the difference in rates between identical and nonidentical twins. A new study adds more evidence to the relationship between genetic factors and autism. Researchers from Kings College London led by PhD candidate Beata Tick used data from the Twins Early Development Study which included all twins born in England and Wales from 1994 through 1996. Evaluations were done on 128 twin pairs in which one twin had an autism diagnosis, using several common screening tools. Tools included a population-based measure (the Childhood Autism Spectrum Test), diagnostic measures (the Development and Well-being Assessment, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, and the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised) and a best-estimate diagnosis. Researchers found that correlation on these measures was higher for identical twins compared to non-identical twins, with a heritability estimate of 56 percent to 95 percent. According to researcher Dr. Francesca Happe, “Our findings suggest environmental factors are smaller, which is important because some parents are concerned whether things like high pollution might be causing autism.” Now, many scientists are working to discover the specific genes that may contribute to a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Dr. Happe says there may be hundreds. ACSH’s Ariel Savransky says, “Hopefully this current study will help to debunk some of the misleading information promulgated to the public regarding the causes of autism. Although this study may be just the tip of the iceberg and there is a long way to go before researchers get definitive results regarding specific genes that may contribute to ASD, the fear that autism is caused by some factor associated with modern lifestyles should be at least partially allayed.”

Happy holiday hints for your child with special needs

Happy holiday hints for your child with special needs

Holidays bring joy and family traditions that warm the hearts of many. For those of us who have children with special needs, the holidays take on an entirely new dimension. Like everyone, we have shopping, cooking, decorating and preparation. However, there are additional ways in which we must ready our children for the holiday season. Children who have autism, Sensory Processing Disorder and self-regulation difficulties need some assistance to navigate the

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