The Need For Behavioral Consultation

Teaching is one of the noblest professions in itself. But it is also extremely challenging. Every new day brings a new surprise. Interacting and educating children is not easy. And on many occasions, you come across children with developmental disorders. Children who are not able to do complete justice to their abilities. Children who can not function to their optimum in class. The child may seem like every other normal child but may have deep rooted paths of a mental disability or a developmental disorder lurking within him / her. It is here that behavioral consultation can prove to be helpful.

Behavioral consultation is a service offered by qualified psychiatrists and therapists who offer analysis, support and solutions to help schools working with children presenting challenging behavior.

Who is a behavioral consultant?

A behavioral consultant is a professional who has a master's degree or a doctor degree in applied behavior analysis or in any closely related discipline like psychology, special education, human development. They have necessary expertise in implementing behavioral analysis for people with Mental Retardation or Developmental Disabilities.

There are certain ethical principles set in this regard by the American Psychological Association and each behavioral consultant is expected to follow them. One of the most important clauses states that a professional should only offer such services for he / she has appropriate training. They offer multiple services like assessment of basic language and learning skills, scales of independent behavior, functional assessments, enhancing learning, training and support for caretakers and teaching staff.

How behavioral consultation can help

A behavioral consultant can step in from the moment you identify problematic behavior in a child. He / she will then conduct a complete functional assessment of the problem behavior to identify the exact cause. Then, an intervention plan will be chalked out based on the functional analysis. This plan will help the person develop necessary and useful skills.

There are many other services also offered by behavioral consultants and services vary from one organization to the other.

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A Special Gift For Parents of Children With Developmental Disorders – Perspective & Appreciation

Now that a new year is upon us, it is a good time to sit back and think a bit about our lives, our families and our children. Day-to-day we can get swept up in the stress, worry, and anxiety of managing school demands, social struggles and our own work demands that we lose site of the positive, the good and the joy that comes from being a parent. It takes a little effort to step back and get perspective on our children's strengths, joys and charms.

Many of us often start the day arguing with children to get school on time and end the day stressed out about bed time or homework. There just does not seem to be enough time to wistfully picture all of the wonderful qualities our children bring into the world.

However, taking a moment to sit back and think about what is right with our children, rather than what is wrong with them is a powerful way to improve our mood and perspective on parenting. More and more we are learning through psychological research and experience that our thoughts are a powerful force in how happy and successful we are. Positive thoughts can bring us positive change, while negative thoughts are draining and can lead us to negative outcomes.

So come with me for a minute and let's take two or three big steps back from our daily grind and think about our children from this perspective. Answer these questions to get a more positive thought pattern about your children and yourself as a parent.

What is your child good at?
What are his most endearing qualities?
What has she said that that has made your heart melt?
What is your child's most cherished object, favorite book, favorite color?
When not worried about school, how is your child's mood and demeanor?
What makes your child a special and unique individual in the world? How can you nurture that precious soul?
What are you good at as a parent?
When your child has her struggles what do you do to support her (a hug, or a pat can be just perfect, by the way)?

Can you see a bigger picture now? I hope your positive thoughts help you feel better about your child and your parenting. The next time you have a tough day with your child (and these days will come), you can refer back to this exercise to help you gain some perspective and remember all that is good about your child and yourself.

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Children With Mental Retardation

Often there are individual differences from child to child, but the there are common characteristics in children with mental retardation issues.

Children with mental retardation have poor impulse control and responses are often an over-reaction to the situation. This may be confusing to them. They may need to have the situation explained to them, especially where their thinking went wrong. Over-reactions may be general thinking errors, and they need explanations in simple terms. Make sure they are looking directly at you because they can not calm down if they can not hear you. And they can not hear you if they can not see you!

They have a limited number of social and communication skills that can result in using physical acts to express anger and frustration rather than words, especially when the situation is complex. Help remove the complexities of the situation and communicate with words rather than actions.

Moral judgment requires the ability to be able to go beyond oneself and see how your behaviors will affect someone else. Children with mental retardation can not always do this without help. They need people to point this out to them. Once someone points out how their behavior affects someone else, they will understand, and they may or may not do something about their behavior. They may also need to be told exactly what to do, especially if the situation is ambiguous.

They really have a hard time understanding motives and feelings of others. They tend to see very little beyond themselves and how they are affected. They may have immature ideas about the causes of things and who is to blame for things that are their own fault. They may also assign blame for accidents, and they may not always understand the difference between accidental and on-purpose. If the situation is too complex, they do not always understand the difference between right and wrong. Simple right and wrong –itting, yelling, etc. – they do understand.

Very few kids with mental retardation will freely admit that they have mental retardation. They want to be normal and fit in. They will act as though they understand something even though they really do not because they want to fit in, and because they want approval. They are more likely to answer 'yes' than 'no' to questions. It is important to know this. You can still ask yes-no questions, but follow them up with questions that find out if the person knows what you are asking, or if they are seeking approval. Ask to explain the idea or how it works. Avoid 'what if' questions.

Kids with mental retardation may do some things better than they do other things. They may have a strength or some social capability. Or they may have a strength in a small area where overall they are limited.

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Families Coping With Mental Retardation

Although there may be differences because situations vary, there are common characteristics in children with mental retardation issues.

They have difficulty remaining focused. They have difficulty with attention and they look around the room. Keep reminding them to look at you. This focuses them back on you and what you are saying. Remind them gently that looking at the person that is speaking is paying attention to the person that is talking

They will have difficulty staying on task with things they do not enjoy (eg homework, chores, etc). Gently redirection back to the task, while making sure that they are looking directly at you when you make this redirection will be important.

They will tend to hear as much when not looking directly at you because they are not attending to what you are saying. Their attention is divided between what you are saying and whatever they are looking at.

Children coping with mental retardation issues have difficulty with both expressing themselves and understanding what is being said to them. Furthermore, they get frustrated and confused when they can not express what they want to say. Tell them that it's okay, slow down, take a deep breath, and start over. Be patient. They may have difficulty understanding:

directions or procedures
rapid speech
complex sentences or instructions
abstract concepts – very concrete and focused on the here and now

It is important to recognize that the things you say may need to be repeated several times and in several different ways. Give one instruction at a time. When they complete that instruction or understand that one concept, then give the next instruction. They are likely to only be able to handle one instruction at a time.

Sometimes they will use words that they have heard before without knowing what they mean, because they are mimicking others. This is natural. Ask them what the word means. Help give them verbal language.

They may use pronouns (I, you, me) inappropriately, and it will be up to you to help them to figure out who they are talking about.

They may answer questions that you feel are beyond their ability level. But do not resist answering them. They will notice, and this will frustrate them too. Do your best to bring it to their level and not make your answer too complex.

The rigid though processes of mentally retarded children make it difficult to learn from mistakes. This can result in counter-productive behaviors. They have problems with generalizing and need help with taking one situation and using the information from that situation for the other situations. For example, when learning about social skills, I would work with one skill until they learn that skill. Then I add a skill until they learn the new skill. Then I add situations until they can add situation themselves without cuing. The more difficult the task, and the more effort involved, the more difficult they are going to have, the more the task is going to be divided into smaller pieces.

Repetition is the key here. When you teach a social skill or an anger management skill, repeat the different scenarios over and over, take a break, then do it all over again. The next week, repeat the process. Think about when you had to learn your multiplication tables. You repeated them over an over. The information needs to be repeated over and over.

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Strategies For Helping Your Child With Learning Disabilities & Attention Deficit Disorder

  • Be sure your child is well hydrated. Optimal brain activity occurs when the body is hydrated.
  • Set a regular sleep schedule. Keep it the same on the weekends if at all possible.
  • Protein at breakfast Promotes focus.
  • Get an early diagnosis if possible to set up specific therapies, eg speech therapy.
  • For children with Auditory Processing Disorder, video games such as Rock Band with a drum set may be helpful. My son has found it beneficial, but at this time I can not find any studies confirming its effectiveness with other children.
  • Limit empty carbohydrates, white sugar, white flour. Use the glycemic index as a measure of quality carbohydrates which keep insulin levels sturdier.
  • Limit or eliminate foods with dyes as some children may be sensitive.
  • Supplement the diet with a high quality supplement containing minerals, vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants and herbs. Often these combinations work synergistically – better together than separately.
  • Supplement with an Omega 3 source such as fish oil or flax seed oil.
  • Use Emotional Freedom Technique which focus on negative emotions concerning school, learning, self concept. This rids the body of emotional blockages to learning and negative self concepts, eg “I'm a slow learner,” etc.
  • George Lozanov discovered that learning can be accelerated by activating both left and right brain hemispheres by playing classical music softly in the background while children were taught information. Memory retention rates were at 98 percent of what had been taught. While helping with homework or discussing homework, it may be worth trying to play soft classical music to see if memory retention improvements.

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Adult Dyslexia – Signs to Look For to Know If You Are Dyslexic

Have you been experiencing learning difficulty since childhood and now you want to know if you are dyslexic? Dyslexia is a learning disability. Children born with this disorder are struggling with reading, writing and spelling even with the presence of organized school system. Today, this disorder is a recognized illness and children are tested for this disorder as early as possible to know if their learning difficulty is due to dyslexia. But how about those people who have not tested for this disorder at the time that this disorder is not yet recognized?

There are still adult dyslexics now who grow up and not aware that their learning disability is due to dyslexia. They are just tagged as lazy and slow learners. These tags attached to their personality wounds their self-esteem and self-confidence. It is important to know if you are dyslexic and the good news is that it is not too late to get diagnosed. If you want to know what the signs to look for to know if you are dyslexic, continue reading.

No two dyslexics are exactly the same but here are the most common signs and symptoms to know if you are dyslexic:

Difficulty recognizing the orientation of almost similar letters and numbers. Reversal of similar numbers and letters is one of the most common signs to look for to know if you are dyslexic. You are often confused and read letters like “b” as “d”, “dog” as “bog” and numbers like “6” as “9”.

Reading and comprehension is a struggle for dyslexic adults. This is another symptom to look for to know if you are dyslexic. You are a slow and inaccurate reader. You need to read a page twice or more to understand what you are reading. Most dyslexic adults hide their reading problems.

You are terrible with spelling ad writing. You are afraid to write or compose memos and letters because you have difficulty with spelling and in writing your thoughts on paper. If possible, you often avoid writing tasks.

Difficulty dealing with things in sequence. You often encounter difficulty in following instructions in sequence or multi-step directions. You also have trouble with counting numbers onwards or returns and remembering days of the week is sometimes a struggle. Identifying directions is also a problem and often confused with right and left.

But despite all those difficulties, dyslexics are not dumb. They may not be good in writing and reading but they are often very competent in oral language and have excellent memory. Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence and there are dyslexics who are successful in their chosen profession. The sad thing is that there are also many dyslexics who work on jobs below their intellectual abilities because the negative experience they went through with their difficulties affects their confidence. It is essential to get diagnosed to know if you are dyslexic and get the proper treatment to increase the quality of your life.

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Overcoming Reading Development Disabilities Like Dyslexia and Lazy Eye

Too often children have developmental disabilities that make it difficult for them to achieve the desired results in their school work. Often, such developmental disabilities are not known right away and they show up in their report cards and grades. Of course there are ways to overcome these things.

If you or your child has dyslexia – well do not worry about the Dyslexia, Richard Branson has Dyslexia, and he is a Billionaire many times over; You see, there are even reports that show Dyslexics have an average of 15% higher IQ than the average person. Who knows you or your child may even be higher?

Now, if you have trouble reading, that's okay, because .pdf documents on the internet have a feature that reads aloud to you. When I was younger, I had a lazy eye. I was not too good at reading, it actually was quite a problem back then, it put me to sleep – later corrected with glasses. Whereas, Dyslexia is not correctable, but over time you can learn to compensate for it.

For those who tell me they have Dyslexia or a slight developmental disability, well I say so what? So you have to work harder than anyone else. Do you think Tiger Woods would not be winning if he automatically had to shoot 2 shots less each game to win? Heck no – he'd still win, you know why? Because that's what winners do!

So, when I hear someone discussing their developmental disability and tell me it is a gift, I say; “you are correct, it is a gift, go with it!” It means you are unique, that is a huge blessing, you are one of the lucky ones! Think on That.

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Tourette Syndrome – Helping Children and Adults Who Have This Unusual Disorder

Although I never knew what Tourette Syndrome was until I was in my 30's, I have become very familiar with this disorder in the past 4 or 5 years.

Let me introduce to you my son. Dakota is the coolest little guy! Very handsome, a hard worker for a 10 year old, a mechanical problem solver, and he has a heart of gold!

When he was 6 or 7, I received a phone call from his teacher, letting me know that he appeared to be having trouble with his eyes. He was blinking a little different than normal. I thought maybe he had been playing his favorite computer games a little too much.

Within a few weeks / months of this phone call, Dakota's body started jerking, of all places, in his backside. The family noticed because it was quite attention-grabbing. But with a most serious face, my little man told me something along the lines of, “I'm not doing that, Mom. I still did not know what Tourette's was, but realized that he was very serious and telling me the truth.

I started to watch Dakota after this, and noticed how he would be concentrating intentionally on something, and continue to have the jerking movement, without his even realizing it. I pointed this out to my husband.

Fortunately, my husband had heard of Tourette's, and we looked some information up about it on the internet. My initial reaction was to cry-I knew nothing about this new name in my house. But to my great relief, I learned that it is not a terminal illness, and that it is not harmful, unless someone has a severe condition with Tourette's, and they can possibly harm themselves.

So what is Tourette Syndrome? It is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary movements in a person. It also affects sounds that they make. What feels very unique to me about this disorder is that that moves around the body. For a few weeks, you may see severe eye blinking, and then it moves on to body jerking, and then it moves on to facial contourions, and then it moves on to severe neck and shoulder movement.

Some of the other things I've learned about Tourette's:

– It affects more males than females, and usually begins to show up near the ages of 6-10.

– Some people “outgrow” Tourette's in adulthood.

– It is not a terminal illness that will shorten a person's lifespan.

– Most people do not need medication for this disorder-only if it causes them injury in their lives.

You can read much more about it at http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tourette/detail_tourette.htm . I found this website's information very informative, and after 4 years of living with Tourette's, learned a few more things about the reasons my son probably feels the way he does about certain things.

Since many of us most likely know someone who is affected by Tourette Syndrome, I would like to offer suggestions on how to help a person who has Tourette's, and their family members or friends, as well.

Never joke about Tourette Syndrome. It is no funnier than a person with diabetes, or who is in a wheelchair. People with Tourette's did not choose to be born with this disorder. The two times I've heard “outsiders” talking about Tourette's in my 30's, they were both making fun. I do find this offensive.

You absolutely must have patience with a person who has Tourette's. There are times when Dakota will talk to me, and he stops every few words because of involuntary facial complaints. Another time, believe it or not, every few steps he took, he felt the need to pull his sock up. As silly as it may seem to us, we need to remember that the person with Tourette's is not seeking attention, and is not consciously doing these things. It would be very rude to interrupt their sentences because of our impatience. We need to have the same patience with their speech as we would with a person who has a sever stuttering problem.

There are times when Dakota clears his throat over and over again, and when small sounds come out continuously when he is not talking. We do not criticizeize or “make” him stop, He can not help it.

Treat a person with Tourette's like a normal human being. Never treat them like they have a contagious illness, or like they are weak, or different. They are not mentally retarded because they have Tourette's. They are just like us, and they have feelings that can be hurt if we treat them like they are mentally retarded or “strange”. My little guy takes regular school courses at his own age level, loves to help his dad stack firewood, loves to play in the woods, eats like a horse, has a lot of energy, likes to ride four-wheelers, has a weekend job helping our neighbors with their pets, and likes anything else any other 10 year old boy does! He is a friendly young man, and has lots of friends!

Do not be afraid of the subject if Tourette's comes up in conversation. It is not something to dwell on, but is not something to avoid. I recently learned that a person with Tourette's can have depression and a few other related emotions. The person with the disorder may feel the need to talk about it sometimes. They may need your reassurance that they are great just the way they are! Avoiding the subject when it is brought up may also make them feel like a person with cancer — a subject that people want to stay in denial about.

Relaxing around a person with Tourette's is the best thing we can all do. We can all do our part and treat them the way we would like to be treated.

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Dyspraxia – A Parent’s Guide

First of all Dyspraxia IS NOT Dyslexia – they are two different conditions and have very different effects. Many people have heard of Dyslexia but are not so aware of Dyspraxia.

Its funny out everything has a label these days and it makes things seem to just appear – “oh everyone seems to have this ADHD these days” – but often this labeling is actually just re-labeling. In the case of Dyspraxia it is nothing new and was more commonly known as clumsy child syndrome which of course is no longer PC.

Developmental dyspraxia is an injury or immaturity of the organization of movement. It is an immaturity in the way that the brain processes information, which results in messages not being properly or fully transmitted. The term dyspraxia comes from the word praxis, which means 'doing, acting'. Dyspraxia affects the planning of what to do and how to do it. It is associated with problems of perception, language and thought.

Dyspraxia is thought to affect up to ten per cent of the population and up to two per cent severely. Males are four times more likely to be affected than females. Dyspraxia sometimes runs in families. There may be an overlap with related conditions.

Other names for dyspraxia include Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), Perceptuo-Motor Dysfunction, and Motor Learning Difficulties. It used to be known as Minimal Brain Damage and Clumsy Child Syndrome.

Statistically, it is likely that there is one child in every class of 30 children, and we need to make sure that everyone understands and knows how best to help this significant minority.

TIP 1 Its important to know at this point that Dyspraxia and Dyspraxic children are all individual and their challenges, needs and symptoms can vary greatly. Their conditions are not usually clear cut either as they can also have other “overlap” conditions such as Dyslexia, ADHD, Dyscalculia, Autism, etc.

TIP 2 Having a child who has dyspraxia affects the whole family. You may find that you gear all family life around the needs of that child, but it is possible that this can leave brothers and sisters feeling jealous and neglected.

To help everyone, you could

  • Try activities which involve the whole family equally
  • Encourage each child to develop their own hobbies and interests so that comparisons are irrelevant – my son gave up Taekwondo when his sister got better than him. Now he plays junior ice hockey and his sister is not allowed to join in, that's HIS activity.
  • Talk to your partner about the problems and be open about how you both feel -often one partner can be disinterested or in denial, its important to work together
  • Try to arrange time each week to concentrate on each child, and your partner
  • Take time for yourself and keep in touch with friends
  • Join a local support group. Some groups run events which include siblings

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Dyspraxia Child – Special Educational Needs

If you have a dyspraxia child the Educational Psychologist can perform a number of tests with your child to establish what learning difficulties there might be and what support they will need. The biggest problem is that there might be a long waiting list to actually get your child assessed. When I needed to get my son assessed the school only had access to an Ed Psych twice per year and they could only see 2-3 children each time – not great is it? I'm sure this is not the situation everywhere but just once again to point out you might need to be a little pushy to get what you need.

At the time we actually paid an Ed Psych who had recently left the LEA to do a private assessment for us. It told us what we needed to know but then when we took that to the school the head (who was a pain anyway) did not want to know and insured we would have to wait for the LEA Ed Psych to assess him; and guess what ….. 6 months later when he was estimated they report was almost identical! Again I'm sure some school heads and much more amenable and helpful than others.

Schools have to plan and support available for SEN children. In our area, and I would hope nationally, they have school action and school action plus. Depending on which category your child falls into they should get varying amounts of extra support in school.

What is School Action? This means the class teacher or school's SENCO, another teacher or a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) will give your child extra help. Your child will also have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which lists targets for them to work towards and the action / support necessary to help them achieve them. The school SENCO, or another teacher, should talk with you about the IEP so that you can also help your child.

The aim of school action is to enable your child to progress so that they no longer need any extra help at all.

What is School Action Plus? If your child is not meeting their goals at school action, they may need to move to school action plus. This means more help from the school, together with additional advice and guidance from specialist services. This could include the involvement of teaching support services and other agencies. Most children need school action plus support will have their needs discussed by the school SENCO and an Educational Psychologist (EP).

The aim of school action plus support is to enable your dyspraxia child to progress so that they move from school action plus to school action, or no longer need any extra help at all.

There is also the possibility of obtaining a Statement of Special Educational Needs through the Local Education Authority (LEA). A Statement of Special Educational Needs is a legal document which sets out a description of your child's needs (what he or she can and can not do) and what needs to be done to meet those needs. Typically, only a very small number of children with especially complex and large needs – which require very high levels of support, are issued with a statement.

Be Your Child's Biggest Supporter

You're a stronger advocate for your child when you foster good partnerships with everyone involved in your child's treatment – that includes teachers, doctors, therapists, and even other family members. Take advantage of all the support and education that's available, and you'll be able to help your child navigate his or her way to success. However it's really important that you are strong and do not give up; sometimes you will have to fight your corner on behalf of your child who can not do it for themselves.

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2 Types of Legally Binding Settlement Agreements in Special Education

Are you the parent of a child with autism that is receiving special education services? Are you tired of your child not getting needed educational services? Are you considering filing for a due process hearing, and would like to know what legally binding settlement agreements are? This article will discuss what legally binding settlement agreements are so that you can help your child receive FAPE.

Due process is a formal process used by parents and special education personnel to resolve disputes between them. Either special education personnel or parents may file for a due process hearing. The hearing is run by a due process hearing officer which in most states are attorneys; that have special knowledge of special education.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which was reauthorized in 2004 allowed for legally binding settlement agreements for the first time. Prior to this any written settlement between parents and school districts, were not legally enforceable by any entity! This is a good change for parents and children, because if a school district writes a legally binding settlement agreement it can be enforced by any state or federal court.

There are two types of settlement agreements under IDEA 2004:

1. If a parent files for a due process hearing for their child a resolution meeting must be held between school districts and parents, within 15 days. If an agreement is reached, a legally binding settlement agreement must be written and signed by parents and school personnel. Either side can void the agreement within 3 business days!

2. If a parent requests mediation and an agreement is reached, a written agreement is signed by both parties is also legally binding! There is no 3 day voiding allowed in mediation.

It is extremely important for parents to understand that legally binding settlement agreements only apply to settlements reached during the resolution meeting or mediation.

Many parents thought that they were signing a settlement agreement that was enforceable, only to find out that it was not! If you are having difficulty with your school district and they are now offering a settlement agreement, I would immediately ask for mediation. By doing this any agreement is enforceable in state or federal court. Mediation must be agreed to by both parties. If the school district refuses to go to mediation, file for a due process hearing. You can still settle your case at the resolution meeting, and it would be considered a legally binding settlement agreement!

By understanding legally binding settlement agreements you will be able to help advocate for a free appropriate public education for your child! Good Luck!

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Why Behavior Charts Don’t Work

The idea behind behavior charts is that they'll improve compliance and motivation in every single child or student. Do they? Of course not. These charts have built-in problems. You know it. I know it. And that's another reason teachers despair psychologists. Even though behavior charts do not work, many counselors still recommend them. It's kind of like pouring diesel in your gasoline-powered car and wondering why it does not run well.

The main problem is that behavior behaviors get students focused on a reward. After a while, these children do what we call satiate. To understand what this means, think about the last time you were really hungry for a chicken sandwich (or a Caesar salad, or whatever your favorite dish is). If I give you a hot, fresh chicken sandwich, it tastes great. If I give you another, it tastes awesome too. By the third or fourth one, the flavor begins to lose its appeal. And by the seventh one, you do not like chicken sandwiches at all. At this point, you are satiated.

The other problem with focusing kids on a reward or privilege is it does not enhance their relationship with you. What are they focused on: You or the reward? What do you want them focused on? You got it: They need to work on improving their relationship with you.

Likewise, it's important for you to notice when your student is behaving and moving in the right direction. As we learned earlier, it's not just a problem with the student. We adults play a role, too. The following exercise will show you how to make a different type of behavior chart – one that will actually work for you!

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Bell’s Palsy Signs and Symptoms

This is an idiopathic acute non-suppurative inflammation of the facial nerve within the stylomastoid foramen. It sometimes occurs after exposure to cold. The nerve sheath of the bony canal is inflamed and swollen and compresses the nerve in the stylomastoid foramen.

Direct compression and secondary ischemia are possible causes of paralysis. Physicians now consider Bell's palsy to be due to viral polyneuropathy with inflammatory demyelination extending from the brain stem to the periphery. Other nerves involved are V, IX, X, and C2.

SYMPTOMS

Pain in the root of the ear, sometimes pain around the ear precedes paralysis. In some cases, inability to wrinkle forehead, close the eye, move lips on the affected side are seen.

Inability to blow or whistle, numbness and stiffness of the cheek on the affected side, dribbling of saliva and fluid through the angle of the mouth on the affected side, and watering from the eye are some other common symptoms of Bell's palsy.

SIGNS:

Facial asymmetry is present. Voluntary and emotional movements are all lost on the paralyzed side. On asking the patient successively to wrinkle the forehead, close the eyes and to show the teeth, it will be observed that there is no closure of the eye and no opening of the oral aperture.

Frowning is not possible on the affected side. On the affected side, the angle of the mouth is drooped, nasolabial furrow is flat and blowing of the cheek is not possible. Cheek may be puffed out during respiration on the paralyzed side. The eyeball rolls upwards and outwards which is called Bell's phenomenon. In some cases, there may be even loss of taste sensation on the anterior 2/3 of the tongue on the affected side.

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Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – What Are the Symptoms?

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a devastating genetic disease that destroys the muscles and leads to the formation of an abnormal type of muscle protein called dystrophin. Duchenne muscular dystrophy symptoms include a progressive muscle weakness and wasting among many other things. This disorder usually affects males but is passed on by their mothers. This is referred to X-linked recessives.

There are several types of muscular dystrophy (MD) including Becker's MD and limb-girdle MD. However, Duchenne's MD is the most severe, and the most common, unfortunately.

This disease can come on quickly or slowly, in children and in adults. However, according to experts, 1 in every 3,600 male infusions is affected by Duchenne MD. The severity depends on the genetics and the type of MD. For example, a young boy with this condition will most likely be in a wheelchair by the age of 12, and dead by the age of 20. This is the devastating facts about this disease.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy symptoms include a progressive muscle wasting and weakness. It will become harder and harder to function as the muscles shut down. It usually starts in the legs and pelvis but works its way to all the muscles. This is why a wheelchair is often necessary.

For those children with muscular dystrophy, symptoms related to coordination may be a sign. A child who has trouble walking, falls frequently, and experiences calf pain may have MD. Other Duchenne muscular dystrophy symptoms include obesity, joint contractures, cataracts, baldness and drooping eyelids. Some children also experience fatigue and mental retardation as a result of this disease.

This condition can worsen into something even more. This may include cardiomyopathy, deformities, heart failure, mental impairments, pneumonia or respiratory failure. This is one of the reasons that many sufferers of Duchenne's MD die at an extremely young age.

The Duchenne's muscle dystrophy symptoms and complications are more than heart breaking for any young child and his family. However, with regular activity and physical therapy, it is possible to prolong his life, and make the most out his short time on earth.

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Muscular Dystrophy – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

If you or someone who knows has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, or MD, then you are most likely curious to understand the causes, symptoms and treatments of MD. Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease that causes different muscles to weaken and worsen with time. There are several different types of MD which can affect different muscles and have various outcomes.

The cause of muscle dystrophy is genetics. In most cases of MD the mother will be the carrier and pass it along to their male children. However, in Facioscapulohumeral MD, both males and females are affected equally.

Female children will have a 50 percent chance of carrying the gene. It is possible to detect the muscle dystrophy gene when you are pregnant. If you have a history of MD, then it's best to make sure. Consult a genetic doctor who can perform a test with 95 percent accuracy to see if the gene has been carried on.

Symptoms of muscle dystrophy vary in severity depending on the type of MD you have. Facioscapulohumeral MD affects the upper body and the face. Droopy eyelids, troubles hearing, difficulty pronouncing words and reduced facial expression are all symptoms of Facioscapulohumeral MD. Becker's MD affects the lower body including the legs and the pelvis.

However, with both Facioscapulohumeral MD and Becker's MD, it's possible to live an extended life, often with no disability. Duchenne's MD is another story.

Duchenne's MD is the most severe and usually causes constraint to a wheelchair and an early death. The muscle weakness is simply too severe and often complications can result from this. Most young boys who have been diagnosed with Duchenne's MD will not live past their 25th birthday.

Muscle dystrophy treatment includes physical therapy, group therapy, orthopedic braces and oral corticosteroids. Unfortunately there is no cure for MD. Instead the focus is on strengthening the muscles and lessening the severity of the symptoms. In some instances, such as with Facioscapulohumeral MD, there may be no symptoms at all. However, in other cases, such as with Duchenne's MD, the symptoms and the consequences are devastating.

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