Tag Archives: Children and Families

Dr. Wilda Reviews: AAPD and UW ‘Dental Home Day’

25 May

Moi was very pleased to be invited to Dental Home Day which was held at the University of Washington Center for Pediatric Dentistry in conjunction with Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children (HSHC), and the foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). She would like to acknowledge Erika J. Hoeft, AAPD Public Relations, Dr.Beverly Largent, President of the AAPD Foundation, Paul Amundsen, MNA, CFRE of Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children and Steve Steinberg, UW School of Dentistry Director of Communications. They were extremely informative and gracious in answering moi’s questions.

Readers may ask, what is the purpose of Dental Home Day. According to the HSHC site:

Sponsored by Sunstar Americas, Inc., Dental Home Day is our annual service day held in conjunction with the AAPD Annual Session. In partnership with a clinic or dental school in the AAPD host city, AAPD members from across the country volunteer and HSHC provides grants covering the cost of the event and ongoing dental care for participating children. Dental Home Day applications are by invitation only. http://www.healthysmileshealthychildren.org/

Since the AAPD Annual Meeting was in Seattle, they partnered with the UW Dental School. A shout out to San Antonio, the AAPD 69th Annual Session will be held May 26-29, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. Since referrals to Dental Home Day are limited, children who may qualify should be referred early. http://www.aapd.org/join/benefits/

Readers may ask why children need a pediatric dentist and why is dental care so important for children. According to the AARP:

The statistics are alarming. The rate of tooth decay in primary (baby) teeth of children aged 2 to 5 years increased nearly 17 percent from 1988-1994 to 1999-
2004. Based on the most recent data, 28 percent of children aged 2 to 5 years in the entire U.S. population are affected by tooth decay. 19 By the age of 3, 5 percent
to 10 percent of U.S. children have oral health issues. 19 By age 5, about 60 percent of U.S. children will have had caries at some point, including the 40 percent of children who have it when they enter kindergarten. 4,20

The issue is not just that kids have caries—it’s that, for many kids, caries is not being treated and is turning into more serious problems….http://www.aapd.org/assets/1/7/State_of_Little_Teeth_Final.pdf

See, Frequently Asked Questions http://www.aapd.org/resources/frequently_asked_questions/#37
A pediatric dentist tends to the special needs of children.

One group who may be more comfortable with a pediatric dentist are those with special needs:

The AAPD defines special health care needs as “any physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment or limiting condition that requires medical management, health care intervention, and/or use of specialized services or programs. The condition may be congenital, developmental, or acquired through disease, trauma, or environmental cause and may impose limitations in performing daily self-maintenance activities or substantial limitations in a major life activity. Health care for individuals with special needs requires specialized knowledge acquired by additional training, as well as increased awareness and attention, adaptation, and accommodative measures beyond what are considered routine…”3

It was emphasized that pediatric dentists want to see children smile because the children are not only healthier, but feel more confident.

The UW Center for Pediatric Dentistry hosted Dental Home Day. Here is the press release:

May 14, 2015

Dental Home Day kicks off year of care for 150 local children
About 150 Seattle-area children will receive a year’s fully subsidized dental care as part of Dental Home Day, an event on May 20 conducted by the University of Washington Center for Pediatric Dentistry and Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children (HSHC), the Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).

Dental Home Day, which takes place in conjunction with AAPD’s annual session, calls attention to the importance of giving every child a “dental home” – a continuing relationship with a dentist that addresses oral health in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated and family-centered way. The AAPD convenes in Seattle this year from May 21 to May 24.

Dental Home Day, which is sponsored by Sunstar Americas Inc., will take place at The Center for Pediatric Dentistry in Seattle’s Magnuson Park. The Center, a clinical partnership between the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital, opened in 2010, thanks to a $5 million founding gift from Delta Dental of Washington and the Washington Dental Service Foundation. Its mission is to provide not only a high standard of pediatric dentistry but also to conduct research and identify best practices in children’s oral health.

“We’re delighted to be hosting this event to provide care for dozens of children who have limited access to dental services,” said Dr. Rebecca Slayton, director of the University of Washington Center for Pediatric Dentistry. “Dental Home Day is an extension of our goal of making dental care as accessible as possible for all children, especially those who have the greatest need.”

The participating children – who have already been selected – will receive not only checkups, cleanings and restorative work as time permits on May 20, but follow-up care for a year thereafter. The care will be funded by $30,000 in grants from HSHC. Children received invitations to Dental Home Day through schools, social service agencies, pediatricians and other referral sources. The Center’s dental faculty and dental residents will be joined for the day by about 60 volunteer AAPD member dentists who will consult with the local dentists and guide patients through the clinic.

“This is the third year of our collaboration with Sunstar on Dental Home Day, and the UW Center for Pediatric Dentistry has pulled out all the stops,” said Dr. Beverly Largent, the HSHC president and a pediatric dentist from Paducah, Ky., who will be a Dental Home Day volunteer. “Not only do we anticipate this year’s Dental Home Day to be the largest turnout yet, but our grant to The Center will help support ongoing care for the next year.”
In addition to dental treatment, the young patients will enjoy some entertaining diversions on May 20. Appearances are scheduled by Seattle professional sports mascots including Mariners Moose and the Seahawks’ Blitz, plus Captain Amerigroup and Dr. Health E. Hound of United Healthcare. There will also be games, prizes, story time and a photo booth.

“This will be a lot of fun for the children, but there’s a very serious message behind Dental Home Day,” said Dr. Joel Berg, dean of the UW School of Dentistry and AAPD past president. “One of the most important things we can do with events like this is to spread awareness of the toll that dental disease takes on children. Caries, or tooth decay, is the most common childhood disease, and what’s truly frustrating is that most of it is preventable.”

Dr. Berg added: “We want to let people know that with early treatment, prevention and good dental habits, most children can have a lifetime of great dental health. And establishing a dental home is a key part of that.” http://thecenterforpediatricdentistry.com/dental-home-day-kicks-off-year-of-care-for-150-local-children/

Moi’s observation was the day was well organized and ran smoothly. There are a couple of key observations moi would make about what is a civil and civilized society.
Moi will frame this review with three quotes:

1. “Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members — the last, the least, the littlest.”
~Cardinal Roger Mahony, In a 1998 letter, Creating a Culture of Life

2. Luke 12:48 For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required; and of him to whom men entrust much, they will require and demand all the more.

3. The Boy and the Starfish
A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water.
Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.
As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he was throwing them back into the water.
The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied,”I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen. “But”, said the man, “You can’t possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can’t possibly make a difference.”
The boy looked down, frowning for a moment; then bent down to pick up another starfish, smiling as he threw it back into the sea. He replied,
“I made a huge difference to that one!”
~Author Unknown~

150 children were cared for during Dental Home Day. This figure represents a small percentage of the children who need help. The pediatric dentists who give their time and treasure to support the AAPD Foundation came to their profession from many paths and circumstances, but they now represent the privileged in America. They are given the privilege of leadership, of course much is expected. People in helping professions may not be able to help everyone, but they can do their best to make a difference to those whose lives they touch. There are some very hard questions for any society, particularly one with the resources of a country like the U.S., about how the society treats its weakest and smallest members. Dental Home Day is like the little boy and the starfish, not every child is helped, but it makes a huge difference to those who are chosen. See, Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Partners With 22 Organizations And Commits More Than $1.1 Million in Grants To Underserved Childrenhttp://www.aapd.org/healthy_smiles_healthy_children_partners_with_22_organizations_and_commits_more_than_11_million_in_grants_to_underserved_children/

Dr. Wilda gives a thumbs up to Dental Home Day. A shout out to San Antonio in 2016 to begin getting the word out to poor children in need of dental care.

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Brookings study: Father’s education level influences the life chances of their children

7 Dec

Moi has been saying for decades that the optimum situation for raising children is a two-parent family for a variety of reasons. This two-parent family is an economic unit with the prospect of two incomes and a division of labor for the chores necessary to maintain the family structure. Parents also need a degree of maturity to raise children; after all, you and your child should not be raising each other.

Eric Schulzke of Deseret News reported in the article, Like father like child: why your future may be closely tied to your father’s income and education:

A child’s odds of breaking out of poverty or gaining a college education are heavily shaped by the father’s income and education level, says Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution.

In a couple of graphs that unpack piles of data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics at the University of Michigan, Reeves breaks education and income levels down into quintiles and shows the close connection between a father’s level and how far his children go.

Whether you see that as a glass half empty or glass half full depend on your starting point, Reeves acknowledges. “If you assume that in an ideal world, where you would end up would bear no relation to where you started.” That is, he argues, if we had real equality of opportunity, 20 percent of every group would end up in the other four groups in the next generation.

Instead, 41 percent of kids whose father had top-level educational achievement stay there, and 36 percent of those who start in the bottom income bracket will remain there.

There is some mobility, of course. Of those who start in the bottom fifth of income levels, 35 percent end up in the middle class or above, which is roughly equal to the 36 percent who stay put….                                                                                                                                                           http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865616732/Like-father-like-child-why-your-future-may-be-closely-tied-to-your-fathers-income-and-education.html?pg=all

See, Children with married parents are better off — but marriage isn’t the reason why     http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/09/08/children-with-married-parents-are-better-off-but-marriage-isnt-the-reason-why/

Here is the relevant portion from The Inheritance of Education by Richard V. Reeves and Joanna Venator:

Educated Dad = Educated Kid

The two matrices look pretty similar – no surprise, given that income and education are tightly correlated. But in one respect there appears to be less mobility in terms of education: the replication of top-quintile status. Almost half (46%) the children of top-quintile parents ended up in the top education quintile themselves, and three in four (76%) stayed in one of the top two quintiles. The equivalent measures of ‘stickiness’ at the top for income are 41% and 65%.

This finding echoes research showing large, and possibly growing, gaps in educational attainment by social and economic background. The trend towards assortative mating – like marrying like – will likely strengthen the intergenerational transmission of high educational status. Of course education is one of main factors behind intergenerational income persistence, but it also troubling in its own right. The ethical demand for equality of opportunity in terms of education is even greater than for income. If a high level of education is effectively inherited, the ideal of meritocracy will move even further from our reach….                                                                    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/social-mobility-memos/posts/2014/10/27-intergenerational-education-mobility-reeves

This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of “Katrina,” the real genocide is self-inflicted.

So, a behavior that statistically is more damaging than consuming sugary drinks is never condemned. The child born to a single poor mother is usually condemned to follow her into a life of poverty. Yet, the same rigor of dissuasion is not applied to young impressionable women who are becoming single mothers in large numbers as is applied to regular Coke or Pepsi addicts. Personal choice is involved, some of the snarky could categorize the personal choice as moronic in both cases. Government intervention is seen as the antidote in the case of sugary drinks, but not single motherhood. Why? Because we like to pick the morons we want government to control. The fact of the matter is that government control is just as bad in the case of sugary drinks as it would be in regulating a individual’s reproductive choice. The folks like Mayor Bloomberg who want government to control some behavior really don’t want to confront the difficult, for them, political choice of promoting individual personal values and responsibility. It is much easier to legislate a illusory solution. So, the ruling elite will continue to focus on obesity, which is a major health issue, while a disaster bigger than “Katrina” and “Sandy “ sweeps across the country with disastrous results.


Hard times are disrupting families


3rd world America: The link between poverty and education


3rd world America: Money changes everything


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University of Buffalo at State University of New York study: What baby eats depends on Mom’s social class

9 Nov

Patti Neighmond reported in the NPR story, It Takes More Than A Produce Aisle To Refresh A Food Desert:

“The next part of the intervention is to create demand,” he says, “so the community wants to come to the store and buy healthy fruits and vegetables and go home and prepare those foods in a healthy way, without lots of fat, salt or sugar.”
Ortega directs a UCLA project that converts corner stores into hubs of healthy fare in low-income neighborhoods of East Los Angeles. He and colleagues work with community leaders and local high school students to help create that demand for nutritious food. Posters and signs promoting fresh fruits and vegetables hang in corner stores, such as the Euclid Market in Boyle Heights, and at bus stops. There are nutrition education classes in local schools, and cooking classes in the stores themselves….
The jury’s still out on whether these conversions of corner stores are actually changing people’s diets and health. The evidence is still being collected.

In other words, much of the obesity problem is due to personal life style choices and the question is whether government can or should regulate those choices. The issue is helping folk to want to make healthier food choices even on a food stamp budget. See, Cheap Eats: Cookbook Shows How To Eat Well On A Food Stamp Budget http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/08/01/337141837/cheap-eats-cookbook-shows-how-to-eat-well-on-a-food-stamp-budget    A University of Buffalo study reports that what a baby eats depends on the social class of the mother.

Roberto A. Ferdman of the Washington Post wrote in the article, The stark difference between what poor babies and rich babies eat:

The difference between what the rich and poor eat in America begins long before a baby can walk, or even crawl.
A team of researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences found considerable differences in the solid foods babies from different socioeconomic classes were being fed. Specifically, diets high in sugar and fat were found to be associated with less educated mothers and poorer households, while diets that more closely followed infant feeding guidelines were linked to higher education and bigger bank accounts.
“We found that differences in dietary habits start very early,” said Xiaozhong Wen, the study’s lead author.
The researchers used data from the Infant Feeding Practices study, an in depth look at baby eating habits, which tracked the diets of more than 1,500 infants up until age one, and documented which of 18 different food types—including breast milk, formula, cow’s milk, other milk (like soy milk), other dairy foods (like yogurt), other soy foods (like tofu), 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, and sweet drinks, among others – their mothers fed them. Wen’s team at the University at Buffalo focused on what the infants ate over the course of a week at both 6- and 12-months old.
In many cases, infants were fed foods that would surprise even the least stringent of mothers. Candy, ice cream, soda, and french fries, for instance, were among the foods some of the babies were being fed. Researchers divided the 18 different food types into four distinct categories, two of which were ideal for infant consumption—”formula” and “infant guideline solids”—two of which were not—”high/sugar/fat/protein” and “high/regular cereal.” It became clear which babies tended to be fed appropriately, and which did not….


What do American babies eat? A lot depends on Mom’s socioeconomic background
Date: October 30, 2014

Source: University at Buffalo
Dietary patterns of babies vary according to the racial, ethnic and educational backgrounds of their mothers, pediatrics researchers have found. For example, babies whose diet included more breastfeeding and solid foods that adhere to infant guidelines from international and pediatric organizations were associated with higher household income — generally above $60,000 per year — and mothers with higher educational levels ranging from some college to post-graduate education. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141030133532.htm
Sociodemographic Differences and Infant Dietary Patterns
1. Xiaozhong Wen, MD, PhDa,
2. Kai Ling Kong, PhDa,
3. Rina Das Eiden, PhDb,
4. Neha Navneet Sharmac, and
5. Chuanbo Xie, MD, PhDa
+ Author Affiliations
1. aDivision of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences,
2. bResearch Institute on Addictions, and
3. cDepartment of Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
OBJECTIVES: To identify dietary patterns in US infants at age 6 and 12 months, sociodemographic differences in these patterns, and their associations with infant growth from age 6 to 12 months.
METHODS: We analyzed a subsample (760 boys and 795 girls) of the Infant Feeding Practices Study II (2005–2007). Mothers reported their infants’ intakes of 18 types of foods in the past 7 days, which were used to derive dietary patterns at ages 6 and 12 months by principal component analysis.
RESULTS: Similar dietary patterns were identified at ages 6 and 12 months. At 12 months, infants of mothers who had low education or non-Hispanic African American mothers (vs non-Hispanic white) had a higher score on “High sugar/fat/protein” dietary pattern. Both “High sugar/fat/protein” and “High dairy/regular cereal” patterns at 6 months were associated with a smaller increase in length-for-age z score (adjusted β per 1 unit dietary pattern score, −1.36 [95% confidence interval (CI), −2.35 to −0.37] and −0.30 [−0.54 to −0.06], respectively), while with greater increase in BMI z score (1.00 [0.11 to 1.89] and 0.32 [0.10 to 0.53], respectively) from age 6 to 12 months. The “Formula” pattern was associated with greater increase in BMI z score (0.25 [0.09 to 0.40]). The “Infant guideline solids” pattern (vegetables, fruits, baby cereal, and meat) was not associated with change in length-for-age or BMI z score.
CONCLUSIONS: Distinct dietary patterns exist among US infants, vary by maternal race/ethnicity and education, and have differential influences on infant growth. Use of “Infant guideline solids” with prolonged breastfeeding is a promising healthy diet for infants after age 6 months.
Key Words:
• infant
• dietary patterns
• feeding
• nutrition
• growth
• epidemiology
• Accepted August 11, 2014.
• Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Here is the press release:

What do American babies eat? A lot depends on Mom’s socioeconomic background, UB study finds
Dietary patterns start developing as early as 6 and 12 months of age
By Ellen Goldbaum
Release Date: October 30, 2014
BUFFALO, N.Y. – You have to be at least 2 years old to be covered by U.S. dietary guidelines. For younger babies, no official U.S. guidance exists other than the general recommendation by national and international organizations that mothers exclusively breastfeed for at least the first six months.
So what do American babies eat?
That’s the question that motivated researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to study the eating patterns of American infants at 6 months and 12 months old, critical ages for the development of lifelong preferences.
The team found that dietary patterns of the children varied according to the racial, ethnic and educational backgrounds of their mothers.
For example, babies whose diet included more breastfeeding and solid foods that adhere to infant guidelines from international and pediatric organizations were associated with higher household income – generally above $60,000 per year – and mothers with higher educational levels ranging from some college to post-graduate education.
The study, “Sociodemographic differences and infant dietary patterns,” was published this month in Pediatrics.
“We found that differences in dietary habits start very early,” says Xiaozhong (pronounced Shao-zong) Wen, MBBS, PhD, assistant professor in the UB Department of Pediatrics and lead author on the paper.
Studying the first solid foods that babies eat can provide insight into whether or not they will develop obesity later on, he explains.
“Dietary patterns are harder to change later if you ignore the first year, a critical period for the development of taste preferences and the establishment of eating habits,” he says.
Wen conducts research in the UB Department of Pediatrics’ Behavioral Medicine division, studying how and why obesity develops in infants and young children.
In the study, babies whose dietary pattern was high in sugar, fat and protein or high in dairy foods and regular cereals were associated with mothers whose highest education level was some or all of high school, who had low household income — generally under $25,000/year — and who were non-Hispanic African-Americans.
Both the higher sugar/fat/protein pattern and the higher dairy pattern resulted in faster gain in body mass index scores from ages 6 to 12 months for the babies.
Babies who consumed larger amounts of formula, indicating little or no breastfeeding, were associated with being born through emergency caesarean section and enrollment in the Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women and Infant Children (WIC). Wen notes that one possible reason for high formula consumption in this group is that WIC provides financial assistance for formula purchases.
Some of the unhealthy “adult foods” consumed by 6- and 12-month-old babies in the study included items inappropriate for infants, such as candy, ice cream, sweet drinks and French fries.
“There is substantial research to suggest that if you consistently offer foods with a particular taste to infants, they will show a preference for these foods later in life,” Wen explains. “So if you tend to offer healthy foods, even those with a somewhat bitter taste to infants, such as pureed vegetables, they will develop a liking for them. But if you always offer sweet or fatty foods, infants will develop a stronger preference for them or even an addiction to them.
“This is both an opportunity and a challenge,” says Wen. “We have an opportunity to start making dietary changes at the very beginning of life.”
The researchers also found that babies whose diets consisted mainly of high fat/sugar/protein foods were associated with slower gain in length-for-age scores from 6 to 12 months.
“We’re not sure why this happens,” explains Wen, “but it’s possible that because some of these foods that are high in sugar, fat or protein are so palatable they end up dominating the baby’s diet, replacing more nutritious foods that could be higher in calcium and iron, therefore inhibiting the baby’s bone growth.”
The UB researchers based their analysis on a subsample covering more than 1,500 infants, nearly evenly split between genders, from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2005 to 2007. In that study, mothers reported which of 18 different food types their 6- and 12-month old babies ate in a week; those data then were used to develop infant dietary patterns.
Co-authors with Wen are Kai Ling Kong, PhD and Chuanbo Xie, MD, PhD, of the Department of Pediatrics; Rina Das Eiden, PhD of UB’s Research Institute on Addictions and Neha Navneet Sharma of the Department of Psychology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences.
The project was funded by a seed grant from the UB Department of Pediatrics.

Media Contact Information
Ellen Goldbaum
News Content Manager, Medicine
Tel: 716-645-4605
Twitter: @egoldbaum

For a really good discussion of the effects of poverty on children, read the American Psychological Association (APA), Effects of Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness on Children and Youth:

What are the effects of child poverty?
• Psychological research has demonstrated that living in poverty has a wide range of negative effects on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of our nation’s children.
• Poverty impacts children within their various contexts at home, in school, and in their neighborhoods and communities.
• Poverty is linked with negative conditions such as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, inadequate child care, lack of access to health care, unsafe neighborhoods, and underresourced schools which adversely impact our nation’s children.
• Poorer children and teens are also at greater risk for several negative outcomes such as poor academic achievement, school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioral and socioemotional problems, physical health problems, and developmental delays.
• These effects are compounded by the barriers children and their families encounter when trying to access physical and mental health care.
• Economists estimate that child poverty costs the U.S. $500 billion a year in lost productivity in the work force and spending on health care and the criminal justice system.
Poverty and academic achievement
• Poverty has a particularly adverse effect on the academic outcomes of children, especially during early childhood.
• Chronic stress associated with living in poverty has been shown to adversely affect children’s concentration and memory which may impact their ability to learn.
• School drop out rates are significantly higher for teens residing in poorer communities. In 2007, the dropout rate of students living in low-income families was about 10 times greater than the rate of their peers from high-income families (8.8% vs. 0.9%).
• The academic achievement gap for poorer youth is particularly pronounced for low-income African American and Hispanic children compared with their more affluent White peers.
• Underresourced schools in poorer communities struggle to meet the learning needs of their students and aid them in fulfilling their potential.
• Inadequate education contributes to the cycle of poverty by making it more difficult for low-income children to lift themselves and future generations out of poverty. http://www.apa.org/pi/families/poverty.aspx

Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of society’s problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family.


Dr. Wilda Reviews Book: ‘Super Baby Food’


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Northwestern University study: Heavier babies do better in school

27 Oct

The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services explains why healthy babies are important. “Healthy babies are more likely to develop into healthy children, and healthy children are more likely to grow up to be healthy teenagers and healthy adults.” http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/earlychildhood/health/index.aspx

The New York Times reported in the article, Heavier Babies Do Better in School:
A study of children in Florida found that those who were heavier at birth scored higher on math and reading tests in the third to eighth grades.
Like so many other parts of health care, childbirth has become a more medically intense experience over the last two decades. The use of drugs to induce labor has become far more common, as have cesarean sections. Today, about half of all births in this country are hastened either by drugs or surgery, double the share in 1990.
Crucial to the change has been a widely held belief that once fetuses pass a certain set of thresholds — often 39 weeks of gestation and five and a half pounds in weight — they’re as healthy as they can get. More time in the womb doesn’t do them much good, according to this thinking. For parents and doctors, meanwhile, scheduling a birth, rather than waiting for its random arrival, is clearly more convenient.
But a huge new set of data, based on every child born in Florida over an 11-year span, is calling into question some of the most basic assumptions of our medicalized approach to childbirth. The results also play into a larger issue: the growing sense among many doctors and other experts that Americans would actually be healthier if our health care system were sometimes less aggressive.
The new data suggest that the thresholds to maximize a child’s health seem to be higher, which means that many fetuses might benefit by staying longer in the womb, where they typically add at least a quarter-pound per week. Seven-pound babies appear to be healthier than six-pound babies — and to fare better in school as they age. The same goes for eight-pound babies compared with seven-pound babies, and nine-pound babies compared with eight-pound babies. Weight, of course, may partly be an indicator of broader fetal health, but it seems to be a meaningful one: The chunkier the baby, the better it does on average, all the way up to almost 10 pounds.
“Birth weight matters, and it matters for everyone,” says David N. Figlio, a Northwestern University professor and co-author of the study, which will soon be published in the American Economic Review, one of the field’s top journals… http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/upshot/heavier-babies-do-better-in-school.html?abt=0002&abg=0&_r=0


The Effects of Poor Neonatal Health on Children’s Cognitive Development (WP-13-08)
David Figlio, Jonathan Guryan, Krzysztof Karbownik, and Jeffrey Roth
This working paper makes use of a new data resource—merged birth and school records for all children born in Florida from 1992 to 2002—to study the effects of birth weight on cognitive development from kindergarten through schooling. Using twin fixed effects models, the researchers find that the effects of birth weight on cognitive development are essentially constant through the school career, that these effects are very similar across a wide range of family backgrounds, and that they are invariant to measures of school quality. They conclude that the effects of poor neonatal health on adult outcomes are therefore set very early.
David Figlio, Orrington Lunt Professor of Education and Social Policy and of Economics, and Director and Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University
Jonathan Guryan, Associate Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, and Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University
Krzysztof Karbownik, Visiting Scholar, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University
Jeffrey Roth, Research Professor of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Florida
Download working paper PDF http://www.ipr.northwestern.edu/publications/docs/workingpapers/2013/IPR-WP-13-08.pdf

Other articles have questioned whether heavier babies are healthier:

Bigger Baby Trend Worries Doctors As Health Concerns Mount Over Supersized Deliveries http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/bigger-baby-trend_n_3780699.html

Everyday Research blog analyzes the study in Heavier babies do better in school:
a) How do we know this is a correlational study? What are its variables?
b) Here’s a quote from the article:
Mr. Figlio estimates that, all else equal, a 10-pound baby will score an average of 80 points higher on the 1,600-point SAT than a six-pound baby. Another way to see the pattern is to look only at top-scoring students: Among the top 5 percent of test scorers in elementary school, one in three weighed at least eight pounds at birth, compared with only one in four of all babies.
Does this quote address statistical validity? Construct validity? External validity? or Internal validity?
c) Here’s a great addition. Underneath the main figure in the article, are tables of results for education, race, and age. The caption reads:
The effect of being heavier is similar across many different types of mothers.
Is this caption addressing potential moderators? potential mediators? or potential third variable problems?
d) Here’s another quote from the piece:
Florida offers a window on the issue because the state tracks children from birth through college…. The authors of the new study….used the data to compare birth weight with test scores from third through eighth grades, as well as with kindergarten readiness scores. They controlled for, among other factors, the health and sex of the baby, the length of the pregnancy and the health, age, race and education of the mother
Looking at the last sentence of this quote, is this statement addressing potential moderators? potential mediators? or potential third variable problems?

The question many parents ask is what is a healthy weight range.

The What to Expect article, Your Newborn’s Weight: What’s Normal, What’s Not discusses healthy weight:

So just what is average for a newborn? At birth, the average baby weighs about 7.5 pounds — though the range of normal is between 5.5 and ten pounds (all but five percent of newborns will fall into this range).
What makes your baby weigh more or less than the newborn in the next bassinet? Several factors come into play:
• Your own diet and weight, both before and during pregnancy (If you’re overweight, you may have a heavier baby. If you don’t get enough nutrients while you’re pregnant, your baby may be smaller.)
• Your prenatal health, including whether you drink, smoke, or have diabetes
• Your own birth weight, plus genetics (your size at birth, plus your and your hubby’s size now, can both play a role)
• Whether your baby is a boy or a girl (boys tend to be heavier)
• Whether this is your firstborn (they tend to be smaller than subsequent children)
• Whether your baby is a twin or triplet (multiples tend to be smaller than singletons)
• Your baby’s race (Caucasian babies are sometimes larger than African-American, Asian, or Native American infants)… http://www.whattoexpect.com/baby-growth/newborn-weight.aspx

The key is regular prenatal care.

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reports in What is prenatal care and why is it important?

Prenatal Care
Women who suspect they may be pregnant should schedule a visit to their health care provider to begin prenatal care. Prenatal visits to a health care provider include a physical exam, weight checks, and providing a urine sample. Depending on the stage of the pregnancy, health care providers may also do blood tests and imaging tests, such as ultrasound exams. These visits also include discussions about the mother’s health, the infant’s health, and any questions about the pregnancy.
Preconception and prenatal care can help prevent complications and inform women about important steps they can take to protect their infant and ensure a healthy pregnancy. With regular prenatal care women can:
• Reduce the risk of pregnancy complications. Following a healthy, safe diet; getting regular exercise as advised by a health care provider; and avoiding exposure to potentially harmful substances such as lead and radiation can help reduce the risk for problems during pregnancy and ensure the infant’s health and development. Controlling existing conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, is important to avoid serious complications in pregnancy such as preeclampsia.
• Reduce the infant’s risk for complications. Tobacco smoke and alcohol use during pregnancy have been shown to increase the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Alcohol use also increases the risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which can cause a variety of problems such as abnormal facial features, having a small head, poor coordination, poor memory, intellectual disability, and problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones.2 According to one recent study supported by the NIH, these and other long-term problems can occur even with low levels of prenatal alcohol exposure.3

In addition, taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily reduces the risk for neural tube defects by 70%.4 Most prenatal vitamins contain the recommended 400 micrograms of folic acid as well as other vitamins that pregnant women and their developing fetus need.1,5 Folic acid has been added to foods like cereals, breads, pasta, and other grain-based foods. Although a related form (called folate) is present in orange juice and leafy, green vegetables (such as kale and spinach), folate is not absorbed as well as folic acid.
• Help ensure the medications women take are safe. Certain medications, including some acne treatments6 and dietary and herbal supplements,7 are not safe to take during pregnancy.
Learn more about prenatal and preconception care. http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preconceptioncare/Pages/default.aspx

See, Prenatal care fact sheet http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/prenatal-care.html

Our goal as a society should be a healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©

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Yale, New York University and University of Wisconsin Madison study: More ADHD medication given during school term to lower status children

16 Oct

Carolyne Gregoire reported in the Huffington Post article, American Teens Are Even More Stressed Than Adults:

Last year, the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey found that Millennials, aged 18-33, were the country’s most-stressed generation. Now, the title belongs to an even younger demographic: American teenagers.
Even before the pressures of work and adulthood set in, for most young Americans, stress has already become a fact of daily life. And this sets the stage early for unhealthy behaviors and lifestyle choices that may increase the risk of developing stress-related health problems down the road.
American teenagers are now the most stressed-out age group in the U.S., according to APA’s 2013 Stress In America survey. While adults rate their stress at a 5.1 on a 10-point scale, teens rate their stress levels at 5.8…… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/11/american-teens-are-even-m_n_4768204.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Quite often stress and depression in children is treated with medication.

Science Tech Daily reported in the article, Study Finds Stimulant Use Increases by 30% During the School Year:

New research from Yale, NYU and the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that students are 30% more likely to take a stimulant medication during the school year than they are to take one during the summer.
The authors found that school-year increases in stimulant use are largest for children from socioeconomically advantaged families. Because many children use stimulants only during the school year and take a “drug holiday” in the summer, the authors conclude that these children are using stimulants to manage their schools’ academic demands.
Stimulant medications, which improve concentration and help manage other symptoms associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are the most widely used class of medications among adolescents. Childrens’ use of these medications in the United States has increased dramatically in the last two decades, from approximately 2.4% of children in 1996 to 6% of children at present…. http://scitechdaily.com/study-finds-stimulant-use-increases-30-school-year/


Medical Adaptation to Academic Pressure
Schooling, Stimulant Use, and Socioeconomic Status
1. Marissa D. Kinga
2. Jennifer Jenningsb
3. Jason M. Fletcherc
1. aYale School of Management
2. bNew York University
3. cUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
1. Marissa King, Yale School of Management, 165 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511 E-mail: marissa.king@yale.edu
Despite the rise of medical interventions to address behavioral issues in childhood, the social determinants of their use remain poorly understood. By analyzing a dataset that includes the majority of prescriptions written for stimulants in the United States, we find a substantial effect of schooling on stimulant use. In middle and high school, adolescents are roughly 30 percent more likely to have a stimulant prescription filled during the school year than during the summer. Socioeconomically advantaged children are more likely than their less advantaged peers to selectively use stimulants only during the academic year. These differences persist when we compare higher and lower socioeconomic status children seeing the same doctors. We link these responses to academic pressure by exploiting variation between states in educational accountability system stringency. We find the largest differences in school year versus summer stimulant use in states with more accountability pressure. School-based selective stimulant use is most common among economically advantaged children living in states with strict accountability policies. Our study uncovers a new pathway through which medical interventions may act as a resource for higher socioeconomic status families to transmit educational advantages to their children, either intentionally or unwittingly.

Here is the synopsis from Yale Insights:

Medicate to Educate: Study Finds Stimulant Use Increases by 30% During the School Year
Marissa D. King — October 2014
Children are 30% more likely to take a stimulant medication during the school year than they are to take one during the summer, according to a new study published in the American Sociological Review. The authors found that school-year increases in stimulant use are largest for children from socioeconomically advantaged families. Because many children use stimulants only during the school year and take a “drug holiday” in the summer, the authors conclude that these children are using stimulants to manage their schools’ academic demands.
Stimulant medications, which improve concentration and help manage other symptoms associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are the most widely used class of medications among adolescents. Childrens’ use of these medications in the United States has increased dramatically in the last two decades, from approximately 2.4% of children in 1996 to 6% of children at present.
Larger school-year increases in stimulant use were found in states with higher levels of accountability pressure, suggesting that education policies impact stimulant use. Children from families who are not poor and live in states with more strict standardized-testing and school-accountability environments are much more likely to use stimulants only during the school year compared to their less economically advantaged peers in states with less stringent accountability environments.
“Many parents are faced with a tough decision: Do they medicate their kids to help them manage in an increasingly demanding school environment?” said Marissa King, assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management and lead author of the study. “Rather than trying to make kids conform to the school system by taking stimulants, we need to take a closer look at what is happening in schools.”
To examine the effect of schooling on stimulant use, King and her colleagues analyzed a data set including the majority of prescriptions written for stimulants in the United States during the 2007-2008 academic year. They linked the patterns of stimulant use during the school year to academic pressure by analyzing state rankings of school-accountability policies published by Education Week. Differences in school year and summer use could not be explained by avoidance of medication side effects, medication cost, or type of ADHD.
The researchers also examined the influence of doctors on school-based stimulant use to determine whether the socioeconomic differences they observe occur because more- and less-advantaged children see different doctors. Even when children from more- and less-advantaged backgrounds were treated by the same doctor, children from more-advantaged backgrounds were more likely to use stimulants only during the school year. This suggests that socioeconomic differences in school-based stimulant use are driven by parents, not doctors. “Socioeconomically advantaged families are more likely to trust their own judgment about medication decisions rather than defer to their doctors,” said King.
The researchers say that the study suggests that medical interventions like stimulant use may be a new pathway through which more advantaged parents translate their economic advantages into educational advantages for their children, either intentionally or unwittingly.
“Medical Adaptation to Academic Pressure: Schooling, Stimulant Use, and Socioeconomic Status,” by Marissa King (Yale School of Management), Jennifer Jennings (New York University), and Jason Fletcher (University of Wisconsin-Madison), is published in the American Sociological Review.

Paul Tough wrote a very thoughtful New York Times piece about the importance of failure in developing character, not characters.
In What If the Secret to Success Is Failure? Tough writes:
Dominic Randolph can seem a little out of place at Riverdale Country School — which is odd, because he’s the headmaster. Riverdale is one of New York City’s most prestigious private schools, with a 104-year-old campus that looks down grandly on Van Cortlandt Park from the top of a steep hill in the richest part of the Bronx. On the discussion boards of UrbanBaby.com, worked-up moms from the Upper East Side argue over whether Riverdale sends enough seniors to Harvard, Yale and Princeton to be considered truly “TT” (top-tier, in UrbanBabyese), or whether it is more accurately labeled “2T” (second-tier), but it is, certainly, part of the city’s private-school elite, a place members of the establishment send their kids to learn to be members of the establishment. Tuition starts at $38,500 a year, and that’s for prekindergarten.
Randolph, by contrast, comes across as an iconoclast, a disrupter, even a bit of an eccentric. He dresses for work every day in a black suit with a narrow tie, and the outfit, plus his cool demeanor and sweep of graying hair, makes you wonder, when you first meet him, if he might have played sax in a ska band in the ’80s. (The English accent helps.) He is a big thinker, always chasing new ideas, and a conversation with him can feel like a one-man TED conference, dotted with references to the latest work by behavioral psychologists and management gurus and design theorists. When he became headmaster in 2007, he swapped offices with his secretary, giving her the reclusive inner sanctum where previous headmasters sat and remodeling the small outer reception area into his own open-concept work space, its walls covered with whiteboard paint on which he sketches ideas and slogans. One day when I visited, one wall was bare except for a white sheet of paper. On it was printed a single black question mark.
For the headmaster of an intensely competitive school, Randolph, who is 49, is surprisingly skeptical about many of the basic elements of a contemporary high-stakes American education. He did away with Advanced Placement classes in the high school soon after he arrived at Riverdale; he encourages his teachers to limit the homework they assign; and he says that the standardized tests that Riverdale and other private schools require for admission to kindergarten and to middle school are “a patently unfair system” because they evaluate students almost entirely by I.Q. “This push on tests,” he told me, “is missing out on some serious parts of what it means to be a successful human.”
The most critical missing piece, Randolph explained as we sat in his office last fall, is character — those essential traits of mind and habit that were drilled into him at boarding school in England and that also have deep roots in American history. “Whether it’s the pioneer in the Conestoga wagon or someone coming here in the 1920s from southern Italy, there was this idea in America that if you worked hard and you showed real grit, that you could be successful,” he said. “Strangely, we’ve now forgotten that. People who have an easy time of things, who get 800s on their SAT’s, I worry that those people get feedback that everything they’re doing is great. And I think as a result, we are actually setting them up for long-term failure. When that person suddenly has to face up to a difficult moment, then I think they’re screwed, to be honest. I don’t think they’ve grown the capacities to be able to handle that….” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/what-if-the-secret-to-success-is-failure.html?emc=eta1&_r=0
Because of high stakes testing, it appears that poorer children are being given medication because of educational policy issues like having a school or district appear to succeed in a testing environment, rather than the particular need of the child.


Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/schools-have-to-deal-with-depressed-and-troubled-children/

School psychologists are needed to treat troubled children http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/school-psychologists-are-needed-to-treat-troubled-children/

Battling teen addiction: ‘Recovery high schools http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/battling-teen-addiction-recovery-high-schools/

Psych Central’s Depression In Young Children http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/05/20/depression-in-young-children/13970.html

WebMD’s Depression In Children http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-children

Healthline’s Is Your Child Depressed? http://www.healthline.com/hlvideo-5min/how-to-help-your-child-through-depression-517095449

Medicine.Net’s Depression In Children http://www.medicinenet.com/depression_in_children/article.htm

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Brown University study: Sexually active girls more likely to be bullied

28 Sep

Moi wrote in Sexualization of girls: A generation looking much too old for their maturity level:
Just ride the bus, go to the mall or just walk down a city street and one will encounter young girls who look like they are ten going on thirty. What’s going on with that? Moi wrote about the sexualization of girls in Study: Girls as young as six think of themselves as sex objects:
In Children too sexy for their years, moi said:
Maybe, because some parents may not know what is age appropriate for their attire, they haven’t got a clue about what is appropriate for children. There is nothing sadder than a 40 something, 50 something trying to look like they are twenty. What wasn’t sagging when you are 20, is more than likely than not, sagging now.

Kristen Russell Dobson, the managing editor of Parent Map, has a great article in Parent Map. In Are Girls Acting Sexing Too Young?
The culture seems to be sexualizing children at an ever younger age and it becomes more difficult for parents and guardians to allow children to just remain, well children, for a bit longer. Still, parents and guardians must do their part to make sure children are in safe and secure environments. A pole dancing fourth grader is simply unacceptable.

Moi loves fashion and adores seeing adult looks on adults. Many 20 and 30 somethings prefer what I would charitably call the “slut chic” look. This look is questionable fashion taste, in my opinion, but at least the look involves questionable taste on the part of adults as to how they present themselves to the public. http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/children-too-sexy-for-their-years/ http://drwilda.com/tag/study-girls-as-young-as-6-are-thinking-of-selves-as-sex-objects/

Alexandra Svokos reported in the Huffington Post article, Sexually Active Teen Girls More Likely To Be Bullied Than Similar Boys, Study Finds:

Using data from a 2011 national survey of over 13,000 high school students, Brown researchers found that sexually active high school girls report being bullied 2.27 times more often than their male counterparts.
In addition, both girls and boys were more likely to report bullying if they also reported being sexually active without using condoms or other contraceptives. (Overall, 64 percent of sexually active students said they used a condom during their last engagement in intercourse.) The report suggested that while “engaging in sexual behaviors may be associated with greater levels of popularity” in some cases, that doesn’t happen when their peers think the teens behave sexually in ways that are “risky or dangerous to one’s health….” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/26/sexual-activity-bullying-study_n_5877168.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education

Here is a portion of Kate Talerico’s Brown Daily Herald article, Sex, bullying linked in girls, study suggests:

The sexual double standard — the concept that women are more highly criticized for sexual activity than men are — may play a role in bullying victimization among high school girls, according to a new study led by a team of University researchers.
“Sexually active girls have 2.27 times the odds of being bullied compared to boys who are also sexually active,” said Hailee Dunn, the former manager of the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine and lead author of the study. The study was co-authored by three other Brown researchers and was released in this month’s issue of the journal Women’s Health Issues.
Girls who have engaged in sexual intercourse are almost twice as likely to be bullied, Dunn said. “If you look at boys, it’s not as significant.”
Girls who became sexually active at younger ages were found to be more prone to bullying than those who were not sexually active until they were older.
This same correlation does not exist with boys, “so that may be indicative of some sort of sexual double standard,” Dunn said.
In regard to use of condoms and other forms of contraception, there are no significant gender differences, according to the study.
From this finding, the researchers “interpreted that maybe our health education programs are working,” Dunn said. “There is this sort of stigma if you’re not using a form of protection that applies to both boys and girls.” Both boys and girls who had not used condoms reported higher rates of bullying than those who had.
The study analyzed the results of 13,065 high school boys and girls who took the Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2011, Dunn said….http://www.browndailyherald.com/2014/09/22/sex-bullying-linked-girls-study-suggests/


Association between Sexual Behaviors, Bullying Victimization and Suicidal Ideation in a National Sample of High School Students: Implications of a Sexual Double Standard
Hailee K. Dunn, MPH
Annie Gjelsvik, PhD
Deborah N. Pearlman, PhD
Melissa A. Clark, PhD
Received: November 5, 2013; Received in revised form: April 24, 2014; Accepted: June 19, 2014;
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2014.06.008
The sexual double standard is the notion that women are more harshly judged for their sexual behaviors than men. The purpose of this study was to investigate if the sexual double standard could explain gender differences in bullying victimization among adolescents and the extent to which that relationship correlated with depression and suicidal ideation.
Analyses were conducted using a sample of high school students (n = 13,065) from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a cross-sectional and national school-based survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data were assessed using multiple logistic regression, gender-stratified analyses, and interaction terms.
Students who engaged in sexual intercourse (sexually active) had higher odds of being bullied. When this association was stratified by gender, odds of being bullying increased for girls (odds ratio [OR], 1.83; 95% CI, 1.58–2.13) and decreased for boys (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.77–1.16). Sexually active students who were bullied also displayed more than five times (OR, 5.65; 95% CI, 4.71–6.78) the adjusted odds of depression and three times (adjusted OR, 3.38; 95% CI, 2.65–4.32) the adjusted odds of suicidal ideation compared with students who reported neither of those behavioral characteristics. When stratified by gender, girls had slightly higher odds of depression and suicidal ideation but overall, the odds remained strong for both genders.
Results provide some evidence that a sexual double standard exists and may play a prominent role in bullying victimization among girls. Therefore, addressing the sexual double may be important to consider when tailoring school bullying intervention programs.

Moi supposes there are a group of parents who don’t want conflict and give in because “everyone else is doing it.” Remember the everyone else is often the lowest common denominator. Some parents feel they must be their child’s BFF. Wrong. You are supposed to be the parent. Some one has to be in charge. Russell provide some excellent resources for managing the media. Find resources for managing media https://www.parentmap.com/article/resources-for-managing-kids-media

Dr. Wilda has been just saying for quite a while.


Popwatch’s Miley Cyrus Pole Dance Video http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/08/10/miley-cyrus-pole-dancing-at-the-teen-choice-awards-rather-unfortunate-yes/

Baby Center Blog Comments About Miley Cyrus Pole Dance http://blogs.babycenter.com/celebrities/billy-ray-cyrus-defends-mileys-artistic-pole-dancing/

The Sexualization of Children http://www.tellinitlikeitis.net/2009/03/the-sexualization-of-children-and-adolescents-epidemic.html


Let’s speak the truth: Values and character training are needed in schools http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/lets-speak-the-truth-values-and-character-training-are-needed-in-schools/

Do ‘grown-ups’ have to be reminded to keep their clothes on in public? Apparently so http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/do-grown-ups-have-to-be-reminded-to-keep-their-clothes-on-in-public-apparently-so/

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Attendance Works report: School absence sets students back

2 Sep

Education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process. Too many parents are not prepared to help their child have a successful education experience. Julia Steiny has an excellent article at Education News, Julia Steiny: Chronic Absenteeism Reveals and Causes Problems. http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/julia-steiny-chronic-absenteeism-reveals-and-causes-problems/

Joy Resmovits reported in the Huffington Post article, School Absence Can Set Students Back Between 1 And 2 Years: Report:

As the debate rages about the best way to fix America’s public schools — from heated rhetoric on the role of standardized testing to wonkier discussions about the intricacies of curricula — a new report is arguing that reformers have overlooked a game-changing solution: addressing absenteeism.
While it may seem obvious that students who miss more school would not perform as well as other students, a new report released Tuesday shows just how much of a difference attendance can make. According to the report, written by nonprofit advocacy group Attendance Works, about 1 in 5 American students — between 5 million and 7.5 million of them — misses a month of school per year. The report suggests that missing three or more days of school per month can set a student back from one to two full years of learning behind his or her peers.
“All our investment in instruction and Common Core and curriculum development will be lost unless kids are in school to benefit from it,” said Hedy Chang, the group’s director and co-author of the report. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/02/school-absence_n_5739084.html

Here is the summary from Attendance Works:

State-by-State Analysis Shows Impact of Poor Attendance on NAEP Scores
A state-by-state analysis of national testing data demonstrates that students who miss more school than their peers consistently score lower on standardized tests, a result that holds true at every age, in every demographic group and in every state and city tested.
The analysis, Absences Add Up: How School Attendance Influences Student Success, is based on the results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and was released today by Attendance Works as the start of Attendance Awareness Month. The unique research shows:
• Poor attendance is a national challenge. About one in five students nationwide reported missing 3 or more days of school during the month before taking the NAEP test; if this persisted throughout the year, those students would miss more than a month of school in excused or unexcused absences.
• Student attendance matters for academic performance. In many cases, the students with more absences displayed skill levels one to two years below their peers.
• Poor attendance contributes to achievement gaps. Students living in poverty and those from communities of color were more likely to miss too much school. That said, poor attendance is associated with weaker test scores in every demographic and socioeconomic group.
“This study gives us a compelling snapshot of how poor attendance links to poor performance,” said Hedy Chang, director of Attendance Works, “Cities and states now need to use their own data to paint a deeper, more complete picture of the magnitude and concentration of chronic absenteeism in their schools. We recommend examining how many students miss 10% or more of the entire school year for any reason.”
NAEP, considered the Nation’s Report Card, is given every two years to a sample of fourth- and eighth-grade students in all 50 states and 21 large cities. In addition to testing math and reading skills, NAEP asks students a series of non-academic questions, including how many days they missed in the month before the exam. The data analysis showed a significant dropoff in scores for students with three or more absences in the prior month. About 20 percent of fourth- and eighth-graders reported missing that much school.
“The NAEP results tell us so much more than simply how students perform on a particular test,” said Alan Ginsburg, the researcher who conducted the analysis of the testing data and co-authored the report. “The attendance question opens a door to why student perform as they do.”
Experts project that 5 million to 7.5 million U.S. students miss nearly a month of school every year, but there is not yet a commonly defined nationwide metric for assessing student-level absenteeism. Schools report school-wide attendance averages and truancy rates for students who miss school without an excuse. But the definition of truancy varies from state to state, and it doesn’t account for excused absences, which also affect student achievement.
“Whether the absences are excused or unexcused, missing too much school can leave third-graders unable to read proficiently, sixth-graders failing classes and ninth-graders headed toward dropping out,” said Chang of Attendance Works. “Our best efforts to improve student achievement and fix failing schools won’t work if the students aren’t coming to class.” http://www.attendanceworks.org/research/absences-add/

Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family.


Don’t skip: Schools waking up on absenteeism

School Absenteeism, Mental Health Problems Linked http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/12/25/school-absenteeism-mental-health-problems-linked/32937.html

A National Portrait of Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Grades http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_771.html

Don’t skip: Schools waking up on absenteeism


US Department of Education Helping Series which are a number of pamphlets to help parents and caregivers http://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/hyc.html

How Parents Can Help Their Child Prepare for School Assignments http://mathandreadinghelp.org/how_can_parents_help_their_child_prepare_for_school_assignments.html

Getting Young Children Ready to Learn http://www.classbrain.com/artread/publish/article_37.shtml


We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant

Hard truths: The failure of the family

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