Toddler Q, the light of our life, is chatty. He’s been talking for over a year, but on a daily basis, we are amazed and delighted by his ability to articulate and to express himself.
Yesterday, on the way to his swimming lesson, AdventureMan was working with him on “goldfish” which he has been pronouncing “Goldpish.”
“Gold FISH!” they shouted as they drove down the road!
After his swimming lesson, on the way home, AdventureMan could hear him softly saying “goldfish.”
Then he said “BaBa, when I was little, I used to say ‘Goldpish.’ Now, I say ‘Goldfish!”
I saw this on one of the parenting posts on AOL and loved it. Hug your babies, yes, hug them and hug them again! Make their brains grow BIG and strong!
I heard this yesterday on NPR and found this article today on the Huffpost/AOL News. The critical factor is that a woman needs to be taking folic acid supplements BEFORE she gets pregnant:
With autism now affecting one in 88 children in the U.S., many parents are searching for any step they can take to help lower their child’s risk of developing the disorder. A new Norwegian study joins a small but growing body of research that suggests a simple, low-cost option already exists: Taking folic acid during the earliest stages of pregnancy could lower a child’s odds of developing autism by nearly 40 percent.
“This is a relatively inexpensive way that parents can take action to possibly prevent risk of tube birth defects and autism,” Alycia Halladay, senior director for environmental and clinical Sciences for the advocacy group Autism Speaks, told The Huffington Post. Halladay did not work on the new study, which was published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday.
Researchers analyzed a sample of more than 85,000 children born in Norway between 2002 and 2008 to study the effect of taking a folic acid supplement — typically between 200 and 400 micrograms per day — from one month before a woman got pregnant to two months after. Some .10 percent of children whose moms took folic acid supplements were diagnosed with autism, compared to .21 percent of those whose moms did not — which is equal to 39 percent lower odds.
The study does not establish a cause and effect relationship between the vitamin and subsequent autism, and its authors do not know why folic acid may have a protective effect. Study researcher Pal Suren of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health told HuffPost that folic acid is critical to the synthesis of DNA, which could play some role in the connection. Folic acid may also affect how certain genes are turned on and off in the body, he hypothesized, saying it was “not biologically implausible” that folic acid supplementation has certain epigenetic effects.
The new study also raises questions about how much folic acid may be needed to lower autism risk, as well as what form it must come in.
“We do not know how other dosages would have affected the risk of autism, or whether it matters if folic acid is taken as single tablets or as part of a prenatal multivitamin supplement,” Suren said.
The researchers took steps to ensure that the decreased risk was not just because women who took folic acid were also engaged in other healthy behaviors. To control for that, they looked at fish oil use (assuming women who took fish oil were also likely to be healthy in other ways) and found no link between lower autism risk.
Since the early 1990s, groups like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Public Health Service have recommended that all women of childbearing age take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to help prevent neural tube defects — birth defects of the brain and spinal cord including spina bifida and anencephaly. Since folic acid was added to the grain supply in 1998, the U.S. has seen a 26 percent decrease in those neural tube disorders, according to figures compiled by the March of Dimes.
The possibility of a link between folic acid consumption and lower autism risk is far more preliminary. A 2011, California-based study in the journal Epidemiology found that mothers of children with autism were less likely to have taken a prenatal vitamin in the three months before pregnancy or in the first month after getting pregnant, suggesting that so-called “periconceptional” use of prenatal vitamins may reduce autism risk. In the U.S., prenatal vitamins typically include between 400 and 800 micrograms of folic acid.
But folic acid is by no means a magic pill, experts caution. The fact that rates of autism diagnosis have skyrocketed in the past several decades despite more and more women taking folic acid shows how complex the origins of autism are. The exact causes of the disorder, which is characterized by social and communication difficulties and repetitive behaviors, are still unknown.
“This is one way that risk may be reduced, but this isn’t the only way,” said Halladay. “It’s an inexpensive way to potentially reduce the risk of autism, but there are a number of risk factors — genetics and other environmental factors — that solidly contribute to risk.”
The Age of Miracles is a very odd name for this book, which starts off in a beautiful little coastal town in California, a very normal, modern town, and then everything changes. Suddenly, the earth’s rotation is slowing, incrementally, but resulting in longer and longer days and longer and longer nights. The difference is small at first, but grows.
Julia is in sixth grade, a painful time anyway in most lives where your body suddenly changes and all your relationships with all your friends change, and boys become a major factor. Imagine. All this AND the earth’s rotation is slowing.
No one knows what to expect. No one knows why or how the rotational slowing is happening, and no one has a clue how to fix it. Do you stay on a 24 hour clock, as the days grow to 30 hours? Forty hours? Can you even function in a forty hour day, or sleep a 40 hour night? How do you stay on a 24 hour clock and force yourself to sleep when the sun is shining brightly overhead? How do you have a school day entirely in the middle of the darkest part of the night? How does food continue to grow? What impact does this have on birds? Migrations? How does kicking a soccer ball feel when earth’s gravitational field starts to lessen?
The author does a brilliant job in a what-if situation, and manages to make it quite real. Don’t read this book if you are the suggestible type – it’s just one more thing you’ll start worrying about when you don’t need to. If you can read speculative fiction without letting it influence you, then by all means read this book, it is a good read.
After our boat trip, we took a walk to the diving platform to watch the manatees. When we lived in the Tampa/St. Pete/Safety Harbor area, we saw Manatees all the time, and it was heart breaking. They are big, stupid, clumsy animals who do no harm. They love to congregate where there is warm water on a cold winter’s night. Sadly, these slow moving sea cows are often hit and damaged by boaters; the blades of the motors scarring the manatees, often wounding them fatally. They have no defense against the casual, callous cruelty of the oblivious boater.
Here, in Wakulla Springs, they are safe. The only boats allowed in the Springs areas have caged blades; they cannot hurt the manatees.
No, only people can hurt them.
As we were watching the manatee, there was a family there. I try not to judge parents; parenting is hard. I will just make some observations. It was 40 degrees F – not that far from freezing – and the two little girls were dressed in beach clothes and their feet were bare. They were running on the diving platform, while Mom was trying to take photos of the manatees with her iPhone, and dad was trying to keep the little ones rounded up. On the second level, two stories above the ground, one little girl, maybe four years old, runs out to the edge of the diving platform and her dad snatches her back, just in time, as mom continues trying to film the manatees. All this is their business, although I fear for little girls who are raised carelessly, it is not my business.
Then, the older little girl reached down in her pockets and pulled out handsfull of breadcrumbs, which she spread into the water WHILE HER PARENTS WATCHED. Did you not see the signs? Did you not hear the guides? We are not to feed the manatees anything! Bread and breadcrumbs are not a part of their diet! Parents, what are you using for brains? ? ?
No. I did not say anything; I don’t look for trouble. I write it in this blog, and then, God willing, I let it go.