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The Way to Grow

A Newsletter from Allied Pediatrics of New York

 

In This Issue
Unplug your family
Sat hours at AfterHours Center
Relay for Life
Autism Facts
Autism & Early Intervention
Fostering Friendships

 

TV Turn-off Week 

April 18-24 

TV Turn-off Week

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 2 less than 2 hours/day & for older children. 

  • Parent/child interaction is  decreased when TV is on
  • Screen time related to delayed language in children under 3
  • TV time related to obesity

 Click here for interesting  facts about kids & screen time 

 

Click here to learn how to limit TV

 

 Click here for exercise activities

to do when the TV is off


After Hours Center

to start

Saturday hours  

in May

  

Check the website  

for  current information. 



Allied Pediatrics

partners with American Cancer Society 

at the 

Relay for Life 

 

Look for Allied Pediatrics in the registration tent at an event near you!

 

5/6 Hicksville
5/7 Syosset 
5/14  Long Beach
5/20 Locust Valley
Malverne
Roslyn
5/21 Bellmore-Merrick
Great Neck
Lynbrook
6/4 Carle Place
Seaford
Bethpage
North Shore
6/11 Plainview-
Old  Bethpage
Baldwin
Westbury
6/18 Port Washington

Relay for Life is a perfect family event.

Teach your children about community & helping others in a way they can understand.  

Honor the memory

of a loved one

Click on the individual Relay links above to create a luminaria at the Relay of your choice.

Are you a cancer survivor?   

Every Relay honors cancer survivors and their families  

with a free Survivor's Dinner.  

   

For more info on anything Relay related contact Eddie.

 

 

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Volume 3 April 2011
Autism Facts for Parents 

Autism Awareness

by Lisa Cavanaugh, MD, FAAP 

 

Autism is a communicative disorder of unknown cause that interferes with both social and behavioral development. It affects many parts of the brain and manifests in the first few years of life. The hallmark of autism and autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) is impaired social interaction. Symptoms include difficulties with communication (both verbal and non verbal) and obsessive, repetitive behaviors.  These deficiencies may be mild enough to allow the child to lead a productive life or severe enough to make independent living impossible.  

    Children with autism and ASD often will develop normally in other ways, but have trouble connecting socially with others.  At a very early age they seem withdrawn and make limited eye contact. As they grow, they have trouble with normal play and do not develop intuition about the subtle parts of communication such as facial expression and body language.  Their early words are often repetitive and echoing instead of responsive to those around them.  

             ________________________________________

             _____Click here for warning signs of autism by age____              


 
   Repetitive behaviors may follow.  Examples of these are, rocking, hand flapping and twirling.  Obsessive regimented play develops involving straightening, stacking and arranging objects in a particular way. Autistic children become rigid and inflexible and have great difficulty with transitioning from one situation to another which leads to tantrums and sometimes self injurious behavior.  Many toddlers are obsessive and/or have difficulty with transitions, but when there is a constellation of symptoms, it makes sense to discuss your concerns with your pediatrician.

     

     Since there is no cure for autism, early diagnosis and intervention offer the best hope for improving communication and alleviating some behaviors.  Your child's pediatrician is specially trained to recognize early signs of autism and ASD.  This involves a comprehensive history and thorough physical examination and often  a screening tool as well. The M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) is a checklist designed to screen children aged 16 months to 30 months. It is a 23 item questionnaire for parents requiring YES or NO responses that takes under 10 minutes to compete and score.  

 

    If a child is identified as "at risk", the pediatrician will refer the child for a more comprehensive evaluation, usually through the Early Intervention Program. Early Intervention is a government program that provides, at no charge, testing and treatment for children with developmental concerns.   Parents may also refer themselves directly to the EIP. Many agencies will help parents navigate the EIP (see below) or parents may contact the agencies directly. 

Early Intervention Programs: NYC - Totline 1-800-577-baby (2229)    Nassau County - 516-227-8661  Suffolk County - (631) 853-3100

 

Dr. Lisa Cavanaugh is a member of Allied Pediatrics. She practices at Neighborhood Pediatrics in Greenvale, NY.  

Autism Evaluation & Treatment

Maximize Potential 

by Jana Vitale, MA, CCC-SLP, BCBA.

  

How is Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosed?

Once referred,

a comprehensive

evaluation will be conducted by a trained clinical psychologist using diagnostic tests and observation. This in-depth evaluation will include a discussion of family concerns and analyze your child's learning style, communication & play skills, social relatedness and areas of strengths and needs. It will determine whether your child is on the Autism Spectrum. Other evaluations may be recommended such as Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Audiology.

 

How can we help our child to learn and grow?   

A team of educational and behavioral specialists will design an individual treatment plan for your child using Applied Behavior Analysis, the treatment of choice by the NYS Dept of Health and the US Surgeon General for children with Autism .  ABA programs are individually designed for each child to increase skills in language, cognition, play and socialization, while decreasing behaviors that interfere with learning. Learning components are broken down into small steps and responses are rewarded in order to help the child achieve maximum success. Interfering behaviors are also targeted to be eliminated in order to maximize learning potential. Skills are expanded upon in a systematic manner in order to make sure that pre-requisite skills are achieved and built upon to achieve higher level skills. Parent training is provided to help the child's primary caregivers learn to carry over skills for generalization into daily living. Learning is a team effort, where family members are an important part of the team in helping their child to learn and grow.  

If you have concerns that your child may have Autism Spectrum Disorder, please discuss it with your pediatrician.

Jana Vitale is a certified speech therapist and ABA Director at Children's Speech & Rehabilitation Therapists in Nassau (516) 827-1970.

             Not Just Child's Play  

at PeerPals.org 

PeerPals.org playdate
PeerPals.org playdate

 

by Kerry Fierstein, MD, FAAP

"It broke my heart to think of my children growing up without friends," remembers Julie Keffer, mother of three children diagnosed with autism by age 2. In 2008, with help from Oprah Magazine, Julie founded PeerPals.org,  a charitable organization that matches pre-school children with disabilities with typically developing children in their school district for one-on-one and group play dates. These friendships serve as the building blocks for inclusive communities when the children enter kindergarten together. 

PeerPals.org is based in Long Island but has members in many states. The PeerPals.org model gives each child with a disability the opportunity to enter kindergarten with at least one friendship with a typically developing peer.  At the same time it helps the typical child develop empathy and learn to see past a person's limitations to who they really are.

PeerPals.org held their 1st annual Planting Seeds of Community Dinner, Thursday April 7th naming Dr. Nancy Lippman of Pediatric Health Associates, a division of Allied Pediatrics of New York, as their first Community Champion. "Dr. Lippman understands children with special needs," explains Julie. Dr. Lippman has helped connect PeerPals.org with local preschools which is crucial to spreading the word so parents can sign children up for the PeerPals.org experience. PeerPals.org currently has more children with disabilities than it can match with typical peers. PeerPals.org never charges parents for any PeerPals.org activities and is fully a volunteer organization. PeerPals.org also needs special ed and medical personnel to help with group play dates. If you would like more information on PeerPals.org for yourself, your child or your preschool, go to PeerPals.org and contact Julie.  

Dr. Kerry Fierstein is a member of Allied Pediatrics. She practices pediatrics at Pediatric Health Associates, Plainview, NY. 

 

 

 

 
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