Living with Autism
Beauty Embedded within the Autistic Mind
Understanding Childhood Fever
Children’s Doctors & Healthcare Specialists
A Financial Plan of Caring for Special Needs Child
The Journey is the Reward!
Report Cards as a Tool to Help Your Child Succeed
Growing Up with The Berenstain Bears exhibition returns to Lied Discovery Children’s Museum
Summer Camp Directory
Sky Zone – A Las Vegas Original
Nevada PEP Las Vegas Trainings – April 2010
“It’s Time to go!” Helping Young Children Transition
Kids Dining Out Calendar
Living with Autism
Families for Effective Autism Treatment, Inc. (FEAT) is a non-profit organization of parents and professionals, designed to help families with children who have received the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), including Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), or Asperger’s Syndrome. FEAT offers a support network where families can meet each other and discuss issues surrounding autism and treatment options. To find out more visit them online www.featsonv.org .
By Dr. Sabra R. Smith
If not previously exposed, many became acquainted with autism through Dustin Hoffman’s Oscar winning role as the autistic savant, Raymond Babbitt, in the 1988 film, Rain Man. In this movie, Hoffman demonstrates the oftentimes impenetrable character of autistics who rarely make eye contact, are often unable to interpret the body language or facial expression of others, and who tend to become obsessed in a world of their own, populated by rituals and sameness. Despite its difference, there is beauty embedded within the autistic mind. Much like Raymond Babbitt, some autistics, although socially withdrawn and uncommunicative, have a genius level of creative intelligence with an unparalleled ability to draw, write, play instruments, engage in science or mentally compute a series of numbers or mathematical expressions all without rigorous training or study.
Autism, originally described in the early 1940’s by two different doctors on two different continents – Dr. Leo Kanner, a child psychologist at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and Dr. Hans Asperger, a pediatrician in Vienna, Austria – is a neurological disorder whose name is derived from the Greek word “autos” which means self. Fittingly, autistics are known to be self-oriented and thought to exist in a world of their own as demonstrated by poor social interaction and communication skills and atypical behavior. Both doctors Kanner and Asperger defined autism based upon individual observations of children under their care. The neurological disorder, whose milder form parallels behaviors and neural processes of ADHD, greatly affects the executive functions of the frontal lobes of the brain, the section of the brain most notably responsible for impulsivity. Thus, in addition to impulsive behavior, autistic children tend to also express: difficulty interacting with others, temper tantrums, inappropriate laughing or giggling, little or no eye contact with others, uneven gross and fine motor skills, no real fear of danger, no desire to cuddle, and physical overactivity or extreme underactivity.
According to Michael Fitzgerald, author of The Genius of Artistic Creativity, Asperger’s Syndrome and high-functioning autism enhance creativity. Fitzgerald suggests that such greats as: Isaac Newton, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Lewis Carroll, Albert Einstein, Vincent Van Gogh, and George Orwell all possessed and worked with autistic genius. He says,
“These…people…are highly focused, don’t fit into the school system, and…often have poor social relationships and eye contact…they can produce in one lifetime the work of three or four other people.”
As demonstrated by Rain Man, although hyper-focused on objects within their own world, the autistic mind is a beautiful mind. So, instead of focusing on such traits as poor social interaction and communication, we must learn to understand the autistic mind by embracing its beauty and its genius.
Dr. Sabra R. Smith is the author of the book, Innermost Parts: Theory of Spiritual Relativity, Law of the Abundant Life. To contact Dr. Smith call: (702) 429-7487.
By Dr. Jay Fisher
The human body has an amazing ability to respond to day to day challenges. Children, who are in the process of incredible growth and development, are remarkable in this regard. Because they are new to this world, they must learn to fight off many germs (viruses and bacteria), that their body has never seen before. When a child has an infection, one of the ways the body responds to ‘fight it off’ is by increasing their body’s temperature, causing a fever. A rectal temperature greater than 100 degrees F is considered a fever by most experts.
Careful clinical research has proven that fever is not necessarily harmful to children. In fact, it plays an important role in winning the ‘infection battle’. We now know that the increase in the body’s temperature is controlled by proteins released by the body’s immune system. These proteins, in addition to changing the body’s temperature, are sending out signals to other parts of the body’s immune system.
Think of a fever as a signal to your child’s immune system – as well as a signal to you. The fever is not harmful, but occasionally the infection can be. This is particularly true with infants less than 3 months of age. If you suspect that your child has an infection that may be dangerous, a trip to your private doctor, clinic, or emergency department is recommended. Signs of a dangerous infection can include rapid breathing, a bright red or purple rash, loss of alertness, and pain or fatigue that does not allow your child to walk or drink. Many children with infections that are not dangerous have these signs as well, which is what makes the treatment of children with fever difficult at times.
Even though fever is not necessarily harmful, it makes a child feel uncomfortable, contributes to the loss of fluids in the body (dehydration), and often reduces their desire to eat and drink. For these reasons, we recommend treating a child’s fever with either acetaminophen (in children over 3 months of age) or ibuprofen (in children over 6 months). This provides temporary relief of your child’s discomfort, while still allowing them to fight the infection. Since many infections take 4 to 5 days to fight off, the fever will likely come and go for several days. Fevers lasting longer than 3 to 4 days, even without other concerning symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor.
Dr. Jay Fisher is the Medical Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital of Nevada. Dr. Fisher has taken care of children in southern Nevada for nearly 20 years and has two teenage daughters. Find out more about Children’s Hospital of Nevada online at childrenshospitalofnevada.org and on Facebook.
Good Night Pediatrics
The need for health care services often occurs after your doctor’s office is closed and GNP is available to fulfill that need. Every child is seen by is seen by a pediatrician.
Ages: Newborns to 18 years
When: Open 5pm to 5am every day, including weekends.
Where: 2651 N Green Valley Parkway, Suite 101D, Henderson, NV 89014
Children’s Hospital of Nevada
Children’s Hospital of Nevada is home to the only pediatric intensive care unit in Las Vegas that is staffed around the clock by board certified pediatric critical care physicians.
When: Open for emergencies 24 hours.
Where: 1800 West Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89102
Dr. Nancy Sylvanie
Dr. Sylvanie is one of Southern Nevada’s leading practitioners for Autism screening and evaluation.
When: Hours by appointment
Where: 2610 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy, Henderson, 89052