News: world autism awareness day

When Do Signs of Autism Appear?

By Gen Cohen

Uncovering the Early Signs of Autism

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Some Preggers "Rules" Examined...

By Scott Morris

Really? No sushi, no lunch meat, and I can't touch kitty litter?? 

[reposted from Lucie's List] 

There are TONS of pregnancy myths and fact about what you should-- and shouldn't -- be doing during your pregnancy. Perhaps you've already been admonished by an annoying coworker about the dangers lurking inside your turkey sandwich. 
 
The truth of the matter is that the majority of miscarriages, stillbirths, and birth defects occur from reasons that are totally outside of your control. This will either give you comfort or totally freak you out; hopefully it's the former.
 
As it turns out, many of the rules of the pregnancy police come not from actual data or studies, but from the "why-take-a-chance" philosophy that pervades American medicine, no matter how infinitesimal the actual risk.
 
First, a biology lesson.
 

Mr. (or Ms.) Fetus

Only half of your tiny peanut is identical to your own biology (the other half belonging, of course, to your sperm-donor-of-a-husband, or boyfriend, or fiance, or one-night-stand --- no one's judging here).

Fetus: nooo, don't attack meee!!

Because of this dissimilarity, your little ball of baby cells would normally be rejected by your body's own immune system (much like with a transplanted organ). Thankfully, our immune systems have evolved to NOT attack the developing fetus.

Essentially, your whole immune system lets down its guard for the duration of your pregnancy. As a result, pregnant women are more vulnerable to nasty stuff. This also explains why you'll get every strain of cold under the moon during the 3rd trimester, even if you are normally quite healthy.

So which of the rules are justifiable and which aren't? Let's have a look at some pregnancy myths that have been debunked or confirmed.

Listeria Hysteria

Listeria is the big bad bacteria that you want to avoid during pregnancy, mainly because it can cross the placental barrier and infect the fetus, which can result in miscarriage or fetal death.

True, pregnant women are about 20 times more likely to get listeria than the non-pregnant, but EVEN SO, it is EXTREMELY rare, infecting about 50-100 per million for those with a bun in the oven (3 to 5 million without).

~ This is even less likely than your chances of dying in a plane crash (1 in 30,000). 

* For comparison's sake, 1 in 84 people die in car crashes.

It should also be noted that most listeria infections in pregnancy occur in the 3rd trimester, when suppression of Th1-mediated immunity is at its maximum.

The highest risk foods for listeria are preserved fish (lox and stuff), cheese from unpasteurized milk, and deli meats. Pate (pa-TAAAAAY). Under cooked hot dogs. Stuff like that.

Bottom line: With those kinds of odds, you should worry more about your driving and less about your turkey sandwich.

Sushi 

Most American OBs say, "No sushi for you!" However, if you look at the data, 85% of seafood illness comes from eating raw shellfish -- that's right, bivalve mollusks, namely, raw oysters and clams

If you take those out of the equation, the risk of falling ill from eating seafood is 1 in 2 million servings. [By comparison, the risk from eating chicken is 1 in 25,000.] So... can we agree that we won't eat raw oysters and clams? I mean, really? Millions of Japanese women are not wrong (and yes, with some of the best public health officials in the world, they've looked into it).

Furthermore, fish eaten in a sushi restaurant in the US is almost always flash frozen before it gets to the restaurant, so any parasites or bacteria in the fish would have been killed during the process.

Salmon-ella, ha!

Bottom line: No raw shellfish, but your salmon roll shouldn't be any more scary than your chicken sandwich.

Freddy Mercury

"You should eat lots of fish when you're pregnant." No wait... "You should avoid fish when you're pregnant."

Well, which is it?

"Between the warnings about parasites in sushi and about mercury in certain species of fish, pregnant women are being scared off fish altogether. And that's bad news, since the fatty acids in fish are the ideal nourishment for a developing baby," said Steven Shaw, a former food writer for The New York Times.

Furthermore, researchers found that greater maternal intake of omega-3 fatty acids in fish was associated with better fine motor development, more pro-social behavior, and better social development.

So is there a "too much"? All researchers can do is guess at it, but many suggest that the warnings against seafood consumption are dramatically overblown.

In fact, a study in the Seychelles [a high fish-eating population] showed no link between the children's development over their first 6 years and the levels of mercury contained in their mothers' hair during pregnancy, which is a measure of the amounts to which fetuses were exposed.

Bottom line: Common sense would tell us to limit consumption of fish that are high in mercury, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish (sorry, no shark for you this week [snort]). 

The Truth About Kitty Litter

Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite whose only natural host is the cat. Reeeer.

The truth is if you've had an indoor/outdoor cat for years, your chances of being immune from a previous exposure are fairly high - perhaps as high as 90%.

Studies show... of the 10% of pregnant cat owners that are susceptible, about 2% of those are exposed to toxoplasmosis during pregnancy. Of those (now 0.2%), only 30% of the 0.2% become infected. If infected (this keeps getting better, huh?), only 30% of those are "clinically infected", meaning their newborn will be impacted in some noticeable way.

Where are we on the math? About 0.0018 (or, 1.8 in 100,000) of the fetuses of pregnant cat owners will get sick from toxoplasmosis. You can see why doctors really don't see this very often.

Should you tell your husband or partner that this really isn't a threat after all?

Hell-to-tha-NO! Let him think it's highly lethal for, like... the rest of your life (come on, you can't get drunk for the next few months, the least he can do is scoop some kitty crap, yeah?). It'll be our little secret. ;-)


Conclusion: Ladies, I'm not saying you can't get sick from things like listeria, sushi, and kitty litter. I'm just saying they're fairly unlikely (k, so don't sue me). The beauty is that everyone can decide based on their own risk tolerance. I love 'dis country!

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8 spring fashion favorites for kids (and the Best Baby Sunglasses Around)!

By Scott Morris

8 spring fashion favorites for kids


Ro·Sham·Bo Baby sunglasses
 

By Jackie McGoey

Digital Editor

Springtime is probably my favorite time of year when it comes to fashion. Kids ditch the heavy winter coats in favor of floral prints, polka dots and bright rain boots. Here’s what all the cool kids are wearing this season. Plus, a little something for mom, too!

kidpik.com

kidpik

I couldn’t have discovered kidpik.com at a better time. My daughter is totally into fashion right now and, without hesitation or prompting, would describe her style as “fabulous.” But even if your girl is more sporty, glam or modest, the beauty of kidpik is that it’s completely tailored to her. Girls (sizes 4-14) can choose which colors, patterns and styles they love to wear and within a few days, a box of clothes and shoes arrives at the door. Parents with commitment phobia will love that there’s no subscription fee, shipping is free and you only pay for what you keep. However, if you do decide to keep the whole box, you get a 30 percent discount. I’d call that pretty fabulous.

 

The average kidpik.com box retails for $75.

Umi Shoes

 

umi

Come spring, kids can’t wait to ditch the closed-toe shoes and set their piggies free. Cute sandals that are comfortable and well-made are worth their weight in gold. Add in the fact that Umi shoes are made from eco-friendly materials and genuine leather and I’m planning on my girls living in them all season long. In my house, we’re loving the Celia and Cora styles. And boys will turn heads (and still be able to play rough and tumble) in the Mason and Nolan styles.

 Umi Shoes retail for $50+.

Picklez by AC Lens glasses

picklez

As a proud member of the four-eyes club, it’s exciting to see how far eyeglasses designs have come. I think back to the bent up, wire-rimmed frames I began wearing in third grade and I cringe. Kids today are so lucky they have cooler options like the new Picklez line from AC Lens. Bright colors and fun, trendy shapes allow kids to express their personalities. They even come in non-prescription lenses for those kids who like the playful look of glasses but don’t have the medical need to wear them. Best of all, they’re super durable (a must with kids) and the scratch resistant lenses come with a protective UV coating.

 

Picklez glasses retail for $49.95.

Glitzies hair stickers

glitzies

Any fashionista will tell you that if the ‘do isn’t right, nothing is. Glitzies stick-on hair jewels add a bit of shine and shimmer to everyday hairstyles. Silver sparkles accent fishtail braids, pearls add sophisticated glam to your girl’s top knot and try cheetah-print hearts for when she’s really feeling adventurous.

 Glitzies hair stickers retail for $9.95.

ro.sham.bo baby sunglasses

roshambo2

If babies in tiny sunnies don’t make you smile, you’ve got a cold, cold heart. Beyond upping your little’s cuteness factor, Ro·Sham·Bo Baby is making sure those baby blues (or browns or greens) are protected right from the start. Their stylish kids' glasses offer 100 percent UVA and UVB protection and are light, flexible and virtually unbreakable (seriously, just check out this video). A portion of all sales benefits the Autism Research Institute in San Diego and just in case you’re not already crushing hard, the shades come in names like “Kelly Kapowski” (hot pink), “Ice Ice Baby” (bright white) and “McFly” (tomato red). Be still my ‘90s heart.

Ro·Sham·Bo Baby stylish kids' glasses and sunglasses retail for $20.

Runchkins.com

runchkins

Kids seem to grow out of clothes faster than you can blink sometimes. Runchkins--a new personal shopping service based in Chicago--promises to buy back their items once your child outgrows them. Unheard of! Here's how it works: For a nominal subscription fee, hand-picked items for girls and boys (up to age six) are delivered to your door. Choose what you love and send back what you don’t. Simple! Prices are comparable to higher-end boutiques, but keep this on your radar for the future: you can soon choose to receive gently-used items in your box, which will reduce the final cost to you significantly.

 

The average Runchkins outfit retails for $88.

Doodle Pants

doodlepants

Your kiddos will have the cutest bums in Chicago in Doodle Pants leggings. And as we’ve all seen, spring in Chicago can mean snow (really, Mother Nature?), so having a few options to keep those chunky legs warm is a good idea. The 75+ designs are fun and creative, and most importantly, they’re comfy, with extra room in the seat (perfect for cloth diapers!). If you love them, you’re in good company; celebs such as Olivia Wilde, Jessica Simpson and Jenna Dewan-Tatum do, too.

 Doodle Pants retail for $24.99+.

Skylar Luna organic loungewear

skylarluna

Nobody, kids included, wants to be uncomfortable when they’re sleeping. Skylar Luna’s short sleeve pajamas sets are perfect for warm spring nights. Wrap your kids up in softer-than-soft Turkish organic cotton as they drift off to sleep. The sets are so cozy in fact, don’t be surprised if, come morning, your kids want to stay in their jammies all day long.

 Skylar Luna organic loungewear retail for $30+.

BZees shoes

BzeesDream

Chasing after toddlers, running behind new bike riders fresh off training wheels and walking big kids to school. Face it: moms have to be on their feet a lot. BZees line of sporty footwear aims to make that time as comfortable as possible. The lightweight slip-ons, strappy sandals and wedges (my personal favorite) are made with a special air-infused outsole and free foam footbed which make you feel like you're walking on air. Say goodbye to aching feet at the end of the day. Bonus: They're machine washable!

BZees retail for $59+.

http://www.chicagoparent.com/community/momma-knows-best/blogs/spring-fashion

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GIRLS' WORLD MAGAZINE KIDS' SUNGLASSES REVIEW: THEY LOVES OUR BABY SHADES!

By Scott Morris

Upgrade your child’s accessories with these cool pair of sunglasses! Enter to win one of three pair of ro sham bo sunglasses.

Designed specifically for babies and children’s use, abuse and love of putting things in their mouths, ro•sham•bo are so durable that they can be bent, stretched, pulled, stepped on (they have even been run over and survived!) and bounce right back to shape; even a thirty year old man can’t break them! ro•sham•bo shades come in baby, junior and adult sizes.

Even celebrities like Jamie King, Reese Witherspoon, Tiffany Hornton, and Courtney Lopez (aka Mrs. “AC Slater”) are fans of these high quality sunglasses for little people! ​ ro•sham•bo shades make the perfect stocking stuffer, gift for a new mom, or holiday gift guide item, and a percentage of proceeds go to autism research! In fact, the name “ro•sham•bo” is a reference to “rock, paper, scissors,” a game many special educators like to play with kids that need some extra quiet attention without disrupting a classroom.

Visit www.roshambobaby for more information. Watch Vimeo to see how to rock these shades.

http://winit.girlsworldmag.com/sweepstakes/win-a-pair-of-ro-sham-bo-sunglasses-14111

 

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CARING CAUSES: RO·SHAM·BO BABY AND SURFERS HEALING AUTISM CHARITY

By Scott Morris

Ro·Sham·Bo Baby, the leading brand for flexible glasses frames for kids and infants, is proud to announce the formation of a new charitable partnership with Surfers Healing, a non-profit organization committed to aiding children on the autism spectrum by providing surfing lessons in a safe and comfortable environment.  

The partnership is a natural fit: The Ro·Sham·Bo Baby company name is derived from the rock, paper, scissors game most of us played as kids - and this game is actually proven to have a calming effect on kids with autism.

Pro surfer Israel Paskowitz founded Surfers Healing because his son, Isaiah. has autism, and when he struggled with meltdowns and sensory overload, riding the waves with his father calmed him like nothing else.  The founders of Ro·Sham·Bo Baby grew up in the beach and surfing culture and love what Surfer's Healing is doing, so a percentage of all their sales sold in 2016 will go to supporting the inspiring work of Surfers Healing.

Surfers Healing has been at it for over fifteen years, and we hope we can be a very small part in helping them continue for another fifteen. Each year, Surfers Healings’ volunteer-staffed camps give over 4,500 children with autism and their families a fun, engaging day at the beach. Attending a Surfers Healing camp positively impacts children with autism, instilling confidence and calm. It also can have a profound impact on the parents. Autism parents are always told what their children cannot do, but at Surfers Healing, it’s all about what their kids can do.
Check out the full blog here: http://motherhood-moment.blogspot.com/2016/03/caring-causes-ro-sham-bo-baby-and.html

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Ro•Sham•Bo Baby Sunglasses – Protect Their Eyes and Your Shades

By Scott Morris

Ro•Sham•Bo Baby Sunglasses – Protect Their Eyes and Your Shades

Before you read this kids' sunglasses review, let us just say how delighted we are that Everyday Men gave this shoutout to us and our bendable baby sunglasses!

From Everyday Men.

Saw the picture and thought “Nice sunglasses!” huh? Luckily for you, Ro•Sham•Bo Baby makes some pretty nice adult sunglasses too, so don’t fret. This post, however, is more “everyday carry for the everyday dad.” As winter is on the retreat and the summer approaches, we all bust out our shades. Although, for the parents out there with babies – your shades are in grave danger. My son, just about 10 months old, seems to be on a never-ending quest to take and destroy my glasses and sunglasses. So, for the sake of my (slightly more expensive) sunglasses, and protecting my son from harmful UV rays (first priority of course), there are Ro•Sham•Bo Baby's bendable baby sunglasses.

RSBB shades are, of course, for your baby – which solves the “I have to take dad’s” problem. They are also durable – and not just durable in the traditional sense of the word – these shades are nearly (if not completely) baby-proof. You can check out a video of the creator trying to destroy the frames himself on their website – to no avail. This solves the “find and destroy” problem. Additionally, they are bpa free and small parts compliant (fancy way of saying there are no bad chemicals and no small parts that might fall off and be a choking hazard for your little one!), and block 100% of UVA/B rays. Better still, they are guaranteed for a year against any breakage, and should your little one lose a lens, they’ll replace it (music to parents’ ears). Else, a portion of every sale goes directly to autism research at the Autism Research Institute in San Diego, California. Learn more and see the full line up of baby, junior, and adult shades here.

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Baby Sunglasses and Surfing Just Makes Sense

By Scott Morris

Baby Sunglasses and Surfing Just Makes Sense

The Best Baby Sunglasses and Surfing in Sourthern California!

ro∙sham∙bo baby is proud to announce the formation of a new charitable partnership with the Surfers Healing charity, a non-profit organization committed to aiding children on the autism spectrum by providing surfing lessons in a safe and comfortable environment. The partnership is a natural fit: ro∙sham∙bo baby is a family run company in San Diego, California, and the founders grew up enjoying the benefits the beach and surf culture can afford. As we have done with our other autism charities, a percentage of all sales from our kids' sport sunglasses sold in 2016 will go to supporting the inspiring work of Surfers Healing. And if you want to make sure that Junior's glasses stay on even when tumbling in the waves, check out our kids' glasses adjuster and head strap!

Each year, Surfers Healings’ volunteer-staffed camps give over 4,500 children with autism and their families a fun, engaging day at the beach. Many children with autism struggle with sensory overload; simple sensations can overwhelm them. The weightlessness and rhythms of the ocean offer a therapeutic experience, a respite from the constant assault on their senses. As their website puts it:

Through the simple act of riding waves together, we’re defying the status quo. When we help kids get up on a board, we’re challenging preconceived notions of capability. When we encourage participants to dive in, we’re empowering them to engage the world. And when we ride the waves together, we’re affirming that every person is a gift.

Attending a Surfers Healing camp positively impacts children with autism, instilling confidence and calm. It also can have a profound impact on the parents. Autism parents are always told what their children cannot do, but at Surfers Healing, it’s all about what their kids can do.

Surfers Healing has been at it for over fifteen years, and we hope we can be a very small part in helping them continue for another fifteen. For more information or to get involved, visit www.surfershealing.org.

 

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Thanks Double Duty Twins!

By Dallas Stevens

Thanks Double Duty Twins!

Check Out This Review from Double Duty Twins!

Remember when my family and I lived in California? And remember how I couldn’t stop talking about how much I loved every warm, sun-soaked moment?

I did—and so did my twins. But protecting their little eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays was a struggle. It stressed me out. After all, pediatric optometrists warn that lifetime UV damage starts in early childhood, with retinal damage from the sun having its greatest impact in kids under 10 years old.

We bought the boys all sorts of fun little toddler shades. But no matter what we did, their shades could not seem to survive very long. They always seemed to end up mangled at the bottom of the beach bag, crushed under the double stroller in the trunk of the car, or destroyed by grubby little hands that managed to find them even when I thought I had put them in a safe place. Eventually we gave up, tired of constantly spending money on toddler shades that were just going to break anyway, and just tried to improvise by shielding their eyes as best we could with sun hats and baseball caps.

Recently, I received an email offering me the opportunity to try ro•sham•bo baby shades. These stylish, Italian-made sunglasses come in many fun designs named after ’90s icons, like “Kelly Kapowski pink” and  “Zack Morris blue.” (Where are all my “Saved By the Bell” fans?) They block 100% of the sun’s UVA/B rays and are BPA- and pthalate-free. They’re also a favorite of celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Jamie King.

But here’s the part of the email that intrigued me the most: “Designed specifically for babies and children’s use, abuse, and love of putting things in their mouths, ro•sham•bo are so durable that they can be bent, stretched, pulled, and stepped on (they have even been run over and survived!) and bounce right back to shape.”

Um—yeah right, I thought. They haven’t met my Lily, who shares her big brothers’—ahem—curiosity. But this video of the shades being manhandled and surviving was quite convincing:

 

I wrote back and said I would love to try the shades. I received two adorable pairs—one in “Breakfast @ Tiff’s teal” and one in “Simpsons yellow.” Lily seemed to prefer the teal ones, and so did I. So, even though it’s winter here in Northern Virginia, we bundled up and took them with us to the playground on a warmer day. She looked super adorable in them! She also wanted to wear her brother’s blue puffer vest—a little fashionista in training. Here’s Lily modeling her cool new ro•sham•bo shades:

best baby sunglasses
See? Adorable! (Please excuse the crumb on her chin!) Since that day at the park, we’ve had gloomy days followed by the mega blizzard now known as #Snowzilla16, so Lily hasn’t had much opportunity to sport her shades out and about. However, I have allowed her to play with them to her little heart’s content, and so far, they really have held up! She even chewed on them a couple of times. I’m really surprised that there aren’t any scratches yet.

Now, the question is: Will Lily keep them on for longer stretches at the pool, the park, and the beach this summer? I think she will. The lightweight arms bend gently inward to help keep the shades on a baby’s head. And because they’re so soft, they seem to be a lot more comfortable than stiffer shades. I know because I tried them on. (No, I will not post a picture of that!)

ro•sham•bo baby shades fit babies and toddlers ages 0 to 2 and up, depending on the size of the child’s head. And, get this: They come in adult and kids’ sizes, too! I’m seriously considering getting teal ones for myself and the boys so we can all match. (I doubt I’ll get Keith to go along with it.)

To purchase your own ro•sham•bo baby or adult shades, head to roshambobaby.com. Baby shades sell for $20 per pair and adult shades cost $35 per pair. Buy three pairs and enter the coupon code Family10 to get 10 percent off your order. Purchase four or more pairs and enter the code Family15 to get 15 percent off your order. Then, feel great about your purchase: The company donates a portion of all proceeds to autism research!

Now, let’s hope summer gets here quickly!

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