Many people know someone who stutters or stammers — an embarrassing trait that can cause a lifetime of social misery and discomfort. They won’t raise their hand in class and they try to avoid painfully embarrassing situations. The Memphis-based Stuttering Foundation believes that if parents notice their child beginning to stutter, they should seek help as quickly as possible.
The foundation also offers these seven tips:
1 ) Speak with your child in an unhurried way, pausing frequently. Wait a few seconds after your child finishes speaking before you begin to speak. Your own slow, relaxed speech will be far more effective than any criticism or advice such as “slow down” or “try it again slowly.”
2) Reduce the number of questions you ask your child. Children speak more freely if they are expressing their own ideas rather than answering an adult’s questions. Instead of asking questions, simply comment on what your child has said, thereby letting him know you heard him.
3 ) Use your facial expressions and other body language to convey to your child that you are listening to the content of her message , and not to how she’s talking.
4 ) Set aside a few minutes at a regular time each day when you can give your undivided attention to your child. During this time, let the child choose what he would like to do. Let him direct you in activities and decide himself whether to talk or not. When you talk during this special time, use slow, calm, and relaxed speech, with plenty of pauses. This quiet, calm time can be a confidence-builder for younger children, letting them know that a parent enjoys their company.
5) Help all members of the family learn to take turns talking and listening. Children, especially those who stutter, find it much easier to talk when there are few interruptions and they have the listeners’ attention.
6 ) Observe the way you interact with your child. Try to increase those times that give your child the message that you are listening to her and she has plenty of time to talk. Try to decrease criticisms, rapid speech patterns, interruptions, and questions.
7) Above all, convey that you accept your child as he is. The most powerful force will be your support of him, whether he stutters or not.
Jim Killackey, Medical Writer
The Integris Cerebrovascular & Stroke Center at Baptist Medical Center is participating in the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke program.
The goal is to improve stroke treatment and prevent future strokes.
The program was developed to help hospitals employ “science-based treatment guidelines,” according to an Integris press release. The guidelines address stroke management and prevention, and the establishment of stroke centers.
“As a GWTG-Stroke participating hospital, Integris Cerebrovascular & Stroke Center at Baptist Medical Center is encouraged to develop a comprehensive system for providing rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke when patients are admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain-imaging scans, making neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations and using clot-busing medications when appropriate,” according to the release.
Treatment and prevention of strokes includes use of statins and anti-platelet medications, treatment of atrial fibrillation and atherosclerosis, and management of weight, diabetes and cholesterol.
Through the GWTG-Stroke program, the American Stroke Association provides Baptist with training and staff recommendations, “care maps,” discharge protocols, standing orders, and data collection and measurement tools.
According to the stroke association, approximately 700,000 people suffer a stroke each year.
For health and medical news and commentary, read The Medicine Bag blog at http://blog.newsok.com/health.
Jeff Raymond, Medical Writer
As I scanned the health page of The New York Times Web site this morning, I found this:
“Taking a significant step toward the creation of synthetic forms of life, researchers reported Thursday that they had manufactured the entire genome of a bacterium by stitching together its chemical components. “
Scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute have constructed viruses, but bacteria are larger and much more complex. According to the story, the genome of the bacterium is 10 times longer than the longest piece of DNA previously synthesized.
“The feat is a watershed for the emerging field called synthetic biology, which involves the design of organisms to perform particular tasks, like making biofuels. Synthetic biologists envision being able to design an organism on a computer, press the ‘print’ button to have the necessary DNA made and then put that DNA into a cell to produce a custom-made creature,” the newspaper reported.
The work was published Thursday online in the journal Science.
However, the newspaper reported, synthetic biology could be used to make pathogens, or scientists’ errors could have unintended effects.
Researchers largely copied the genetic sequence of bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium.
“Moreover, Dr. Venter’s team, led by a Nobel laureate, Hamilton O. Smith, has yet to accomplish the next — and biggest — step. That would be to insert the synthetic chromosome into a living microbe and have it ‘boot up’ and take control of the organism’s functions,” the newspaper reported.
The team ordered 101 gene sequences from biotech companies companies, the newspaper reported. It joined them into bigger pieces. Scientists then inserted four large pieces into yeast, “which hooked them together using a natural gene repair mechanism.”
At some point, the newspaper reported, scientists will be able to synthesize an organism from scratch more cheaply and easily than splicing genes.
Venter is known for sequencing the human genome.
Jeff Raymond, Medical Writer
With influenza season arriving in Oklahoma this month, Lauri Smithee, chief of the Acute Disease Service at the Oklahoma Health Department, offers specific instructions for avoiding colds, germs and infectious diseases. Many of which involve basic hygiene.
“If you get sick, it puts you out of commission and that’s no fun, especially if you are a caregiver of children or other family members. There are important steps we all should take,” Smithee said.
- Wash your hands – You’ve heard this before, but washing hands before eating, after visiting the restroom, after changing diapers, after blowing your nose — is the best way to avoid illness .
- Carry hand sanitizers – Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, particularly the ones that are not antibacterial, are good substitutes for hand washing until you get home or to a location where you can wash your hands.
- Watch what you touch – Try to avoid touching things like bathroom door handles (use a towel), escalator rails, elevator buttons (use your knuckle) and pens at checkout counters (carry your own).
- Stay home – When you start to feel bad, stay home. Do not go to work, church or school, and do not visit a nursing home or hospital. This is the time you are most contagious, especially if you have a fever.
- Keep it to yourself – Sneeze into your elbow, not your hand ; if you cough or sneeze into your hand, wash your hands immediately and throw used tissue into the trash.
- Stay alert when traveling – Get all recommended traveler’s immunizations in plenty of time for trip abroad in 2008; don’t drink untreated water; if you become ill when you return home, tell your doctor where you’ve been.
– Jim Killackey, medical writer