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When Does Life Begin?

crying babyThe anticipated joy of a couple becomes complete at the sound of the cry of their new born after about 9 months of pregnancy and several hours of labor. The birth cry has been known to signify life and is looked out for by the medical professionals at the point of delivery. However, it should interest you that life does not begin at birth but at the moment the man’s sperm fuses with the woman’s ovum (This is called fertilization in biological terms or conception). A child’s life begins at this time. According to a renowned developmental psychologist, Professor Agiobu-Kemmer, the womb is the primary environment where an unborn child develops. It cannot be seen with unaided eyes but advancement in technology has made it possible to know what happens in there.

What evidence exists regarding life at conception? What makes one know that a child starts developing from the womb? Why must environmental factors both in the womb and outside be considered for optimal development?

sucking babyThe developing “child” or “fetus” in the womb hears, feels, sees, and moves even before birth. At approximately two weeks after conception, a lot of development occurs in the womb of a mother. At this stage, nutrition and environmental factors as well as genetics play a role. The body organs and parts begin to develop and take shape. At 12 weeks (3months), the fetus can smile, frown, suck and swallow. This same period coincides with when the fetus can urinate, move arms, legs, fingers and toes. Sucking the thumb usually is not learnt after birth, rather at about 20 weeks after conception, fetuses have been reported to have begun this behavior. At 25 weeks, they begin to hear and at 32 weeks they begin to respond to sounds particularly their mothers’ voices. A very recent study by Lahav (2015), an assistant professor of pediatrics, indicated that neural connection grew at sound centers of the brain of premature babies in incubators who heard recordings of their mother’s voice rather than the regular noise of intensive care units. This research shows how important it is for a mother to speak to her child while in the womb.  Another recent story was published in the news by Mail Online; A newborn baby who refused to be pacified kept on crying until he heard his father’s voice and was held by him. This provides evidence that bonding begins in the womb and both parents play a role.

It is really amazing the delicacy of the life that exist in the womb. How all the organs develop is still a continuous source of inquiry for scientists and researchers. Nutrition, emotional attachment, genetics and the  physical environment during pregnancy play a role in determining a child’s life outside the womb.  Thus, it is important to note that all these factors determine a child’s physical, intellectual and socio-emotional development

“Everything a mother does and is, is shared with her unborn child”.

Development

Every child deserves the best and remember that what a mother does or does not do during pregnancy will affect the child’s development in later years.

For more interesting updates on #child development, kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh.

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Stress Management: The Effects of Stress on your health

In this month, we are sharing information about stress management with very interesting topics and useful information to help you manage stress properly, we will be shedding light on what stress is, its effects on health, causes of stress, signs and symptoms of stress, ways to manage stress, clinical interventions and more eye opening information. This is the best information to get you going as the year wraps up and as you plan for the new year.

stressladysmallLife is full of ups and downs, challenges here and there, deadlines, frustrations, disappointments and expectations. As a result of this, many have taken up stressful living as a life style.  Stress is the psychological and physical reaction to the challenges of everyday life. It originates from the body’s response to a perceived threat or danger, this response is known as the “flight or fight response which helps the body deal with unexpected situations by releasing some stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and  prepares the body for action resulting in an “emergency state”.  In this state, there is an increase in heart beat and blood pressure, breathing becomes faster, there is also more stamina and speed. However, when an individual is constantly operating on this “emergency state”, It often results in serious health consequences.

stress_responseStress affects certain parts of the body such as the brain and nerves, muscles and joints, pancreas, intestine, stomach, heart, respiratory system and reproductive system. Therefore, problems associated with these parts of the body are common when an individual is going through a lot of stress.

Stress has been linked to various physical and emotional problems some of which include;

  • Hypertension
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship problems
  • Burnoutblack_man_stress2
  • Heart problems
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine
  • Memory problems
  • Aches and pains

It also increases the body’s susceptibility to infections by weakening the immune system.

 

Anything that can cause stress is known as a stressor, which can be negative events or positive ones. Here are some common stressors:

  • Financial problems
  • Excessive job demands
  • Family problemsgeneral-stressors-banner20130829-28277-1g37to3-0_540x245
  • Fear
  • Worrying
  • Death of a loved one
  • Threatening life events such as accidents and disasters
  • Marriage
  • Getting a new job
  • Divorce
  • Unemployment

 

Keep in mind that negative things will happen in life but it is how you are able to handle these negative situations that determines how much you can cope with stress. The warning signs of stress and more information will be discussed in the next article.

kindly visit www.mobilehealth consult.org also, follow @Drmorayojimoh for more interesting update on stress management.

 

 

 

 

 


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Understanding Dyslexia: Strengths and positive skills

HiResWith the previous article dwelling on the signs and causes of dyslexia, it is important to note that a formal psycho-educational assessment is required to ascertain if a person has dyslexia. This assessment is aimed at examining memory, language, orientation in time and space, behaviour, motor skills, intellectual ability, bodily awareness, information processing, psycho-linguistic processing, and academic skills of the child. It determines whether or not the child is reading, writing or spelling at age appropriate level. Such assessments also take into account the child’s birth history, developmental milestones and overall school performance. It is conducted by trained specialists such as educational psychologists.

Strengths and positive skills of individuals with dyslexia

Although children with dyslexia have average or above average intelligence, they may experience difficulties learning language based subjects since language is the most common mode of communicating new knowledge in schools. People or children with dyslexia can learn to read and be proficient in language skills when their strengths are maximized. They have inherent strengths that if used can make them perform at levels at par with their contemporaries.

Below are some positive strengths of individuals with dyslexiaStrengths

  • They are great at visuo-spatial thinking.
  • Fast problem solvers who are able to think laterally
  • They are intuitive and good at reading people
  • They are verbally articulate and may be  great communicators
  • Creativity is a major strength possessed by them – so many people with dyslexia excel as designers, artists, actors and more
  • They are excellent at solving puzzles
  • They are spatially talented- many individuals with dyslexia are employed as engineers, architects, designers, artists, mathematicians, physicists, physicians, dentists and some other professions.
  • Individuals with dyslexia frequently enjoy above average physical co-ordination skills
  • they possess great emotional strengths such as empathy
  • They are inclined to think outside the box most of the times.
  • They are persistent individuals.

strengths 1

 

In order to maximize these strengths, brain based strategies are necessary to be utilized when teaching individuals with dyslexia and this will be the focus of the next article.

Always remember that individuals with dyslexia have strengths and learn differently!

Follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more updates. You can contact us for a consultation on dyslexia by clicking HERE

We would love to hear from you at Mobile Health Consult!

 

 

 


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Equip your child for life

???????????????????The school session is gradually coming to an end and summer is just around the corner. Students are putting in their best efforts to make sure they do well to be rewarded with an exciting summer trip. While some children are on the top of their game when it comes to learning and academics, some others may just be struggling to catch up and are slow learners. It is important to understand each child’s needs and peculiarities when it comes to learning. There are different learning styles depending on how each brain learns. Some children are visual in that they quickly assimilate concepts demonstrated in a visual form using pictures, charts, graphs, tables, etc., while some are kinesthetic. This means that they would prefer to touch and feel what is being taught by way of practical classes to assimilate the new information efficiently.

Smart Brain

Regardless of each child’s learning style, there are basic processes involved in learning, reading, writing and any academic task.  The underlying processes responsible for any form of learning to take place are called cognitive processes. The strength of these processes are very critical for learning and academic excellence. These cognitive processes include: Attention, Working Memory, Thinking and reasoning, Sensory integration, Problem solving, Auditory processing, Visual processing, Cognitive flexibility, Processing speed, etc

Learning difficulties, thus, arise when either or some of these skills are weak.

Here’s the good news!

Cognitive Processes and skills can be improved upon!

Research has shown that cognitive or brain training has the capacity to strengthen neural connections in the brain. The neurons are brain cells necessary for processing information from the five senses and also responsible for the above mentioned cognitive processes. When the brain is being trained consistently, those aspects are fortified and efficient processing of information results, however, when they are left dormant, they are pruned. Yes pruned! Research shows that we lose the functionality of aspects of the brain that are not in use. The popular saying in this regard is “You either USE it or LOSE it”.


brainware safariYou can equip your child or student for life; by giving him/her access to cognitive enhancement software that will serve to train the brain for optimal performance and academic success.  One major brain training computer program that has garnered a lot of research and interest from education professionals in the United States is BrainWare Safari. Developed by Learning Enhancement Corporation in Chicago, BrainWare Safari is an interactive software that incorporates 35 years of scientific research and approaches to cognitive development into a video game format. Its comprises of 20 exercises and 168 progressively challenging levels that improve cognitive processes as attention, memory, thinking, visual and auditory processing, and sensory integration.  Some of the benefits of BrainWare Safari include:

  • Improved cognitive ability by an average of 4 years in just 12 weeks of CONSISTENT use
  • Boosts academic performance by an average of 1 year 
  • Equips with problem solving skills
  • Increased Confidence
  • Passion for learning and success
  • Striking a balance between learning and fun
  • Home and School Use
  • Parental monitoring of child’s progress.

Brainware use

For more information on purchasing BrainWare Safari and how it works to help children and students, or you, Please click HERE

….. Bringing out the best in children.


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Understanding Learning Disorders

Certain disorders  make acquisition of  some academic skills difficult for children.

Kayode felt like he was always hitting the books. While his friends were meeting for pickup soccer games after school, he was back home in his room reading and re-reading the same book. Regardless of  how hard he  studied, he had difficulty remembering and his grades stayed average. Meanwhile, his friend Deji, who never seemed to study, always aced tests. It didn’t seem fair.

kayode

As a result of Kayode ‘s frustration, his dad and class teacher made an appointment with the school’s Educational psychologist who later diagnosed him with a learning disorder. Although, Kayode felt relieved to know what was going on, he was also worried. He didn’t like the “disorder” label. And he was concerned about what it might mean for his future.

Would he be able to go to college and study engineering as he’d hoped?

What are Learning Disorders?

Learning disabilities, difficulties or disorders are an umbrella term for a wide variety of learning problems. A learning disorder is not a problem with intelligence or motivation. Children with learning disorders aren’t lazy or dumb. In fact, most are just as smart as everyone else.  A learning disorder can cause a person to have trouble learning and using certain skills. The skills most often affected are:images (3)

  • reading,
  • writing,
  • listening,
  • speaking,
  • reasoning, and
  • Doing math.

Possible causes of Learning Disorders

According to Sheldon Horowitz, Ed.D, experts aren’t exactly sure what causes learning disorders. However, learning disorders may stem from subtle disturbances in brain structure and function that may begin before or even after birth which includes:

  • Heredity/Genetic predisposition: Often, learning disabilities run in the family, so it’s not uncommon to find that people with learning disabilities have parents or other relatives with similar difficulties.
  • Problems during pregnancy and birth: Learning disabilities may be caused by illness or injury during or before birth. It may also be caused by low birth weight, lack of oxygen, drug and alcohol use during pregnancy, and premature or prolonged labor.
  • Incidents after birth:Severe head injuries or trauma, nutritional deprivation, central nervous system infections and exposure to toxic substances (i.e. lead) can contribute to learning disabilities.

Signs and Symptoms of Learning Disorders.

Learning disorders are usually very different from one child to another. One child may struggle with reading and spelling, while another loves literacy but can’t understand numeracy. Another child may experience difficulties comprehending information.

It’s not always easy to identify learning disorders. However, some warning signs are more common than others at different ages.

The following checklist lists some common red flags:

Preschool  (3-6)

  • Trouble finding the right word
  • Problems pronouncing words
  • Difficulty rhyming
  • Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, days of the week
  • Difficulty following directions or learning routines
  • Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors or coloring within the lines

Ages 5 – 9

  • Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds
  • Unable to blend sounds to make words
  • Confuses basic words when reading
  • Consistently misspells words and makes frequent reading errors
  • Trouble learning basic math concepts
  • Difficulty telling time and remembering sequences

Ages 10-13

  • Difficulty with reading comprehension or math skills
  • Trouble with open-ended test questions and word problems
  • Dislikes reading and writing; avoids reading aloud
  • Spells the same word differently in a write-up
  • Poor organizational skills (bedroom, homework, desk is messy and disorganized)
  • Trouble following classroom discussions and expressing thoughts aloud
  • Poor handwriting

Intervention for Learning Disorders

A child with a learning disorder should receive his or her own Individualized Education Program, (IEP) after a thorough assessment has been carried out by an Educational psychologist. This personalized and written education plan lists individualized goals for the child, specifies what services and tutoring the child will receive and the specialists who will work with the child.

Visit us at http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/values/psycho-educational-assessment/ for more information regarding a Psycho-educational assessment.

“How can someone with learning disorders improve their ability to learn, rather than just compensate for difficulties?”

Many of the methods used and promoted to help people with learning disorders are intended to help a person compensate for, or work around, their learning difficulties.

 

  • Cognitive Enhancement Software: BrainWare Safari is an award winning software program that incorporates decades of proven clinical approaches to cognitive skills development into an engaging video game format. It is used to improve IQ, academic performance and overall cognitive abilities. It develops and strengthens cognitive skills crucial for learning. i.e. Attention, memory, visual and auditory processing skills, sensory integration and thinking. Visit http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/values/cognitive-enhancement-training/brainware-safari for further information on “Brainware Safari”.

 


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Bringing Out the Best in Children

Preschoolers can be difficult to manage… The same may apply to all children. They have so much energy to throw around and getting them to sit still is much like a herculean task to not just parents but teachers as well. Children, especially the younger ones, use play as a medium to release tension  and ease as such when they feel anxious or uncomfortable, they try to engage in one form of playful activity or the other. However, you don’t want your child or pupils running about when you need their full attention.

So how can you get their attention?

How can you get them to sit still and learn?

How can you get them to be calm?

How can you help them regulate their emotions?

MINDFULNESS is the SOLUTION! 

child-meditation Mindfulness is being fully aware of this present moment, fully accepting it without judgment. It is paying full attention to your thoughts, feelings and emotions HERE and NOW. It involves deep breathing and calming techniques. These days, mindfulness has proved to be the answer to many questions. Enormous research has shown how mindfulness can help adults improve their brain function, reduce stress and enjoy better relationships. In recent times, researchers and practitioners have begun to focus on how this practice can be beneficial to children and adolescents in primary and secondary schools, children with cancer, learning disabilities, autism, etc. mindful childA number of schools in the United States are incorporating Mindfulness Programs into their school program- Mindful Program at Maryland High Schools. A recent research by University of Florida shows that stressful events in the environment can take a negative toll on a child’s mental and physical health which includes the onset of learning difficulties. As such mindfulness aims at reducing the effects of stress. Other benefits of Mindfulness include:

  • Building resiliencehappy child
  • Strengthening character development
  • Increasing focus and concentration
  • Improving  brain function
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Reducing stress levels and improving  coping ability
  • Inducing calmness and relaxation
  • Self regulation and control
  • Increasing their capacity for empathy and compassion

Mostly the same benefits that accrue to adults can be experienced by children ages 3 and above.

Mobile Health Consult is offering a Mindfulness program for students tagged “SMART MIND”. For more enquiries, consultation and procedure for enrollment, kindly log on to http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/smartmind/

The only way to know what mindfulness is, is to experience it! Sign up for a FREE Training now on: 

http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/values/therapy/mindfulness/

SPREAD the word! Be MINDFUL


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Let It Go!

“Father forgive them, for they know no what they do”. This is a quote from the Bible spoken by Jesus Christ to those who had just tortured and nailed him onto a cross. Regardless of your religion and whether or not you believe it happened, one thing can be rest assured, through all the pain, He died the most peaceful death. Why? Because He let go of any hate, anger or resentment against those who had wronged him.

Many times we hope for peace of mind and happiness, but we fail to identify the everyday factors that determine our mental well-being. A major factor is being unforgiving. Keeping anger and holding grudges is a very common self-destructive behaviour that human beings have adopted. Most times we rather delve in thoughts of how we were wronged and vengeance than just letting it go! We even find it hard forgiving ourselves when we make mistakes and wallow in continuous self-scrutiny. Holding grudges has destroyed many bonds between peoletting-gople and will continue to. Absolutely nothing positive comes out of being resentful. We are adversely affected mentally and it begins to show in our behaviours, learning and attitude towards life. Let it go! Free yourself!

Now letting go of grudges and resentments are not easy at all. We all deserve ‘justice’ to an extent. However we have to train ourselves to let go as soon as possible for the sake of our states of mind. Given a situation were you have little control over, such as an abusive driver cursing you before speeding off, why choose to analyze his or her obscene words and how they wound your pride (you might even consider chasing the car to abuse back) instead of immediately taking your mind off? One could ruin the rest of your day while the other wouldn’t. There are 3 steps that could help get rid of grudges quickly:

 

all_my_fault-021. Accept your feelings: Accept that you are indeed angry and or deeply hurt by what someone has done to you, or in other cases what you’ve done to yourself. Don’t try to mask this feeling by blame or channel it to negative thoughts about the person or yourself. Accept this feeling for what it is, an emotional response to a negative event and nothing more.

 

 

2. React mindfully: As we know for every action there is a reaction. More emphasis has also been laid on the reaction thanwiseman the action. How we react is VERY important in every situation. Mindfully reacting would be to aim to react in the best way for your mental well-being, which is normally to calm a heated situation or more generally focus on an immediate solution. Again, this would require mental awareness and self-control and our basic instincts usually drive us to retaliate. It could make it easier if you mention that he or she upset you or has hurt you, not so you get an apology because not getting one after such expressiveness could anger you further, but just to get it off your chest so you’re not brewing anything negative. The way you react either makes it significantly easier for you to let it go or significantly more difficult. Learn to react wisely.

 

move on3. Move on: Never raise the issue again. Try your best to forget it. Naturally the occurrence may flash in your head but do not invite the thought as it would adversely affect your mood. Take your mind off it as soon as possible. Let your mind be used to a state of positivity and you’d find moving on would get easier the more you try.

 

None of these steps are easy, especially in this fast paced modern world were everyone is so self-interested and getting more and more indifferent towards others. However, continuous practice starting from the moment you finish reading this article would help you to maintain a state of mind that most others would not be able to fathom. All because you’ve made a firm decision to let things go.

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