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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”.

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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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Understanding Dyslexia: Successful People with Dyslexia

Dyslexia

This month has been our dyslexia awareness month with the theme as “Understanding dyslexia“. During the course of this period, we have shared information on dyslexia which includes: myths and truths about dyslexia, prevalence of dyslexia, causes of dyslexia, differences in brain functions of people with dyslexia and those who do not have it, assessment/diagnosis of dyslexia, strengths and positive skills of people with dyslexia, strategies to help them learn, accommodations and school supports and so much more. It has been an interesting period of unraveling the myth behind dyslexia and creating awareness about it.

In this final part of the series, we will be sharing information about famous and successful individuals who have experienced similar difficulties with language and were found to be dyslexic. Yes! These set of people were able to maximize the diverse strengths they possess and utilize their skills to excel in life, despite the negative reports they received from teachers and the society at large. As creative thinkers, they have been able take on extraordinary and legendary roles, making their impact felt across generations.  Although, some are dead, the impact made by them is still felt till date while some are alive and excelling in their fields. Among these successful people are inventors, actors/actresses, CEOs, entrepreneurs, film producers/directors, writers, architects and more.

Truly, having a diagnosis of dyslexia is not a sentence to failure rather, an awareness of a different learning ability.

Below are some  famous and successful people with dyslexia:

Steve Jobs:Apple Announces Launch Of New Tablet Computer is a name that comes to mind when the computer and telecommunications company ‘Apple’ is mentioned with many inventions such as laptops and portable devices like iphones, ipods and ipads. Steve jobs is best known as a co-founder and CEO of Apple. He experienced difficulties in school and was diagnosed with dyslexia.

 

Albert EinsteinT1519086_24: was a German Physicist, an author and award winning scientist. He was famous for his timeless discoveries and theories. Having dyslexia, he was able to use his imagination and creativity to stand out in his discoveries. He was also known to be a genius with an IQ of 160.

TOM CRUISE

 

 

Tom Cruise: was diagnosed with dyslexia and had to work harder on what he was really good at from a young age. In Hollywood film industry,  he is a peak performing actor and producer well known for his leading roles in popular movies and production. He is one actor that has excelled in his field.

 

Thomas Edison:Thomas Edison was a scientist and inventor with creative innovations that caused a revolution in how things are done presently across the world. Among his innovations was the invention of the light bulb. He was said to have been dyslexic.

 

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Will Smith: The fresh prince of bel-Air as he is popular called is indeed a king of comedy dedicated to excellence. He is an award winning actor famous for his many comedy roles in movies. He refers to his dyslexia as one of the major reasons for his success.

 

 

Richard BransonRichard branson: After series of struggles with school work, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, with this, he was able to use his strengths to excel. he is a well known successful entrepreneur. He  is the founder of the Virgin group owner of Virgin Atlantic airlines.

 

 

Sally Gardner: a famous author who was diagnosed with dyslexia. She has sold more than Sally Gardner1.5 million copies of her work in the United Kingdom. Her work has been translated into 22 languages.

 

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Orlando Bloom: a famous actor and movie star claimed he had to do work three times as hard to get two-thirds of the way.  As a child he was diagnosed  with dyslexia but he was also told that he had a high IQ score. This gave him the confidence he needed to succeed.

 

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Michael Faraday: an English scientist who contributed greatly to the field of electromagnetic induction was reported to have had terrible trouble with spelling and punctuation. He also had poor memory. One thing that Faraday had common to dyslexics was a powerful visual sense. He was able to form a mental image of most of his studies.

 

GeorgeGeorge Washington: The  first  United States President  had trouble with words particularly spelling. Historians report that George Washington didn’t spend much time in school and was a self-taught man.  George often spelled words the way they sounded: blew for blue, oyl for oil and coff for cough.  Although there is no evidence, some believe he had dyslexia.

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Henry Ford: The famous entrepreneur and businessman was recorded to have had dyslexia. He even attributed some of his success to dyslexia. Even today, decades after he was born, you might still see cars on the road bearing his name.

 

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Whoopi Goldberg: An actress and humanitarian, Whoopi was diagnosed with dyslexia. She claims that the support of her mother and a great  and understanding teacher helped her surmount her learning challenges. She is one of  twelve people in history to have won all four of entertainment’s major awards: Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy.

 

 

These are only a few of the many famous and successful individuals that were diagnosed with dyslexia and have been able to focus and maximize their strengths to excel in life. They did not let anything hold them back not even a learning difficulty!

 Children with dyslexia have enormous capacity and abilities to succeed.

 They learn differently. They have gifts.They are special!

They can become anything they set their minds upon with your love, encouragement and support.

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Remember to 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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Understanding Dyslexia: Learning Strategies

In the previous article, we were informed about the diverse strengths and positive skills possessed by people with dyslexia. In this article, we will learn how teachers and parents can maximize those strengths by incorporating appropriate strategies that suits the brain function and learning difference of people with dyslexia.

Brain based strategies for teachers and parents of children with dyslexia

learning brainTeachers and parents can maximize the strengths of children with dyslexia and help them learn by incorporating these strategies in their teaching methods.

  1. Teaching strategies: When teaching, the student with dyslexia must be shown the big picture and then how the details fit into it. Topics must be broken down for them to aid understanding. Simple items or topics must be presented before the more difficult ones, from the concrete to the abstract and from the visual to the auditory. Learning must involve constant review and practice at every step of the learning process to ensure mastery.
  2. Multisensory teaching methods:Multisensory Multisensory learning involves the use of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways simultaneously to enhance memory and learning of written language. Links are consistently made between the visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear), and kinesthetic-tactile (language symbols we feel) pathways in learning to read and spell.
  3. Environmental support:The learning environment or classroom should be quiet and free from distractions. Having a carpet or rug in the classroom area will help keep down noise. Minimize distractions to allow students with dyslexia have an area where they can read or concentrate on class work. For students with dyslexia who are showing signs of anxiety, there can be a time-out area when they are feeling very nervous, upset or frustrated.
  4. Assessments and Grading: Students should be allowed to use electronic helpers when completing class work or tests. Examples include an electronic dictionary, speller or thesaurus, computers and talking calculators. Do not take off points for spelling. If you mark spelling errors, do so separately and create a list of words frequently misspelled for students to refer to during writing assignments. You may also offer oral testing and longer time for formal assessments.

 

School support/accommodations for children with dyslexia

MPP0040859The teaching methods utilized in most schools are those that teach learning skills easily processed by the left hemisphere of the brain, these methods make it easy for students/pupils to process abstract symbols of written language. However, these teaching methods are not appropriate for children with dyslexia as it was discussed in the second article of these series that people with dyslexia utilize more of the right side of their brain to process language hence they require a different learning method. With materials presented, students with dyslexia can be given appropriate accommodations. Some of these include:

  •  Clarifying or simplifying directions or instructions
  • Presenting bits of work at a time to prevent information or memory overload
  • Presenting text in larger fonts
  • Highlighting essential information
  • Recording lessons so they can be replayed
  • Making use of step-by-step instructions when teaching
  • Combine visual information with verbal and written ones- let them “see” what is being taught, this will help them remember more. Let there be visual representation of all information given.
  • Make use of colours for written work. This adds some excitement to writing.
  • Encourage their skills/talents like drawing, painting and singing.
  • Allow them present their answers orally when testing if they find it very difficult writing down the answers.
  • Help build their self-esteem
  • Reduce fear and anxiety by never forcing them to spell difficult words or read aloud in class.

 

Successful people diagnosed with dyslexia who have utilized their strengths and have become famous  with their skills will be the subject of discussion in the next and final article of these series.

Always remember that individuals with dyslexia have strengths and can excel in life.

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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MANAGING DYSLEXIA WITH MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

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Every day school activity e.g. reading an interesting comprehension aloud in the class may seem so ordinary and stress free for most persons. There are however persons who find such tasks overwhelming. The letters may seem to dance as they read thus, experiencing difficulties reading them. Dyslexia is a difficulty of language development. It is the most common learning disability affecting about 5 in every 100 children across the globe.

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Dyslexia is a learning disability of reading characterized by the following symptoms.

  •       Difficulties with word recognition spelling and decoding.
  •       Difficulties reading fluently.
  •       Slow development of language skills.
  •       Auditory short term memory.
  •       Difficulties with directionality.

This differs in persons depending on the severity. Certain persons may experience more of the writing difficulties others may experience more of reading or directionality difficulties. Some persons show signs of difficulty with early reading and writing and then later experience other language skills disabilities. The above symptoms do not signify that the children have below average intelligence.

 

EFFECTS OF DYSLEXIA

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  1. SELF ESTEEM: The presence of the above symptoms often reduces an individual’s sense of self worth. This induces stress on the child and as a result, can make the child dread going to school. Dealing with the stress of school work makes for frustration and reduction in sense of self worth.
  2.  SOCIAL LIFE: Dyslexia makes it difficult for children to express themselves and others would also find it tasking to understand them. They also may find it difficult to understand jokes. Thus, making it difficult for them to relate with their peers and greatly limiting their social life.

 

  DIAGNOSIS

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Trained professionals can conduct certain assessments to determine/ identify it. You can also log on to www.mobilehealthconsult.org to book assessment appointments.

TREATMENT AND MANAGEMENT

  • MINDFULNESS: This is a complete focus of the present moment involving awareness of bodily sensations, the environment and thoughts without judging it as good or bad. It has been found severally to improve general well being especially psychological health.

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Through mindfulness, dyslexic individuals can improve their memory span. Mindfulness also would be key in increasing focus and attention when given  academic tasks thus, greatly improving verbal skills such as the skills of writing, and reading. With these  symptoms checkmated, feelings of self worth and social life gets greatly improved. The effects of mindfulness however are not automatic. It takes time, persistence and patience to master. Sign up for your Childs free mindfulness training today at www.mobilehealthconsult.org/smartmind.

 

  • DEVELOP AN ENGAGING LEARNING FORMAT FOR THE CHILD:

This is an individualized educational program should be carried out by the educational psychologist. This program should address the child’s needs and difficulties.

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  • PHONO-GRAPHIC READING METHODS:

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This involves combining words with pictures. This helps the children create a mental pictures of the words and thus helps the child have better memory.

  • EXPOSURE: it may be helpful to expose the child to oral reading, writing, drawing of texts of varying topics at an early stage.
  • Emotional support and encouragement would also be needful for the child.

 


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Understanding Autism

Have you ever wondered what exactly autism is? Do you know someone who you think might be autistic? Would you like to understand and relate better with him or her? Are there any available treatments for autism?

Most people have heard of Autistic disorder, more commonly known as Autism, and may have a vague idea of some behaviours to expect from an autistic person. A typical example would be Dustin Hoffman’s award winning portrayal in the 1988 hit movie “Rain Man”. What this article aims to do is not just to give more information about autism, but to elicit a deeper understanding of the disorder so that one can relate better with such people.

According to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV (DSM-IV), autism should be diagnosed when a person has at least six or more symptoms from the 3 major symptom areas which are Social interactions, Communication and Repetitive and rigid behaviours. It is also noted that these Symptoms should be apparent before 3 years of age. Autism is found 4 times more often in boys than girls. Now to explore these areas and how one can cope with people expressing these symptoms. 

Autistic people have problems with social interactions so you’d find that they don’t express themselves the way A child alone in a school playgroundnormal people do in their speech and gestures and they don’t keep eye contact. They prefer to keep to themselves and seem to lack empathy. This makes it difficult for them to make friends and in fact it doesn’t often seem like they are interested in doing so. Having an autistic child in a normal school setting my not be the best option as they do not enjoy crowds and that much attention either. As they do form attachments to caregivers, it would be preferable for their caregivers to teach them and spend time with them in their homes, a place where they are used to already. Caregivers also have to understand what behaviours to expect and realize it is not their fault that the child seems indifferent or does not want to play with them. It could be frustrating but autistic people need patience, along with the presence and attention of the caregiver.

They also have language problems. Either their sentences are incomplete or they keep repeating the same word over and over. They rarely gesture when they speak so particular attention would have to be paid when they are trying to communicate. Again this requires a lot of patience and understanding. One can try to probe them when they think they have an idea of what the autistic person is trying to say. However they should not be hurried or forced to speak faster or clearer because it would not help the situation.

94387630Finally, they’d have one or more repetitive behaviour patterns. A common one is having specific items that they stick to, like seating on the same chair and the same spot, using the same cup each day and playing with the same toys. They also stick to a strict routine each day, doing the same activities in the same pattern, and have compulsions, such as arranging items in a particular order. It may seem weird but one should not interfere as it may make them very anxious. They have limited interests due to their strict daily pattern so finding what would keep them happy would not be difficult. However, it may be difficult to watch them do repetitive body movements such as turning their heads or flapping their hands again and again. This does not mean there’s a problem as they reward themselves internally for such behaviour. One should just observe to make sure they do not harm themselves in the process.

It is important to treat autistic people not like they have a disorder or like they are weird, as they still have feelings, but as a different type of people. However, there is a possibility of improving their condition and making them closer to normal.

 

Neurofeedback and Autism

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Neurofeedback is one of the treatments that could help improve an autistic persons condition. It is the monitoring and normalizing of the persons brainwave activities through an electroencephalographic (EEG) brain scan. Of the few and limited treatments for autism, in a small number of studies, improvements in speech and social interaction have been found after people with autism used neurofeedback compared to those who didn’t. So it is definitely a treatment one can give a chance in order to improve an autistic persons quality of life. (For more information on neurofeedback visit http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/?page_id=724 )

April is Autism awareness month, spread the knowledge about autism!