Find out the best ways to handle some of the most common childhood learning and development disabilities.
Even though there is more information than ever before regarding childhood developmental and learning disorders there are still so many things we don’t quite understand and there is also a lot of misinformation out there. The goal of your pediatrician is to provide you with all the information you and your child need to understand their learning or developmental disorder and the most effective treatments and interventions available.
What are the most common learning disabilities?
One of the most common learning disabilities is dyslexia, which can affect how a child understands what they’ve read. It may also affect comprehension, spelling and other facets of reading and learning.
ADHD is another common learning disability that affects millions of children. Children with ADHD have trouble concentrating on work and may easily get distracted. ADHD can affect a child’s school, home or social life.
Other learning disabilities include:
- Processing deficits
What are the most common developmental disabilities?
A common developmental disorder is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since autism is a spectrum, symptoms will vary in type and severity. It can affect a child’s ability to socialize or pick up social cues from those around them. They may prefer to be alone or not to be touched. While there is no cure for autism there are ways to manage the symptoms.
What are my child’s treatment options?
It’s important that if you think your child might be struggling with a learning or developmental disorder that you talk to your pediatrician. There are many ways in which to treat these symptoms through medications, therapy, lifestyle changes and behavioral modifications, and your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment options for your child.
No matter whether you have questions about your child’s learning or development disorder or your child is displaying symptoms of one of these delays, it’s important that you have a pediatrician you can turn to for answers, support and treatment options. After all, your family and your pediatrician are a team designed to help your child live the best possible life.
Could your child’s itchy, red eye be pink eye?
“Pink eye” are two words that no parent loves hearing but it’s one of the most common eye problems to affect both children and adults. In fact, according to the CDC, there are about 3 million cases of pink eye in the US every year. What are the warning signs of conjunctivitis and should you see a pediatrician right away or let the problem run its course?
What is conjunctivitis?
Known as pink eye, this condition causes inflammation of the conjunctiva, or the clear layer of tissue that covers the whites of the eye. Conjunctivitis can affect one or both eyes and is extremely contagious. It’s most commonly passed around in schools. Conjunctivitis can be the result of a bacterial or viral infection, or it can be brought about through certain irritants such as pollen, smoke, or ingredients found in skin care products.
What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?
Your child might have pink eye if they are experiencing any of these symptoms,
- Redness in the whites of the eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Sensitivity to light
- Excessive tearing
- A gritty feeling in the eye
- Itching or burning eyes
How is pink eye treated?
The treatment your child receives will depend on the cause of their conjunctivitis. Those with allergic conjunctivitis will find that as long as they avoid the offending irritant that the symptoms will go away.
If a bacterial infection is the cause, then antibiotic eye drops will be prescribed. Symptoms should lessen within 3-4 days of treatment but it’s important that you continue using your antibiotics for as long as your children’s doctor recommends.
If a viral infection is to blame there is really nothing that needs to be done, you’ll just have to let the cold or virus run its course. To alleviate symptoms, you can use eye drops or apply a cold compress to the eyes to reduce inflammation and discomfort.
It’s important that you have a pediatrician that you can always turn to for care, no matter if it’s a routine checkup or an emergency visit. From conjunctivitis to sports-related injuries, your children’s doctor will be able to provide comprehensive care to your little one as they grow up to make sure they remain healthy and happy.
You hear your four-year-old coughing during the night. She seems to wheeze, too, when running at the playground. Is it a cold, or could she have asthma? At Southwestern Pediatrics in Maricopa, AZ, your pediatrician and his professional team evaluate children for this chronic respiratory condition. Dr. Anthony DiGeorge sees scores of youngsters struggling with the difficult symptoms of asthma, but with good, managed care, they thrive.
What is asthma?
It's a chronic respiratory condition which often expresses itself in childhood--typically before the age of five, states the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology. Known for its quick and sometimes intense symptom onset, asthma involves inflammation and constriction of the airway, resulting in:
- Audible wheezing
- Coughing (particularly at night and after exercise, laughing, or crying)
- Shortness of breath
- Chest discomfort
- Fast, shallow respirations
Checking for and treating childhood asthma
If your child presents these symptoms, see your pediatrician at Southwest Pediatrics in Maricopa for a check-up. Dr. DiGeorge will do a complete physical examination, including chest auscultation (listening to breath sounds with a stethoscope) and possible:
- Blood work to assess the white blood cell count and other factors
- Chest X-rays
- Spirometry (to assess how much air your child can exhale)
Then, you'll discuss an asthma treatment plan going forward. It may include fast-acting bronchodilators (inhaled), an asthma control medication with corticosteroids, measuring peak flow (how much air your child expels in one breath) and sublingual immunotherapy to control allergy triggers.
With an Asthma Action Plan, the American Lung Association helps young patients, parents, and teachers track symptoms, medications, and necessary responses to active symptoms. You can ask Dr. DiGeorge what your child can do when symptoms increase.
It's helpful for young patients and their families to know what triggers asthma. Common things most asthma sufferers should avoid are:
- Tobacco and wood smoke
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
- Outside and indoor air pollution (car exhaust, paint fumes, carpet odors)
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that asthma triggers differ from patient to patient. However, the key to good control of symptoms is knowing your triggers and how to minimize exposure to them. Additionally, stress and heredity play a significant role in asthma. So be aware of what upsets your child and think about family members who also seem to exhibit symptoms of allergies and asthma. Experts believe asthma runs in families.
If you suspect your child has asthma, don't wait. Please contact Southwest Pediatrics in Maricopa, AZ, for a careful evaluation by our professional team. Call today: (520) 568-9500.
Childhood asthma is more common than you might think. In fact, it is the most common chronic disorder in children, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Asthma is a long-term respiratory condition that causes swelling within the airways, making it different for your little one to breathe. How do you know if your child might have asthma? The telltale signs include:
- Trouble or difficulty breathing
- Wheezing or whistling when breathing in
- Tightness in the chest
- Coughing that often gets worse at night
- Fatigue, especially with exercise or play
If your child is experiencing or complaining about any of these symptoms it’s important that you schedule an appointment with a pediatrician as soon as possible. It’s important to write down the exact symptoms your little one has been experiencing, particularly because their symptoms may not be present during their evaluation. If you have a family history of asthma, this is something that your child’s pediatrician will want to know.
During the evaluation your doctor will also perform a physical exam, taking time to listen to both the heart and the lungs for signs of asthma. Sometimes a test known as spirometry will be used to test the lung function (this is most common in children over the age of 6 years old). This test is used to measure how much air is in the lungs and how quickly your child can exhale. Other tests may also be performed to check for other health issues that could be exacerbating your child’s asthma symptoms such as a sinus infection.
Asthma is serious and requires medication to keep this problem under control. While there is no cure for asthma, your pediatrician’s goal for asthma treatment is to prevent the severity and frequency of asthma attacks. We want to prevent your little one from having to rush to the hospital for a severe attack. Luckily, there are medications that your children’s doctor can prescribe to lessen asthma symptoms.
The type of asthma medication your child receives will depend on several factors including age. Infants and toddlers may require inhaled steroids to control asthma symptoms. The dosage will also change depending on your child’s age. Along with long-term medications that will be taken every day to help control symptoms and keep inflammation down there are fasting-acting medications that your child will also be prescribed (e.g. albuterol), which is only used when your little one feels an attack coming on. Before any medication is given to your child, your pediatrician will talk to both you and your little one about how to use asthma medication properly.
The number one goal of parents is to make sure their little ones are healthy and have the best quality of life possible. Of course, this means having a pediatrician in which you can always turn, whether for preventive care or treatment when health problems arise. You want a pediatrician you can trust to always provide quality and individualized care for your little one time and time again.
Of course, why treat a health issue that could easily have been prevented in the first place, right? The best way to detect problems early on and to also protect your child from a variety of potentially serious health issues is by bringing them in to visit their pediatrician regularly. These checkups will occur frequently, particularly for the first few years of your little one’s life. This is because your child is reaching a lot of developmental milestones during these first few years and it’s important that you have a children’s doctor that can make sure that they are reaching these milestones.
Plus, these checkups are also important for parents, too. After all, we know that parents have a lot of questions regarding everything from their child’s nutrition to activity levels to vaccinations. While these checkups are most certainly about making sure your child is leading a healthy life it’s also important that you have all of your questions and concerns answered to promote that healthy lifestyle in your child. Make sure to write down any questions ahead of time so that you will have all of your questions addressed during your child’s next visit.
These checkups are crucial for preventing a variety of health problems and also making sure your little one gets the care and treatment they need should an issue arise. During these wellness checkups your pediatrician will monitor your child’s:
- Height and weight
- Heart rate and blood pressure
- Vision and hearing
- Reflexes and musculoskeletal system
- Lungs and heart
Your child will also have to get a series of immunizations throughout their childhood to protect against serious and potentially life-threatening health problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has created a comprehensive vaccination schedule to make sure your child is getting all the immunizations they need.
Once your child is born it’s important that you bring them in regularly to see their doctor for checkups. After all, preventive medical care is the best way to stave off certain illnesses and injuries. Plus, these checkups also ensure that if there is a health problem present that it’s detected right away when it’s much easier to treat.
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