Health Notes

Diagnosis Autism: What Every Parent Should Know

by Dr. Elizabeth Walenz on April 22, 2014

Autism can be a frightening illness for new parents… one we are still learning a lot about. In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, let’s talk about what we do know.

The numbers of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders have been increasing in frequency over the last few years, not because it is becoming more common, but because of improved screening techniques at earlier ages.  As a pediatrician, I know if I can catch the signs and symptoms early, a child will benefit from early intervention in terms of education, preschool and speech therapy.

Currently, one in 68 children will receive a diagnosis of autism, which can occur in all socioeconomic, ethnic and racial groups. It is five times more common to be diagnosed in boys than girls, and an autism diagnosis can range from children who are extraordinarily gifted to those who may face more challenges and require a lot of help in their daily lives.

Autism spectrum disorders are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Children with autism may have repetitive behaviors or difficulty altering their daily routine.

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Play Ball! Help your Child Avoid Sports Injuries

by Dr. Elizabeth Walenz on April 8, 2014

4-8-14 Sports Injuries1It’s spring! Right?

It’s time for spring sports and chilly mornings spent on the bleachers to cheer on your kids in the sport they have chosen.

What are important things to know as your child takes the field? Whether you are a coach or a parent, do you know what to do if your child gets hurt?

In my house, we have dual sports of both soccer and baseball starting.

Soccer is a great team building sport, and children as young as three can play. It is a great way to get children active as well as teach them about teamwork and sportsmanship.
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Teens Behind the Wheel

Thumbnail image for Teens Behind the Wheel March 25, 2014

I vividly remember learning to drive. My practice course was in the deserted parking lot of the Aksarben race track. I remember getting behind the wheel, turning the key in the ignition, shifting into drive and beginning to accelerate, when… SLAM! My mom’s foot would slam onto the floor and on her invisible brake on […]

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Solve the Picky Problem: Getting Kids to Eat Green

Thumbnail image for Solve the Picky Problem: Getting Kids to Eat Green March 11, 2014

Spring is coming! Soon everything is going to turn green… except perhaps what’s on your child’s plate. We made New Year’s resolutions at our house this year. My daughter’s resolution (with some coaching) was to try more foods. Three years ago, we were at the peak of picky eating in our house. I purchased a […]

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Five Dollars and the Great Allowance Negotiation

Thumbnail image for Five Dollars and the Great Allowance Negotiation February 25, 2014

I call my five year old the “Great Negotiator.” Me: “Please bring your backpack and coat into the house.” The Great Negotiator: “I will if you give me five dollars.” Me: “No.” The Great Negotiator: “How about I help you set the table?” Me: “Great!” The Great Negotiator: “Then, will you give me five dollars?” […]

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Happy Kids Start with a Healthy Smile

Thumbnail image for Happy Kids Start with a Healthy Smile February 11, 2014

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, a time to focus on our children’s smiles and pearly whites. Right now, the most common chronic disease in children is tooth decay – not allergies or asthma, but dental caries or cavities. The numbers are shocking: 40 percent of children between the ages of 2 to 11 […]

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Assigning Chores Means Extra Help around the House

Thumbnail image for Assigning Chores Means Extra Help around the House January 28, 2014

Picture this common scenario in my house: Me – a weary mother – tromping through the house picking up stray socks, toys, puzzles, and games. In the midst of this, comes a high pitched whine, “I’m booooooored,” from one of my sweet cherubs. Steam may or may not emit from my ears and nostrils. There […]

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Acne Issues? Don’t Pop It!

Thumbnail image for Acne Issues? Don’t Pop It! January 14, 2014

I should be too old for a pimple right? Nonetheless, there it is. Acne is very common. It affects 40 to 50 million people every year in the U.S. It affects 85 percent of 12 to 24 year olds. So what should you do about acne… whether it’s for you or your teen? Our hormones, […]

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Resolution: Unplug

Thumbnail image for Resolution: Unplug December 23, 2013

The holidays are upon us. We just finished celebrating Christmas and New Year’s isn’t far behind. It is time to take a deep breath and think about the upcoming year, 2014. Many times we resolve to make a change for the following year – whether it be to lose weight, eat healthier, or reach out […]

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Gearing Up: What’s Best for Baby?

December 10, 2013

The stores are filled with the latest gear available for your baby from birth to age 1. So how is a new parent to navigate the aisles and decide what baby needs and when? Here is a look at some of those products you may be considering as you welcome your new arrival: Swings: The […]

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