Tag Archive for: diagnostics

What Is Tourettes Syndrome

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition, Text Revised (DSM-IV-TR), which is the diagnostic guide book published by the American tourettes childPsychiatric Association, indicates that Tourettes Syndrome is characterized by multiple motor tics and one, or more, vocal tic.  (APA XX).  Tics are sudden, repetitive motor movements or phonic productions (Leckman & Cohen, 1988).  These tics are considered to be either simple or complex.  Simple motor tics include eye blinking, eye movements, grimacing, and nose twitching and simple vocal tics include throat clearing, coughing, sniffling, spitting, barking, grunting, growling, hissing, and sucking.  Complex motor tics include facial gestures, biting, touching objects, thrusting arms, gestures with hands and complex vocal tics include phrases, speech atypicalities (unusual rhythms, tone, accents), and echoing words (Evans et. al., 1996).

Tics typically begin to occur when the child is between two to fourteen years old.  Initially, research has indicated that the first tics are simple motor tics.  The course of the expression of tics is difficult to predict but usually progresses from simple to complex tics (Leckman et. al., 1988).  Typically, vocal tics have a later age of onset and usually appear in children when they are approximately nine years old (Evans et. al., 1996).

Tourette’s Syndrome often coexists with other neurodevelopmental disorders and conditions, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Learning Disorders.  As a result, it is always important to attain a comprehensive evaluation of a child’s cognitive, academic, attentional, and social/emotional functioning in order to ensure that all possible areas of concern are addressed through academic and social interventions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that current prevalence rates of Tourette’s Syndrome are approximately 3 out of every 1,000 children between the ages of six and seventeen living in the United States (CDC, 2010).

Treatment of Tourette’s Syndrome needs to focus on four factors:  working with the child to develop coping strategies, parent and family education, school accommodations, and peer education.  It is vital that the child receive specific intervention and strategies to help develop strategies to deal with anxiety associated with a tic disorder.  Parents and family members need to be educated about the disorder, as well as the course and treatment of the condition.  Teachers and faculty need to be educated about the condition in order to ensure that any academic staff member is aware that possible negative behaviors are tics as opposed to volitional oppositional and defiant behaviors.  In addition, peers need to be educated about tics in order to ensure social acceptance.  If a child with Tourette’s Syndrome continues to exhibit debilitating tics after the above four interventions have been addressed, it would be warranted that he or she have a consultation with a pediatric neurologist in order to determine if he or she would benefit from pharmacological intervention.

If you suspect that your child may be suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome, it would be warranted that a comprehensive evaluation take place in order to help ascertain the current level of functioning as well as any possible co-existing conditions such as learning disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and social/emotional concerns.


What is Failure to Thrive and What Can Be Done About It? | Pediatric Therapy Tv

In today’s Webisode, a Registered Dietitian discusses Failure to Thrive and how you can help.

In this video you will learn:

  • The causes of Failure to Thrive
  • Steps and measures to take when your child shows signs of Failure to Thrive
  • How a dietitian and a doctor can help when your child has Failure to Thrive

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide
audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV where we provide experience and
innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.

Robyn: Hello, and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I’m your host, Robyn
Ackerman. I’m standing here today with a registered dietician, Stephanie
Wells. Stephanie, can you tell us what failure to thrive is and what can be
done about it?

Stephanie: Sure. Failure to thrive is diagnosed in children that are less
than two years old when their weight for length is less than the fifth
percentile on the growth chart and for kids that are over two years old, if
their BMI is less than the fifth percentile on the growth chart.

So in terms of what can be done, first a doctor and a registered dietician
can assess if there are any medical factors that are causing the failure to
thrive and then address those medical issues if that’s necessary. Second,
then a dietician can meet with the parent and the child and put together a
high calorie, high protein diet that includes three meals and two to three
snacks per day. Third, often these children need to be on some sort of a
high calorie, high protein formula or oral supplement beverage which the
dietician can recommend and get a prescription for, if needed. And then
from there, the dietician and doctor will closely monitor the child’s
weight and growth to make sure that they’re moving in the right direction
and meeting the goals that the dietician has made for the child.

Robyn: All right. Thank you, Stephanie, for that explanation and thank you
to our viewers. And remember, keep on blossoming.

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of mind
to your family with the best in educational programming. To subscribe to
our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit our website at
learnmore.me. That’s learnmore.me.

New Guidelines for ADHD Diagnosis

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmetnal disorders.  Current data suggest that the prevalence rates in school age children is between eight to ten percent.  This is a disorder which is characterized by significant inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity.

New Guidelines For an ADHD Diagnosis:

ADHD is a buzz topic that has been highly discussed in the media this past week (here in the Chicago Tribune and in The Wall Street Journal).

The American Academy of Pediatrics published new guidelines regardinboy with adhdg the initial diagnosis of the condition. According to these new guidelines, children can now be officially diagnosed with the disorder when they are as young as four years old.  Prior to these new guidelines (which were just published this month) a child was unable to be diagnosed with the condition under he or she was six years old.

What benefit does an early diagnosis pose?  Quite a bit of benefit for families who have a child with the condition.  These children are now able to receive accommodations and interventions within the home and school domains to ensure social and academic success.

There have been plenty of past policy statements that document the best practice for treating ADHD.  Now these young children will be able to receive treatments that they might otherwise have been missing out on.  The American Academy of Pediatrics published a best practice paper for the intervention of ADHD in 2001.  In a nutshell, the paper states that the two primary interventions for ADHD include the use of stimulant medication and behavioral therapy.  Donna Palumbo, a neuropsychologist from New York, wrote a chapter in a pediatric neuropsychology textbook in 2007 “Pediatric Neuropsychological Intervention“, that updated the AAP practice guidelines to include parent training and social skills training in addition to the already mentioned stimulant medication and behavior therapy.

What are your thoughts on children getting diagnosed as young as 4 years old for ADHD?

To learn more on ADHD- sign up for a Free ADHD 101 Webinar by clicking here!

When To Screen Children For Autism And Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Popular media is now teeming with stories about the dramatic rise in autism. Several celebrities have spoken publicly and advocated for increased research on assessment methods and treatment options. Parents are now more keenly aware of even minor deviations in their child’s developmental milestones, and they worry that these delays could be the first signs of a debilitating life-long disorder.

With all of the increased attention being paid to autism, many families wonder how to make sense of the myriad checklists and screening tools available online. In addition, parents struggle to decide if their child’s repetitive behaviors and singular fascination with toys and movies are age-appropriate.

The worry is not just paranoia – researchers have repeatedly concluded that early intervention leads to optimal outcomes for children with autism and other pervasive developmental disorders. To determine whether or not to call your pediatrician, you can look at the key variables that clinicians use in assessing autism..Below are some factors we look for when evaluating a young child (2 to 4 years old).

6 Factors To Look For When Exploring A Possible Autism Diagnosis

1. Shared Interest

Children will begin to develop this skill at around 10 to 12 months of age. Essentially, shared interest is the child’s strong desire to share emotional feelings with others. After this age, when children are confronted with novel and exciting stimuli (bubbles, balloons, etc.) they frequently look from the stimuli to their parents and back. While seeming to be a simple action, this reflects a child’s social connection to their parent and desire to engage them. The absence of this reaction is reason for concern. Read more