Study Finds Autistic Children Benefit From Early Treatment
A new study suggests that if applied early, a specialized autism behavior treatment may significantly improve symptoms and raise IQ, the Associated Press reports. Researchers randomly assigned 24 autistic children between the ages of 18 months and 30 months to participate in a behavior therapy program called the "Early Start Denver Model." Children had 20 hours of therapist-led training each week that focused on helping them develop communication skills, according to the AP.
After two years, the children were compared to kids who received less comprehensive care. Children in the program had an average IQ increase of 18 points versus 7 points in the comparison group. Nearly 30 percent who had the specialized treatment were rediagnosed with milder autism, according to the AP, versus 5 percent in the other group. The results are published in the journal Pediatrics.
Everyone Is Talking About Mammograms, but Many Women Don't Get Them
The recent brouhaha over breast cancer screening is about recommendations—what different experts say women of different ages should do. But even where the experts widely agree, a significant number of women simply aren't going in for screening mammography. In 2005, just 71.8 percent of women between the ages of 50 and 64 and 72.5 percent of women ages 65 to 74 had received a mammogram within the previous two years, according to government figures, U.S. News's Katherine Hobson reports.
"We are still not doing a very good job for women when there is no controversy over whether they should be screened," says Amal Trivedi, assistant professor in the department of community health at Brown University. You may not understand how anyone could miss the mammogram message. But plenty of women fall through the cracks, Hobson writes. First, there are access and money issues.
"Access to doctors stands out," says Rebecca Smith-Bindman, a professor of radiology and epidemiology at the University of California-San Francisco. Another predictor of screening: whether or not a woman's physician recommends a mammogram (some don't). Read more.
Before Holiday Shopping and Decorating, Consider Your Family's Allergies
The holiday shopping season is revving up, and the time has come, too, to start thinking about decorations. If someone in your family has environmental allergies, potential triggers abound.
When it comes to choosing toys for a child with allergies, there is no hard-and-fast rule for what's best, U.S. News's January Payne writes. While stuffed animals might seem risky, since they can be a haven for dust mites, there's a simple way to keep them safe for your child to play with. "Take the stuffed toy, put it in a freezer bag, and then put it in the freezer for three to five hours per week," advises Clifford Bassett, chair of the Public Education Committee at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Freezing the toy kills the dust mites, Payne writes.
When decorating for the holidays, keep in mind that live trees can carry mold spores or pollen. An artificial tree might be a better option if family members have allergies. But an improperly stored fake tree can pose other problems. Read more.
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