Thursday, March 29, 2012

Teenagers with Aspergers, Autism, ADHD and Driving

Getting a driver's permit and driver's license is still a few years away for my kids.  I'm sure I'll have more on this topic then, but have you ever wondered how tough it is for folks with Aspergers, Autism, or ADHD to learn to drive?

My cousin, a behavioral and developmental pediatrician at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (and a mom!), got interviewed and quoted in a couple of New York Times articles about this topic.  You can read the full articles here:

The Challenge of Driving with Asperger's
Ask About A.D.H.D., Asperger's and Driving

This quote by Dr Patty Huang is one of the key points I got out of the articles:

Pennsylvania is one of the only states in which first-time applicants for a learner’s permit must receive medical certification that they do not have a condition that seriously impairs their ability to drive. I recommend that all teenagers with developmental disabilities like A.D.H.D. or an autism spectrum disorder who are interested in driving undergo a “fitness to drive” physical as part of their routine follow-ups with their pediatricians, just as many undergo a sports participation physical to engage in team sports.

As a primary care physician in pennsylvania, I fill out hundreds of these permit applications a year.  There is a box to check if we think the applicant has "any of the following that would prevent control of a motor vehicle".  The list includes things like epilepsy to cardiac disorders as well as an item marked "cognitive impairment".  Honestly, I probably have not spent enough time really exploring this area in detail.  These articles give me food for thought and hopefully will help me become better at catching whether or not an individual may need more assessment and assistance.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Can Probiotics Prevent Stomach Flu?

Yep.  I caught it.  Incubation period between exposure to stomach virus and symptoms is between 1 to 4 days and sure enough this morning is the fourth morning after our vomiting episode with little E.  As I walked into work today, green in the face.. my office manager tells me she never gets the stomach flu because she take acidophilus.  So I decided to look into it more...

There is still a lot of research that needs to be done on this but the bottom line is taking probiotics may:

  • reduce the severity in viral gastroenteritis (stomach bug) in kids
  • prevent antibiotic induced diarrhea in kids

Well, if it works for kids, it probably does the same for adults.  To read the full article on medpage you can click here.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Baby Has Stomach Flu

Nobody likes getting the stomach bug.  It is especially hard when a baby gets it.  Their little bodies can dehydrate quickly from too much vomiting and diarrhea.

Our poor little E got hit with it last night.  Middle of the night, we hear him screaming.  It is the "something is definitely wrong and I'm in pain" cry.  I go in there and as soon as I pick him up he projectile vomits across the room and hits me as well.  So I proceed to bathe him while calling my husband to clean up the floor and crib mess.  Taking off sticky onesies covered in throw up is not too bad when the buttons are in front but when you have to pull it over the head, it is messy and tricky and baby doesn't like it!  So it was one of those nights where I finally get myself and E all cleaned and dressed... then he does it again!  Now we got vomit on our bed because I brought him to our room to change him.  So called hubby again to clean our floor and throw our bedsheets in the wash while I change E and myself a second time!  Good thing for daddies... I've had to do this alone before when husband is away on a business trip and it was not fun at all.

Since it didn't get in his hair this time I just cloth wiped him.  Poor E was sooo sleepy so finally, I put him back in his newly changed crib.  I take a shower and was about to go to bed myself when we hear crying again!  The minute I picked him up... I hear his tummy gurgling and his little body retching.. so I run to the bathroom and just sat in the bathtub this time.. but yes... he got us good again.  Tiring night.. therefore today was a tiring day...

So when babies get sick with the stomach flu there is little that can be done.  It is usually due to a virus and has to run its course.  Depending on the virus it can last from 1-10 days.  Most important thing is to watch for signs of dehydration.  Sometimes in severe cases, one needs to get IV fluids.  Call your physician if you notice:

  • less than 3-4 diapers a day
  • fever greater than 101
  • excessive sleepiness or fussiness
  • sunken soft spot
  • sunken eyes
  • crying without tears

Symptoms usually hit 1-2 days after exposure.  I'm dreading this hitting my other two kids.  We'll see tomorrow...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Forward!

So one thing I love about Daylight Savings in the Spring is that all the kids biological clock is one hour early now... so they are still sleeping!  Unfortunately, still need to get the older up for preschool.

Yesterday, I was super confused because all the times on my phones and computers changed automatically and we didn't go around the house and change the clocks in the house (sometimes if we are very motivated we do this the night before).  Therefore, I kept getting the times messed up and kept changing things forward in my head when they were already changed forward etc.  As a result, little E's nap and eating schedule was all over the map!  We'll see how today goes...