Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year in advance.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The special diet 2

In my first special diet post, I briefly talked about food our special kids should be eating. Diet is one challenging issues with parents with a special needs child and I keep getting questions on what I should or should not give a child especially kids on the spectrum, ADHD and other learning disabilities or generally picky eaters.
I was also asked about foods that don’t fall under the Casein (protein found in diary products that many people find difficult to tolerate) and gluten free (protein found in wheat, rye, barley and other grains).

I decided to ask some parents who have really researched on these and we came up with lots of Nigerian meals that are healthy rich and delicious in these series. You don’t need to import your food or drinks, besides you don’t know if they have preservatives added to them and are quite expensive.
Please send other recipes too if you have....

The next food post will contain cooked recipes, cereals (very important meal which parents find really challenging), local healthy drinks,snacks,smoothies,local healthy sweeteners and locally made seasonings.
Let us begin…..

Now lets get back to our balanced diet. I shall proceed to list out basic foods under these especially protein and healthy carbohydrate. I would advise watching the carbohydrates especially high caloric ones.

List of healthy Nigerian food that we shall be drawing out recipes from that fall under the 3 classes of food  include
Sweet potatoes
Irish potatoes
Soups and stew
Acha/fonio (this helps a lot because it’s a very healthy alternative to eba and since we love to eat lots of eba…)
Brown rice (local ofada rice or Abakiliki rice) that has not been fully processed. Please limit intake as much as possible and be careful when buying!!!

Sugar and sugar based products
Processed food- white rice, pasta, macaroni, sausages, lots of sealed imported food especially cereals and canned food fall under these.
Milk and cheese 
Junk food- doughnuts, meat pies, puff-puff, chin-chin
Processed seasonings
Fried foods.
Soda and other processed drinks.
The secret of this diet is to, as often as possible, use plant based natural food, not overly cooked. Don't stuff your child with carbs.

I shall be having some foodie guests from time to time.
I would also appreciate any recipes you know are generally healthy for children. 
Image courtesy:,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Thursday, November 5, 2015

7 ways to help a child with delayed development

As a continuation of the previous post, here are some tips for parents...
1. Learn the milestones and ACT EARLY: Always know the skills to expect at a certain age so you will be able to spot any lags in development and talk with your doctor or early intervention specialist right away. 
2. Download a milestone checklist or chart or get one from the hospital and document all progress: Compare with kids his or her age, however, it is important to note that some kids are slower than their mates in reaching their milestones. Premature babies are also often slower to meet milestones so you have to consider gestational age instead of chronological age. To know more about children developmental milestones, check here.
3. Seek the early Intervention of a specialist: Try to get a diagnosis and then seek one of the early intervention specialists to get a thorough developmental assessment. Make sure the specialist knows his onions because a developmental assessment gives you the “big picture” or road map for IEP. For more on assessment check here.
4. Communication: Always talk with your child’s therapist, doctors or special caregivers. Be an active participant in the child’s therapy session (though don’t be in the way, I see that all the time), try to become a sort of mini therapist who would do help in drawing up reasonable targets and follow up.

5. Understand the IEP [Individualized Education Program]: Ask questions if you don’t understand IEP drawn up and be comfortable with IEP drawn up. Make sure it fits the child. Learn more about IEP here.
6. Keep track of progress: Document, minute on the report books and always go through them.
7. Be informed: Attend workshops, Parent forums or join online groups to share experiences, give or be given support.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

My Child is 14 months and is not yet walking, why? :Part 2

As discussed in the last post, a Developmental delay is when your child does not reach his or her developmental milestones at the expected time. Developmental delays might happen just in the short term or it might be long term or permanent.

Short-lived delays usually aren't a cause for concern. Kids catch up on their own but a developmental delay is more than just being “slower to develop” or “a little behind.” It means your child is continually behind doing things other kids his age can.
For example, a baby who isn’t rolling over by 4 months may be just a little behind but if he also isn’t able to hold his head up and push up when lying on his tummy, he’s a lot behind. That’s a sign of a developmental delay in motor skills.

Developmental delay can show up in the way a child moves, communicates, thinks and learns, or behaves with others.
Major Causes of developmental delay
There is no one cause of developmental delays however, the following are main causes especially in Nigeria.

  1.   Genetic conditions such as hydrocephalus, Down syndrome or a cleft palate cause delays. 
  2.   Complications at birth: Being born prematurely, low birth weight or the baby not getting enough oxygen at birth [birth asphyxia] which could happen especially if the delivery was difficult, prolonged or if the mother has a serious infection, high or low blood pressure.
  3. Jaundice: At this point, it would be important to note that bathing a baby with pawpaw water or over exposure to the sun does not cure Jaundice.
  4. Hospital negligence [at birth]: This could also cause problems for the baby.  This is very important because of the rise in the number of hospitals and clinics cropping up all over the country on a regular basis. Starting from the moment, a pregnancy has been confirmed, Parents should really research on most competent hospitals (especially private clinics) to do Antenatal and have their babies and also for the best pediatric hospitals for their young ones. One of the best ways to do this would be to ask other parents and friends.
  5. Environmental issues and other medical conditions: Poor nutrition, poverty, Lead poisoning, being exposed to alcohol or drugs before birth. Chronic ear infections, for example, which can cause delays in speech and language development.

The first three years of a child's life are an amazing time of development and what happens during those years stays with a child for a lifetime. That's why it's so important to watch for signs of delays in development and to get help if you suspect problems. The sooner a delayed child gets early intervention, the better their progress will be. So, if you have concerns, act early.

Support and treatment of children with developmental delay.
The following professionals might be able to help if you think your child might have developmental delay, or your child has a developmental delay diagnosis:
    •    GP 
    •    Occupational therapist 
    •    paediatrician 
    •    audiologist 
    •    occupational therapist 
    •    physiotherapist 
    •    psychologist 
    •    social worker 
    •    special education teachers 
    •    speech pathologist.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

My Child is 14 months and is not yet walking, why?

So you have been wondering why your neighbour's baby who is the same age as yours, is walking and yours isn't. Well, no two children are the same; the fact that Baby A is standing or walking and yours isn't, doesn't mean there is a problem with your child. Baby might just be taking his or her time.

However, you as a parent should know the milestones so you can know when there is actually a problem.

The first five years create the foundation for the child to accomplish key developmental milestone advances in mind and body. It is during these years that the brain undergoes its most dramatic growth in gross, fine motor, language skills, thinking and social interactions.

So how can you tell the difference between a child who is just taking his or her time and one who has a true developmental delay?

According to Marat Zeltsman DO of Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, a developmental delay is when a child does not reach a milestone by the upper range of normal.

Even though babies develop at their own pace, he explains, "Every child should do certain tasks by a certain age."

These tasks fall into five main categories:
Gross motor skills, such as crawling and walking
Fine motor skills, such as stacking blocks or coloring
Language skills, including speech and comprehension
Thinking skills
Social interaction

Using input from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, WebMD compiled a rough timeline of milestones in the above areas. Remember, a child can stray from this timeline and still be within the range of normal, but it's best to discuss any concerns with your pediatrician.

Timeline of Childhood Milestones

2 Months
Smiles at the sound of your voice and follows you with their eyes as you move around a room

3 Months 
Raises head and chest when lying on stomach

Grasps objects

Smiles at other people

4 Months 
Babbles, laughs, and tries to imitate sounds
holds head steady

6 Months 
Rolls from back to stomach and stomach to back

Moves objects from hand to hand

7 Months 
Responds to own name

Finds partially hidden objects

9 Months 
Sits without support, crawls, babbles "mama" and "dada"

12 Months
Walks with or without support

Says at least one word
Enjoys imitating people

18 Months 
Walks independently
drinks from a cup
says at least 15 words
points to body parts


2 Years 
Runs and jumps

Speaks in two-word sentences

Follows simple instructions

Begins make-believe play

3 Years 
Climbs well

Speaks in multiword sentences

Sorts objects by shape and color

4 Years 
Gets along with people outside the family

Draws circles and squares

Rides a tricycle

5 Years 
Tells name and address

Jumps, hops, and skips

Gets dressed

Counts 10 or more objects

In my next post I will be talking about conditions that may cause a child to develop slower that others.

Image courtesy:

Thursday, September 3, 2015

More Than A Toy

For a child to develop physically and emotionally, playing is of vital importance. After the first year during which the parents' main priority is learning motor functions like standing upright, social play based tasks become the main task in a child’s life.

At this foundational stage, kids learn through play and as such, most therapy approaches use play as a medium of impact.

Toys are tools we use in Therapy to facilitate therapeutic play.When children create a make-believe world through play; for example, using toys to build a tower of blocks or race a friend to the top of a hill, they acquire the social and intellectual abilities needed to be successful in school even up to adulthood.  Nearly all meaningful play includes toys.

 A single, engaging toy can transform a child’s play from simple to academic, from repetitive to inventive, from solitary to social. Toys can be activated by switches, voice, proximity, touch, mounts and splitting.


There are many do-it-yourself adaptations that can be made by therapists or parents.
Creativity is needed by adults and children alike.

Toys for gross motor development includes, trampoline, bicycle, scooter boards, matching band/drum set kits, exercise balls which are great popular toys to get those arms and legs moving in a fun way as their body grow stronger.

This promotes balance and, ideal for kids with special needs and group social play activities.

Fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the body that enable such functions as writing, grasping small objects, and fastening clothing. It develops as the neurological system matures.

The level of development of fine motor control in children is used to determine the developmental age of the child.

Fine motor control requires awareness and planning to complete a task. It also requires muscle strength, coordination and normal sensation.

Tasks such as stacking blocks, cutting out shapes with scissors, drawing lines or circles, tearing paper, buttoning a button, and holding and writing with a pencil can occur only if the nervous system matures properly.

Your child’s fine motor development is a very important part of their physical skill set. He/she needs to learn to use their hands competently in order to manipulate toys and to acquire self-help skills such as feeding and dressing.

Play is a child's "work" and it is a very important part of their physical development. Babies and young children need to have ample opportunity to play. By the age of 6 years, a child's fine motor skills have developed sufficiently enough to complete writing, dressing, and feeding tasks adequately for the average child.

They will have enough bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, and dexterity to complete cutting and writing tasks. Children will continue to develop and improve these skills, but the groundwork needs to be developed and established within the first six years.

This is why a child will need toys, games, and activities to perform and improve these skills during his early childhood. Fine motor skills are important in most school activities as well as in life in general.

Weaknesses in fine motor skills can affect a child's ability to eat, write legibly, use a computer, turn pages in a book, even to perform personal care tasks such as dressing and grooming.

Toys for improving fine motor include, crayons, lego bricks, beading and lacing sets, markers, plastacine sets, all pretend play sets (barbershop, make up set, playing Doc set, Kitchen, work tool bench) are great fine motor activities.

For more you could visit the Sensory care Therapy Shop.
The sensory care therapy shop

Image courtesy:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, b57d13e35bad3848709750de2b297a349f54c3dcaf31c14044

Sunday, July 12, 2015

parents could be right about the connection between Autism and vaccines.

Body Of Doctor Who Linked Vaccines To Autism, Found Floating In River

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Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, who helped families whose children were believed to have been damaged by immunizations, was found dead last week under what many are calling ‘suspicious circumstances’.
He was found dead floating in a North Carolina river with a gunshot would to the chest.
The body of Dr. James Jeffery Bradstreet was found by a fisherman in the Rocky Broad River in Chimney Rock on Friday June 19th
Dr Bradstreet, a medical doctor, prominent autism researcher and vaccine opponent,was also parent of a child who developed autism after vaccination. His account of his son’s vaccine injury is posted on his online blog.                                                                                                                               Infowars report: In a press release, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office announced, “Divers from the Henderson County Rescue Squad responded to the scene and recovered a handgun from the river.”“Bradstreet had a gunshot wound to the chest, which appeared to be self inflicted, according to deputies,” reported WHNS.
An investigation into the death is ongoing, and the results of an autopsy are also reportedly forthcoming.
Dr. Bradstreet ran a private practice in Buford, Georgia, which focused on “treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, PPD, and related neurological and developmental disorders.”
Among various remedies, Dr. Bradstreet’s Wellness Center reportedly carried out “mercury toxicity” treatments, believing the heavy metal to be a leading factor in the development of childhood autism.
Dr. Bradstreet undertook the effort to pinpoint the cause of the disease after his own child developed the ailment following routine vaccination.
“Autism taught me more about medicine than medical school did,” the doctor once stated at a conference, according to the Epoch Times’ Jake Crosby.
In addition to treating patients, Bradstreet has also offered expert testimony in federal court on behalf of vaccine-injured families and was founder and president of the International Child Development Resource Center, which at one time employed the much-scorned autism expert Dr. Andrew Wakefield as “research director.”
The circumstances surrounding Bradstreet’s death are made all the more curious by a recent multi-agency raid led by the FDA on his offices.
“The FDA has yet to reveal why agents searched the office of the doctor, reportedly a former pastor who has been controversial for well over a decade,” reported theGwinnett Daily Post.
Social media pages dedicated to Bradstreet’s memory are filled with comments from families who say the deceased doctor impacted their lives for the better.
“Dr. Bradstreet was my son’s doctor after my son was diagnosed with autism. He worked miracles,” one Facebook user states. “At 16, my son is now looking at a normal life thanks to him. I thank him every day.”
“I will forever be grateful and thankful for Dr. Bradstreet recovering my son… from autism,” another person writes. “Treatments have changed my son’s life so that he can grow up and live a normal healthy life. Dr. Bradstreet will be missed greatly!”
GoFundMe page has also been set up by one of Bradstreet’s family members seeking “To find the answers to the many questions leading up to the death of Dr Bradstreet, including an exhaustive investigation into the possibility of foul play.”
Despite his family requesting the public refrain from speculation, many are nevertheless concluding the doctor’s death to be part of a conspiracy.
“Self-inflicted? In the chest? I’m not buying this,” one person in the WHNS comments thread states. “This was a doctor who had access to pharmaceuticals of all kinds. This was a religious man with a thriving medical practice. Sorry, but this stinks of murder and cover-up.”
Another commentor had a more definitive conjecture:
“He did NOT kill himself! He was murdered for who he was speaking against, what he knew, and what he was doing about it. He was brilliant kind compassionate doctor with amazing abilities to heal. He was taken. Stopped. Silenced. Why would a doctor who had access to pharmaceuticals and could die peacefully shoot himself in the chest???? And throw himself in a river?? THIS IS OBVIOUS! MURDER!!”

Monday, January 12, 2015

So your baby has Spina Bifida

Spina bifida is a type of birth defect called a neural tube defect. It results from the congenital failure of the spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy, when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) don't form properly around part of the baby's spinal cord.

Spina bifida can be mild or severe.
The mild form is the most common. It usually doesn't cause problems or need treatment. You can't see the defect, but some people may have a dimple, birthmark, or hairy patch on their back. Most people with this form don't know they have it until they get a back X-ray for another reason.

Meningocele is a rare and more severe form. In this form, fluid leaks out of the spine and pushes against the skin. You may see a bulge in the skin. In many cases, there are no other symptoms.

myelomeningocele is the most rare form where nerve roots, meninges and cerebrospinal fluids are exposed. This is what most people mean when they say "spina bifida."  Part of the spinal nerves push out of the spinal canal, and the nerves are often damaged. You may see a bulge in the skin.

Most babies who are born with this type of spina bifida also have hydrocephalus, an accumulation of fluid in and around the brain.

Children with spina bifida often have problems with bowel and bladder control. They may also have sensory processing problems [which in turn affects balance and gait], Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or other learning difficulties, such as hand-eye coordination problem,Dyspraxia and or/visual perceptual impairment which may contribute to fine motor difficulties.

Medical Management for these children includes surgery for deformity repair or for shunt implantation and urologic management(bowel).

Orthotic and splint  adaptation such as bracing, casting and assistive devices for ambulating are common.

Family education in skincare, bowel and bladder programs,and diet are often essential.

Having a child with Spina Bifida is not easy but it is not the end of the world. With proper care and a strong support system, everything will be fine.

Okay I just had to have this picture....

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