Stories about: Division of Developmental Medicine

Coming of age in a Snapchat world: How do I keep my child safe?

How to keep your kids safe on social media

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Reddit. As a parent, your instinct is always to protect your child. But how 
do you protect them in the ever-evolving digital landscape? Social media has become a part of our everyday lives and is changing the way we interact with the world around us. According to a study by Common Sense Media, teenagers use an average of nine hours of entertainment media a day and tweens (ages 8-12) use an average of six hours per day. This does not include using media for school or homework.

What is the long-term impact of this amount of media exposure on the developing brain? We don’t yet know. What we do know is that it is impossible to prevent your child from using social media. So, how can you help them use it safely?

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‘Don’t let dyslexia hold you back’

14-year-old Josh has dyslexia

In kindergarten, while other students were beginning to read short sentences, Josh Thibeau was still learning the alphabet. “I thought, I can’t read so why even try. I thought it was a waste of time.”

Five to 17 percent of all children in the U.S. have developmental dyslexia. Josh is one of them.

Children with dyslexia — often caused by some difference in typical brain development — have trouble with comprehension because they can’t read text accurately or fluently.

Josh, now 14, has four other siblings, three of whom also have dyslexia. “We are very fortunate because if Josh had been a first child, we would not have noticed any of the signs,” says Josh’s mom Janet Thibeau.

During his early years in school, Josh found it difficult to keep up with his classmates. He was not able to associate letters to the sound they made. “I really hated it because I couldn’t show what kind of person I could be,” says Josh. “Other students were reading books I really wanted to read, but I couldn’t because I still had no idea what sound the alphabet made.”

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Ask the Expert: Is my child’s language development on track? 10 things to consider

African american toddler on phone-shutterstock_272996918It’s normal for children to acquire speech and language at different rates — just as they learn to walk at different rates. But if you feel your child is having more trouble communicating than she should, don’t ignore your concerns. Early understanding and expression of language can affect other parts of your child’s development such as play skills, social interaction and the ability to self-regulate.

When should you request an evaluation? Drs. Carol Wilkinson, of Boston Children’s Division of Developmental Medicine, and David Urion, of the Department of Neurology, offer their advice and 10 tips on things to watch for.

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Health headlines: Boosting brainpower, treating overuse injuries and the latest on food allergies

Health headlines

Boston Children’s Hospital’s doctors and researchers are constantly working to uncover and understand health and medical questions. Health Headlines is a twice-monthly summary of some of the most important research findings.

Top news this week includes research focused on how early learning experiences shape development, a report on recovery from overuse injuries and a study on the relationship between blood cells and allergies.

How home visits for vulnerable moms boost kids’ brainpower

PBS News Hour reports on how rapidly expanding medical program for low-income first-time mothers combines social services with the latest in brain science. Dr. Charles Nelson, of Boston Children’s Hospital, is interviewed about his on-going research that focuses on a child’s early learning experiences and how it can shape their developing brain and impact early learning.

The best way for teens to recover from overuse injuries

The Wall Street Journal reports on overuse injuries when unrecognized and untreated they can sideline athletes from play and lead to more serious injuries and disability. Dr. Lyle Micheli, an orthopedic surgeon and director of Boston Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine, was interviewed for the article.

Blood cells could determine whether kids get allergies

A new study suggests one reason why children develop sometimes lethal food allergies. At birth, their blood is rich in cells that can promote a hyperactive immune response.  Dr. Oliver Burton, a researcher from Boston Children’s Hospital, provides insight in the Science Magazine article.

Learn more about food allergies in children.

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