This week on Thrive: May 17 – May 21

Here’s a look at what Thrive did this week.

A cutting-edge tool called a chromosomal microarray could help make genetic testing for disabilities more accurate and help explain their causes. David Miller, MD, PhD, clinical geneticist in the Division of Genetics at Children’s Hospital Boston talked to Thrive about the findings, and what they mean for the future of genetic testing.

A study published in the latest issue of Pediatrics takes a closer look at the relation between the ingestion of certain pesticides and cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Children’s Hospital Boston’s Robert Wright, MD, MPH, and David Bellinger, PhD were co-authors on the study. Wright explained to Thrive readers what the study found and what it means for parents.

This weekend Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR) launched teen-safe.org, a website designed to offer parents both medical and practical information about the dangers of teen drinking and drug use, and offers tips on how to prevent drinking and substance abuse among their own teenage children.

Lois Lee, MD, MPH of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program, spoke at a meeting Tuesday morning along with State Representatives Peter Koutoujian, Thomas Calter and Viriato deMacedo to brief members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives on proposed legislation that would tighten laws pertaining to the operation of all-terrain vehicles by children. If passed the proposed ATV bill would raise the legal age of operation from 10 to 14, and require parental supervision for any ATV driver under the age of 16.

Thrive was recently honored as a top pediatric health blog in Parent & Child magazine, a publication for busy moms that covers child development, family well-being, health, food and fun activities.

A popular alternative treatment for autism is a gluten-free/casein-free diet, known as the GFCF diet, where all gluten (a protein found in the seeds of several grains such as barley, rye and wheat) and casein (a protein found in dairy products) is eliminated. But recent evidence from the most controlled diet research in autism to date suggests that the GFCF diet doesn’t actually help.

TuDiabetes.org, a social network for people with or affected by diabetes, recently partnered with Children’s Hospital Boston to create a new online application where members can communicate their Hemoglobin A1c levels–a health metric used to measure a person’s control over his or her diabetes over a prolonged period of time–within the TuDiabetes community.

A fascinating study conducted by CNN for its special “Black or White: Kids on Race” series revealed that many children have racial biases very early on in life. But imagine what it would be like to not be able to recognize— or care— that someone is different? Such is the case with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that leaves those affected by it free of fear in social situations. Thrive caught up with Leslie Smoot, MD, director of Children’s Williams Syndrome Clinic, to learn more about this rare and interesting condition.

Children’s Hospital Boston, in association with Harvard Medical School, just launched an updated version of HealthMap, a web-based global surveillance tool used to monitor infectious diseases and their effect on the populations where outbreaks occur.

Michael Rich, MD, MPH is Children’s media expert who answers your question about media use and kids. This week he discusses if feelings of control, fostered by a lot of video gamming, creates easily frustrated kids in real life.