What do you know about gluten?

pediatric profiler pictureGluten Free!  That claim is showing up everywhere, some of which are extremely silly.  I recently saw one listed by a bowl of hard-boiled eggs at a conference breakfast.

Why are we so concerned about gluten?  It has been targeted as a culprit in many disorders, including autism.  But is it getting a bad rap?  Are we substituting one problem for another?

Now we know that people with celiac disease truly need gluten-free diets.  What about others?  Will it help the general population?

I found this article that looks at the myths surrounding gluten.  I hope you find it as useful as I have.


Guest blog: Classroom quality — SFARI.org – Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

This is a great article on the effect of classroom quality for preschoolers with autism.  As the article points out, most research is done in a clinical or lab setting which can optimize outcomes. This study was done with in the trenches teacher in their own schools.

An important caveat at the end, however, was that these schools were top notch schools.  What about early childhood programs where the teachers have not been fully trained in one or both of these methods and neither have their associates?

We need to push for all early childhood programs for children with autism to have comprehensive training for the teachers and associates, so that all of the children in our country have a fair chance of a great outcome.

See on sfari.org

Researchers Caution against Commonly Used Autism Supplement

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

Plant-based diets are healthy. Plants are high in flavonoids. But the concentrated flavonoids in supplements can affect the body in unpredictable and potentially harmful ways, according to a n

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

Parents of children with special needs have frequently felt desperate to provide their child with interventions and products that may help their child reach a higher potential than the professionals have predicted.  It is very understandable and because of that this article is extremely important for parents of children with autism so that they don’t do something that can lead to a very unexpected and scary event in their child’s life.

As with anything proposed to help children with special needs, ask yourself these three things before deciding to do it;

1) Is there scientifically proven double blind, placebo-controlled studies showing positive effects from the therapy or product (and what are the potential side effects)

2) Will it hurt the child (again side effects or other potential problems)

3) Will it break your bank.  This is important because, although not everything that will help children with special needs is covered by insurance, parents have to weigh the amount of help an intervention may have compared to how it affects their ability to provide the basics for them and their families.

See on www.autismspeaks.org

Teaching students how to have belief in themselves

different yet beautiful

different yet beautiful

I travel around the country speaking about the developmental and behavioral challenges of children and teens. My purpose is to be their voice in order to help others understand and approach them with more compassion, empathy, and a willingness to work and think outside the box.

Now I find it funny that I do this because I was shy and reserved as a child and teen.  I didn’t want to rock the boat. I was mortified if a teacher or peer found fault with me in some way.  I even backed out of a school talent show with three friends, 2 days before the show, fearing that  people would laugh at me or boo me off the stage for not being able to sing well enough. My parents never had to give me a curfew because they KNEW I would be home on time and would make sure everyone else would be home too.

What changed?  I became so frustrated at how misunderstood children and teens with neurodevelopmental disorders were ( these are intellectual disorders, communication disorders, learning disorders, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and motor disorders). My strong belief in right and wrong pushed me past my own social anxiousness into the classrooms, auditoriums, and conference rooms of the professionals who work with these youth to help them understand what science has been uncovering as to the “whys” of their behaviors.

I had to learn on my own by observation and analysis of good speakers (and now through the awesome mentorship of members of the National Speakers Association – NSA) how to present myself as an expert. I watched and learned about nonverbal language to convey confidence, even while the butterflies were banging in my stomach.

Now there is research to show how learning these nonverbal behaviors can indeed change how you view yourself.  Check out this TED talk about the research.  When you are done, I would like you to think about how to bring this knowledge to the classrooms of children with developmental and behavioral challenges. How can you help a child learn to see themselves in a more positive light? Provide them with opportunities to take chances since even failures are learning experiences, as long as we debrief afterwards in order to come away with more knowledge.

Want a copy of my free report on oppositional children?  Click here.

YouTube series on temperament


different yet beautiful

different yet beautiful

I have been receiving messages from my readers commenting on my YouTube video from 2011 (Patricia McGuire video 2011.AVI ) about their interest in temperament and how it affects children’s behaviors.  This YouTube video was actually put together as a demo video for meeting planners to see my presenting style. While I recognize that the quality is not studio perfect, the people contacting me felt that I was describing their children and their students.

Based on their requests I am going to develop a YouTube series of short videos on the temperament traits but also on the effect of those traits when put in the context of different neurodevelopmental disorders.  Oh, you want to know what a neurodevelopmental disorder is?  Good question!

Neurodevelopmental disorders affect one child in six. The disorders are;

  • ADHD
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Communication Disorders
  • Motor Disorders (such as Tourette’s Syndrome)

I would love to hear from you as I plan these videos out.  Just fill in this form to let me know.  I hope to have the first one done by mid-May.

Thank you so much.

Would you like a free copy of my report on oppositional children?  Click here.

Health Officials: 1 In 50 School Kids Have Autism : NPR

See on Scoop.itDevelopmental & Behavioral Challenges in Children

Health officials: 1 in 50 school kids have autism

Dr. Pat McGuire‘s insight:

While the report notes some problems with the information gathering, it also pointed out that the previous way also had some problems.  This was a nationwide survey, much like is done in European studies.  From clinical practice I do agree that there are still a large number of children greater than 8  who are first coming in for an assessment, which indeed have the past history and current findings.  Now most had been given mental health or disruptive behavioral mental health diagnoses, but comprehensive symptoms went way beyond those labels.  Overall, this report still shows that we need to determine how to meet the needs of this diverse population with special needs.

See on www.npr.org

2012 in review: Thank you all

different yet beautiful

different yet beautiful

I started this blog in the middle of 2011 as an avenue for sharing my knowledge of children and youth with developmental and behavioral challenges. My passion was also to help others understand and find new ways to help, rather than punish these struggling children and youth.

I am excited and gratified to see how much growth this site has had over the last 1 1/2 years.  I am preparing for even more growth in 2013 as I relaunch my book, Never Assume: Getting To Know Children Before Labeling Them through Advantage Media.  It will have an updated resource section as well as two new chapters. I will then be ready to get on the road to share with parents and professionals the ways to understand the “whys” of these children in order to provide them with effective interventions.  I am also planning to add many more posts to this blog, thus sharing what’s new and important in the research on child development and behavior.

Happy New Year’s to all and I look forward to hearing from you and seeing others in 2013.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.