Categories
Medical

When a scratch Turn’s Deadly by Kat Challis


Approximately December 13th, 2019, my dog Summer and I were playing and she pounced on my abdomen like always, but this time she scratched my skin about an inch. I ignored it as no big deal. I noticed the area below it looked kinda bruised and assumed it was from Summer’s pouncing. On December 15th, I called the pastor and told him I couldn’t make the intercessory prayer that day – response no problem. I kept feeling like I had the flu, sleeping allot. The 20-23rd I had a temperature that was high. Kassidey came in every 4 hours and gave me fever reducer. I hallucinated and had delusions when my temperature reached 104* F. Finally, my fever broke and I told Kassidey my tummy hurt. SHe thought I meant food. I corrected her. She took a look and got Robert to come look. THey took me to Harris Methodist Hospital emergency room on Dec 24th, where I was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

The Wound-Vac had been removed and the wound was packed with a dressing. I arrived at West lake and asked the nurses Musfasausfa and Kaye to change my dressing as it was wet and my gown was soaked to. They refused and said it would be changed in the morning. They gave me towels to absorb some of the bodily fluids while I slept. At 12:30 a.m. I tried using the call button, then again at 3:33 a.m. no one came until 5:30 a.m. I texted Robert of my situation throughout the night. It was almost 9:00 a.m. before the wound nurses arrived to change the dressing out and install the wound vac. I had laid in my body waste for 12 + hours.

I had developed a wound that was Septic- blood poisoning- infection. Then a cat scan of my abdomen revealed a tumor on my left kidney and infection . Surgery on the lower left medial abdomen was performed the next day. They created an incision 21.5cm long, by 5cm wide and 11.5cm deep and removed all tissue from that area creating an open wound. A few days later on January 2nd, 2020, an machine called a Wound Vac was installed in the wound, to remove drainage of body fluids.

I had a negative reaction to the anesthesia, they thought I had a mini stroke. My left side drifted downwards. An MRI of my brain was performed and I was okay. I was moved out of ICU the 4th day. I was treated very well by all of the staff, doctors and nurses, dieticians and therapist. On the 20th day of treatment I was transferred to West Lake Center of Care (Rehabilitation) in White Settlement, TX. at 8:40 p.m.

I discovered the next day that the call light did not work at all. I told them if that was their method for contact then they needed to get it fixed immediately. It took five days for the maintenance to look at the problem and replace the call light and install light bulbs in the two room sconces- there was limited lighting in the dismal room until then. I was a fall risk due to my seizure disorder and weaken state. In the meanwhile, I had to go to the door and hope to catch someone passing by, we did try holding the button on the call light for 10 seconds, release, and repeat. That was not successful.

The weather stripping had come loose from the window and cold air was coming though, I complained my room was too cold and the staff agreed with me. I had two small thin twin size blankets that I brought with me. I asked for another clinic blanket and was told there were not any available. So I shivered until finally I went to sleep.

I am a diabetic patient. The dietician brought me another persons meal that had her name scratched out and my put in its place. It was a puree food plate…. it was awful, I tried to eat it but couldn’t tolerate it/ I was given another meal. The food manager Greg, came to see me, he took down my allergies and sensitivities to green veggies and some preferences. I thought great- wonderful service finally. Well, that was not to be. I was given a regular salt laden diet. I couldn’t eat the entree it was so salty. I send word to Greg about the salt. So they make an effort to not salt my food. However, even though they had it written on my meal ticket , no salt, peanut, or green vegetables (twice) I was brought meals with salads, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, etc. until the day before I left their service, then I was given to servings of mashed potatoes with gravy. For two days, I vomited my food after consumption, I lost 6 1/2 pounds that 1st week. I didn’t recheck to see if I had lost more when I left.

Friday. I am supposed to be discharged on Saturday, the Nurses were attentive now that the call light system worked, it still took over an hour for the nurses to respond to my request to see a nurse. The technician always came within 15 minutes of using the call light. The rental wound vac was put on incorrectly and the alarm would sound every two minutes all day and night long. I was sent home Saturday with it malfunctioning. I called the wound vac technical support and they walked me through testing the unit and determining how to fix leaks, change the canister out, then realize the issue is with the connection of it self to me was faulty. All Saturday night I stayed awake pushing the alarm off button, until sleep finally claimed me for three hours- alarm still in force. Sunday, an emergency call nurse came and changed out the wound vac and the unit worked great afterwards, no alarms going off.

Categories
Medical

Impact of Environment on Learning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders


EDUC-EDRD 6305: Research Design

Kathy Challis

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Abstract

The research case study proposal topic is the Impact of Environment on Learning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The hypothesis is: Are students with Autism Spectrum Disorder positively or negatively affected by the classroom environment?  Special education classroom environments are studied for objectivity in the placement of furniture, sensory input such as visual cues, smells, salivatory, tactile response, hearing (auditory) stimulus, and perceptions of comfort and well-being.

Two qualitative classroom samples will be collected as evidence of existing research in practice and compared with other datum collected from quantitative and qualitative research studies articles. The focus will be on furniture placement, light, sound, and food stimuli. Autism Spectrum Disorder will be defined by the American Psychiatric Association APA. Legislation about Public Law 106-310 (2000), and Public Law 109-416 (2006) will be defined. Other research studies are included in this article. Finally, the Ziggurat Model is presented for study.

Keywords:  Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Classroom Environment, Sensory sensitivities, emotional response, classroom performances, behavior modification, Ziggurat Model,  Public Law 106-310 Public Law 109-416

Chapter One

Introduction

The purpose of this research study is to determine what are the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom environment. The quantity of available research are limited ( ≤40) related topics. We will discover the manners of which, students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are affected by the classroom environment. The objective of this study is to identify the effects of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the classroom environment. To be discussed are the questions; What environmental stimuli encourage or discourage children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to be successful in the classroom?

What are the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom environment? How can educators prepare their classroom environments for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? We will look at how available research on the physical environment of dependent variables such as light, sound, furniture placement and the use of food reinforcers will affect student behavior. The independent variables are the presence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder student, length of school day, subjects taught in the school day. And the dependent variables are lighting, noise, temperature, smell, tactile, taste, change in routine (perceptions), and legislation for research into Autism Spectrum Disorder.  

The hypothesis is students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are affected by the classroom environment. The essential question is what environmental stimuli encourage or discourage children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to be successful in the classroom? The Foundation of this paper is: My grandson is an Autism student in K-5 for Eagle Mountain ISD, and my daughter teaches Autistic students K-5 for Fort Worth ISD, I am interested in why their classrooms are successful.  

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

 According to McAllister and Maguire (2012), and Kinnealey and Pfeiffer, (2012) “Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a term that covers many subgroups within the spectrum of autism. Autism can be termed as a lifelong complex neurodevelopmental disorder. It is characterized by a triad of qualitative impairments in social communication, social interaction, and social imagination.”

These social cues are essential to the normal function of human beings. In people with autism, their environment processes their environment in over-stimulation of sight, sound, noises, taste, and touch. “For people with ASD to function properly, their environment must be adapted whenever possible according to the experts. The experts are defined as teachers, parents, behavioralist, and environmental psychologist” according to McAlister and Maguire (2012), and Martin, (2016).

How common is ASD?

“In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a 1600% increase in the number of individuals between the ages of 6 and 22 years with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from 1993 to 2013.” (Martin, 2014, p.280) Although, Autism Spectrum Disorder occurrences are on the rise in early childhood, today (2014) at a ratio of  1:68 children are born with ASD (Martin, 2014, p280) the physical classroom has been neglected by researchers to determine the optimal sensory settings for ASU students. 

“In 2012, according to the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, the population of ASD is 9.0 per 1,000 population or 1 in every 110 children.” (Kinnealey and Pfeiffer, (2012) that number is up from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2013, in children with ASD ages 6 years and 22 years old are estimated at 1: 88, with the incidence of boys to girls to be 5:1.

Definitions

Autistic Spectrum Disorder is a disorder identified by a lifelong complex neurodevelopmental disorder. It is characterized by a triad of qualitative impairments in social communication, social interaction, and social imagination.”

Developmental dyspraxia is a disorder characterized by an impairment in the ability to plan and carry out sensory and motor tasks.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a US law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.

The Ziggurat Model was co-authored by Ruth Aspy, Ph.D., and Barry Grossman, Ph.D., licensed psychologists specializing in assessment and intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  The model was created to address concerns and common pitfalls of typical approaches to developing intervention plans, such as incomplete pictures of the person’s challenges and failure to target specific behaviors.

Acronyms

American Journal of Occupational Therapy -AJOT

American Psychiatric Association- APA 

Autism Spectrum Conditions -ASC

Autism Spectrum Disorder- ASD

Centers for Disease Control -CDC

Collaborative Virtual Learning System (CVLE)

High Visual Display – HVD

1nteragency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)

Independent School District- ISD

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH),

National Institute of Health -NIH

Public Law- PL

Sensory Processing Measure (SPM).

What legislation regarding ASD is available

Legislation for research into Autism Spectrum Disorder. Directly quoted from National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), (2006), “2000—Public Law 106-310, The Children’s Health Act of 2000, Title I Autism, instructed the Director of NIH to carry out this section through the Director of NIMH and in collaboration with other agencies that the Director determined appropriate. The Act expands, intensifies, and coordinates activities of the NIH concerning research on autism, including the establishment of not less than 5 centers of excellence that conduct basic and clinical research into autism. The Act also mandated that the Secretary, DHHS establish an Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) to coordinate autism research and other efforts within the Department. Authority to establish the IACC was delegated to the NIH. The NIMH was designated the NIH lead for this activity. 2006—Public Law 109-416, the Combating Autism Act of 2006, authorized expanded activities related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) related research, surveillance, prevention, treatment, and education. Specifically, the Act authorizes research under NIH to address the entire scope of ASD; authorizes a review of regional centers of excellence for autism research and epidemiology; authorizes activities to increase public awareness, improve use of evidence-based interventions, and increase early screening for autism; and calls on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee to enhance information sharing.”  What these two laws mean to the layperson is that the government is paying for research into all Autism related disorders that have been lumped into one umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Summary

            What environmental stimuli encourage or discourage children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to be successful in the classroom? And What are the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom environment? The independent variables are the presence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder student, length of school day, subjects taught in the school day. And the dependent variables are lighting, noise, temperature, smell, tactile, change in routine (perceptions of comfort and well-being). The purpose of this research is to determine the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom. Public Law 106-310 (2000) and Public Law 109-416 (2006) are established to formulate government research and fund five agencies in the discovery and treatment of ASD. In a future study, temperature, smell, and tactile dissemination could be addressed in addition to the perceptions of a child’s well-being and behavior analysis.

Chapter 2- Review of Literature

Articles spanning 2001 to 2019 were utilized, with an emphasis on the more recent eight years whereas possible. The following Keywords:  Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Classroom Environment, Sensory sensitivities, emotional response, classroom performances, behavior modification, Ziggurat Model, are used to define the research parameters. Topics are included in the Body of Reviews, herein.

Body of Reviews

Hanley, Mary, Khairat, Mariam, et al. (2017) Classroom Displays- Attraction or Distraction? Evidence of Impact on Attention and Learning from Children With and Without Autism. Developmental Psychology, 4 May 2017, Vol. 53, No. 7, p1265-1275. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0000271

The authors used video recordings to tape children’s eye movements in a controlled setting without any high visual displays (HVD) in their background and another group with HVD. In both children with and without autism, had difficulty recalling two stories and two mini-lessons on a worksheet after exposure to HVD backgrounds as part of the presentation. The students with autism did not do as well as students without autism when the HVD was present. It is noted that 8 of the 34 students were tested at their homes in comparable environments of visual displays. This quantitative paper covers time spent looking at teachers face and looking at HVD’s. The math in this paper was hard to understand. I will use it in my research papers to give credence to MacAllister and Maguire’s papers.

Kinnealey, Moya, Pfeiffer, Beth, et al. (2012) Effect of classroom modification on attention and engagement of students with autism or dyspraxia. American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT), 66, 511-519, http://ddx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.004010

The authors offer a solution to poor behaviors in a classroom with an autistic and dyspraxia student, by incorporating halogen lighting and sound-absorbing walls and ceiling material. “Results included increased frequency and stability of attending and engagement and improved classroom performance, and mood.” I will use this summary as a primer to my hypothesis about Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are positively or negatively affected by the classroom environment.

Ma Fernandez-Andres, Inmaculada, Gemma Pastor-Venezuela, & et al. A comparative study of sensory processing in children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder in the home and classroom environments. (2015) Research in Developmental Disabilities, 38. P202-212. , http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2014.12.034

The authors did a study on two groups of children ages five to eight years for Sensory Processing Measure (SPM). They had parents (more mom than dad) and teachers (more women than men) complete questionnaires based on home environment or school classroom environment. They used a Likert-type scale on the questionnaires demographic datum, age, years with ASD contact with student/child, and parental: education, occupation, income, and marital status were all considered as variables in the research. The teachers reported more dysfunction in social participation, touch, and praxis (the ability to plan and organize movement). Other areas to be considered were sensory processing, social participation, and praxis of the ASD group. I will use this data DSM-5 definition of ASD in my research.

Martin, Caren S. (2016) Exploring the impact of the design of the physical classroom environment on young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, Vol 16 No.4 280-298 doi: 10.1111/1471-3802.12092

This is a quantitative report regarding students in preschool to 6th grade with ASD; the ages whereas experts agree are critical in forming a foundation for the students’ well-being and life-long learning practices. There was limited research available at the time the article was written; there were limited resources available for comparisons and most of the data were anecdotal in terms of creating an optimal learning environment. Such anecdotal information came from designers, teachers, and school administrators. This article was concerned with the interactive relationships between humans and the environment as explored by environmental. Psychologist and behavioral psychologist. This article gets precise details with classroom modifications in the comparison of 19 articles summarized. I can use this article as a checklist of expectations in the development of a classroom environment.

McAllister, Keith, Maguire, Barry, (2012) A design model: the Autism Spectrum Disorder Classroom Design Kit British Journal of Special Education ©NASEN

The authors present a study of a classroom environment that is specially equipped to handle students who have “sensory sensitivity to visual, auditory, tactile, proprioceptive, gustatory, and olfactory stimuli.”   The difficulties that architects have with interacting with the teachers and pupils are detailed as architects use pictures to demonstrate the needs of a client, while teachers use words to describe the needs of the child. This study was conducted in nine “key one” classrooms, (ages five to eight), and one “key three” classrooms, (ages 11-16). The purpose was early intervention strategies that would be conducive to the children feeling comfortable, and at ease in their learning environment, The key three was a control unit of expected behaviors, while the key one was working hypothesis to get to stage three developmentally. I think this paper has merit, and I plan to use the information in my own research paper in comparing the three elemental teaching zones for the classroom.

McAllister, Keith, Maguire, Barry, (2012) Design considerations for the autism spectrum disorder-friendly Key Stage 1 classroom. 18 Sep 2012, Https”doi-org.ezproxy.utpb.edu/10.1111/j.1467-9604.2012.01525.x

The authors engaged classrooms in three stages of development over a two year period that broke 16 components into “four category bands; control and safety, classroom character, classroom usage, and classroom physical factors.” The purpose of the design was so that teachers could define their ideal ASD-friendly classroom and discover what worked and didn’t work.  The 16 areas of concentration are spelled out. I will use this article to compare the results of my study to determine if there is a correlation of findings between this study and my study herein, Becker-Smith.

Negilioni, Kappa, and Ramani, Krishna Kumar, (2019) Environmental factors in school classrooms: How they influence visual task demand on children. © Negiloni et al. PLoS One 14(1):e0210299  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210299

 The authors did a quantitive study on the effects of light in a classroom on fixtures such as chalkboard, green and black with white chalk and the students’ desks. They discovered that 62% of the 29 classrooms they evaluated had low lighting [<150lux] so that visual acuity was problematic as determined by light in lumens. The optimal lumens is >150-300lux. The study found that the classroom placement of desks in relationship to chalkboards needed adjustments and the lighting needed to be increased. Once the lighting was increased, assessments with the variables such as letter legibility, stroke-width, and chalkboard contrast we took under advisement.  Also, regular audits of the classroom and recommended eyes screening of the students are necessary. I will use this article as reference material to the placement of a zone of learning between chalkboards and student desks and teacher placement.

Yufang, Xhen, and Jun Yee (2010) Exploring the social competence of students with autism spectrum conditions in a collaborative virtual learning environment- The pilot study. Computers and Education, Science Digest, 54, p 1068-1077. Doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2009.10.011.

The authors define autism spectrum conditions (ASC) and collaborative virtual learning system (CVLE). The research is done with three students (one girl and two boys) with social competence disorders with ASC, normal average IQ’s, and normal cognitive abilities. There were two scenes; classroom and outside, for the student to engage in using a self-expressive avatar in a 3D social situation. The students were able to use verbal and non-verbal cues in selecting responses to stimuli. They were evaluated on a post-game simulation by describing; what happened, what do you see, and why do you feel, questions about the pictures or scenes in the game. The findings were positive that students with ASC could benefit from using virtual reality games to support their social confidences and have improvement in reciprocal social behaviors. I will use this research to validate the sensory tactile, visual, and oratory aspects of ASD in my research paper.

The reason we need to research this topic is that new to ASD teachers need to know the environmental factor that will occur in their classroom, solutions, and support of peer-to-peer teachers. The latest research study (Becker-Smith) was conducted by me in February 2019, in The form of a questionnaire, a poll, and an opportunity to share personal insights of teaching ADS Students. The study was completed by Megan Becker, B.S. of Saginaw/Eagle Mountain ISD and Ms. Kassidey Challis, M.Ed. of Fort Worth ISD. My hypothesis statement; Are students with Autism Spectrum Disorder positively or negatively affected by the classroom environment? The questionnaires gave me similar results on the qualitative case study. The purpose of this research study is to determine what are the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom environment.

Chapter III- Methodology

Research Designs A Qualitative Study

How can educators prepare their classroom environments for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

  1. Independent Variables, social cues,
  2. Ethics- Is self-contained classrooms presenting the world view of living?
  3. Participants; (Becker-Smith, 2019)
  4. methods of research: inventory of knowledge questionnaire and opinion poll

We will look at how the physical environment of dependent variables such as furniture placement, light, and sound will affect student behavior.  In the research (Becker-Smith), Megan Becker (2019) teacher stated, children, “tend to stim (stim- is a repeated behavior consciously or unconsciously acted out), on lights or reflections created by overhead fluorescent lighting. There is one child who avoids walking on the reflections in the hallway.” She also conferred that natural lighting at different levels in the classroom was best. She has noted that fluorescent light can cause headaches to occur. Kassidey Smith (2019), the teacher stated that different types of lights like florescent will aggravate kids more than other types like ambient (lamps) lighting around a classroom. Smith has found that LED lighting has the least flicker and is not as harsh on the eyes. The dependent variables are lighting, noise, temperature, smell, tactile, change in routine/perceptions. The effects of light and sound barriers are discussed. In the study by Kinnealey and Pfeiffer, et al. (2012), six weeks study of videotaping an empty classroom, for sound in decibels (dB). In sixteen 10 minute intervals of videotaping at various times day and night for the control group and then adding sound barrier treatments for two weeks and halogen lights for the final two weeks “improved the overall sensory comfort, attention, engagement, emotional mood response and improved classroom performance of the four participants/pupils evaluated.”

In another research group, they used four male participants, three of whom were on the spectrum (ASD), and one had Dyspraxia.  “Developmental dyspraxia is a disorder characterized by an impairment in the ability to plan and carry out sensory and motor tasks. Generally, individuals with the disorder appear “out of sync” with their environment. Symptoms vary and may include poor balance and coordination, clumsiness, vision problems, perceptions of comfort and well-being difficulties, emotional and behavioral problems, difficulty with reading, writing, and speaking, poor social skills, poor posture, and poor short-term memory.”  (NIMH, 2019).

The four participants were in the age range of 13 years to 20 years, and the “participants demonstrated classroom-ready behaviors as defined by the school and be free of special health concerns, cognitive impairment, or a psychiatric condition.” (Kinnealey and Pfeiffer (2012)). The participants kept journals and answer pre-post surveys and guided questions by the Occupational Therapist. The findings were conclusive; however, there is much more experimental research that needs to be done in the area of a broader-based sampling of participants, varying sequences of interventions, using a dB meter that has lower than 50dB capabilities.

The Becker-Smith research parameters such as; gender of teacher/aides, student/teacher ratio, the age of teacher, the age range of students, and education of teacher were noted.  In my research, Becker said that the placement of furniture can help control student behaviors by giving them a well-defined workspace. Younger children do well in defined expected areas like their desk and chair. Smith concurred with Becker that some students do better with a specified single area, while others do better in groups.(Becker-Smith, 2019)  This is especially true if they are adapted to using visual cues. Visual cues can include pictures with written labels on a sentence strip. Simple things like Velcro on a desk can help define the parameter or focus for a child of ASD.

In Becker’s classroom, (Becker-Smith, 2019), she has repeatedly observed the phenomena that removing as few as one child from the class due to absence can cause a shift in behaviors, the students usually are quieter. However, when adults focus their attention on other adults, the children start acting out; much like in regular classrooms. Becker and Smith both state that when noise is the over-stimuli, it is beneficial to offer headphones to the affected child or switch the background noise type to quiet or soothing music. They both use headphones on computer stations. Becker said because background noise competes with internal noise, children on ASD need extra time to process responses to questions.  Smith also stated that weather and full-moon stages positively affect children’s behaviors negatively.

Olfactory stimuli such as smells/odors like disinfectant and cleaners can cause discomfort to those with autism. (McAlister & Maguire, 2012).  Temperature, tactile, change in routine can all affect the comfort perceptions of the student’s well-being, and the participants daily journaling helped researches determine the cause-effect parameters of the study.

Yufang, X. (2010). The research is done with three students (one girl and two boys) with social competence disorders with ASC, normal average IQ’s, and normal cognitive abilities. There were two scenes; classroom and outside, for the student to engage in using a self-expressive avatar in a 3D social situation. The students were able to use verbal and non-verbal cues in selecting responses to stimuli. They were evaluated on a post-game simulation by describing; what happened, what do you see, and why do you feel, questions about the pictures or scenes in the game. The findings were positive that students with ASC could benefit from using virtual reality games to support their social confidences and have improvement in reciprocal social behaviors. I have used this research to validate the sensory tactile, visual, and oratory aspects of ASD in the Becker-Smith research paper.

Research Methodology

Ma Fernandez-Andres, I. et al.  did a study on two groups of children ages five to eight years for Sensory Processing Measure (SPM). They had parents (more mom than dad) and teachers (more women than men) complete questionnaires based on home environment or school classroom environment. They used a Likert-type scale on the questionnaires, demographic datum, age, years with ASD contact with student/child, and parental: education, occupation, income, and marital status were all considered as variables in the research. The teachers reported more dysfunction in social participation, touch, and praxis (the ability to plan and organize movement). Other areas to be considered were sensory processing and praxis of the ASD group.

The research parameters for the qualitative case study of Becker-Smith’s group I and II are the gender of teacher/aides, student/teacher ratio, the age of teacher, the age range of students, and education of teacher was noted. Foundation: My grandson is an Autism student in K-5 for Eagle Mountain ISD, and my daughter teaches Autistic students K-5 for Fort Worth ISD, I am interested in why their classrooms are successful. The intent for my research paper is so that new or non-ASD teachers will have a basic understanding of what autism is and how the environment plays a factor in their success or failure as a student. Hypothesis: Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are positively or negatively affected by the classroom environment. Topic: Impact of Environment on Learning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Essential Question: What environmental stimuli encourage or discourage children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to be successful in the classroom? Independent variables: Presence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder student, length of school day, subjects taught in the school day. Dependent Variables: lighting, noise, temperature, smell, change in routine (perceptions).  Research question: What are the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom environment? Research purpose: The purpose of this research is to determine the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom environment. Research objective: The objective of this study is to identify the effects of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the classroom environment.

In my qualitative case study of group I and II, the teacher was female, white, and age 36, taught in a structured self-contained classroom, taught a minimum of 5 years but not more than 10 years, taught students with ASD factors and taught in public independent school districts. The variable that was different was the ratio of student: teacher, Group I, 7:2 and Group II, 11:3 respectively.  I propose that additional research is needed with a broader sample of the ethnic background of teachers, ages of teachers, years of teaching experience, type of classroom, private vs. public Independent School Districts and comparable student to teacher ratios in order to see the similarities and differences that sensory output and input has on a students behavior.

One final note is that food (taste/salvatory) was considered as a variable. Becker said food can be a positive reinforcer of behavior if the student doesn’t become over saturated. And Smith said that it is not the food item itself that reinforces behavior, it is the “how” (methods) it is used, that makes the difference.

Research Design: Qualitative Research- The Ziggurat Model

Articles to answer the research questions such as: “How to support the well- being and education of children with ASD in the classroom environment” [from an educator’s perspective.] (Martin, S. 2014 p.281).  Martin states, ‘Sensory Differences’ area and include issues such as responses to sounds, light (including reflections, shadows) or color, temperature, smells (sometimes undetected by others), need for movement (including pacing, rocking), avoidance of movement and sensory exploration of objects, as depicted in the hierarchical approach in the Ziggurat Model.  (Aspy and Grossman, 2013) How it Works. See figure 1. The Ziggurat Model is based on the premise that we must first understand why individuals are engaging in specific behaviors and identify what is reinforcing for them before attempting to teach them new skills.  The Ziggurat approach centers on three assessment tools and a five-level hierarchal system, and it utilizes students’ strengths to address  underlying deficits.    Each level represents an area that must be addressed for an intervention plan to be comprehensive.

Figure 1: The Ziggurat Model

Effects of the Physical Classroom Environment

Architects are employed by schools to decorate the schools’ environment with wall placements and lighting designs, acoustics, and even furniture choices. ASU student physical classrooms are not typically specialized by architects, their classrooms are designed for non-handicapped regular students.  Usually, it is heuristic, anecdotal information from other teachers, parents, and behaviorist that inform the school of classroom accommodations that are needed, and as such are unreliable local knowledge. (Martin, 2014, p281).   

According to Doctoroff, (2001, pp105-109,), “Thoughtful arrangements of space and High noise levels have the potential to impede materials can invite children’s participation in play and communication during social play. In general, noise level contributes to their efforts to organize and utilize materials should be moderate so that children and teachers can also, engage peers, and persist in play. In many instances, be responsive to each other’s social cues. (Ramsey, environmental enrichment or modifications result in 1991).”

     Adaptions to the physical environment can limit or enhance a child’s ability to play and learn at the same time.  Natural or ambient lighting can be an asset or a determent depending on the child’s needs for sensory input.  Noise levels pose a challenge for some children with handicaps like AUS students. Noise-canceling devices or headphones can be given or take away input. Accessibility to all play areas using ramps as needed to aid students with physical limitations should be provided. Doctoroff (2001), sites examples of modifications to play areas and inclusion of mixed play areas to keep student interest elevated. “A classroom play environment that is careful development. Adaptive play for special needs children: planned to meet the developmental, sensorimotor, behavioral, social, and emotional needs of each child has the potential to enrich and extend the play possibilities.)”

Summary

The HIPPA Law required I use (in)formal questionnaire and poll format vs. in-person classroom interviews. Due to the convenience of the Educators involved in the Becker-Smith research, the datum were collected by questionnaires and polls (Becker-Smith, 2019) and accessed to assess the value of interpretations of open-ended questions and an opinion poll.

Martin and Doctoroff have essential revelations about the physical classroom. Martin is in the design elements of the physical classroom and Doctoroff is in the accessories within the physical classroom. Future empirical research evidence is needed to serve the classroom environment for students with ASD. 

The Ziggurat Model was co-authored by Ruth Aspy, Ph.D., and Barry Grossman, Ph.D., licensed psychologists specializing in assessment and intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  The model was created to address concerns and common pitfalls of typical approaches to developing intervention plans, such as incomplete pictures of the person’s challenges and failure to target specific behaviors.

Chapter IV- Ethics & Human Relationships/Timeline

There are not any threats to the educators reporting the information, they are protected by the Hippa “gag” order. I am physically handing the research documents to the educators and retrieving the finished product. I gained formal consent to approach educators at their place of employment. It took three weeks to get the information questionnaire and poll back from the educators. Two weeks to synthesize and compare data from the poll and questionnaire and one week to write proposal.

Reference[KAC1] 

Aspy, R & Grossman, B.G. (2008) The Ziggurat Model: A framework for Designing Comprehensive Interventions for Individuals with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Shawnee Mission, KS. AAPC, Reviewed at http://www.aapcpublishing.net

Avissar, Gilada. Partnerships between Special and Mainstream Schools., ERIC Number:                                                     EJ1184106 Record Type: Journal Publication Date: 2018-Jul Pages: 8 ISSN: EISSN-1471-3802 Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, v18 n3 p149-156 Jul 2018

Becker-Smith, (2019). Becker, Megan. Eagle Mountain Independent School District, Educator, Bailey Boswell Elementary School. Smith, Kassidy M. Fort Worth Independent School District, Educator, Wayside Elementary School.

Boser, Katharina I. Technology Tools for Students with Autism Innovations that Enhance    Independence and Learning http://www.brookespublishing.com/technology-tools and http://archive.brookespublishing.com/documents/boser-technology-tools.pdf    Reviewed Jan. 27, 2019

Conroy, M. A., Asmus, J. M., Boyd, B. A., Ladwig, C. N. & Sellers, J. A. (2007). ‘Antecedent classroom factors and disruptive behaviors of children with autism spectrum disorders.’ Journal of Early Intervention, 30 (1), pp. 19–35

Delmolino, L. & Harris, S. L. (2012). ‘Matching children on the autism spectrum to classrooms: A guide for parents and professionals.’ Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42 (6), pp. 1197–1204. doi: 10.1007/s10803‐011‐1298‐6

Doctoroff, Sandra, Adapting the Physical Environment to Meet the Needs of All Young Children for Play Early Childhood Education, Journal of Research in Special Education Needs, December 2001, Volume 29,  pp 105–109|Winter 2001 Reviewed at https://link-springer-com.ezproxy.utpb.edu/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1012524929004 on Jan. 29, 2019.

Friedlander, D. (2008). ‘Sam comes to school: Including students with autism in your classroom.’ Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 82 (3), pp. 141–144.

Ganz, J. B. (2007). ‘Classroom structuring methods and strategies for children and youth with autism spectrum disorders.’ Exceptionality: A Special Education Journal, 15 (4), pp. 249–260. doi: 10.1080/09362830701655816

Guldberg, K. (2010). ‘Educating children on the autism spectrum: Preconditions for inclusion and notions of “best autism practice” in the early years.’ British Journal of Special Education, 37 (4), pp. 168–174. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‐8578.2010.00482.x 

Hanley, Mary; Khairat, Mariam; Taylor, Korey; et al., Classroom displays-Attraction or distraction? Evidence of impact on attention and learning from children with and without autism. Developmental Psychology, 07/2017, Volume 53, Issue 7 Reviewed Jan. 27,2019

Khare, R. & Mullick, A. (2009). ‘Incorporating the behavioral dimension in designing an inclusive learning environment for autism.’ International Journal of Architectural Research (Archnet‐IJAR), 3 (3), pp. 45–64.

Kinnealey, Moya, Pfeiffer, Beth, Miller, Jennifer, et al. (2012). Effect of classroom modification on Attention and Engagement of Students with Autism or Dyspraxia. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, pp511-519. Reviewed at http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.001010

Ludlow, A. K., Wilkins, A. J. & Heaton, P. (2006). ‘The effect of colored overlays on reading ability in children with autism.’ Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36 (4), pp. 507–516. doi: 10.1007/s10803‐006‐0090‐5

Ma Fernandez-Andres, I., Gemma P.V., et al. A comparative study of sensory processing
in children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder in the home and classroom
environments. (2015) Research in Developmental Disabilities, 38. P202-212.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2014.12.034

Martin, Caren S., Exploring the impact of the design of the physical classroom environment on young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). pp281-298.   First published: 19 November 2014 Reviewed 1/31/19 at https://doi-org.ezproxy.utpb.edu/10.1111/1471-3802.12092. ). Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs– Vol 16/4 pp280-298. Martin,

McAllister, K. & Maguire, B. (2012a). ‘A design model: The autism spectrum disorder classroom design kit.’ British Journal of Special Education, 39 (4), 201–208. doi: 10.1111/1467‐8578.12006

McAllister, K. & Maguire, B. (2012b). ‘Design considerations for the autism spectrum disorder‐friendly key stage 1 classroom.’ Support for Learning: British Journal of Learning Support, 27 (3), pp. 103–112. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‐9604.2012.01525.x

Meadan, H., Ostrosky, M. M., Triplett, B., Michna, A. & Fettig, A. (2011). ‘Using visual supports with young children with autism spectrum disorder.’ Teaching Exceptional Children, 43 (6), pp. 28–35.

Mohamed, Ahmed Hassan Hamdan, Attitudes of Special Education Teachers towards Using Technology in Inclusive Classrooms: A Mixed-Methods Study Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, v18 n4 p278-288 Oct 2018  https://eric.ed.gov/?q=Journal+of+Research+in+Special+Educational+Needs%22&pr=on&id=EJ1192682  Reviewed: Jan 27, 2019 

Negiloni, Kalpa; ⨯ Krishna Kumar Ramani; Rachapalle Reddi Sudhir. Environmental factors in school classrooms: How they influence visual task demand on children. PLoS One; San Francisco Vol. 14, Iss. 1,  Pp1-12.  (Jan 2019): e0210299.DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0210299 reviewed at https://search-proquest.com.ezproxy.utpb.edu/docview/2166102289/fulltextPDF/98AB3070F19C43F4PQ/1?accountid=7137

National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). (2019)          

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Developmental-Dyspraxia-Information

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). 2000—Public Law 106-310, The Children’s Health Act of 2000, Title I Autism. https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/nih-almanac/national-institute-mental-health-nimh).

Oakley, B., Autism Preparation Kit for Teachers, 2018, www.snagglebox.com, pp69. https://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Special-Education-Services/Documents/Eligibility%20Areas/Autism/autismpreparationkitforteacherspdf.pdf reviewed on Jan. 27, 2019

Ostafa, M. (2008). ‘An architecture for autism: Concepts of design intervention for the autistic user.’ International Journal of Architectural Research (Archnet‐IJAR), 2 (1), pp. 189–211.

Paola Ricciardia, Cinzia Burattib 2018, Environmental quality of university classrooms: Subjective and objective evaluation of the thermal, acoustic, and lighting comfort conditions. Building and Environment Volume 127, January 2018, Pages 23-36 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2017.10.030

Reszka, S. S., Odom, S. L. & Hume, K. A. (2012). ‘Ecological features of preschools and the social engagement of children with autism.’ Journal of Early Intervention, 34 (1), pp. 40–56. doi: 10.1177/1053815112452596

Richmond, M. L., Accommodating Children With Autism Within an Inclusive Setting  © 2007 Super Duper ® Publications • www.superduperinc.com https://www.superduperinc.com/handouts/pdf/134_AutismintheClassroom.pdf

Schilling, D. L. & Schwartz, I. S. (2004). ‘Alternative seating for young children with autism spectrum disorder: Effects on classroom behavior.’ Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34 (4), pp. 423–432. doi: 10.1023/B:JADD.0000037418.48587.f4

Setter, Maria Earman, The Use of Technology to Assist School-Aged Students with High Incidence Special Needs in Reading ERIC Number: EJ1199417, Record Type: Journal, Publication Date: 2018, Pages: 10 Reference Count: 53 ISSN: EISSN-2227-7102 Education Sciences, v8 Article 61 2018  Reviewed Jan 27, 2019. https://eric.ed.gov/?q=environment+of+special++need+classes&pr=on&id=EJ1199417

Scott, I. (2009). ‘Designing learning spaces for children on the autistic spectrum.’ Good Autism Practice, 10 (1), pp. 36–59.

Smith, D. (2009). ‘Spatial design as a facilitator for people with less visible impairments.’ Australasian Medical Journal, 1 (13), pp. 220–227.

Smith, Kassidy M. Fort Worth Independent School District, Educator, Woodway Elementary School.

Tufvesson, C. & Tufvesson, J. (2009). ‘The building process as a tool towards an all‐inclusive school: A Swedish example focusing on children with defined concentration difficulties such as ADHD, autism and Down’s syndrome.’ Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 24, pp. 47–66. doi: 10.1007/s10901‐008‐9129‐6

Vakil, S., Welton, E., O’Connor, B. & Kline, L. (2009). ‘Inclusion means everyone! The role of the early childhood educator when including young children with autism in the classroom.’ Early Childhood Education Journal, 36 (4), pp. 321–326. doi: 10.1007/s10643‐008‐0289‐5

Woodcock, A. A. & Georgiou, D. D. (2007). ‘Project spectrum; Evoking, focusing and demanding action.’ CoDesign, 3 (3), pp. 145–157. doi: 10.1080/15710880701520987

Wright, K., 20 Classroom Modifications for Students with Autism, From November–December 2001 Autism/Asperger’s Digest, Reviewed on Jan 27,2019  http://tcsps.sharpschool.net/UserFiles/Servers/Server_981069/File/Migrated%20Documents/20_classrm_modifications_for_students_with_autism.pdf

Yufang, X., & Jun Y. (2010) Exploring the social competence of students with autism spectrum conditions in a collaborative virtual learning environment- The pilot study. Computers and Education, Science Digest, 54, p 1068-1077. Doi: 00.1016/j.compedu.2009.10.011.

Zhi Zheng, Zachary Warren, Amy Weitlauf, Qiang Fu, Huan Zhao, Amy Swanson, & Nilanjan Sarkar, (Brief Report): Evaluation of an Intelligent Learning Environment for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder https://link-springer-com.ezproxy.utpb.edu/article/10.1007%2Fs10803-016-2896-0  First Online: 25 August 2016, Journal Subset: Biomedical; Peer Reviewed; USA. Instrumentation: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). ISSN: 0162-3257 MEDLINE Info: NLM UID: 7904301 Grant Information: This study was supported by in part by the National Institute of Health under Grants 1R01MH091102-01A1 and R21 MH103518. Work also includes core support from EKS NICHD of the NIH under Award U54HD083211 and by CTSA Award UL1TR000445. Entry Date: Accession Number: 118940956 Today’s reference: 27 January 2019


 [KAC1]Unable to invent text on 2nd + lines.

Categories
Blog or Stories Inspirational Medical

False Memories & PTSD


Post Traumatic Stress Syndrom can attack a person’s mind without warning. High-stress jobs, childhood trauma, or traumatic injury can all lead to PTSD.  I want to talk a little about false memories.  I suffered from PTSD as a  high functioning schizophrenic and bipolar disorders person in my early 30’s. I also had dissociative identity disorder.  As part of my delusions, I had moments where I had thought something was true and could logically explain it or justify my stinking thinking with almost scientific clarity.

On one particular occasion, I had convinced myself that my father had actually murdered someone and disposed of the body in the quicksand bogs of an area river/lake backwater area in Oklahoma.  It took a lot of counseling to convince me that it was a false memory projected by my fathers’ behavior towards my mother.  You see, my father took me to an area where quicksand was available, only I didn’t know it. We were walking a trail over the river banks and I took a misstep and was in quicksand.  It wasn’t very wide of a section on the surface. I couldn’t lift myself out and got to my knee/thigh area before my father finally gave the gun butt of the rifle to pull me out of it.  I was justifiably scared for a few moments. A while later my father took me back to the same location where I had stepped off and there was a deep chasm in the ground that was hollowed out and a deer skeleton was in the bottom. He told me that if I didn’t tow the line that could be my mom there instead. True story.

False memories usually have a small basis in fact. As recently, evidenced in the political arena of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh.  I have no dought that Dr. Ford experienced some type of trauma at some point in her life. She is suffering from PTSD in my opinion and perhaps false memories.  Some things occurred and her mind tried to make sense of it.  It put two and two together and it made sense to her, and she kept remembering more and more details that were available in her subconsciousness until she felt she figured it out.  The only problem with false memories is they can’t hold up under intense scrutiny.  (I am not a political person, I am using them as an example of what can occur not as a factor or supposition of events).

Another incident from my mind was about my son-in-law Wayne (he’s dead now). But when he married my daughter at her age of 19 yrs and he was 59 yrs old.  I had an awful dream about him. And I recalled it and kept re-dreaming the scenario. I then began thinking about it during waking moments, and pieces started falling into place in my mind. Within a few weeks, my behavior changed towards him, I was suspicious of his motives and convinced her was mistreating my daughter.  It took a lot of talk-therapy to convince me that it was false dreams based upon my anxiety of my daughters’ marriage. I felt out-of-control.  I took real memories and twisted them in my mind like a sinister plot.  If anyone had taken me seriously I would have destroyed his teaching career and possibly life. Luckily, I was in deep psychiatric almost daily couseling with a trained therapist who recognized what was happening.  I could be quiet persuasive in my mindset of righteous indignation. I don’t remember if I told my daughter about my suspicions and theories, but I do remember getting to the truth and being set free of the stinking thinking towards him. My fears and false memories could not stand up to empirical evidence.  All I’m saying is that false-memories are real to the person experiencing them.  They could pass a polygraph test because in their mind the incidents make sense and therefore are true.

If you are suffering. There is help available without stigma. Just reach out to your local health department or  2-1-1 operator and tell them you need to see a psychiatrist and/or psychologist. Counseling can be very expensive if you don’t have medical insurance or sometimes even with it, but there are places that offer cash discounts or sliding-scale fees. I do not have a list but you could check with religious affiliates like Catholic Charities for assistance. If you are enduring PTSD and False Memories, remember it is not your fault. You didn’t ask for this to happen to you- it just did. But you have to take responsibility for getting well and asking for help, you can’t do it alone.

If your reading this blog and feel hopeless, helpless, unworthy of help, or any negative feelings of diminished capacity then reach out to someone, even if it is going voluntarily to a psych ward of the hospital (go through Emergency Room) for a few days or calling 9-1-1 to get help, don’t suffer in silence or kill yourself.  Depression and PTSD often go hand-in-hand and are untreated or undertreated a professional can help you.

END

The following can be viewed at https://www.psychguides.com/guides/ptsd-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Estimates suggest that up to 70 percent of American adults have experienced at least one significant trauma during their lifetimes. Many of those people may subsequently have suffered from an emotional reaction known as posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Further estimates suggest that 5 percent of the population currently lives with PTSD.

What Is PTSD?
Posttraumatic stress disorder occurs in some cases when people are exposed to a very stressful event, which is known as an extreme stress trigger. To be diagnosed with PTSD, they must continue to experience symptoms of PTSD for at least one month after exposure to this trigger.

Who Experiences PTSD?
Although women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD, anyone who experiences an extremely traumatic event may develop a post-traumatic stress disorder. Examples of extreme stress triggers include:

Criminal assault or rape
Natural disasters
Serious accidents
Combat exposure
Child physical or sexual abuse or severe neglect
Witnessing traumatic events
Imprisonment/hostage/displacement as refugees
Torture
The sudden unexpected death of loved ones
Although other types of stress may be severe and can be quite upsetting, they typically do not result in PTSD. Such events might include the death of an elderly parent, divorce, or job loss.

What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
People living with PTSD typically experience three main types of symptoms. First, they may re-experience the traumatic event that led to developing PTSD. This can include:

Flashbacks in which they feel that the triggering event is recurring even while they are awake
Distressing recollections of the traumatic event
Nightmares of the event
Exaggerated physical and emotional reactions to triggers that remind them of the event
The second type of symptom involves emotional numbing or even avoidance. It may include the following symptoms or behaviors:

Avoidance of places, thoughts, activities, conversations, and feelings related to the event or trauma
Feelings of detachment
Loss of interest
Restricted emotions
The third symptom type relates to increased arousal related to the event and may be indicated by:

Outbursts of anger
Irritability
Difficulty sleeping
Hypervigilance
Difficulty concentrating
Exaggerated startle responses

Categories
Inspirational Medical

The crucifix of our body


Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. 1 Colossians 1:15-17.

When we look at the vast universe, ever expanding with galaxies, stars, asteroids, comets, planets, and other heavenly bodies we are amazed at Gods creations.  Are we no less amazed at the creations on earth?  Have you ever wondered what the glue was that held our skin on our bodies, muscles and ligaments, nerves and cells together? I found out today in church that the glue is a protein molecule named Laminin. What is unique about this protein is the shape it takes on itself.  It is a crucifix, a symbol of the cross of biblical days of capital punishment. It is also in the heavens known as the Crux Constellation.  God gave us this symbol hidden in our bodies to the naked eye (invisible) yet providing an essential function within our bodies, notwithstanding, if we did not have this miracle protein we would not exist as human beings.

Since God created mankind we have yet to fully understand all the molecular and electrical fields of our brains and consciousness though we have made great strides in both areas of study.  Why did God create the Laminin in the shape of a cross? I think it is so that we humans can be amazed by science and prompted to theologize the significance of finding something so small to be of great worth.  Just like discovering the Crux Constellation is a reminder of the crucifix- a symbol that God created the heavens and the earth.

 

Image result for laminin

Laminin – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laminin
Laminins are high-molecular-weight (~400 to ~900 kDa) proteins of the extracellular matrix. They are a major component of the basal lamina (one of the layers of the basement membrane), a protein network foundation for most cells and organs.

InterPro: IPR009254   Symbol: Laminin_I
Pfam: PF06008
Function · Pathology · Use in cell culture · Laminin domains

The Crux Constellation

Image result for crux constellation origin

 

 

 

 

Categories
Blog or Stories Medical

Two Chin Man


When I was six, we went to visit Aunt Hazel in Anniston, Alabama. Her daughter Martha Louise had just married a Child Psychiatrist and the groom wanted to evaluate all of us children. My brother went in first and came back out and said that the doctor had double chins. My sister went in and also came back telling me that the doctor had two chins. Curious as I was, I began to ask questions. Does the doctor have two mouths? Does the doctor have two noes above the two chins or are they side by side? How does he eat with two chins? Does it hurt to have two chins? My brother and sister kept answering my questions until finally, it was my turn to see the doctor.

I went in and was told to sit in this huge leather chair.  I was fixated on looking at the doctor for his two chins. To my disappointment, I didn’t see two chins, or a double chin, or two mouths. I squint my eyes and tried to see if I had missed something that would let me see his two chins.

But, he only had one nose and this huge hole in his chin that looked like an actor Kirk Douglas on T.V. I don’t remember any questions the doctor asked me, he had me draw some pictures and color the pre-drawn picture which was a little fun. When I went back to my sister and brother, I replied with chagrin, “you guys are crazy, the doctor doesn’t have two chins!” They broke out into hysterical laughter.

Kat Challis

 

Categories
Medical

When germs are out to get you…


Are we just a little paranoid about germs?

We have two people in the house with autoimmune disorders. My daughters work with students with autoimmune disorders and are exposed all the time to the nasty little germs. So we commit Lysolacide on the little buggers.  We start from the top of the wall and work downwards covering all surfaces with a mist of disinfectant. This is a monthly routine as it seems someone always is fighting allergies, a cold, flu, or worse; right now it is strep x3. They are banished upstairs with their germs and the downstairs has been degermed for the moment.

Washing hands, using hand sanitizer between washings, Clorox wipes are our friend.  And I always carry Kleenex. And when that doesn’t cut it the Lysol and bleach do.

We eat healthily and take multiple vitamins daily. We have a team of doctors who coordinate our care when germs slip through our disinfectant net. Really; a pulmonologist, cardiologist, orthopedic surgeon, eye specialists, dentists, psychiatrist, neurologist, physical, occupational, and speech therapist, and primary care physician makes us sound like hypochondriacs. The doctors love to see us coming “Ca-Ching!” money in the bank. But the little bugger germs don’t get a good stronghold on us.

lol/Kat

 

 

 

 

Categories
Medical

Fun Facts about LLAMAS


Chapter 5 Quick Facts about Llamas see Picture and Key

quick llama facts

QUICK facts about Llama’s

Names of llama body parts: 1 Ears – 2 Poll – 3 Withers – 4 Back – 5 Hip – 6 Croup – 7 Base of tail – 8 Tail – 9 Buttock – 10 Hock – 11 Metatarsal gland – 12 Heel – 13 Cannon bone – 14 Gaskin – 15 Stifle joint – 16 Flank – 17 Barrel – 18 Elbow – 19 Pastern – 20 Fetlcok – 21 Knee – 22 Chest – 23 Point of shoulder – 24 Shoulder – 25 Throat – 26 cheek or jowl – 27 Muzzle

Note: The term camel is also used more broadly to describe any of the six camel-like creatures in the family Camelidae: the two true camels, and the four South American camelids, the llama, alpaca, guanaco, and vicu

ve:

The Science Connection

A Llama’s Body

Commonly unknown, llamas do not have eyelashes. However, their cousin the alpaca do.
The ears are rather long and slightly curved inward, characteristically known as “banana” shaped.
There is no (dorsal) back hump.
Feet are narrow, the toes being more separated than in the camels, each having a distinct plantar pad.
The tail is short
(Hair) Fiber is long, woolly and soft.
They have three stomach compartments, which means they eat a lot of food.
They graze on grass; eat Feed made up of protein, wheat, rye, corn. They love coastal hay, Alfalfa hay, and carrots. They also like horse treats.
Babies are known as Crias

A cria (pronounced Cree-ah) is the name for a baby llama
Crias are typically born with the whole herd gathering around in an attempt to protect against potential predators.
Most births take place between 8 a.m. and noon, during the relatively warmer daylight hours.
Crias are up and standing, walking and attempting to nurse within the first hour after birth.
Behavior
Llamas which are well-socialized and trained to halter and lead after weaning is very friendly and pleasant to be around.
They are extremely curious and most will approach people easily.
The manner in which treat each other is characterized by bouts of spitting, kicking and neck wrestling.
When correctly reared spitting at a human is a rare thing.
Llamas are very social herd animals, however, and do sometimes spit at each other as a way of disciplining lower-ranked llamas in the herd.
A llama’s social rank in a herd is never permanent. They can always move up or down in the social ladder by picking small fights.
This is usually done between males to see who becomes alpha.
Their fights are visually dramatic with spitting, ramming each other with their chests, neck wrestling and kicking, mainly to knock the other off balance.
The females are usually only seen spitting as a means of controlling other herd members.
While the social structure might always be changing, they live as a family and they do take care of each other.
If one notices a strange noise or feels threatened, a warning bray is sent out and all others come to alert.
They will often hum to each other as a form of communication.
The sound of the llama making groaning noises or going “mwa” is often a sign of fear or anger.
If a llama is agitated, it will lay its ears back.
Guard Behavior

Using Llamas as livestock guards in North America began in the early 1980s and some sheep producers have used llamas successfully for that entire time.
The ideal guard animal should protect sheep against predators while requiring minimal training, care, and maintenance.
A variety of guard animals currently in use include dogs, donkeys, kangaroos, ostriches, and llamas.
Llama should remain in a small area until the sheep and llama seem well-adjusted and attached to each other. This encourages bonding between the sheep and llama.
Fiber
Llamas also have a fine undercoat which can be used for handicrafts and garments.
The coarser outer guard hair is used for rugs, wall-hangings and lead ropes.
The fiber comes in many different colors ranging from white, grey, reddish brown, brown, dark brown and black.
This article incorporates text from the article “Llama” in the Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain on Wikipedia.

We hope that you have enjoyed learning about Llamas. Please look for more antic’s in the Adventures of RJ the Llama and his animal family.

Categories
Blog or Stories Medical

Princess Bella


What a joy to have beautiful and kind granddaughters; Bella, Michelle, and Elaine.

Bella had an extended family Birthday Breakfast this morning, She really enjoyed pulling her gifts out of her bag.  She is quite the little Princess at two years old.  She loves to eat pancakes for breakfast and have apple juice.

Cousins w/aunt, grandma, & grandpa, sisters and mommy and daddy were all guests of her royal highness. She entertained us all with her enthusiasm and sweet smiles of happiness.

 

 

 

Categories
Medical

Conversion disorder- Pseudoseizures


What people say about nonepileptic seizures

  1. People tell you that you are acting crazy.
  2. They tell you to snap out of it
  3. They accuse you of attention-getting
  4. They tell you that you can stop the nonsense of shaking with a positive attitude.
  5. They tell you it’s all in your head and you could stop them if you really wanted to.

What is it like to have a nonepileptic seizure disorder?

 1. You may feel as though you are acting crazy or irresponsible.

2. You feel guilty, humiliated, and embarrassed all at the same time. (apologies often follow seizures to those around you)

3. You feel anxious, then hold on for the ride (shaking or intense staring)

4. You are cognitive throughout the seizure and recover quickly, although feelings of fatigue accompany the thrashing about.

5. You just want to get to the bottom of the issue and get it stopped.

6. You may feel as if there is no hope to stop the anxiety that is causing the issue.

7. you may think you don’t need talk therapy or a psychologist to help you cope.

My Story:

I had pseudoseizures from 1995-2001. My father-in-law passed away from Cancer and I couldn’t accept the suffering he went through, and I had Post-traumatic-stress-disorder from childhood memories haunting me. When my husband moved me away from the graveyard access and the cause of the childhood issues, I began to get better. I had an awesome psychiatrist who treated my symptoms until his death in March 2017.

I visited a new psychiatrist, and the first thing he did was remove the Lexapro anxiety medication from my list. He did not replace it with another medication but had me go cold turkey from it. The pseudoseizures resumed in earnest. Currently, I just finished the visual 72hr EEG. I know they didn’t find anything conclusive since I was in bed & chair rest for the 3 days while I was being videoed. I betcha they comeback with pseudoseizures as a diagnosis.

Even happy occasions can trigger the pseudoseizure. I was at my 40th wedding anniversary party, passing our gifts over to my husband and BOOM! a seizure hits fast and hard, I am embarrassed. My mom is holding my head still and praying over me. My husband and friend are holding me in the chair. Soon it is over and we pick up where we left off. I feel embarrassed by the negative attention I just received. Negative in that it was not wanted or sought out after but was administered by frightened people.

Heat, Humidity, or Activities can overtax your mind and cause stress that can lead to pseudoseizures. Just trying to get the grocery shopping done and put away can trigger an anxiety attack. Or shopping in an overheated store, or being in physical pain can be a trigger. It doesn’t have to be an unresolved past history to be a trigger. I think mine is because I do feel anxious about everyday things, like unload and reload the dishwasher or washing machine, then add a list of other chores that need to be done and BANG! another seizure hits. I believe that if the doctor would put me back on an anxiety medication the symptoms would go away again.

Three weeks later: I am on anti-anxiety and anti-seizure medication once again and I haven’t had any seizure activity. At the most, I’m stemming (compulsive repetitive action) with my hands shaking or rubbing my cheek. I know when that begins I need to calm down, usually, I’m over-focusing on some project or activity and my brain is telling me to take a rest.

The downside it cost me 20% of the $15,000.00 bill to determine I needed to go back on the same medication Dr. Reddy took me off of. What a waste of money, time, and effort on everyone’s part.