Media Highlights
Current events, news topics, research articles, or other recent developments related to health, development, and behavior in children.

Friday, May 26, 2017

​Dr. Martin Stein presents a thoughtful discussion​ of this often controversial and incompletely understood diagnostic category. An educator, speech therapist, and audiologist present their 3 different ​perspectives. JDBP Published Ahead-of-Print​

Friday, May 26, 2017

​A group of investigators at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) provided the most recent evidence that developmental scores obtained using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (Bayley-III) are higher than those obtained using the Second Edition (Bayley-II). The study adds to previous comparative studies by administering both instruments in their entirety, in random order, to the same research cohort of high-risk infants, within a relatively short interval. The authors discuss the implications of the discrepancy. It remains unknown why this discrepancy exists; i.e., are the instruments underestimating, overestimating, or measuring different aspects of development.​ JDBP Published Ahead-of-Print​​

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

​A nice commentary that helps to normalize some of the disruptive behaviors that we see in our children. A nice reminder that kids are not little adults, that immaturity is their norm, and often an important part of growing up. Let's remember to keep a long-term perspective on the goals of childhood, especially in this era of overly-anxious parenting. PsychologyToday​

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

​Published simultaneously last week in Pediatrics, Academic Pediatrics, and the Journal of Adolescent Health, this commentary was written by Peter Szilagyi, Benard Dreyer, Elena Fuentes-Afflick, Tamera Coyne-Beasley, and Lewis First, all leaders within major pediatric organizations. The paper discusses specific steps that the pediatric community can take to increase tolerance and understanding in this world, and to make this world a better one for our children. Pediatrics | Academic Pediatrics |  Journal of Adolescent Health​

Friday, May 5, 2017

​Scottish researchers conducted a population-based cohort study using linked data from 8 Scotland-wide databases (4 health databases and 4 education databases). They compared the health and educational outcomes of singleton children (ages 4-19 years) dispensed ADHD medications (methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, atomoxetine, or lisdexamphetamine) with that of children not given any of these medications.

Children who were dispensed ADHD medications were more likely to leave school prematurely, have more unauthorized absences, be excluded from school, perform poorly on examinations, require special education services, be unemployed after leaving school, and be hospitalized for injury. These poor outcomes were even more likely in those given ADHD medications and not identified as having special education needs.

The study did not specifically define individuals with a clinical diagnosis of ADHD; only whether they were given ADHD medications. Therefore, it is liely that not all children in the medication group had clinical ADHD, but were simply dispensed medications for symptoms mimicking ADHD (e.g. learning disorders, anxiety, other mental health issues, etc.). This may explain, in part, why those given medications without special education services had even worse outcomes. The results of the this study support the need for thorough diagnostic work-up of children with ADHD symptoms and comprehensive treatment of all of their strengths and weaknesses (above and beyond medications).

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

​The Queensland Flood Study (QF2011) took advantage of a severe flood in Queensland, Australia to investigate the effects of disaster-related prenatal maternal stress on temperament characteristics at 6-months-old. Results showed that mothers’ subjective stress reactions and cognitive appraisal of the disaster while pregnant were associated with easier aspects of temperament in their infants. However, with higher levels of hardship in pregnancy, boys (but not girls) were rated as more irritable. Higher levels of hardship in early pregnancy also predicted more arrhythmic behavior. Finally, mothers whose emotional response to the flood exceeded the hardship they endured reported more active-reactive infants.​

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

​Dr. Charles Nelson, director of the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience​ at Boston Children’s Hospital, discusses the effects of psychosocial deprivation on children's social and behavioral development; based on knowledge gained from studying children in Romanian orphanages. He reviews some of the autism-like behaviors in these children and how understanding the role of the environment in the outcomes of these children can guide treatment in other children with autism and autism-like symptoms. Spectrum​

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A recent functional brain imaging study published in Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP) compared the behavioral and neural response of children with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to healthy controls during a sustained attention and switching task. 

The researchers found that children with DMDD tend to have more varibility in their response time then those with only ADHD or healthy controls. 

In trials where their response time was prolonged, children with DMDD exhibited elevated activity in certain areas of the brain (postcentral gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, and regions of the cerebellum) in anticipation to the stimulus. This pre-stimulus spike was not seen in the other two groups. 

Compared to health controls, both the children with DMDD and those with ADHD showed blunted overall activity in areas of the brain associated with attentional regulation. 

Finally, whereas healthy controls showed a strong peak in brain activity after trials with prolonged reaction time (suggesting a compensatory response to inattention) the children with DMDD and ADHD had a more blunted response to same loss of attention.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

​This video describes a study that assesses the relationship between autism-related health and educational service use and severity in a national survey of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study found that although rates of service use were generally highest among children with severe ASD, non-school-based therapy and behavioral interventions were only used by about half of children with severe ASD, and about 1 in 4 children with mild ASD were using none of the therapies asked about. Study findings suggest that many children with ASD are likely not getting all of the therapy services they need, across all levels of severity.​

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

​This video is a brief summary of the paper, “Neurocognitive correlates of ADHD symptoms in children born at extremely low gestational age”. Compared to children born near term, those born extremely preterm are at much higher risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Using the data from the Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn study (ELGAN), we examined the neurocognitive correlates of ADHD symptoms in ELGANs at 10 years of age. Findings indicate that among children born extremely preterm, those with ADHD symptoms are more likely than others to have global neurocognitive impairment as well as deficits in executive functioning skills and poor academic achievement.​