The Jenna Green Foundation provides resources to students to help them excel in academics, community service, & extracurricular activities. We motivate and support students with disabilities who want to further their education. We also provide resources to parents and teachers who interact with students with illnesses. Feel free to explore our website.
|Posted by F_Stoeffler on May 15, 2013 at 9:25 PM||comments (0)|
By: Fallon Stoeffler
For a long time, people have handled mental health disorders at arms length. Rest assured: you cannot catch a mental illness by standing near someone with a mental illness. If your child attends school and befriends or socializes with a child with ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or Mental or Physical Retardation, they will not "catch" any of these disorders. And certainly, if you take time to educate yourself about mental illness, you will not only not be afflicted, but you will be improving your ability to interact with, teach, befriend, listen to, and simply understand a large portion of the population at large.
Children can be among the toughest to look at objectively and pinpoint a mental health issue. Granted, with their brains still undergoing major developments until age ten or so, they will be more than happy to say what they want, or what they think and feel without censure. However, how do you weed through the normal, erratic behavior of children and see warning signs of mental illness or other disorder, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder? What is “normal” behavior, and what is “abnormal” behavior, especially in a child? If I see an adult running around in circles through the neighborhood saying “I’m a knight and going to slay a dragon”, and he or she doesn’t have a good reason (i.e. play-acting on purpose), then I might be fast to think to myself: Wow, that person might be mentally ill! However, if I see a five-year-old engaged in the same behavior, even if they’re playing by themselves, then that’s a world of difference. In the same way that we view child behaviors through a special lens, we also need to be able to focus that lens correctly to understand when those “childish” behaviors, or lack of behaviors, cross the line where they mean something else. As teachers, parents, observing adults, caregivers, and even fellow students, we need to be not just aware, but informed, because it does not take long for one droplet to quickly turn into an avalanche.
There are growing prevalence rates for childhood psychological disorders: the NIH webpage specifies that 3.7% of children are afflicted with some type of mood disorder (i.e. depression or anxiety). By numbers, children afflicted with a psychological disorder are at a disadvantage from the outset. About half of all people with a psychological disorder will show symptoms or develop a comorbid disorder within twelve months (Farmer, Kosty, Seeley, Olino, & Lewisohn, 2013). In addition, psychopathology in children can be a predictor for a waterfall of other concerns: higher chance of adolescent dropout, development of more severe forms or comorbid disorders, as mentioned above, loss of confidence in themselves and schoolwork, and a diminishing sense of their own competence and ability to master new concepts (Quiroga, Janoz, Bissett, & Morin, 2012).
Prior to puberty, children’s ability to learn new things, to master new skills, and to develop strategies to cope with the world around them are being constantly refined and learned. On a neurological level, they are going through the largest and most affecting period of synaptic structuring and restructuring (called “pruning) in their lives. After puberty, however, many behaviors are largely set, and the ability to learn things such as new languages is diminished. This is not to say that as adults we can’t learn new things, or alter our behaviors, but it is true that many of our ways of coping with the world, our personality, the way we interact, is well on its way to being set when we are children.
Let us illustrate with an example: picture an eight-year-old boy (we’ll call him “Ben”;). Everyone thinks this strange, somber boy who occasionally fixates on death and acts overemotional is just an “overly serious” kid, "weird," or perhaps “a huge crybaby.” In reality, combined with many other symptoms, this child might be suffering from childhood depression or anxiety. His patterns and ways of dealing with the world around him are hugely affected. He may not put forth the effort in school to learn new things, possibly because with depression comes anhedonia, or a disinterest in doing things previously found pleasurable. It could also be because he doesn’t understand why he feels the way he does, why he has trouble. He may have developed the view that bad things are going to happen or he’s going to feel bad “no matter what” (a state called “learned helplessness”;). This can affect this child in multiple ways, the first of which being that his lack of confidence might cause him to not try to learn, and therefore, miss gaining new information and crucial knowledge during a time when his ability to learn and gather this knowledge is at its highest.
However, it is the second way where we as teachers, parents, and fellow students enter the equation. The unfortunate offset of Ben’s projected lack of interest or lack of trying might and in many cases probably will give him the unfortunate label as a “bad student.” On the surface, he’s the kid that doesn’t want to learn, a kid who might or might not do his homework; he’s the boy who doesn’t react to a D or an F on a project or test because he doesn’t seem to care. As the adults, we could potentially label this kid as a bad seed, and believe it or not, the way we feel about Ben, even in our own minds, can’t help but surface in our interactions with him. Now, in addition to our probably somewhat visible frustration, others around him are treating him the way that he appears on the surface. Other kids might tease for being a “crybaby” or being “stupid.” His parents get angry because Ben can’t seem to pull it together and get good grades. And Ben himself, who was a promising young child that couldn’t understand just why he was feeling so sad and alone, is now being treated by everyone like a “bad kid.” Questions of nature and nurture aside, if you are told something enough, it will eventually become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ben’s way of coping with his hostile outer environment becomes necessarily (to him) hostile in return, possibly setting a pattern of lifelong, maladaptive behavior.
Obviously, this is a worst-case scenario. Many teachers and parents are intuitive to changes in children’s moods or behaviors and react accordingly. However, this is just a call to all involved with our children to get informed. Be not only aware that childhood psychological disorders are out there, but also that they are real, they can affect children early than many think, and they are more prevalent than many believe. Become informed not only on the media’s star topics like ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders, but on other conditions which can affect children, such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, and early warning signs or markers for later onset disorders such as Schizophrenia. Pick up a copy of the DSM-IV, available in any bookstore or online, and familiarize yourself with the symptoms of the issues above, and watch for signs of those in the children and adolescents you interact with.
Is every child who misbehaves once or twice, or runs around like a chimpanzee on Red Bull (as most children do!), showing a sign of a mental disorder? Of course not. But move away from simply labeling children as “bad,” “good,” “smart,” “dumb,” “gifted,” or “difficult” (and dealing with them accordingly), and really look for the causes of their behavior, watch out for warning signs or predictors of something more underlying their behavior or personality change, and you may do more than just help. You may be the first step to saving that child and giving them a chance at what, with no intervention, they might not have had otherwise: a normal, possibly good, maybe great, hopefully fulfilled, life.
Farmer, R. F., Kosty, D. B., Seeley, J. R., Olino, T. M., & Lewinsohn, P. M. (2013). Aggregation of Lifetime Axis I Psychiatric Disorders Through Age 30: Incidence, Predictors and Associated Psychosocial Outcomes. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0031429
Quiroga, C. V., Janosz, M., Bisset, S., Morin, A. J. S. (2013). Early adolescent depression symptoms and school dropout: mediating processes involving self reported academic competence and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(2), p.552-560.
|Posted by Murad on May 15, 2013 at 4:30 AM||comments (1)|
May is the Arthritis Awareness Month.50 million U.S. adults are suffering from Arthritis. It is the Most Common Causes of Disability Among Adults. Since 1992, disability related medical care costs exceeded estimated $300 billion annually in the United States.
Inforgraphic from: Arthtitis.org
Living with Arthritis:
Generally Arthritis only affects older adults and it is nevitable and untreatable. But it can affects people of any age, Children to very old. Arthritis
Moving is the best medicine was the message of Arthritis Awareness Month in 2010.
This years theme is "Faces of Arthritis".
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 9, 2013 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 8, 2013 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
Your eyes are an important part of your health.There are many things you can do to keep them healthy and make sure you are seeing your best. Follow these simple steps for maintaining healthy eyes well into your golden years.
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 7, 2013 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
Each day, about 2,000 U.S. workers receive medical treatment because of eye injuries sustained at work. Workplace injury is a leading cause of eye trauma, vision loss, disability, and blindness, and can interfere with your ability to perform your job and carry out normal activities.
Employers and workers need to be aware of the risks to sight, especially if they work in high-risk occupations. High-risk occupations include construction, manufacturing, mining, carpentry, auto repair, electrical work, plumbing, welding, and maintenance. The combination of removing or minimizing eye safety hazards and wearing proper eye safety protection can prevent many eye injuries.
Personal protective eyewear such as safety glasses with side shields, goggles, face shields, and/or welding helmets can protect you from common hazards, including flying fragments, large chips, hot sparks, optical radiation, splashes from molten metals, objects, particles, and glare. The risk of eye injury and the need for preventive measures depend on your job and the conditions in your workplace.
Employers can take several precautions to make the work environment as safe as possible and help reduce the risk of visual impairment and blindness caused by injury:
Eye safety should receive continuing attention in workplace educational programs. Procedures for handling eye injuries should also be established and reinforced.
Workers should have a comprehensive dilated eye examination on a regular basis (typically every 2 years) to help ensure good eye health. Maintaining healthy vision is important to avoiding injuries on the job.
Make vision a health priority, because eye safety at work is everyone’s business.
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 6, 2013 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
Sometimes it can be difficult to choose a healthcare provider. It’s important to find someone you have good communication with, especially when it comes to your eye health. Here are a few tips for finding a local professional to provide your eye care:
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 5, 2013 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
May is Mental Health Month. Mental Health America's Campaign this year is "Pathways to Wellness." They define Welness as " an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a more successful existence."
Now living a sucessful existense can mean something different to each individual. How you define sucess is your perogative? You might consider your way to a healthy physical, meantl and social well-being as being a trip to the spa, or hanging out with close friends and family. What keeps you grounded might be writing journal entries every day or practicing yoga. Golfing with you best friend could be what keeps you sane! Whatever makes you happy that doesn't involve harming yourself or others, and keeps your spirits high is your pathway to wellness!
So what is your Pathway? Tell us! We want to hear your response!
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 5, 2013 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
A recent study by the National Eye Institute found that more than 11 million Americans have common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. While this number may sound alarming, the good news is that common vision problems can be detected through a comprehensive dilated eye exam and can be corrected.
Regular eye exams are important for maintaining good eye health. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a painless procedure in which an eye care professional examines your eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. Your eye care professional may prescribe corrective eyewear to help you see your best. The most common forms of vision correction are prescription eye glasses and contact lenses.
Make sure your vision is the best it can be. Healthy vision can help keep you safe when you are driving behind the wheel, participating in sports, or taking part in recreational activities. It can also help to ensure that you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle well into your golden years.
Your eyes are an important part of your health. Take care of them so you can be confident you are seeing your best. Find a window of time to schedule an eye exam today. Visit www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes to learn more about eye exams and common vision problems
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 4, 2013 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
Taking good care of your body and mind can make a difference in how well you do in your day-to-day life and how well you manage change. Exercising, eating right, getting enough rest and relaxing will not only set you on the right path to wellness, but also help you achieve and enjoy daily activities more and improve how you deal with life’s challenges. Caring for yourself may take a little extra time, but you will feel better and more successful. Here’s what you need and why it helps:
A healthy diet:
Plenty of rest:
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 4, 2013 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
Many state and national programs provide financial assistance to people in need of eye care and corrective eyewear. You may want to contact the following organizations if you need help covering the cost of an eye exam and glasses or contact lenses.
EyeCare America—EyeCare America provides access to eye care for the medically underserved and those at increased risk for eye disease through a corps of 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists dedicated to serving their communities. Founded in 1985, EyeCare America is the public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. For more information, contact the EyeCare Program helpline toll-free at 1–800–222–EYES (3937), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visit http://www.eyecareamerica.org
Lions Clubs International Foundation—Lions Clubs International is a service organization whose local club members are all volunteers. A local Lions club in or near your community may sponsor a program that may help you buy corrective eyewear or obtain eye health care. To find a Lions club near you, access the Club Locator at http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/find-a-club.php
VISION USA—Volunteers In Service In Our Nation (VISION USA) provides basic eye health and vision services, free of charge, to low-income, uninsured individuals and their families. Participating optometrists of the American Optometric Association have been donating their services to VISION USA since 1991. For more information, visit http://www.aoa.org/visionusa.xml , or call 1–800–766–4466, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., CST, Monday through Friday.
In addition to the programs above, you may also want to contact a social worker at a local hospital or other community agency. Social workers often are knowledgeable about community resources that can help people facing financial and medical problems.
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 4, 2013 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
Getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam is one of the best things you can do to keep your eyes healthy. In this painless procedure, an eye care professional examines your eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs.Different from the basic eye exam one has to get for glasses or contact lenses, comprehensive dilated eye exams can help protect your sight by making sure you are seeing your best and detecting eye diseases in their early stages, before vision loss has occurred.
A comprehensive dilated eye exam includes the following:
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 3, 2013 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 3, 2013 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
Do you find yourself squinting to read your favorite magazine? Has driving around town while running errands become more of a challenge, particularly at night? Are you constantly jockeying to sit in the chair closest to the TV—for a better view? If any of these scenarios hits home, you may have a common vision problem and not know it. And ladies…you’re not alone.
According to a study led by the National Eye Institute, the number of Americans with vision problems continues to rise. If your 20/20 vision followed you into middle-age, consider yourself lucky. Even if you had perfect vision as a child or young adult, it can naturally change as you get older.
Millions of women have less than perfect eyesight as a result of common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. These problems can easily be detected through a comprehensive dilated eye exam, and corrected with prescriptive eyewear such as eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Put a visit to your eye care professional on your “to do” list. He or she can perform an exam to look for common vision problems and prescribe corrective eyewear to help you see as clearly as possible. A comprehensive dilated eye exam can also detect eye diseases that have no early warning signs.
Your eyes are an important part of your health. Take care of them so you can be confident you’re seeing your best. Healthy vision can help keep you safe while you’re driving behind the wheel, participating in sports, or taking part in recreational activities. It can also help to ensure that you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle well into your golden years.
Make sure your vision is the best it can be!
an be. Take the time to schedule an eye exam today. For more information on eye exams and common vision problems, visit www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 2, 2013 at 8:30 AM||comments (0)|
Did you know?
|Posted by Jenna Green on May 2, 2013 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
Americans agree that eyesight has a huge impact on day-to-day living and is one of the senses they fear losing most. Unfortunately, people often do not pay attention to their eye health unless they notice a problem. Many common eye diseases that can lead to vision loss and blindness, such as diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), often have no early warning signs or symptoms.
Having regular eye exams to make sure the eyes are healthy and seeing their best is important for everyone. However, the risk of vision loss and blindness is higher for some people based on race, ethnicity, and other demographic and socioeconomic factors.You might be at higher risk for eye disease if you have a family history of eye disease; have diabetes; are African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, or Alaska Native; or are older than 50.
Some diseases affect certain populations disproportionately.
“If you are at higher risk of eye disease, having a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the best thing you can do to protect your vision,” says Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. “A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a painless procedure where your eye care professional puts drops in the eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil so he or she can get a good look at the back of the eye to check for signs of eye disease. With early detection, treatment can slow or stop vision loss and reduce the risk of blindness.”
In addition to having regular eye exams, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and wearing protective eyewear are just a few other things you can do to protect your sight. For more information on eye exams, common eye diseases and conditions, and finding financial assistance for eye care, visit http://www.nei.nih.gov/health