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Posts for: December, 2013

By contactus@napeds.com
December 24, 2013
Category: In the News
Tags: Untagged

National health care reform:
Source:  New Health Connector Microsite Launched

National health reform (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or the ACA) is a major step forward toward making health insurance more accessible and affordable for people in the United States. Here in Massachusetts, which laid the groundwork for national health reform, the new national law strengthens and even expands upon the health care improvements that Massachusetts residents have enjoyed since health care reform was implemented here in 2006.

 Massachusetts: The model for national health reform

Massachusetts led the nation in 2006 by initiating comprehensive health care reform. The state established the Massachusetts Health Connector, a marketplace designed to make affordable health insurance available to more people. Since then, 250,000 Massachusetts residents have bought health insurance through the Health Connector, giving our state the highest rate of health insurance coverage in the country.

 The Health Connector is getting better

Because of national health reform, Massachusetts residents can now find even more options, enhanced benefits, and savings for individuals, families, and small businesses at the Health Connector.

On October 1, 2013, we launched our all-new website at the start of the new national open enrollment period. National health care reform expands health insurance programs that are already in place and working well in Massachusetts. Residents will also benefit from expanded funding for community health centers, assistance with prescription drug costs for seniors, and tax credits for small employers.

Beginning October 1, through the Health Connector website—MAhealthconnector.org—individuals and families will be able to find out right away whether they qualify for different programs and subsidies that make health insurance more affordable. New tools and features will be available to help make the right choices for you, your family or your small business.

How does national health reform help individuals and families?

Federal funding for our state’s Medicaid and Commonwealth Care programs will increase by nearly $5 billion between 2014 and 2020. Also in 2014, new federal tax subsidies will help people who earn up to 400% of the federal poverty level afford health insurance. Eligibility for Massachusetts’ subsidized Commonwealth Care program currently ends at 300%.

Today, an individual with a yearly income of more than approximately $34,000 does not qualify for a public subsidy for insurance. In 2014, the limit will be approximately $46,000. Today, a family of four with a yearly income of more than approximately $70,000 does not qualify for a public subsidy for insurance. In 2014, the limit will be approximately $94,000. This new federal commitment will save Massachusetts almost $5 billion between 2014 and 2020.

The Health Connector is your trusted source for up-to-date
information.

If you have any questions about the changes coming as a result of national health care reform or need objective, timely, and consumer-friendly information, visit MAhealthconnector.org or call 1-877 MA-ENROLL (1-877-623-6765) or TTY 1-877-623-7773 to learn more. We’re here Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


How can I stop my daughter’s violence towards me and her younger brother?

Managing sibling aggression calls for attention to triggers and responding consistently
Vasco Lopes, PsyD
Clinical Psychologist, ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders Center
CHILD MIND INSTITUTE

How can I stop my daughter's violence towards me and her younger brother? In school she behaves well; the violence has always been directed only towards me and her sibling. There's no obvious trigger, although I suspect attention on her brother is a factor.

Sibling violence and aggression is something we hear about very often. It's quite common and it's a huge source of tension and difficulty at home. Tantrum behavior towards parents we can manage by either ignoring or providing consistent consequences, but you can't ignore aggression toward siblings, because it can get dangerous and someone can get hurt.

I'm not surprised to hear that your daughter only exhibits aggression toward you and your son. It's quite common that a child's disruptive or aggressive behavior is situation specific—that is, she is only disruptive and acting out in one setting (at home rather than at school) or with one caregiver, and not others.  

In order to prevent these aggressive episodes from occurring, we must first understand what is causing them. Although I don't know about the specific context of your daughter's aggression toward her brother, there are several common scenarios—all of which have to do with the reinforcement or immediate positive outcome that the aggression provides. First, a lot of children hit their siblings in order to stop annoying behavior. The fact that hitting your brother can immediately stop his pestering reinforces the aggressive behavior, so the next time your brother is annoying you, you are likely to use this behavior again to get him to stop. Children also use aggression toward siblings to get revenge over some slight. The "getting even" feeling that revenge provides can be a powerful motivator for aggression. Lastly, think of the parental attention that the child receives when getting reprimanded for aggression. Even negative attention from parents can be very reinforcing for children, especially if the child is already competing with her sibling for parental attention.

The best way to rein in your daughter's behavior, if she's younger than 7 or 8 years old, is with time outs. Time outs work well for fighting because you can put both children into a time out—you don't even have to establish who was to blame—and the separation ends the squabble immediately. Also, because the children are ignored throughout the duration of the time out, they are receiving a minimal level reinforcing attention from the parent.

If a child is too old for time outs, you want to move to a system of positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior—points or tokens towards something she wants. If she goes for a whole day keeping her body safe, she gets tokens. You can also implement what we call a "response cost"—you give tokens for appropriate behavior, but take away tokens for specific behaviors that are unacceptable. Think of it as paying a fine for breaking the law. Another tool you can use to discourage this behavior is what we call a "positive punishment"—assigning her a chore she considers aversive, like cleaning her room or raking leaves.

In addition to consequences for when sibling aggression does occur, you want to be proactive and plan ahead to prevent these triggers from occurring. So, if you find that there is a specific setting in which your children are most likely to start fighting, eliminating or minimizing that situation to the extent possible is often helpful in improving the situation.

A consistent plan to incentivize and motivate your daughter to behave appropriately could be quite effective in reducing violent behavior towards you and her brother. It also teaches her what behaviors you do want to see when handling potential conflict. If it's not effective, you might want to seek a diagnostic evaluation to better understand what is causing her aggression and consider parent training in order to learn specific techniques for responding to your daughter's behavior.

Published: November 12, 2013

 


By contactus@napeds.com
December 12, 2013
Category: In the News
Tags: Untagged

At-home 'tasting game' helps kids accept vegetables

BY SHEREEN JEGTVIG
NEW YORK

 (Reuters Health) - Using a game at home, parents can help their children learn to like vegetables, a new study shows.

Parents often struggle with children who refuse to eat their vegetables because they don't like the bitter flavors. This can lead to kids becoming picky eaters and not having a balanced diet.

"Parents are important because they choose the foods that come into the house and are served at meals. They are also role models," Jane Wardle told Reuters Health in an email. She worked on the study at the Health Behavior Research Centre of University College London.

"However, when it comes to vegetables, even vegetable-loving parents can have children who won't eat them," Wardle added.

Past studies showed researchers and doctors can make kids more open to eating veggies by repeatedly offering them tastes followed by a reward. But that strategy requires several office visits, and not all parents of fussy eaters can get professional advice.

In the new study, Wardle and her colleagues found a similar process could be used by parents at home. They called the intervention Tiny Tastes.

The researchers recruited families of three-year-old twins from England and Wales. Half the families were randomly selected to be in the Tiny Tastes group. They were sent the tasting game kits, which included booklets, reward stickers and a link to an online instruction video.

The booklets, stickers and instructions are now sold online in the UK for about £6, or $9.50. The program is online here:. In this study, the kits were provided for free.

The rest of the families did not receive a kit and were used as a comparison group.

All families were asked to select one vegetable that each child disliked. They were instructed to perform a simple test that measured how much of that vegetable the child would eat at the beginning of the study and again, 14 days later.

For the next two weeks, families in the Tiny Tastes group offered children tastes of the selected vegetable every day. Kids could chose a sticker if they tried the vegetable.

Families in the comparison group were told to follow their usual approach to eating vegetables for two weeks. All families then completed a final test to see if there was any change in how kids felt about the vegetables.

The results were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Parents chose vegetables like red peppers, celery, cucumbers and carrots.

Of the 196 children who went through the Tiny Tastes program, the number who would eat the selected vegetable rose from 39 before the intervention to 141 after.

The comparison group showed little improvement, on the other hand. Only five of the kids who initially refused to eat their vegetable became willing to eat some or all of it.

"At the end of the study, children who had done Tiny Tastes liked the vegetables more and ate more," said Wardle.

"Parents and children both enjoyed it, and many parents went on to use the same approach for other foods."

Since parents did the testing and gave out the stickers, it's possible their own biases could have affected the outcome. But Wardle believes the results are accurate.

She said it may take up to 10 tries for kids to learn to like vegetables, but only tiny pieces are needed. She also suggested parents approach it as a game, to make it more fun.

"What I draw from this study, which is consistent with many others, is that we want our children to associate positive experiences with eating," Angela Lemond told Reuters Health in an email.

Lemond is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She was not involved in the new research.

She also said parents should expose kids to a variety of foods.

"Don't delete foods when a child rejects them one, two or even five times. This is so common, and it is one of the things that contributes to 'picky eating' issues," Lemond said.

When it comes to conquering food issues, patience is also a virtue.

"The problem occurs when parents delete rejected foods and instead, serve the same five foods that the child does eat and then that child is considered a picky eater," she said.

"Children are innately discerning eaters, and that is normal. If you know this then you will take heart when they deny a food. Be patient, and keep experiences positive. They will respond positively."

SOURCE: bit.ly/18mmmQY Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, online October 2, 2013.


By contactus@napeds.com
December 06, 2013
Category: In the News
Tags: Untagged

Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Recall date: DECEMBER 04, 2013

Name of product: Manhattan Toy® Quixel™ baby rattles

Hazard: The colored arches can break, creating a small part which poses a choking hazard to small children.

Remedy: Consumer Contact:

Manhattan Group at (800) 541-1345 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or online at www.manhattantoy.com and click on RECALLS at the bottom of the home page for more information.

Description: This recall includes the Manhattan Toy® Quixel™ baby rattle. The plastic rattles have four, colored arches (red, orange, green and blue) with sliding beads on each of the arches. The arches are held together by a single string of red, white and blue elastic.  The rattle arches measure about 5 inches in diameter.  The product was sold with or without a box. “Manhattan Toy” is printed on one of the arches. 

Incidents/Injuries: Manhattan Group has received four reports of the rattles breaking. No injuries have been reported.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take these rattles away from young children and return it to the store where purchased for a full refund.

Sold at: Specialty toy and baby stores nationwide, in Canada and online at www.manhattantoy.com from September 2011 through October 2013 for about $15

Importer: Manhattan Group LLC, of Minneapolis, Minn. Manufactured in China

 


By contactus@napeds.com
December 05, 2013
Category: In the News
Tags: Untagged

We have had a wonderful response to our first newsletter.  If you are not already signed up, please do so by using the "Join our mailing list" link below. 

Due to the newsletter, we have filled the December 8th Anxiety Workshop.  We still want to hear from you!  If you are interested in having this class repeated, we want to know!  Please contact Andrea at contactus@napeds.com.  Thank you!

REMINDER - The parenting classes are now starting at 4:30pm to 6pm!  They are being held at the main office at 193 Locust St., Northampton.  Light refreshments will be served.  There is no cost to these workshops.  We look forward to seeing you all there!

 

 




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