Guests Posts

  • Child laying on a sofa on her tummy.

    EWG-Duke Study Finds Children Have Higher Exposures to Toxic Fire Retardants

      When fire retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, were pulled off the U.S. market due to toxicity concerns, public health advocates hoped they would be replaced with safer alternatives. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Scientists at the Environmental Working Group and Duke University recently released an analysis of children’s exposure to TDCIPP, a […] Read full story

  • Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    The Apple of Your Family’s Eye: Family Ties

      Family support is always beneficial. Here are some tips on how to prepare the family of a child on the Autism Spectrum for the new school year: Communicate Expectations Hold a family meeting at least a week before school starts and discuss roles, expectations, and important time changes (e.g., wake-up time on a school […] Read full story

  • Boy in bright orange shirt standing in the woods, looking off into space.

    How About Them Apples?: Preparation is the Key To Success

      Want your child to have a school year to brag about?  Of course you do. Here are some tips on how to prepare a child on the Autism Spectrum for the upcoming school year: Pre-teach Rituals and Routines To the extent you can gather information about the rituals and routines your child’s teacher will […] Read full story

  • Teacher with a small group of students in a reading circle.

    Bring an Apple to the Teacher: Teaching the Teacher

      Spending some time at the beginning of the school year to teach your child’s new teacher about your child can have lasting benefits. Here are some tips on how to prepare a child on the Autism Spectrum’s new teacher in order to have a successful and mutually beneficial school year: Awe the Teacher with […] Read full story

  • Closeup of several green apples with one red apple in the middle

    Red Apples for Returning to School

      For a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as their families, returning back to school after a string of relaxed summer days can produce a relevant level of stress. Although the manifestation of stress may include a range of behavioral (e.g., an exacerbation of repetitious verbal and motor behavior) and physiologic changes (e.g., […] Read full story

  • Semi-truck with large Coca-Cola billboard painted on the side with school children in front.

    Back to School Sticky Situation #4: Schools as Ads for Junk Food

      What will you do when your child’s school is used by fast food and soda companies for marketing to students?  Knowing how junk food marketing shapes kids’ preferences, I have worked to limit my children’s exposure to advertising but have been surprised to see so much of it in schools. Marketers take advantage of […] Read full story

  • Three boxes of Girl Scout Cookies

    Back to School Sticky Situation #3: Junk Food Fundraisers

      What will you do if the PTA asks you to support a cookie dough fundraiser?  Will you send your child out to hit up family and friends to buy junk food in communities already suffering from diet-related disease?  Are unhealthy foods magically transformed when they are sold for a good cause? These are some […] Read full story

  • Large plastic bottles of red punch.

    Back to School Sticky Situation #2: Class Party Sugar Overload

      What will you do if you’re asked to bring sugary drinks to a class party already overloaded with cake, cookies and candy?  This is another sticky situation I’ve encountered and had to decide between sticking up for kids’ health or just going with the flow.  Knowing the research about how sugary drinks are connected […] Read full story

  • Single package of Smarties Candy sitting on an empty school desk.

    Back to School Sticky Situation #1: Candy Rewards at School

      What will you do if your child comes home and tells you her teacher is using candy as a reward?  This was one of the first sticky situations I encountered when my oldest started school.  With a family history of diabetes it was important to teach her healthy habits from a young age to […] Read full story

  • School class-photo with the kids horsing around.

    Solutions for Sticky Back to School Situations

      Hard to believe it’s time for another back to school post.  Last year I wrote about my top five tips for a healthy start to the school year. I recommended parents: 1)     Get familiar with the school and district wellness policies 2)    Shift away from using food as a reward and taking away physical […] Read full story