Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
In the past couple years, there have been many proposals thrown to the public on autism and its onset. Some say it is a result of a child vaccine, others say it was the pregnant mother’s diet, and even more say it is a result of taking anti-depressants during pregnancy. While none of these have been dismissed yet, one thing has recently been shown to be true: if one child is diagnosed with autism, it is likely that a future brother or sister will be autistic as well. The largest study yet on children with an autistic sibling found that the average risk of a brother/sister also being diagnosed with autism was almost 19 percent. Children who had more than one sibling with autism had an even higher risk of being autistic: a significant 32 percent. Even though these results highlight genetics as a determining factor for autism likelihood, they still offer hints at environmental factors that could also explain autism in siblings, such as influences in the womb. If you are concerned about your child/children possibly being autistic, talk to the school counselor, or teacher. A key factor is catching this as early as possible. Research has found that if a parent detects the early signs of autism (i.e. abnormally large head circumference, missing crucial language development milestones, or lacking basic communication skills), there can be great benefits from taking advantage of therapies as soon as possible, which can help treat some of autism’s symptoms.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Have you ever found yourself at a point in your life where you felt more trapped than a feral lion at the zoo? Nothing brings you the happiness that it used to. Many of your close relationships with friends and family have drifted farther and farther away from your heart. Where is your out? You have responsibilities to take ownership of: finances, maybe a spouse and/or children, your career, spirituality, etc. Another huge responsibility many Americans forget to take ownership of is THEMSELVES! I would like to invite you on a journey through author of Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert’s life as she transformed her life from a depressed, trapped housewife to a culturally rich and recharged spiritual guru.
As readers of Eat, Pray, Love are first introduced to Liz, she is a sad Manhattan woman, trapped in her recent marriage, literally crying on the bathroom floor night after night, weeping over the circumstances life has currently abandoned her with. At this point in time, Liz does not know God, nor does she really even know herself. Finally, after another night of ritualistic sobbing in the bathroom, Liz decides to try something she has never done before. Pray. After that night of releasing many confessions, pleads, and tears, Liz writes a dramatic new schedule for the next year of her life.
To some, dropping a lifestyle one has spent his/her entire life to make can be nothing less than utterly terrifying. To Liz, it was the perfect prescription. In a matter of days, Liz filed for a divorce, told her job she was leaving (to return with a promised novel about her adventures), and rented a new apartment where she would begin living in Italy. Eat, Pray, Love takes the reader through three different experiences in three very different countries: Italy, India, and Indonesia. I will not spoil the entire book for you, but I will tell you that the difficult and heart-wrenching situations Liz triumphs over in the next 365 days will warm your heart. For many, it will hit a spot close to home. This book personally taught me how to be brave and take ownership of my life. I laughed; I cried; and I carried the book with me everywhere I went, just in case I had any chance to pick it back up and continue to prevail through my own challenging life vicariously through Liz’s story. Ms. Elizabeth Gilbert brilliantly hits a nerve her American audience sometimes desperately needs to feel.
If you are looking for some personal and professional words of encouragement without having to spill the beans to another individual, I strongly encourage you to take a wild chance on this book. The stories of soul-searching by stepping out of one’s comfort zone reflect that of Man’s Search for Meaning with a twist of The Stranger’s existentialism. Feel your soul rejuvenate as you eat, pray, and fall in love with Liz Gilbert.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
If you are like the thousands of students across America beginning their journey as a college student, there are a few things you will not want to forget to pack! Many do not realize the importance of tools. As a young adult not too far out from college, I cannot tell you how many times I needed a screwdriver! Things may unexpectedly break or get a little loose, and you may need a quick fix to tighten your desk drawer or a screw in your chair. Another handy tool to have is a flashlight. The weather is unpredictable, and so can be the power lining, so it may be helpful to have a flashlight if the power ever goes out, or even if you may have a dark corner you need to look at to find where you dropped last night’s M&M’s between the bed.
Another useful tool to have on-hand is a set of jumper cables. If you are feeling ambitious, learn how to use these cables before you go to college too! Again, the unexpected happens, and you want to be prepared to take care of yourself. First aid kits can also be extremely helpful to store in the trunk of the car for those occasional bumps and bruises.
The freshman dorms are probably one of the most anticipated and decorated places student will live in. For many, it is the primal opportunity for a room makeover. So, if you have a little extra to spend, go ahead and splurge on some fun posters, curtains, picture frames, or new bed sheets. One fun gift I was given after my high school graduation was a box of stationary, complete with a book of stamps, return address labels, and envelopes. I never thought I would write as much mail as I did throughout my four years of college. Mail is fun! Scheduling can be difficult with classes, campus clubs, part-time jobs, social life, etc., so mailing can help parents and students keep in touch if phone time cannot be fitted into a regular schedule. Planners/calendars are also a smart idea to bring to college. They help students keep track of assignments, log future exam dates, and even remember special peoples’ birthdays. They are also fun to look back at later and remember all of the great things you were a part of in college.
The last and most important thing to remember to bring to college is your own unique YOU! Moving away from home and adapting to a new and foreign lifestyle can be incredibly horrifying, yet extremely exciting at the same time. It is normal to experience a whirlwind of emotions the first few weeks or even months before and during freshman year. Freshmen are going to come from all parts of the country, with various backgrounds. Some will be bilingual, some will be the first of their family to enter a university, and some may be an avid athlete, scholar, or musician. The best part of college is that everyone is different, but are coming together to learn and excel. Bring what you have to offer, and be proud that YOU are going to a school where there will be an abundance of resources to help you excel in any way you desire. Just remember to seek, and you shall receive.