Archive for January 2014

Mitochondrial what now?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My coworker (Hi Tiff!), mentioned that she had learned about something called mitochondrial dysfunction in a recent Autism refresher course she attended. Ummm, if you are like me you sat there scratching your head, listening intently and then instantly went google crazy searching all things related to mitochondrial dysfunction related.

Part of what drew me to this job was the science behind it all. All the research, the discovery and watching kids blossom under all that SCIENCE! (nerd alert much?) This is why I was so curious about this thing I had never heard about!

I am not sure how much research there is about this disease, but from what I have read a few researchers have found that some children with mitochondrial dysfunction (MD) also have Autism. Specifically researchers have suggested that mitochondrial dysfunction may cause some of the symptoms we see in children with Autism (again limited research at this time regarding the Autism relation).

The Journal of Child Neurology found that a, "subgroup of patients with mitochondria disorders may be at increased risk for autistic regression, especially around periods of fever." However another study suggests that they actually improve behavior around a fever (but these children were not suspected to have mitochondrial dysfunction). We need more research though!

Another symptom they are finding that is related to ASD and mitochondrial dysfunction is low muscle tone and being easily fatigued by activity. Why?  Mitochondria are the power houses of our body (biology class coming back to y'all??) and provide with energy, so when they are in dysfunction we have a lack of energy. This can affect so many parts of a child's functioning!  Click the link to read about how many other diseases it can be part of or related to and all the parts of the body it can affect! Wow!

Validity? To me there is not enough research at the time regarding the prevalence of 1 in 110 children with mitochondrial dysfunction have Autism. However it is interesting to think about!  Research is being conducted to figure out what effectively treats symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction and how it may or may not be related to some children with ASD.

Can you all tell that I wanted to work in genetics when I grew up? All this stuff is so intriguing!

 Have you heard of mitochondrial dysfunction? Do you think it's a valid connection? Do you have any students who have both?

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A Frenzy of a Month!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Happy belated New Year to all of you! It' been over a month since I last posted or even made a product for that matter. The New Year has already been full of excitement and frankly a bit overwhelming at times! So here are 10 speech and non-speech related items that have happened in the last 3 weeks!

1. I have a puppy! Many of you already know from my posts on facebook, but she is just my favorite thing! Her name is Bindi, she is a Jack Russell Terrier and a totally snuggle bug!

2. My husband had to have emergency tooth surgery, which made for a fun New Year's Day! Yikes! Luckily he is okay, but not a great way to start the new year!

3. I bought a new car! I have been driving a 1999 Honda around forever. We recently got into a hit and run accident and our poor car was damaged pretty bad! Lucky for us this means a new car. Now I have one big enough for the dog and all my speech stuff that I drag around.
4. I enjoyed a whole week of visiting with my parents, my sister and extended family. I slept in, crocheted, watched tv, played with the puppy and just relaxed. It was amazing to have a whole week without looming reports, IEPs or products.

5. I found out I will have a student teacher starting this Tuesday! I have never had one before and I am excited about the opportunity! Any tips? I would love any, please leave them in comments below!

6. I presented my Objective Binder and a new screening document to the entire myself! Hoping it was successful.

7.  I happened to stock up on lots of clipart and I am hoping to find some time to make lots of new products in the new year.

8. I have already had one IEP a day on average this year. Last week alone I have 4 initial IEPs and 1 annual. Told ya, one. a. day. So it's been difficult to find time to do anything but work!

9. I made a personal resolution to be more thankful, happy and less stressed. Positivity is key, but at times can be hard to do (especially when overworked).

10. FRENZY!!! We will be having yet another Facebook Frenzy January 24-27th and there will be 22 SLPs participating in giving away Winter and Valentine products for free! So stop by our pages to grab yours!

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