By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
June 03, 2020
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Autism  
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition that affects how a person views and interacts with the world around them, including other people. In most cases, differences become apparent by the time your child reaches 24 months. Mainly, parents notice behavioral differences and language delays. If you suspect that your child has ASD, schedule an appointment with your local pediatric office. We work with you to figure out what to do next.
 
Signs of ASD 
Every child with ASD is different. Not everyone will have the same symptoms or experiences. With that in mind, here are some summaries on social, communication, and behavioral differences. 
 
Social Differences
  • Your child doesn’t keep or make eye contact
  • They don’t respond to your facial expressions or smiles
  • Does not reciprocate facial expressions or have the appropriate ones
  • Doesn’t respond to parent’s pointing 
  • Has problems making friends
  • Shows a lack of concern for others
Communication Differences
  • Your child hasn’t spoken by 16 months
  • Repeats or parrots what others say
  • Doesn’t feel the need or want to communicate 
  • Starts missing language and social milestones after 15 months
  • Doesn’t pretend play but does have a good memory for numbers, songs, and letters
Behavioral Differences
  • Has an affinity for routines and schedules and does not like altering them
  • Likes to twirl their fingers, sway, rock, or spin
  • Has strange activities that they enjoy doing repeatedly
  • They are sensitive to sounds, lights, touch, textures, and smells
  • They are more interested in the parts of a toy instead of the whole thing
Common Examples
Don’t feel overwhelmed by the information listed above. As mentioned, a child can have a mixture of any of these behaviors. There are a few other common examples that your pediatrician sees. These give you insight into how a neurotypical child reacts in certain situations versus a child with ASD.  
 
By the age of 12 months, your child should turn their head when they hear their name. A child with ASD won’t respond even if their name is called multiple times.
 
By 18 months, a child with speech delays finds accommodations through gestures, facial expressions, or pointing. Children with ASD find no reason to compensate for speech. 
 
After 24 months, many children enjoy bringing their parents objects or toys to look at or play with. A child with ASD may bring their parent an object but will not play with their parent or respond to their reaction.
By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
May 19, 2020
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Tonsillitis  
TonsillitisEveryone is born with two tonsils. These are lymph nodes located right in the back of the throat. They help out the immune system by housing important white blood cells. Even so, the tonsils themselves can become infected, which is known as tonsillitis. The tonsils swell up, causing pain and discomfort. Children between the ages of five and eleven experience it the most. You need to bring your child in to see a pediatrician right away. Tonsillitis is commonly caused by streptococcus pyogenes also known as strep throat. 
 
The Basics of Tonsillitis
 
Your tonsils work by trapping dangerous viruses and bacteria within. As mentioned before, this can lead them to become infected. Infections are easily transferred between children, with tonsillitis being caused by strep, adenovirus, the flu, and Epstein-Barr virus (mono).
 
Your pediatrician is highly qualified in treating tonsillitis. That is because almost all cases are found in children. During puberty, the tonsils shrink in size. This makes it much harder for them to become infected. You need to seek medical intervention right away. Infections can become life-threatening if not treated, leading to diseases like rheumatic fever. An even more serious complication is a peritonsillar abscess. The infection spreads beyond the tonsils and swells up the neck and chest tissues. This can block and stop your child’s airways. 
 
Signs of Tonsillitis in Children
 
In children under the age of two that have problems communicating what is wrong, symptoms manifest in the form of excessive drooling, refusing food or bottles, and fussiness. Expect these symptoms in older children: 
  • Sore throat
  • Noticeably bigger tonsils
  • Fever
  • Pain or problems with swallowing
  • Yellow or white patches coating the throat and tonsils
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Foul breath
  • Stiff neck
  • Headaches
  • A scratchy or rough voice
  • Stomach pain
Diagnosing Tonsillitis
 
Your pediatrician won’t have any trouble diagnosing your child with tonsillitis. They will first start by asking for a brief history of when your child started feeling sick. The next step is performing a physical exam. The pediatrician will look in the throat, nose, and ears. If strep is suspected, a nurse takes a swab of the throat. A blood test will also be drawn to identify what bacteria or virus is responsible.
 
If strep or another bacteria is responsible for your child’s tonsillitis, antibiotics are prescribed. It’s important that your child finishes the whole dose. This guarantees that the entire infection is gone.
By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
May 06, 2020
Category: Children's Health
Tags: adhd  
ADHDParents want the best for their child, which is why check-ups and appointments with their pediatricians are so important. Yet your pediatrician isn’t just available for when your child is sick or has physical ailments. They can also help with mental and behavioral conditions, including the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. If your child struggles with focus, impulsivity, attention, or hyperactivity, schedule them for an evaluation. It’s also important to note that children must be at least four years old for a diagnosis.
 
The Three Facets of ADHD
There are three parts to pediatric ADHD: impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. Each of them is signs and are necessary for a diagnosis. Here is some information about each of them.
 
Inattention: your child spends a lot of time daydreaming or not paying attention, struggles to listen, is easily distracted, makes careless mistakes, rarely finishes tasks, and is disorganized to the point of losing or forgetting important things. 
 
It’s important to understand that children with ADHD can pay attention, it’s just harder with topics that don’t interest them. They can tune out when tasks get repetitive. Working with them to organize their schoolwork and tasks is essential. Try to provide them with a quiet and calm environment to work in.
 
Impulsivity: your child can’t wait or acts without thinking, interrupts others, and has problems taking turns.
 
Children with ADHD have trouble with self-control, which leads to the impulsive characteristics mentioned above. They have a harder time censoring themselves. This results in them invading people's personal space or asking overly personal questions. Impulsivity problems also lead to moodiness and overreactions. 
 
Hyperactivity: your child seems to constantly be moving, without being able to sit still without squirming. They also talk too much and loudly, often playing in areas that aren’t permitted. 
 
It’s normal for younger children to have high energy levels. It’s only when your child seems to be constantly moving that it could be an issue with hyperactivity. When they do sit still, they are still moving. They may tap their fingers, shake their legs, or move their feet. 
 
Diagnosing ADHD
A diagnosis won’t happen right away. There are many steps in the process before an accurate understanding is available. Your pediatrician will most likely want statements from not just you and your child, but other caregivers and teachers. 

At the appointment with your child’s pediatrician, they’ll want you and others to fill out a questionnaire about your child’s behavior. Symptoms need to be present in multiple settings, like at home and school and cause issues at both. 
 
The criteria change depending on your child’s age, so it isn’t one-size-fits-all. Your pediatrician will work with you to get an accurate picture of your child’s situation. 
By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
April 17, 2020
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Immunizations  

To keep your child healthy and happy this involves making sure that they eat the right foods, exercise regularly and get quality sleep. Of course, visiting your pediatrician for routine checkups and care is also necessary for maintaining optimal health in your child or teen. Along with making sure that your little one is reaching those developmental milestones, our pediatricians can also protect your child from a variety of serious and potentially life threatening illnesses through regular immunizations.

What do immunizations do?

Immunizations or vaccines are used to boost the body’s natural defenses to help it properly fight infection. In order to do this, a vaccine needs to contain either a dead or weakened form of the infection. This is just enough to trigger the immune system to start producing the necessary antibodies to fight the infection without actually causing an infection. Even once the body fights off these germs it will still maintain these defenses to prevent being infected in the future.

Your child won’t build up an immediate immunity once they’ve been vaccinated. It can take up to three weeks for the body to build a complete immune response to the specific germs. Therefore, during this time it is possible that your child could still become infected with any of the viruses for which they haven’t fully been vaccinated. Each vaccine is different and your pediatrician can discuss with you the expected length of time that a vaccine will take to fully work.

Why are immunizations important?

Immunizations are one of the most effective preventive tools we have for protecting children and teens from potentially dangerous or fatal infections and diseases. Since many of these conditions can also cause serious complications including hospitalizations, getting your child vaccinated can prevent the need for extensive and expensive medical treatments.

Certain people, especially those with weakened immune systems, may not be able to get certain vaccinations. This means that they are particularly susceptible to infection. By getting more and more children vaccinated we can also protect other members of our community who can’t be vaccinated so they don’t deal with life-threatening illnesses, themselves.

We know that parents usually have a lot of questions when it comes to getting their child vaccinated and during your child’s next visit we would be happy to discuss these options with you. The CDC also has a handy immunization schedule that every family should follow to make sure that their child is getting the proper immunizations at the right time so they are always fully protected from certain illnesses and diseases.

If you have questions about the immunizations your child is supposed to be getting or if you need to schedule their next checkup call your pediatrician today.

April 14, 2020
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: adhd  

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disorder that is one of the most common disorders in children. This disorder affects around 8.4% of children, and although it tends to affect boys two or three times as frequently as girls, it can affect every age and socio-economic background. Dr. Anita B. Henley of Royal Oak Pediatricsis a board-certified pediatrician located in Marion and Abingdon, VA, that specializes in behavioral health and managing ADHD in children.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for ADHD

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapeutic intervention that can help you and your child understand harmful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and be able to positively change them. It is usually a short-term form of therapy that focuses on one or more specific issues.

CBT is based on the understanding that emotions and thoughts play a significant role in the way people behave. For this reason, the goal of this behavioral health therapy is to help children with ADHD learn to develop skills to help them interpret and positively deal with their environment.

How is CBT Used to Treat ADHD?

For ADHD sufferers, the primary aim of CBT is to help them overcome negative emotions and behaviors, replacing them with positive coping strategies. During each CBT session, the therapist will help your child to understand how their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are all interconnected. CBT for young children is largely done using positive reinforcement such as praise. For older children and adults, the therapist will also teach the patient techniques they can use to change the way they think and respond to different situations. CBT is particularly useful for people who are unable to take medication, or for whom medication alone is not enough.

Why is CBT so Effective for ADHD?

CBT is effective because it can help ADHD sufferers improve their concentration, attentiveness, and organization. One of the main benefits of CBT is that it works on a very practical level. It can help parents, teachers, and sufferers of ADHD learn and practice new skills and apply them to improve ADHD behaviors and situations. CBT sessions usually take 12 weeks, though some families may continue for several months.

If you live in Marion or Abingdon, VA, and you’re looking for a behavioral health expert to help you and your family live well with ADHA, contact Royal Oak Pediatrics :

  • Marion - (276) 783-8183
  • Abingdon - (276) 525-4603




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