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The bananas were bananas. No, they were not plantains. They were a bunch of Chiquita bananas sitting amongst the other bananas in the fruit and vegetable store. They seemed to look like all the other light green bananas on the shelf that would soon ripen. However, my bunch of bananas were different as I discovered soon after...

Doulas Help Childbirth Get Back to Basics

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In recent years, the term doula has resurfaced and the concept has been perceived as a new-age trend. What is important to know is that the idea of a doula is actually an ancient one. ‘The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period (www.DONA.org).

Our grandparents’ generation mostly birthed at home, sometimes only with the help of a family member or midwife, without medication, and they...

Spring: A Time for Itchy Eyes

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Unfortunately for some, this is the time of the year for some of us who are sensitive to the outbreak of spring to prepare for allergy season. While some people may be allergic to specific “allergens” like nuts or fish, there is a different allergy that affects far more people than all other allergies. Seasonal allergies affect millions of people across the country, but how do you prepare for eye allergies? Allergic conjunctivitis can be very disturbing to those who are forced to endure it. It may look terrible to the observer, but it is not contagious. Some of the most common symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are itchy eyes, watery eyes, redness, eye and eyelid swelling and...

Ear Infections: Causes and Treatments

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The most common diagnosis for a sick child in the pediatrician’s office is the dreaded ear infection. Approximately 30 million children are treated each year for ear infections, and in any one given year, approximately 15-20 percent of all children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with it. It is most common in between ages 6 and 36 months with a second peak of infections between 4 and 6 years. Interestingly, boys seem to be more susceptible than girls. Risk factors for developing an ear infection include exposure to cigarette smoke, daycare attendance, and malformations of the head and palate. The most important risk factor is the presence of a cold. Ear infections tend to occur most...

Making Problem Behaviors Inefficient, Ineffective and Irrelevant

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Before implementing any intervention to change behavior, we need to understand what function the behavior serves. Once we discover (through a process of functional assessment and functional analysis) which situations or what events trigger the behavior, and what consequences maintain the behavior, we will be able to develop a hypothesis about the function of the behavior. Our next step will be to implement an intervention that competes with the function of the behavior. For example, if screaming out loud in class results in attention, intervention would focus on giving attention only when a student raises his/her hand, and no attention when he/she screams. If ripping worksheets results in...

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