November 11, 2019

If you have a child with an IEP, gets headaches, or gets tired after reading, reports distorted pages or floating letters, you owe it to him/her to read this article and investigate a non-medical solution. Chances are, your child is more capable than she or he performs due to symptoms of a sensory processing disorder not widely known by pediatricians, optometrists, opthalmologists, and a host of other clinical professions. Yet, this condition is easily remedied by accommodating the color distortion by the brain’s visual processing center.

  

In 1983, Helen Irlen, an educator, clinical therapist and psychologist saw a processing link between behavioral issues, ADHD, atypical dyslexia, and poor academic performers in general. S...

As the days get shorter and the ground gets covered in ice patches, thousands of seniors end up in the ER. According to the CDC, senior falls are serious and costly:

  • One of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury

  • Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.

  • Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.

  • Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.

  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.

  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

  • In 2015, the total...

Every fall in early October, private insurance companies “open” their virtual doors to new subscribers until mid-December. They ramp up their advertising to convince trusting seniors that their company has something better to offer them than classic Medicare.

For insurance brokers, this is the annual rush for clients and commissions that will sustain them for the rest of the year. For some brokers, this is shark feeding time as they visualize the mass of confused seniors as an ocean predator sees a shoal of fish.

It’s not like Medicare makes it easy for seniors to understand all the types of plans to choose from because if you choose the wrong one, you’re stuck and a government agency like CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid S...

Not so long ago, we walked upright. Our eyes scanned our surroundings as we made our way through our environment and our reflexes and observational skills were sharp. Recently however,  we have adopted a new posture and way of interacting with others – not so much in person, but through our devices. Add up the hours spent in our office jobs, driving, reading, playing video games, even cleaning and preparing meals, you will realize that we spend most of our waking day in a head down position.

The terms “text neck” and ‘tech neck” are familiar and we can all agree, it is not our best look. It is responsible for cervical kyphosis (neck hump) and the repercussions of spending hours in the head-forward and chin-down position can resul...

Not so long ago, people knew the phone numbers, addresses, birthdates, and anniversaries of family and friends. Kids used to spend plenty of time just daydreaming, inventing, painting. People wrote songs and poetry with pen on paper. Parents did not have to limit “screen time” or force kids to play outside as if they were being punished. In contrast, today’s kids spend more time indoors watching videos, playing video games, “Googling” on the computer, or smart phones. Most play dates and sleepovers can include screen time even when “camping” at RV resorts where Wi-Fi is as much of a must-have next to utilities and sewage hook-ups.

Technology has made information readily available to most people on the planet, and has advanced man...

Following a concussion – including from whiplash, there is a long list of symptoms which are identified as “Post-Concussion Syndrome” (PCS). Among those symptoms, changes in cognitive functioning is the longest lingering effect.

Most post-concussion patients complain of mental fog, poor recall, word-finding difficulty, and inability to focus on their work and other tasks. Some of my patients report missing their freeway exits, driving past their intended destination, and perseverating on a task (i.e. washing the same area repetitively without realizing it). This is not the typical “auto pilot” mode, it can be dangerous and can become a job retention issue.

The problem with undiagnosed PCS is that since it is not recognized, it go...

One of the most missed and under-treated symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) is light sensitivity, trouble reading, and driving at night especially when only whiplash has been diagnosed. This symptom can last from months to years following an undiagnosed concussion. The National Center for Biotechnology Information1 (NCBI) has case studies about how prevalent misdiagnosis is and the serious physiologic and psychologic consequences for the undiagnosed individuals.

In PCS, people may experience a change in visual acuity almost instantly and if they report this to the emergency room staff or their physician, they have a greater chance of being properly diagnosed with a Functional MRI. But because this is often unreported at t...

When we were children, we enjoyed spinning until we dropped. We giggled, held our head in our hands, and fell on the lawn as we looked up to watch the clouds, tree-tops and the faces of our playmates above us turning like the spin cycle of a clothes drier. I remember feeling this “giddiness” as I stumbled off the merry-go-round in the school yard or local park. Unfortunately to many people, this sensation can feel sickening and can surprise us when it happens out of the blue or after an unfriendly event such as a head injury, whiplash or a medical condition.

Eleven years ago, I was very congested and blew my nose a bit too hard and the next thing I felt was that same kind of spinning after being on the teacup ride at the fair. I...

Everyone knows someone who has bumped their head or experienced a more serious impact at one time or another.

Parents of kids in sports have all had to learn the signs and symptoms of concussions and sign the waiver for their child to play.  While we can all agree that hitting our heads is not something to take lightly, many people don’t realize that whiplash is a common and overlooked cause of concussions. During whiplash, the brain (an incredibly soft organ), sloshes back and forth within the hard protective skull and may hit more than two inner surfaces, thus bruising the brain and causing headaches, which is a hallmark of a concussion.

A list of symptoms besides a headache is called Post-Concussion Sy...

Written by Mariel C. Kraus. OTR/L, LSVT-Big Certified for Movement Disorders

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and it is very fitting that it is also Occupational Therapy (OT) Month because it is this allied health profession that has been instrumental in improving the function, independence, and quality of life for folks with not only Parkinson’s Disease (PD) but all neurologic disorders. (1)

Almost everyone knows an older person with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). According to the NIH(2), Parkinson disease affects more than 1 million people in North America and more than 4 million people worldwide. In the United States, Parkinson disease occurs in approximately 13 per 100,000 people, and about 60,000 new cases are identified each...

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