Archive for August, 2011

Break the cycle of bullying

Posted on: August 30th, 2011 by CORE Health Care Admin No Comments

A new school year is here. Along with excitement about new classes and new clothes, many children feel the fear and dread of bullying – especially children with special needs. While all children can be bullied, kids with autism or Down’s syndrome or a disability from a traumatic brain injury are more likely to be bullied.Sarah Palin holdling Trig

According to AbilityPath.org, a website for parents of special needs children, up to 85 percent of children with special needs are bullied. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2007 (the most recent statistics available) about 32 percent of all K-12 students reported being bullied – that’s more than one in four kids. It’s no surprise that AbilityPath.org says that children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their non-special needs classmates. So it seems to be the exception when a special needs child ISN’T bullied.

Bullying isn’t a new problem, but children with special needs are especially vulnerable because they often struggle with self-esteem issues and may have a lower social standing in the classroom community.

Bullying makes it more difficult to meet the special needs of these children, so parents must intervene. But know that many bullied children feel that it’s unhelpful when an adult steps in – it may bring more frequent or more severe bullying. So special needs children may be reluctant to tell their parents what’s happening. (more…)

Keeping your head in the game can hurt your brain

Posted on: August 15th, 2011 by CORE Health Care Admin No Comments

Many of us at CORE are sports fans – the most passionate seem to be the hockey fans. So we were saddened when we heard that Bob Probert, a hockey player revered for his toughness and tenacity who died suddenly at 45 last year, was found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in his brain.Bob Probert protecting Steve Yzerman

Probert was one of the National Hockey League’s most feared players. He was a quick and resourceful fighter (he was one of the reasons the league instituted a rule requiring jersey to be tied down) who fearlessly defended his teammates and took many, many blows to the head.

CTE is a progressive degenerative brain disease found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including concussions. The trauma causes brain tissue to break down and levels of an abnormal protein, call tau, to increase. Build-up of the tau protein also is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The changes caused by repeated brain trauma can start months, years or decades after the last trauma. Symptoms of CTE can include memory loss, impaired judgment, aggression, depression, difficulty controlling impulses and progressive dementia. (more…)

WalkAide improves mobility

Posted on: August 5th, 2011 by CORE Health Care Admin No Comments

At CORE our physical therapists use the latest technologies to help residents regain mobility and increase their independence. One extremely useful device is the WalkAide.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the WalkAide is a non-invasive way to help people with foot drop walk better. Foot drop is caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the front part of the foot so the person has to either drag the foot and toes or use a high-stepping gait. Many people who have suffered a brain injury, stroke, spinal cord trauma or other nervous system disorder have this frustrating condition.

WalkAide uses functional electrical stimulation (FES), which means electrical currents activate the paralyzed nerves. The device itself is small and easy to use. Two electrodes are attached to the skin on the leg – not implanted under the skin – so no surgery is involved. A cuff holds the system comfortably in place and it can be worn discreetly under most clothing.

CORE resident Ben Karlin has benefited from this new technology. Ben, a motorcycle mechanic and single father with a 3-year-old son, suffered a traumatic brain injury in a 2008 motorcycle accident. The injury caused foot drop and decreased mobility, difficulty using his left arm, vision problems, and memory and attention disorders. After the accident, Ben couldn’t go back to work or live independently.

For the past 18 months Ben has received both in-patient and out-patient therapy at CORE and has been using WalkAide for more than a year. The device has dramatically improved his mobility. (more…)