Saturday, February 27, 2010

Love And Time

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.

Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment.

When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said,
"Richness, can you take me with you?"
Richness answered, "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you."

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. "Vanity, please help me!"
"I can't help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked, "Sadness, let me go with you."
"Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!"

Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come, Love, I will take you." It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder,

Love asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who Helped me?"
"It was Time," Knowledge answered.
"Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?"
Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is."

Mother's Sensitivity May Help Language Growth in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

ScienceDaily (Feb. 25, 2010) — A new study by researchers from the University of Miami shows that maternal sensitivity may influence language development among children who go on to develop autism. Although parenting styles are not considered as a cause for autism, this report examines how early parenting can promote resiliency in this population.

The study is published online this month and will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

"Language problems are among the most important areas to address for children with autism, because they represent a significant impairment in daily living and communication," says Daniel Messinger, associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of Miami (UM) College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator of a larger study of infants at-risk for autism, which includes this study.

Maternal sensitivity is defined in the study as a combination of warmth, responsiveness to the child's needs, respect for his or her emerging independence, positive regard for the child, and maternal structuring, which refers to the way in which a mother engages and teaches her child in a sensitive manner. For example, if a child is playing with colored rings, the mother might say, "This is the green ring," thus teaching the child about his environment, says Messinger.

In this study, maternal sensitivity (and primarily, sensitive structuring) was more predictive of language growth among toddlers developing autism than among children who did not go on to an autism diagnosis. One possible explanation is that children with autism may be more dependent on their environment to learn certain skills that seem to come more naturally to other children.

"Parenting may matter even more for children with developmental problems such as autism because certain things that tend to develop easily in children with typical neurological development, like social communication, don't come as naturally for kids with autism, so these skills need to be taught," says Jason K. Baker, a postdoctoral fellow at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, who conducted the study with Messinger while at UM.

For the study, 33 children were assessed in the lab at 18, 24, 30 and 36 months of age. Some of the children had an older sibling diagnosed with autism and were considered high risk for autism.

At the 18-month assessment, the researchers videotaped a five minute period of mother and child free play in which the mothers were asked to play as they would at home. Aspects of maternal sensitivity were scored on seven-point scales ranging from absence of sensitive behavior to extremely sensitive behavior. Children's language was assessed at 2 and 3 years. At the 3 year visit, when the children were old enough to be evaluated, 12 of children from the high risk group received an autism-spectrum diagnosis.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Its findings parallel previous treatment research indicating that when children with autism increase their connection to the environment they do much better, Baker says. Understanding the benefits of sensitive structuring in the development of language among young children with emergent autism provides scientific support for early intervention programs that focus on parent-child interactions. "We know that parenting doesn't cause autism. The message here is that parents can make a difference in helping their children fight against autism," Baker says.


University of Miami (2010, February 25). Mother's sensitivity may help language growth in children with autism spectrum disorder.ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2010, from

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Friday, February 26, 2010

HIV, Aids and Child

Hundreds of thousands of children across the world become infected with HIV every year and, without treatment, die as a result of AIDS. In addition, millions more children who are not infected with HIV are indirectly affected by the epidemic, as a result of the death and suffering that AIDS causes in their families and their communities.

Preventing children from becoming infected and mitigating the impact of HIV and AIDS should be straightforward. However, a lack of necessary investment and resources including adequate testing, antiretroviral drugs and prevention programmes as well as stigma and discrimination mean children will continue to suffer the consequences of the epidemic.

The number of infected children

The figures below show the number of children (defined by UNAIDS as under-15s) directly affected by HIV and AIDS:

  • At the end of 2008, there were 2.1 million children living with HIV around the world.1
  • An estimated 430,000 children became newly infected with HIV in 2008.2
  • Of the 2 million people who died of AIDS during 2008, more than one in seven were children. Every hour, around 31 children die as a result of AIDS.3

Most children living with HIV – around 9 out of 10 – live in Sub-Saharan Africa, the region of the world where AIDS has taken its greatest toll. Large numbers of children with HIV also live in the Caribbean,Latin America and South/South East Asia.4 Around 90% of all children living with HIV acquired the infection from their mothers during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.5

Many countries that had previously seen child-survival rates rise, as a result of improved healthcare, are now seeing these rates fall again. It has been estimated that without AIDS, Botswana's under-5 mortality rate would have been 31 per 100,000 in 2002 compared to 107 with AIDS. By 2010, the country's under-5 mortality is expected to have increased by 100 deaths per 100,000 as a result of AIDS. Most regions of the world, including African regions, have seen a decline in child mortality but in Southern Africa, the area most affected by HIV, under-5 mortality has increased.6

In Africa, studies suggest that one in three newborns infected with HIV die before the age of one, over half die before reaching their second birthday, and most are dead before they are five years old.7 Conversely, in developed countries, preventive measures ensure that the transmission of HIV from mother to child is relatively rare, and in those cases where it does occur, a range of treatment options means that the child can survive – often into adulthood. This shows that with funding, trained staff and resources, the infections and deaths of many children in lower-income countries might easily be avoided.

Children affected by AIDS

It can be argued that every child growing up in an area with high HIV prevalence is affected by the epidemic regardless of whether they, or a close family member, are infected.

HIV can damage a child's life in three main ways: through its effects directly on the child, on that child's family, and on the community that the child is growing up in.

The direct effects of HIV on children

  • Many children are themselves infected with HIV

The effects of HIV on a child's family

  • Children live with family members who are infected with HIV.
  • Children act as carers for sick parents who have AIDS.
  • Many children have lost one or both parents to AIDS, and are orphaned.
  • An increasing number of households are headed by children, as AIDS erodes traditional community support systems.
  • Children end up being their family's principal wage earners, as AIDS prevents adults from working, and creates expensive medical bills.

The effects of HIV on a child's community

  • As AIDS ravages a community, schools lose teachers and children are unable to access education.
  • Doctors and nurses die, and children find it difficult to gain care for childhood diseases.
  • Children may lose their friends to AIDS.
  • Children who have HIV in their family may be stigmatized and affected by discrimination.

Becoming infected with HIV

The problems for children

Mother-to-child-transmission of HIV accounts for the vast majority of children who are infected with HIV. If a woman already has HIV then her baby may become infected during pregnancy or delivery. HIV can also be transmitted through breast-milk.

An HIV positive mother with her HIV positive child in the township of Joza

Aside from mother-to-child transmission, some children are exposed to HIV in medical settings; for instance, through needles that have not been sterilised or blood transfusions where infected blood is used. In wealthier countries this problem has virtually been eliminated, but in resource-poor communities it is still an issue. For older children, sexual activity and drug use present a risk.

Sexual transmission does not account for a high proportion of child infections but in some countries children are becoming sexually active at an early age. This is potentially conducive to the sexual spread of HIV among children especially in areas where condom use is low. In Sub-Saharan Africa 16% of young females (aged 15-19) and 12% of young males report having sex before they were 15. In Lesotho, these figures are 16% and 30%, respectively; in Kenya, 15% and 31%.8

In some cases children have become infected with HIV through sexual abuse and rape. This is a significant problem in many areas. For instance, in parts of Africa, the myth that HIV can be cured through sex with a virgin has led to a large number of rapes – sometimes of very young children – by infected men.9 In some cases, young children are coerced into sex work, which can put them at a very high risk of becoming infected with HIV.

Helping children

The main way to stop children becoming infected is to prevent mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT) of HIV. MTCT is almost entirely avoidable, given appropriate interventions. These measures (which include giving antiretroviral drugs to a mother during pregnancy, and to her child once it is born) can reduce the risk of MTCT from 20-45% to less than 2%. In developed countries, such interventions have minimised the number of children being born with HIV.

Unfortunately, prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) services fail to reach most women in resource-poor countries. In 2008, around 45% of HIV-infected pregnant women in low- and middle-income countries received drugs to protect their babies from infection.10 Reasons for this lack of coverage are discussed in our PMTCT worldwide page, while our Stop AIDS in Children campaign calls for rapid improvement.

The use of sterile medical equipment and screened blood products can help to prevent children becoming infected through medical transmission. In Romania, more than 10,000 new babies and young children were infected with HIV from contaminated injections and unscreened blood transfusions between 1987 and 1991. This illustrates not only how vulnerable children are to infection in a medical setting, but also how a country can respond to these problems. The large number of HIV-positive children in Romania prompted the government to roll out antiretroviral treatment, which today reaches almost all of those in need. Sterile medical equipment is used, and blood-products are now screened for HIV.11

Where children are becoming infected through non-MTCT routes, abstaining from sex or injecting drug use is the most effective means of preventing HIV transmission. However, it is inevitable that there will be some children engaging in risky behaviours, through having unprotected sex or needle sharing. Promoting abstinence could be ineffective if complementary HIV education, including the promotion of safer sex and learning how HIV is transmitted through drug use, is not also provided.

Children infected with HIV

The problems for children living with HIV

Once a child is infected with HIV, they face a high chance of illness and death, unless they can successfully be provided with treatment. HIV treatment for children slows the progress of HIV infection and allows infected children to live much longer, healthier lives. Sadly, many children who could be benefiting from this therapy – an estimated 62% – are not receiving it.12 A major problem is that few appropriate drugs are available. Young children ideally need to be given drugs in the form of syrups or powders, due to difficulties in swallowing, but most of the drugs that work well in children are only available as tablets. As a result, carers are often forced to break adult tablets into smaller doses for their children, running the risk that children are given too little or too much of a drug.

There are numerous other problems that are stopping children from receiving antiretroviral drugs including high drug prices and the lack of healthcare workers trained to treat children.

Another major problem for children living with HIV is childhood illnesses, such as mumps and chickenpox. These illnesses can affect all children, but since children living with HIV have such weak immune systems they may find that these illnesses are more frequent, last longer, and do not respond as well to treatment.13
Opportunistic infections, such as Tuberculosis and PCP (a form of pneumonia), are also a serious risk to the health of children living with HIV.

Helping children living with HIV

The first step to helping a child who is infected with HIV is to diagnose them through HIV testing. It is important that HIV-positive children are diagnosed as quickly as possible, so that – where feasible – they can be provided with appropriate medication and care. However, testing children for HIV can be complicated, especially for those recently born to HIV-positive mothers. Antibody tests, which are used to diagnose HIV in adults, are ineffective in children below the age of 18 months. Instead, children below this age are usually diagnosed through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and other specialist techniques. Since these methods require expensive laboratory equipment and specially trained staff, they are generally unobtainable in the resource-poor areas where they are needed the most.14

Recently, the use of 'dried blood spot' testing has brought some hope to the situation. This method allows small samples of blood to be collected on paper, and sent away to a laboratory where PCR (or similar testing) is available. Unlike testing methods that use liquid samples, dried blood spots can be stored for a long time and easily transported, so even if the nearest laboratory is some distance away, it may still be possible to use PCR technology on a sample of a child's blood.

Once a child has been diagnosed, they ideally need to be carefully monitored and provided with antiretroviral drugs. Even in resource-poor areas where antiretroviral syrups and powders are unavailable, studies suggest that breaking down adult tablets into smaller doses can work effectively – although this should only really be seen as a last resort.15 Children who are treated successfully may be able to live relatively health lives. To learn about how antiretroviral treatment can be successfully administered to children, visit our page on HIV treatment for children.

Childhood illnesses can be avoided through vaccines, immunisations and good nutrition. Most routine-vaccines are safe in children living with HIV and are strongly recommended, although 'live vaccines' (where a weakened or killed version of a virus is injected, so that the body builds up an immunity to it) are

not generally considered safe.16

Opportunistic infections can be prevented using drugs such as cotrimoxazole: a cheap antibiotic that has been proven to significantly reduce the rate of illness and death among HIV-positive children.18 Countless lives could be saved if cotrimoxazole were made more widely available, but at the moment it is estimated that around four million children who could be benefiting from the drug are not receiving it.19

Children living with HIV have many practical and material needs, but they also have social, psychological and emotional needs. It is therefore important that emotional care is provided to all children affected by HIV, including those who have lost parents or relatives to AIDS. There are particular stages of an HIV-positive child's life when meeting these needs can be particularly important: the times when they are first diagnosed, start to receive treatment, have to deal with discrimination, experience problems adhering to drugs, or have to deal with end-of-life issues. They may also face trauma as a result of one or both of their parents dying from AIDS, since there is a highly likelihood that their mother, at least, is infected.

Families, friends, caregivers and healthcare workers provide children with the first line of social and emotional support, but governments and other agencies also have a responsibility to ensure that children and families are linked with available services and initiatives that facilitate this.20 A report published at the beginning of 2009 discusses the shortcomings of efforts by governments and agencies to tackle the effects of HIV and AIDS on children. It highlights the insufficient level of formal assistance being provided for families and communities on a national level, and the lack of political commitment and resources being made available internationally. The report emphasises a need for significant changes to the global response to HIV and AIDS that would address the needs of children more effectively, advocating a refocus of HIV and AIDS initiatives to support children in and through their families and communities. In all societies the family is the primary source of protection and support available to children and it is therefore the most effective structure for responding to children's needs. Communities are also vital as they can provide support for families by acting as an informal 'social safety net'.21

The effects of HIV on children's families

The problems

An HIV+ boy and his family members

With an estimated 33 million adults living with HIV around the world, large numbers of children have family members that are living with HIV, or who have died from AIDS. These children may themselves experience the discrimination that is often associated with HIV. They may also have to care for a sick parent or relative, and may have to give up school to become the principle wage-earner for the family. When adults fall sick, food still needs to be provided – and the burden of earning money usually falls on the oldest child.

One of the harshest effects of the global AIDS epidemic is the number of orphans it has created, and continues to create. By the end of 2007, it is estimated that more than 15 million children had lost one or both of their parents as a result of AIDS, a significant increase on the estimated 8 million in 2001.22 Some AIDS orphans are adopted by grandparents or other extended family-members, but many are left without any support. Child-headed households as a result of AIDS are common in some areas, with older children fending for their siblings and themselves. See our AIDS orphans page to learn more.

Often, children in HIV-affected households will be cared for by the extended family. It is estimated that grandparents are the sole carers for half of all AIDS orphans, and that the number assuming this role will double by 2015 if present trends continue. Caring for grandchildren can put added strains on time and money in order to provide food and medical care, and older people may have to carry out physically demanding jobs and domestic tasks.23 Orphaned siblings may also be split up so as not to overburden one family member. This could be another upsetting experience for children especially if they have to live far from where they grew up, and away from their familiar support networks.

Helping families

There are two main things that can be done to help families cope with the burden of HIV. The first is to provide treatment to family-members who are infected. Although antiretroviral drugs are still not widely available in many resource-poor areas, a child's family-members may be able to reach a clinic or hospital that can provide these drugs. Treatment access is slowly improving in resource-poor countries, but much more money and effort will be needed if the situation is to improve. In sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, only around 44% of people in need of treatment are receiving it.24

The second thing that can be done is to provide family members who are not infected with HIV with knowledge and resources – such as condoms – that can help them to stay uninfected. HIV prevention campaigns, whether run by the government, local groups, or international organisations, can help to bring these things to families and their communities.

Pictures drawn by children who are caring for parents living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

Children who have lost their parents as a result of AIDS may be in particular need of support and care. Many organisations focus on providing care and support to AIDS orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS. This may involve providing food, clothing, help with looking after siblings or sick family members, and help to ensure that children are able to attend school. Ideally, campaigns need to prevent such children becoming orphaned in the first place, by keeping their parents alive through treatment. Parents who are receiving antiretroviral drugs can work, earn a wage and provide financial support and emotional care for their children.

The effects of HIV on children's communities

The problems

HIV and AIDS have held back development and economic growth in many of the world's poorest communities, and have caused practical problems and emotional distress to large networks of families, friends and neighbours. For the children growing up in these communities – even those who are uninfected, and who have no family members that are infected – HIV and AIDS are negatively affecting their lives.

Children are adversely affected by the impact that HIV and AIDS has on a country's essential services. One of the most important services that children need is healthcare. In areas heavily affected by AIDS, hospitals are often overwhelmed by the large number of patients that they have to look after. In many cases these hospitals have lost staff to AIDS, making it even more difficult for them to cope. Providing adequate care for sick children is made all the more difficult with a health system heavily burdened by the HIV epidemic.

AIDS results in a poorer schooling system for the children that rely on them. In some high prevalence countries teacher mortality and absenteeism has grown tenfold as a result of HIV and AIDS. Permanent or temporary absence of just one teacher can affect the education of as many as 100 children. In Swaziland it is estimated that 7,000 new teachers will have to be trained by 2020 to compensate for AIDS deaths.25 As well as their general education being badly affected, children may face a higher risk of becoming infected with HIV in the future, because effective schooling can help children to become more aware of HIV and give them the confidence to take responsibility for their sexual choices.

There are numerous other ways in which a child's life can be changed by the affects that AIDS is having on their community. For people living in countries where HIV is not widespread, it can be hard to appreciate how severely some communities have been damaged by the epidemic – but the reality is that many children are now living in towns and villages where a lot of houses are left empty as a result of AIDS.

Helping communities

As with families, helping communities to overcome HIV and AIDS is essentially a twofold process – HIV prevention needs to be carried out to stop new infections occurring, and antiretroviral treatment needs to be provided to those that need it, so that they can stay healthy and fulfil their role in the community.

Crowd watching an AIDS education event near Lundazi

Many groups and organisations carry out HIV prevention programmes on a community level, educating people about how to avoid infection and supplying condoms. Usually, these campaigns also attempt to address thestigma and discriminationsurrounding HIV, which can stop communities discussing AIDS openly and frankly. Prevention messages can be brought to communities in a variety of ways including billboards, theatrical productions, HIV education in schools, and radio programmes. Children who live in areas where prevention campaigns are being carried out are more likely to be aware of HIV as they grow up.

Increasing the provision of antiretroviral treatment in a community can help HIV-positive adults to work and live relatively normal lives. This can allow HIV-positive adults who are in a position where children are depending on them – whether parents, doctors, nurses, or teachers – to fulfil their responsibilities. In communities, as in the family, it is always better to keep children's family members alive than to provide them with support after that relative has died.

To read more about international efforts to improve access to antiretroviral drugs in resource-poor countries, see our page on universal access to aids treatment: targets and challenges.

What needs to be done?

It is clear that much more needs to be done, especially in resource-poor countries. Many children are dying, whilst millions more are experiencing the scars that AIDS can leave on their lives – almost all of which are avoidable. Medical treatment is such that, in a developed country, a woman living with HIV can now be almost certain that her child will not be infected - and yet there are still delays in making the appropriate tests and drugs available around the world.

If infected with HIV, children can be effectively treated, and, given this treatment, can have longer, healthier lives – yet they continue to die, because the antiretroviral drugs are still not widely available in many countries. Developing countries especially require not only the drugs to treat children, but also specialist training for staff, and funding to enable treatment and ongoing care. The world's political leaders and decision-makers already have these tools to save children from needless suffering, but they are still not reaching most of those who need them.

Written by Steve Berry, edited and updated by Graham Pembrey


  1. UNAIDS (2009) 'Report on the global AIDS epidemic'.
  2. UNAIDS (2009) 'Report on the global AIDS epidemic'.
  3. UNAIDS (2009) 'Report on the global AIDS epidemic'.
  4. UNAIDS (2008) 'Report on the global AIDS epidemic'.
  5. UNAIDS (2008) 'Report on the global AIDS epidemic'.
  6. U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. Department of Commerce (2004, March),'The AIDS Pandemic in the 21st Century'
  7. Newell M-L et al (2004, 2nd October), 'Mortality of infected and uninfected infants born to HIV-infected mothers in Africa: a pooled analysis', The Lancet 364(9441).
  8. UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO (2008), 'Children and AIDS: Third stocktaking report'
  9. BBC News (24th October 2006), 'Staging sex myths to save Zimbabwe's girls'.
  10. WHO/UNAIDS/UNICEF (2009) 'Towards universal access: Scaling up priority HIV/AIDS interventions in the health sector'
  11. Human Rights Watch (2006, August), 'Life Doesn't Wait –Romania's Failure to Protect and Support Children and Youth Living with HIV'.
  12. WHO/UNAIDS/UNICEF (2009) 'Towards universal access: Scaling up priority HIV/AIDS interventions in the health sector'
  13. Riordan A (2005, September), 'The Child With HIV And Respiratory Illness', The British HIV Association.
  14. Medicines Sans Frontiers (2006, July), fact sheet, 'Children and HIV/AIDS'.
  15. O'Brien D. P. et al. (2006) 'In resource-limited settings good early outcomes can be achieved in children using adult fixed-dose combination antiretroviral therapy', AIDS 20(1955).
  16. UNAIDS/WHO 2006 Report on the global AIDS epidemic.
  17. Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (2002, February), 'Immunisation of the Immunocompromised Child - Best Practice Statement'.
  18. Chintu C., Bhat G.J., Walker A.S. et al. (2004), 'Co-trimoxazole as prophylaxis against opportunistic infections in HIV-infected Zambian children (CHAP): a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial', The Lancet, 2004; 364:1865-71.
  19. UNAIDS/WHO 2006 Report on the global AIDS epidemic.
  20. Bernard van Leer Foundation (July 2006), 'Where the Heart is: Meeting the Psychosocial Needs of Young Children in the Context of HIV/AIDS'.
  21. JLICA (2009), 'Home Truths; Facing the facts on children, AIDS and poverty'
  22. UNAIDS (2008) 'Report on the global AIDS epidemic'.
  23. Help the Aged (2008, 29th September), 'Number of grandparents caring for orphaned grandchildren worldwide doubles in ten years'
  24. WHO/UNAIDS/UNICEF (2009) 'Towards universal access: Scaling up priority HIV/AIDS interventions in the health sector'
  25. UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team on Education (2008), 'Teachers Living with HIV'

Article credits @ Lee Meau Hui

Article Source :

PS : There are two videos at the original webpage which i can't link it to youtube and post it here. so if anyone is interested with the video please go to the original webpage to view it..

If any blog representatives found a way to link it up to that two videos please inform me. OR if you manage to download it please do send it to me :D so i can post it up here..

thx :D

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Comics 02

By Ho Khee Hoong

Active Children

Children are active and energetic compared to adults

by Keah Mei Sian

This is where you are formed

This is where you are formed:


Human Egg with Coronal Cells
This image is of a purple, colour-enhanced human egg sitting on a pin. The egg is coated with the zona pellicuda, a glycoprotein that protects the egg but also helps to trap and bind sperm. Two coronal cells are attached to the zona pellicuda.


Sperm on the Surface of a Human Egg
Here's a close-up of a number of sperm trying to fertilize an egg.


Human Embryo and Sperm

It looks like the world at war, but it is actually five days after the fertilisation of an egg, with some remaining sperm cells still sticking around. This fluorescent image was captured using a confocal microscope. The embryo and sperm cell nuclei are stained purple while sperm tails are green. The blue areas are gap junctions, which form connections between the cells.


Coloured Image of a 6 day old Human Embryo Implanting

by Margaret Lim ~

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

" hurts"‏

My name is Chris,

I am three,
My eyes are swollen...
I cannot see.

I must be stupid,
I must be bad,
What else could have made,
My daddy so mad?

I wish I were better,
I wish I weren't ugly,
Then maybe my mommy,
Would still want to hug me.

I can't do a wrong,
I can't speak at all,
Or else I'm locked up,
All day long.

When I'm awake,
I'm all alone,
The house is dark,
My folks aren't home.

When my mommy does come home,
I'll try and be nice,
So maybe I'll just get,
One whipping tonight.

I just heard a car,
My daddy is back,
From Charlie's bar

I hear him curse,
My name is called ,
I press myself,
Against the wall.

I try to hide,
From his evil eyes,
I'm so afraid now,
I'm starting to cry.

He finds me weeping,
Calls me ugly words,
He says its my fault,
He suffers at work.

He slaps and hits me,
And yells at me more,
I finally get free,
And run to the door.

He's already locked it,
And I start to bawl,
He takes me and throws me,
Against the hard wall.

I fall to the floor,
With my bones nearly broken,
And my daddy continues,
With more bad words spoken.

'I'm sorry!', I scream,
But it's now much to late,
His face has been twisted,
Into a unimaginable sh ape.

The hurt and the pain,
Again and again,
O please God, have mercy!
O please let it end!

And he finally stops,
And heads for the door,
While I lay there motionless,
Sprawled on the floor.

My name is Chris,
I am three,
Tonight my daddy,
Murdered me.

And you can help,
Sickens me to the soul,
If you read this,
And don't pass it on.

by Tan Lay Ting T2

Dyslexia in Children: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Reading and learning are the two things that determine the success of a child during his school career. First he learns to read. Then he reads to learn. Reading is therefore of paramount importance in the educational process.

Unfortunately poor reading skills, and therefore poor learning skills, have become a reality for an alarming number of children. The Institute for Global Education and Service Learning states that 40% of American children have difficulty reading or learning to read, and as many as three-quarters of students who are poor readers in third grade will remain poor readers in high school.

The word "dyslexia" is often used to refer to the child who has an average or above average IQ and is reading 1 1/2 grades or more below grade level, and whose reading problem is accompanied by the signs below:

  • One of the most obvious — and a common — telltale signs of dyslexia is reversals. Children with this kind of problem often confuse letters like b and d, either when reading or when writing, or they sometimes read (or write) words like "rat" for "tar," or "won" for "now."

  • Another sure sign, which needs no confirmation by means of any form of testing, is elisions, that is when a child sometimes reads or writes "cat" when the word is actually "cart."

  • The child who reads very slowly and hesitantly, who reads without fluency, word by word, or who constantly loses his place, thereby leaving out whole chunks or reading the same passage twice, has a reading problem.

  • The child may try to sound out the letters of the word, but then be unable to say the correct word. For example, he may sound the letters "c-a-t" but then say "cold."

  • He may read or write the letters of a word in the wrong order, like "left" for "felt," or the syllables in the wrong order, like "emeny" for "enemy," or words in the wrong order, like "are there" for "there are."

  • He may spell words as they sound, for example "rite" for "right."

  • He may read with poor comprehension, or it may be that he remembers little of what he reads.

  • The child may have a poor and/or slow handwriting.

In our age of verbal and written communication, linguistic difficulties are not easy to cope with. It can leave the child feeling unconfident, insecure and like a dunce.

"I've always felt I was stupid," says Elizabeth, diagnosed as suffering from mild dyslexia at the age of 17. "I went through school having disguised my difficulties, adjusting around them and keeping my problem a secret. I worked so hard in that academic environment, but felt that I just kept getting nowhere. Everybody thought I was slow and treated me that way." In fact, a recent IQ test showed that Elizabeth was far above average.

Behavior problems often result from their negative experiences at school. The stress and frustration they have to endure as a result of their poor achievement cause them to be reluctant to go to school, to often have temper tantrums before school and sometimes even to play truant. Cheating, stealing and experimenting with drugs can also occur when children regard themselves as failures.

Bob Turney is a dyslexic who turned to crime because he thought he was thick. At primary school, he sat at the back of the class looking at picture books and did not have a clue what the teachers were talking about. When they said that he was stupid, he believed them; and when they treated him as disruptive, uncooperative and lazy, he behaved accordingly. He left school at fifteen, barely able to write his own name, got involved in his first burglary, and spent the next eighteen years in and out of prison.

Theories About Dyslexia

There is a labyrinth of differing, opposing and often contradictory theories about dyslexia, what it is, its causes and its possible correction. Some theorists have said that dyslexia may be a result of abnormal development of a baby's brain during the mother's pregnancy. The resulting abnormalities interfere with the brain's ability to understand written material. Other theories hold that dyslexia is caused by "faulty wiring in the brain," a subtle impairment of vision, and a cerebellar-vestibular dysfunction.

Some believe that dyslexia is genetically determined and inherited from generation to generation. They support this view by referring to many studies that have indicated that there is often a family history of learning disabilities. Hornsby, for example, state that 88 percent of dyslexics had a near relative who had similar problems with reading and spelling.

While there are many factors that may contribute to dyslexia, one should not overlook the age-old — but ageless — principle that learning is a stratified process. This is a self-evident fact, yet its significance in the situation of the dyslexic child has apparently never been fully comprehended. Throughout the world in all educational systems it is commonly accepted that a child must start at the lower levels of education and then gradually progress to the higher levels. If human learning had not been a stratified process, if it had taken place on a single level, this would have been unnecessary. It would then not have been important to start a child in first grade. It would have been possible for the child to enter school at any level and to complete the school years in any order.

Another simple and practical example is the fact that one has to learn to count before it becomes possible to learn to add and subtract. Suppose one tried to teach a child, who had not yet learned to count, to add and subtract. This would be quite impossible, and no amount of effort would ever succeed in teaching the child to add and subtract. This shows that counting is a skill that must be mastered before it becomes possible to learn to do calculations.

This principle is also of great importance on the sports field. Take soccer as an example. The game of soccer consists of many fragmented elements or skills — passing, control, shooting, dribbling, goal keeping and heading. Before any child is expected to play in a full-game situation, he should first be trained to pass, head, control, dribble and shoot the ball. In fact, until these skills have been automatized, the child will have two left feet on the soccer field.

In the same way, there are also certain skills and knowledge that a child must acquire first, before it becomes possible for him to become a good reader. Basic skills like concentration, visual discrimination, accurate perception and memorizing, skills of association, auditory memory and lateral interpretation are all functions that form the foundation of good reading and spelling. Until a child has mastered these basic skills first, reading will remain a closed — or, at most, a half-open — book to him.

Audiblox helped Terry-André to beat dyslexia. Audiblox is a program of exercises aimed at developing and automatizing the foundational skills of reading and spelling.

Terry-André had had remedial lessons for three years for his reading problem. "I have taught him to cope with the work but I have not been able to teach him to read. His reading has always been a serious problem and he has been diagnosed as dyslexic," said Jennie van Zyl, Terry-André's remedial teacher.

By the middle of fourth grade Terry-André's reading ability was like that of a first-grade/second-grade child. His spelling was poor, he confused b's and d's, and found creative writing a problem.

Terry-André was very untidy, always in a hurry, happy with second best and just generally not coping at all, remarked Mrs. Leslie, his class teacher. Because the children laughed at his efforts, reading in front of the class caused him great embarrassment.

Terry-André started on the Audiblox program in the third term of fourth grade, a few weeks before the examination. He and Mrs. van Zyl spent half an hour, five days per week, on the program. He nevertheless failed third term with an aggregate of 54 percent.

Rapid improvement was noted during the fourth term. By the end of the school year Terry-André was no longer reversing letters. "The other day," said Mrs. van Zyl, "he picked up a book and I was amazed to hear him actually reading without any stammering, hesitation or repetitions. It was the first time he had ever managed without being taught the words first. Now, whenever there is any spare time, he asks if we can read."

"He has settled down, completes all his tasks to the best of his ability and takes pride in his work," reported Mrs. Leslie. "He is also able to read aloud in front of the class without any of the problems which had caused him such embarrassment before."

Terry-André passed fourth grade with an aggregate of 66 percent. Audiblox was continued into fifth grade, with attending progress.

Retrieved February 24, 2010 from

by Tan Lay Ting, T2

Lie to Me

The average person tells three lies in ten minutes of conversation. DR. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth, ">
But as Lightman well knows, his scientific ability is both a blessing and a curse in his personal life, where family and friends deceive each other as readily as criminals and strangers do. Lightman is the world's leading deception expert, a scientist who studies facial expressions and involuntary body language to discover not only if you are lying but why.

Lightman heads a team of experts at The Lightman Group who assist federal law enforcement, government agencies and local police with their most difficult cases.

DR. Gillian Foster (Kelli Williams, "The Practice") is a gifted psychologist and Lightman's professional partner who brings balance to the partnership by looking at the bigger picture while Lightman focuses on the details. He needs her guidance and insight into human behavior, whether he knows it or not. Will Loker (Brendan Hines, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) is Lightman's lead researcher, who is so uncomfortable with the human tendency to lie that he's decided to practice what he calls "radical honesty." He says everything on his mind at all times and often pays the price.

Ria Torres (Monica Raymund, "Law and Order: SVU") is the newest member of the agency, and one of the few "naturals" in the field of deception detection. She has a raw, untrained ability to read people that makes her a force to be reckoned with.

How people facial expression and also non-verbal behaviour can tell a story of someone, without speaking a word~

Taken from

Credit to Chin Yee Jah, T5

Psychology Comics 01

I've been collecting all sorts of psychology comics for my Presentation Power Point slides since Y1S3. I plan to upload my collection, which might not related to Child Development, but still related to psychology or counselling somehow. Enjoy.

By Ho Khee Hoong, T2


is a medical condition characterized by abnormal or degenerative conditions of the body’s adipose tissue. (”Lipo” is Greek for “fat” and “dystrophy” is Greek for “abnormal or degenerative condition”.) A more specific term, lipoatrophy is used when describing the loss of fat from one area (usually the face). This condition is also characterized by a lack of circulating leptin which may lead to osteosclerosis.

Zara Hartshorn has been robbed of her childhood. Her mom took her out of school because the bullying was so bad. A bus driver laughed in her face recently when she tried to pay the child’s fare. Strangers stare and point in the street. Kids call her “grandma,” “monkey” and “baggy face.”

Zara is 13 but has a rare genetic condition that makes her look much, much older than her years. She has the face of a grown woman, gaunt and wrinkled. But she’s a frightened teen inside.

“It feels like people are looking down their noses at me and staring,” she said at her home in northern England. “You know when you get that feeling you’re being watched? I feel that everywhere I go.”

Zara’s mother, Tracey Pollard, feels her pain: She, too, was born with lipodystrophy.

Pollard, 41, noticed the tell-tale signs in Zara’s face at birth. “I was grieving for a child that’s got to go through the same things in life that I’ve had to go through,” she said. “I was angry at myself for actually having Zara.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

Debate on week-6

PY4: Human genetic exert more influences on intelligence than the environmental factor.
Thursday 1100-1230 B110A (04/03/2010)

PY5 as guest (CNY replacement)

PY5: Society must maintain distinct gender roles in order to foster optimal social and emotional development in children.
Thursday 1230-1400 B110A (04/03/2010)
PY3 as guest (CNY replacement)

PY1: High quality day care program (centre) is a good substitute for parental care.
Thursday 1700-1830 B101A (04/03/2010)
PY2 as guest (CNY replacement)

PY2: Human genetic exert more influences on intelligence than the environmental factor.
Friday 0900-1030 B209B (05/03/2010)
PY4 as guest (CNY replacement)

PY3: Society must maintain distinct gender roles in order to foster optimal social and emotional development in children.

Friday 1400-1530 B203B (05/03/2010)
PY1 as guest (CNY replacement)

*Each tutorial needs to pick one other tutorial to attend as the replacement for CNY week's cancellation.

Sunday, February 21, 2010



by Lim Wei Jie, T5

Newborn development (Week 2)

Child Prostitution- South Africa

Child prostitution is rife in South Africa. It is a means for survival for impoverished township kids.

PS: Both of the videos are quite long, plus the audio is not clear, too. But please spare some of your time and finish them, you will discover another part of the world, a world that is different from ours.

by Hor Siaw Jiun, T2

Sex and Lies- South Africa

For many women, sex slavery is the only viable means of escape from the destitution of their homeland. This intimate look at the fiercely competitive multi-billion dollar skin trade explores viewpoints from the government, clubowners and the women themselves.

*Contain explicit materials.

by Hor Siaw Jiun, T2

Verbal child abuse

by cheu teng---T3