Thursday, September 26, 2013

Healthy Dining

On Friday September 13, 2013, the LA Times published the following article:

“Public Health Dept., restaurants team up for healthier dining

L.A. County restaurants are joining the Public Health Department's campaign to offer patrons smaller portions and healthier children's meals. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health launched a partnership Thursday with restaurants throughout the region to promote healthier options for customers. To be part of the Choose Health LA Restaurants program, places must offer smaller portion sizes and healthier children's meals with less fried food and more fruits and vegetables.
The program is the latest effort to attack the obesity epidemic in Los Angeles County, where about 23% of residents are obese. The county has also been encouraging residents to eat less and to give up soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. "Small changes in what we eat every day, at every meal can make a huge difference in terms of not only our weight but our overall health,"

Kudos to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials. I believe these kind of initiatives put us in the right path to a better quality of live. Although far from reaching a critical mass, I think, every little effort counts. The obesity problem, and child obesity in particular, is that serious.

As we discuss in previous blog (See “Overweight Children” and “Obesity II”, May 2012), “…it is about your behavior, mom, dad, not your child’s. You change the child’s behaviors by changing the behaviors of the adults that take care of that child. Plain and simple. No kid starves if there is food available. So it is about what is available.”

We are responsible for our health. But more so for our children’s health. And that is good parenting.

Daniel Adatto, BCBA

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Help for Parents with Children with Autism

If you suspect your child might be autistic, the first step in obtaining treatment is getting him/her diagnosed. Some of the signs of Autism might include impaired social interaction, delays in both verbal and non-verbal communication, failure to respond to name when called, avoidance of eye contact with other people, repetitive movements such as rocking or twirling or self-abusive behavior such as biting or head-banging. If you are unsure or have any doubts, speak to a professional such as your pediatrician or teacher, or call social services agencies in your area to speak with a counselor who can guide you through the process.

Sometimes a language delay is just that, so there is no need to panic. Trust your parental instincts and seek out help. As with any developmental delay, early intervention is crucial so it is better not to wait to see if your child grows out of it.

There are different levels of Autism and different methods for helping Autistic children. Financial help for Autism treatments is available. In California, health insurance companies are mandated to provide behavior intervention services proven effective for individuals with Autism and related disorders. Also, there is a system called the Regional Centers which provide funding for Autism treatments. After your child is officially diagnosed, you will be referred to various service providers that will get you on the path to helping your Autistic child.  

As a parent, receiving the diagnosis that something is “wrong” with your child can be devastating, confusing and overwhelming. Often times, this lead to isolation and shame. However, rest assure that you are not alone. There is help out there, and there are people and organizations that devote energy and resources to assist you in finding solutions to the problem. Reach out with confidence.

As I wrote in a previous blog, even when you don’t see it, there is light at the end of the tunnel.


Daniel Adatto, BCBA