Advertisements
Connect with us
Waist trainer models Waist trainer models

Health and Fitness

5 Things All Women Should Know Before Trying A Waist Trainer

Those who buy and use waist trainers may get more than they bargained for, and far less than they paid for.

Image Credit: YouTube

Published

on

1 of 5
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Today TGNR introduces Health and Fitness Contributor, Master Personal Fitness Trainer Jared Stokes. Mr. Stokes is a long practicing personal fitness trainer, and is currently completing his Ph.D. thesis in Heath Sciences at Columbia University, in New York City. He is also author of the newly released,.  “Pathway to Heaven,” the first installation of The Red Series As well as serving as a founding member and leader of K3mistry Productions; a multifaceted company dedicated in part to providing sound fitness information, and introducing exercise to new people in a uniquely positive paradigm. Today, Mr. Stokes delves into one of the hottest modern fitness trends – the Waist Trainer. 

Advertisements

As TGNR’s mission is reporting fascinating good news, the topic of positive and accurate public heath information is of great concern. Mr. Stokes today shares his expert insight on 5 things all women should know before trying a waist trainer.

America has witnessed many trends come and go, like tether ball or a German Shepard playing a game of “fetch the Frisbee.” From Disco Pants to Colombian jeans, every fad has its time to shine before fading off into the distance. Alas, it is now 2015 and a new development has taken the country by storm, or rather by the belt buckle. Its name, ladies and gentleman, is waist-training…

disco pantsSimplyEighties

How could these have JUST been a fad?

Advertisements

5: What Does A Waist Trainer Aim To Do?

before and after corset training waisttrainerhub dot comWaistTrainerHub

Before and after: The big idea.

Our culprit here includes such waist trainer entities as Miss Belt or Gennie Hourglass, both of which act as a modern day corset. According to writer Jamie Harrison, in an article for Ebony Magazine entitled “Getting Waisted: The Dangers of Corset Training,” : waist-training is considered a practice aimed at reshaping women’s bodies, and trimming inches off their waists through use of a 21st century steel-boned corset, and doing so by being worn for a certain amount of time each day. Ain’t that a mouthful?

Basically, the practice much like its predecessor of the Victorian era, is meant to help women obtain the classic hourglass figure. A look usually defined as having ample breasts, a flat stomach, and voluptuous buttocks. Molly Shea, Assistant Editor for Yahoo! Health states that waist-training at first, “seemed like the kind of trend that would fizzle out quickly.” This assumption was plausible, considering the fact that corsets are extremely outdated. However, thanks to support from celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, and Brooke Burke-Charvet this trend may be here to stay for a little while.

Related »
Is Running on Pavement Safe? The Fitness Facts

So, what are the proven effects the body experiences when wearing a waist trainer during your workout?

1 of 5
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Advertisements

Last Updated on

Jared Stokes is a Master Personal Trainer with an EdD in Health Education from Columbia University in New York City. Jared has been TGNR's Health & Fitness contributor since 2015. He also currently serves as Co-Founder and CEO of K3mistry Productions, a multifaceted company that teaches and promotes advanced media literacy.

Health and Fitness

BMI: Everything You Need to Know About Body Mass Index

BMI is a widely employed and deeply flawed metric to gauge ones physiological health. This is what you need to know about it, as well as several practical and superior alternatives.

Published

on

BMI Body Mass Index
Image Credit: Pexels

Clinical obesity represents a growing cause for concern in the U.S., the developed world, and beyond. Now, in America specifically, childhood obesity is being diagnosed with alarming frequency. One tool heavily relied upon by doctors to determine if a patient qualifies as overweight or obese by clinical standards is the Body Mass Index or BMI. However, this simple calculation which has become a cornerstone in determining one’s health just might be cracked with new research showing the unreliability of this pervasive measurement. Meanwhile, superior measurements exist that provide a more precise description of body fat content and thus a more accurate overall sense of a patient’s degree of obesity.

Advertisements

The Intricacies of BMI

Since the index’s publication in 1972, the BMI has been used to measure body fat and overall health in an individual. Its popularity has much to do with ease of use and cost effectiveness. If you question the measurement’s actual significance outside the doctor’s office, know that BMI has been utilized by U.S. employers to provide financial incentives for employees to lower their BMI. This is because one’s weight issues or propensity for health complications are considered by health insurance companies. Poor health means more doctor visits; the more one visits a clinic or doctor’s office the more their health insurance provider must pay.

Calculating BMI

BMI is determined by two factors, an individual’s height and weight. To calculate it, one must divide their weight in kilograms (kg) by the square of their height in meters (m²). If this jargon seems a bit confusing, just take your height and weight and convert your recorded measurements to the units just mentioned.

BMI is a calculation known for dividing people into one of four categories: Those with a score less than 18.5 are classified as underweight, a score between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal or healthy weight, a score of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, in contrast to people with a score of 30 or greater that are deemed obese.

Advertisements
Related »
Is Running on Pavement Safe? The Fitness Facts

It’s important to note, however, that basing one’s health on their height and weight alone fails to account for body’s bone, muscle, or fat proportions. Muscle, for example, is a tricky topic. An individual who is particularly muscular with a very small percentage of body fat and a BMI between 25 and 30 is likely to be considered overweight. This is almost certainly the case for many professional football players. Nevertheless, that’s not an accurate assessment of the individual’s health status.

Lean muscle, or muscle that is independent of, as well as not covered by, fat and fat itself weighs the same pound for pound. Their composition, on the other hand, greatly differs. According to the personal health columnist for The New York Times Jane E. Brody, fat takes up around “four times the space of muscle tissue” (para. 4). This makes muscle about four times as dense, or thick, as fat tissue.

It’s because of body composition nuances such as this that BMI runs into a little bit of trouble.

BMI’s Accuracy and Reliability

In a 2016 paper published in the International Journal of Obesity, A. Janet Tomiyama et al. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), identified BMI as a flawed approach to determining one’s health status.The paper cited a study also conducted by Tomiyama et al. assessed 40,420 individuals, aged 18 and above, who were a part of the 2005 to 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). It’s important to note that this survey at the time contained “nationally representative prevalence data on cardiometabolic health.”

The study found that around 29 percent of individuals classified as obese, and even about 16 percent of those said to have type 2 or 3 diabetes were cardiometabolically healthy. On the other hand, over 30 percent of individuals said to be normal weight or healthy were cardiometabolically unhealthy. Talk about a dramatic twist!

Advertisements

Additionally, Medical Daily writer Jalessa Baulkman stated that using BMI to gauge health has led to over 54 million Americans being misclassified as unhealthy. It’s because of this that Tomiyama and company (2016) suggested that policymakers consider the consequences of relying solely on this measurement.

The same goes for employers and physicians as well. Ultimately, BMI should be used as a screening tool when trying to determine body fatness, but not as a definitive diagnostic tool for actual health. Since obesity is an ever-increasing health concern, it’s still important that individuals and health professionals correctly measure a patient’s body fat.

In light of the established inadequacies inherent to BMI, what are more accurate metrics to gauge obesity? Below are some alternatives that can be used to more accurately determine overall body fat composition and health status in an individual.

Alternatives to BMI

 

Tape Measure

Advertisements

A waist circumference, or the distance around your waist, that equals half your actual height can be one indication of good health, as this measurement can be an indication of excess abdominal fat. For example, if you happen to be five foot, eight inches tall (68 inches), then having a waist circumference of 34 inches or smaller would be considered healthy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive abdominal fat is potentially dangerous because it places one at greater risk for developing high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, and coronary artery disease. To determine waist circumference, one must stand straight and wrap a tape measure around their mid-section.

Related »
5 Things All Women Should Know Before Trying A Waist Trainer

The tape measure should be just above one’s hip bones and along the belly button. The person being evaluated should not suck in their gut during this process. Furthermore, taking the average of about three different measurements should give you a pretty reliable number.

Skin Calipers

A skin caliper is a device pulls subcutaneous fat, or fat that lies directly under the skin, away from muscle through use of tongs situated at their ends. A skin-fold assessment can be completed using several different parts of one’s body, such as the abdominals, back, thighs, chest, and arms. An equation is used to determine body-fat percentage from the recorded measurements. It’s important that a practicing professional conduct this test to produce more accurate results.  

Advertisements

Hydrostatic Weighing

This method is also referred to as “underwater weighing.” According to exercise physiologist and fitness consultant Elizabeth Quinn, this method determines one’s “total body density using Archimedes’ Principle of displacement” (Quinn, 2017, para. 1). Hydrostatic weighing works by comparing a person’s normal body weight on dry land to their body weight when completely submerged in a large tank of water. Accordingly, hydrostatic weighing is one of the most accurate assessments of body fat composition with a very small margin of error. As a result, it’s considered the gold standard for body composition assessment.

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis

This method measures body composition by sending an electrical current through the body. The faster the current, the less body fat an individual has. Body fat, or adipose tissue, causes greater resistance for an electrical current than fat-free mass, and therefore slows the rate at which the current travels. Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis has been shown to be fairly accurate when estimating body fat.

Air Displacement Plethysmography

Advertisements

Like underwater weighing, air displacement plethysmography, also known as BOD POD, follows a similar technique except with air. As a result, this method has gained popularity among body composition researchers due to the non-invasive test-procedure as well as the lack of technical expertise required. Researchers David A. Fields, Paul B. Higgins, and Gary R. Hunter have described the BOD POD as “a single fiberglass unit composed of two chambers” (p. 1).

The test chamber accommodates an individual during testing while the reference chamber contains instrumentation that measures “changes in pressure between the two chambers” (p. 1). Therefore body composition is essentially calculated by measuring the amount of air before and after an individual enters the BOD POD along with the density of air.

(Article Continues Below...)

Read More


Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry

Also referred to as “bone densitometry,” this method produces pictures of a person’s body internally by using a very small dose of ionizing radiation. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry measures lean body mass, fat mass, and bone mineral density. Through this method, technicians can determine the breakdown of body composition for each section of one’s body.

Final Thoughts

While the public perception of the desirable body size may have shifted to be more diverse and has started to include more plus-sized physiques, being clinically overweight or obese can still lead to major health complications. Positive body image aside, having an excess of body fat may cause issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. The best thing one can do is determine if their unique physique is, in fact, conducive to good health. Fortunately their are many tools other than the potentially  misleading BMI that can be used to answer that question.

Advertisements

Join the Conversation - Follow TGNR on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, TumblrPintrest, Instagram, & Flipboard

References

Baulkman, J. (2016, February 06). Normal Body Mass Index Doesn’t Mean You’re Healthy, Study Says; Millions Of Americans Mislabeled As Obese. Retrieved March 17, 2018, from http://www.medicaldaily.com/body-mass-index-obesity-america-372526

Brody, J. E. (2010, August 31). Weight Index Doesn’t Tell the Whole Truth. Retrieved March 16, 2018, from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/31/health/31brod.html

Fields, D. A., Higgins, P. B., & Hunter, G. R. (2004). Assessment of body composition by air-displacement plethysmography: influence of body temperature and moisture. Dynamic Medicine, 3(1), 3.

Quinn, E. (2017, November 30). How to Measure Body Fat With Hydrostatic Underwater Weighing. Retrieved March 17, 2018, from https://www.verywellfit.com/what-is-hydrostatic-underwater-weighing-3120276

Advertisements

Tomiyama, A. J., Hunger, J. M., Nguyen-Cuu, J., & Wells, C. (2016). Misclassification of cardiometabolic health when using body mass index categories in NHANES 2005–2012. International Journal of Obesity, 40(5), 883.

Last Updated on

Continue Reading

Health and Fitness

Is Running on Pavement Safe? The Fitness Facts

Published

on

is running on pavement safe

Master Trainer Jared Stokes weighs in with his expert insight into the timeless fitness question, “Is running on pavement safe?” Jared Stokes is a health and fitness professional with a EdD. in Health Education from Columbia University in New York City, in addition to his extensive personal training experience. Today Mr. Stokes gives the hard facts on this longtime fitness quandary, and how you can minimize the risk of injury. 

Advertisements

At some point in our lives we’ve all witnessed the dedicated runner, making their way along a sidewalk or street where a path has been created for their safety. While it is certainly commendable that an individual decides to run outdoors, thus remaining physically active and presumably healthy, one must ask, “Is running on pavement good for one’s joints?” One could assume the answer is no, since pavement is “rock-like” and probably doesn’t give when one exerts force on it. Nevertheless, people continue to run. Here, we will tackle the actual risks, or non-risks, associated with running on pavement.

Pavement: Asphalt vs. Concrete Difference

For the benefit of clarity, pavement is defined here as asphalt. Asphalt is reportedly the most recycled material in America, and is often used on city streets, park trails, or sidewalks. This is not to be confused with concrete, which is made by mixing a cement binder with an aggregate material and then letting the mixture harden, which forms a rock-like substance.

Asphalt, on the other hand, is made by mixing an aggregate with bitumen, which is a sticky black hydrocarbon extracted from crude oil. Columnist Trent Jonas (2017) advises runners to avoid concrete whenever possible.4

Advertisements
Related »
5 Things All Women Should Know Before Trying A Waist Trainer

Is Running on Pavement Safe? The Brass Tacks

Getting down to brass tacks, let’s explore the safety of running on asphalt pavement. According to popular running guru Erin Beresini (2013), data on this debate is mixed.1 As mentioned, many believe that certain running surfaces can lead to injury, but this is a long time debate among fitness experts.

Certain experts seemingly point to myriad additional factors involved. For example, a study led by Dr. Ida Buist (2010) of University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands, observed gender-specific predictors of running-related injuries (RRIs) in inexperienced “runners training for a 4-mile distance run.”2

The results of this study found that for men Body Mass Index (BMI), having participating in sports without axial loading prior to the study, and having previous musculoskeletal injury of the lower limbs or back were significant predictors of RRI. For women, navicular drop was the only significant predictor of RRI the study found. It should be noted, however, the running surface was not assessed in this study.

In Trent Jonas’ (2013) view, he concluded that asphalt is associated with the lowest amount of shock forces exhibited on a runners body, or minimal impact on one’s locomotor system.4 Jonas (2013) furthermore asserted that asphalt is the best running surface when compared with cement and grass, although gravel might be a better option overall.4 Beresini (2013) purported that runners should consider mixing up their running surfaces to minimize possible injury.1

All in all, the debate continues pressing onwards.

Advertisements
Related »
The Complete Guide to American Olympic Curling

Proper Distance Running Technique

One thing is for certain: the way one runs and their running equipment are critical factors to consider. First, let’s address the way one runs, or running technique. Moore (2016) looked at biomechanical factors that affect running economy, or the rate of oxygen one’s intakes at a given submaximal running pace.

Results showed that biomechanical factors effecting so-called running economy included “spatiotemporal factors, lower limb kinematics, kinetics, neuromuscular factors, shoe–surface interactions, and trunk and upper limb biomechanics” (Moore, 2016, p. 803). In laymen English, this study proved that runners should be highly conscious of their running form. Here is the overall best approach to perfect your running technique.

Techniques for running form include the following:

  1. Have proper posture when running – that means back straight up!
  2. Keep your feet pointed straight ahead rather than to the side.
  3. Land midfoot rather than on your heel.
  4. Look upwards and ahead.
  5. Relax your hands and shoulders.
  6. Keep your arms at your sides.
  7. Don’t bounce as you run.
(Article Continues Below…)

Read More


Proper Running Shoes: Beginning at the Point of Contact

Last – but hardly least – runners should put considerable effort finding the proper equipment when deciding to run, namely running shoes. A study by Kathleen O’Leary et. al (2008) found that “the use of cushioned insoles during running resulted in significant reductions in mean vertical ground reaction force peak impact and loading rate, as well as peak tibial acceleration.”5 Dale (2017) also supported the idea of finding shoes with extra padding when running on pavement. Moreover, one should make sure that their shoe has the proper fit.

These may appear like common sense, no-brainer suggestions. Though many runners, or aspiring runners, do not always take the proper time and effort to implement these required preparations for their run. The devil is perpetually in the details, and running is no different.

Advertisements

Is Running on Pavement Safe? Common Sense and Good Information Is Key

In total, the risks of running on pavement is a complex topic and activity, one that all runners must invest time and energy to perfect. It is clear that there are certain risks that come with road running on pavement, however those risks can be mitigated with proper technique, equipment, and most importantly common sense. Have you suffered previous lower limb or back injury? Have you invested in high quality running shoes? Do you employ proper technique? Have you sought out the advice of a credible personal trainer? These are the questions runners – or aspiring runners – must ask themselves. However like all good exercise of choice, it requires the dedication of the individual to find good information to achieve their desired goal.

Happy trails!

Do you have any fitness questions for Master Trainer Stokes? E-mail him at jstokes@tgnreview.com 

 

Join the Conversation - Follow TGNR on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, TumblrPintrest, Instagram, & Flipboard

References
1 – Beresini, E. (2013, October 06). The Best Running Surface for Your Knees. Retrieved January 24, 2018, from https://www.outsideonline.com/1784266/best-running-surface-your-knees

2 – Buist, I., Bredeweg, S. W., Lemmink, K. A., Van Mechelen, W., & Diercks, R. L. (2010). Predictors of running-related injuries in novice runners enrolled in a systematic training program.

Advertisements

3 – The American journal of sports medicine, 38(2), 273-280.

4 – Jonas, T. (2017, September 11). Running on Cement, Asphalt & Grass. Retrieved January 24, 2018, from https://www.livestrong.com/article/530023-running-on-cement-asphalt-grass/

5 – O’Leary, K., Vorpahl, K. A., & Heiderscheit, B. (2008). Effect of cushioned insoles on impact forces during running. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, 98(1), 36-41.

Last Updated on

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Beyond The Puzzle Piece

Life Growing Up With Autism: First Hand

Published

on

Chris Jones autism interview

Advertisements

In this edition of Beyond the Puzzle Piece, I introduce you to Christopher Jones. Christopher is an 18 year old math enthusiast, with an interest in history and politics as well. Chris also has a unique experience and voice when it comes to Autism Spectrum Disorders. Following an initial diagnosis with Asperger Syndrome at the age of 4, Chris has received Special Education services since that time. He was part of the first wave of students with what is called “High Functioning Autism” to go through the educational system while receiving services specifically for his needs. Chris has received Physical and Occupational Therapy to help cope with sensory issues, as well as Speech and Language Therapy and Social Skills groups to assist in communication skills. He started in a self contained Autism Support Classroom with a dedicated Special Education Teacher, and was gradually included further into the general education classroom. Now 18, Chris is a High School Senior with very strong opinions about everything from music to politics, and certainly autism. Join my conversation with Christopher as he shares with TGNR the thoughts, experiences, informed views, and reflections of his life with autism.

(more…)

Advertisements

Last Updated on

Continue Reading

Beyond The Puzzle Piece

Beyond The Puzzle Piece: Autism’s Forgotten History

Published

on

 

Advertisements

 “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” – Edmund Burke

History’s undeniable value is why we continue to teach and study the great events of the past, both tragic and triumphant alike. Scholars compel humanity to analyze events within their historical context and evaluate the consequences of those events. This approach is particularly relevant when looking at the history of Autism and the Autism Spectrum.

Napoleon Bonaparte, a great student of history, mused that “History is a set of lies agreed upon,” a warning, in part, that urges the importance of objectivity when using history to help best understand the lessons learned from previous generations. If history is to be the great teacher, how does autism’s history factor into the current evolving understanding of autism today? As a parent, why is it so important to learn about the past when gathering the information necessary to best guide your child?

(more…)

Advertisements

Last Updated on

Continue Reading

Beyond The Puzzle Piece

Raising Boys Who Happen To Have Autism: A Mother’s Story

Published

on

Autism a Mother’s Story
Image Credit: Pexels

For TGNR’s 1/31/2016 installment of Sunday Brunch, TGNR introduces you to Anne DeFranco. This is the first edition of a monthly column that will discuss autism from the perspective of both a parent and as a Special Education professional. Anne is the proud mother of three children; her two eldest sons have been diagnosed with Autism. Both are now high school age.

Advertisements

Professionally, Anne has earned bachelor degrees in Special Education and Elementary Education. Additionally, she holds certifications for Secondary Education and English As A Second Language. Anne has worked as a special education teacher in both traditional and non-traditional classroom settings.

She has served as a school Supervisor for Special Education, as well as a District Representative for the Special Education Department, grades 7-12. Most recently, Anne worked as a Program Supervisor for a live-in facility, overseeing four adults with severe disabilities, all of which were non-verbal.

In her first installment, Anne tells her story about Autism, how it became a part of her life as a mother and ignited her passion to bring the best information and guidance to those in need.

Advertisements

Our Story

Autism and Anne DeFranco Anne DeFranco/TGNR

Anne DeFranco

When my oldest son was in preschool, it became clear that he was not like the other children in his class. My son had always presented as very active. He also had a few odd behaviors such as not making eye contact when talking to us or moving his hands in a strange way (that we latter learned was a “stim” or self stimulating behavior). My son played with his toys in an unusual manner, such as lining them up instead of engaging in pretend play.

He was also very rigid in keeping to a schedule and deviation spelled disaster. At the time we told ourselves, “what toddler does not have a few odd behaviors?” Young children can be challenging teachers, as anyone who has spent time with a toddler can attest!

Eventually, his behavior reached a point where they began to impact his ability to learn and his ability to appropriately make friends.

A Beginning

As the behavior of my son progressed, I began dreading taking him to school. His teacher would inevitably have the look on her face that would suggest she had been hoping and praying he would be sick that morning. Picking him up from school was also a nightmare! He would cry and refuse to leave the classroom, unable to handle the abrupt change in activities.

Advertisements

His teacher, the ever present centurion at the door was there to deliver the report of his behavior for the day. The other parents waiting in the hall gave me sideways glances, not daring to make eye contact. Each trying in their own way to pretend that my private Hell and I did not exist.

To them, my child was simply “that kid,” the one classmate which parents always heard a bizarre story about on the way home. I was beside myself and had no idea what was going on with him.

A Serendipitous and Fateful Encounter

After picking up my son one afternoon, the teacher’s aide approached me in the parking lot. She was a very kind woman and always tried to say something positive when she saw me.

“I just wanted to give you some information…”she started hesitantly. I think she was afraid I would not want to hear what she was going to suggest.

“Information about what?” I asked, probably just as hesitant. At this point all I had heard from people at school was how horrible my son’s behavior was.

Advertisements

“I have a daughter who is now in middle school. She had many issues when she was your son’s age and a lot of the same behaviors. But she is also very smart, which I believe your son is too. I know his teacher is overwhelmed with his behaviors, but when I work with him one on one, he is showing signs of being able to read and identify things I have rarely seen in preschool children. My daughter was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. It might be something you want to look into as well. Just a suggestion…”

I stood there in the parking lot quietly, trying to absorb this information. I thanked her and said good bye and got into the car to drive home. That evening I began to search for information on Asperger’s Syndrome.

Related »
Beyond The Puzzle Piece: Autism's Forgotten History

Autism & The Search For Answers

My conversation with the aide took place in 2002. At that time Asperger’s had only been introduced into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel for Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1994. The diagnosis had been recognized abroad prior to that time, but it was a newly accepted diagnosis in the United States.

In 2002, information was harder to come by. Even our pediatrician was not able to provide me with accurate answers. Had I not persisted despite these obstacles, I may not have received answers as quickly.

If it had not been for the brave and caring intervention of this teacher’s aide, as one parent to another, our journey for answers may have been comparatively obtuse. Further, the diagnosis of my eldest son is what led to the earlier diagnosis of my second son.

To this day I believe that early intervention and the speech therapy he received helped him with his extraordinary acquisition of language and social skills.

Advertisements

The 2016 Dilemma: Making The Right Choices A Midst The Noise

This is a clear shift from 2002. Today, autism holds a cemented presence in the collective national outlook regarding public health. Whether it’s the ongoing debate over causes, purported cures, or portrayal in the media, autism regularly permeates the news.

As such, parents and caregivers seem to have the opposite problem in 2016 than I had in 2002. There is so much information that the challenge has shifted to identifying which information is accurate and, moreover, what portion is applicable for each unique diagnosis.

Related »
Breakthrough: How Brain Takes Shape In Utero Discovered

Convenience of data has made it easier for caregivers to explain autism to concerned family members and loved ones.  However, misinformation can often cause these same family members to become armchair psychologists and physicians.

The Danger of Misinformation

When formulating the best choices for your child, this chorus of advice can be at the very least annoying and at the very worst dangerous. Erroneous information may lead to family members pushing inappropriate or untested therapies-such as a restrictive diet- without testing for medical need or additional monitoring for adequate nutrition. 

Unsubstantiated treatment claims can also push parents away from well tested therapies. Approaches such as well balanced diets, speech, occupational therapy for sensory integration, or even social skills groups.

Advertisements

Accessibility of information about autism has without doubt increased awareness, but also allows unsubstantiated cures to  be accessed just as easily. The good intentions of family members are not in question; the veracity of their data is.

Family Denial

Some family members may flat out deny the child displays any of the behaviors in question or even the existence of autism altogether. The growing acceptance of autism in popular culture has led to the creation of a caricature or allusion to autism in certain characters that downplays and degrades the reality and may make it seem as if autism is a farce or fad. This can at times lead family members to dismiss the gravity of what parents may be facing.

I had family members that fell into the latter category. They would express that I wanted something to be wrong with my children, therefore I imagined the symptoms and pushed a diagnosis.

Related »
Neural Signature: Fact or Fantasy? | Neuronomics

Such behavior makes for frustrating family gatherings and strained family relationships when what a caregiver truly needs is a support system.

What I Give To You

In the time since my sons have been diagnosed, I have met and worked with many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. I have taught self-contained Autistic Support classrooms with young elementary aged children as well as in mainstream middle school and high school settings.

Advertisements

I have guided individuals in non-traditional settings. Activities such as day camps and nature center classes. I’ve worked with adults with autism. For all the counsel and instruction I gave, all the education I have accomplished, I have never stopped learning.

The most important lesson I have learned is this: the best information about autism, outside of the medical community and professional educators (with whom I strongly urge parents create a healthy partnership), comes from other people with autism and their caregivers.

Most communities now have excellent support groups for caregivers, individuals with autism at any age, and even siblings of individuals with autism.

I offer this column as a way of sharing these experiences and exploring other important topics. Serving to further the pursuit of a real understanding of autism. As one who has been a parent, and who has worked professionally in special education, I want this column to serve as an avenue to provide the best information available to people in all stages of managing autism as well as creating an open and respectful discourse for anyone that may be in need.

(Article Continues Below...)

Read More


The Lesson Only Time Could Teach

My sons are nearly adults now. Autism is a part of our every day life, but I have made sure that my boys know that their defining label is not autism. They are young men who happen to have autism. My oldest will be 18 this spring and will be attending college in the fall. He plans on studying math with the hope of getting a master’s degree and a job in the statistical analysis field.

Advertisements

My younger son is in the 10th grade. He would like to study psychology and music and use both to help others as his career. Little do they know that together they have taught me about the amazing intricacies of the human mind. Namely for we we know as autism. Or more importantly, how to be the best mother, teacher and human I can be.

Join the Conversation - Follow TGNR on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, TumblrPintrest, Instagram, & Flipboard


[ts_fab]

Last Updated on

Continue Reading

Sign-Up For The Latest From TGNR

Never miss when good news that’s real news drops, sign-up now to enjoy TGNR from your inbox.

Advertisement

Trending