Our youngest finished his swim lesson at the Aquatics Center. His dripping body approached my chair.
“I want something to eat.”
I have a rule about not buying snacks when we will be home in minutes. But this day, I agreed to a salty snack though not to a drink. Jennifer Breedlove can verify this and my usual no snack rule at the pool.
He selected, “Lay’s Barbecue Potato Chips.”
Confirming his choice 20 times, I pressed B8. As I handed him the chips, he asked for a drink. “No drink,” I said and walked toward the door. He threw a fit. I had pressed the wrong button and in spite of all indications to the contrary, he had wanted Cool Ranch Doritos not barbecue potato chips. I apologized for this lapse in mental telepathy and headed toward the car.
My son screamed, “I wish you never existed!”
I turned to clarify. “You wish I never existed?” He nodded.
At first, I was taken aback not because of his impudence but because he used the word “existed” and in proper context. Begrudgingly, I must tip my hat to some SpongeBob writer for that.
Suddenly a clever thought came to my head. This doesn’t happen often when confronted with a child’s disrespect. Usually, I rapidly spiral from limited patience to all out shaking exasperation.
“Okay. If I didn’t exist — there is no car sitting in this parking lot, so you’ll have to walk home.” He looked at me sideways. “And if I never existed, there is no house for you to walk home to. And you might as well strip off that bathing suit and hand me your towel. I wasn’t around to purchase them.
By: Celia Murray; Columnist
One can often learn important lessons by observing those nearby. I recently read a report about health care in the State of South Carolina, and was particularly struck by the plight of one particular segment of that state’s population. We, as Georgians, have an opportunity to benefit from examining the situation of our neighbors in South Carolina – specifically, South Carolina’s children.
The March of Dimes has released the findings of its Premature Birth Report Card which gives the state of South Carolina an “F” for its premature birth rate of 15.6 percent of all births. (Georgia also received an “F” for its slightly better 13.6 percent premature birth rate.) Premature births are the leading cause of newborn deaths. According to the Census Bureau, South Carolina’s infant mortality rate is 9.4 deaths per 1,000 live births (Georgia’s is 8.2).
The March of Dimes has also released a special report which shows that in 2008, more than 20 percent of American women of childbearing age – 12.4 million – were uninsured. “One of the ultimate outcomes of health reform by Congress should be the expanded access to coverage for all women,” said Dr. Marina L. Weiss, senior vice president of public policy and government affairs for the March of Dimes. “Uninsured women receive fewer prenatal services and report greater difficulty in obtaining needed preventive care than women with insurance.” A major cause of premature birth and low birth weight in newborns is the lack of prenatal care.
“My mom and dad both have arthritis and I’m starting to get joint pain. Is there anything I can do to prevent my children from getting it?”
While there is some limitation to what can be done to prevent certain types of arthritis (like Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is inherited)), osteoarthritis (the most common form) can be prevented to some extent.
There is a misconception that osteoarthritis, is due to old age and will happen to us regardless of what we do. While age will wear out some of our cartilage, most of the damage that occurs (and is preventable), is due to poor alignment which increases joint friction. Abnormal friction and pressure wears out joints in the same way that poorly aligned car tires wear out sooner.
A recent study by the famed Mayo Clinic showed that even one degree of abnormal knee alignment (not even noticeable to the human eye) will increase the progression of arthritis 52 percent! And if you are carrying a few extra pounds that abnormal alignment becomes even more important.
Many times what we really inherit is the abnormal structure our parents had and not the arthritis itself. A long leg for example, can cause arthritis in the knees and hips. So symptoms in these areas may be due to our inheriting a longer leg and not an arthritis gene.
Even in the case of an inherited joint disease, abnormal structure plays a role. For example, Rheumatoid Arthritis may cause flattening of the arch. This in turn causes excessive pressure on the insides of the knees. By controlling the flattening of the foot, knee problems can often be improved, despite the fact that the cause was inherited.
Are we a society teetering on the brink between composure and conflagration?
The health care debate crammed the halls of Congress with rags and kerosene. But does that excuse an outburst from the representative from South Carolina? Isn’t that what those wacky British do in Parliament proceedings? Hurling insults back and forth, it’s rather disconcerting to watch. In this country, we pride our self on respectability. When a party loses, they stride across the lawn towards the huge whirring helicopter and don’t hold up in the White House with their cabinet and 12 Uzis.
Serena Williams threatened a line judge with her tennis racket. Who doesn’t have a few bent Wilson T2000s rusting in their parents’ attic? Rapper Kanye West’s interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech saying the MTV award should have been Beyonce’s. By grabbing the spotlight, he angered everyone from the President to cognac lovers. The latter vehemently denying that West photographed in a lip lock with a bottle of Hennessy moments before his outburst had anything to do with their drink of choice. Those who drink with class – drink from a glass.
What do we teach our children? That they aren’t the only ones with first class privileges to the crayon cart. Not to interrupt and to raise hands to ask questions, not in anger.
By: Sarah Burbach; Assistant Superintendent
Did you know that Morgan County students with communication difficulties are served by three Speech/Language Pathologists who are all certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association in addition to holding advanced degrees and Georgia teaching certificates? Lindsay Peaster, Jill Meeler, and Jean Ann Wacker work with students aged three to twenty-one who exhibit speech difficulties in the areas of articulation (phonemic awareness, substituting one sound for another, omitting sounds in words, distorting sounds, or adding sounds within words), language (difficulties with vocabulary, grammar, auditory processing, comprehension), fluency (stuttering), and voice (pitch, vocal quality, loudness). They also evaluate nonverbal students requiring special “high tech” communication devices that are individually programmed to “talk” for the child, as well as teaching these students and their parents ways they can become proficient users of these augmented communication devices.
Our Speech/Language Pathologists serve students in a variety of settings. Our youngest speech impaired children are served at home or in their daycare or preschool settings. Speech services are delivered to our school-aged students in a co-teaching setting (where the Speech/Language Pathologist works collaboratively with the child’s general education teacher and the student to improve academic acquisition related to the child’s individual communication needs) or in a resource type setting where the student is taught