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Hearing dogs are changing deaf children’s lives
Hearing dogs are changing deaf children’s lives
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Quoted by BBC News: "Dogs are commonly known as man's best friend, but it turns out they may also be a child's – particularly if those children are one of the 45,000 deaf children in the UK.

"Hearing dogs", as they are known, could transform many young lives by offering companionship, confidence and independence.

Not only that, but these specially trained dogs could improve behaviour at school and lead to better academic performance, a recent study has found.

James Cheung is 11 years old and the owner of Kurt, a golden labrador retriever.

Kurt is specially trained to respond to household sounds that a deaf child cannot hear, like a door bell ringing, a telephone sounding and any alarms going off in the home.

But Kurt has proved to be much more than just a dog who hears.

"He is a wonderful accompaniment to our household," say James's mother Louise, from Derbyshire.

"I can't remember life without him."

Sleep companion

Although they have had Kurt for less than a year, he has become a close companion for James, who is an only child, and a reassuring presence around the home.

"James had sleep anxieties, which he was being treated for, but now that Kurt sleeps with him in his bedroom he feels much less isolated when he takes out his hearing aid at night."

Kurt has also helped James' social interaction, which he had always found difficult because of a speech disability.

"James is now mad keen on dogs, even his teachers have noticed. He researches them and talks about them. It's an interest which helps him initiate conversation with people.

"Before he would have avoided dogs. Now he adores them."

The study, carried out by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, looked at the impact of hearing dogs on the lives of 12 deaf children and their hearing families in the UK since 2008.

It found that hearing dogs had a positive effect in a number of areas, such as helping parents get the child's attention, making bedtime and sleeping easier, and giving the child confidence – particularly in social settings.

Parental concerns about the child's safety also fell dramatically, the study found.


Michele Jennings, chief executive of the charity, says this is because they can feel more relaxed about everything.

"Parents are concerned about dangers around the home but we train dogs to respond to smoke alarms, to alert a child to alarming noises, even things like ambulance sirens when they are out and about.

The responses of the families involved in the study said the dogs helped the children stay safe near roads and prevented them wandering off in public places.

But there were other noticeable benefits to placing hearing dogs with deaf children.

Their teachers noticed better behaviour at school and parents experienced happier family times at home.

The child was also more likely to wear a hearing aid, which often led to better academic progress and improved speech.

Most importantly, the dogs became their friends – often "best friends".

Hearing dogs are trained to alert children by nudging the child with their nose or, in the case of an alarm clock, wake the child up by putting two paws on the bed and pulling the duvet off.

Loving bond

Hearing dogs can also be used by the parent to fetch the child when needed and to carry written messages in a small purse, which the child can then respond to in the same way.

"The dog is a great conduit between parent and child – it gives the child independence," Michele Jennings says.

The majority of the dogs trained by the charity are cocker spaniels, miniature poodles, labradors and golden retrievers – dogs that can cope in most situations and be obedient, loving family dogs.

Volunteers offer to socialise the dogs when they are puppies, and when they are 10 or 11 months old, they start their sound skills training.

They are then introduced to a recipient deaf child and the bonding starts to take place.

There are currently 750 working hearing dogs in the UK for adults and, following the success of the trial, the charity wants to train many more dogs to work with deaf children.

It's a costly process though, with each dog costing £45,000 to be trained during its lifetime.

All hearing dogs are retired at 11 years of age but they are usually kept on by the families.

"The bond between family and dog and child and hearing dog is so strong. It's a joy to see. They just become part of the family," says Ms Jennings."

Child Wellness

4 Secrets to Creating Loving Bonds Among Your...
  New and experienced parents often encounter many of the same problems during the formative and adolescent years of child rearing. Temper tantrums may give way to apathetic rebellion as time progresses, but almost everyone exhibits at least some of the same behaviors and personality traits from their childhood into adulthood. Rather than trying to curb unpleasant or unwanted behaviors, such as sibling rivalry, parents are encouraged to partner with their children to develop healthy habits, firm boundaries, and sound values.  

Avoid Making Comparisons

Although parents commonly attempt to encourage their children during difficult times by referring to an accomplishment of a sibling, this technique typically has the opposite effect on the child in need. Rather than telling a child who is struggling in math how easy it was for their brother to ace the exams, parents must stick with the facts. Focusing only on the issue or task at hand helps parents and children sort through the problem together without involving value comparisons. It also instills a sense of self-worth and confidence in children who experience feelings of anxiety or insecurity.  

Begin Integrating New Babies Early

Often older children begin to feel ignored and jealous of just-born siblings, so work hard to establish sibling connections as soon as you know you are expecting. By giving your older children “responsibilities,” you can help define new roles for them as helpers and caretakers. If they are old enough to behave themselves, even consider bringing them along to your appointments with high-risk obstetrician
Dr. Gilbert W. Webb or your particular physician in order to let your kids feel “in-the-know” and involved.  

Allow Limited Conflict

Noisy arguments and constant bickering between siblings can induce migraines for harried parents, but the occasional conflict among children actually serves to create a better understanding of one another. This form of sibling rivalry also teaches children how to interact with others without becoming overly aggressive. In addition, experience with arguments inside the home prepare children to compromise in other conflict situations.  

Offer Frequent Praise

There cannot be enough said about the effects of compliments and praise on developing children. Parents must take time to congratulate children on a job well done, whether it was taking out the trash or earning a perfect score on a difficult exam. Aim for at least three compliments per day for each child.   These secrets to creating familial bonds will serve siblings well in childhood and will translate into healthy adult relationships in the future. They are easy to implement and will begin to come naturally with time.  
Is Controlled Crying Harmful?...
    Written by Jenny Catton   When a baby cries all night long for no apparent reason parents can soon become desperate to find a way to get a good night’s sleep. One of the more controversial methods for dealing with sleepless nights is controlled crying. This approach (which is only ever suggested for babies over six months) is based on the premise that older babies often cry simply because they have fallen into a pattern of crying to get a cuddle. To break this habit, controlled crying involves leaving the baby to cry for increasing periods so that they break the connection between crying and instant attention. But is this approach harmful?     No – The Nanny   Older babies will often cry not because they need feeding or are in pain but just because they have got used to their mother magically appearing whenever they cry. When they persistently cry throughout the night this can cause all sorts of physical and emotional problems for parents.   When conducted properly, controlled crying isn’t unkind but instead teaches babies how to sleep properly. This not only ensures that baby gets a restorative night’s sleep but also encourages them to develop healthy sleep patterns for later life.   If you are confident that your baby isn’t crying from hunger or distress, then controlled crying can be a useful way to encourage them to sleep. By gradually building up the length of time that you leave your baby, they will quickly learn that crying won’t instantly make you appear at their side.   Controlled crying isn’t just for the benefit of parents; some mothers have reported that after implementing the method, their baby is more alert and feeds better during the day,following a good night’s sleep.   It may seem drastic for some parents but if you don’t tackle sleep problems before your baby becomes a toddler then you could be setting yourself up for years of sleepless nights.   Yes - The Mother   My baby wakes several times through the night and so I’ve spent a long time researching ways to address night-time crying. My friend suggested using the controlled crying method but after finding out more about it, I’ve decided that it’s definitely not something I would try.   Experts have shown that controlled crying can harm babies’ emotional wellbeing. When you ignore their cries, they quickly learn that they cannot trust their mother to be there when they need them. Several studies have shown that when left to cry, stress hormones flood through the baby’s brain. This can cause problems in the baby’s development and could even lead to anger and anxiety later in life.   I believe that a mother’s instinct is usually right and so if my instinct tells me to comfort my crying baby then that’s what I’m going to do. In my mind, a baby doesn’t cry for ‘no reason’. Okay, they may not need feeding or changing but wanting a reassuring cuddle is just as important. I agree that sleepless nights are hard but I’d rather help my baby to settle by cuddling or singing to him than by leaving him to cry on his own.     If you’re struggling to cope with a crying baby, call the Cry-sis helpline on 08451 228669, or visit:  

Family Medicine

Breaking Down Braces Options for Adults...
More adults are looking to straighten their teeth using braces. Thankfully, there are more options available for those looking for braces than ever before.  


Invisalign is a teeth straightening system that employs molded plastic tooth trays that are molded to fit the patient’s teeth. The trays are designed to align the patient’s teeth. Every two weeks, the patient will change out the trays as their teeth straighten. According to studies performed by the American Dental Association, Invisalign aligners make oral hygiene easier, thereby reducing the risks of oral infections, which in turn can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. The downsides of Invisalign are the price, which is considerably more expensive than traditional braces, and the fact that they are not designed for individuals who need serious dental correction.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces appear invisible because they are designed to run across the flip side of a person’s bite. Like traditional braces, they are made up of wires and metal brackets customized to fit the patient’s teeth. Lingual braces are a good option for individuals who have moderate to severe problems with spacing between their teeth. The downside to these braces is that they are more expensive than conventional braces. Also, because of their location in the mouth, they can be difficult to keep clean.

Self-Litigating Braces

While similar in appearance to conventional braces, the main difference is that
self-litigating braces use tiny plastic bands referred to as ligatures that connect to hooks on the face of the braces to hold the wire firm against the patient’s teeth. These braces are relatively easy to clean, and because they have a smoother surface, they are less irritating to the mouth. Additionally, adjustment times are shorter because the dentist will not have to replace the ligatures every time they tighten the arch wire. The number one con of these braces is that they are not entirely invisible.

Ceramic Braces

With ceramic braces, the brackets that are attached to the teeth are made of a translucent or tooth-colored material. At first glance, they seem almost invisible because they blend in with the patient’s teeth. The cons of this form of teeth alignment is that the ligatures are made from latex, which means that they can stain, thereby defeating the purpose of the translucent quality of the brackets. Ask Dr. Bruce Hartley or a dentist in your area what foods to avoid so you can keep your ceramic braces as clean and clear as possible. The number one complaint people have about going to the dentist either to have braces applied or have other dental work done is the anxiety, the worry, and the fear about discomfort while at the dentist. However, advances in dental care sedation techniques allow dentists to provide anxiety free, pain-free dental care. A straight smile is an essential part of having confidence and feeling good about oneself. The various forms of braces that are available for adults makes the goal of having a straight smile a reality that you can attain.
5 Sure - Five Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy...
  As the holiday season rolls around, you will encounter an abundance of sugary treats. While this is a big part of the holiday cheer, it's significantly less cheerful for your teeth. However, these five tips can help you keep your teeth healthy without putting a damper on your enjoyment.   1. Eat a Balanced Diet Be sure to balance those sweet treats with plenty of healthy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables. These foods help improve salivary production, which is your mouth's first line of defense against tooth decay. Saliva helps remove leftover bits of food and washes away the acids and bacteria that can damage teeth. Furthermore, the minerals in these foods will help to reinforce tooth structure.   2. Take Care with Sticky Candies Chewy treats like caramels and taffy are especially bad for your teeth. These foods adhere to the nooks and crannies in your teeth, creating an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and plague. In addition, the acidity of the sugar can also wear away at tooth enamel, causing decay and pain. It's best to limit your consumption of these candies, and when you do eat them, make sure you brush afterward.   3. Rinse Even after you eat non-sticky candies and foods, there will still be ample amounts of sugar and acids left behind. Not only can these contribute to bad breath but they can also cause decay if left there. Fortunately, there's a quick solution that can be done anywhere. Simply rinse out your mouth with water when you're finished indulging.   4. Go Sugar Free There are a wide variety of candies available that are sugar-free, yet taste just as good as conventional options. Those meant for diabetics are often sweetened with xylitol, a sugar alcohol that has actually been shown to protect teeth from decay. It does this by preventing oral bacteria from metabolizing sugars into erosion-causing acids. If you have to have candy, try substituting sugary candies for sugar-free ones whenever possible.   5. Be Wary of Hard Candies Hard candies are popular holiday treats. However, as tempting as they might be, you may want to consider avoiding them. They're responsible for a surprisingly large number of tooth injuries, like cracks and breaks. These conditions can be very painful and may necessitate an emergency visit to your dentist.   The holiday season holds many perils for your oral health. Tooth decay, cracks and breaks and tooth pain are all things you must take into consideration. By following these five tips and paying a visit to a quality dental clinic like Brantford Mall Dental Office, you can more effectively protect your teeth without sacrificing the holiday cheer.    


Four Injuries Where You May be Entitled to Co...
  Sometimes, accidents just happen. You may fall down a perfectly clean and well-lit staircase due to losing your balance, or your car may hit a patch of black ice and slam into a pole. However, some injuries occur due to someone's willful actions, inattention or negligence. In these cases, you may be entitled to compensation to cover you medical bills, pain, suffering, future loss of income and other expenses. Here are four types of injuries that may entitle you to compensation.    

Domestic Animal Bites

It is the pet owner's responsibility to make sure their animal is well-trained and does not harm others. If a pet can't be trusted, it should be kept muzzled or in another room. However, some pet owners are irresponsible. These injuries can be disfiguring, as well as can cause emotional disturbances such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If you've suffered a mauling or
animal bite, you are likely entitled to some compensation.    

Hit by a Drunk Driver

Driving while intoxicated is perhaps one of the most irresponsible things a person can do. Not only is it a crime, it's the sort of behavior that has the potential to hurt many others in addition to yourself. If you were hit by a drunk driver, there is no excuse. Whether you were driving, cycling or walking, you need to speak to a lawyer about your specific case.    

At-Fault Car Accidents

Not every car accident involves clear fault, but many do. If the driver causing the accident was texting while driving, was driving carelessly or violated traffic laws, you likely have the right to compensation. This is also true if the driver who caused the accident was speeding or acting recklessly. Talk to a lawyer before you sign any paperwork or accept any deals, especially if their insurance company is pressuring you as this may be a sign that they know they are liable.    

Failure to Properly Maintain Property

Anyone can lose their balance and fall down a flight of clean, dry, well-lit steps. However, business owners are required to make sure their properties are well maintained. If you slipped and fell on ice or tripped over a hole in the carpet, you may be entitled to compensation.     Not every accident involves fault. However, there are plenty of injuries caused by incidents that could have been avoided all together had the person or persons involved been more careful. If you have been injured in an accident where someone else was at fault, you should speak to legal counsel before accepting a settlement.     Information Source: ColoradoLaw.Net    
What Should You Do If You Are Involved in a P...
  People who are injured are often not responsible for the events leading up to the situation. The injury could have been caused by the negligence of someone else, a defective product or improper safety measures in the workplace. This can lead to a dispute about who is liable for the injury. You should do several things if you are involved in a personal injury dispute.  

Save All Documentation

The first step is to start saving all documentation related to the incident, injury and medical treatments. Save everything from reports and receipts to communications from insurance companies and the liable parties. Keep the documents in a safe place and make copies whenever possible. This documentation can be invaluable for proving your statements.  

Visit Doctors Even For Minor Problems

Do not ignore minor injuries or problems with your body. Visit a medical professional whenever you think something is wrong. Some very mild or almost unnoticeable issues are symptoms of a much larger injury. Additionally, some injuries grow worse over time and can become permanent disabilities. Get to a doctor or hospital whenever you suspect something is wrong.  

Try To Gather Evidence/Keep Records

Evidence of what happened when you were injured will start to fade away almost immediately. This is especially true if the injury occurred in a public place or a storefront. Try to gather as much evidence as possible as early as you can. Ask friends to help. Get photos of the location. Look for witnesses who saw the event. Write down a description of the event on paper just as you remember it. Solid evidence is important for winning a personal injury dispute.  

Do Not Talk About the Incident with Other Parties

It is important not to talk about the details of the incident with the liable parties or even with insurance companies unless you have representation. You might inadvertently say something that can be misinterpreted later. You might be tricked into admitting liability for the injury or stating that the injury is not serious. Answer basic questions only and wait until you have representation to go into more detail.  

Contact a Lawyer Right Away

If you are involved in a personal injury dispute, then contact a lawyer right away. A personal injury lawyer will defend your personal rights and assemble a strong case. Your lawyer will help to collect evidence that can be used in negotiations and in court if necessary. Hiring an attorney gives you the best chance possible of winning fair compensation for everything you lost due to the injury. 
Las Vegas personal injury resources & information is a great place to go if you are looking for more information   Do not let insurers or the liable parties intimidate you from pursuing compensation for your injuries. You sometimes need to fight in order to prove your claim. With patience and the help of a lawyer, you can eventually get fair compensation to cover you damages.