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So far Raising Multiples has created 126 blog entries.

Autism Research Updates

Sperm May Show Predictors of Autism Risk

Many experts believe that autism is usually inherited, but there is no genetic test to assess autism risk. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University asked, if genetic modifications are passed from fathers to their children, would it be possible to see them in the sperm?

“We wondered if we could learn what happens before someone [develops] autism,” said Dr. Andrew Feinberg, a professor of molecular medicine at the Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The researchers analyzed DNA in the sperm of 44 fathers of children with early signs of an autism spectrum disorder. The focus was not on genes themselves, but on “epigenetic tags” that help regulate genes’ activity.

The team identified 193 sites where the presence or absence of an epigenetic tag was related to autism. Many of the genes near these sites were involved in brain development.

Four of the 10 sites most strongly linked to autism were located near genes associated with Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes some of the same behavioral symptoms as autism, the study authors said.

In addition, several of the altered epigenetic patterns were found in the brains of people with autism, which supports the theory that they might be related to autism, the researchers pointed out.

The Hopkins team plans to pursue these preliminary findings with a study of more families and to examine the occupations and environmental exposures of the fathers.

Brief Clinical Observations Not Enough to Detect Autism

A study in Pediatrics analyzed whether autism could be identified in a 10-minute behavioral observation. The study included children aged 15 to 33 months who screened positive for autism at a large pediatric practice, and typically developing children.

Licensed psychologists with toddler and autism expertise, unaware of the children’s diagnostic status, analyzed two 10-minute video samples of participants measuring 5 behaviors: Responding, Initiating, Vocalizing, Play, and Response to Name.

Raters were then asked for autism referral impressions based solely on the individual 10-minute observations. They found that children who had autism showed more typical behavior (89% of the time) than atypical behavior (11%) overall. Expert raters missed 39% of cases in the autism group as needing autism referrals based on brief but highly focused observations.

The study authors concluded that brief clinical observations may not provide enough information about atypical behaviors to reliably detect autism risk.

Click here to review the study online.

Raising Multiples eNews Spring/Summer 2015

  • Ice Cream Day is Coming!
  • Survey: Caring about Multiples’ Sleep
  • Of Interest…..Really, Summer Homework?  Vaccinations
  • Back to School Shopping
  • Stories from the Heart blog




July is National Ice Cream Month

Just like our multiples, ice cream flavors are many and individual.  What is your favorite? July 19 is National Ice Cream Day so how will you celebrate?  How knowledgeable are you about ice cream? Quiz your kids.  When was the first frozen dessert made? Where was the cone invented? How many licks to eat a single serve cone? (Hint: triplets take 150)

Have a wonderful summer!

Survey: Caring about Multiples’ Sleep

Raising Multiples/MOST is assisting Case Western Reserve University with a research survey. Elizabeth Damato, PhD, RN , Madeline Haas, and Donna Dowling, RN, PhD are the investigators. Please see below for the criteria to participate.

The link to participate is: Caring About Multiples’ Sleep

We hope you consider participating.

Of Interest….Vaccinations and Summer Homework

This summer many children will recieve vaccinations for school or other reasons.  Or maybe numbing medication during a medical or dental procedure. Here are some tips to help at this, sometimes, traumatic event.

Back to School Shopping benefits you and MOST!

Make your  shopping easier by buying online! Save gas and do it any time of day…no kids to take! At the same time you can help MOST. Lots of supplies, clothes and other items are available on Amazon.com.

Or shop through iGive.com. There are many stores that will give a percentage of your purchase to MOST! Just by joining MOST will receive $5. And when you buy something, MOST receives another $5. You can sign in with facebook! Many stores participate including: Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, jcpenney, Macy’s and Staples.

Find MOST on all your other favorite sites:

MOST Amazon Affiliate ProgramFollow MOST on TwitterMOST's Facebook PageMOST's YouTube ChannelMOST LinkedIn GroupMOST Families Group on Flickr

10 Steps to Face the Tears and Fears Associated with Immunizations

by Laurie LaMonde, PhD Clinical Psychologist. Laurie is a member of Raising Multiples/MOST and a former board member.  She is also the mother to triplets and 2 singletons.

Many of these guidelines might be beneficial for children having to endure any invasive medical procedure (venipuncture, dental visits, etc.).  Be creative – you know your children and their interests the best.  Often, just your presence may be all the comfort they need!

If you have any additional ways that have helped your family cope with immunizations, please feel free to post them on facebook, this blog and/or contact the Raising Multiples/MOST office so that we can pass it along to other parents.  ♥♥


Once my children were able to talk, the dreaded question would  always  surface  when we headed to the pediatrician’s office.  As a parent, do we tell them the truth and hear the dreaded moans, as we have to peel them out of the van as they scream in terror, or do we say that we aren’t sure? The battles change as the children age, but the old adage “no pain, no gain” holds true for immunizations.   Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, a child may face up to 20 injections by age 2; however, the rate of previously fatal diseases has steadily declined. (more…)

Study: Giving Kids Sips of Alcohol Can Lead to Binge Drinking

http://www.raisingmultiples.org/wp-content/uploadsMost/2015/05/kids-drinking.jpgMany parents allow their kids to take a little sip of their beer or wine from time to time, but it’s not a good idea according to a new report.

The study involved surveys of 561 middle school students in Rhode Island over a three-year period. A little under a third of the students said they had sipped alcohol by the start of middle school, with most of those saying they got the alcohol from their parents at a party or on a special occasion.

Even when factoring out issues that could encourage problem drinking down the road, such as how much their parents drink, a history of alcoholism in their family, or having a risk-taking personality, the children who sipped were more likely to be drinking in high school, said Kristina Jackson, research associate professor at Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, and one of the study’s authors.

Twenty-six percent of the kids who had sipped alcohol said they had a full drink by the ninth grade versus less than 6% for the kids who never sipped alcohol, the survey found. Nine percent said they had binged on alcohol (had five or more drinks at one time) or gotten drunk versus under 2% for the non-sippers.

“I think the most important thing is to make sure that children know when drinking alcohol is acceptable and when it is not,” said Jackson. “I would say that it is advisable not to offer your child a sip of your beverage, as it may send the wrong message — younger teens and tweens may be unable to understand the difference between drinking a sip and drinking one or more drinks.”

Full story

Chefs to the Rescue for Healthier and Yummier School Lunches

http://www.raisingmultiples.org/wp-content/uploadsMost/2015/05/school-unch.jpgA new study finds that getting a professional chef’s input actually does improve fruit and vegetable selection in school cafeterias, leading students to eat more of them.

The study included more than 2,600 students in grades 3 through 8 at 14 elementary and middle schools in two urban, low-income districts in Massachusetts. At some of the schools, a professional chef taught school cafeteria staff how to improve the taste of healthy meals.

The schools also received advice about presentation, such as putting fruit in attractive containers, having vegetables at the front of the lunch line, and placing regular milk in front of chocolate milk.

After three months, students at the chef-assisted schools selected 8 percent more vegetables than those at schools without assistance. After seven months, students at the chef-assisted schools were 30 percent more likely to choose a vegetable and 20 percent more likely to choose fruit than those at other schools.

Adapted from an article in MedlinePlus – Health Information from the National Library of Medicine

June 25th, 2015|School-Age Multiples|