usually done only if less invasive scans have not provided answers. For this test a child is given general anesthesia. A fine tube is inserted into a blood vessel at the top of the leg and dye is injected through this into the brain; X-ray pictures are then taken of the blood vessels in the brain.
There are several treatments for children who have had a stroke, depending on the different needs of the individual child. Medications include aspirin, heparin, or warfarin, all of which thin the blood and make it less likely to clot. A child given heparin or warfarin needs regular blood tests to monitor the effects. Aspirin is much milder and does not require regular blood monitoring.
The outcome after a stroke is better for children than for adults. Children often have less permanent disability and often only minor delays in the development of coordinated movement or in cognitive functioning. Early diagnosis is important in order to prevent a second stroke and to start treatment to help the child recover fully.
Sturge-Weber syndrome A rare condition that affects the skin and the brain, caused by a spontaneous genetic mutation. How often it occurs in babies is not known, and because it is not often diagnosed, it is difficult to estimate how many children currently have the disease. The most obvious symptom of the disease is a port-wine stain birthmark, typically involving at least one upper eyelid and the forehead. However, every case of SturgeWeber is unique, and symptoms and skin abnormalities vary.
Neurological problems include unusual blood vessel growths on the brain called angiomas, which usually cause seizures beginning before one year of age and may get worse as the child grows. seizures usually appear on the side of the body opposite the port-wine stain and vary in severity. About 30 percent of children with Sturge-Weber also develop glaucoma (increased pressure inside the eye that impairs vision). Glaucoma is usually restricted to the eye that is affected by the port-wine stain. This eye may also become enlarged. In some cases, strokes can occur.
Children as young as one month old who have Sturge-Weber may undergo laser treatment to reduce or remove port-wine stains. Anticonvulsant medication may be used to control seizures associated with the disorder, and surgery is available to control glaucoma and vision problems.
stuttering A communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions, prolongations, or abnormal stoppages of sounds and syllables. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak. Stuttering affects more than three million Americans, and four times as many boys as girls. About 20 percent of all children go through a stage of development during which they encounter stuttering problems severe enough to be a concern to their parents.
Despite decades of research, scientists still are not sure what causes stuttering, although a variety of factors contribute to its development, including genetics, neurophysiology, child development, and family dynamics. Stuttering may occur when a combination of factors occur and may have different causes in different people. Experts believe that what causes stuttering is not the same thing as the reasons for the problem to continue or get worse.
Children and adults who stutter are no more likely to have psychological or emotional problems than children and adults who do not. There is no reason to believe that emotional trauma causes stuttering.
The best way to prevent stuttering is to treat problems early. If the stuttering lasts longer than three to six months or is particularly severe, parents may need to consult a speech-language pathologist who specializes in stuttering. There are a variety of successful approaches for treating children who stutter, although treatment is not an overnight process. However, a qualified clinician can help children and teenagers make significant progress toward fluency. (See also stuttering FOUNDATION OF AMERICA.)
Was this article helpful?
This book discusses the futility of curing stammering by common means. It traces various attempts at curing stammering in the past and how wasteful these attempt were, until he discovered a simple program to cure it. The book presents the life of Benjamin Nathaniel Bogue and his struggles with the handicap. Bogue devotes a great deal of text to explain the handicap of stammering, its effects on the body and psychology of the sufferer, and its cure.