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Gluten-Free Cheese Pizza Recipe
Gluten-free cheese pizza is as basic as a gluten-free pizza recipe gets. Start with parbaked (partially baked) gluten-free pizza crusts and this pizza goes from start to finish in a preheated oven in just over 20 minutes.
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- Gluten free pizza crusts - available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or Fresh & Easy.
- 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil (adds flavor!)
- 1/2 cup good quality pizza sauce (I use Muir Glen Organic Canned Pizza Sauce)
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free Italian herb blend seasonings OR gluten free dried oregano
- 4 ounces freshly grated provolone cheese
- 1 ounce freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Preheat oven to 450° F
If you have a pizza stone place it in oven to preheat. If not, use a baking sheet or round pizza pan.
- Brush each pizza crust with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
- Evenly spoon 1 heaping tablespoon pizza sauce on each pizza.
- Sprinkle 1 ounce provolone and 1/4 ounce parmesan on each pizza.
- Sprinkle each pizza with about 1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs or oregano. Add crushed red pepper flakes (optional).
- Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon evenly over cheese layer.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.
Notes- Directions for this recipe are for making 4 small pizzas. If you are making fewer, larger pizzas, adjust ingredients used on each pizza accordingly.
Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.
Siblings Face High Recurrence Risk for Autism
By Laura Salahi,
August 15, 2011
One month before William and Carissa Hawn's second son was born, their first son, Logan, then 3, was diagnosed with autism.
"Logan was our first experience with autism," said William Hawn, 34, of Modesto, Calif. But when their second son, Aaron, was born, his pediatrician told the Hawns there was a 10 percent chance that he too would develop autism. Earlier studies are consistent with Aaron's pediatrician. Infants who have siblings with autism have a 3 to 10 percent increased risk for autism, a higher chance than the 1 percent risk among the general population.
But a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics now suggests the risk is higher than previously thought. The study, considered the largest autism study to follow infants for sibling recurrence, found that infants with an older autistic sibling have a near 19 percent risk that they too will develop the disorder.
"We were surprised and distressed to see how high the recurrence risk is," said Sally Ozonoff, professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the MIND Institute at University of California Davis.
Researchers from 12 different sites across the U.S. and Canada followed 664 infants with at least one older sibling diagnosed with autism. Within three years, nearly 19 percent of the infants were dioagnosed with autism. Thirty-two percent of those infants who had more than one sibling with autism were also diagnosed with the disorder. And the risk of autism nearly doubled for male infants, the study found.
Logan, now 4, has undergone almost a year and a half of applied behavior analysis. "The progress he's made has been undescribable," said Hawn.
Hawn said Logan would have probably progressed further by this point if he had been diagnosed earlier. "With Logan we were late in the game in some ways," said Hawn. His brother, Aaron, who was enrolled in Ozonoff's study, was diagnosed at 18 months and has begun early behavioral intervention.
"In this study we did not find that the gender of the existing child in the family helps predict recurrence," said Ozonoff. Since there are other risk factors for autism that could include genetic markers, an individual family's risk differs, Ozonoff said. In fact, many parents overestimate the recurrence risk. Ozonoff said in her clinic, many parents predict as high as 50 percent likelihood that their subsequent child will have autism. "For parents, [these number offer] awareness and a more accurate estimate," said Ozonoff.
Hawn and his wife Carissa grieved after receiving Logan's diagnosis. Although they were told that Aaron was also at risk for autism, Hawn said they redirected their focus on helping Logan, and tried to manage any environmental causes they thought might lead to autism. "We tried to ignore the possibility," said. "We chose to prioritize the pain that we were dealing with and ignored it."
Aaron was already born by the time the Hawns were informed about their risk. But Hawn said, had they known about the increased before Aaron was conceived, they would have reconsidered. "If we were given anything above 15 percent, we would have reconsidered," said Hawn. "I wouldn't have thought about having a second child if I knew, and we would've thought about adopting."
These findings could help parents who may be considering another child understand their overall quantifiable risk of autism recurrence. But these findings do not mean that every family is at the higher spectrum of risk, Ozonoff said.
Ozonoff said the findings could also change the way pediatricians examine infants with familial risk for autism.
"These children need careful monitoring and special surveillance [more] than what would be done at a well child visit," said Ozonoff. A closer look at infants at higher risk could lead to earlier detection of autism symptoms, Ozonoff said. "The whole point of early detection is to get the children referred and into intensive intervention as soon as possible," said Ozonoff. "The more effective intervention the earlier, the better they'll do."
Hawn said he credits Aaron's early detection and subsequent intervention for allowing him to progress further than Logan, who was not even monitored for autism at Aaron's age.
"The whole year and a half that we didn't have before with Logan will do wonders for Aaron," said Hawn. "It takes a lot of the sting and fear [out of] the second diagnosis because we're hopeful."
School Support for ADHD Children May Be Missing the Mark:
Inattention, Not Hyperactivity, Is Associated With Educational Failure
ScienceDaily (Sep. 12, 2011)
New research from the University of Montreal shows that inattention, rather than hyperactivity, is the most important indicator when it comes to finishing a high school education.
"Children with attention problems need preventative intervention early in their development," explained lead author Dr. Jean-Baptiste Pingault, who is also affiliated with Sainte-Justine Mother and Child University Hospital. The researchers came to their conclusion after looking at data collected from the parents and teachers of 2000 children over a period of almost twenty years.
In this study, attention problems were evaluated by teachers who looked for behaviour such as an inability to concentrate, absentmindedness, or a tendency to give up or be easily distracted. Hyperactivity was identified by behaviour such as restlessness, running around, squirming and being fidgety. The researchers found that only 29% of children with attention problems finished high school compared to 89% of children who did not manifest these inattention problems. When it came to hyperactivity, the difference was smaller: 40% versus 77%. After correcting the data for other influencing factors, such as socioeconomic status and health issues that are correlated with ADHD, inattention still made a highly significant contribution which was not the case for hyperactivity.
"In the school system, children who have attention difficulties are often forgotten because, unlike hyperactive kids, they don't disturb the class," said Dr. Sylvana Côte, who led the study. "However, we know that we can train children to pay attention through appropriate activities, and that can help encourage success at school."
The results of the study have been published as mental health experts have begun to debate whether or not it would be appropriate to separate hyperactivity and inattention problems in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). "These two health issues have now been more precisely dissected, and we may now need to define a differentiated type of inattention that is independent from hyperactivity, to improve our understanding of the phenomenon and better tailor interventions," Pingault said.
The study will be published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on November 1, 2011. The research was funded in part by the Fonds Québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the US National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health and the US National Consortium on Violence Research. The University of Montreal and Sainte-Justine Mother and Child University Hospital are known officially as Université de Montréal and Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, respectively.
University of Montreal. "School support for ADHD children may be missing the mark: Inattention, not hyperactivity, is associated with educational failure." ScienceDaily, 12 Sep. 2011. Web. 16 Sep. 2011.
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Early Motor Experiences Give Infants a Social
ScienceDaily (September 10, 2011)
In a new study published September 9 in the journal Developmental Science, researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Vanderbilt University found that early motor experiences can shape infants' preferences for objects and faces. The study findings demonstrate that providing infants with "sticky mittens" to manipulate toys increases their subsequent interest in faces, suggesting advanced social development.
This study supports a growing body of evidence that early motor development and self-produced motor experiences contribute to infants' understanding of the social world around them. Conversely, this implies that when motor skills are delayed or impaired -- as in autism -- future social interactions and development could be negatively impacted.
"Our results provide us with a new way to think about typical, and also atypical, development," said Klaus Libertus, PhD, the study's lead author and a research scientist at Kennedy Krieger Institute's Center for Autism and Related Disorders. "The mind is not independent from the body, especially during development. As motor skills advance, other domains follow suit, indicating strong connections between seemingly unrelated domains. Such connections have exciting implications, suggesting that interventions could target the motor domain to foster social development."
Previous research has found that infants diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show less interest in faces and social orienting. While the current study was conducted with typically developing infants, it indicates that infants who are at risk for ASD or show signs of abnormal social development may benefit from motor training as early as 3 months of age.
"For parents, this means that early motor development is very important and they should encourage motor experiences and active exploration by their child," said Dr. Libertus. "Fostering motor development doesn't have to be complex or require sticky mittens. Any interactions or games that encourage a child to develop independent motor skills are important."
In the study, the researchers divided 36, typically-developing, 3-month-old infants into two groups -- one receiving active motor experiences and the other receiving passive experiences. Infants in the active group were given mittens affixed with strips of Velcro, known as "sticky mittens." The researchers observed as infants in the active group played with the "sticky mittens" for 10 minutes each day for two weeks. While wearing the mittens, a brief swipe of the infants' arm made toys, also covered in Velcro, "stick" as if the infant had successfully grasped the object. Parents first demonstrated this by attaching the toy to the mitten, but then the toy was removed and the infant was encouraged to independently reach for the toy again.
In the passive group, infants were fitted with aesthetically similar mittens and toys, but without Velcro. Passive infants also played with the mittens and toys for 10 minutes each day for two weeks, but were only passive observers as parents provided stimulation by moving the toy and touching it to the inside of the infants' palms.
After two weeks of daily training, the researchers tracked the infants' eye movements while they watched images of faces and toys flash on a computer screen. Infants in the passive and active groups were compared with each other, as well as to two control groups of untrained infants composed of non-reaching 3-month-olds and independently-reaching 5-month-olds. Researchers found the following:
- The active group showed more interest in faces rather than objects. In contrast, the passive group showed no preference.
- Infants in the active group focused on faces first, suggesting strengthening of a spontaneous preference for faces.
- When compared to the untrained control groups, the social preferences of the 3-month-old infants who experienced active training were similar to those of the untrained 5-month-olds, indicating advanced development following training.
- Finally, individual differences in motor activity observed between all 3-month-old infants in the study were predictive of their spontaneous orienting to faces. Regardless of training experiences, the more reaching attempts infants made, the stronger was their tendency to look at faces. Thus, motor experiences seem to drive social development.
"The most surprising result of our study is that we see a connection between early motor experiences and the emergence of orienting towards faces," said Dr. Libertus. "Logically, one would predict exactly the opposite. But in the light of seeing actions as serving a social purpose, it does make sense."
A key question researchers hope to answer next is whether these early changes will translate into future gains for these children. "Our results indicate a new direction for research on social development in infants," said Dr. Libertus. Dr. Libertus and his colleagues will continue to observe these children to see if the social development benefits achieved during the current study are sustained one year later.
Support for this study was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health.
Kennedy Krieger Institute. "Early motor experiences give infants a social jump start." ScienceDaily, 10 Sep. 2011. Web. 16 Sep. 2011.
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