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New App Measures Attention in 2 to 5-Year-Oldshttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/research-app-measures-attention-in-childrenNew App Measures Attention in 2 to 5-Year-Olds2020-11-13T06:00:00Z<p>​Designed with an engaging theme and graphics, the Visual Attention Processing Protocol (VAPP) application collects research data on how children between the ages of 2 and 5 process visual information in their environment.</p><p>Created by Anastasia Kerr-German, Ph.D., Director of the Brain, Executive Function and Attention Research Laboratory at Boys Town<sup>®</sup>, this app measures visual attention and brain processing efficiency during play, while keeping kids entertained and interactive. Available in the App Store, the VAPP application is accessible to researchers wishing to participate in normative data collection.</p><p>In keeping with the under-the-sea game format, the first thing children are asked to do is click on sea creatures as quickly as they see them. In the next tier of the game, children will have to make choices about the direction the fish are going and drag them to the right location on the screen. In the third part of the game, children will sort visual stimuli (sea creatures and sea trash) to the appropriate locations based on their labels.</p><p>This game tells us about how children see things and how they make choices about visual information in their environment. To keep the engagement level high, there are also parts of the game that are just for entertainment like a pop-the-bubbles segment and the ability to earn underwater treasure games. </p><p>The Child Visual Attention Protocol application gauges how children use categorical labels and visual attention to guide decision-making, both in the moment and during a task that requires attention skills. The Protocol tests what children know and how quickly they can process and make decisions about that visual information.</p><p> <img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Bear-App-1.png" alt="Child Visual Attention Protocol app" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px 15px 5px 5px;width:370px;height:278px;" />For example, in the “<em>Find the Fish"</em> exercise, children can quickly tap a creature with little thought in one portion of the task, which allows us to gauge how quickly they can process those visual stimuli. During <em>“</em><em>Where Are They Going?"  </em>and<em> “Rescue or Recycle?"</em> children must not only see the object but must label it and then do something with it. That is where decision-making comes in. Both pieces are important when understanding the development of attention in young children.</p><p>So far, the Child Visual Attention Protocol has been piloted with a dozen or so 2 to 5-year-olds and the children have been enthusiastic about using the application. There is still a large amount of normative data to collect before this can become a potential diagnostic tool to identify children who may be at risk for developing disorders such as ADHD. But the information collected to date is promising and might eventually help identify risk for ADHD much earlier than is now possible.</p><p>This application may eventually allow for diagnosis and care of those at risk for ADHD long before the behavioral and psychological struggles these children face become disruptive to their day-to-day lives. If interventions could start early, before school age, these children may have an easier time adjusting and there may be less of an impact on their academic achievement and social-emotional health.</p><p>“My hope is that we can use this app to better understand typically developing children prior to school age so that we may begin to understand the evolution of disorders of attention and executive functioning such as ADHD. A portion of our children in the Boys Town Residential Treatment Center, as well as outpatient clinics, have ADHD, and this line of research is aimed at early identification of risk and earlier interventions," said Dr. Kerr-German.</p><p>Researchers interested in helping to collect data for this ongoing project should contact Dr. Kerr-German through the Brain, Executive Function and Attention Research Lab at Boys Town National Research Hospital<sup>®</sup>.​</p> <a href="https://apps.apple.com/app/id1523758420" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/apple-store-badge.png" alt="Download on the iOS App Store" /></a>​<br>
Ears On! An Evidence-Based Program to Improve Hearing Device Use in Childrenhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/ears-on-program-improve-hearing-device-use-in-childrenEars On! An Evidence-Based Program to Improve Hearing Device Use in Children2020-11-03T06:00:00Z<p> <img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/ears-on-page.jpg" alt="Child with hearing aid participates in research study" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px 10px;width:344px;height:333px;" />For children with hearing loss, hearing devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants provide access to speech sounds that are critical to their development of spoken language. Ho<span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1">wever, children m</span>ust regularly wear their devices to receive the full language development benefits [1]. </p><p>Ears On is a program developed and evaluated by Sophie Ambrose, Ph.D., Coordinator of the Clinical Measurement Program and her team at Boys Town National Research Hospital. Ears On is designed to help parents ensure regular device use for their children. The program focuses on educating families of the importance of children consistently wearing their hearing devices and provides practical tips to help with compliance of wearing them. </p><h2>Practical Concerns Affect Hearing Device Use</h2><p>When it comes to getting children to wear hearing devices, there are some common challenges. We know children take them off without parents' knowledge. Parents may choose not to have kids wear their devices during some activities. Other caregivers may not realize the importance of the devices and may fail to encourage or enforce wearing them. And, families sometimes just forget [2-3]. </p><p>Some of these factors are made worse by a lack of understanding of the developmental importance of consistent hearing device use. Hearing the sounds of speech and language during critical developmental periods supports brain development that will affect a child's long-term academic, social and professional success.</p><h2>Ears On Education to Help Families Manage Hearing Device Use</h2><p>Ears On starts with ensuring parents understand their child's individual hearing loss, including the speech sounds their child will miss without amplification and the impact it can have on language development. The intervention also seeks to show parents how much of a difference they can expect in hearing and language development with regular device use and to empower parents to believe they can establish consistent device use.</p><p>To meet these goals, Ears On methods include reviewing the results of the child's previous hearing assessments, using simulations of the child's hearing with and without hearing devices, presenting video examples of the language development of children with hearing losses similar to their child's and discussion of related topics. </p><p>Finally, to help parents improve their child's hearing device use, Ears On includes sessions that support parents in identifying and becoming confident in using strategies to address each of the barriers the family faces in establishing consistent device use. For examples, parents may learn strategies to encourage their child not to remove his or her devices or advocacy strategies to use with other caregivers. </p><h2>Ears On Program Evaluation</h2><p>Dr. Ambrose and her team tested Ears On with three parent-child pairs, with the three children being from 16 to 33 months old at the time of entry into the study. After Ears On, they found that all three improved in hearing aid compliance, with two them meeting the program goal of eight hours of average daily device use [2].  This study shows early promise for supporting parents and children by offering an intensive intervention focused on hearing device use. One of the keys to the success of the intervention was the individualization based on each family's needs. Additional work by the research team has included developing and validating a measure of parents' perceived beliefs, knowledge, confidence, and actions related to supporting their children's hearing device use and language development. This tool, which is available in <a href="https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/jehdi/vol5/iss1/9/" target="_blank">a recent article in the Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention</a>, can help clinicians individualize their efforts to support families in increasing device use. </p><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital is recognized around the world as a leader in hearing and language research. </p><h2>References</h2><ol><li>Ambrose, S. E., Appenzeller, A., Al-Salim, S., & Kaiser, A. P. (2020). Effects of an intervention designed to increase toddlers' hearing aid use. <em>Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 25</em>(1), 55-67. doi:10.1093/deafed/enz032</li><li>Moeller, M. P., Hoover, B., Peterson, B., & Stelmachowicz, P. (2009). Consistency of hearing aid use in infants with early identified hearing loss. <em>American Journal of Audiology</em>, <em> </em>(1), 14–23. doi:1059-0889_2008_08-0010</li><li>Muñoz, K., Rusk, S. E. P., Nelson, L., Preston, E.,White, K. R., Barrett, T. S., & Twohig, M. P. (2016). Pediatric hearing aid management: Parent-reported needs for learning support. <em>Ear and Hearing</em>, 37(6), 703–709. doi:10.1097/AUD.0000000000000338</li></ol>
The Scientific Truth about Herd Immunityhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/scientific-truth-about-herd-immunityThe Scientific Truth about Herd Immunity2020-10-29T05:00:00Z<p>As we enter a crucial stage in the coronavirus pandemic, Nebraska's hospitals and public health agencies want you to know the truth about herd immunity. You may have read about this concept as a way to get us through this difficult time. It would be disastrous for our country, our health care systems, and for millions of fellow Americans. </p><p>The herd immunity concept is based in an assumption that everyone who recovers from COVID-19 is immune from re-infection. That is an assumption that has not been proven. In fact, medical scientists have now reported a number of persons with proven re-infection. With a virus that has existed for less than a year, it is impossible to know whether people can be re-infected on a large scale. </p><p>Let's look at the numbers:</p><p>For herd immunity to take hold, you would need a minimum of 60% of the entire population to be infected. Antibody studies tell us that some small pockets of New York City and Mumbai, India, may have reached 50% infection rates, but cities with major outbreaks have had overall infection rates of less than 25%. Based on CDC testing nationally, we estimate 10% of the U.S. population has experienced COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Given the overall number of confirmed deaths, we can estimate that approximately 0.6% of people with COVID-19 will perish as a result. As of this writing, over 220,000 Americans have already died from COVID-19. So, what would happen if 60% of the population were infected rather than 10%? Here are our estimates for what a “herd immunity" experience in the US would look like:</p><ul><li>197 million cases</li><li>3.6 million people hospitalized</li><li>1.2 million deaths</li></ul><p>This is not a solution. The loss of life would be many times more devastating than what we see now. The economic impact would be ruinous for our state and country. If you see statements that claim otherwise, keep in mind there has not been a single scientifically verified study anywhere in the world that shows unchecked herd immunity as a solution. </p><p>What is the solution? As scientists around the world work tirelessly toward a vaccine, we must follow what we know works to stop the spread. We agree with state leaders who encourage you to avoid the three Cs:</p><ul><li> <strong>Crowded places:</strong> Avoid gathering in groups where you cannot maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance from others</li><li> <strong>Close contact:</strong> Wear a mask whenever you are within 6 feet of people from outside your household. Masks work – scientific data from around the world continues to show this. In areas with mask mandates, the primary driver of COVID cases is people who spent significant time without their masks on in places like bars and restaurants</li><li> <strong>Confined spaces:</strong> Avoid enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. We know how the virus spreads. When people are physically separated from others by 6 feet or more in well-ventilated areas, they are much less likely to become infected.</li></ul><p>We do not have to choose between the total shutdown of society and letting the virus run unchecked through the population. We can instead rely on science and a spirit of helping each other by protecting each other and getting through this together. </p><p style="text-align:center;"> <img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/CoalitionBlogLogos.jpg" alt="healthcare logos" class="ms-rtePosition-4" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> </p>
Boys Town Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Unit 1-Year Anniversaryhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/child-adolescent-psychiatric-inpatient-unit-anniversaryBoys Town Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Unit 1-Year Anniversary2020-10-15T05:00:00Z<p> <strong>Congratulations to the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Center on Its 1-Year Anniversary! </strong></p><p>This month marks the 1-year anniversary of the opening of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Center at Boys Town National Research Hospital – West. During the last year, the Inpatient Center has provided expert, life-saving services and care to 280 children and teens. Please join us in celebrating the truly remarkable work the entire staff has done to provide healing and hope to some very vulnerable kids who are in desperate need our help.    </p><p>The Psychiatric Inpatient Center is the highest level of care in Boys Town's range of child-behavioral and mental health services and addresses a vital need for mental health services in the region. Children who come to the Inpatient Center are in crisis and present as a danger to themselves or others. Most patients are either suicidal or have attempted suicide, and all must be referred to the Inpatient Center by a doctor.</p><h2>A Healing Environment at Boys Town</h2><p>The 16-bed Psychiatric Inpatient Center provides the highest level of safety and care for children, ages 5 to 17, who need psychiatric hospitalization. It includes classrooms, a gymnasium, living spaces and recreational areas. While staying at the Inpatient Center, patients complete goal-setting exercises, attend school, participate in group activities and receive care and treatment from a multidisciplinary team of board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists, pediatricians and pediatric specialists, highly trained psychiatric nurses and social workers.</p><h2>Healing Beyond the Psychiatric Inpatient Center</h2><p>Upon leaving the Center, patients may be referred to one of Boys Town's lower levels of care, such as residential treatment, outpatient care, telehealth or in-home services to meet the behavioral and mental health needs of the child and family.</p><p>Most patients will return to their families and receive follow-up care at home. Follow-up care will begin within seven days of the patient's discharge to promote a strong community of care. Their social worker and teacher will also reach out and communicate as needed to ease the transition back to home.</p><p>Boys Town is proud of and grateful to all the hardworking, dedicated staff at the Psychiatric Inpatient Center. Over the last year, they have helped some of the most vulnerable children every day. The Inpatient Center has been a tremendous success, and we can't wait to see how it continues to grow and change the way America cares for children and families for years to come!</p>
Researchers and Kids Work Together to Create Scientific Article on Hearing Researchhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/research-kids-create-scientific-article-on-hearing-researchResearchers and Kids Work Together to Create Scientific Article on Hearing Research2020-10-09T05:00:00Z<p>Imagine if kids were offered the opportunity to give input and ask questions for a scientific journal. </p><p>Boys Town researchers Angela AuBuchon, Ph.D., and Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Director of Research, are doing just that in a similar manner with the publication <em>Frontiers for Young Minds</em>, which offers a unique approach to do this in a scientific journal that is aimed at young audiences. What makes it remarkable is that this journal emulates other peer-reviewed scientific publications, but with kids serving alongside scientist mentors as the editors and reviewers of submitted papers.</p><p>In their article, <a href="https://kids.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frym.2020.00104" target="_blank"><em>When Choosing NOT to Listen Helps You Hear and Learn</em></a><em>, </em>Dr. AuBuchon and Dr. McCreery explain the science of sound and perception related to their research. Kids learn that decibels (dB) are the scale that scientist use to quantify sound levels. They learn things about the anatomy inside the ear that turn sound waves into information signals that the brain understands, and they learn the parts of the brain that allow us to understand and pay attention to the sounds that matter to us.</p><p>The researchers also present a piece of data in the article that shows one area where science is helping to improve hearing experience for kids and adults with hearing loss. Our brains help us focus on someone speaking, as kids must do in the classroom, even when surrounding noises could distract from or distort the speaker. For children with hearing loss, it is harder to separate a speaker from a noisy background as is shown in their article. The figure itself, can be found in <a href="https://kids.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frym.2020.00104">the article</a>, and serves as an example for the reviewers and readers of how to present data in a quickly understandable visual summary.</p><p>To complete the article, kids review the submission with their own scientific mentors. The young reviewers asked their questions and offered suggestions to Dr. AuBuchon and Dr. McCreery in the same way that scientific peers would review papers in other journals. According to Dr. AuBuchon, “This is a really great opportunity for our researchers to work with the kids to create educational scientific content. They learn about the scientific process and we have the privilege to help develop the next generation of scientists that will continue the pursuit of new knowledge."</p><p>During the current COVID-19 pandemic, families in search of educational materials for home have also discovered this article, and the Frontiers for Young Minds journal. Dr. McCreery and Dr. AuBuchon have been contacted by some of these families and are happy to learn that they are using the content as an enrichment activity with their kids. This is exactly what we would hope for and it is possible because <a href="https://kids.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frym.2020.00104" target="_blank">the Frontiers for Young Minds article</a> is also open access, so anyone can read it!<br></p><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital is a global leader in hearing research and works extensively with children with a range of hearing needs. It regularly communicates technical findings through a variety of professional research and clinical publications. The hospital also works to provide educational content that is accessible to patients and families.​<br></p><h2>References<br></h2><ol><li>AuBuchon A. and McCreery R. (2020) When Choosing NOT to Listen Helps You Hear and Learn. Front. Young Minds. 8:104. doi: 10.3389/frym.2020.00104</li></ol><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter" target="_blank">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>
Jason Bruce, M.D., Appointed Boys Town Chief Medical Officerhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/jason-bruce-chief-medical-officerJason Bruce, M.D., Appointed Boys Town Chief Medical Officer2020-10-08T05:00:00Z<p>​​Boys Town is pleased to announce the appointment of Jason Bruce, M.D., to the position of Chief Medical Officer at Boys Town National Research Hospital and Clinics, effective Oct. 1, 2020. </p><p>Since joining Boys Town in 2006, Dr. Bruce has held leadership positions as Pediatric Practice Leader, Medical Director of Same Day Pediatrics and most recently, Associate Medical Director for Primary Care.<br>He has been instrumental in the growth of Same Day Pediatrics, a service offering same day sick appointments for all children in the area, by increasing capacity from one to four locations across the Omaha metro. His leadership while working with Incident Command during the COVID-19 pandemic has played a key role in maintaining the highest quality of care for Boys Town patients during this challenging time. </p><p>As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bruce will oversee the quality and safety of patient care delivered by medical staff. He will help lead the hospital and clinics in strategic planning, recruit and retain doctors and providers and oversee the operations of medical staff and patient services.</p><p>“Boys Town Hospital has seen tremendous growth in services and the number of patients we serve – most recently with the addition of higher levels of hospital care and pediatric neuroscience," said Edward Kolb, M.D., MBA, Executive Vice President of Health Care and Director of Boys Town National Research Hospital and Medical Clinics. “Dr. Bruce's leadership and attention to patient-centered care will help lead Boys Town Hospital as we continue to expand to serve more patients and families."</p><p>Dr. Bruce was awarded his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Creighton University School of Medicine. He completed residency training at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in affiliation with the Medical College of Wisconsin. He is board certified in pediatrics and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is part Hawaiian and a proud graduate of the Kamehameha Schools. As a bilingual physician (English and Spanish), he enjoys caring for a diverse patient population. </p><p>Boys Town congratulates Dr. Bruce on his appointment!​<br></p>
Peg Reit Named 2020 Professional of the Year by Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizationshttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/peg-reit-professional-of-the-yearPeg Reit Named 2020 Professional of the Year by Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations2020-10-08T05:00:00Z<div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7">​​​​​​​​​​<img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/PegReitPoster.jpg" alt="Peg Reit" class="inline-image__image" /></div>​ <p>Peg Reit spent over 27 years advocating for youth and families at Boys Town.</p><p>Even after being diagnosed with cancer, she continued to work every day to make a difference in the lives of children and families. Unfortunately, in June of this year, she lost a courageous bout to cancer. But her tireless work did not go unrecognized as the Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations (NABHO) recently named her as its 2020 Professional of the Year. This is the first time a Boys Town employee has won the award. She was honored in a virtual celebration on October 7. </p><p>The individual chosen for the NABHO award demonstrates outstanding leadership qualities and a commitment to supporting their peers and building alliances that strengthens the behavioral health system of care. Peg was a role model for other professionals in the behavioral health field. </p><p>As an administrator at Boys Town's Residential Treatment Center (RTC), she worked behind the scenes for NABHO in advocating for positive and constructive changes in Nebraska's mental health and Medicaid regulations. She spent countless hours reviewing and analyzing existing regulations with the goal of removing those that did not improve quality, patient care, or patient safety.</p><p>Peg developed an effective system of not only identifying what changes were necessary, but also proposing clear and concise language for regulations. As a result, she was effective in helping NABHO bring about significant changes in telehealth and child/adolescent related regulations. Additionally, in order to improve access to mental health and substance abuse services, she was a strong advocate for mental health parity and more equitable provider rates. </p><p>Peg worked on behalf of Boys Town Behavioral Health to expand the RTC, open the first new child inpatient program in over thirty years, and develop telehealth outpatient psychiatry services to improve rural access and provide continuity of service for children and adolescents in their home community. </p><p>Throughout her career at Boys Town, Peg was a passionate advocate for children and families. She humanized the psychiatric environment. Pat Connell, Vice President of Behavioral Health Services and Government Relations, who worked directly with Peg stated “She was determined to ensure that every child who entered Boys Town's services had a positive experience. She knew the traumas and heartaches of these children and was determined to make a difference. She always made sure that in addition to therapeutic services, there were plenty of seasonal activities for the children to engage in and that positive memories would be created while at Boys Town."</p><p>The holidays were a special time for Peg. She was acutely aware that many of the children in Boys Town's care had limited positive experiences during the holiday seasons. She made it her own personal mission to ensure the facility was festively decorated both inside and out. She was constantly looking for innovative ways to help children in the program celebrate and to experience the joys of each holiday season. </p><p>Peg was working on several new and expanded programs before she passed away.​ One of her colleagues, Dennis Vollmer, Director of Boys Town Residential Treatment Center, said she will be sorely missed not only for her spirit and passion in serving behavioral health patients and their families, but also for her relentless determination in improving Nebraska's mental health system. </p><p>“When I first met Peg, she immediately impressed me with her determined nature, advocacy for children, and sense of humor," Dennis said. “As my close colleague, she continued to display her strong will, determined spirit, and dedication to children. But it was during the past seven years that she and I worked together virtually daily. Her vision and clear thinking contributed to improvements in the design of our second RTC building as well as being a primary contributor to the overall design of the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit. She will be greatly missed."<br></p><p>Peg is survived by her loving husband, Kyle. Boys Town and Peg's family are determined to keep her memory alive through a memorial scholarship fund directed to the Boys Town kids who need it most. The “Peg Reit Memorial Scholarship" will go to a Boys Town senior that has spent time receiving services at the RTC.</p><p>Through your support, her legacy can live on for years to come.</p></div><p></p>​ <div> <a href="https://support.boystown.org/site/Donation2?df_id=3101&mfc_pref=T&3101.donation=form1" target="_blank" class="button is-primary">Give to the Peg Reit Memorial Scholarship Fund</a></div>
Shining a Light on Developmental Language Disorderhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/shining-a-light-on-developmental-language-disorderShining a Light on Developmental Language Disorder2020-10-07T05:00:00Z<p>​Developmental language disorder (DLD) is a highly prevalent neurodevelopmental condition that limits a person's ability to learn and use language. Despite the importance of spoken language for success in school, social settings, career and quality of life, there remains major obstacles in securing the quality and quantity of care needed to help children with DLD to reach their full potential.  </p><p>Considering its prevalence and impact, DLD is greatly under researched relative to other neurodevelopmental disorders, a situation that has not improved over the past decade. The number of children with DLD who receive clinical services also falls far short of prevalence estimates. In a recent article, Karla McGregor, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning at Boys Town Hospital, explores reasons for the relative neglect of DLD in research and clinical realms [1]. She maintains that increasing public awareness of DLD is a key step forward. </p><h2>DLD Awareness is an Ongoing Problem </h2><p>Despite being recognized and studied by speech-language experts for many years, Dr. McGregor points out that DLD remains an “unknown disorder". A lot of the confusion arises because of the large mix of terms used for DLD. If your child has been described as having a language delay, specific language impairment, expressive-receptive language disorder, speech-language impairment, or language learning disability they may have DLD. Organizations like Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder (RADLD) are working to implement more uniform terminology and a greater understanding of the settings and reasons why one might encounter one term or another. </p><p>Another problem with awareness, as Dr McGregor describes it, is that DLD is “a hidden disorder". Children with DLD often don't stand out as different. They “can carry on a basic conversation, follow a simple command, and answer a routine question [1]." Many children who are identified with DLD are diagnosed because they have a co-occurring condition such as a speech impairment, or a behavioral concern that is more noticeable than immature language patterns to adults. However, the consequences for academic success with DLD are often greater than those of co-occurring conditions. </p><h2>Improving DLD Care for Future Generations </h2><p>Progress will almost certainly accelerate if we can help parents and educators understand the critical importance of spoken language development to academic and social success and to alert them to potential signs of DLD. Speech-language researchers and clinicians must ensure that evidence-based information is accessible to educators, families and policy makers.  </p><p> <a href="https://dldandme.org/" target="_blank">DLDandMe.org</a> is a website founded by a nation-wide panel of experts to help. DLDandMe.org provides brief, readable summaries of evidence on a range of topics related to DLD such as <em>Causes of DLD</em>, <em>Gender Differences in Language Development</em>, the <em>Difference between DLD and Autism</em>, and <em>Test Score Interpretation</em>. Since 2017, RADLD.org has organized <a href="https://radld.org/dld-awareness-day/" target="_blank">DLD Awareness Day</a>, including events and multi-media campaigns designed to improve awareness. </p><p>This year's DLD Awareness Day is Friday, October 16, 2020. Keep an eye out for news, information and events on twitter and Facebook by following the hashtags #DLDseeMe and #DLDandMe. </p><h2>References </h2><ol><li>McGregor, K. A. (2020) How We Fail Children with Developmental Language Disorder. <em>Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch</em>. 5; 1–12. doi: 10.1044/2020_LSHSS-20-00003. </li></ol><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter" target="_blank">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>
Boys Town Collaborates to Expand Diversity in Speech Language Pathology and Audiologyhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/impact-efforts-expand-diversity-in-speech-language-pathology-audiology-fieldsBoys Town Collaborates to Expand Diversity in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology2020-10-06T05:00:00Z<p class="MsoNormalCxSpFirst">​Boys Town National Research Hospital is pleased to announce that we are supporting faculty at Hampton University and Case Western Reserve University in a program designed to improve minority representation in speech language pathology and audiology graduate programs, clinics, and research. </p><p class="MsoNormalCxSpMiddle">The IMPACT (Innovative Mentoring and Professional Advancement through Cultural Training) Program is a 1-year program that will provide formal mentoring to students in communication sciences programs from underrepresented backgrounds. Mentorship will be provided by diverse faculty at research-intensive universities and hospitals to enhance practical learning opportunities through research training, communication skills development, and formal test preparation to improve the students’ readiness in graduate school.</p><p class="MsoNormalCxSpMiddle">The overarching goal of the IMPACT Program, according to co-collaborators Jessica Sullivan, Ph.D. at Hampton University and Lauren Calandrucio, Ph.D., at Case Western Reserve University “is to begin to train the next generation of speech-language pathology and audiology leaders who encompass inclusion, diversity, and compassion.”</p><p class="MsoNormalCxSpMiddle">Boys Town Hospital researchers, Monita Chatterjee, Ph.D. and Daniel Rasetshwane, Ph.D. will join students in September for a virtual “family dinner” where they will discuss their experiences as prominent scientists from underrepresented minority groups. On October 22, multiple investigators from Boys Town Hospital Research will be conducting virtual lab tours and providing an overview of what it’s like to be part of our research team.</p><p class="MsoNormalCxSpMiddle">Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Director of Research, and Lori Leibold, Ph.D., Director of Hearing Research, will be supporting IMPACT Program initiatives at Boys Town National Research Hospital. Dr. Leibold explains that “Boys Town Hospital is committed to promoting inclusion and diversity. The IMPACT Program will give students who are traditionally underrepresented in hearing and language sciences insight into their fields of interest and prepare them to join the next generation of researchers and clinicians. We are proud to be a part of this effort, which will serve as a model for similar local programs in the future, supported by the IMPACT Program team.”</p><p class="MsoNormalCxSpMiddle">The IMPACT Program is funded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.</p><h2>About Boys Town National Research Hospital</h2><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital offers a broad range of hospital and clinic services, backed by 40 years of life-changing research to provide the latest, most innovative care to our patients. The Hospital is internationally recognized as a leader in hearing research and clinical care and is leading research efforts in language and neuroscience to improve the lives of children and families across America.</p><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter" target="_blank">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>
Boys Town Pediatric Neuroscience Expands Care to Help More Familieshttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/pediatric-neuroscience-care-clinic-expansionBoys Town Pediatric Neuroscience Expands Care to Help More Families2020-10-02T05:00:00Z<p>​When children need neurological care, they need this life-changing, and often lifesaving, care as quickly as possible. To help meet this need, Boys Town National Research Hospital is expanding pediatric neuroscience care with more physicians, clinics and telemedicine to provide even greater access to care for children in the Omaha community and across the region. </p><p>With the recent addition of three pediatric neurologists, Boys Town Hospital is one of the largest pediatric neuroscience teams in the state with a team of neurologists, neurosurgeons and pediatric specialists to provide care for co-occurring conditions.</p><p>Pediatric Neuroscience services are now available at three locations: Boys Town Medical Clinic - Pacific Street, 14080 Boys Town Hospital Road on Boys Town Campus; Boys Town Medical Clinic – Downtown, 555 North 30<sup>th</sup> Street, and an outreach pediatric neurosurgery clinic at CNOS Medical Clinic in Dakota Dunes, SD. </p><p>To reach more children and families across the state and our neighboring communities, patients can now meet with their neurology specialists online. This service has been especially beneficial for the Boy Town Autism Clinic, as it allows children to remain in the comfort and familiarity of their home while visiting with their specialist.  </p><p>Boys Town Pediatric Neuroscience provides care for the whole child, from medical diagnosis and treatment to wrap-around services that address physiological, social, emotional and co-occurring conditions. We are excited to share of our growth and continue expanding neurological services that change the way America cares for children and families.</p><h2>Three Pediatric Neurologists Join Boys Town National Research Hospital</h2><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital is pleased to welcome three pediatric neurologists across two clinic locations: Boys Town Pacific Street Clinic, 14080 Hospital Road (Boys Town Campus) and 555 North 30<sup>th</sup>​ Street.</p><p> <img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/NaranjoValeria.jpg" alt="Valeria Naranjo" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin-left:0px;margin-right:10px;width:170px;height:170px;" /> <strong>Valeria Naranjo, M.D.</strong>, is a pediatric neurologist with a special interest in neurodevelopmental disorders in children. She received her medical degree from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador in Quito, Ecuador and completed her pediatric residency at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. She completed a child neurology fellowship at the University of Kentucky.<br clear="all"></p><p> <img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/BandatmakurMadhav.jpg" alt="Madhav Bandatmakur" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin-left:0px;margin-right:10px;width:170px;height:170px;" /> <strong>Madhav Bandatmakur, M.D.</strong>, joins Boys Town Hospital from Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University where he completed his pediatric and pediatric neurology residency and served as chief resident and chief educational officer for the pediatrics department. He received his medical degree from Andhra Medical College in Visakhapatnam, India.<br clear="all"></p><p> <img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/LullaDinesh.jpg" alt="Dinesh Lulla" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin-left:0px;margin-right:10px;width:170px;height:170px;" /> <strong>Dinesh Lulla, M.D.</strong>, is a pediatric neurologist with special interest in neurogenetics. He joins Boys Town Hospital from Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University where he completed his pediatric and pediatric neurology residency and served as chief resident for the child neurology department. He received his medical degree at National Medical College, Nair Hospital in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.<br clear="all"></p>
Language Benefits of Hearing Aid Use are Significant in Fourth-Grade Childrenhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/language-benefits-hearing-aid-useLanguage Benefits of Hearing Aid Use are Significant in Fourth-Grade Children2020-09-08T05:00:00Z<p>​While it is not the only factor, the quality of our children's hearing plays a pivotal role in how well they understand speech and develop spoken language skills. However, there is some ambiguity when it comes to assessing and treating kids with mild, bilateral hearing loss. In these cases, there is not always a strong clinical opinion for early fitting or consistent wearing of hearing devices. This is partly because these kids do not always appear noticeably different from their classmates in every day conversation, or on language tests, so clinicians and families may take a “wait-and-see" approach to hearing devices.</p><p>Scientists at Boys Town National Research Hospital and the University of Iowa have been collaborating on a series of studies to see what the real benefits of consistently worn and early fit hearing aids are for kids, and especially those with mild hearing loss. As part of this collaboration, Elizabeth Walker, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, and others recently assessed both written and spoken language skills of fourth-grade children to identify the language risks associated with mild hearing loss [1].</p><p>In this study, the team compared 60 children with mild, bilateral hearing loss and 69 peers with typical hearing. All participants were tested the summer after fourth grade. Dr. Walker and her team found that kids with hearing loss had significant deficits in spoken language comprehension and understanding of morphology—the structural parts of words that indicate verb tense or plurality, such as  the word endings in “He is play<em>ing</em>" or “She walk<em>ed</em>" or “many cat<em>s"</em>. In contrast, vocabulary and reading were not significantly different between the kids with hearing loss and typical hearing.</p><p>The goal of this study was not just to see what the language differences were, but also to see how intervention with hearing aids affected these outcomes. Therefore, Dr. Walker's team also needed to know from caregivers how much the kids in the hearing loss group wore their hearing aids. Kids with milder hearing loss, whose caregivers reported more time wearing hearing aids, did better with comprehension of spoken language than kids with more severe hearing loss and/or lower hearing aid usage.</p><h2>What These Findings Tell Us</h2><p>Findings from this study show us that consistent hearing aid use is important for kids to reach their full language potential. Furthermore, waiting to see how kids with mild, bilateral hearing loss do before recommending hearing amplification could come at the cost of some language ability. This is something clinicians should emphasize to families of children with mild hearing loss. Along with educating families, clinicians should strongly consider early hearing testing and intervention for children with mild hearing loss.</p><h2>Related reading</h2><p>Last year, Ryan McCreery Ph.D., Director of Research at Boys Town Hospital, and co-authors published a paper titled, <em>Audibility-based hearing aid fitting criteria for children with mild bilateral hearing loss [2]</em>. That paper outlines a set of guidelines for assessing when children with mild, bilateral hearing loss should be fitted with hearing aids based on language outcomes. <a href="/news/checking-speech-audibility-importance-when-assessing-hearing-loss">Read more about that study</a>.</p><h2>References</h2><ol><li>Walker E. A., Sapp C., Dallapiazza M., Spratford M., et. al. (2020) Language and Reading Outcomes in Fourth-Grade Children With Mild Hearing Loss Compared to Age-Matched Hearing Peers. <em>Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch</em>. 51(1):17–28. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_LSHSS-OCHL-19-0015" target="_blank">https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_LSHSS-OCHL-19-0015</a>. </li><li>McCreery R.W., Walker E.A., Stiles D.J., Spratford M., et. al. (2020) Audibility-based hearing aid fitting criteria for children with mild bilateral hearing loss. <em>Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch</em>.​ 51(1): 55–67. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_LSHSS-OCHL-19-0021" target="_blank">https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_LSHSS-OCHL-19-0021</a>.</li></ol><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div> ​<br>
Alcohol and Cannabis Use Alter Emotional Processing of Future Eventshttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/alcohol-cannabis-use-disruptionAlcohol and Cannabis Use Alter Emotional Processing of Future Events2020-08-27T05:00:00Z<p>​​Alcohol and cannabis are two of the most commonly abused drugs, and early use puts kids at higher risk of long-term cannabis and alcohol use disorders. Because their brains are still developing, there are substantial concerns about the long-term impacts of substance use. At Boys Town National Research Hospital, we often work with kids with substance use issues and our neurobehavioral research team is working to provide clinicians with a better understand of the impacts of substance use on the brain.<br></p><p>While most people understand that our short-term judgement is impaired under the influence of alcohol or cannabis, there is also evidence that regular substance use leads to longer term impairment in judging good or bad outcomes. With this in mind, the neurobehavioral research team, led by Joseph Aloi, M.D., Ph.D. and James Blair, Ph.D. recently conducted a study of 112 adolescents, 14 to 18 years old.  Their goal was to determine the extent the teens' prior alcohol and cannabis use affected how their processing of possible future outcomes.<br></p><div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7"> <img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/OB_Picture.png" alt="brain activity" style="max-width:100%;" /> <p>Figure 1. Brain regions involved in responding to emotional outcomes that are less responsive in those with heavier prior cannabis use.</p></div><p style="margin-bottom:1rem;">The researchers found that severity of prior cannabis use, in particular, changed how the adolescent’s brains responded to high-intensity good, or high-intensity bad possible futures. This activity can be seen on brain scans in brain regions known to respond to emotional outcomes.<br></p><p>Representing emotional outcomes well is important. To live well, we need to act to avoid highly negative futures and work towards highly positive ones. The data from this study showed that cannabis use significantly impairs this ability.. </p><p>This problem also has implications for treatment. When someone comes in for treatment, one of the tools clinicians rely on is the person’s motivation to change drug use. A diminished capacity to imagine and and work towards a positive future identifies yet another difficulty faced by adolescents with a history of high cannabis use.​</p></div><p>One thing we don't yet know is how long these changes are. It will be important to determine the extent to which successful treatment, including the Boys Town model, reverses this difficulty. </p><h2>References</h2><ol><li>Aloi, J., Blair, K. S., Meffert, H., et. al. (2020) Alcohol use disorder and cannabis use disorder symptomatology in adolescents is associated with dysfunction in neural processing of future events. Addict Biol; epub ahead of print. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/adb.12885" target="_blank">https://doi.org/10.1111/adb.12885</a> </li></ol><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div> ​<br>
Behavioral Health Care is Now Available in Every Boys Town Pediatrics Clinichttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/behavioral-health-available-in-every-clinicBehavioral Health Care is Now Available in Every Boys Town Pediatrics Clinic2020-08-03T05:00:00Z<p>​​​Boys Town outpatient child and adolescent psychiatry and behavioral health counseling services are now in five Boys Town Pediatrics clinics across Omaha. </p><p>Mental and emotional health has been ranked one of the top health concerns among children and teens in the Omaha metropolitan area, according to the recent <a href="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_docs/2018-Child-Adolescent-Community-Health-Needs-Assessment-Report.pdf" target="_blank">Child and Adolescent Community Health Needs Assessment</a>, a study sponsored by Boys Town National Research Hospital, Children's Hospital and Building Bright Futures. </p><p>“The need for mental health care for children continues to grow," said Jason Bruce, M.D., associate director of Boys Town primary care and pediatrician at Boys Town Pediatrics. “We have embedded psychiatry and counseling services into our primary pediatric clinics to provide greater access to this needed care, and to provide a team approach to mental, social and emotional care for our patients and their families."</p><p>During a medical visit or examination, a parent may reach out for behavioral health support or a child may show signs of mental health struggles. Having counselors and child psychiatrists in the same building with our pediatricians helps us better coordinate and accommodate the additional care that some of our patient families need. It also provides a resource for pediatricians if they have concerns about a patient and when to refer to a behavioral or mental health provider. </p><p>Boys Town Behavioral Health provides diagnostic and counseling services for children with ADHD, school problems, anxiety, anger management challenges, depression, phobias, peer relationship challenges, habits, sleep problems, eating disorders, neurodevelopmental delays and spectrum disorders. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provides diagnostic services for the above, in addition to individualized treatment plans which may include medication management.  </p><p>“Boys Town is known for its top behavioral and mental health care services," said Dr. Bruce. “Now, we are improving access to these great services by bringing them to our patients." </p><p>Boys Town Pediatrics is located at five clinics across the Omaha area:</p><ul><li>Downtown Clinic (30<sup>th</sup> & Dodge Street)</li><li>72<sup>nd</sup> Street Clinic (72<sup>nd</sup> & W Center Road)</li><li>Pacific Street Clinic (139<sup>th</sup> & Pacific Street, on the Boys Town Campus)</li><li>Lakeside Clinic (168<sup>th</sup> between W Center Road and Pacific Street)</li><li>Harrison Street Clinic (180<sup>th</sup> & Harrison Street)</li></ul>​ <p>If you are a current Boys Town Pediatrics patient family and are interested in behavioral health services, please talk to your child's physician or medical provider, or call <a class="js-phone">(531) 355-1449</a>.​</p>
Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Recognized for Professional Achievement with Prestigious ASHA Awardhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/prestigious-asha-professional-achievement-award-ryan-mccreeryRyan McCreery, Ph.D., Recognized for Professional Achievement with Prestigious ASHA Award2020-08-03T05:00:00Z<p>​​​​We are very pleased to recognize our Director of Research, <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/ryan-mccreery">Ryan McCreery, Ph.D.</a>, for his selection as a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). ASHA has more than 211,000 members and is the primary professional, credentialing and scientific organization for speech-language pathologists, audiologists and speech/language/hearing scientists. Fellowship is the most prestigious recognition they can award for professional contribution and achievement. </p><div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7">​​​​​​​​<img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/McCreeryRyan.jpg" alt="Ryan McCreery, Ph.D." class="inline-image__image" /> <h2 class="is-size-5">Ryan McCreery, Ph.D.</h2><p>Director of Research, Boys Town</p></div>​ ​ <p>Dr. McCreery was nominated by his colleagues, including ASHA Fellow Mary Pat Moeller, Ph.D. Among his many leadership strengths, Dr. Moeller emphasizes that “Dr. McCreery brings a rare combination of clinical and scientific expertise, people skills, management knowledge, the ability to make tough decisions and a strong vision for the future of the organization he is leading.” </p><p>Ryan joined Boys Town National Research Hospital in 2004 as a research audiologist. He worked with Pat Stelmachowicz, Ph.D., former Director of Audiology at Boys Town Hospital, who realized that Ryan would make an excellent researcher and encouraged him to pursue his doctorate. Ryan earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011, researching hearing and top-down processing of auditory information in children. </p><p>Along with being Director of Research, Dr. McCreery is also Director of the Audibility, Perception, and Cognition Laboratory. His current research is advancing our understanding of the importance of auditory experience, including optimal hearing amplification in kids with hearing loss, for the proper development of language. </p><p>Dr. McCreery’s research helps families and clinicians understand the importance of consistently wearing hearing aids to facilitate a rich sound environment that supports healthy brain development. Ryan also recently published guidelines that emphasize language understanding and development when fitting hearing aids in children. Dr. McCreery also notes that “children who lack sufficient sound exposure early on, may not attain their full language potential even if they get that experience later in life.” </p><p>One of Dr. McCreery’s regular collaborators, Beth Walker, Ph.D., at the University of Iowa describes his research by saying, “Ryan McCreery has accomplished more in terms of promoting evidence-based practice in pediatric audiology in 10 years than most people accomplish in a lifetime.” </p><p>To understand why Dr. McCreery deserves this award, you simply need to look at how versatile he is as an investigator, leader and administrator. Brenda M. Ryals, Ph.D., is a professor at James Madison University and a colleague of Dr. McCreery. She sums up her support for his award with: “A brief review of Dr. McCreery’s resume provides easy evidence for his skill and success at administration. It is nothing less than astounding to review the speed with which Dr. McCreery moved from Research Audiologist in the Boys Town Hospital Hearing Aid Research Laboratory (2007) to Director of Research in 2017. Such a speedy advancement is a strong indication of his superior skills in administration, as well as the high degree of regard with which he is held by peers and higher administration.” </p><p>Ryan also takes a special interest in mentoring researchers who are at the beginning of their careers and helping them to meet their full potential. Many of his peers would likely agree with Adam Bosen, Ph.D., who said, “He is willing to commit resources, both institutional and his own time, to ensure the success of researchers at Boys Town. Despite his numerous responsibilities, he has never turned down a request to meet with me and has always provided high quality advice on anything I have asked him about. I have said numerous times that I think Boys Town National Research Hospital is the best place in the world for me to start my career, and I believe that Ryan's leadership is an essential component of what makes Boys Town excel in hearing science.”​</p><p>Dr. McCreery is highly sought after for his ability to communicate clinical and scientific information. He has given over 160 talks. His schedule is always full but never too full to find time to look out for the needs of his colleagues. Perhaps most importantly, Dr. McCreery remains energetic and committed and likely has many years ahead in a career that has already benefitted so many. </p><p>​On behalf of Boys Town National Research Hospital, we would like to congratulate Dr. McCreery for being recognized for his research, clinical care and leadership and for his contributions to advancing the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology to improve the lives of children and families. </p><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div></div>
Developmental Language Disorder Affects Adult Learning Toohttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/developmental-language-disorder-affects-adult-learningDevelopmental Language Disorder Affects Adult Learning Too2020-07-24T05:00:00Z<p>​<a href="/knowledge-center/red-flags-developmental-language-disorder">​Developmental language disorder (DLD)</a> is a common condition, affecting around 7% of the population. A key feature of DLD is that it cannot be explained by other conditions that affect language learning like intellectual disability, <a href="/knowledge-center/autism-spectrum-disorder">autism s​pectrum disorder</a>, or <a href="/knowledge-center/about-hearing-loss">hearing impairment</a>. In other words, the primary problem is difficulty learning, understanding, and using language. The problem arises in childhood; however, DLD persists into adulthood, interfering with language learning in ways that can affect educational and professional achievement. </p><p>Most research on DLD is focused on school-aged children ​where the goal is to support effective strategies for educational programs. For adults with DLD, there is much less awareness and information. <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/karla-mcgregor">Karla McGregor, Ph.D.</a>, and her team at Boys Town National Research Hospital have been working to address this information disparity. </p><p>In a series of studies they hav​e examined the ability of young adults with DLD to learn and recall new words. Dr. McGregor explained that “there are many parts to learning a new word, including its sounds, spelling, meaning, grammatical role, and its appropriate use”. Her research shows that adults with DLD have strengths and well as weaknesses in various aspects of word learning. </p><p>In their most recent study [1], the team found that learning new words is a challenge for young adults with DLD but, once learned, their memory for the new words was generally good. There is also an interesting finding from this study that the women demonstrated stronger retention of the words than men, although this finding varies across studies. When it comes to new words, learning the sounds and their order is difficult for people with DLD, but learning word meaning is also a relative strength. </p><p>One of the biggest challenges with DLD is awareness. It is a prevalent condition, but many people have never heard of it. Researchers at Boys Town Hospital and around the world are working to educate people, develop resources, and raise awareness. If you are interested in learning more about these efforts, check out Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder (RADLD) and <a href="https://www.dldandme.org/" target="_blank">DLDandMe.org</a> for more articles and information.</p>​ <h2>References</h2><ol><li>McGregor, K.K., Arbisi-Kelm, T., Eden, N., Oleson, J. (2020) The word learning profile of adults with developmental language disorder; Autism & Developmental Language Impairment; 5(1) 1–19. DOI:10.1177/2396941519899311</li></ol><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>
Going the Distance for Life-changing Care: Lincoln's Storyhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/life-changing-craniofacial-care-lincolns-storyGoing the Distance for Life-changing Care: Lincoln's Story2020-07-23T05:00:00Z<p>​​​​Little Lincoln Johnston’s path to Omaha might have been long, but his road to recovery looks to be on track thanks to the doctors and staff at Boys Town National Research Hospital. </p><p>Kylee Johnston and her husband started to notice ridges on Lincoln’s head at 1 year old. Lincoln’s pediatrician assured his parents the ridges were normal, and kids can grow out of it. However, when they returned for Lincoln’s 18-month check-up, the pediatrician said it was time to look to a specialist. </p><p>Lincoln was diagnosed with sagittal craniosynostosis. This condition causes pressure on the brain and prevents it from growing. Surgery can reduce the pressure and allow for proper brain development. </p><p>With the Johnston family being from Collinsville, Oklahoma, they had never heard of Boys Town Hospital, but that all changed. </p><p>Kylee turned to her craniosynostosis group on Facebook for recommendations and heard great feedback about Dr. Jason Miller, craniofacial surgeon, and Dr. Linden Fornof​f, pediatric neurosurgeon, at Boys Town Hospital, and the family decided to make the drive to Omaha. </p><p>In November of 2019, the Johnstons came to Omaha and decided surgery was Lincoln’s best option. Dr. Miller and Dr. Fornoff removed a small strip of Lincoln’s skull allowing Lincoln’s brain to expand and grow normally. </p><p>The Johnstons said they couldn’t have been more pleased with their experience at Boys Town Hospital. </p><p>“The whole hospital experience was great,” Kylee said. “Lincoln had been hospitalized before, but we have never seen the doctors as much as we did here. I felt he was a priority. From the first appointment, to the diagnosis, to the surgery, the care here was just phenomenal, and I haven’t seen that care at another hospital.”</p>​ <p>Approved by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, the comprehensive team of physicians, surgeons, clinicians, nurses and support staff help make Boys Town Hospital a truly unique place to care for children with craniofacial conditions. </p><p>For Lincoln and the Johnston family, the journey to Omaha was a life-changer.</p><div class="embed-container"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wKk86kezYGE" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div>
Researchers Investigating How Isolation is Stressing Kids During the COVID-19 Pandemichttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/how-isolation-social-distancing-affect-kids-mental-healthResearchers Investigating How Isolation is Stressing Kids During the COVID-19 Pandemic2020-07-22T05:00:00Z<p>​​There are many societal impacts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, beyond just the viral illness. One of the most widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is the sudden, unexpected social isolation resul​ting from adults and children being encouraged or forced to stay at home, sometimes with accompanying job loss. W​hile isolation helps to slow the spread of the virus, it also creates another stressful and unhealthy set of problems.</p><p>Researchers at Boys Town National Research Hospital, led by <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/stuart-white">Stuart White, Ph.D.</a> and <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/anastasia-kerr-german">Anastasia Kerr-German, Ph.D.</a>, are attempting to determine how the sudde​n shift this spring has been affecting children who, without any transition, went from highly social school environments to at-home isolation. According to Dr. White, this pandemic is unprecedented in modern times, and technology and media make it unlike any historic comparisons. </p><p>Since COVID-19 virus transmission is still a concern, Dr. White and Dr. Kerr-German designed <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/neurobehavioral/current-studies/covid-19-isolation-study">an online study to assess how the stress of this pandemic is affecting kids</a>. The study has several components to help us get a clear idea of how kids are handling stress. Kids who participate will fill out a survey that asks relevant questions about things like how they are coping, how they feel about being at home, and their relation​ships. Parents will also complete a survey asking questions about how the family is coping with the pandemic. </p><p>Along with these quality of life indicators, youth will complete a series of downloadable computer tasks. Dr. Kerr-German says that their task performance will quantify things like emotion regulation, attention, and adaptive thinking. Finally, the data from the assessments will be put into biological context with hormone levels from a small hair sample. </p><p>Dr. White explains that human hair stores certain biological markers of stress that can be reliably analyzed for up to 3 months after a stressful event. Hair samples are also ideal for this study because they can be easily done at home and sent through the mail with minimal precautions. </p><p>This research will support our own extensive youth care programs, as well as supporting best practices at other organizations. School administrators and other policy makers are also in need this kind of critical information as they weigh the importance of returning to school and assessing what complicating factors they will need to deal with when they are allowed to return. If you are interested in finding out more about this study, you can contact the lab at <a href="mailto:DCN.lab@boystown.org">DCN.lab@boystown.org</a>.</p><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>
Childhood Sexual Trauma Alters Emotional Regulation and Brain Developmenthttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/childhood-sexual-trauma-alters-emotional-regulation-brain-developmentChildhood Sexual Trauma Alters Emotional Regulation and Brain Development2020-06-25T05:00:00Z<p>​​​​​Traumatic experiences during childhood have the ability to disrupt long-term brain development and function. Advances in imaging technology have shown us that not all traumatic experiences do this in the same way. Sexual trauma, in particular, severely alters how the brain responds to perceived threats as the child learns to deal with the terrible experience.</p><p> <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/karina-blair">Karina Blair, Ph.D​</a>. is a behavioral neuroscientist at Boys Town National Research Hospital, and an e​xpert in the area of how trauma affects brain development. She has been using functional brain imaging (fMRI) to investigate the areas of the brain that are involved in trauma, and especially looking for changes that persist long after specific events and relative to different types of trauma.</p><p>Much of the literature on post-traumatic stress is focused on the amygdala, a small, almond-shaped region in the brain that is associated with emotional responding and fear. In a recent paper, Dr. Blair was interested in how other regions that may also be involved might also be altered.</p><p>For this study, Dr. Blair worked with 23 adolescents who had reported sexual trauma, and 24 adolescents who had not experienced significant trauma as comparisons. Participants were placed in an fMRI scanner that allowed her to measure increases or decreases in brain function in specific anatomical regions while they were shown either threatening or neutral images.</p><p>Dr. Blair and her team identified several areas of increased activation during threatening stimuli. These areas of the brain were in the frontal lobe that we know are involved in emotional responding and regulation that are also necessary for understanding social situations. The data appears to suggest that past sexual abuse may cause exaggerated responses when these kids are exposed to stimuli that are perceived as threatening, or potentially threatening.</p><p>Dr. Blair's work helps clinicians at Boys Town Hospital, and elsewhere, understand what has happened to the brains of children after trauma. It's a useful tool for selecting and developing appropriate treatment plans. Unfortunately, these kids also end up in trouble more frequently. Understanding that, unless they get the right help, their brains have been altered for the long-term, if not permanently. This shows the critical need to help children get the right help and not punish them for things beyond their control. </p><p>For over 100 years Boys Town has been treating and advocating for children under these and other terribl​e circumstances. Our research team is critical to our efforts to provide the best care possible for these youth.​<br></p><p>Read more about the <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/neurobehavioral">Center for Neurobehavioral Research</a> at Boys Town.</p><h2>References</h2><ol><li>Blair, K. S., Bashford-Largo, J., Shah, N., et. al. (2020) <i>Sexual Abuse in Adolescents Is Associated With Atypically​ Increased Responsiveness Within Regions Implicated in Self-Referential and Emotional Processing to Approaching Animate Threats</i>. Front. Psychiatry; <a href="https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00345" target="_blank">https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00345</a>.</li></ol> <h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>
Boys Town Stands for Racial Equalityhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/boys-town-stands-for-racial-equalityBoys Town Stands for Racial Equality2020-06-18T05:00:00Z<p>​Nearly a century ago, Boys Town founder Father Edward Flanagan spoke these profound words: </p><h3>"I … see danger for all in an ideology which discriminates against anyone politically or economically because he or she was born into the 'wrong' race, has skin of the 'wrong' color, or worships at the 'wrong' altar."</h3><p>Today, America is at a crossroads. The dangerous ideology of racism Father Flanagan described then continues to exist today. </p><p>At Boys Town, we share the sadness of so many mourning the senseless killings due to violence and racism. We also share the anger that is sweeping our natio​n as we unequivocally condemn all forms of racism, hatred, and injustice that tear at the seams of our society.</p><p>When Father Flanagan opened his first Home for Boys in 1917, he welcomed kids of every race, color, and creed. But his efforts to be inclusive and compassionate in his care of children went far beyond creating a place where they could grow and thrive. Father Flanagan also recognized and rejected the laws and customs that enshrined and reinforced institutional racism. He passionately attacked those unfair laws and practices, shining a spotlight on prejudice and injustice, and using Boys Town as a model for the incredible possibilities that existed when people of all colors lived, worked, and played side by side in mutual respect and equality.</p><p> <strong>Boys Town has never wavered from the principles on which it was founded. As a passionate advocate of positive social change, we firmly stand with those individuals and groups who have dedicated themselves to the cause of racial equality and justice, and strongly support their efforts to bring about lasting, significant change. </strong> </p><p>We have recognized since our formation that it is not enough to simply avoid racist behavior as individuals. We all must work together proactively to create a more just, a more peaceful, and a more equitable society. We all must live by the values of diversity and inclusion more deeply in the days, months, and years to come. We all must strive to re-create a society in which everyone feels that they belong, that they matter, and that they are respected for who they are.</p><p>People have rediscovered their voice, and their pain and anger are being felt and heard. Boys Town adds its voice to this rising chorus with the fervent hope that racism, injustice, and prejudice can finally be vanquished.     </p><p>God's Blessings,</p><p>Father Steven E. Boes<br>President and National Executive Director, Boys Town</p>
Pediatric Autism and Down Syndrome Clinics Now Openhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/pediatric-autism-down-syndrome-clinic-now-openPediatric Autism and Down Syndrome Clinics Now Open2020-06-15T05:00:00Z<p>​Boys Town National Research Hospital is pleased to announce the <a href="/services/down-syndrome-clinic">Down Syndrome Clinic</a> and the <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/services/autism-clinic">Autism Clinic</a>. The two clinics are open and ready to care for pediatric patients. These clinics are structured to care for the whole child with comprehensive medical and clinical care, as well as school support.</p><p>“We are here to provide a holistic approach to management of complex neurological conditions,” said <a href="/physicians/shaguna-mathur">Shaguna Mathur, M.D., pediatric neurologist</a> and lead physician of the clinics. “We work closely with the families to create a treatment plan that is unique and catered to each child.”</p>“We are here to provide care for the whole child, said <p>Children with autism and Down syndrome have unique medical and clinical needs and often have co-occurring medical conditions. Our goal is to identify these needs early and provide coordinated care and treatment to maximize a child’s development. Boys Town Hospital’s comprehensive clinics are designed to p​rovide diagnosis, management and care in one familiar location. The comprehensive clinic team includes specialists and clinicians in pediatric neurology, developmental-behavioral pediatrics, behavioral health, genetic counseling, physical therapy and social work, among others. Select services offer virtual appointments, allowing families to get the care they need from the comfort of their home. </p><p>The Autism Clinic and Down Syndrome Clinic are located at Boys Town National Research Hospital's  <a href="/locations/pacific-street-clinic">Pacific Street Clinic</a> on the Boys Town Campus. </p>
DO BETTER: A Framework for Organizations to Implement Translational Research Knowledge for Clinical Practicehttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/implementing-translational-research-knowledge-in-clinical-careDO BETTER: A Framework for Organizations to Implement Translational Research Knowledge for Clinical Practice2020-06-03T05:00:00Z<p>​​The passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) in 2018 includes new rules for social service organizations to formally follow practices that are supported by clinical research ([1]; U.S. Bipartisan Act, 2018). In recognition of these important changes to the law, researchers at Boys Town National Research Hospital, led by Patrick Tyler, Ph.D., Director of Research Translation, have published a framework to help organizations meet the new requirements [2].</p><p>Simply put, research translation means taking the findings from controlled research studies and applying them to protocols for use in treatment. This broad term can cover any area of medical or behavioral therapy applications. The DO BETTER framework is built on published studies on translational research practices as well as the extensive experience of our team at the <a href="https://www.boystown.org/research/Pages/Translational-Research-Center.aspx" target="_blank">Boys Town Child and Family Translational Research Center</a> in order to produce a clear plan for implementing research into practice [2]. A summary of the framework can be viewed in the <a href="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_docs/Do-Better-Framework-Boys-Town-Translational-Research-Center.pdf" target="_blank">accompanying PDF</a>.</p><p>As organizations look to implement their own research requirements for the FFPSA, they will want a research model that adds seamles​sly to their current practices. The DO BETTER framework acknowledges the need for research programs that specifically responds to the needs of practitioners and families. Those needs can be identified based on views from practitioners and consumers using surveys, focus groups, and interviews. The organization can then identify the practitioners, clients and researchers who will collaborate to help solve the problem.</p><p>The team approach is critical to the DO BETTER framework. This ensures that the research addresses the issues specific to the treatment programs and that the findings are not blind to the practical limitations of providing care. Involving practitioners and families in the research also increases confidence that the results are relevant to their needs. For the researchers, this collaboration will help improve their future experimental designs, as well as its relevance to society. Additionally, successful collaborations can increase the prominence and visibility of a research program through word of mouth and project successes. </p><p>The overarching goals of the FFPSA are to provide the best care to families by following practices that are supported by good research. The inclusion of a collaborative research program that monitors clinical data can also help practitioners identify issues that may not be overtly obvious and help improve treatment programs. Our goal with DO BETTER is to make that process easier to achieve with a clear set of steps that are outlined in the <a href="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_docs/Do-Better-Framework-Boys-Town-Translational-Research-Center.pdf" target="_blank">accompanying PDF</a>. A more detailed description is published in the article <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10566-020-09548-3" target="_blank">Practice to Research and Back in a Social Service Agency: Trying to DO BETTER in the journal Child & Youth Care Forum</a> [2].</p><h2>References</h2><ol><li>Wilson, S., Price, C. S., Kerns, S. E. U., et. al. (2019). <i>Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse. Handbook of standards and procedures. Version 1.0.</i> Office of Planning Research and Evaluation. Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.</li><li>Tyler, P. M., Mason, W. A., Vollmer, B., Trout A. L. (2020) Practice to Research and Back in a Social Service Agency: Trying to DO BETTER. <i>Child & Youth Care Forum</i>, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-020-09548-3.</li></ol><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>
Research During the COVID-19 Pandemichttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/research-during-covid-19-pandemicResearch During the COVID-19 Pandemic2020-06-03T05:00:00Z<p>​​​Life-changing research doesn't stop during a pandemic. For more than 40 years, Boys Town National Research Hospital has been conducting research to improve lives. Our mission is to change the way America cares for children and families. Below are some of the ways we are continuing our mission during these unprecedented times.</p><h2>Continuing to Train and Innovate</h2><p>Each year, Boys Town Hospital selects audiology student investigators to participate in a summer research traineeship. This program is designed to give formal research experience through a mix of clinical and research audiology experiences, presentations, and scientific group discussions. This summer we will still host our students, and they will be challenged to find new ways to answer questions about hearing and speech recognition through virtual tools.</p><h2>Research Forging Ahead</h2><p>With the current pause in inviting research volunteers to come to our laboratories to participate in studies, our researchers have moved to online interviews, questionnaires and mobile applications for testing. Some studies are even collecting hair or other biological samples, which can be done with simple instructions through the mail, for needed data.</p><h2>Researching Health Outcomes of the Pandemic</h2><p>Our behavioral health scientists regularly investigate brain development as well as asking how traumatic experiences such as abuse and neglect affect neural, cognitive​, and social development. Unfortunately, this COVID-19 pandemic has presented a societal trauma on a very large scale, including impacts on our youth who have experienced weeks of disruption to their school, daily routines and social lives. </p><p>Additionally, new precautions for wearing masks and social distancing may have an even greater impact on children with hearing and communications difficulties. These kids rely more than others on facial expressions to get the full meaning of speech. Our hearing and language experts are looking at how this new reality is affecting them and way we might be able to help.</p><p>Our researchers are working with our youth care programs to monitor how these large-scale disruptions in daily life, and the accompanying stress, are affecting treatment progress and outcomes. The research team is uniquely positioned to examine the effects of these changes on children and adolescents through our community relationships with families and care providers. Over the coming months, these researchers will be helping the nation understand how the isolation, change in routines, and the stress of the pandemic have affected our youth.​</p><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>​<br>
Residential Care for At-Risk Youth has Long-Term Economic Benefits for Governments and Societyhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/economic-benefits-helping-at-risk-youthResidential Care for At-Risk Youth has Long-Term Economic Benefits for Governments and Society2020-04-27T05:00:00Z<p>​​Residential care for youth with severe emotional or behavioral issues involves intensive treatment and around-the-clock care. This makes the cost of care high and policy makers often want to know if there are other ways to provide this care or to reduce the amount of services in order to reduce costs. However, young people typically end up in these programs only after multiple other forms of care have been tried and failed, making group residential care programs very important. Therefore, it is vital to show the value of these services and to advocate for continued support.</p><p>Researchers at Boys Town and elsewhere have been looking at ways to place the context of residential care in relationship to the costs of not providing these services. In a recent study, Jonathan C. Huefner and his colleagues adapted a previously developed Return on Investment Tool (ROI tool) for use with Boys Town’s Family Home Program data [1]. The ROI tool relates the cost of care to projected government fiscal and societal impacts, including increased economic contributions after treatment, tax revenue increases from employment gains, and costs associated with criminal recidivism and dependency on safety-net programs like unemployment [2].</p><p>The study looked at 141 individuals who had been treated for less than 6 months (median stay of 3.7 months) and 1031 who had been in treatment for longer than 6 months (median stay of 18.4 months). Outcomes were assessed by a 35-question assessment that was given 24 months after treatment. To compare the 2 groups, the authors normalized the data for the smaller group to the cost of similarly treating 1031 youth. Costs can only be compared for shorter treatment vs. longer treatment because it would be unethical to have a comparison group of young people needing treatment that do not receive it.</p><p>When it comes to cost, one thing that policy makers are often concerned about is whether there is really a need for longer, more costly stays; represented here as stays longer than 6 months. They reasonably want to know if a shorter stay could produce similar results while saving expense. In this study, the authors report that there was a definite benefit for kids who were in treatment for longer than 6 months, with higher educational achievement, better employment outcomes, and​ reduced recidivism. Here is a brief summary of the findings in this paper [1]:</p><ul><li>The estimated cost to care for 1031 kids for 6 months or less was approximately $29 million, whereas the estimated cost for the same number of youth in treatment for more than 6 months was $153 million.</li><li>The net benefit to government is estimated at $44 million through increased revenue and decreased expenditures in the future. However, with the increased cost of care for longer treatment amounts to an $80 million additional cost to the government.</li><li>The societal savings through increased productivity, better employment, and other contributions over a 40-year adult lifetime increased for the more-than-6-month group by $325 million.</li><li>For the group that received more than 6 months of care, the authors calculate that for every $1 spent the societal lifetime return is $3.61.</li></ul><p>A short-term perspective which focuses only on governmental expenditure might conclude that the cost of care is greater than the fiscal returns. This perspective ignores the real human impacts of not taking care of these kids, which most people would not advocate. However, adult lifetime societal savings that are realized by giving kids who need it more care, training and education makes it clear that complete treatment has financial benefits that exceed any arbitrary cutoff. Such improvements (e.g., increased productivity and wages) have a direct impact on the community through spending and investment by these individuals over time. These outcomes should be of concern to policy makers who we need to support these programs.</p><h2>References</h2><ol><li>Huefner J.C., Jay L. Ringle J.L., Thompson R.W., and Wilson F.A., (2018) Economic evaluation of residential length of stay and long-term outcomes. Residential Treatment for Children & Youth, 35(3), 192–208.</li><li>Wilson F.A., Araz O.M., Thompson R.W., Ringle J.L., et. al. (2016) A decision support tool​ to determine cost-to-benefit of a family-centered in-home program for at-risk adolescents. Eval Program Plann, 56, 43–49.</li></ol><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>
Virtual Learning Begins for Children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing at Preschoolhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/virtual-learning-deaf-hard-of-hearing-childrenVirtual Learning Begins for Children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing at Preschool2020-04-23T05:00:00Z<p>As our communities and nation face the extraordinary and unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis, we at Boys Town are changing our services to adjust to the pandemic. Because we are currently unable to serve children in a fixed learning environment, we are using technology to reach the children.​</p><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital’s Early Education Services – part of the <a href="/services/center-for-childhood-deafness-language-learning">Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning</a> – is working hard to develop virtual lesson plans and recording videos for the families they serve. The two programs that are providing virtual e-learning are the <a href="/services/center-for-childhood-deafness-language-learning/preschool-program">Preschool Program</a> and the <a href="/services/center-for-childhood-deafness-language-learning/early-intervention-program">Parent-Infant Early Intervention Program</a>. Each of these services provides comprehensive programs and learning for infants and young children who are deaf or hard of hearing.</p><p>Children who are deaf or hard of hearing are at risk for speech and language delays which may impact their current and future academic success. They often require intensive educational intervention​s to make sure their learning keeps pace with their peers who are hearing. Providing services during this time is critical to support their ongoing growth and development.</p><p>“We want to make sure families can continue to support their children’s development during this time.,” said Cathy Carotta, Director of Clinical, Educational and Outreach Programs at the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning. “We can do this naturally by providing parents with suggestions for supporting their children’s language and listening development using regular home routines.”</p><p>Our counseling team for deaf or hard of hearing students is also providing tele-counseling services to those students who were previously enr​olled in services. These services are provided through a contract with ESU #3.</p><p>The Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning is also continuing to provide <a href="/services/pediatric-speech-language-therapy">Pediatric Speech-Language Therapy</a> for their students as well as community patients via virtual visits. Early intervention for children who struggle with speech and language development is important for their future success with reading, talking and learning. Our mission with these services is to make sure any child with speech, language, or communication needs can access support during the COVID-19 outbreak.</p><p>To learn more about the programs and services offered for children at the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning, <a href="/services/center-for-childhood-deafness-language-learning">visit our website</a>.</p><h2>Resources for Families</h2><p>Check out these examples of at home activities provided by our preschool teachers. These sensory, art and music guides can be enjoyed by families regardless of hearing ability.</p><ul><li><a href="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_docs/Music-Art-Ideas-for-Home-Learning.pdf">Music Art Ideas for Home Learning</a></li><li><a href="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_docs/At-Home-Sensory-Play.pdf">At Home Sensory Play</a><br></li></ul>
Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder is Improved by Using Clear Terminologyhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/developmental-language-disorder-terminology-awarenessAwareness of Developmental Language Disorder is Improved by Using Clear Terminology2020-04-10T05:00:00Z<p>​Millions of people in the United States struggle to learn language because of an underlying difference in how their brain develops. Despite the large numbers of people affected, many people are not aware of this because of a confusing array of diagnostic terms and inconsistent criterion for diagnosis. Additionally, better awareness and clear terminology will make it easier to get resources for treatment and new research into causes and therapies.</p><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital is a leader in hearing and communications related research. Our research team, led by <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/karla-mcgregor">Karla McGregor, Ph.D.</a> and others are working to raise awareness of Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), as well as developing tools to help clinicians, families, and educators to deal with associated challenges.</p><p>In a recently published paper, Dr. McGregor and her colleagues define DLD, describe the difference between DLD and specific language impairment (SLI), and discuss advantages of for using DLD over other terms, including SLI. They define DLD as ‘a language problem that endures into middle childhood and beyond and that has a significant impact on social or educational function DLD is a spectrum disorder where some individuals have relatively exclusive language deficits and normal non-verbal IQ scores, while others have co-occurring deficits or low-normal-range IQs” [1].</p><div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7">​​​​​​​​<img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/DLD-infographic.png" alt="What is Developmental Language Disorder infographic" class="inline-image__image" /> <h2 class="is-size-5">What is Developmental Language Disorder?</h2><p>Source: <a href="https://www.dldandme.org/" target="_blank">DLDandMe.org</a></p></div>​ <p>One of the major benefits of using DLD as the diagnostic term is that it includes and emphasizes the social and educational influences of language problems. These are the most challenging problems individuals face with language disorders and will be the reason many will seek help. These functional consequences of DLD can also lead to kids acting out or become depressed and isolated. Unlike a more simplistic approach of using cutoff scores from language or intelligence testing, including functional aspects into the definition improves overall understanding and, hopefully, will open the door to greater availability of resources for affected individuals. The recommendation from the authors of this paper is to emphasize the severity of the impact of DLD on social interactions and academic success over scores when diagnosing DLD [1].</p><p>A key aspect of this paper is to improve awareness of the DLD terminology. With a myriad of terms used to describe developmental language conditions, it is hard for people outside of speech-language pathologists and researchers to understand the scale of the problem. The authors emphasize the use DLD as a unifying term that is widely used and understood, to create an international platform for information, education, advocacy, and resources. Indeed, the authors and their colleagues at Raising Awareness of Developmental La​nguage Disorder (<a href="https://radld.org/" target="_blank">RADLD</a>) and <a href="https://www.dldandme.org/" target="_blank">DLDandMe.org</a> have already made quite a bit of progress to increase awareness and provide resources to those who need it. Check out the full, open-access article in Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, at ASHA.org [1].</p><h2>References</h2><ol><li>1. Karla K. McGregor, K. K., Goffman, L., Van Horne, A. O., et. al. (2020) <i> <a href="https://pubs.asha.org/doi/10.1044/2019_PERSP-19-00083">Developmental Language Disorder: Applications for Advocacy, Research, and Clinical Service</a></i>. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups; 5(1) 38–46.</li></ol><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to r​eceive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div></div>
Virtual Visits Now Available at Boys Town National Research Hospitalhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/virtual-visits-now-availableVirtual Visits Now Available at Boys Town National Research Hospital2020-04-06T05:00:00Z<p>​​Boys Town Pediatrics and many of the specialty care clinics at Boys Town National Research Hospital started offering <a href="/services/virtual-care-visits">virtual care visits</a> last week as a response to the COVID-19 health crisis.</p><p>At this time whe​n social distancing and limitin​g outside exposure are critical, especially to those with underlying medical conditions, offering virtual visits is one more way we can help protect our patients, providers and medical staff, and do our part to help protect our entire community.</p><p>Virtual visits, al​so known as telehealth, are available for new and current patients. Services include same day sick appointments, as well as care from many of the specialty clinics, including: </p><ul><li>​Allergy, Asthma & Immunology</li><li>Behavioral Health</li><li>Child & Adolescent Psychiatry</li><li>Ear, Nose & Throat</li><li>Internal Medicine</li><li>Pediatric Gastroenterology</li><li>Pediatric General & Thoracic Surgery</li><li>Pediatric Neurology</li><li>Pediatric Rhe​umatology</li><li>Pediatric Speech-Language Therapy</li><li>Pediatrics</li><li>Same Day Pediatrics</li></ul><p>Patients will need an internet accessible smartphone, tablet or computer with audio and camera. Visits can be scheduled by calling the Boys Town medical clinic directly at <a class="js-phone">(531) 355-1234</a> or by <a href="/services/virtual-care-visits">requesting a telehealth visit</a> online.</p>
Social Problem-Solving Skills are Protective for Youth Exposed to Traumahttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/social-problem-solving-skills-youth-traumaSocial Problem-Solving Skills are Protective for Youth Exposed to Trauma2020-03-31T05:00:00Z<p>​​​​​Childhood trauma changes the way that children’s brains function, and many traumatized kids end up with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researching and developing methods ​to ​provide the best care for these kids is the role of the Child and Family Translational Research Center at Boys Town. The research that we do directly informs our staff, and other organizations, who are responsible for caring for kids who have experienced trauma.</p><p>​A major challenge to providing effective therapies is that the type and th​e severity of trauma experienced affect young brains differently [1]. Boys Town has developed a screening instrument to identify possible symptoms youth may have related to past trauma [2] and uses a <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/trauma-informed-care-critical-for-youth">trauma-informed care model</a> to avoid further traumatization. Boys Town care providers use the questionnaire to determine the suppo​rts and services youth need to help children heal. However, more research is always needed to support existing practices and to help us to continually improve how we take care of at-risk kids.</p><p>In a recent publication, Patrick Tyler, Ph.D., Director of Research Translation, and his colleagues evaluated outcomes for 667 youth, ages 10–18 years old, who received social skills training as part of our trauma informed care model. For this study, the researchers were also focused on kids with more severe trauma and PTSD. The social training was broken down into 3 focus categories: self-advocacy, emotional regulation, and problem solving. The youth in this study were receiving group home services in the Boys Town Family Home Program, which involves direct-care staff residing with them in a family-type setting [3]. The social skills training is also an integral part of their treatment to help them manage their emotions and develop skills for healthy interactions in the home and after they leave. Duration of treatment was a significant factor, with kids who were in treatment longer showing more improvement that those with shorter stays.</p><p>Social skills training for the children was conducted by following established practices at Boys Town. The specific social skills training varied for each child based on the assessment of their needs by their care providers. The researchers were looking for improvements in behavioral incidents, self-injury, conduct, and emotional problems. </p><p>From the 3 categories of social skills t​raining that were examined, the authors noted that all types helped to some degree with behavioral problems. However, problem-solving training had the biggest effect on both behavioral incidents and emotional problems, such as anxiety and depression. This suggests that prioritizing problem-solving skills is an approach that could help a large proportion of traumatized kids. It also offers a narrowed set of skills that can be supp​orted by educators or other caregivers who could receive focused training in this area. Having this support to maintain these skills after a child leaves clinical or residential care may be the best way to help these kids stay healthy.</p><p>You can read more about this study, currently in press, in the journal, <i>Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy</i> [3].</p><h2>References</h2><ol><li>Blair K.S., Aloi J., Crum K., et. al. (2019) Association of Different Types of Childhood Maltreatment With Emotional Responding and Response Control Among Youths. 2(5). JAMA Netw Open.</li><li>Tyler, P.M., Mason, W.A., Chmelka, M.B., et. al. (2019) Psycho​metrics of a Brief Trauma Symptom Screen for Youth in residential care Journal of Traumatic Stress. doi: 10.1002/jts.22442.</li><li>Tyler, P.M., Aitken, A.A., Ringle, J.L., et. al. (2020) Evaluating Social Skills Training for Youth with Trauma Symptoms in Residential Programs. (In Press). Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy.</li></ol><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>
Boys Town Physicians Voted Best Doctors in Americahttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/best-doctors-in-americaBoys Town Physicians Voted Best Doctors in America2020-03-11T05:00:00Z<p>​​​Every year Omaha Magazine releases a list of the Best Doctors i​n ​America<sup>®</sup>. This list includes the nation’s most respected specialists and outstanding primary care physicians in our country. Multiple Boys Town physicians and our partnering physicians made the list for 2020:</p><p>Congratulations to all the physicians recognized as Best Doctors in America and thank you for providing the best care for our patients and families.</p>​ <div class="columns is-multiline has-text-centered"><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/robert-cusick"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/CusickRobert.jpg" alt="Robert A. Cusick, M.D." /><span class="is-block"> <span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Robert A. Cusick, M.D.</span><br> Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery</span>​</a></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/mark-domet"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/DometMark.jpg" alt="Mark J. Domet, M.D." /><span class="is-block"><span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Mark J. Domet, M.D.</span><br> Boys Town Pediatrics</span></a></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/jane-emanuel"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/EmanuelJane.jpg" alt="Jane M. Emanuel, M.D." /><span class="is-block"><span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Jane M. Emanuel, M.D.</span><br> Ear, Nose and Throat</span></a></div><div class="column is-4"> <img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/ferris-cynthia.jpg" alt="Cynthia A. Ferris, M.D." /> <span class="is-block"> <span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Cynthia A. Ferris, M.D.</span><br> Anesthesiology</span></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/jane-kugler"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/kugler-jane.jpg" alt="Mark Domet" /><span class="is-block"><span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Jane A. Kugler, M.D.</span><br> Pediatric Anesthesiology</span></a></div><div class="column is-4"> <img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/DoeJohn.jpg" alt="William M. Lydiatt, M.D." /> <span class="is-block"><span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">William M. Lydiatt, M.D.</span><br> Pediatric Thyroid</span></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/kevin-murphy"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/MurphyKevin.jpg" alt="Kevin R. Murphy, M.D." /><span class="is-block"><span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Kevin R. Murphy, M.D.</span><br> Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology & Pediatric Pulmonology</span></a></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/mohan-mysore"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/MysoreMohan.jpg" alt="Mohan Mysore, M.D., FAAP, FCCM" /><span class="is-block"><span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Mohan Mysore, M.D., FAAP, FCCM</span><br> Pediatric Advanced Care Unit</span></a></div><div class="column is-4"> <img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/DoeJohn.jpg" alt="Mark J. Puccioni, M.D." /> <span class="is-block"><span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Mark J. Puccioni, M.D.</span><br> Pediatric Neurosurgery</span></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/stephen-raynor"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/RaynorStephen.jpg" alt="Stephen C. Raynor, M.D." /><span class="is-block"> <span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Stephen C. Raynor, M.D.,</span><br> Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery</span>​</a></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/adam-reinhardt"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/ReinhardtAdam.jpg" alt="Adam Reinhardt, M.D." /><span class="is-block"> <span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Adam Reinhardt, M.D.</span><br> Pediatric Rheumatology</span>​</a></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/robert-schwab"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/SchwabRobert.jpg" alt="Robert J. Schwab, M.D." /><span class="is-block"> <span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Robert J. Schwab, M.D.</span><br> Internal Medicine</span>​</a></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/charles-sprague"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/SpragueCharles.jpg" alt="Charles J. Sprague, M.D." /><span class="is-block"> <span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Charles J. Sprague, M.D.</span><br> Pediatrics</span>​</a></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/robert-troia"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/TroiaRobert.jpg" alt="Robert Troia, M.D." /><span class="is-block"> <span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Robert Troia, M.D.</span><br> Pediatric Ophthalmology</span>​</a></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/sebastian-troia"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/TroiaSebastian.jpg" alt="Sebastian Troia, M.D." /><span class="is-block"> <span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Sebastian Troia, M.D.</span><br> Pediatric Ophthalmology</span>​</a></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/jon-vanderhoof"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/VanderhoofJon.jpg" alt="Jon A. Vanderhoof, M.D." /><span class="is-block"> <span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Jon A. Vanderhoof, M.D.</span><br> Pediatric Gastroenterology</span>​</a></div> <div class="column is-4"> <img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/VanderSluisNancy.jpg" alt="Nancy L. VanderSluis, M.D." /> <span class="is-block"> <span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Nancy L. VanderSluis, M.D.</span><br> Pediatrics</span></div><div class="column is-4"> <a href="/physicians/heather-zimmerman"><img class="custom-is-rounded" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/ZimmermanHeather.jpg" alt="Heather L. Zimmerman, M.D." /><span class="is-block"> <span class="is-size-4 has-text-primary">Heather L. Zimmerman, M.D.</span><br> Pediatrics</span>​</a></div></div>
School Success as an Adult is Influenced by Childhood Traumahttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/childhood-trauma-influences-later-school-successSchool Success as an Adult is Influenced by Childhood Trauma2020-03-11T05:00:00Z<p>​​Success as an adult is associated with educational achievement. Unfortunately, kids who experience childhood trauma and maltreatment are more likely to struggle academically and later in life. There are many ways that kids experience maltreatment, including neglect, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. These events affect many aspects of development. Furthermore, different types of trauma can be associated with different outcomes that need to be understood in order to correctly focus resources and therapies.</p><p>In a recent paper Jay Ringle, M.A., at the <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/translational-research">Boys Town Child and Family Translational Research Center</a>​, and his colleagues tested a developmental cascades model for potential direct and indirect effects of childhood maltreatment on adult educational achievement [1]. The developmental cascades model essentially means that a traumatic event or series of events can alter or disrupt a child’s developmental transitions, thus creating a cascading effect of maladaptation. One result of this can be lower adult academic achievement [2]. For this study, the researchers used longitudinal data on a sample of children and their families assessed 4 times over 30 years, starting in the 1970s [3, 4]. The data were a mix of self-report measures and agency-reported case information.</p><p>Finding direct impacts of any event over a long period of time is difficult, largely due to the number and variety of events that individuals experience. With that in mind, this study only found a direct effect of agency-reported cases of maltreatment — which are likely to be made up of more severe cases than just self-reported cases — and adult educational achievement. Further, the researchers did find several indirect impacts. For example, neglect predicted adolescent engagement academic engagement, which in turn predicted adult educational achievement. Adolescent school discipline reports were also predictive of adult educational achievement.</p><p>With regards to the different categories of abuse, the stud​y found that physical, emotional, and sexual abuse predicted early school-age attention problems that then predicted discipline issues. On the other hand, neglect indirectly impacted adult education achievement through lower ​school engagement in adolescence.</p><p>Perhaps the most important thing to take away from this study is that a case-specific educational approach will more benefi​cial to kids exposed to childhood trauma than a one-size-fits-all approach. This study provides some perspective on different types of childhood maltreatment and how it effects adult educational achievement through different pathways (e.g., attention problems, poor school engagement) The findings also provide a starting point for creating appropriate interventions. For example, positive school-based interventions for kids who have experienced maltreatment are likely to be a more effective approach than punishment. Additionally, developing alternative approaches to get kids who have suffered neglect to engage in school has the potential to make a difference in where they end up.</p><p>Boys Town has been taking care of at-risk kids for more than 100 years. Scientists at Boys Town National Research Hospital also conduct influential research on youth care programs so we can provide the best care possible here and help other schools and youth-care organizations to do the same. The findings from this study are published in Childhood Maltreatment [1]. Find more about our youth care and related research by visiting <a href="https://www.boystown.org/research/Pages/Translastion-Research-Center.aspx" target="_blank">Child and Family Translational Research Center</a>.</p><h2>References</h2><ol><li>Jay L Ringle, J.L., Mason, W.A., Todd I Herrenkohl H.I., et. al. (2020) Prospective Associations of Child Maltreatment Subtypes With Adult Educational Attainment: Tests of Mediating Mechanisms Through School-Related Outcomes. Child Maltreat. EPUB ahead of print.</li><li>Masten, A. S., Roisman, G. I., Long, J. D., et. al. (2005). Developmental cascades: Linking academic achievement and externalizing and internalizing symptoms over 20 years. Dev Psychol, 41(5), 733–746.</li><li>Herrenkohl, R. C., Herrenkohl, E. C., Egolf, B. P., et. al. (1991) The developmental consequences of child abuse: The Lehigh Longit​udinal Study. In R. H. J. Starr & D. A. Wolfe (Eds.), The effects of child abuse and neglect: Issues and research (pp. 57–81). Guilford Press.</li><li>Herrenkohl, R. C., and Herrenkohl, T. I. (2009) Assessing a child’s experience of multiple maltreatment types: Some unfinished business. J. Fam Violence, 24(7), 485–496.</li></ol><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>
Boys Town's Mohan Mysore, M.D., Earns Another Prestigious Honorhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/mohan-mysore-excellence-in-critical-care-awardBoys Town's Mohan Mysore, M.D., Earns Another Prestigious Honor2020-03-09T05:00:00Z<p>​​​​​For the second year in a row, <a href="/_layouts/15/Catalog.aspx?Url=https%3A%2F%2Fauthoring%2Eboystown%2Eorg%2FLists%2FNewsCatalog%2Fphysicians%2Fmohan%2Dmysore">Dr. Mohan Mysore, Medical Director, Pediatric Critical Care at Boys Town National Research Hospital®</a>, has bee​n honored by the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM). </p><p>​​​Dr. Mysore was awarded the 2020 Barry A. Shapiro Memorial Award for Excellence in Critical Care Management at the Society’s 49th Critical Care Congress in Orlando. The honor is given to a member of the Society who “has made significant contributions to the design and/or implementation of an evidence-based practice that has significantly impacted clinical, operational or fiscal outcomes within his/her area of expertise.” </p><p>​​​“To get nominated by the Pediatric Section so soon after last year’s award was a little more than I ever anticipated or expected,” Dr. Mysore humbly admits. </p><div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7">​​​​​​​​<img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Dr.%20Mysore%20Excellence%20in%20Critical%20Care%20Management%20Award.jpg" alt="Mohan Mysore, M.D. holds Excellence in Critical Care Management award plaque" class="inline-image__image" /> <h2 class="is-size-5">Mohan Mysore, M.D., FCCM</h2><p>Barry A. Shapiro Memorial Award for Excellence in Critical Care Management</p></div>​ <p>​​​This year, the Society recognized Dr. Mysore for his tireless efforts in creating the pediatric intensive care unit at Boys Town National Research Hospital. The six-bed Advanced Care Unit has cared for more than 150 critically ill children since opening in June 2019. </p><p>​​​The Advanced Care Unit serves children who have undergone neurosurgical procedures and require intensive monitoring, as well as those suffering from respiratory distress, viral infections and other conditions requiring critical care services. </p><p>​​​Dr. Mysore credits the success of the pediatric intensive care unit to his “exceptionally talented and dedicated” multidisciplinary team of nurses, respiratory therapists, pediatric pharmacists and advance practice providers. </p><p>​​​“I’m really blessed that people I’ve known and worked with for many years at other institutions decided to take a leap of faith and join in helping us build this unit,” Dr. Mysore said. “It’s been a great experience.” </p><p>​​​Before joining Boys Town, Dr. Mysore was Division Chief of Pediatric Critical Care at Children’s Hospital in Omaha and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of​ Nebraska College of Medicine. </p><p>​​​The Society of Critical Care Medicine is one of the largest medical organizations with members in more than 100 countries dedicated to promoting excellence in the practice of critical care. The Society bestowed Dr. Mysore with its Distinguished Service Award in 2019. </p></div>
Boys Town National Research Hospital Researchers Investigate Hearing and Speech Perception in Down Syndromehttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/hearing-speech-perception-in-down-syndromeBoys Town National Research Hospital Researchers Investigate Hearing and Speech Perception in Down Syndrome2020-03-03T06:00:00Z<p>​It takes years of consistent, high-quality auditory information to develop the ability to effectively “hear out" one person talking (for example, a teacher) when other people are talking in the background (for example, classmates).  Children with Down syndrome may be at risk for disruptions in this developmental process because of the high prevalence of middle ear infections and hearing loss that occur in this population. Despite these risk factors, very few research studies have looked at how well children with Down syndrome understand speech in noisy environments, such as the classroom.</p><p>Lori Leibold, Ph.D. and Heather Porter, Ph.D., along with their colleagues at the Center for Hearing Research at Boys Town National Research Hospital, are working to identify factors that improve listening-in-noise difficulties so we can increase the likelihood of success for children with Down syndrome. Dr. Porter explains that, “In general, kids have a harder time than adults when listening to speech if other people speaking. This is partly because we develop the ability to tune out background noise through experience. Problems with hearing get in the way of the brain learning to filter out distracting sounds. Therefore, we expect to see that this developmental process is impacted in kids with Down syndrome, and that it will be influenced differently for individuals by their varying sensory, language, and cognitive characteristics." </p><div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7"> <img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Computer-Screen.png" alt="computer screen children see when listening to speech-in-noise task" class="inline-image__image" style="max-width:100%;" /> <p>Figure 1. Example of the computer screen children see when listening to the speech-in-noise task.</p></div><p style="margin-bottom:1rem;">The team of researchers at Boys Town National Research Hospital has established Project INCLUDE to learn more about the communication abilities of children with Down Syndrome. Children who participate in this study complete a series of measures that assess hearing, language, and problem-solving abilities. Hearing assessments are completed using developmentally-appropriate, game-like tasks and children have the ability to demonstrate their listening skills using a touchscreen computer application (see Figure 1). The research team has decades of experience working with children with developmental delays, which they use to ensure participants and their families are also welcomed to a friendly and engaging environment. </p></div><p>Families of children with Down syndrome ages 5 to 17 years old are invited to participate in this study.  The study includes up to three visits that last 1–2 hours each. In addition, children receive hearing and language assessments by licensed professionals with expertise working with children with developmental delays. Information from this study will help us to determine influences on the developmental timeline for listening-in-noise in children with Down syndrome and serve as the basis for future funding applications to support work in this area. Compensation for this study is $15 per hour.</p><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital is dedicated to improv​ing care for children and families around the world. This research is important because Down syndrome is a common condition, affecting about 1 in 1000 people in the US, and gaps in our knowledge could have a negative impact on the care and services people receive. As we increase our understanding, we anticipate that we will be able to improve the services children with Down syndrome receive both locally and nationally.</p><p>This study is funded by the National Institutes of Health INCLUDE (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE) Project, launched in June 2018 in support of a Congressional initiative to investigate critical health and quality-of-life needs for individuals with Down syndrome [1]. The results from Project INCLUDE at Boys Town National Research Hospital will contribute to national INCLUDE goals by identifying factors associated with successful speech understanding in less-than-optimal listening environments and result in opportunities for improved communication outcomes for individuals with Down syndrome.</p><h2>References:</h2><ol><li> <a href="https://www.nih.gov/include-project">https://www.nih.gov/include-project</a></li></ol><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>
Two New Providers Added to Boys Town Pediatric Neuroscience Teamhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/pediatric-neuroscience-adds-two-providersTwo New Providers Added to Boys Town Pediatric Neuroscience Team2020-02-14T06:00:00Z<p>​Boys Town National ​Research Hospital is excited to welcome <a href="/physicians/janice-mcallister">Janice McAllister, M.D.</a> and <a href="/physicians/nazira-usmanova">Nazira Usmanova, APRN-NP</a>, to the <a href="/services/pediatric-neuroscience">Pediatric Neuroscience team</a>.</p><p>Janice McAllister, M.D. is a board-certified neurologi​st. Dr. McAllister received her medical degree from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, IA and completed her pediatric residency at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, TX. Dr. McAllister also completed a fellowship in child neurology at the University of Chicago Hospital in Chicago, IL.</p><p>Nazira received her Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.</p><div style="width:500px;margin:0px auto;display:table;"><div style="display:table-row;text-align:center;"> <span style="display:table-cell;"> <img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/McAllister-ancmt.jpg" alt="" style="border-radius:8px;width:200px;" /></span> <span style="display:table-cell;"> <img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Nazira-Usmanova-ancmt.jpg" alt="" style="border-radius:8px;width:200px;" /></span></div><div style="display:table-row;text-align:center;"><p style="display:table-cell;text-align:center;">Janice McAllister, M.D.</p><p style="display:table-cell;text-align:center;">Nazira Usmanova, APRN-NP</p></div></div>​
Remarkable New Sound Research Facility added at Boys Town National Research Hospitalhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/anechoic-chamber-sound-research-facilityRemarkable New Sound Research Facility added at Boys Town National Research Hospital2020-01-20T06:00:00Z<p>​​​The first thing you notice when entering the new anechoic chamber at Boys Town National Research Hospital is how big the chamber is. The large white cube stands over 18 feet high and occupies roughly 400 square feet of floor space. The anechoic chamber is the newest addition to our sound research facilities and is also the most advanced facility of its kind in the region.</p><p>The chamber is isolated from outside noise and vibrations by thick walls and sound-deadening insulation. The walls, floor, and ceiling inside the chamber are also completely covered by triangular shaped structures called anechoic wedges that are 19 inches tall. The shape, size and arrangement of the wedges are designed to control all but the lowest frequency​ sound reflections inside the booth. (Figure 1). Finally, a floating, mesh floor suspends occupants above the same wedges in the floor of the structure. These features make the inside of the chamber very quiet with virtually none of the reflected environmental sounds that we hear without thinking about every day. It’s an interesting location to talk to G. Christopher (Chris) Stecker, PhD, the director of the Spatial Hearing Lab, about the new facility.</p><div class="embed-container"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IDAwSz8YT_g" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div>​ <p>Inside, the chamber is configured with a 96-channel speaker system to enable a range of sound simulations and experiments. Dr. Stecker explains that “the array is used for research on hearing and localization of sounds in 3-dimensional spaces. For example, the system can simulate classroom sound environments that helps researchers understand how children develop the ability to focus on one person who is speaking without being confused or distracted by other speakers or noises. This research is relevant for things like refining hearing aid and cochlear implant technology so that they convey the best possible spatial and voice information. Interestingly, the same equipment can also be used to demonstrate for others how a noisy world sounds through a hearing aid or cochlear im​plant."</p><div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7">​​​​​​​​<img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/anechoic-chamber-wedges.png" alt="anechoic chamber wedges installation details" class="inline-image__image" /> <h2 class="is-size-5">Figure 1.</h2><p>Anechoic wedges, 19 inches measured from base to apex of the triangle, cover the walls floor and ceiling to eliminate all but the lowest frequency sound reflections inside the chamber.</p></div>​ <p>In another type of experiment, tiny microphones can be placed on the ear to measure the influence of head position and ear anatomy on our perception of sound location with assistance from the large speaker array. One use of this capability according to Dr. Stecker is testing by companies developing virtual reality applications. “In order to create convincing virtual environments, it is necessary to know how sound coming from different locations is affected by the ear anatomy so sound cues can be simulated by headphones placed physically on the ear.”</p><p>The described experiments are only some examples of what is possible in the anechoic chamber. We expect that othe​r labs and other research institutions will want to answer a wide range of sound related questions in this space. Support services for the anechoic chamber will also be available through our technology core services. Those interested in conducting research using the anechoic chamber can contact Dr. Chris Stecker in the Spatial Hearing Lab at Boys Town Hospital.</p><p>We are grateful to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Great Plains Institutional Development​ Award for Clinical and Trans​lational Research (IDeA-CTR) for the financial support that helped make the chamber a reality. The Great Plains IDeA-CTR is an NIH-funded program to increase training, collaboration, development of core facilities, and resources for clinical and translational research at in our region. </p><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div></div>
Checking Speech Audibility is Important When Assessing Kids with Mild Bilateral Hearing Losshttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/checking-speech-audibility-importance-when-assessing-hearing-lossChecking Speech Audibility is Important When Assessing Kids with Mild Bilateral Hearing Loss2020-01-19T06:00:00Z<p>​​​​​​​​​​The ability to hear is directly connected with children’s development of the written and spoken language skills that are essential for many aspects of life. However, there is some confusion and disagreement regarding whether children with mild, bilateral hearing loss should receive hearing aids. Compared to young children with moderate or severe hearing loss, children with mild hearing loss may be able to hear some speech sounds without the use of hearing aids. The impact of mild hearing loss on early speech and language development can be subtle and easy to miss by parents and doctors alike, but without intervention these children may still be at risk for later language delays. Therefore, providing better assessment of the impact of hearing aids for children with mild hearing loss would be a great benefit to families and audiologists who are working to help them.</p><p> <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/faculty/ryan-mccreery">Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Director of Research at Boys Town National Research Hospital</a>, and his team have been looking at how amplification, language, and cognition support speech perception in children who are hard of hearing in order to improve outcomes. In a recent paper, Dr. McCreery and colleagues specifically examined the use of a standardized Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) score <sup>[1]</sup>, measured without hearing amplification, as a new tool for assessing hearing aid candidacy for children with mild hearing loss<sup>[2]</sup>. Their goal was to develop an evidence-based criterion for when children with mild hearing loss would benefit from hearing aids.</p><p>The SII uses audiological measurements and takes into account individual ear acoustics to predict a child’s access to speech sounds <sup>[1]</sup>. Children with scores less than 80 on the unaided SII should be consid​ered candidates for amplification because of risks for language problems. This score would correspond to pure tone averages of 20 to 30 dB of hearing loss but is more informative than just measuring dB of hearing loss from the audiogram <sup>[2]</sup>.</p>​ <p>Another goal of the study was to determine how much hearing loss poses a risk to language development. Dr. McCreery and his team found that children who were able to hear 80% of speech sounds, or less, without hearing aids were at risk of delays in language and vocabulary development, emphasizing the need for more meaningful testing <sup>[2]</sup>.</p><p>Based on the results from the study, Dr. McCreery and colleagues recommend that clinical audiologists include speech audibility as part of a standard for hearing aid fitting instead of the hearing test. Specifically, the authors found th​at hearing aids could support language development for children with mild hearing loss who hear 80% or less of regular speech sounds. In addition to providing a clear criteria for fitting hearing aids, discussing hearing loss in terms of speech audibility can help families of children with mild hearing loss better understand the benefits of consistent hearing aid use on language development.</p><p>The authors’ complete findings can be found in the journal, <em>Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools</em>.</p><div class="embed-container"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZR6ZJ-Wxbb0" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><h3>References</h3><ol><li>American National Standards Institute. (1997). <em>American National Standard: Methods for calculation of the speech intelligibility index</em>. Acoustical Society of America.</li><li>McCreery R.W., Walker E.A., Stiles D.J., Spratford M., et. al. (2020) <em>Audibility-based hearing aid fitting criteria for children with mild bilateral hearing loss</em>. Lang S​peech Hear Serv Sch. 51(1): 55–67. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_LSHSS-OCHL-19-0021​<br></li></ol><h2>Research Newsletter</h2><p>Please sign up to receive occasional research news and events emails from Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><div align="center"> <a class="button is-primary" href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/newsletter">Newsletter Sign-Up</a></div>
Boys Town Nurses Honored at Annual Nurse of the Year Awards https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/boys-town-nurse-awardsBoys Town Nurses Honored at Annual Nurse of the Year Awards 2019-12-11T06:00:00Z<div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7">​​​​​​​​​​<img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/nurse-group-photo.JPG" alt="Boys Town Nurses awarded for Nurse of the Year" class="inline-image__image" /> <h2 class="is-size-5">Nurse of the Year Recipients</h2><p>Morgan Swanda, Karen Conboy, Rachelle Ambler<br>Boys Town National Research Hospital and Medical Clinics<br>Omaha, Nebraska</p></div>​ <p>Boys Town National Research Hospital would like to recognize our nurses who were nominated for Nurse of the Year. March of Dimes, an organization started by Frank​lin D. Roosevelt to improve the health of mothers and their babies, hosted the Nurse of the Year Banquet to help thank the amazing nurses in Omaha.</p><p>Nominees were scored by a volunteer committee based on credentials​, certifications, their proudest outcomes, leadership, professional associations, and achievements. Three outstanding nurses from Boys Town National Research Hospital were nominated: </p><p>Boys Town Hospital’s nominated nurses are:</p><ul><li>Rachelle Ambler</li><li>Karen Conboy</li><li>Morgan Swanda</li></ul><p>Congratulations to our nurses! Thank you for your commitment to the children and families we serve.</p></div>
Serving a Critical Community Need, Pediatric Weight Management Clinic Opens Downtownhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/weight-management-clinic-now-openServing a Critical Community Need, Pediatric Weight Management Clinic Opens Downtown2019-11-22T06:00:00Z<p>Boys Town National Research Hospital is once again responding to a critical community healthcare service need with the opening of the <a href="/services/pediatric-weight-management">Pediatric Weight Management Clinic</a>.</p><p>According to the 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment, an Omaha area health survey, nearly 30% of children in our community have excess body weight that affects their health, making pediatric obesity a top concern of pediatricians and parents.</p><p>The Pediatric Weight Management Clinic, which opened November 19, will provide a comprehensive team approach to help children and families reach personal health goals.</p><p>"We are seeing more and more children in our care with weight-related health conditions that used to be considered adult health problems," said <a href="/physicians/m-kelly-mccarthy">Kelly McCarthy, M.D.</a>, Boys Town pediatrician and director of the Clinic. "Diabetes, elevated cholesterol and liver conditions at a young age can lead to serious life-long complications for a developing child. The clinic will bring together not only the medical aspects, but will also focus on the individual social and emotional needs of every child and family to help guide impactful change."</p><p>The Pediatric Weight Management Clinic is designed to meet children and families where they are on their health journey, focusing on four key areas:</p><ul><li>Medical management addressing and treating medical conditions due to weight</li><li>Nutrition knowledge through counseling and meal planning to teach healthy eating</li><li>Activity and exercise training in a variety of settings to encourage participation</li><li>Behavioral and mental healthcare to identify and replace unhealthy habits</li></ul><p>Patients and families will work directly with a pediatrician, child psychologist, dietician and physical therapist to create a unique plan for their needs. Our multidisciplinary team will meet with families monthly to coordinate care and services, including nutrition education, cooking classes, age-appropriate fitness classes and to provide motivation and support to keep them on track.</p><p>For some children, bariatric surgery may be an option. The child will require a medical evaluation to determine if he or she qualifies. If surgery is indicated, a Boys Town board-certified pediatric surgeon experienced in bariatric surgery will perform the surgery.</p><p>"Weight change happens over time and with a lot of encouragement and support," said Dr. McCarthy. "We want families to know we are here every step of the way, helping and guiding them toward a lifetime of good health."</p><p>The Clinic is now scheduling appointments at the downtown location, 555 North 30th Street (30th & California). If you believe your family could benefit from this service, talk to your primary care provider for a referral to the clinic.</p>
Rose Pauley, APRN Receives First-Ever Excellence in Nursing Practice Awardhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/gastroenterology-nursing-excellence-awardRose Pauley, APRN Receives First-Ever Excellence in Nursing Practice Award2019-11-20T06:00:00Z<p>​​​​On October 18, <a href="/services/pediatric-gastroenterology">Boys Town Pediatric Gastroenterology’s</a> ​<a href="/physicians/rosemary-pauley">Rose Pauley, APRN-NP</a>, was awarded the first-ever Excellence in Nursing Practice Award by the Association for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses at the Annual Conference in Chicago, IL.<br></p><div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7">​​​​​​​​<img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Rose-Jon-Award.jpeg" alt="Rose Pauley, APRN and Jon Vanderhoof, M.D. shake hands as she accepts her award" class="inline-image__image" /> <h2 class="is-size-5">Rose Pauley, APRN and Jon Vanderhoof, M.D.</h2><p>Pediatric Gastroenterology<br>Boys Town National Research Hospital and Medical Clinics<br>Omaha, Nebraska</p></div>​ <p>The award recognizes a nurse who is a member of the association and provides high quality care to patients, models professionalism, assists colleagues, actively guides and assists with clinical work and research, and has promoted or expanded the role of nursing in gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition. Rose has been an active member of the association since its inception, serving in several officer roles including president and secretary/treasurer. </p><p>“It means so much to be recognized on a national level for my work in pediatric gastroenterology over the last 37 years,” said Rose Pauley. “I was truly humbled by the nomination and proud I was able to represent Boys Town on a national level as well.”</p><p>Helping Boys Town National Research Hospital shine in a national spotlight does not even begin to cover all that Rose has done for the organization. Rose sees patients thre​e times a week in a clinic setting at outreach locations in three cities outside of Omaha, building trust and changing lives wherever she goes. As one patient said in his nomination letter, “Rose took a disease that was overwhelming and helped me learn to thrive.”​<br></p><p>And the respect between patient and provider is mutual. When asked about her favorite part of the job, Rose stated, “For sure the kids. I love interacting with the babies up to the teenagers, I strive to get them to trust me and know that I am there to help them. I try to keep things upbeat and provide hope to them. I have followed several kids over an extensive time and I get a lot of fulfillment from getting a graduation invitation or a wedding announcement.” </p><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital congratulates Rose Pauley for her much-deserved Excellence in Nursing Practice Award! </p></div>
Pediatric Neurosurgeon Joins Boys Town Hospitalhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/pediatric-neurosurgeon-omahaPediatric Neurosurgeon Joins Boys Town Hospital2019-11-12T06:00:00Z<div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7">​​​​​​​<img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/FornoffLinden.jpg" alt="Linden Fornoff" class="inline-image__image" /> <h2 class="is-size-5">Linden Fornoff, M.D.</h2><p>Pediatric Neurosurgeon<br>Boys Town National Research Hospital and Medical Clinics</p></div><p>On August 15, Boys Town National Research Hospital welcomed <a href="/physicians/linden-fornoff">Linden Fornoff, M.D.</a>, to the Pediatric Neuroscience department at Boys Town National Research Hospital.​​<br></p><p>A Fremont, NE native, Dr. Fornoff received her medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and completed her neurosurgery residency there as well. In addition, she completed a pediatric neurosurgery fellowship at Stanford University, Stanford, California. Choosing the surgical route, rather than clinical, allowed for a deeper connection to pediatric patients.</p>​ <p>“Pediatric neurosurgery called to me because not only can you help the patients via the operating room, but you develop lifelong relationships with the patients and their families akin to their primary care physicians,” Dr. Fornoff said. “I love forming these relationships with patients and their families. Seeing them grow and develop makes my heart swell.”</p><p>Dr. Fornoff will be seeing patients at Boys Town National Research Hospital on Boys Town campus at 14080 Boys Town Hospital Rd.</p></div>
Pediatric Rheumatologist Joins Boys Town Hospital; Only Pediatric Rheumatologist in Nebraskahttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/pediatric-rheumatologist-omahaPediatric Rheumatologist Joins Boys Town Hospital; Only Pediatric Rheumatologist in Nebraska2019-11-12T06:00:00Z<div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7">​​​​​​​​​​<img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/ReinhardtAdam.jpg" alt="Adam Reinhardt, M.D." class="inline-image__image" /> <h2 class="is-size-5">Adam Reinhardt, M.D.</h2><p>Pediatric Rheumatologist<br>Boys Town National Research Hospital and Medical Clinics<br>Omaha, Nebraska</p></div>​ <p><a href="/physicians/adam-reinhardt">​​​​Adam Reinhardt, M.D.</a>​, board certified pediatric rheumatologist, joined B​oys Town National Research Hospital on August 8, 2019. He will be the only pediatric rheumatologist in Nebraska. </p><p>Dr. Reinhardt has received nine UNMC student and resident teaching awards for his commitment to teaching, mentoring and advancing medical education, including the Pediatric Residency Training Program’s Lifetime Distinguished Medical Education Award, the Hirschmann Prize for Teaching Excellence and the Hobart E. Wiltse Excellence in Medical Education Award. </p><p>His passion for education isn’t just for his students. </p><p>“Over years of practice, I found that in orde​r to provide the best patient care, I really must serve primarily in the role of an educator providing families and patients with the education necessary for them to make decisions that they are comfortable with but also allow them to achieve their primary goals and outcomes,” said Dr. Reinhardt. </p><p>​Dr. Reinhardt received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Reinhardt completed a pediatric rheumatology residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is located at Boys Town National Research Hospital on Boys Town campus at 14040 Boys Town Hospital Rd. </p></div>
Boys Town Researchers Find that Cannabis Changes how the Brain Responds to Threatshttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/cannabis-changes-threat-responseBoys Town Researchers Find that Cannabis Changes how the Brain Responds to Threats2019-11-08T06:00:00Z<p>​​​​Cannabis use is becoming increasingly acceptable in the United States with several states legalizing cannabis for medical uses, and some states moving to decriminalization of recreational usage. However, increased access to cannabis is also creating potential harms, especially for adolescents whose brains are still developing.</p><p>James Blair, Ph.D., Susan and George Haddix Endowed Chair in Neurobehavioral Research, and his research team at Boys Town National Research Hospital are interested in how cannabis and alcohol use affects neurodevelopment. They recently published a study where they measured brain activity in 43 male and 44 female adolescents, ages 14–18, who volunteered for the study.​<br></p><p>The researchers specifically looked at how the brain responds to threatening stimuli in young people with different levels of alcohol use disorder (AUD) or cannabis use disorder (CUD) symptoms [1]. The teens saw threatening (angry faces, predatory animals) or neutral images. These appeared to loom towards (or recede from) the adolescents who were lying in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. This scanner detects brain activity through localized changes in blood flow.<br></p><p>Dr. Blair’s team found that more severe CUD, but not AUD, symptoms were related to less responding to looming threats within brain structures such as the rostral frontal cortex and the amygdala. These are brain regions critically involved in emotional processing.<br></p><p>The ability to respond to threats is important for guiding people away from dangerous or risky choices. In other work conducted previously by Dr. Blair’s team, reduced responding to threat on the same task has been related to an increased risk for aggression and antisocial behavior. The link between increased CUD and reduced threat processing may underpin some of the recent findings linking cannabis abuse to aggression. There remains a lot that we don’t know how cannabis and alcohol affect developing brains, and what changes may become long-term changes. For a more detailed review of these findings see the paper Threat Responsiveness as a Function of Cannabis and Alcohol Use Disorder Severity [1].</p><h2>References</h2><ol><li>​Blair R.J.R., White S.F., Tyler P.M., Johnson K., et. al., (2019) <em>Threat Responsiveness as a Function of Cannabis and Alcohol Use Disorder Severity</em>. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 29(7):526–534.</li><li>Coker-Appiah D.S., White S.F., Clanton R., Yang J., Martin A., Blair R.J. (2013) <em>Looming animate and inanimate threats: The response of the amygdala and periaqueductal gray</em>. Soc Neurosci 8:621–630.<br></li></ol><h2>About Boys Town National Research Hospital</h2><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital offers a broad range of hospital and clinic services, backed by 40 years of life-changing research to provide the latest, most innovative care to our patients. The Hospital is internationally recognized as a leader in hearing research and clinical care and is leading research efforts in language and neuroscience to improve the lives of children and families across America.</p>​<br>
Caring Kind Award Nomination for Dave McAteehttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/caring-kind-award-nominationCaring Kind Award Nomination for Dave McAtee2019-10-23T05:00:00Z<p>​Care and compassion are most often used to describe direct patient care. For those of us in health fields, we know patient care is part of every encounter and every touchpoint, and that environments have healing powers, too. </p><p>This year, Boys Town National Research Hospital nominated Dave McAtee, Director of Facilities at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Boys Town, Nebraska for the Nebraska Hospital Association’s Caring Kind Award. </p><p>Positive, cheerful, problem-solver and respectful and just a few words used by colleagues to describe Dave. Since joining Boys Town Hospital in 2011, he has been instrumental in facility planning to meet the needs of our growing services, such as the hospital’s Residential Treatment Centers, Neuroscience Clinic, Advanced Care Unit, Hospital Inpatient Unit, 72nd Street Medical Clinics, Psychiatric Inpatient Unit and several clinics across the metro area. </p><p>Keeping patients and families first, Dave is insightful and forthcoming with any concerns or potential issues that may have an impact on the care our community has come to know and trust from us. Hospital leaders value his input, problem-solving and collaboration with clinical teams to arrive at regulatory compliant solutions. </p><div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7">​​​​​​​​<img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Dave-McAtee.jpg" alt="Dave McAtee" class="inline-image__image" /> <h2 class="is-size-5">Dave McAtee</h2><p>Director of Facilities<br>Boys Town National Research Hospital<br></p></div>​<p>“Dave is fully committed to supporting quality patient care and patient safety,” said Lori Umberger, Chief Nurse Executive at Boys Town National Research Hospital. </p><p>Examples of Dave’s behind-the-scenes care included working round-the-clock to address an air conditioning issue to make sure care areas remained cool and operable. In addition to supporting patient care, Dave has given many off-duty hours to make sure our facilities are first-impression ready for Boys Town hosted community events. </p><p>“Dave is the go-to guy who you can count on to get the job done,” said Roger Ernst, Associate Administrator of Facilities. “Nothing is too big or too small when it comes to supporting patient care and our mission. Dave is a huge asset to Boys Town Hospital.” </p><p>Dave’s caring kind is also shared internally. He leads a team of facility engineers and maintenance support and takes the time to help educate and train his team to give the best service to our internal customers and the patients we serve. Dave also serves on the Village of Boys Town safety committee. </p><p>On call 24/7, handing emergency calls, planning for facility growth, problem-solving rising engineering concerns all while ensuring a safe and clean environment - that’s what Dave McAtee does each and every day to support best care and safety practices at Boys Town National Research Hospital. </p><p>​Congratulations Dave, on your deserving nomination for the Caring Kind Award. </p></div>
Boys Town National Research Hospital Receives NIH HEAL Initiative Grant to Address the Opioid Epidemichttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/Grant-to-Research-Opioid-ImpactsBoys Town National Research Hospital Receives NIH HEAL Initiative Grant to Address the Opioid Epidemic2019-10-10T05:00:00Z<p>​​​Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha NE,​​ has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the amount of $552,000 as part of its Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or the NIH HEAL Initiative. Boys Town Hospital is one of 29 sites that will be taking part in the HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study (HBCD) as part of the NIH HEAL Initiative.  </p><p>The HBCD Study will establish a large cohort of pregnant women from regions of the country that have been significantly affected by the opioid crisis and follow them and their children for at least 10 years. Findings from this cohort will help researchers understand normative childhood brain development as well as the long-term impact of prenatal and postnatal opioid and other drug and environmental exposures. Boys Town Hospital has a long history of working with children and families dealing with sensitive health issues and is uniquely suited to help with this important research. </p><p>Led by James Blair, Ph.D.—Susan and George Haddix Endowed Chair in Neurobehavioral Research and Director, Center for Neurobehavioral Research in Children—Boys Town Hospital researchers will be investigating the impact of pre-natal exposure to opioids on brain, cognition and hearing development using a variety of imaging, behavioral testing and advanced statistics. According to Dr. Blair, “Children exposed to prenatal and postnatal drug abuse face considerable difficulties. To help these children, we need to understand how this exposure affects brain development. The HBCD study is an unprecedented opportunity to achieve this goal.”</p><p>According to Dr. Blair, “Recent work has told us much about how the first few years of life are a period of exponential brain growth and development. However, the effects of early exposure to opioids on normal infant and child development are unknown.”</p><p>The NIH launched the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative, to improve prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction and enhance pain management. The NIH HEAL Initiative has multiple focus areas and aims to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder and overdose, and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction.</p><p>“It’s clear that a multi-pronged scientific approach is needed to reduce the risks of opioids, accelerate development of effective non-opioid therapies for pain and provide more flexible and effective options for treating addiction to opioids,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who launched the initiative in early 2018. “This unprecedented investment in the NIH HEAL Initiative demonstrates the commitment to reversing this devastating crisis.”</p><div><h2>About Boys Town National Research Hospital</h2><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital offers a broad range of hospital and clinic services, backed by 40 years of life-changing research to provide the latest, most innovative care to our patients. The Hospital is internationally recognized as a leader in hearing research and clinical care and is leading research efforts in language and neuroscience to improve the lives of children and families across America.</p>​<br></div>
The Vocal Development Landmarks Interview Helps Clinicians and Families Track Vocal Developmental Milestoneshttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/vocal-development-landmarks-interviewThe Vocal Development Landmarks Interview Helps Clinicians and Families Track Vocal Developmental Milestones2019-09-18T05:00:00Z<div class="embed-container">​​​ <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AckEv3CcXtI" width="560" height="330" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> ​ <p>Monitoring how babies progress through the early stages of vocal development is important for professionals and families, especially when infants have developmental challenges, such as cerebral palsy, hearing loss, down syndrome, cleft palate, or other special needs. It is essential that children who are at risk for speech and language delays are identified as early as possible so interventions can be tailored to minimize developmental risk. Drs. Mary Pat Moller and Sophie Ambrose at Boys Town National Research Hospital, along with Dr. Anne Thomas of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, developed the Vocal Development Landmarks Interview (VDLI) for this purpose. </p><p>They recognized that the best way for professionals to monitor an infants' vocal development is to ask the parents about the child's vocal productions. However, they also realized that a better tool was needed to allow professionals to do that. The VDLI is a parent-report instrument for infants and young children who are not developmentally ready to cooperate with more structured testing [1]. It incorporates what has been learned from years of laboratory-based observations about the orderly stages of vocal development that babies go through and involves parents as the best resource for understanding if their child is meeting these vocal milestones. </p><p>The VDLI design uses a series of digital slides with audio files containing authentic infant vocalizations to ensure parents know exactly what vocal behavior the professional is asking them to report on. The vocal behaviors are also arranged in developmental order, beginning with those typically observed by 6 months of age and ending with those typically observed by 21 months of age.</p><p>According to Dr. Ambrose, “The feedback we've gotten is that the tool really helps both parents and clinicians learn about behaviors to watch for and which behaviors to encourage the development of next in early intervention." She also indicated that clinicians reported wanting a tool that was easy to use with families in homes, which led the team to collaborate with the Technology Core at Boys Town National Research Hospital to create the VDLI as an iOS App that allows for maximum accessibility and portability. For more information on the VDLI, watch the included video in this article or access their recent publication cited below. For help with downloading the app and its related resources, you can contact Dr. Ambrose at sophie.ambrose@boystown.org. </p><h1>References</h1><ol><li>Moeller, M. P., Thomas, A. E., Oleson, J., & Ambrose, S. E. (2019). Validation of a parent report tool for monitoring early vocal stages in infants. <em>Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62</em>(7), 2245–​2257. <a href="https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_JSLHR-S-18-0485&c=E%2c1%2cTyO9MT8ZeqKqTirqyM4xKxHff156PQsvhkojUIsEvKRTjCOZGYRCZtCYAtis0fB9fSOCsaPzhZ99XRXf3PmhDNSRbXQqOfmSbvP7fua6hmyPH2ofJQ%2c%2c&typo=1">https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_JSLHR-S-18-0485</a>​<br></li></ol>​​​​ <br>
Trauma-Informed Care is Critical for Youth Needing Residential Serviceshttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/trauma-informed-care-critical-for-youthTrauma-Informed Care is Critical for Youth Needing Residential Services2019-08-26T05:00:00Z<p>​​​​​​​​​Repeated exposure to trauma is extremely common for youth that end up in residential programs. Exposure to trauma changes these kids, <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/abuse-maltreatment-affect-brain-development"> even altering their brain development [1], </a>in ways that affect their responses to many aspects of their environment, including how they will respond to those people who are attempting to help them. In some cases, this means that attempts to treat kids unintentionally ends up traumatizing them further.</p><p>Boys Town, however, uses a trauma-informed car​e model that takes past trauma exposure into account in order to prevent the treatment from causing additional trauma. Additionally, Boys Town developed a screening instrument to identify possible symptoms youth may have related to past trauma [2]. Boys Town clinicians use this information to determine the supports and services youth need to help them heal. While this approach is widely accepted as the recommended approach for improving care in residential programs, research is also needed to support existing practices and to help us further improve how we take care of at-risk kids.</p><p>To help understand the benefits of our trauma-informed model, researchers at Boys Town, led by Patrick Tyler, Ph.D., recently conducted a study examining records for 1,096 youth from 9 to 18 years old who received Boys Town services. Their goals were to assess how trauma was associated with behavioral incidents, as well as the effects of trauma on psychological health at intake and when youth discharged from our program. [3]</p><p>Among the discoveries from their study, the researchers found that trauma symptoms were the best predictor of emotional problems and self-injury. Additionally, girls had higher rates of self-injurious behaviors than boys, whereas boys had higher rates of conduct problems at intake than girls in this study. Younger children also had higher rates of disruptive behavior compared to older children.</p><p>This study also showed that boys and girls who were grouped into either high or low trauma categories responded favorably to the trauma-informed program. Overall decreases were observed in disruptive and self-injurious incidents while in care, as well as conduct and emotional problems from intake to discharge for all of the groups. However, youth whom clinicians identified as having lower levels of trauma did have greater decreases in emotional problems.</p><p>A primary goal of Dr. Tyler’s team for this study was to determine how well the trauma-informed model has been working for youth that receive Boys Town services. Future studies will build on this by looking at best practices for incorporating trauma screening and assessment into the admission process in order to plan and provide the most effective care for our youth. Research is currently ongoing to identify strategies that can help youth with higher levels of trauma make even greater improvement.</p><h2>References<br></h2><ol><li>Blair K.S., Aloi J., Crum K., et. al. (2019) <em>Association of Different Types of Childhood Maltreatment With Emotional Responding and Response Control Among Youths</em> 2019 <strong>2</strong>(5). JAMA Netw Open.</li><li>Tyler, P.M., Mason, W.A., Chmelka, M.B., et. al. (2019) <em>Psychometrics of a Brief Trauma Symptom Screen for Youth in residential care</em> Journal of Traumatic Stress. doi: 10.1002/jts.22442. </li><li>Tyler P.M., Patwardan I., Ringle J.L., et. al., (2019) <em> <a href="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_docs/Trauma-Informed_Group_Homes_Tyler_et_al._2019.pdf"> Youth Needs at Intake into Trauma-Informed Group Homes ​and Response to Services: An Examination of Trauma Exposure, Symptoms, and Clinical Impression​</a>.</em> doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12364. Am J Community Psychol</li><ol></ol></ol>
Safe Sleep Certification Awarded to Boys Town Hospitalhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/safe-sleep-awardSafe Sleep Certification Awarded to Boys Town Hospital2019-08-16T05:00:00Z<p>The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded Boys Town National Research Hospital with two champion certificates: Safe Sleep Hospit​al Champion and Abusive Head Trauma/Shaken Baby Prevention Education Champion. These certifications are part of the Nebraska Safe Sleep Hospital Campaign and the Nebraska Abusive Head Trauma Prevention Campaign.</p><p>Jackie Moline, Maternal Infant Health Program Coordinator for the State of Nebraska, presented the certificates to staff at the Inpatient Unit at Boys Town Medical Campus – Pacific Street.</p><p>“We need to make sure to continue to increase awareness on these safety issues,” said Lori Umberger, Chief Nurse Executive. “It’s a big deal for patient safety and quality patient care.”</p><p>Boys Town Hospital is the only non-birthing hospital in Nebraska to receive this recognition. Congratulations to our nursing staff on these certifications!</p><div class="embed-container"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lyl9RXQI0SM" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div>​
Boys Town Hospital and Shriners Healthcare for Children Collaborate through Telehealth and Outreach Clinic Location; First in Nebraskahttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/boys-town-shriners-collaborationBoys Town Hospital and Shriners Healthcare for Children Collaborate through Telehealth and Outreach Clinic Location; First in Nebraska2019-08-08T05:00:00Z<p>​​​Boys Town National Research Hospital announces a collaboration with Shriners Healthcare for Children of Minneapolis, Minnesota, to help provide greater access to orthopaedic care for children across Nebraska and surrounding areas.</p><p>There are currently more than 500 patients from Nebraska who travel to Minneapolis on a regular basis to be seen at Shriners Healthcare for Children — Twin Cities. The goal of this collaboration is to make care provided by Shriners Healthcare for Children's specialty pediatric orthopaedic more convenient for these families and to provide additional access services to them through the wide range of expertise available at Boys Town National Research Hospital. </p><p>This collaboration includes several initiatives:</p><ul><li> <strong>Telehealth</strong> – Boys Town Hospital is a new telehealth location for Shriners Healthcare, and will provide an opportunity for patients in Nebraska and beyond to receive consultations from physicians at Twin Cities Shriners Healthcare, without the added travel to Minneapolis. </li><li> <strong>Regular outreach clinics</strong> – Shriners Healthcare will hold outreach clinics located at Boys Town Hospital. At these clinics, pediatric orthopaedic surgeons, nurses, pediatric orthotic and prosthetic (POPS) staff, and support staff from Shriners Healthcare will travel to Boys Town Hospital to provide face-to-face care to patients. The staff at Boys Town Hospital will provide support and additional care for patients, particularly radiology services, if needed. </li></ul><p>“We are excited and energized by this opportunity to w​ork closely together to provide care for more children. Each organization has unique capabilities that when joined in collaboration allow us to reach and serve more children across the Nebraska region. Our missions are very much aligned," said Charles Lobeck, Shriners Healthcare for Children — Twin Cities Administrator.​</p><p>“This alignment with Shriners Healthcare on orthopaedic services is another example of our hospital being a community resource for Omaha and the surrounding area," said Edward Kolb, M.D., MBA, Director and Chief Medical Officer at Boys Town National Research Hospital. “More children and families will have greater access to care and when that happens, we all win." </p><p>Shriners Healthcare for Children has been treating children from Nebraska since it opened in 1923.</p><p> <strong>About Shriners Healthcare for Children:</strong> </p><p> <em>The primary mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children is to help children who need specialized medical care - wherever they may live. Although our locations are primarily in North America, our compassionate health care system has treated children from more than 150 countries, and conducts more than 100 medical outreach clinics outside of the U.S. every year. Our highly-skilled medical teams treat children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and other complex health care needs. To learn more, please visit </em> <a href="http://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/"> <em>www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org</em></a>.</p><p> <em>Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. </em></p><p> <strong>About Boys Town National Research Hospital:</strong></p><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital offers a broad range of hospital and clinic services, backed by 40 years of life-changing research to provide the latest, most innovative care to our patients. The Hospital is internationally recognized as a leader in hearing research and clinical care and is leading research efforts in language and neuroscience to improve the lives of children and families across America. ​</p>​
Functional Brain Imaging Shows How Maltreatment Affects Brain Developmenthttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/abuse-maltreatment-affect-brain-developmentFunctional Brain Imaging Shows How Maltreatment Affects Brain Development2019-06-20T05:00:00Z<p>Boys Town is recognized as a world leader in caring for kids in trouble, many of whom have been subjected to childhood trauma. Boys Town National Research Hospital is also home to research investigating the impacts of maltreatment on developing brains. Karina Blair, Ph.D. and her team at Boys Town Hospital recently published a paper titled, <em>Association of Different Types of Childhood Maltreatment</em><em> </em> <em>With</em><em> Emotional Responding and Response Control Among Youths</em> [1] that examines some of these issues. </p><p style="text-align:left;">Specifically, the authors looked at measures of brain function and behavior for 116 young people from 10–18 years of age who reported and rated their personal experiences with different types of abuse and neglect. The children and adolescents were either enrolled in Boys Town programs or from the surrounding community, and their families gave consent to the study with the option to withdraw at any time. The kids' brain activity was monitored while they performed a number counting task in the presence of distracting emotional images. This allowed Dr. Blair to determine the association of different forms of maltreatment on brain systems critical for task performance as well as emotional responding.  </p><p style="text-align:left;">The main findings of this study were the association of abuse, rather than neglect—at least, within this group of participants—with both difficulties with response control and heightened emotional responding.  Moreover, physical abuse was particularly associated with heightened threat responding. Sexual abuse was associated with a cascade of difficulties that were present even after the influence of other forms of maltreatment was statistically accounted for (Figure 1). </p> <img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/brainMRI.png" alt="Brain MRI" /> <p> <strong>Figure 1. The anterior cingulate region of the brain is importantly involved in emotional processing and shows overly increased responding in kids who have suffered sexual abuse. </strong>The colored areas in this image show the regions showing greater responding in kids who have suffered sexual abuse relative to those who have not.  The “hotter" the color, the more overly responding the region. </p><p style="text-align:left;"> </p><p style="text-align:left;">These findings are important because we know these kids need help. They may find themselves in dangerous situations and sometimes legal trouble.  We need to understand exactly what problems they face. Understanding their brain level-difficulties are part of the picture.  Moreover, the findings of this work suggest that maltreatment may have different impacts according to the form of maltreatment.  Indeed, sexual abuse may be associated with particularly severe brain-level difficulties.  Potential findings such as these may become the basis for assessing treatment success at the level of the individual. For a much more detailed description of their findings <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2734074" target="_blank"> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">see the article in JAMA Network Open</span></a> [1]. </p> <p>References </p><ol><li>Blair KS1, Aloi J2, Crum K3, Meffert, et. al. (2019) <em>Association of Different Types of Childhood Maltreatment </em> <em>With</em><em> Emotional Responding</em><em> </em> <em>and Response Control Among Youths</em>, 2019 <strong>2</strong>(5). JAMA Netw Open.  </li></ol>
Discussing the Neuroscience of Kids Facing Adult Justice Systemhttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/discussing-the-neuroscience-of-kids-facing-adult-justice-systemDiscussing the Neuroscience of Kids Facing Adult Justice System2019-06-12T05:00:00Z<p>The adult criminal justice system is often charged with determining the appropriate response to young children who have done bad things. However, these young child offenders are often also victims of abuse, pre-natal drug exposure and neglect. Trauma may change the brain's response to stressful situations and alter the child's ability to control unwanted behaviors. Courts must weigh these circumstances when considering whether the child should be charged as an adult.</p><p>Boys Town researchers are working to understand typical brain development as well as how this may be altered by stress using behavioral assessment tools and functional neuroimaging. In addition, for more than 100 years, Boys Town has been helping at risk youth and their families to change outcomes for the better. This combined experience puts us in an ideal position to provide judges with information relevant to their decisions about what to do with kids who end up in their courtrooms.</p><p>In partnership with the National Courts and Science Institute, Boys Town recently hosted a Neuroscience and the Law Workshop. Led by James Blair, Ph.D., Susan and George Haddix Endowed Chair for Neurobehavioral Research at Boys Town National Research Hospital, the judges were given an overview of current science on brain development and childhood trauma. In addition, judges and Boys Town staff held round table discussions covering case examples and how current knowledge may be applicable to judicial decision making. The judges were given a tour of facilities and technologies they may hear about in cases, and what those technologies can and cannot tell us about developing brains and mental health.</p><p>Advocating for youth, including those who end up in the criminal justice system but might be better served by therapy and intervention, is part of Boys Town's mission to help at risk youth. We appreciate the participation of the judges and hope that this meeting will be a model for future workshops as new discoveries are made.</p><div class="embed-container"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5sXkqRfThlk?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div>​
Findings on Safe Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential Testing in Children https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/findings-on-safe-vestibular-evoked-myogenic-potential-testing-in-childrenFindings on Safe Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential Testing in Children 2019-06-11T05:00:00Z<p>The vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) test is something you may encounter if you or a family member are experiencing issues with balance or dizziness. The VEMP is a non-invasive test that uses short, intense sound stimuli to produce a muscle reflex in the eye or neck muscles. The muscle reflex is recorded with surface electrodes that attach to the skin over the muscle. The test specifically informs clinicians about the health of vestibular components of the balance system—the utricle and saccule organs of the inner ear (Figure 1).<br></p><p style="text-align:center;"> <img class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="inner-ear-v2.jpg" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/inner-ear-v2.jpg" style="margin:auto;width:340px;height:268px;" />  </p> <strong style="font-size:0.87em;">Figure 1. Diagram of the inner ear. </strong> <span style="font-size:0.87em;">The inner ear in humans contains the auditory and balance systems. The utricle, saccule and semi-circular canals are central components of the balance system and process information about the head's position and movement in space. The cochlea is a central component of the auditory system.</span> <div> <span style="font-size:12.25px;"><br></span><span style="font-size:0.87em;"></span> <p>In children, VEMP responses are correlated with development of standing, walking, and posture control [1, 2]. Children with impaired vestibular function are more likely to achieve these milestones at a later age [3], and can benefit from rehabilitation.</p><p>While the VEMP test is used with children, most of what we know about the test is from research and clinical experience with adults. It is not uncommon for doctors to need to rely information from adults for pediatric procedures but, because children are physically different, this can come with risks. For the VEMP test, there is some risk that the intensity of sound stimuli used for testing in adults is too loud in children and can damage the specialized cells in the ear that are crucial for hearing in children. It's also possible that children will respond better to different frequencies of sound than adults.</p><p>Understanding how the balance system works and develops is the focus of Kristen Janky, Ph.D, in her Vestibular and Balance Laboratory at Boys Town National Research Hospital. In a recent paper, Janky and Amanda Rodriguez explored optimum conditions for completing VEMP testing in children and young adults. They found that young children, ages 4–9, required significantly lower sound levels to elicit normal VEMP responses compared to adolescents or young adults. However, they found that there were no differences in response to the standard 500 Hz and 750 Hz frequencies that are used in testing [4].</p><p> <strong>TABLE 1. Mean (SD) VEMP thresholds at 500 Hz and 750 Hz for adults, adolescents, and children.</strong></p><table class="ms-rteTable-default" width="100%" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:20%;"> <strong> </strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:20%;"> <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>500 Hz</strong></span></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:20%;">​</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:20%;"> <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>750 Hz</strong></span></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:20%;">​</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> </td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Mean <br>(dB SPL)</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Standard Deviation<br> (dB SPL)</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Mean <br>(dB SPL)</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Standard Deviation<br> (dB SPL)</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Cervical VEMP Threshold<br> Response (dB SPL)</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong> </strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong> </strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong> </strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong> </strong></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Adults</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>111.5</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>3.25</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>112</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>2.61</strong></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Adolescents</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">107.5</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">4.85</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">109.5</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">3.68</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Children</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>106</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>4.63</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>106</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>3.91</strong></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Ocular VEMP Threshold Response (dB SPL)</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong> </strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong> </strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong> </strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong> </strong></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Adults</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>116</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>3.94</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>117</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>3.49</strong></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Adolescents</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">112.5</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">4.81</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">114.5</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">2.83</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Children</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>111.1</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>4.10</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>112.2</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"> <strong>4.17</strong></td></tr></tbody></table><p> <em>Bold values represent significant differences. Children showed lower cervical and ocular VEMP thresholds compared to adults.</em></p><p>This research will help children by providing guidelines for safe VEMP testing in children, and keeping children's ears safe from possible injury. Experienced audiologists will already be careful with the ears of their young patients, but this knowledge will give them a better testing range, and information about what is normal responsiveness. For additional experiments, details and the authors' conclusions check out their paper, <em>Air-Conducted Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential Testing in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults: Thresholds, Frequency Tuning, and Effects of Sound Exposure</em>.</p><p>Thanks to the research volunteers for this study. Our volunteers included 10 children, ages 4–9, 10 adolescents, ages 10–19, and 10 young adults, ages 20–29.</p><h2>References<br></h2><ol><li>Wiener-Vacher, S.R., F. Toupet, and P. Narcy, <em>Canal and otolith vestibulo-ocular reflexes to vertical and off vertical axis rotations in children learning to walk.</em> Acta Otolaryngol, 1996. <strong>116</strong>(5): p. 657-65.</li><li>Wang, S.J., W.S. Hsieh, and Y.H. Young, <em>Development of ocular vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials in small children.</em> Laryngoscope, 2013. <strong>123</strong>(2): p. 512-7.</li><li>Inoue, A., et al., <em>Effect of vestibular dysfunction on the development of gross motor function in children with profound hearing loss.</em> Audiol Neurootol, 2013. <strong>18</strong>(3): p. 143-51.</li><li>Rodriguez, A.I., M.L.A. Thomas, and K.L. Janky, <em>Air-Conducted Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential Testing in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults: Thresholds, Frequency Tuning, and Effects of Sound Exposure.</em> Ear Hear, 2019. <strong>40</strong>(1): p. 192-203.</li></ol></div>
Changing the Way America Cares for Children with Asthmahttps://www.boystownhospital.org/news/changing-the-way-america-cares-for-children-with-asthmaChanging the Way America Cares for Children with Asthma2019-05-06T05:00:00Z<p>Kevin Murphy, M.D., Allergist and Pediatric Pulmonologist at Boys Town National Research Hospital, gave the keynote presentation at the American Lung Association’s Richard Cushing, M.D., Memorial Medical Lecture in Minneapolis on May 7, 2019. His presentation, <em>A New Era in Asthma Management in Preschool Children</em>, focused on the updated guidelines for uncontrollable asthma in children called the Pediatric Asthma Yard Stick, which he co-authored and co-developed with nine physicians and researchers across the country in 2018.</p><p>“It’s an honor to be selected among my peers to present at the Richard Cushing Memorial Lecture,” said Dr. Murphy. “This was a wonderful opportunity to share the new guidelines in asthma care to an influential group of physicians and providers who will help disseminate this information and provide the latest, most innovative care for children with uncontrollable asthma.” </p><p>The lecture is an invitation-only event for pulmonary and allergy physicians and healthcare professionals in the asthma community. Keynote speakers are experts chosen based on their contributions to the field of allergy and asthma. </p><p>Dr. Richard Cushing is known for founding Camp Superkids, a week-long camp to help build self-esteem and confidence in kids with asthma while educating them and their families on how to better manage their disease. The camp first opened in Minnesota and has since expanded to Nebraska and South Dakota.</p><p>Dr. Murphy was president of the American Lung Association – Nebraska Chapter and was involved in the Nebraska Camp Superkids. He is nationally recognized for contributions to the Pediatric Asthma Yard Stick and for his position as the lead author of the TRACK tool, which is used to assess asthma control in children under 5 years of age. The TRACK tool has been translated in several languages for global accessibility. </p><p>We congratulate Dr. Murphy on his recognition as an expert in pediatric asthma and for his ongoing commitment to help change the way America cares for children and families. </p>