Assessing Donnie Darko

Director Richard Kelly’s masterpiece that is Donnie Darko ventures into the mind-bending yet unnerving side of science fiction as his film depicts a teenage boy’s struggle with schizophrenia. Set in the late 80’s, the movie follows 16-year old Donald “Donnie” Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his unique relationship with a particular hallucination that presents itself in the form of a 6-foot-tall rabbit that goes by the name of Frank. After these hallucinations pull him away from what could have been a fatal accident, Donnie becomes fixated upon Frank’s orders for him and develops an unhealthy obsession with executing Frank’s demands. Donnie’s descent into madness, however, is only a portion of the riveting plot. The presence of these hallucinations are synonymous with the oncoming collapse of reality, a notion Frank warned Donnie of during their first encounter. Although Donnie regularly meets with his psychiatrist, Dr. Thurman, the combination of attempting to understand the theoretical psychics of time travel and dealing with the paranoia associated with schizophrenia is incredibly overwhelming for the teen and ultimately ends in his symbolic and metaphoric death. Although this cult classic loosely touches on mental health issues, Kelly and Gyllenhaal utilized this character incredibly well to emanate the serious hardships of a psychotic disorder.

Throughout the film, Donnie displays a variety of schizophrenic tendencies as well as extreme paranoia, an incredibly common attribute of most schizophrenics (Halgin, R., & Whitbourne, S., 2014). This irrational belief that riddles Donnie is present throughout the entire movie; as his dire yet imaginative need to save the reality he knows and follow Frank’s orders evolves into a horrific and controlling delusion. Though there is not one explicit scene that demonstrates this trait altogether, it is arguably the most powerful yet overlooked undercurrent of the film. Donnie’s motivation behind carrying out various actions is terror and desperation alone, verifying his extreme paranoia. In opposition to the more hidden elements of Donnie’s psychologically disturbed mind, his vivid hallucinations and delusions are arguably the most clearly stated and obvious symptom. The plot revolves around his unhealthy relationship with Frank, a figment of his own imagination for a portion of time. The increased reliance on the rabbit manifests itself in Donnie’s conscious stream of thought and causes him to lose sight of rationality entirely. Contributing to this separation is his perpetual delusion that the world is coming to an end and that time travel alone will align the various universes. Dr. Thurman attributes this notion to the hypothesis that “Donnie’s aggressive behavior seems to stem from his increased detachment from reality, his inability to cope with the forces in the world that he perceives to be threatening” (Kelly, 2003). Dr. Thurman’s assessment is arguably unquestionable due to the relationship dynamics she and Donnie share. Donnie’s lack of interest in family or friends portrays a negative symptom of schizophrenia, however, his attachment to the psychiatrist possibly increases the validity of her statement. A fifth, yet almost unnoticeable characteristic Donnie obtains is experiencing inappropriate feelings or emotions in a given situation. The most detectable instance of this occurrence is during a hypnotic therapy session with Dr. Thurman. She begins to question Donnie about familial logistics and he continuously provides responses pertaining to having sex with various classmates. Donnie also has a similar episode as he persistently questions a guest speaker at school and ultimately calls the man the antichrist, a potential sign of occupational dysfunction. Though comical in the film, these two instances represent another negative symptom of his condition and cannot go unnoted.

Although the plot and character that is Donnie Darko is purely a work of fiction, one can still evaluate how accurately he exhibits the symptoms of schizophrenia and look for possible discrepancies. The aforementioned qualities very consistently align with true cases of this disorder; however, assessing Donnie in the context of the film proves to be quite difficult. The science fiction aspects that infiltrate the storyline clearly influence Donnie’s thoughts and actions in a way a paranoid schizophrenic, or anyone, would ever have to face. The notion of time travel and multiple realities clouds an accurate judgment simply because of the additional circumstances it presents. However, viewing the instances occurring in everyday settings not concerned with theoretical physics, Donnie embodies a functioning schizophrenic. His various symptoms meet the criteria outlined by the DSM-5 to be constituted as an accurate diagnosis and one can assume that these traits have been occurring for over a month long period due to his established relationship with a counselor and frequent mention of medication (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

Donnie Darko, though Richard Kelly’s first completed film, is renown for its inability to conclude with a concrete solution or understanding. The multifaceted nature of the movie is incredibly captivating and well received by a variety of populations. In an interview with Kelly, he briefly outlined his fascination with Donnie’s mental illness and how “Donnie Darko” was inspired by a fellow classmate who was unfortunately addicted to cocaine. He discussed Dr. Thurman and Donnie’s close relationship and how this aspect of the movie served to continuously provide the main form of Donnie’s treatment: “[Dr. Thurman] does not think Donnie is crazy. She’s been trying to get to the root of his problems through psychology, not medication, to get him to expose things under the assumption that the medication is making him better when really he is making himself better, naturally, without drugs” (Kelly, 2003). The film itself depicts the struggles of teen years with a deeper twist that will forever leave the audience guessing about what Kelly’s piece truly stands for.

Works Cited

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.

Barrymore, D. B. (Producer), & Kelly, J. R. (Director). 2002. Donnie Darko [Motion picture on DVD], (2002). United States: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Halgin, R., & Whitbourne, S. (2014). Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders. In Abnormal Psychology: Clinical Perspectives on Psychological Disorders (7th ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: McGraw-Hill.

Kelly, R., & Gyllenhaal, J. (2003). The Donnie Darko Book. London, Queen Square: Faber and Faber.

Treating Mental Health and Forensic Populations

No longer is it possible to assess and/or treat a mental health population without also interfacing with forensic issues such as legal infractions, Courts, violence, sexual behavior problems, delinquency, crime, Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, substance abuse, and others. The training and approaches to the mental health population is different than that for a forensic population. So what is to be done, if a person has both issues? We must be cross trained for dually affected clients.

How Are the Populations Different

A Mental Health population is comprised primarily Axis I disorders, such as Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Major Depression, PTSD, and Anxiety Disorders. Daily functioning is on a continuum. Recovery is quick for some and slow for others and is also on a continuum. Well controlled intermittent, mild to moderate episodes of a mood or anxiety disorder will not necessarily interfere with daily functioning. Someone with severe, chronic Schizophrenia or Mood Disorder requiring periodic hospitalizations and extensive community support, will have impairment in daily functioning. Goals for these folks are often pro-social and involve being an active member of society. A therapist can be fairly sure that the mental health client without forensic issues will be relatively honest in his or her interactions and the therapist can take most of what he/she says at face value. An emphasis on a strengths model works well when no personality disorder is involved.

A forensic population can be defined as having personality disorders, interpersonal difficulties, behavioral problems, multiple problems and life long courses of various levels of dysfunction or difficulty. Again, this population fills the full spectrum of effective daily functioning. However, social functioning is often the most severe impairment. There are issues of trust, appropriate relationships, ego centrism, moral development, honesty, manipulation, and danger to self and others. They often have a negative view of themselves and others, especially authority figures. Moral development is often delayed leaving them at the egocentric stage of development. This means that what serves the self is what matters and empathy for others and the ability to have an honest relationship with another person may not yet have developed. Their goals are often self-serving.

The capacity to understand the importance of the best interest of the group through laws and rules that we voluntarily follow, may not be well understood. Many, if not most, have histories of childhood abuse, neglect, or exposure to domestic violence. The assessment and interventions with this population is necessarily different that those for a people with no Axis II disorder or trait. The people with forensic issues do not always tell the truth because of their lack of trust in relationships. The therapist cannot take what he/she says at face value. The therapist must separate the sincere from the manipulative moves for self-gain. The internal boundaries are such that they need the therapist to put external boundaries into place for them. Information must be checked with other sources of information.

How Assessment Tools Differ

In a mental health population, assessment can quite effectively be done through instruments such as the MMPI-A, BASC, and MACI. These self-report tools are quite sufficient for this population and will elucidate psychological dynamics and mental illness, if present. Self-report is not as much of an issue as it is in the forensic population, where third party verification is more important. However when a youth has multiple problems, both mental health and forensic, a combination of tools is preferred.

Forensic evaluation tools rely less on self-report because of the trust issues and because it is not always in the client’s best interest to be completely truthful. Self-report assessment instruments can be used, but third party and official reports should also be used in the evaluation phase of a forensic assessment. Courts are concerned with public safety, therefore, the need for tools that assess future risk of dangerousness to others. Risk of future aggression and sexual behavior problems that have been derived from statistical models (actuarial tools) should be part of the evaluation since clinical assessment of risk of future dangerousness is only a little better than chance. While risk assessments are not perfect, they are better than clinical judgment in this area.

How are Interventions Different?

Major Mental Illnesses, while often chronic, can often be very effectively treated with medication and therapy. At the higher functioning end of the continuum, therapy can be supportive, psychotherapeutic, family, or cognitive behavioral. Therapists are trained to accept what the client presents and start where the client is functioning and how the client sees the world. The clients are usually self-motivated and seek therapy voluntarily. They accept responsibility for their behaviors and for making changes in their lives. Use of a strengths model is often very effective. Many people recover fully and lead quite “normal,” non-disrupted lives. When someone is on the lower end of the continuum, with major disruption in every day functioning (work and family),despite medication and therapy, major supports for housing, jobs, and activities of daily living and medication are needed for a very long time, perhaps a life time. However, their life goals are often still pro-social. Serlf-directed care works well with the mental health population without Axis II diagnoses.

In the area of intervention, different approaches are needed for the forensic population. Some level of social and family dysfunction is generally intergenerational and lifelong. These clients are often Court ordered to an assessment or therapy or they are having significant problems at work or within the family causing others to seek assessment or therapy for them. They do not always accept responsibility for their actions or for changing. There are skill deficits that need to be addressed, such as social skills, anger management, and problem solving. You cannot take what these clients say at face value. Third party information is always needed. This is because you need to trust someone in order to be honest with them and most of these folks have been abused, neglected, or exposed to domestic violence and a suspicious arm’s length treatment of others is a coping strategy that is difficult to give up.

This population often has multiple problems so that Multi-systemic Therapy that approaches many areas that need to be addressed is often effective (treating the whole person). Group work and trauma therapies are also good tools. Self-directed therapy may not be effective because of the need to protect oneself from what may appear to be an unsafe world. Nurturing, setting good boundaries, and structure are essential in this work. Motivational interviewing and stages of change can be very helpful. When clients have issues in the mental health and forensic arenas, both approaches must be used to the extent possible.

Conclusions

Clients in a mental health setting range from the single diagnosis of a major mental Illness to the dual diagnosis of a major mental illness and a personality disorder and/or forensic/legal issue. The approaches to these dissimilar populations is unique when clients are dually diagnosed, both approaches are needed. Assessments and treatment for a mental health population can be self-directed and strengths based.

However, the approach for the forensic population cannot be self-directed because the client’s goals are often antisocial and by definition counter to the best interests of society. The therapist or evaluator cannot accept everything the client says at face value because not being honest is part of the disorder that the therapist is treating. Motivational interviewing seems to blend the views of traditional mental health and forensics in a way that is beneficial for the client and society.

Treatment Options for Your Beard Patches

If you are suffering from the aforementioned condition, you can try out some home remedies as a first line of treatment. One of the best known home remedies is the use of massaging oil, which is readily available in the local stores. You can try rubbing this oil regularly – just before going to bed for a few days. Oils such as olive oils or coconut oils are very beneficial for bald patches. If that does not work, you can check out the lemon juice treatment. The treatment is very simple. All you need to do is to squeeze out the juice of a lemon and then directly apply it on the affected area. If you mix black tea with the lemon juice, the effectiveness is more. You should see the results in just a few weeks.

Herbal tea is also very good for the baldness treatment. You can use tea leaves that are freshly soaked in water or you can use the tea bags and soak them in water. Then apply the tea solution on the affected area. This is generally done early in the morning or late in the evening-just before going to bed.

If these home remedies don’t work, it is time you searched the internet for hair growth enhancers. The hair growth enhancers are generally different for the head and the beard region. The beard region skin is tender and needs special care. The hair growth enhancers are easily available on online stores, but the efficacy of most of them is still in question. If the hair growth enhancers are chemical based, you will definitely have some side effects-most of which are undesirable.

Always read some reviews of the hair growth enhancers that are easily available in the market. When you see the advertisement ‘one plus one free’-there is surely something that you really don’t understand. Dubious hair growth enhancers can have reverse effects as well; this includes further hair loss in the beard region. You need to check the ingredients of the hair growth enhancers that are easily available on the internet.

Herbal alopecia barbae treatment is mostly preferred over the conventional treatments. There are several reasons for this, but the most significant reasons are the zero side effects. However, there are some ways in which you need to apply the creams or herbal oils, which are mentioned on the packs.

If you have just started to get the bald patches on the beard skin, you will get better results with herbal treatments. Don’t let your personality get affected by bald patches on the beard skin-do the treatment in the nick of time. You can check out the internet for various herbal treatments and then select the best one considering the cost and reliability factors.

After Hip Surgery-Tips For Taking A Shower

Taking a shower after a hip prosthesis is removed due to a staph infection or wear and tear can be a daunting task. Typically one cannot put more than 25% of one’s weight on the affected side because there is no real hip joint, just a spacer.

Even though we have two bathrooms, one has a regular bath tub, and the other has a stall shower with a step-over wall, about 6″ high. To get in and out of either requires lifting the effected leg and putting full weight on it which was impossible with just the “spacer”. We also do not have grab rails in either bathroom and we did not want to install them since this we hoped mobility issue would be temporary. We did not want holes in the ceramic tile.  As everyone knows, most accidents that happen in the home happen in the bathroom. We definitely did not need anymore unplanned hip surgeries.

Our neighbor came up with a solution.  He had a portable outdoor (sometimes called Hurricane) shower near his swimming pool which can be hooked up to a hose.  By filling the hose with water and leaving it lying out in the sun, one could get a really hot shower.  Of course you have to get washed real fast before you run out of hot water and get hit with a blast  of cold water.  Those of us who live in the Sun Belt don’t have a problem taking an outdoor shower except on those rare, cold days that sometimes pop up and catch us by surprise.

During those months when we had a “spacer” and no hip joint, that was the way we took a shower.  Our yard has a privacy fence, and we warned our friends to knock on the gate before entering the back yard since he would be “au naturale”.  This may be a kind of fun way to take a shower, but extremely inconvenient. All the bath items had to be lugged out to the yard and then be brought back inside.  This adds a lot of extra work to the caregiver’s chores.

We did this for about three months. When my husband was scheduled for hip revision surgery (replacing the prosthesis that was removed) it was now November and taking a shower outside may not be possible due to occasional bouts of cold weather.  We also were told he would be wearing a brace for three months to stabilize the hip. This meant life in the shower was not going to get any easier. In fact, for the next three months we would still have the same old mobility challenges. It was time to find some relatively inexpensive gadgets that would help us handle the shower issue more effectively. We wish we knew about some of these items before we came home from the hospital.

Please visit my website at: http://mybestmobilitygadgetfinder.com  to find products and ideas to make everyday tasks easier for both the patient and the caregiver after hip or even knee surgery.

How to Build a Serenity Room, And Regain a Bit of Your Sanity

Screaming rock or rap music, jackhammers, car horns, ringing cell phones, crying babies–there’s no ignoring the pervasive noise in our chaotic culture, the modern equivalent of medieval torture, only worse, because there’s no escaping it! It would be different if it was like a train whistle in the night that we’ve long since became inured to. But modern noises are assaultive in their sudden, jarring burst upon our senses. When you hear tires screech, a co-worker yell across the room, or your teen’s bedroom walls vibrating from the decibels emanating from inside, don’t you long to fly away to a warm, quiet, lush, soothing tropical island? And car alarms! They don’t work anyway; there should be a law banning them. They’re enough to make us call the realtor and pack that night! Is there no hiding place from the din? No refuge from the chaotic thrum and pulse of daily life? The world’s noise level is ratcheting up along with the temperature. Call it Global Deafening. Help!

Actually, there is help. It’s called a serenity room, and these rooms are becoming very popular, especially now that the number of empty nesters is on the rise, and boomers have the house more or less to ourselves, at least until the ‘boomerrangers’ arrive. Here’s the idea:

Find a spare room–empty bedroom, walk-in closet, furnace room or bathroom if need be, and turn it into your serenity room. Darken the walls. Furnish the place with very little–a stand for candles, a small stereo, floor pillows. Heavy shades will enhance the mood. Install a lock on the door. Better yet, make the room off limits to anyone under the age of thirty, or shorter than three feet. Make that four feet. And no pets, either. One suggestion, unless cost is a factor, is an actual contracted remodeling. Look in the Yellow Pages or Online under quiet rooms, in-home theater construction or meditation rooms and peruse all the offerings. There are elaborate window shades, a product called QuietRock that is, drywall fabricated specifically for sound deadening applications. There are indirect, or mood lighting resources, even lighting that enhances the amount and kind of light if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, in addition to noise pollution. . The same affect in reducing outside noise may be achieved by hanging blankets on the walls, and that may be a novel solution for couples. The wall hangings can be an art project, or a garage sale/antique store/self-spoiling expedition.

How to use your serenity room? Take an hour per week, or day, or whatever time you decide, and go there. Light the candles. Draw the shades. Put on acappella chant, Tim Janis, Enya, or Secret Garden on the stereo. Stretch out together on the pillows, and just listen to each other breathe. Relax. Enjoy. If this isn’t part of everyone’s mental health regimen yet it soon will be, as people discover the value of this priceless ‘sensory deprivation’. The biggest obstacle you’ll find in the beginning is allowing yourself the luxury of ignoring all the ‘have to’s’, ‘should be’s’ and general restlessness that causes you to need the room in the first place. But it’s noise that’s the primary concern.

Noise isn’t just a problem for our psychological well being, either. Your serenity room may double as a physical health room, as well. Research shows a strong link between excessive noise and heart disease. According to research by the World Health Organization, thousands of people around the world are dying prematurely from heart disease triggered by long-term exposure to excessive noise. For instance, it’s estimated that heart disease caused 101,000 deaths in the UK in 2006, and the study suggests that 3,030 of these are caused by chronic noise exposure, including daytime traffic. It could well be in the interest of your health to make a serenity room.

Here’s another reason to make a serenity room. Noise induced hearing loss. This is a permanent hearing impairment resulting from prolonged exposure to high levels of noise. Almost 15% Americans have a hearing loss that affects their ability to understand normal speech*. And excessive noise exposure is the most common cause of hearing loss. Twenty-five percent of the work force in the United States is regularly exposed to potentially damaging noise.

Once you have your serenity room, you’ll need to establish rituals for its use. This shouldn’t be another ‘should’ in your life, but a soothing habit, kind of like settling into the easy chair after work with your slippers, the newspaper, and a glass of Gewurtztraminer. In other words, another ritual that reinforces the way you escape from the demands of your day, only a bit different, and a bit novel. Be the first in your neighborhood.

Here are a few suggested rituals to get you started in your serenity room:

Your favorite new age or classical music–Tim Janis, Enya, Secret Garden. Incense and/or candles. (Please don’t burn the house down, fire trucks are really noisy!) Set aside a certain time every day, or as needed. No need to actively meditate, although you may find it unavoidable after a short time, and that’s okay. One small detail that you may wish to incorporate is a copy of Desiderata©***, the Max Ehrmann poem popular in the ’60s that says, in part, “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” If there was ever a time this little poem is needed it’s now. Taking turns reading it may be a good way to start your session every time.

Speaking of taking turns, and using the serenity room as a couple, this is a primary reason for making one. Too many couples relinquish their relationship to the various noises of their lives: jobs; kids; ‘shoulds’; appointments and necessities with other couples. One of the tenets of the caffection model is a new focus on couples, and ways to celebrate the primary relationship.

Do the serenity room ritual more than three times in a row, and you’ll make it part of your sanity routine forever, guaranteed.

Finally, there’s too much outside noise–of all kinds–including all the above, plus one very important kind of interference, the sound of your spouse’s voice, and how it gets drowned out in the din. This is not good. Especially for men who have a higher incidence of hearing loss than women, the serenity room can greatly assist your relationship. The serenity room can easily become the place you retreat to when things are too hectic to be true, the kids are driving you nuts, the bills are screaming to be paid, and you’ve neglected the one person whose voice calms you more than any other. And the best part of all is that, once you have the serenity room created, the resulting peace and comfort you’ll derive is free! Your serenity room will quickly become your shared, private, (silent) hiding place. Shhhh!

*NIDCD National Institute on Deafness & other Communications Disorders

**(Suter and von Gierke,1987)

***Desiderata©1927 max ehrmann

Car Accident Shoulder Injuries – What You Must Know

Shoulder injuries in a car accident are common. They are caused mostly by the jerking movements that occur in an accident and may be further aggravated by seat belt shoulder straps. Shoulder injuries may also be related to neck injuries. Understanding more about shoulder injuries will allow you to recognize them quickly and seek treatment to prevent further discomfort and problems.

Causes of Shoulder Injuries

In a car accident shoulder injuries can be caused in three main ways. The first is as a result of a neck injury. A neck injury can radiate pain down the arm due to nerves being injured. The injury to the neck will then cause problems in the shoulder.

The next cause is direct damage to the shoulder from impact during the crash. This causes immediate pain and is easily recognized.

The last cause is from whiplash. Whiplash is usually associated with the neck, but it can cause pain in the shoulders as well. It may not cause pain right away after the crash, but may develop over time.

Treatment

Shoulder injuries are usually found through an x-ray or and MRI. Most shoulder injuries are not severe and merely require rest and pain medication for proper healing. If the injuries are more severe then surgery or extensive therapy may be needed.

The earlier treatment is sought for a shoulder injury, the better. Early recognition of a shoulder injury and early treatment help to insure the problem is cared for correctly and prevents further damage from occurring. You should always make sure that any medical care you receive is documented and that you keep a copy for your records.

What to do After an Accident

Since some shoulder injuries may not develop symptoms right away it is always smart to have a complete medical check following the accident. If you fail to get checked out and have your medical attention documented then you may not be able to recover damages later on if symptoms do appear.

When you are in an accident it is smart to exchange information with the other driver. You should get their name, address, telephone, number, insurance information and license information. Make sure that you do not speak with them about the actual accident. You should only speak with the police to give your statement. You may also wish to gather information from witnesses.

You want to document everything about the accident so that any shoulder injury found in the future that can be linked to the accident can be claimed. If you are careful in how you handle an accident you should be able to make a claim against the other person for your shoulder injury.

Shoulder injuries from a car accident are usually not too severe, but they are severe enough to make you lose time at work and to rack up medical bills that can be costly. It is important that if you suffer from a shoulder injury resulting from a car accident that you report it to the insurance and make a claim so you can recover your costs.

How to Win an Aquarius Man Back – Reliable Tips to Get Your Man Back

You’ve lost your Aquarius man. It’s come as an enormous emotional blow to you. You loved him and imagined a future filled with wonderfully, fulfilling moments with him. Although many people will tell you that the best thing you can do is to pick yourself up and move on, that may not be possible. Loving someone as much as you love him is rare and if you aren’t ready to walk away from him forever, don’t. You can win back an Aquarius man. The key to doing so is to know how to appeal to his heart and his mind.

In order to win back an Aquarius man you have to put reinvent yourself. This doesn’t mean that you should completely change who you are just to get him to love you again. You don’t want to ever lose your sense of self to a man. However, you do need to think back to what he loved most about you when the two of you were happy and together. Focus on bringing those qualities to the forefront again so when he sees you he’s reminded of the woman he fell for.

You already know that men born under this sign tend to be very fickle when it comes to love and romance. They can change their mind about who they love in an instant. That’s why break ups with guys like this are often very sudden and feel as though they come out of the blue. Trying to appeal to his heart by sending him gifts or love letters just won’t work. You have to reach deeper than that and push very specific psychological triggers within him.

Trying to convince him to take you back is futile. Talking to him about it will fall on deaf ears. What you need to do is establish a new relationship with him. Take the romance out of the equation for now. Tell him that you know that the two of you would make great friends. If he waffles on this idea because he’s fearful that you’ll want more, reassure him that you aren’t looking to be his girlfriend again right now. Then work on establishing a fun and carefree friendship with him.

When you want to win back an Aquarius man it’s vitally important to not pressure him into anything he doesn’t want. Men like this respond to pressure by bolting and cutting off contact for good. You don’t want that. So work on the friendship and show him that you two can be close while both of you are still enjoying your freedom. Once the new bond is in place, the flood gates of emotions will open again and he’ll find himself falling for you just like he did before.

Choosing Between Speech Pathology Or Occupational Therapy As a Career

Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy are rewarding and challenging careers that involve helping people with a limiting physical condition. Both careers focus on helping people overcome life challenges so they can adjust and live a productive life.

When considering a career in either speech pathology or occupational therapy, most people will make a choice based on their own personal goals and desires. Speech language pathology is the evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders. Speech pathologists help individuals who have physical disabilities associated with speech such as difficulty in pronouncing words, hearing impairments, voice disorders, cognitive communication impairments, memory and problem solving disorders, and swallowing difficulties.  A speech therapist will work with people who have difficulty speaking, forming words or sounds, or who are recuperating from an injury or illness that has affected their ability to speak. Speech disorders can result from a number of conditions such as delayed development, a genetic disorder, an accident, or a medical condition such as a stroke. Although they are involved with helping adults, many speech pathologists tend to focus on children because early childhood is an important time for speech and language development. Those who want to specialize in helping children will often choose speech pathology as a career.

Many people choose speech pathology due to a number of specialized areas one can pursue. These areas can include disorders in fluency, neurogenic speech and language, language development, articulation, alternative communication, and swallowing. They employ a wide variety of assessment plans, diagnostic techniques, and treatment procedures. For those interested in research and development, speech language pathologists can specialize in seeking an understanding of the causes of a speech disorder and develop effective methods for evaluation and treatment of the condition.

One will often choose a career as an Occupational Therapist because they have a genuine interest in enabling people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapy is a career that focuses on activities regarding daily living. Their job is to help people with impairments to adapt and function in everyday life activities.  They help individuals with developmental, emotional, physical, and mental disabilities. The goal is to improve functioning and wellness. Functioning tasks can include such actions as meal preparation, showering and dressing, managing money, and implementing their daily routine. They will also help them function better in the workplace. Areas focused on include memory, cognition and perception and motor skills.

Occupational therapists assist patients with achieving their set goals by improving their ability to participate in daily routines, modifying the environment to help them function better, and adapting an activity to better support their needs. They work with individuals, children, families, groups and the community to facilitate health and well-being by establishing or re-establishing their previous occupation. As well, Occupational Therapists are becoming increasingly more involved in tackling the impact of social and environmental factors that affect a person’s ability to return to their previous occupation.  

Occupational Therapists focus helping patients return to their previous occupation, while speech pathology focuses on the specific area of communication disorders. Both professions are in great demand and provide a valuable service to the community and health profession. Whichever one you pick, you are sure to have a rewarding career.

Career in Special Education

 By Sadaket Malik 

Special education is the education of students with special needs in a way that addresses the student’s individual differences and needs. Ideally, this process involves the individually planned and systematically monitored arrangement of teaching procedures, adapted equipment and materials, accessible settings, and other interventions designed to help learners with special needs achieve a higher level of personal self-sufficiency and success in school and community than would be available if the student were only given access to a typical classroom education.

Common special needs include learning disability, communication challenges, emotional and behavioral disorders, physical disabilities, and developmental disabilities.[1] Students with these kinds of disabilities are likely to benefit from additional educational services, different approaches to teaching, and use of technology.

Intellectual giftedness is a difference in learning and can also benefit from specialized teaching techniques or different educational programs, but the term “special education” is generally used to specifically indicate instruction of students whose special needs reduce their ability to learn independently or in a classroom, and gifted education is handled separately.

Special education can be an extraordinarily rewarding career for the right person. It takes someone with a great deal of patience, a love of children, and a thick skin to deal with difficult problems. But as in any field, the jobs with the greatest challenges tend to offer the highest rewards.

You want a career that allows you to help others. Being a special educator allows you to make a positive difference in the lives of children with disabilities. With the help of special educators, an increasing number of children with disabilities have succeeded in school and enrolled in college.

Being a special educator gives you the opportunity to use many talents and skills creatively and to grow both professionally and personally.

The need for special education professionals has never been greater. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the need for qualified special educators and related service personnel will increase “faster than most other professions” in the next 10 years. And the U.S. Department of Education reports “The number of students with disabilities served under IDEA continues to increase at a rate higher than both the general population and school enrollment.” Read about the need for special education professionals. The personal rewards of educating children and youth with disabilities is greater than you can ever imagine.

      These days many schools and universities across the country are making efforts in teacher education reform in order to better the training of instructors, educators and therefore the education of children. Besides this, factors like reduced class sizes and an increase in the number of students are also forcing many schools to acquire teachers who have skills to handle every student effectively.

      Looking at the present scenario, educators or teachers require special skills that can be nurtured through intensive training. Addressing to meet this demand, special education degrees have increased its popularity in recent years. So, if you are already involved in this teaching profession and wish to advance your career in the education leadership, a special education degree is a necessity.

Today where teaching is considered as a highly noble profession, attaining a degree in special education can enhance your teaching career. A special education program can even help you learn special skills including understanding diversity, teaching reading literacy, counseling and special education. During this course, you will receive training and educational information that educates you how to translate the knowledge to the students. Once you complete this special education program, you will be able to make decisions and take a stand on political issues that affect education and learning.

Another good thing about this degree program is that it gives teachers more opportunities in private schools and universities. This special education course provides you with one of the most convenient ways to gain higher income and greater career opportunities in the field of education. Today, in fact many of the employed teaching professionals looking to advance their career to leadership roles like principal or dean are considering attaining a degree in special education.

There are lots of institutions and schools that offer degree programs in special education. They can vary from student behavior management, institutionalized learning methods, student-teacher supervision, specific areas and solutions for effective child education and more.

Enjoying a better salary and job security, today a special education degree can put you at an advantage and may boost your career path. It is one of the best options for all those who are planning for career advancement in education.

In the last few years the requirement for qualified educators has boomed rapidly. In fact, with the rise in education standards and the number of educational institutes and schools, the education industry expects to look for more qualified educators in the coming years. Today, we cannot deny the fact that education is an extremely rewarding career field but currently it demands more qualified teachers to educate children at the elementary school or college level.

Looking at the present scenario, educators or teachers require special skills that can be nurtured through intensive training. Addressing to meet this demand, special education degrees have increased its popularity in recent years. So, if you are already involved in this teaching profession and wish to advance your career in the education leadership, a special teaching degree is a necessity.

Today where teaching is considered as a highly noble profession, attaining a degree in special education can enhance your teaching career. A special education program can even help you learn special skills including understanding diversity, teaching reading literacy, counseling and special education. During this course, you will receive training and educational information that educates you how to translate the knowledge to the students. Once you complete this special teaching program, you will be able to make decisions and take a stand on political issues that affect education and learning.

Another good thing about this degree program is that it gives teachers more opportunities in private schools and universities. This special education course provides you with one of the most convenient ways to gain higher income and greater career opportunities in the field of education. Today, in fact many of the employed teaching professionals looking to advance their career to leadership roles like principal or dean are considering attaining a degree in special education.

There are lots of institutions and schools that offer degree programs in special teaching. They can vary from student behavior management, institutionalized learning methods, student-teacher supervision, specific areas and solutions for effective child education and more.

                 The popular national level institutes for disabled persons are the National institute for Hearing Handicapped, National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, National Institute of the Visually Handicapped and National Institute for orthopedically handicapped. National Institute of Rehabilitation, Training and Research and The Institute for Physically Handicapped are other two national level institutes run by government.

Moreover, government has initiated District Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) scheme in ten states to make all-inclusive rehabilitation. Moreover, four Regional Rehabilitation Training Centers are there to train the staff and teachers who work with these institutes.

Today due to global competitiveness, education scenario in India is fast changing. Along with that, special education is also catching importance and various government agencies are working hard to make it available to masses. There are almost 37 diploma courses in the field of special education in India some of the institutes offer courses like B.Ed as well. All these courses are regulated and governed by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)- a legislative body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

However over the years many scholars have questioned the importance of special education in India as they feel that it leads to segregation and isolation of the differently abled children. They argue that by segregating the children at young age the very purpose bringing all children to the mainstream of, the purpose of special education is defeated.

Institutions Offering Special Education Courses in India

Courses Offered by Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) New Delhi:-

Sl.No

Training Course

Duration in
Year(s)

(In the Field of Visual Impairment)

1.

M.Ed. (Special Education) – Visual Impairment
Norms for Appointment of Faculty for B.Ed. & M.Ed Spl. Edu.

1

2.

B.A. B.Ed. (Visual Impairment)

4

3.

B.Ed. (Special Education) – Visual Impairment
Norms for Appointment of Faculty for B.Ed. & M.Ed Spl. Edu.

1

4.

Bachelor in Mobility Science

1

5.

Diploma in Education-Special Education (Visual Impairment)

2

6.

Diploma in Education – Special Education (Deafblind)

1

(In the field of Hearing Impairment)

7.

M.Ed. (Special Education) – Hearing Impairment)
Norms for Appointment of Faculty for B.Ed. & M.Ed Spl. Edu.

1

8.

B.Ed. (Special Education) – Hearing Impairment)
Norms for Appointment of Faculty for B.Ed. & M.Ed Spl. Edu.

1

9.

Diploma in Education – Special Education ( Hearing Impairment)

2

10.

Diploma in Teaching Young Hearing Impaired Children

1

11.

Diploma in Indian Sign Language Interpreting
(Level !,B,&C each of Four months duration)

1

(In the field of Mental Retardation)

12.

M.Ed. (Special Education) – Mental Retardation
Norms for Appointment of Faculty for B.Ed. & M.Ed Spl. Edu.

1

13.

B.Sc. (Special Education and Rehabilitation)

3

14.

B.Ed. (Special Education)- Mental Retardation)
Norms for Appointment of Faculty for B.Ed. & M.Ed Spl. Edu.

1

15.

B.Ed. (Special Education) – Learning Disability

1

16.

P.G. Diploma in Early Intervention

1

17.

P.G. Diploma in Special Education (Mental Retardation) * Same as Sl.No. 13

1

18.

Diploma in Education – Special Education (Mental Retardation)

2

19.

Diploma in Vocational Rehabilitation (MR)

1

20.

Diploma in Early Childhood Special Education (MR)

1

(In the field of Rehabilitation Engineers / Technicians)

21.

Master of Prosthetics & Orthotics

2

22.

Bachelor of Prosthetic and Orthotics

4 1/2

23.

Diploma in Prosthetic and Orthotics

2 1/2

24.

Certificate Course in Prosthetic & Orthotic

1

25.

Certificate Course in Hearing Aid
( only for persons with hearing impairment)

        ½

26.

Certificate Course in Ear Mould Technology
(only for persons with hearing impairment)

            1/2

(In the field of Community Based Rehabilitation)

27.

P.G. Diploma in Community Based Rehabilitation

1

28.

Diploma in Community Based Rehabilitation

1

( In the field of Rehabilitation Psychology)

29.

M.Phil (Rehabilitation Psychology)

2

30.

P.G. Diploma in Rehabilitation Psychology

1

(In the field of Clinical Psychology)

31.

M.Phil (Clinical Psychology)

2

(In the field of Speech and Hearing)

32.

“A”-Master in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (MASLP) – Annual

“B”-Master in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (MASLP) – Semester

2

33.

M.Sc. in Audiology

2

34.

M.Sc. in Speech Language Pathology

2

35.

“A”- Bachelor in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP) – Annual
“B”- Bachelor in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP) – Semester

4

36.

Diploma in Hearing Language and Speech

1

37.

Diploma in Hearing Aid and Ear Mould Technology

1

(In the field of Locomotor and Cerebral Palsy)

38.

B.Ed (Special Education) – Locomotor and Neurological Disorder

1

39.

P.G. Diploma in Special Education: Multiple Disabilities -Physical and Neurological

1

40.

P.G. Diploma in Developmental Therapy (Cerebral Palsy & Neurological Disabilities)

1

41.

Diploma in Education – Special Education (Cerebral Palsy)

1

42.

Basic Development Therapy Course for Children with Cerebral Palsy and other Neurological Handicaps

1

(In the field of Autism Spectrum and Disorder)

43.

Diploma in Education – Special Education ( Autism Spectrum Disorder)

1

(In the field of Rehabilitation Therapy)

44.

Bachelor in Rehabilitation Therapy

4

45.

Diploma in Rehabilitation Therapy

2 1/2

46.

Certificate Course in Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant

1

(In the field of Vocational Counselling and Rehabilitation Social Work/Administration)

47.

Master in Rehabilitation Science ( Rehab Social Worker)

2

48.

M.Sc. (Psycho-Social Rehabilitation)

2

49.

Bachelor in Rehabilitation Science ( Vocational Counsellor)

3

50.

Master in Disability Rehabilitation Administration

2

51.

Post-Graduate Diploma in Disability Rehabilitation and Management

1

Credit System

Final Guide-Book B.Ed. & M.Ed.

Final Guide-Book Diploma

Care Givers

Foundation Course in Care Giving

       

Training Courses conducted through Distance Education Mode in collaboration with various Universities.

1.

B.Ed Spl Edu.-HI/VI/MR/LI & CP

2

2.

P.G. Professional Diploma for in-service teachers

1

3.

P.G. Diploma in Community Based Rehabilitation -Planning & Management

1

4.

P.G. Diploma in Disability Management for Doctors

1

5.

Diploma in Community Based Rehabilitation

1

6.

Certificate in Clinical Psychology

1

The list of Institutions offering courses in several states of India:

ANDHRA PRADESH:

1.Thakur Hari Prasad Institute of Research & Rehabilitation for the Mentally Handicapped, Vivekanand Nagar, Dilsukh Nagar, Hyderabad-500660.

2.National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, Manovikas Nagar, P.O Bowenpally, Secunderabad.

3.Department of Special Education, Andhra University, Vishakapatnam.

4.College of Teachers Education, Andhra Mahila Sabha, Durga Bai Deshmukh Vidhyapeethem, Osmania University Campus, Hyderabad-500007.

5.Sri Padmavathi Mahila Visvavidyalayam, Tirupati-517502.

DELHI:

6. Department of Rehabilitation,Safdarjung Hospital, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi-110016

7. Spastic Society of Northern India, Balbir Saxena Marg, Hauz khas, New Delhi-16

8. Institute of Special Education, Y.M.C.A. Nizamuddin, New Delhi-110013.

9. Jamia Millia Islamia, Institute of Advanced Studies of education, Faculty of Education, Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar Marg, New Delhi-110025.

10. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute for the Physically Handicapped (Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India), 4, Vishnu Digamber Marg, New Delhi-110002.

GUJARAT:

11. B.M Institute of Mental Health, Ashram Road, New Nehru Bridge, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad-380009.

12. Sh. K.L Institute for the Deaf, 51, Vidyanagar, Bhavnagar-364002.

13. Training College for Teachers of the Deaf & Blind, Navrangpura, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad-380009

14. Ankur Special School for Mentally Retarded, Plot No. 1945, Near Working Women’s Hostel, Sardarnagar Circle, Bhavnagar-364002.

JAMMU & KASHMIR:

15. Composite Regional Centre for Persons with Disabilities (Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment) Bemina, bye pass (Near Women’s Polytechnic College), Srinagar-18.

16. MIER College of Education, Under Model Institute of Education & Research, B.C Road, Jammu-180001.

KARNATAKA:

17. Dr. S.R Chandrashekar Institute of Speech & Hearing, Hennur Road, Bangalore-5600084.

18. All India Institute for Speech & Hearing, Manus Gangothri, Mysore-570006.

MAHARASHTRA:

19. Mind’s College of Education Research Society for the Care Treatment & Training of Children in Need of Social Care, Sewri Hills, Sewri Road, Mumbai-400033.

20. The Poona School & Home for the Blind, Teachers Training Centre, 14-17, Koregaon Park, Dr. S.R Machave Road, Poona-411001.

21. S.N.D.T. Women’s University, Deptt. of Special Education, Sir Vithaldas Vidyavihar, Juhu Road, Santacruz (W) Mumbai-400049.

22. Dikush Teacher Training in Special Education, Church Road,Juhu, Mumbai-400049.

23. Hashu Advani College of Special Education, 64-65, Collector’s Colony, Chembur, Mumbai-400764.

24. The Spastics Society of India, Upper Colaba Road, Opp. Afghan Church, Colaba, Bombay-400005.

ORISSA:

25. Training Centers for Teachers of the Visually Handicapped, S.I.R.D Campus, Unit- VIII, Bhubaneshwar 751012.

26. Swami Vivekhanand National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research, Oltapur, P.O Bairoi, Dist Cuttack 754 010.

27. Training Centre for Teachers of the Deaf ( A joint Project of State Govt. & AYJNIHH), S.I.R.D Campus, Unit- 8, Bhubaneshwar-15.

TAMIL NADU:

28. Sri Ramakrishna Mission Vidhyalaya, College of Education, Sri Ramakrishna Vidhyalaya post, Coimbatore-641020.

29. Regional Training Centre, C/o Govt. Hr. School for the Blind, Poonamalle, Chennai-56.

30. Madras Institute to Habilitate Retarded Affiliated, D-171, RV Nagar, Anna Nagar, Chennai-600010.

31. Govt. Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, K.K Nagar, Chennai-600083.

32. S.B.T. College of Special Education, Dr. M. A Thangaraj Compound, DRO Colony, Madhurai-625007.

33. Holy Cross College, Dept. of Rehabilitation Science & Special Education, Tiruchirapalli-620002.

34. Avinashilinagam Deemed University, Institute of Home Science & Hr. Education for Women. Coimbatore (0422-2641043)

35. The YMCA College of Physical Education, Nandham, Chennai-600035.

36. Bala Vidyalaya Institute for Teachers Training, 18, 1st Cross Street, Shashtri Nagar, Chennai-20.

37. N.K.T. National College of Education for Women, 21, Dr.Besant Road, Triplicane, Madras-600005.

UTTAR PRADESH:

38. U.P. Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, 4-7, Malviya Road, George Town, Allahabad-211002.

39. Chetna (A Society of the Welfare of Handicapped), Sector-C, Aliganj, Lucknow-226024.

40. Training College of Teachers of the Deaf, Aishbagh, (Tilak Nagar), Lucknow-226004.

41. Institute of Advanced Studies in Education, M.J.P. University, Bareilly-243006.

42. Banaras Hindu University, Faculty of Education, Kamachha, Varanasi.

43. Jagadguru Rambadrachry Handicapped University, Chitrakoot, U.P-210204.

WEST BENGAL:

44. National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped, Bon-Hooghly, BT Road, Calcutta-700090.

45. National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, Eastern Regional Centre,NIOH Campus, Bon-Hooghly, BT Road, Calcutta-700088.

46.AYNJIHH, Regional Training Centre, N.I.O.H Campus, Bon-Hooghly, BT Road, Calcutta-90.

47. Indian Institute for the Cerebral Palsy, (Formerly Spastic Society of Eastern India), P-35/1, Taratolla Road, Calcutta-700088.

48. Training Institute for the Teachers of the Visually Handicapped, Narenderpur, Calcutta-700103.

49. Manovikas Kendra, Rehabilitation and Research Institute for the Handicapped, 482-Madudah, Plot—24, Sec-J, Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, Calcutta-700107.

50. Training College for the Teachers of the Deaf, 293, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, Calcutta-09.

51.Speech & Hearing Institute and Research Centre, (SHRC), State Resource Centre (HI), 10, Mandeville Garden, Kolkata.

Sadaket Malik is an Educational Consultant based in Jammu and can be contacted at sadaketmalik@rediffmail.com

Life Coaching Regulation – Myth Debunked

This article dispels the myth once and for all, that life coaching will become a regulated profession.

As the author of the “Truth About Life Coaching School Accreditation” article, I get a significant amount of email from readers who are looking to enroll in a Life Coach training program, asking my opinion about various aspects of the life coaching profession and training.

When I wrote the article I imagined that I might get feedback from both sides of the issue. Instead, to my surprise and delight, the article is linked to and quoted by numerous other coaching authorities and schools. Every email I have received has been in support of the views I stated. I am excited to see that so many others admit the truth as well.

A few days ago, I received an email from a reader who inquired about the likelihood of professional regulation for life coaches. This reader had been a private Christian school teacher and was drawing a comparison between teaching credentials and coaching credentials. She asked for my opinion about whether she should take a secularly accredited Christian course or an uncompromised, bible-based, Christian curriculum, which is what I believe from her letter, she desired.

The reader wrote, “I have a degree in Christian Ministries with 30 hrs of psychology/counseling, and I am looking at PCCCA and trying to decide if I should seek accreditation through their organization (which I prefer) or should I seek secular/bible-based accreditation simply because the day may come when we are required to have secular certification.”

Before I tell you my answer, I will just add that certification applies to what coaches receive and accreditation refers to a school or program itself.

I responded “Thank you for your letter. I understand your concern.

Coaching however is different (from teaching).

#1 – No life coaches anywhere in the US are, or ever have been regulated – unlike the teaching profession.

#2 – It is every bit as unlikely that coaches will be regulated as consultants being regulated,

because there are too many types of coaches (read coaching niches) and thus no way to standardize requirements. Even if the government tried to do this, legislating coaching would not be possible or practical for anyone.

#3 – IF and I say IF it came to regulation, someone trained as a Christian Life Coach could practice for remuneration the way that Christian counselors now do… by being ordained.

So for Christian Life Coaches, regulation is a mute point.

The only folks who discuss and try to create fear about regulation are the secularists, meaning secular accrediting organizations and their accredited schools and graduates. Is there any surprise here?

The enemy works with fear as his #1 weapon.

Further, fear of regulation is but one major way for secular and secularly accredited Christian programs to market themselves. No doubt the secularists believe what they say.

But note how close they came to getting your enrollment fee, based only on fear.

Please be aware that not all programs that call themselves Christian are created equal. Those that are accredited by secular organizations must comply with secular standards. I know of at least one secularly accredited Christian program, whose leadership tells students that when coaching non-Christians, not to mention their own faith. If a coach were not true to the God they serve and themselves, how could they be true to their client? Even as a non-Christian, one would have to ask, “How authentic and valid would such coaching be?” Coaching after all, is a relationship built on truth and honesty!

The coaching school you mentioned in your letter, PCCCA (www.pccca.org), the Professional Christian Coaching and Counseling Academy, trains coaches to be able to offer excellent service, as they are biblically required to do. (The bible instructs Christians to do everything as unto the Lord, study to show yourself approved and most importantly, to seek only the counsel of the godly.) Among Christians, excellence is the goal, training is the process and certification is the by-product.

If you are a Christian seeking coach training, ask yourself these questions:

1 – What can a secular program give me that God can not?

2 – Is there more power available to me by using secular concepts. assessments and forms, or through the Holy Spirit?

3 – Do I believe God is my ultimate provider? And if so, is there any reason to believe that God would send me less clients or not allow me to prosper if, having the choice, I honored Him with my training?

I hope the answers to the above questions are obvious. If not, I encourage you to pray that those answers are revealed to you. Your destiny may well be determined at these crossroads.

As I have stated previously, I recommend that potential students not be persuaded by gimicky advertising, high fees and accreditation. Look for the best school for you. Period.

What to Consider When Comparing Hearing Aid Brands

First of all, there is no “best” hearing aid brand. There are many excellent companies from which to choose, though. I will briefly cover these manufacturers: Siemens, Phonak, ReSound, Sonic Innovations, Starkey, Widex, and Oticon. All manufacturers have numerous models, several levels of technology, and variable price points. Some are slightly less expensive than others, but overall, these seven manufacturers make the highest quality instruments available today.

Siemens is one of the world’s largest companies, headquartered in Germany, with US operations based in New Jersey. Siemens Hearing offers durable, high-quality hearing aids with cutting edge bluetooth and binaural (“wireless ear-to-ear system”) technology. A battery recharging system and tinnitus management options are also part of their offerings. Siemens also owns Rexton and provides the technology for Miracle Ear hearing aids, which are sold at franchises.

Phonak is a hearing aid manufacturer based in Zurich, Switzerland with US operations based in Illinois. This company is known for cutting-edge technology and style. Phonak has set a high standard for innovation, performance, and miniaturization. It is owned by Sonova Holding AG who also owns Unitron Hearing. Unitron generally offers the same core technologies as Phonak but with fewer features and at slightly lower prices.

ReSound is based in Denmark and has been making hearing aids for nearly 70 years. US operations are based in Minnesota. ReSound has been responsible for a number of hearing industry firsts, including innovations in digital technology, compression, feedback suppression, and the first open-ear hearing aids, which all other companies eventually adopted. They offer a variety of accessories which make connections to other electronic devices much more convenient.

Sonic Innovations is a relative newcomer, in business since 1997. They offer very small and discreet products with some original approaches to technology. Sonic hasn’t developed any really new technology recently, but continues to be a favorite among audiologists. Their US operations are based in New Jersey.

Starkey was a bit of a late entrant into the more advanced digital technologies, but now offers state-of-the-art feedback cancellation and noise management. Starkey is a US company based in Minneapolis and also owns Audibel, Nu-Ear, and Micro-Tech. Starkey is also affiliated with the world’s largest hearing aid charity, the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

Widex is a family owned company, founded in 1956 in Denmark. US operations are headquartered in New York. Widex claims to be the inventor of digital hearing aid technology, but many companies came out with digital hearing aids around the same time, in the late 1990s. Widex continues to be cutting edge with design, aesthetics, and research and development.

Oticon is based in Denmark, with US headquarters in New Jersey. Oticon was influential in the advancement of receiver-in-canal instruments. They continue to offer high-quality, yet quite expensive, hearing aids. Their philosophy is based on preserving the natural characteristics of speech while keeping power consumption and battery size to a minimum.

When you start shopping for hearing aids, remember that one of the most important choices will be which professional assists you. The knowledge and experience of the audiologist will affect how easily you transition and adjust to amplification. Also, you must be an active participant in the adjustment process by clearly defining your motivation, hearing needs, lifestyle, and priorities. Any one of these manufacturers is a good choice, but one may offer the type of bluetooth connectivity you need better than another. If discreet design is a priority for you, a manufacturer providing the smallest instruments may be the right choice. If convenience is important, you might want to consider a manufacturer that offers rechargeable instruments or extended battery life. In the end, success with hearing aids is less based on manufacturer than on the motivation and diligence of both the patient and the audiologist.

How to Tell If the Guy You Fancy, Fancies You Back

The famous clergyman and author, Henry Ward Beecher, said, ‘Love cannot endure indifference. It needs to be wanted.’ The statement can make quite an impact on you, because, indeed in most cases, love or attraction is a shared emotion. It does not seem possible that one person should feel much and the other should feel nothing at all. You only begin to consciously feel the lure of a man after you have already interacted with him, at some level, and have become subtly aware of the amorous possibilities. You could not hope for romance if you perceived only coldness, could you? Perhaps, it may only remain, for you or the man in question, to put the sentiment into words. However, since love is a dicey thing and can generally make you alternate easily between great hope and doubt, it is perhaps advisable to wait and look at the signs. Make sure of his emotions towards you, before committing yourself.

Once you become romantically conscious of a guy, in all probability, you will just instinctively know that your love is returned. It is an inexplicable sensation in the gut, an indefinable fluttering in the heart. Even when love is not expressed, it is not hard to feel the strong vibes. Lovers possess the extraordinary capability of communicating with each other through pregnant pauses, silences and looks that are fraught with implications.

It is also possible for you to detect various visible signs and interpret them appropriately. If a man fancies you, most probably, he will try to catch your eye and hold your gaze. If he is shy or cautious, he will maintain some distance. But, you may come across him, a little too often for you to dismiss the encounters as mere accidents or coincidences.

If he is your colleague, he may find some excuse about work to call you or draw near you. The bloke might also be especially awkward around you. He might be diffident enough to stammer while addressing you or appear extremely uncomfortable. It is certain that his excruciating awareness of you is making him so nervous or abrupt

If the man is a little more daring, he will try to initiate conversation with you or find excuses to stand close to you. He might seem interested in chatting with you and finding out about your hobbies and interests. He will even smile at you each time your eyes meet. He might be enterprising enough to talk to your good friends, enquiring about you and being very friendly towards them.

You should study his body language and observe his behaviour. Does he approach you often or find a reason to gain extreme proximity to you? Does he display jealous behaviour and look annoyed or glum, when you are flirting with others? Does he surreptitiously graze your hand with his while offering something, like a cup of tea, to you?

There are some seemingly contrary signs too. He might even seem to ignore you deliberately or if you happen to glance at him, he may look away quickly, even angrily. It might very well be that he genuinely dislikes you. But, if there is no adequate reason for his dislike and there are few other indications besides, then the truth is that he does fancy you. He is acting cold maybe because he is afraid that he has revealed too much of his fascination for you, without ascertaining your true feeling for him and now, he is taking steps to cover his marks.

Apart from observing his manners, listen attentively to what he says. There is the sad possibility that the man you fancy might be unable or unwilling to take the relationship any further. He might wish to regard you only as a friend. Therefore, listen to him. Does he put extra stress on the word ‘friend’ or does he bring up the word often? Does he introduce topics relating to other women?

There is no red signal or any one indication that is absolutely foolproof. You have to rely on your observational, deductive, reasoning, and even intuitive powers to fathom the depths of your man’s heart. Yes, much like the legendary detective. Emotions and its effects are more subtle and unpredictable than objective things. As the French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, insightfully stated, ‘The heart has its reasons that reason know nothing of.’

Indeed, it is difficult to understand what is in the hearts of men. They admit freely that it is difficult for them to express what they feel, not because they intend to play a mind game with women, but because they just cannot think of what to say. The reason for this, maybe, is that men are generally brought up with the belief that expressing emotions and talking about them are essentially feminine traits. It seems that real men are supposed to shut up like clams and keep their thoughts to themselves. To talk aloud about tender feelings, might diminish or tarnish their masculine image.

There is, however, one guaranteed method of discovering what lies beneath the macho silence or the baffling conduct. You just have to ask one question. Is he around you or not? Most of the times, it is seen that if the guy likes you he will somehow find a way to be around you. Even if he does not talk to you, even if he is happy just sitting across the room, busy playing a game of online chess, or reading a book, he is sure to be somewhere nearby. It does not matter that he is not glancing at you; he has still chosen to remain where you are. That is the surest way of knowing that he likes you. If he did not fancy your company or closeness, he would be someplace else, you can depend upon it.

If all else fails, you can take control and take some unambiguous step to find out if the guy you fancy, fancies you back. You can invite him to the cinema or ask him about his feelings point blank. However, there is no particular necessity to resort to that before the time comes. Just watch with care, trust your heart and find out if this is the guy you want to date!

Hernia Patch Recall for Class Action Lawsuit

The Kugel mesh hernia patch has been recalled due to the serious side effects that have been linked directly to the patches. A nationwide Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Recall has been recently announced. Kugel mesh patches are typically used after hernia surgery in the abdominal area.

Bard Composix Kugel mesh patches have been linked to:

  • Chronic Fistuals
  • Infection
  • Bowel Obstructions
  • Bowel Perforations

These conditions result in severe abdominal pain, additional surgery, and in some cases death.

Kugel mesh side effects are caused by the hernia patch’s recoil ring. The ring which is designed to open after implantation breaks under stress, causing the above side effects.

Side effects typically begin as severe abdominal pain and progress into more severe conditions as time passes. Those who have been given a Kugel mesh patch and experience severe pain should seek medical attention immediately.

The Kugel Mesh Patch Recall has been recently announced due to the serious side effects they cause. These side effects result in extreme abdominal damage, additional surgery, and in some cases death.

Those suffering from Kugel mesh patch side effects experience extreme discomfort, may miss time from work, and may end up with thousands of dollars of medical bill debt. In the worst cases, families lose the lives of loved ones as a result of the use of these faulty patches.

Due to the life altering affects of Kugel Mesh patches, there is currently a class action lawsuit against the makers of the patch. For victims of the Kugel mesh hernia patch taking part in a class action lawsuit can mean compensation for their pain, damages, and economic losses.

Get Rid of Sinus Infections Forever – From a Nurse!

Sinus infections are diagnosed in more than 30 million US residents every year and are among the most common reasons people see their doctor. Sinus problems are usually diagnosed after taking a medical history, doing a physical exam and evaluating the signs and symptoms. However most people know they have a sinus problem or sinus infection before they ever visit their doctor. The doctor visit may follow days or even weeks of trying to cure a sinus infection.

Sinus problems are frequent among people with immune problems. Sinus infections can last for weeks or months without the right treatment and often people go through dozens of sinus solutions without any luck.

In the past sinus infections were treated with antibiotics which were prescribed for 7- 10 days in an attempt to reach the sinuses, however they are usually not prescribed anymore because it’s an established fact that most sinus infections are caused by fungi or viruses. In addition the antibiotics generally were not able to reach the deep sinus cavities. Americans have spent billions of dollars on drugs or medications that promise relief from sinus symptoms and these did not work.

Sinusitis can be acute, which is usually temporary, or chronic, which requires a more permanent solution. Sinus problems can affect breathing and produce a cough from irritating the cough reflex in the throat from sinus drainage. For people with acute or chronic sinusitis, the openings of the cavities are usually narrow and blocked.

Four sets of sinus cavities reside within your head. These are openings that drain mucous and debris out of the nasal passages. Although they are rare, complications can occur including abscess, orbital cellulitis, meningitis or osteomyelitis.

The goal of sinus treatment is to get rid of the sinus infection or sinus problem, reduce the swelling of the openings to the sinus cavities, promote good sinus drainage and prevent any serious complications.

You may get relief from an air purifier if your sinus infections are allergy-related or you live in a smoke-filled house. Put a warm, wet washcloth on your face several times a day. Try to avoid flying if you’re congested. If you have to fly take along saline nasal spray to try to keep the tissues moist. The dry air irritates the sinuses, increasing the chance of infection if you don’t have one.

Check for possible soreness over some of the sinuses by gently pressing or tapping on the cheeks and forehead although for the deeper sinus cavities this won’t work. Make sure to drink plenty of water to help thin and moisten the mucus.

Eat lots of fresh fruits and raw vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants and many other nutrients that boost your immune system and help your body resist infection. Avoid the obvious – smoke, dust, fumes, aerosol sprays, pollutants and anything airborne. Sinus infections are also much more common when there is exposure to cigarette smoke.

Living with chronic sinusitis or battling occasional acute sinus infections or sinus headaches doesn’t have to be a lifetime problem. You can get rid of sinus infections without antibiotics and avoid sinus surgery. A clear understanding of how the sinuses work, knowing all you can do naturally, applying common sense and treating sinus symptoms early will help you get rid of your sinus problems for good.

7 Dwarf Hamster Diseases You Should Know About

Many hamster owners are unaware that their pets can acquire human diseases too. Dwarf Hamsters can sneeze and they also have hiccups or a runny nose. If you are not able to provide the basic needs of your Dwarf Hamster such as a healthy environment and sufficient food and water supply, they will rapidly turn into unhealthy and unhappy buddies.

Here is the list of illnesses that your Dwarf Hamster may have as well as the ways to thwart them.

1. Cancer – Just like us, Dwarf Hamsters can also get cancer. This disease is normally triggered by living in a stressful environment. To avoid cancer, build a stress-free environment for your pet.

2. Diabetes – All hamsters can inherit diabetes from their parents. They usually develop it from eating too many sweets. To keep your pet free from diabetes, neutralize its sugar or fruit intake. Be sure to incorporate a high enough proportion of vegetables into your Dwarf Hamster’s daily diet.

3. Stress – Although stress is not an illness, it can be classified as the major causative factor of ailments in human beings and animals. To reduce stress for your Dwarf Hamster, avoid loud noises and never put its cage close to your television, stereo or your dog’s cage. Allow your tiny friend to sleep during the daytime, and always remember to clean your baby’s cage at least once a week. These things will help extend your hamster’s life span.

4. Abscesses – Normally, a Dwarf Hamster suffers from abscesses if it is bitten or scratched by another Dwarf Hamster. Once you notice a lump or wound caused by bites and scratches, consult your veterinarian. Vets will check your pet and if they have infections he will prescribe antibiotics. Another reason that an abscess may appear is when your Dwarf Hamster has swallowed part of their cage because of their need to constantly chew to stop their teeth getting too long, so make sure you give them plenty of chew toys.

5. Colds – Dwarf Hamsters can catch colds from their owners. If you have a cold, prevent yourself from playing with your pet. See to it that its cage is placed in a warm area of the house where it can never get wet. You will know if your hamster is suffering from a cold because it will have a runny nose and will sneeze from time to time. When your hamster has a cold, visit your vet if it does not clear up after a few days.

6. Torpodity – When hamsters are not able to exercise on a regular basis, they will have a medical condition known as torpodity. Hamsters tend to put on weight when they are short on physical activity. They also become very aggressive, they like to run up to 5 miles  a night so you need to put a wheel in their cage to prevent this ailment.

7. Allergic Reaction – To prevent allergic reactions, never use wood shavings containing cedar or pine, both have harmful oils that can cause allergic reactions in Dwarf Hamsters. There are also foods like corn and maize that should not be fed to your Dwarf Hamster because they can also initiate sneezing, skin irritations, runny eyes, loss of fur, or other respiratory problems. 

The illnesses mentioned above can be prevented if you give your Dwarf Hamster appropriate diet, sufficient amount of exercise and a stress-free living environment. They can live longer and healthier if you take care of them just like your own babies. Before you pick them up, always be sure to wash your hands first to prevent them catching something from you.