Archive for February, 2017

Trumpeter: A New Children’s Comic Hero?

Recent political events have suggested a boisterous new character to feature in comic strips and children’s books. Readers, publishers and purveyors might welcome the advent of a new comic hero who knows everyone in Hollywood and wants to be famous all over the world. Popular children’s books, like, for example, Wind in the Willows with Toad of Toad Hall, have succeeded with a central character who is an adult person portrayed as a lovable animal that behaves like a spoilt child. The Disney Corporation might take an interest, seeing a new Donald Duck in the form of a large pink elephant surrounded by a troop of sycophantic baboons.

The hero of every children’s book must have arch enemies as well as devoted friends. The hated adversaries of the Trumpeter would be the press gang and media monsters who insist on loudly repeating every tiny tweet and Twitter emanating from the jungle, even those which have been brushed aside by the pink pachyderm as falsely fabricated by his enemies in order to disparage him. He insists on having the last word and the loudest word, as he asserts his supremacy in angry snorts of short duration. He will thwart his enemies by draining the swamp in which they thrive, but first he has to keep a promise to his acolytes by building a wall to keep out the orangutans.

Although he is loath to admit it, our hero might need help in his endeavours. The Bear Boss has rendered him assistance in the past but he may be reluctant to do so again as his role was never properly acknowledged or recompensed. The two mighty beasts may have to resist their great mutual attraction and content themselves with roaring at each other from afar. More savage snarls might have to be faced from the People’s Panda, although it could, on the other hand, offer valuable help with the wall-building project.

Many different sorts of animal live in the jungle and many more would like to do so. Some feel that the place is already too crowded while others wish to continue welcoming newcomers as their own forebears were welcomed in the past. The Trumpeter on becoming gatekeeper might see his role as selecting those who share his physiological and behavioural characteristics and rejecting all the rest, strong in the knowledge that many of his followers are of the King Kong Kind. Oh! How wonderful it would be if it were only a fairy tale!

Saint George, Rusty Knight, and Monster Tamer is a series of nine self-contained historical short stories which introduces George, a hapless knight who has an unusual skill for monster taming, and which, with wit and delightful aplomb takes the young reader on an adventurous journey though some significant moments in history.

Hearing Loss in Children – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Hearing is essential for young children to learn speech, for their overall learning skills, playing, and developing social skills. In most developed countries, screening for hearing ability is done immediately some time after birth. Otherwise, parents are usually the first to notice hearing defects in young children. Hearing loss is of three types- conductive due to middle ear pathology; sensorineural due to dysfunction of the auditory nerve, outer sensory hair in the cochlea (inner ear) or auditory brain centre; and mixed type involving both conductive and sensorineural pathology.

Hearing loss in children can be present at birth itself and may result from congenital infections, toxic medications taken during pregnancy, birth complications, nervous system disorders, genetic diseases, or due to a strong family history. Acquired hearing deficiency after birth may be due to untreated middle ear infection, other infections, ototoxic medicines, exposure to sudden and excessive noise, and trauma. Treatment of hearing loss due to middle ear infections is usually with medicines, and in severe cases, with a grommet insertion. Mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss is treated using a hearing aid, which can be fitted in children as young as 3 months of age. There is currently no medication for this in the modern system of medicine. Profound sensorineural hearing loss is treated with surgical cochlear implant.

Ayurvedic treatment can be very effectively utilised in successfully treating this condition For hearing loss due to middle ear infections, medicines are given which reduce allergy, inflammation, infection, and fluid buildup. After reduction in symptoms, further treatment is given to prevent frequency of re-occurrence. Unlike adults, children usually do not have permanent damage to middle ear structures such as ossification (stiffening) of the bones which connect the ear drum to the inner ear; results with treatment are therefore quite good and hearing is restored to normal in the majority of affected children.

For the sensorineural type, Ayurvedic treatment is given to provide nutrition, repair damage to the inner ear, and strengthen the auditory nerve and auditory brain centre. This treatment is quite safe for long term administration in children more than 6 months of age. Currently, modern medical science believes that outer sensory hair dysfunction in the cochlea is one of the most common causes for sensorineural hearing loss, and the hair – once damaged – cannot be repaired or regenerated. The exact mode of action of Ayurvedic medicines is currently not known; however, there is usually a hearing benefit of 15-25 percent with 4-6 months of regular treatment, which can be objectively confirmed with audio-metric tests. About 40-60 percent hearing benefit can be obtained with about 10-12 months of Ayurvedic treatment.

It is important to note that treated individuals – both adults and children – are exposed to the same environmental, occupational, and lifestyle aggravating factors for hearing loss, which normal people face. These include infections, toxic medications, toxicity due to pollution, stress, trauma, and exposure to sudden or prolonged, excessive sounds, and music. All individuals therefore need to take care to avoid or minimise the risk from such aggravating or risk factors to the maximum extent possible.

Dr. A. A. Mundewadi is Chief Ayurvedic Physician at Mundewadi Ayurvedic Clinic based at Thane, Maharashtra, India. He is available as an online Ayurvedic Consultant at

The online clinic offers Ayurvedic treatment for all chronic and refractory health problems. Dr. A. A. Mundewadi, B.A.M.S., has clinical experience of over 30 years and clinical research experience of 17 years. He has conducted extensive research in HIV infection, Schizophrenia and many other chronic diseases. Contact information is as follows: [email protected]; [email protected]; +91-9967928418; +91-8108358858

How the Power of Kindness Impacts Your Life and That of Others

Wired For Kindness

Can you recall a time somebody was kind to you?

Now change the scenario and think of a time you were kind to another person? Call to mind their reaction and how you responded.

Move into your heart and notice the feelings there.

If you read no further than this point, you know that kindness affects the user and the experiencer – leaving a lasting impression.

In this fast pace world, kindness and compassion takes a back seat to selfies, self-interest and expendable human interactions.

Every person is waiting to be discovered or become rich, believing that holds the key to their happiness. Yet when they attain success, they long for their former life having underestimated the trappings of fame and celebrity.

I enjoy this quote by Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, David W. Orr: “The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.”

Kindness is fundamental to human existence. We are thrust into the world as newborns and enriched with the kindness of our parents’ nurturing for the following years.

Humans are the only mammals with a prolonged gestation period. Other creatures rely on support for a brief time before becoming self-reliant. We are powerless at birth and depend on our caregivers to provide for our needs.

Therefore, kindness is sewn into the framework of our DNA. We are literally wired for kindness.

Each individual has opinions on how to improve the world, though no one wants to practice kindness.

Do No Harm

World peace will not arise from overthrowing dictatorial powers or ending conflicts between nations. It will happen when humanity raises its consciousness beyond that of fear and hatred.

I’ve often repeated that Peace Is Only A Thought Away. Its motives emerge through kind thoughts towards oneself and others.

“Unconditional love flows through specific channels of respect, integrity, purpose, meaning, value, response-ability, forgiveness, kindness, and compassion – and these form the foundation of our new, naturally ethical lives,” says author and psychotherapist Loch Kelly in Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness.

Kindness is not something that demands hard work. It originates from the simple act of doing no harm to others.

It involves judging less, however compelled you might be to do so.

The ego is quick to judge because it is victimised and hurt, so it retaliates in revenge.

Kindness, however, bites its tongue. It does not seek to be right but rather to preserve peace of mind.

You gain little by giving someone a piece of your mind, other than inciting conflict and separation.

It was the Lebanese-born poet Khalil Gibran who wrote: “I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”

It might be clear to you that fighting force with force is not the way towards peace. But you might ask, does that mean allowing others to treat me unfairly?

No, not by any means. Though you needn’t retaliate with overwhelming force. I’m not implying you become a doormat, however I urge you to accept the lessons contained within the experience. Are you letting others treat you unfairly on some level? Or unconsciously giving them permission to do so?

“No matter how anyone responds to your kindness, just by repeating out loud the words you didn’t hear often enough or never heard at all, you guarantee yourself to be the one who exits each scene of life more healed, aligned and expanded than the moment before,” affirms author Matt Kahn in Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins with You.

Benefits of Kindness

Kindness has many benefits including increased happiness and a healthy heart. It slows down the aging process and improves relationships and connections, which indirectly boosts your health.

People believe kindness is particular to those of religious faith because of their moral vows. Kindness does not require you to be of religious faith or even spiritual. Demonstrations of kindness are observed in man’s best friend, the dog. Cats show kindness and are treasured for their emotional connection.

Kindness broadens your life’s frame of reference and is a symbol of respect to value the receiver.

It influences the giver more than the receiver and has correlations with enhanced mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Through the 1990s, the late Dr. Masaru Emoto performed a series of experiments examining the natural effects of words, prayers, music and environment on the crystalline structure of water. He noted when kind and loving words were conveyed to the water, they formed a complete crystal structure compared to energies of hate and anger.

Considering approximately 70% of our body is made up of water, kindness has a direct impact on our immediate health.

People believe kindness signifies weakness and being taken advantage of. It’s important to delineate between kindness and being a doormat to others. You can be kind and assertive when others attempt to profit from your kindness.

Author Matt Kahn states: “When human interactions become a way of practicing self-acceptance by treating others with more patience, kindness, and respect, a constant need to be heard shifts into listening as an act of love.”

You should in no way undermine your self-worth at the expense of others, but simply practice kindness while upholding your integrity.

Be Kind Anyway

It’s no surprise wicked acts have a greater impression on us than acts of kindness. We are alerted to fear more than goodness.

Psychologists believe we are wired to detect that which threatens our survival and happiness. We give attention to acts of cruelty in the news because it is perceived as a threat to our survival.

In these times of disingenuous social media interactions, unkindness abounds as people hide behind screens.

This does not make it appropriate to abuse others. There is a person on the other side of the screen with feelings we must take into account.

An important lesson in kindness involves asking yourself: ‘How would I handle being the recipient of this?’ If it doesn’t feel good avoid the behaviour.

“Hurt is hurt, and every time we honour our own struggle and the struggles of others by responding with empathy and compassion, the healing that results affects all of us,” avows author and social researcher BrenĂ© Brown in Rising Strong.

I wish to leave you with a passage from Mother Teresa’s poem titled Anyway, in which she states: “People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centred; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.”

Incorporate the smallest acts of kindness into your everyday life and notice the ripple effects. The Butterfly Effect in Chaos Theory asserts that a tiny event in one region of the globe can have a substantial effect somewhere else.

Armed with this knowledge, it is the Dalai Lama who reminds us that if you can’t be kind, avoid harming others.

Assessment Apps for Adults With Autism

The transition to adulthood is a major turning point in everybody’s life. However, for young people having autism spectrum disorder, the transition is usually very tough. Young autistic adults have lower levels of employment and even suffer from total social isolation compared to people having other disabilities.

Almost two-thirds of young adults, who have autism, have no job or gainful employment, nor any educational plans. For more than one-thirds of young adults having autism, this is often continued in their early twenties. Assessment apps for adults with autism are often used to measure their levels of competency.

But the employment scenario for young adults with autism spectrum disorder really paints a bleak picture. The economic shift in the US towards more job opportunities in the service sector hasn’t really helped much. Beginning in the mid-1970s, there has been a major shift in employment generation from the manufacturing sector to the service sector. And the type of jobs in the latter sector that requires direct customer interaction, are the jobs that most people with autism spectrum disorder find difficult to cope with. Experts recommend the capability of a young adult be first judged with assessment apps for adults with autism.

Researchers claim that by the time an individual reaches the end of high school, they face something called the “services cliff”. Autistic students in public school are eligible to get tutoring and receive mental health services, alongside other support via the special education program of their school.

But when these children graduate high school, they stop receiving the special aid services. There are some haphazard programs of various public services that are usually difficult to access. Community programs for autistic adults are usually meant for the seriously affected. High functioning adults with autism are often left out of these programs.

Federal laws for special needs children require that the high schools must help autistic students to come up with a transition plan. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen in majority of the cases. One of the major reasons for this is that most school doesn’t have any special needs educator who’ll use assessment apps for adults with autism. Experts say that this is very important to gauge the progress of the children. For those who are not accustomed to assessment apps for adults with autism, it’s usually difficult to test an autistic individual with it. Only about 58% of the high school students in the US have a proper transition plan by the age of 14.

What You Should Not Expect Your Nanny to Do

For centuries, professional nannies have given peace of mind to busy parents by providing care and support for the most important people in their lives – their children. The role of the nanny has become so synonymous with domestic household staff in general, however, that some people have developed the wrong impression of what a nanny should be expected to do once they start working for a family.

In this short guide, we list a few things which no nanny should have to do (unless, of course, it has been agreed beforehand that this will be a part of their duties). Taking a quick look at the points below could save you a great deal of embarrassment, if you are looking to hire a nanny but are not entirely sure what tasks usually fall under their job description.

Extra household chores
Just because you have hired a nanny, it doesn’t mean that they have to be Mrs Doubtfire! Unless it was specifically agreed before he or she started their role, a nanny cannot be expected to perform general household chores (and yes, this includes cooking for the parents). Remember that a nanny’s job is to make sure your children are safe and happy – not to be a cleaner.

Anything they have not been trained for
Many of us have had our views of nannies informed by films and television programmes. The truth is that nannies are not superhuman creatures who instinctively know how to do anything and everything. Being a nanny is a profession and, like any other professional, they cannot be expected to carry out tasks for which they have not received official training.

Unpaid overtime
If you are in the position of being able to hire a nanny, the chances are that you will know all too well how demanding modern life can be and how we often have to put in more hours than we would necessarily like to at work. Whilst virtually all nannies will understand that they will need to do the same from time to time, you cannot take this as a given – always remember that no-one should be expected to work any longer than they have been contracted to. If you really need your nanny to put in extra hours at short notice, offer to pay them for doing so.

Additional ad hoc tasks
This final point is linked to the first one, but it is very important to keep in mind. If your household suddenly becomes busier and you find that you need help with other tasks such as food shopping and keeping your diary up to date, don’t just expect your nanny to take them on automatically. As previously mentioned, no-one has an obligation to complete more jobs than were initially made clear to them when their role began. If you would like your nanny to lend their assistance in other areas, then there is only way to find out if they will – ask them politely!

This article was written by Thom Sanders on behalf of Beauchamp Partners – a specialist London-based nanny agency who have been providing the highest quality childcare to clients for over thirty years.

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