The numbers keep growing. The amount of people and the costs associated with diabetes have exploded over the past 50 years and it is now a major problem.
In 1958, doctors diagnosed fewer than 1 in 100 Americans with diabetes. In 2010, it was about 1 in 14. The most recent data shows even more problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the growth of diabetes is particularly dramatic in the South. Oklahoma saw the biggest jump in the past 15 years, with cases triple 1995’s amount. Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama also saw huge increases. Nearly 12 percent of people in Mississippi say they have diabetes, compared to the national average of 7 percent. Most of the rise happened since 1990 and experts believe it is tied with the surge in obesity among Americans.
Diabetes happens when the body has trouble processing sugar. Complications include poor circulation, heart and kidney problems, and nerve damage. It is the nation’s seventh leading cause of death. Despite that, another reason for the jump in numbers is because people with diabetes live longer due to better treatments.
When Sandie Gorecki starts helping patients, she uses common sense and focuses on what’s practical for each person.
“A lot of our patients, they tell me they hate the exercises we give them, so what we do is try to make their exercises and movements creative and functionally based. This way it’s practical for them and we can have some compliance. I think sometimes we try to force people into things, but I think what ultimately happens is that we’re wasting our time. That’s what I try to avoid. I try to find things that bring passion for them. When I find things that mean something, then the patients are much more motivated,” Gorecki said.
Gorecki is an occupational therapist (OT) at Exempla Lutheran Medical Center in the Denver area. OTs fill an important role for many people recovering from a stroke, or dealing with complications brought about by conditions like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis. People with these conditions may have arm weakness and have to learn how to dress themselves or cook with only one hand. An OT helps people adapt to doing these activities a different way with new techniques. Often just putting on shoes or socks can More >
It began just after the first generation iPad hit the market. People started to notice its effectiveness on a scale not seen before. As people with autism got their hands on iPads and tablets they opened up, able to communicate on a whole new level.
Experts believe one reason tablets help those with autism so much is because of the way the autistic process data. People with autism often have a sort of apraxia, which is when a person has the intention to do an activity, like speaking, but cannot formulate the movement.
“Talking is inherently complicated. There are several steps involved,” said Dr. Martha Herbert, a pediatric neurologist and neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard Medical School in Boston.
She worked with a 16-year-old autistic boy who was able to write poetry, but could not read his own poetry aloud.
“He had a very hard time coordinating the appropriate inhalation and exhalation. The quality of the words that came out was difficult because the air wasn’t cooperating with the vocal cords in terms of timing,” Herbert said.
Experts believe timing is a general problem for those with autism. When people without autism see something, like the words on a screen, the light comes More >