I don’t remember when I first heard about HIV, it was just sort of always present in my world view. When I was very young, I remember overhearing a woman explain that she had left off training to be a lab technician because she was “scared of catching AIDS.” I remember Ryan White. I remember on the show “Life Goes On“, Chad Lowe’s character wouldn’t kiss Kellie Martin’s character, because he was HIV-positive and worried she would catch it. I remember dark murmurings about people catching HIV from becoming blood brothers. I remember the AIDS quilt getting started. I remember meeting my first HIV-positive person and being surprised at how healthy he looked. I remember virgins going to get tested for HIV before becoming sexually active, just in case. I remember Pedro. (If you haven’t, check out the book this blog title comes from.)
Of course, now we know a lot more about HIV- including how it’s transmitted, and if not how to cure it, at least how to- in many cases- keep AIDS at bay for decades. There is no longer the sense of looming danger we grew up with, tied in with the fascination of sex and the message that only condoms can prevent HIV. HIV has gone from being a death sentence to a chronic disease, and the life expectancy of an HIV-positive person in the U.S. has drastically increased. Read full post »
In 2006, 15-year-old Travion Blount was party to an armed robbery, along with two 18-year-olds. Nobody was killed during the robbery, and while one person was assaulted, Travion was not the one who committed it.
In 2008, he was sentenced to six back-to-back life sentences, plus 118 years in prison.
When I first read this, I thought there must be some mistake. I searched other news sources to see what else Travion had done to deserve such a punishment, but failed to turn up some murder, rape, or other injurious crime that the original report had failed to mention. Travion Blount, upon committing a crime at age 15, was simply thrown away into the prison system with no hope of return until geriatric release programs become available to him. His sentence is much longer than the average murder sentence for both teens and adults. In fact, it’s equivalent to the 17-year-old who committed some of the sniper killings in D.C. Read full post »
Children and teens in foster care may not make up a large proportion of the population, however they are a group that are faced with challenges others are not. As parents, you may have the opportunity to play a role in the life of a foster child. This role may be in the form of a foster parent, or could be as a mentor or positive adult role model (even if it’s just because they came over to visit your teen). We asked a colleague, Dr. Kym Ahrens, whose research is specific to the lives of foster kids about this topic. Read full post »
This week is national teen driver safety week so we wanted to highlight a topic that is always relevant: teen drivers. Driving is a privilege that gives us freedom! It allows us to come and go of our own accord, without having to rely on someone’s schedule. It enables us to transport family and friends to events and is our way of getting to school and work. For teens, starting driver’s education and obtaining a license is a right of passage. It signals the start of transition from being a child to becoming a more independent adult. It can also be dangerous. Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of adolescent death world wide, so this week is dedicated to helping us keep our teens safe on the roads. Read full post »
This week, Facebook announced changes to its privacy rules that allow teenagers to post status updates, videos and photos publicly. If you’re a parent with a teen on Facebook, this opens the door to an important conversation that you and your child need to walk through…and soon.
Until yesterday, Facebook users between the ages of 13 and 17 were only able to set the “audience” for their posts as “friends” or “friends of friends.” Now, these users have the option to set the audience as “public.” With these new rules, the status updates (including photos, videos, etc.) posted by adolescents who have made their audience “public” can be read by strangers, and by marketers.This may lead to unwanted friend requests or messages, or possible use of your teen’s photos or posts in marketing materials – on Facebook or beyond. If your 14 year old daughter (or you, for that matter) shares some vacation photos publicly on Facebook, you may someday see those photos used to advertise a beach vacation in Mexico, or a brand of jeans your daughter is wearing. Read full post »
Keeping adolescents safe from harm has been a challenge for parents since time began, but in the age of the internet, blogs, social networking sites, and texting, parents are faced with new territory to navigate. Our colleague, Dr. Megan Moreno, has written a book that can help guide parents through this terrain. Sex, Drugs ‘n Facebook: A Parent Toolkit for Promoting Healthy Internet Use is now available.
Dr. Moreno has been a guest blogger in the past and has written about her research in the use of social media and adolescent health. This book is written with her expertise as an adolescent medicine physician, research scientist, and mom. She also incorporates adolescents and parents. The combined effect is an easy to read, practical toolkit for parents on internet safety. Topics in this book range from sexting to cyberbullying and everything in between.
For more on internet safety check out these blog posts and please let us know what you think of Dr. Moreno’s book!
On the Pulse: Sex Drugs ‘n Facebook
Keeping your adolescent safe online
Teens and Social Media: Depression Displays on Facebook Part 1
Teens, Cyberbullying, & Suicide
Recently, child psychologists in the United Kingdom received a new recommendation: that their treatment population should not be birth to eighteen, but rather birth to twenty-five.
The reason behind this change is our advancing knowledge of human brain development. Our brains, including functions involving self-regulation, decision-making, and risk-taking, do not develop into a “fully adult” brain until age 25 or later.
This has brought a storm of criticism. Some question the effect of the new guidelines on young adults, and whether it will prolong adolescence beyond where it is. Some think we are coddling young people who have been considered adults for most of history.
As anyone who works in the field of adolescent health knows, this research and these recommendations are not new, and our health system has been slowly incorporating these ideas into health care.
Read full post »
Have you ever wondered what a clinic devoted to adolescent health looked like? Would you like to meet providers who have dedicated their careers to the care of teens? Do you just want to find a resource in the community for your tween or teen children? Well, we have a great opportunity to introduce you to the Seattle Children’s Hospital Division of Adolescent Medicine. We’re having our open house on Tuesday October 8th from 4:30 to 7:30pm.
Seattle Children’s Hospital is a leader in the specialty of Adolescent Medicine with a team of experts in the areas of the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of adolescents. We have providers in our practice who are known nationally (and internationally) for their work with teens as well as some of the 2013 Top Doctors in the Northwest.
We help teens and their families with a variety of concerns including (but not limited to): eating disorders, weight management, ADHD, poor school performance, reproductive health, body image concerns, transgender, delayed puberty, substance use and abuse, chronic illness, and chronic pain.
The Open House will be in our clinic on Tuesday October 8th from 4:30pm to 7:30pm. We’ll have refreshments and great company, so please stop by!
Date: Tuesday October 8, 2013
Address: 4540 Sand Point Way NE, Suite 200 Seattle, WA 98105
Parking: free, located beneath the Spring Brook office building, off of 45th St, or on the plaza level of the Spring Brook office in between the 2 buildings
Recently a listing on Ebay has garnered international attention. An angry mother is selling the One Direction tickets she bought for her daughter and her daughter’s friends, in order to punish her daughter for lying and sneaking out.
So far, none of this is particularly objectionable. Where things begin to get interesting is the description she posts along with the tickets for sale.
Let’s deconstruct this listing a little, and point out how this mother’s Ebay communication to her daughter is not a good example of how to discipline your teenager. (Disclaimer: I’m not implying any of our gentle readers would use these parenting tactics, I’m more responding to the enthusiastic support from various people on the internet.)
Read full post »