Atypical eating behaviors may indicate autism

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 11 2019Atypical eating behaviors may be a sign a child should be screened for autism, according to a new study from Penn State College of Medicine.Research by Susan Mayes, professor of psychiatry, found that atypical eating behaviors were present in 70 percent of children with autism, which is 15 times more common than in neurotypical children.Atypical eating behaviors may include severely limited food preferences, hypersensitivity to food textures or temperatures, and pocketing food without swallowing.According to Mayes, these behaviors are present in many one-year-olds with autism and could signal to doctors and parents that a child may have autism.”If a primary care provider hears about these behaviors from parents, they should consider referring the child for an autism screening.”Mayes stated that the earlier autism is diagnosed, the sooner the child can begin treatment with a behavior analyst. Previous studies have shown applied behavior analysis to be most effective if implemented during the preschool years. Behavior analysts use a number of interventions, including rewards, to make positive changes in the children’s behavior and teach a range of needed skills.Keith Williams, director of the Feeding Program at Penn State Children’s Hospital, uses this therapy to help a variety of individuals with unusual eating behaviors. He said that identifying and correcting these behaviors can help ensure children are eating a proper diet.”I once treated a child who ate nothing but bacon and drank only iced tea,” Williams said. “Unusual diets like these don’t sustain children.”Williams also noted that there is a distinct difference between worrisome eating behaviors and the typical picky eating habits of young children. He explained that most children without special needs will slowly add foods to their diets during the course of development, but children with autism spectrum disorders, without intervention, will often remain selective eaters. We see children who continue to eat baby food or who won’t try different textures. We even see children who fail to transition from bottle feeding.”Keith Williams, director of the Feeding Program, Penn State Children’s Hospital Related StoriesEyes hold clues to effective treatment of severe autism, study showsBullying in children with ASD gets worse with ageStudy offers new clues to autism’s underlying biologyMayes said that many children with autism eat a narrow diet consisting primarily of grain products, like pasta and bread, and chicken nuggets. She said that because children with autism have sensory hypersensitivities and dislike change, they may not want to try new foods and will be sensitive to certain textures. They often eat only foods of a particular brand, color or shape.The research also showed that most children with autism who had atypical eating behaviors had two or more types – almost a quarter had three or more. Yet, none of the children with other developmental disorders who did not have autism had three or more. According to Williams, this is a common, clinical phenomenon – and it has prompted him and his colleagues to recommend some children for further evaluation.”When we evaluate young children with multiple eating problems, we start to wonder if these children might also have the diagnosis of autism,” Williams said. “In many cases, they eventually do receive this diagnosis.”The researchers evaluated the eating behaviors described in parent interviews of more than 2000 children from two studies. They investigated the difference in the frequency of unusual eating behaviors between typical children and those with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other disorders.Williams says the study data show that atypical eating behaviors may help diagnostically distinguish autism from other disorders. Even though children from both groups have unusual eating habits, they are seven times more common in autism than in other disorders according to the study data.”This study provided further evidence that these unusual feeding behaviors are the rule and not the exception for children with autism,” Williams said. Source:Penn State College of MedicineJournal reference:Mayes, S.D. & Zickgraf, H. (2019) Atypical eating behaviors in children and adolescents with autism, ADHD, other disorders, and typical development. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2019.04.002.last_img read more

Novartis says profit up 15 in 2017

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis said Wednesday that strong sales of two of its main blockbuster drugs enabled it to turn in a “good operational performance” in 2017. Novartis said it had ‘a good year’ in 2017 © 2018 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Novartis says profit up 15% in 2017 (2018, January 24) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-novartis-profit.html Novartis said in a statement that net profit climbed by 15 percent to $7.7 billion in 2017 on a one-percent increase in sales to $49.1 billion. “Novartis had a good year in 2017,” said chief executive Joe Jimenez. The group’s psoriasis drug, Cosentyx, “reached multi-blockbuster status,” the heart treatment Entresto delivered more than $500 million in sales and the eye care unit Alcon “returned to growth,” the statement said.Underlying or operating profit of $12.9 billion was “broadly in line with prior year as sales growth and productivity fully offset generic erosion and growth investments,” Novartis said.Looking ahead, “barring unforeseen events, group net sales in 2018 are expected to grow low to mid single digit,” Novartis said.And underlying profit was expected “to grow mid to high single digit,” it added.”With several key launches on the horizon and our new operating model in place, Novartis is poised for sustainable growth,” said CEO Jimenez. Novartis sees bright future for eye unit Explore further read more

Under pressure afraid to take bathroom breaks Inside Amazons fastpaced warehouse world

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. “We are allowed to go (to the bathroom),” said one worker, “but you can’t stay for that long.” Four or five minutes is OK—six minutes tops.”Anyway, he said, if you spend too long, “the numbers start to bite you,” meaning the rate of tasks per hour by which workers are measured, will drop unacceptably.Sheheryar Kaoosji, co-executive director of the Warehouse Worker Resource Center, a nonprofit in Southern California that advocates for better working conditions, said all warehouse employers try to get workers to do their jobs as quickly as possible. But because of the way Amazon uses technology, he said, “it’s definitely a whole other level.”Tracking every moveBloodworth said he spent several weeks at Amazon in early 2016 working the requisite 10-hour shifts, four days a week, at a warehouse in the West Midlands countryside. Seeking to write about the plight of the working class, he also worked at a call center, as an Uber driver, on a building site and as a home aide caring for the elderly.”Amazon was the worst employer, easily,” the author said by phone.When he took a day off sick, he received a “point.” Earn six and you’re fired, he said.Bloodworth said he heard of one person getting a point because she had to leave early to see her child in the hospital, and he talked to another who got a point for failing to hit her rate.At the warehouse where he worked, Amazon monitored everbody’s rate through a handheld device—tracking “our every move as if we were convicts out on house arrest,” he writes.The device carried messages to workers and recorded how quickly they were picking or packing goods. “Your rates are down this hour, please speed up,” a message might say, according to Bloodworth.”The productivity target was astonishingly high,” Bloodworth said, and it was always going up. To try to meet it, you had to run around the warehouse—at least if you were an “order picker,” as he was, tasked with collecting items from shelves to be sent on for packaging.Yet, he said, you were not supposed to run, and could get a point for doing so.”You couldn’t not break the rules,” he said, especially if you were angling for a permanent position. Most of the workers he met were, like him, temporary.Adding to the oppressive atmosphere, in Bloodworth’s telling: Amazon’s security measures to prevent theft, which entailed having workers go through airport-style metal detectors.The author summed up his experience: “You were not seen as a human being. You were seen as a robot.”How accurate is Bloodworth’s description?Amazon contests the number of shifts he worked—10, according to a spokesperson. Bloodworth initially said 15, then took account of a half-day plus two days he missed for sickness and warehouse maintenance, and recalculated to 12 and a half.More substantatively, the company said it employs mostly permanent workers, not temporary (outside of the Christmas season, at least), and has bathrooms “just a short walk” from where staffers work.”We do not monitor toilet breaks,” the spokesperson said in a series of lengthy written responses.One Amazon statement defended the company’s sick-leave policies. “If someone is ill, we want to help them get back to work when they are fit to do so. We completely support our people, and use proper discretion when applying our absence policy.”The statement did not say what its absence policy is.In North America, the company spokesperson said when asked for specificity, the policy “varies from state to state, but we comply with all regulations.”Also, according to the spokesperson, Amazon gives warehouse workers 20 hours unpaid time off every three months (adding to 10 hours when they start), 48 hours of paid personal time per year, and one week of paid vacation in the first year.Regarding the targets that Bloodworth says bedevil and exhaust employees, the spokesperson wrote, “As with nearly all companies, we expect a certain level of performance from our associates and we continue to set productivity targets objectively, based on previous performance levels achieved by our workforce … We support people who are not performing to the levels expected with dedicated coaching to help them improve.”Bloodworth said he was chastised, not coached, when his numbers were down.Back in the U.S.A tour of Amazon’s Kent warehouse—a squat 850,000-square-foot building that runs on for several blocks in a sparsely populated part of the city—doesn’t settle every contradiction.But one thing is immediately familiar from Bloodworth’s book: airport-style metal detectors. A sign tells workers what they can’t bring in, including phones, keys and belts.Cedric Ross, an Amazon senior manager giving the tour alongside Amazon PR manager Melanie Etches, explained the security measures as “industry standard.”Kaoosji, of the Warehouse Worker Resource Center, said that’s not true in his experience, based on conversations with warehouse workers from local employers such as Walmart and Home Deport.Amazon’s warehouses do have distinctive features the company likes to show off. Just beyond the entrance in Kent, Ross and Etches point out a classroom that is part of its Career Choice program, where workers can take free vocational classes of all sorts.And on an upper floor is a marvel of technological prowess: an area where big, rectangular storage units seem to move by themselves in some futuristic dance. In fact, small robots lie beneath the units, controlled by Wi-Fi and turning their cargo around as directed. Twenty-five of its warehouses in North America use such robots.Of course, humans work at the Kent warehouse, too, 2,500 of them. Technology dictates their work in a different way. Computer screens are ubiquitous, giving workers information about their tasks and running updates on their rate per hour.A game, as Etches described it, was taking place on a screen in front of one worker, who was picking items from storage units and placing them in bins for later packaging. Each task she finished counted for a certain number of points, and her total was ranked along with those of other workers.”Is it fun?” Etches asked brightly.The worker hesitated slightly. “It’s OK. It’s fun,” she said.A floor below, a woman packaging orders also used the word “OK” to describe her job.”If you’re having a bad day, it’s really hard to make rates,” she said. “Or if you’re sick, like I am today.”Asked why she didn’t stay home, she said, “If you don’t have time to take a full day off, you don’t leave.” And if you do, she said, you will be fired.Would that happen right away or would you first have a conversation with a manager? Etches asked.”I think you get an email,” the woman said.She also said workers were held accountable to something Amazon calls “time off task.””We’ve been told to watch how much time you’re in the bathroom,” she said, echoing the worker who said six minutes was the limit.”I think what she was talking about,” Etches said walking away, is that if people are in the bathroom “for an unusual amount of time,” someone might ask: “Are you OK? Everything all right?”Amazon offers prizes to those who perform well. There are “power hours” when workers compete for “swag bucks” by picking up the pace. Winners exchange the bucks for Amazon T-shirts, caps and other items.To be sure, not all workers find the rates oppressive. One said she had no problem meeting them. Another, who worked as a “problem solver” fixing orders that had gone wrong, didn’t have any rates to meet and had quickly been promoted.”It’s the best job I’ve ever had,” said the 29-year-old problem solver, who previously worked at a Pizza Hut and as a part-time maintenance worker for a South King County city.Kaoosji gives Amazon credit for offering better pay and benefits than some warehouse employers. Providing any health care at all, he said, is rare.”Workers tell us that’s what makes you stay,” he said.He estimates he and his colleagues at the Warehouse Worker Resource Center have talked to about 50 Amazon workers in the last year, and have also heard stories of unattainable rates and surveillance even of time spent in the bathroom.Such conditions figured prominently in a survey of 240 Amazon warehouse workers carried out by the British advocacy group Organise. Seventy-four percent said they avoided using the bathroom for fear of missing their performance targets or receiving a warning point.It’s that kind of stress that makes some workers leave despite the relatively good pay and benefits, Kaoosji said.Generally, he added, nondisclosure agreements required by Amazon, another unusual feature of its warehouses, keep workers afraid of speaking publicly about their experiences.Bloodworth doesn’t have that problem. Eventually, someone from the company found him in the warehouse and presented him with such an agreement, he writes. “On insisting it was something I needed to sign I decided straightaway to hand my notice in.” Explore further Amazon workers in Spain deliver first strike ©2018 The Seattle Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.center_img Working at an Amazon warehouse in the U.K., James Bloodworth came across a bottle of straw-colored liquid on a shelf. It looked like pee. Citation: Under pressure, afraid to take bathroom breaks? Inside Amazon’s fast-paced warehouse world (2018, July 4) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-pressure-bathroom-amazon-fast-paced-warehouse.html How could he be sure? “I smelt it,” said the 35-year-old British journalist and author, talking about his new book “Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain.” It was definitely pee, he said.As he tells it, urinating into a bottle is the kind of desperation Amazon forces its warehouse workers into as they try to avoid accusations of “idling” and failing to meet impossibly high productivity targets—ones they are continually measured against by Big Brother-ish type surveillance.It didn’t help that the nearest bathroom to where he worked was four flights of stairs below.Bloodworth’s grim picture of Amazon’s blue-collar workplaces—he compares the warehouse he worked in, alternately, to a prison and a totalitarian state—is bringing new attention to the company’s treatment of its workers. Out in the U.K. since March, and just appearing in this country, “Hired” sparked a flurry of reviews in the British press and some American coverage as well.Adding to concerns that have festered for years, Bloodworth’s depiction arises as the company rapidly expands its warehouse operation, where workers store, pack and ship the items customers order online. Amazon last year said it employed 125,000 full-time workers in the U.S., 38 percent more than a year ago.The company has not released worldwide employment figures, but said it has 175 “fulfillment centers,” as it calls its massive warehouses where goods come in and out, and 35 smaller “sortation centers” that finish off the delivery process.”We don’t recognize these allegations as an accurate portrayal of activities in our buildings,” the company said in a statement about Bloodworth’s book.The statement touted Amazon’s above-minimum-wage warehouse pay ($11 after two years in the U.K. and an average $15 in the U.S.) and benefits, including stock options for permanent employees.”We are committed to treating every one of our associates (the term Amazon uses for its warehouse workers) with dignity and respect,” Amazon added.There were, however, echoes of Bloodworth’s book even on a warehouse tour in Kent with an Amazon PR manager looking on.last_img read more

Nokia sees tough competition in market for 5G networks

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Telecoms gear maker Nokia reported Thursday a surprise first-quarter loss amid tougher competition for the new, superfast wireless 5G networks that are expected to increase in business this year. Nokia Q4 profit up as operators switching to 5G networks Explore further Citation: Nokia sees tough competition in market for 5G networks (2019, April 25) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-nokia-loss-tough-competition-networks.html The company, based in Espoo, Finland, said its net loss for the January-March period was 116 million euros ($130 million), against profit of 83 million euros a year earlier. Sales rose 2% to 5 billion euros.CEO Rajeev Suri said revenues from the faster but more expensive 5G networks were expected to “grow sharply” in the second half of the year.He said the slow start to the year was caused by aggressive competition in the network industry – dominated by Nokia, Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei – in the early stages of 5G rollout. Companies are under pressure to offer low prices to secure 5G network deals.That, Suri said, had created “near-term pressure but longer-term opportunity.”Industry observers say Nokia and Ericsson are trying to make gains on the woes of Huawei, which is facing obstacles in many countries over concerns – mainly voiced by the U.S. – that its equipment may be used for China-sponsored state espionage.In the latest development, Britain’s digital minister said Thursday that London is still mulling over whether to allow Huawei to supply parts for the U.K.’s new 5G wireless network.There is a risk, experts say, that Nokia and Ericsson could push too hard to capitalize on Huawei’s troubles by engaging in a price war, eroding profits.”The 5G (market) is in its early stages, the ecosystem is not yet mature and Nokia is facing some new challenges of its own,” Suri told analysts and reporters in a conference call.”But overall we see things improving quickly and surely. We have a (product) portfolio that is unique for the 5G era. Still, there’s plenty of work to do in all (business) areas but the momentum is with us,” he said.Shares in Nokia were down over 9% in Helsinki. © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Kota twowheeler riders to get free helmets to use and return

first_img Next Kota two-wheeler riders to get free helmets to use and returnKota Police will be distributing free helmets among two-wheeler riders for them to use and return later.advertisement Dev Ankur Wadhawan JaipurJuly 17, 2019UPDATED: July 17, 2019 20:26 IST Kota Police distributes helmets among locals.The huge number of road accident deaths has been a perennial cause of concern for traffic police in Rajasthan. Several of these accidents have resulted in serious injuries, further aggravated by riders giving helmets a miss.However, traffic police in Rajasthan’s Kota, considered the country’s education hub, have come up with a unique initiative to encourage people to wear helmets.The district police has decided to keep helmets at kiosks from where they can be made available to people free of charge.”Currently, the number of two-wheeler vehicles is very high in the city. At the same time, the number of students in Kota has also risen. Almost 3 lakh vehicles run on a daily basis in the city. Among them, several people do not have helmets,” Deepak Bhargava, Superintendent of police, Kota City said.The free helmet initiative is jointly being managed by Kota traffic police and Rapido. People can borrow helmets from kiosks free of charge and later deposit them at the kiosks itself.So far, imposing fines and challans has not reaped any benefits to deter people from risking their lives.Kota, considered to be the education hub of India, has become a bustling city, with a huge number of two-wheelers plying.On any given day, hundreds of students can be seen moving around on two-wheelers without the precautionary safety of helmets. The move is meant to ensure that students and others care for their own lives and do not move around in the city without wearing helmets.”100 people will be made to wear helmets. Their Aadhaar numbers will be noted down and they will have to deposit the helmets,” Deepak Bhargava, Superintendent of police, Kota City, mentioned.The helmets will be provided by the traffic police personnel and the rider’s name, address, mobile number and vehicle number will be noted down in a register. However, if the helmet is not returned, an e-challan will be sent to the rider’s address.Also Read | Buying a two-wheeler in Madhya Pradesh? First buy 2 helmets!Also Watch | Meet Ranchi’s Bullet girlFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanchari Chatterjeelast_img read more