Welcome to SylviaMcGrath.net


Welcome to my blog where I discuss the things I am most passionate about. I am following a long time dream of mine to be freelance writer; writing for and about children with chronic illness, special needs and learning challenges.  I am also a published author, poet and literacy tutor living in King City, Ontario.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month ~ October 2016


nbcf-logo

October is Awareness  Month

National Breast Cancer

A perfect time to have mammogram

All women are at risk of getting breast cancer and as you age your risk increases. On average, one in seven women will get breast cancer over a 90-year life span.

Breast cancer is a growth or irregular cells within the breast. It is not a one disease, but a Brgroup of diseases that can develop in any of the ducts, which carry milk to the nipple.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women and its cause is unknown. Every dollar Canadians donate to research brings us one step closer to discovering the causes of breast cancer, better methods to prevent and detect it, treatments that are more effective and improving the quality of life for survivors.

Canadian Breast Cancer statistic ~ 2015

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women and its cause is known.

We truly believe that every dollar Canadians donate to research brings us one step closer to discovering the causes of breast cancer, better methods to prevent and detect it, treatments that are more effective and improving the quality of life for survivors.

In 2015 an estimated 25,000 Canadian women were  diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,000 will die from it.

  •     Approximately 68 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day
  •     Approximately 14 Canadian women will die of breast cancer every day.
  •    1 in 9 women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime (age 90)
  •    and  1 in 20 will die from it.
  •     It is expected that 220 men will be diagnosed with breast  cancer and  60  will  die   

Thanks to improvements in screening, detection and treatment the 5 year survival rate for men is 80% and 88% for women. Research is making a difference!

Noteworthy Trend: Breast cancer death rates have declined in every age group since the mid 1980s.

This is most likely due to increased awareness, organized breast screening programs and improvements in treatment.

 Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Many factors can impact a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer, however if you have identified one or two risks please don’t assume you will get breast cancer. Some women who have more than one breast cancer risk never develop breast cancer, and many women (approx. 70%) had no risk factors at all.

Factors which have consistently found to increase your risk of breast cancer:

  • Being a woman – approx. 99% of breast cancers occur in women
  • Age – risk increases as you get older
  • Having a personal breast cancer history
  • Having a close relative (s) with breast cancer
  • Early menstruation (before age 12)
  • Late menopause (after age 55)
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy
  • Delayed childbirth (having a first baby after the age of 30 or never having had a baby)
  • Being overweight after menopause, based on your BMI (body mass index)

Factors which have been less consistently found to increase breast cancer risk:

  • Drinking alcohol – recommendations for cancer control suggest that women drink less than one drink per day
  • Breastfeed- studies are showing that the longer you breastfeed the greater the protection
  • Being physically inactive – exercising for at least 30 minutes, five days per week may help maintain overall health
  • Smoking tobacco and breathing second-hand smoke – increases a woman’s chance of developing several types of cancer including breast cancer

Source: Canadian Cancer Society Updated 06/2015

Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto has a special clinical and research clinic that is focused on the needs of younger women with breast cancer.

To learn more visit http://rethinkbreastcancer.com/

Research also indicates that these patients long for more peer support, assistance within the treatment system and information on issues specific to them, such as early menopause, fertility and breast reconstruction.

All women are different, so are their breasts. If you experience anything unusual for you, consult your doctor immediately.

The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump, mass or thickening of the breast tissue. Some women report sensitivity in this area. Other problems may include pain, bleeding or other discharge from the nipple, changes in breast shape, generalized swelling of the entire breast, or the irritation or dimpling of the breast skin

Discuss with your doctor before starting any drug therapy, as treatments for breast cancer are very individual.

In Canada the best places to go for a mammogram is at the Provincial Screening Centers. A screening mammogram is the quickest, safest and easiest way to find out if there is a problem. At these centers, they will also show you how to perform a self-breast examination.

Service: They aim to provide the best possible experience for those that deal with us, whether they are young adults using our programs, donors supporting our programs or volunteers helping in any variety of ways. It is paramount these stakeholders have a positive experience and our duty to ensure it.

Mortality:

Mortality refers to the number of people that are likely to die from breast cancer in a population over a period of time.  Mortality rates can help us understand the impact that breast cancer has on society based on the number of lives lost to the disease. They also provide insight into the effectiveness of treatments.  High incidence rates and low mortality rates suggest that while a significant number of people are being diagnosed with a disease, many are surviving due to effective treatments.

Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.

American Breast Cancer Statistic ~ 2013.

About 39,620 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2013

Although breast cancer is generally a disease for older women, a significant number under the age of forty is rising. Those young women represent only 5% of all breast cancer patients however; most of them are likely to be diagnosed at a relatively late stage of cancer; and more likely to die of their disease. Even if cured, they are more prone to have psychological problems Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.

About 39,620 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2013

Although breast cancer is generally a disease for older women, a significant number under the age of forty is rising. Those young women represent only 5% of all breast cancer patients however; most of them are likely to be diagnosed at a relatively late stage of cancer; and more likely to die of their disease. Even if cured, they are more prone to have psychological problems

Noteworthy Trend: Breast cancer death rates have declined in every age group since the mid 1980s

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Many factors can impact a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer, however if you have identified one or two

risks please don’t assume you will get breast cancer. Some women who have more than one breast cancer risk never develop breast cancer, and many women (approx. 70%) had no risk factors at all.

Factors which have consistently found to increase your risk of breast cancer:

  • Being a woman – approx. 99% of breast cancers occur in women
  • Age – risk increases as you get older
  • Having a personal breast cancer history
  • Having a close relative (s) with breast cancer
  • Early menstruation (before age 12)
  • Late menopause (after age 55)
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy
  • Delayed childbirth (having a first baby after the age of 30 or never having had a baby)
  • Being overweight after menopause, based on your BMI (body mass index)

Factors which have been less consistently found to increase breast cancer risk:

  • Drinking alcohol – recommendations for cancer control suggest that women drink less than one drink per day
  • Breastfeed- studies are showing that the longer you breastfeed the greater the protection
  • Being physically inactive – exercising for at least 30 minutes, five days per week may help maintain overall health
  • Smoking tobacco and breathing second-hand smoke – increases a woman’s chance of developing several types of cancer including breast cancer.

       Breast Cancer Statistics Worldwide

In 2010, nearly 1.5 million people were told “you have breast cancer”

 Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. It is also the principle cause of death from cancer among women globally. Despite the high incidence rates, in Western countries, 89% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are still alive 5 years after their diagnosis, which is due to detection and treatment (Parkin, 2008).

The UK and USA have one of the highest incidence rates worldwide (together with the rest of North America and Australia/New Zealand), making these countries a priority for breast cancer awareness. View the map below to see how your country is impacted by breast cancer (pink being the highest per capita):

breastcancerstatsworldwide-660x447

 Dramatically, one-third of these cancer deaths could be decreased if detected and treated early. In a worldwide context, this means nearly 400,000 lives could be saved every year.*

The World Health Organisation [WHO] has suggested that two components of early detection have been shown to improve cancer mortality

  • Education—to help people recognize early signs of cancer and seek prompt medical attention for symptoms.
  • Screening programs—to identify early cancer or pre-cancer before signs are recognizable, including mammography for breast cancer.

If  you require any further information ~ Please contact the links below or your countries

Canadian Breast Cancer Society

https://www.cancer.ca/en

American Cancer Foundation

http://www.cancer.org/

Cancer Research UK – Official Sites.

http://icgc.org/icg

https://http://www.cancerresearchuk.org

Breast cancer statistics | World Cancer Research Fund International

http://www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/data-specific-cancers/breastcancer-statistics

 

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Autumn Grizzly in Banff National Park — Discover


Photographer Christopher Martin captures a grizzly bear — stark against fall color in Banff National Park. via Autumn Grizzly in Banff National Park — Discover

Source: Autumn Grizzly in Banff National Park — Discover

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Writingmama’ s Inspirational Thoughts for September 2016


How many of us do take life for granted?

Source: Writingmama’ s Inspirational Thoughts for September 2016

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Interview with Author Mari L. McCarthy of @CreateWriteNow~Interviewed by bwitzenhausen September 22nd. 2016


Posted by bwitzenhausen

mari-l-mcarthy

I am thrilled to  interview Mari L. McCarthy, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of CreateWriteNow and discuss her new book Journaling Power! Welcome Mari! 

 journaling-power

 

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your new book Journaling Power.

I’m the Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of CreateWriteNow.com. It’s also known as The Journaling Power Center: I show people how to use the ultimate holistic health tool–Journaling, to heal, grow and transform themselves. I’ve authored 18 Journaling Power eWorkbooks and created numerous Journaling Power Challenges on topics ranging from Love Your Body to Life Transitions to Spirituality.

I began journaling 18 years ago to deal with a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) symptom flare-up that had caused me to lose most feeling and function on my body’s right side.  I needed a “procedure” (I was a left brain controlled businesswoman) to teach myself how to write with my left hand, like, yesterday. A hypnotherapist suggested Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” and I was off. But I soon discovered that my daily pen-to-paper writing therapy practice helped me improve not only my physical health but my psychological and spiritual health as well. I’ve realized many other benefits from this awesome self-healing tool like reconnecting with my creativity, my wisdom and my personal power.

In Journaling Power: How To Create The Happy, Healthy Life You Want To Live I’ve written a self-help memoir that shares my experiences of how I’m using Journaling to heal my diseases and also gives my readers everything (including challenging exercises) they need to set up and keep a Journaling Power Practice.

What was the inspiration behind Journaling Power?

I often get what I call “universal messages” in my Journal and one day, “Journaling Power” came up and later the message, “now is the time to write the book that must be written.” Then I started using my Journal to help me find resources to mentor me as I’d never written a “real” book before.

What does your average work/writing day look like?

First thing after showering, I do my ambidextrous Morning Pages, breakfast (I’m a pesca-vegetarian and eat only non-processed food, thanks to Journaling). Then log onto my computer and do 250-500 words in my Daily Page account. Then onto writing blog posts and other writing projects. In the afternoon, I meet with clients and finish the day with a page of Night Notes which helps me express my gratitudes and turn off the brain so I can enjoy a night of healing

sleep and dreams.

What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a writer and how do you overcome them?

I’d say my biggest challenge is me. I’m so experienced at self-sabotage etc. I find the best thing for dealing with my “issues” is to keep to my routine Monday through Friday and make my weekends for me, my inner kids, singer and artist only.

What message do you hope your readers walk away with after reading your book?

That they have the power, creativity, wisdom and intelligence to create the life that they want to live. That they have a free therapist in their Journal that will help them to eliminate the baggage they’ve been carrying around since childhood, reconnect with their true self (the one they came into this life with!) and live, love and laugh. A lot.

Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?

My Journal and I are discussing my next self-help memoir, Thinking With My Heart (working title). It looks like it’ll focus on healing our physical diseases and becoming our own healthcare advocate/provider, partnering with healthcare professionals to reduce doctor visits and drugs and become and stay healthier longer.

I’m at www.CreateWriteNow.com.

 

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Interview with Author Laurie Buchanan PhD ( @TuesWithLaurie ) — IgniteYourCreativity.net by Belinda Witzenhausen ~ Re-Blogged fr0m Belinda Witzenhausen


I am thrilled to have the opportunity to interview holistic health practitioner, coach and author Laurie Buchanan PhD. Welcome Laurie! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your new book, Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth Board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, I’m a holistic health practitioner […]

via Interview with Author Laurie Buchanan PhD ( @TuesWithLaurie ) — IgniteYourCreativity.net by Belinda Witzenhausen

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Sylvia’s Monthly Book Review ~ June 22, 2016


A Discovery of Witches:

A Novel (All Souls Trilogy, Book 1)

By Deborah Harkness (Author)

 

A Discovery of Witchesf

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together. 

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

I found ” A Discovery of Witches” to be a fresh, intelligent, rich, and detailed re-imagining of our mundane world to include four kinds of people: humans and the so-called “creatures” known as vampires, witches, and daemons, where interrelations between the “creature” species is forbidden by an ancient Covenant.

The tale has the intellectual, detective aspects as found in the DaVinci Code  It has the political and strategic aspects of a complex chess game, with creatures poised on the brink of war placing their pieces in complex plans and stratagems. It tells the story of a deep, forbidden love between an ancient vampire and a witch of great power, a love that is tested by those who would stop at nothing to preserve the ancient Covenant and possess the witch’s power.

The book has the feeling of a classic epic: rich in depth, complexity, and detail, all of which are interwoven into a larger tapestry which we can only see a small piece of in this novel.

I have now started reading book two in this series “Shadow of Night and find this book just as good if not better than “A Discovery of Witches.”

About the author

Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation Scholar, novelist
Nationality American
Education Mount Holyoke College, Northwestern University, University of California at Davis
Genre Fantasy, historical fiction
Notable works A Discovery of Witches
Shadow of Night
The Book of Life
Website       http://www.deborahharkness.com/
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Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Book review of the week ~ 12th. March, 2016


New York Times Bestseller! “Masterly crafted”—The Wall Street Journal The Globe and Mail ~ “Haunting, heartbreaking, hopeful and altogether gorgeous…one of the best young-adult novels …

Source: Professor Owl’s Book Corner ~ Book review of the week ~ 12th. March, 2016

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Health Awareness ~ World Glaucoma Week ~ March 6th. to March 12th. 2016


glaucoma18 (1)

Glaucoma is an eye disease, and one of the most common causes of blindness that affects one in a hundred Canadians and three million Americans over the age of forty; the disease is caused by pressure in the eye. It often occurs in older people; however it has been known to develop at any age.
Increased pressure in the eye or poor blood flow causes people with glaucoma to lose their sight. Painless and unnoticeable, the eye slowly loses its nerve function and the loss of peripheral vision (loss of side vision). This is due to the increased pressure of the aqueous humor, (the clear water fluid that circulates in the chamber of the eye between the cornea and the lens); this causes damage to the optic nerve.
As glaucoma progresses it can destroy all peripheral vision and then impair the central vision, eventually leading to total blindness.

There are several types of glaucoma:

• Congenital glaucoma: affects young people
• Secondary glaucoma: usually the result of an injury or trauma
• Primary glaucoma: usually associated with aging (there are two types of primary glaucoma):
1. Acute or closed angle glaucoma is less common, this is when the trabecular meshwork (filter of the eye) gets obstructed or clogged and the aqueous fluid is not filtered efficiently
2. Chronic or open angle glaucoma is the most common type and patients with this type of glaucoma usually have normal or low pressure in the eye and gradually develop optic nerve changes and progressive vision loss without any symptoms until the disease has progressed to the loss of peripheral vision.
• Normal tension glaucoma: Is present although eye pressure is normal. It is usually caused by poor circulation, heart problems, brain tumors or toxic drugs
Your eye care professional can often spot whether the structure of your eye can lead to this problem and then it can be prevented with laser therapy.
Symptoms of acute or closed angle glaucoma:

  • A sudden dull aching pain over one eye
  • Changes in your vision
  • Blurring and haloes around lights

If you have any of these symptoms you should go to the emergency room or a professional eye doctor at once. The loss of vision is not reversible; it is permanent.

Causes of glaucoma:

  • Excessive use of antibiotics.
  • Family history.
  • Diabetics are more likely to have glaucoma
  • Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness.
  • Steroid use.
  • Some drugs can also harm the eyes, including Nsaid’s, Venlafaxine, Steroids, Simvastatin, Mirtazapine, Fenfluramine, Gastric antispasmodics and Antidepressants.

Glaucoma Treatments:

Tests for glaucoma are quick and painless. A pressure check for glaucoma is usually a routine part of an eye examination after the age of thirty-five. Your eye doctor measures your IOP (Intraocular pressure) with a special instrument called a tonometer. Depending on the results will decide whether you require more tests.


The most common treatment is for the patient to use eye drops daily to decrease the pressures.

  • You must follow medication schedules and fully understand them. If the pressures are not kept under control you may need laser therapy or surgery.
  • The field tests measure the pressures and detect any loss of peripheral vision.
  • To treat an attack your doctor may use a laser to make a microscopic opening in the colored part of your eye (the iris) to prevent another attack.
  • If the pressures rupture the blood vessels in your eye, you may require laser surgery to seal the ends of the blood vessels.

Self help or alternative medicines:

It is important to stay healthy since your general health can affect the glaucoma.
Helpful foods that include Vitamin C & E for eye health, or containing the following nutrients:

  • Yellow and orange vegetables
  • Green vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Seaweed
  • Spinach
  • Beans
  • Vegetables and fruit juices
  • Drink 8 -10 glasses of water daily
  • Exercise for at least 20 minutes daily
  • Avoid foods you have an allergic reaction to since this can increase eye pressures.

Can Glaucoma Be Cured?
Ten years ago, scientists thought it would be impossible ever to restore vision in glaucoma. Since then researchers have accomplished some initial steps.

Glaucoma research hopes to one day restore vision lost from glaucoma, but that can’t presently be done.
Existing treatments slow the process for most patients so no meaningful vision loss occurs in their lifetime. There are, however, several potential avenues to a cure.

Research Progress ~ 2016

https://www.glaucoma.org/research/

For more than 35 years, the Glaucoma Research Foundation has funded innovative clinical and laboratory research. We will continue to lead the way in research until a cure is found.

Catalyst For a Cure

Our multidisciplinary consortium is seeking new, specific and sensitive biomarkers to diagnose and manage glaucoma more effectively.

Grants to Explore New Ideas

We provide seed money for creative projects that hold promise and explore new research territory.

Updates and Milestones

Interested in specific advances? We publish information about new research results as it becomes available.

Catalyst Meetings

Annually we bring together leading experts to discuss new ideas that could lead to a cure for glaucoma.

To read more up-to-date information – please visit the following two links.
http://www.glaucoma.org/news/events/glaucoma-360.php

http://www.glaucoma.org/research/can-glaucoma-be-cured.php

http://www.glaucoma.org/research/future-focus-stem-cell-treatment-for-glaucoma.php

For further information in your country please visit the following links.

http://www.afb.org

http://www.cnib.ca

http:www.naturaleyecare.com

http://www.nei.nih.gov

http://www.nfb.org

http://www.preventblindness.org

Copyright Sylvia McGrath originally written March 2007 – updated in March 2o15

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Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year


I Wish in all my friends that celebrate the holidaysMerry Xmas

A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Wishing you and yours all the love and joy the season has to offer.

I will be back in the new year with some old favourites as well as new and unique content.  🎄⛄❄🎁

 

 

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October is ADD and ADHD Awareness Month


ADD and ADHD

By Sylvia McGrath

Boy with ADD

 

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of ADD and ADHD:

It is normal for children to occasionally daydream during class, act without thinking, and forget  their homework or get fidgety at the dinner table. However, impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention, are also signs of ADD or ADHD.

When a child has ADD/ADHD it can also lead to problems at home and school, and, affect the child’s ability to learn and get along with others. It is therefore, important to know what the signs and symptoms are and get help if the child is showing any of them. 

Some ADHA Symptoms:

  •          They cannot sit still, never seems to listen, 
  •         Do not follow instructions no matter how clearly they are given.
  •         They blurt out inappropriate comments at inappropriate times.
  •        They may also have been criticized for being lazy.
  •         They are labeled as troublemakers or undisciplined.

The symptoms and signs of ADD/ADHD usually appear before the age of seven. It can, however, be a little difficult to distinguish between normal kid behavior and ADHD. If a few signs show up only in some situations then it is probably not ADD/ADHD. Should the child show a number of signs and symptoms of ADD/ADHD and are disruptive at home, school  and play then it is time to take a closer look.

Before an accurate diagnosis of ADD/ADHD can be made, it is important that the child is taken to a mental health professional to explore and rule out the following possible causes of the ADHD-like symptoms     

  • Major life events or traumatic experiences that may have caused stress (e.g. divorce, a recent move, death of a loved one, illness, bullying.)
  • Learning disabilities or problems with reading, writing, motor skills, or language.
  •  Psychological problems including-anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.     
  • Behavioral disorders such as conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.
  •  Medical conditions, including thyroid problems, neurological conditions, epilepsy, and sleep disorders.

 Diagnosing ADD/ADHD in children:

 At this time, there is no imaging or laboratory test existing to determine whether a child has DD/ADHD. The diagnosis is mainly made on the signs and symptoms that are observed and by ruling out other disorders. It is therefore, important to have a full medical and psychological evaluation. Doctors usually interview the parent, child and any adult who can provide and insight into the child’s behavior.  When choosing a specialist to diagnose the child, it is a good idea to also get recommendations from other doctors, therapists, and parents. Insurance companies are also a good source for referrals and information about the coverage of the family’s insurance plan.

Mental health professionals who can diagnose ADD/ADHD include psychologists, paediatricians, and psychiatrists.

 For more information, please see the following links: 

 World Links:

World – Non-Government Organizations

* Attention Deficit Disorder Association – http://www.add.org

 Attention Deficit Disorder Association helps to provide information, resources and networking to adults with AD/HD and to the professionals who work with them. In doing so, ADDA generates hope, awareness, empowerment and connections worldwide in the field of AD/HD.

 * C.H.A.D.D.: Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders – http://www.chadd.org

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is the nation’s leading non-profit organization serving individuals with AD/HD and their families. CHADD has over 16,000 members in 200 local chapters throughout the U.S.

First written by Sylvia McGrath, Freelance Writer – 2008

**Please note: that this article is just to serve as an information resource, this is not to be used for diagnosis. If you have any medical concerns or questions, please see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Canadian links:

www.caddra.ca/elearning

www.addcoach4u.com/canadianadhdsupportgroups.html

~~~~~~

Book Recommendation:-

ADD & ADHD Simplified: How To Understand & Manage Attention Deficit Disorder & Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children, Kids & Adults – A Parenting & Caretaking Handbook 

Susan Jackson

 Available from www.amazon.ca and www.amazon.com

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