WBEZ | children http://www.wbez.org/tags/children Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en WATCH: A French father tries to explain the attacks to his young son http://www.wbez.org/news/watch-french-father-tries-explain-attacks-his-young-son-113821 <p><p>Sometimes as a parent, it&#39;s hard to explain a cruel world to our children.</p><p>And sometimes, we see examples of a parent doing it exceptionally well despite some very tough circumstances.</p><p>Le Petit Journal, a show on the Canal+ network, captured a moment like that at the makeshift memorial in front of the Bataclan Theater in Paris, where dozens were killed during a terrorist attack on Friday.</p><p>There&#39;s not much more to say, other than watch:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jb_5QlLQQH8?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/17/456361418/watch-a-french-father-tries-to-explain-the-attacks-to-his-young-son?ft=nprml&amp;f=456361418" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 12:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/watch-french-father-tries-explain-attacks-his-young-son-113821 StoryCorps Chicago: ‘We want a gay child, but we’d welcome a straight one’ http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-%E2%80%98we-want-gay-child-we%E2%80%99d-welcome-straight-one%E2%80%99-113986 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/91ea8933-4bb3-4578-955d-6ca929856023.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Nelson Long and Alison Smith were two weeks away from their wedding when they visited the Chicago StoryCorps booth in August. Both Nelson and Alison are children of divorce, and both have a parent who is gay. Alison grew up as a preacher&#39;s daughter in southern Illinois and Nelson grew up in a small coal mining town in West Virginia. They had very different childhoods, but the experience they share is an important part of their relationship.</p><div>&nbsp;</div><p dir="ltr"><em><a href="http://www.storycorps.org">StoryCorps</a>&rsquo; mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 13 Nov 2015 12:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-%E2%80%98we-want-gay-child-we%E2%80%99d-welcome-straight-one%E2%80%99-113986 Should we force children to show affection? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-13/should-we-force-children-show-affection-113777 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/kids affection flickr Amy Goodman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Everyone celebrates the holidays in different ways, but a few things are kind of universal. We tend to get together with family and friends and those celebrations tend to be better when kids are around. And when kids are around, they are going to be smothered with hugs, kisses, and cheek-pinches by the likes of Grandma Karen, Uncle Joe, and Cousin Mary. And the kids aren&rsquo;t always happy about it.</p><p>Irene van der Zande talks about why forcing kids to show affection toward others, especially adults, is not always a good thing. She&#39;s the founder and Executive Director of <a href="https://www.kidpower.org/">Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International</a>, an organization that teaches about personal safety and violence prevention.&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 13 Nov 2015 12:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-13/should-we-force-children-show-affection-113777 StoryCorps Chicago: ‘That was my rescuing point’ http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-%E2%80%98-was-my-rescuing-point%E2%80%99-113581 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 151030 Lawrence Karen bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: justify;">When Lawrence Thomas graduated at the top of his class from Ball State University, he was still in prison. That&#39;s especially remarkable given that, when he was locked up at age 16, he hadn&rsquo;t yet completed high school. Thomas eventually got out and connected with the Safer Foundation in Chicago, which helps people with criminal records find work. Recently he visited his financial coach there, Karen DeGrasse. As part of our StoryCorps series, Thomas tells her about his childhood and growing up as one of eight kids to a single mom who was an alcoholic.</p><div><p style="text-align: justify;"><em>This story was recorded in partnership with the Safer Foundation.</em></p></div><p style="text-align: justify;"><em><a href="http://www.storycorps.org" target="_blank">StoryCorps</a>&rsquo; mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></p></p> Fri, 30 Oct 2015 18:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-%E2%80%98-was-my-rescuing-point%E2%80%99-113581 No Child Left Behind: What worked, what didn't http://www.wbez.org/news/no-child-left-behind-what-worked-what-didnt-113521 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/lbj.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res451923813" previewtitle="The Elementary and Secondary Education Act hasn't been updated since it was renamed &quot;No Child Left Behind&quot; in 2001 by President George W. Bush. The law was introduced by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 to help states level the playing field for students living and learning in poverty."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="The Elementary and Secondary Education Act hasn't been updated since it was renamed &quot;No Child Left Behind&quot; in 2001 by President George W. Bush. The law was introduced by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 to help states level the playing field for students living and learning in poverty." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/26/ap_070905059500_slide-97d06964b9d9cf49dcf94c2923c30dfa11d9e24f-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="The Elementary and Secondary Education Act hasn't been updated since it was renamed &quot;No Child Left Behind&quot; in 2001 by President George W. Bush. The law was introduced by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 to help states level the playing field for students living and learning in poverty. (Matt Rourke/AP)" /></div><div><div><p>Cross your fingers.</p></div></div></div><p>Congress is trying to do something it was supposed to do back in 2007: agree on a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It&#39;s not controversial to say the law is in desperate need of an update.</p><p>The ESEA is hugely important, not just to our nation&#39;s schools but the social fabric. It pours billions of federal dollars each year into classrooms that serve low-income students. When President Lyndon Johnson first signed it in 1965, he declared the law &quot;a major new commitment of the federal government to quality and equality in the schooling that we offer our young people.&quot;</p><p>The ESEA is supposed to be updated every few years but hasn&#39;t been rewritten since 2001, when another Texan, President George W. Bush, famously renamed it No Child Left Behind. Bush took Johnson&#39;s original vision, to help states level the playing field for students living and learning in poverty, and added teeth.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re gonna spend more money, more resources,&quot; Bush said at the time, &quot;but they&#39;ll be directed at methods that work. Not feel-good methods. Not sound-good methods. But methods that actually work.&quot;</p><p>Those methods included a sweeping new federal system of testing and accountability &mdash; as strict as it was controversial. The message to states was clear: We don&#39;t trust you to do the right thing by your most disadvantaged students. Schools that fail to educate all kids should be fixed or closed.</p><p>With its emphasis &mdash; obsession, critics would say &mdash; on standardized testing, the law became unpopular among many teachers and parents and technically expired in 2007. But it&#39;s on the books until it&#39;s replaced.</p><p>Now, the challenge for lawmakers is figuring out what &mdash; if any &mdash; of Bush&#39;s tough-love methods worked. This week, NPR is trying to do the same.</p><p><strong>The Tough Guy</strong></p><div id="res451925655" previewtitle="President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965 with Kate Deadrich Loney, his first schoolteacher."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965 with Kate Deadrich Loney, his first schoolteacher." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/26/lbj-3_custom-49916d3821e7b911ea226219ab499e20c2f82936-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 611px; width: 400px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965 with Kate Deadrich Loney, his first schoolteacher. (Yoichi Okamoto/Lyndon B. Johnson Library)" /></div><div><div><p>Bush&#39;s tough-love approach was motivated by the sense that states weren&#39;t doing enough to fix their low-performing schools. NCLB created a new role for the federal government: Tough Guy. Right now, the House and Senate don&#39;t agree on much, but they do agree that the Tough Guy routine didn&#39;t work.</p></div></div></div><p>The recent bills crafted by both chambers &mdash; and that must now be reconciled &mdash; leave it to the states to decide what to do about struggling schools. That includes how to fix them and whether or when to close them.</p><p>But at least one researcher thinks the law, like the classic Tough Guy, is a little misunderstood. And that parts of the law did work.</p><p>&quot;NCLB is usually regarded as a sledgehammer, but it&#39;s actually fairly complex and fairly nuanced,&quot; says Tom Ahn, who teaches at the University of Kentucky.</p><p>Ahn has a Ph.D. in economics and writes papers with titles like, &quot;Distributional Impacts of a Local Living Wage Increase.&quot; In short, he&#39;s an unlikely guy to have written one of the go-to studies on NCLB.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aefpweb.org/sites/default/files/webform/ahnvigdornclb.pdf">But he did</a>. And it&#39;s an eye-opener.</p><p>A few years ago, Ahn and his colleague, Jacob Vigdor, wondered: In spite of the controversy, did No Child Left Behind do some good? Did it improve low-performing schools? For answers, they studied the schools of North Carolina, though what they found can be applied just about anywhere.</p><p><strong>How It Worked</strong></p><p>Under NCLB, schools were judged on something called Adequate Yearly Progress. The goal was to get every child to grade-level in reading and math by 2014. It was an impossible goal that infuriated teachers and administrators alike because it held all children &mdash; and all schools &mdash; to the same timeline.</p><p>The law didn&#39;t care if a child had begun the year three grades behind in reading and a teacher helped her make two years&#39; worth of progress by May. According to NCLB&#39;s strict proficiency guidelines, that student was still a year below grade-level.</p><p>The law also required schools to break down their student data into lots of little subgroups, including race, disability and socioeconomic status. Ahn says that was a game-changer. &quot;If one group of disadvantaged students underperformed, the entire school was considered underperforming.&quot;</p><p>Or, as Nancy Barbour puts it: &quot;Your high-fliers can&#39;t cover for your low-fliers.&quot;</p><p>In 2002, Barbour was the principal of a very good school in Durham, N.C. She says the new law made her and lots of fellow principals and teachers nervous, thinking &quot;Oh no, oh no. In four years we&#39;re gonna be restructuring, and in six we&#39;re gonna be closed down.&quot;</p><p>Some of that fear was justified. Because of the law&#39;s attention to these smaller groups of students, some of whom tended to underperform, many schools that had previously earned high marks suddenly got red flags. This is the first of two important lessons Tom Ahn learned studying NCLB.</p><p><strong>Lesson #1: Some Schools Didn&#39;t Need Fixing, Just Scaring</strong></p><p>&quot;The ones that had the capacity to shape up, they did,&quot; Ahn says.</p><p>He found that many schools improved after that first warning with no sanctions at all &mdash; just the threat of sanctions. Because these schools had relatively few kids below grade-level and enough money and staff to focus on them.</p><p>Ahn found a very different story among schools where lots of students were struggling. For these, often poorer schools, the law was like quicksand. Donna Brown is director of federal program monitoring and support for North Carolina&#39;s public schools, and she saw the quicksand first-hand.</p><p>&quot;When I came to the department in 2004,&quot; Brown remembers, &quot;there were nine schools in the state that were identified for some level of improvement sanction. And, by 2008-9, there were 521.&quot;</p><p>That&#39;s nearly half of all schools in the state that received federal Title I dollars. After two years of failing to make progress, a school had to offer students the right to transfer to a better school.</p><p>The problem with this transfer policy, says Brown, is &quot;you&#39;re not really doing anything to address the needs of that school.&quot;</p><p>It was more punishment than panacea. So schools often sank deeper into the quicksand. If they continued to fail to make Adequate Yearly Progress, they were also required to pay for tutoring services and, later, to choose from a list of &quot;corrective actions,&quot; including changing curriculum or lengthening the school day. And here begins the other great lesson of No Child Left Behind.</p><p><strong>Lesson #2: The Lobotomy</strong></p><p>For schools stuck in the quicksand, Ahn says, &quot;these sanctions start stacking up, and at the end of the day, they don&#39;t help the schools to improve.&quot;</p><p>That is, until the last, most-feared sanction &mdash; Restructuring &mdash; which Ahn likens to &quot;a lobotomy.&quot;</p><p>After five years, schools &quot;in need of improvement&quot; were supposed to write a restructuring plan that could include firing teachers, reopening as a charter or handing over control to the state. And in Year Six, they were supposed to do it.</p><p>In North Carolina, Ahn found the most common strategy was simply replacing the person at the top, the principal. The effect on student performance was significant, equivalent to &quot;reducing class size by a third to a half.&quot;</p><p>Why did the lobotomy so often work? It&#39;s hard to say. Ahn points out that, to be forced into restructuring, a school had to be considered failing for six years.</p><p>&quot;There&#39;s something seriously wrong with the way the school has been run,&quot; Ahn says. &quot;And, when leadership change occurs, basically there&#39;s a sea change.&quot;</p><p>He says he could see it not only in student performance but in teacher satisfaction surveys. After the lobotomy, teachers were often happier.</p><p>At least, that&#39;s what the data suggests. To really understand restructuring and why, Ahn says, it was the only sanction under NCLB that seemed to work, we need to see a lobotomy first-hand. We&#39;ll have that story later today.</p><p>&nbsp;&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/10/27/443110755/no-child-left-behind-what-worked-what-didnt?ft=nprml&amp;f=443110755" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 27 Oct 2015 13:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/no-child-left-behind-what-worked-what-didnt-113521 Are you hungry? Pediatricians add a new question during check-ups http://www.wbez.org/news/are-you-hungry-pediatricians-add-new-question-during-check-ups-113477 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/pediatrician-9aad8eb1de359366f35e149ed02fcd28e953defd-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res450952827" previewtitle="Kids and parents often shy away from talking about their struggles at the doctor's office. But the American Academy of Pediatrics is now urging its members to screen kids for food insecurity during well-child visits."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Kids and parents often shy away from talking about their struggles at the doctor's office. But the American Academy of Pediatrics is now urging its members to screen kids for food insecurity during well-child visits." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/22/pediatrician-9aad8eb1de359366f35e149ed02fcd28e953defd-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 620px;" title="Kids and parents often shy away from talking about their struggles at the doctor's office. But the American Academy of Pediatrics is now urging its members to screen kids for food insecurity during well-child visits. (iStockphoto)" /></div><div><p>An&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/key-statistics-graphics.aspx">estimated</a>&nbsp;7.9 million kids in the U.S. live in &quot;food-insecure&quot; households. This means there&#39;s not always enough to eat at home.</p></div></div><p>But when these kids go to the doctor for a check-up, or a well-child visit, the signs of malnutrition are not always apparent. So pediatricians say it&#39;s time to start asking about it.</p><p>Kids and parents often shy away from talking about their struggles. &quot;They&#39;re embarrassed, or they don&#39;t think the doctor will care,&quot; says pediatrician&nbsp;<a href="http://www.uofmchildrenshospital.org/providers/bio/d_121283">Sarah Jane Schwarzenberg</a>&nbsp;of the University of Minnesota Masonic Children&#39;s Hospital.</p><p>To get families talking, the American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending that pediatricians screen all children for food insecurity by asking questions like this:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>Within the past 12 months, the food we bought didn&#39;t last, and we didn&#39;t have money to get more. Yes or No?</em></p></div></blockquote><p>As we&#39;ve&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/09/18/441143723/people-on-food-stamps-eat-less-nutritious-food-than-everyone-else">reported</a>, America&#39;s wealth gap manifests on our dinner plates. Families who rely on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap">SNAP</a>&nbsp;&mdash; the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps &mdash; tend to eat about the same number of calories as higher-income Americans. But when it comes to nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, SNAP recipients eat less.</p><p>&quot;Some families do rely on starchy, filling foods that may not provide all the vitamins and minerals they need,&quot; says Schwarzenberg, who co-authored the AAP&#39;s new policy.</p><p>There are myriad health problems linked to poor nutrition. &quot;Hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity are tied to adult cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes,&quot; Schwarzenberg says.</p><p>And that&#39;s not all. According to the AAP policy statement:</p><blockquote><ul><li>Children who live in households that are food insecure, even at the lowest levels, get sick more often, recover more slowly from illness, have poorer overall health and are hospitalized more frequently.</li><li>Children and adolescents affected by food insecurity are more likely to be iron deficient, and preadolescent boys dealing with hunger issues have lower bone density. Early childhood malnutrition also is tied to conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life.</li><li>Lack of adequate healthy food can impair a child&#39;s ability to concentrate and perform well in school and is linked to higher levels of behavioral and emotional problems from preschool through adolescence.</li></ul></blockquote><p>The new AAP policy statement, which is published in the journal&nbsp;<em>Pediatrics</em>, also recommends that pediatricians keep on hand a list of community resources, such as food banks.</p><p>&quot;Pediatricians can have this information at their fingertips&quot; to share with their patients in need, Schwarzenberg says.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/23/450909564/are-you-hungry-pediatricians-add-a-new-question-during-check-ups?ft=nprml&amp;f=450909564" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 23 Oct 2015 09:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/are-you-hungry-pediatricians-add-new-question-during-check-ups-113477 StoryCorps Chicago: "Meeting you was like looking into a mirror for the first time" http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-meeting-you-was-looking-mirror-first-time-113373 <p><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chi001399_x1.JPG" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Laura and Laurie are half-sisters. (Courtesy of StoryCorps)" /></div></div><div>In the early 1960s, a man working at a bank in California had an affair with his secretary. Both of them were married to other people at the time. She became pregnant, and the man made it clear he wanted nothing to do with the child. Decades later, that child, named Laura, connected with her half-sister, Laurie. The two came to StoryCorps, where Laura describes the circumstances surrounding her birth, at a time her mother&rsquo;s husband was overseas.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div><em>StoryCorps&rsquo; mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 16 Oct 2015 09:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-meeting-you-was-looking-mirror-first-time-113373 Exposure to insecticides may increase the risk of childhood cancers http://www.wbez.org/programs/point/2015-10-15/exposure-insecticides-may-increase-risk-childhood-cancers-113358 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/CANCER--baby.png" alt="" /><p><p>A new&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3049418/" target="_blank">meta-analysis</a>&nbsp;from the Harvard School of Public Health finds that exposure to insecticides&nbsp;in and around the home may increase kids&#39;&nbsp;risk of developing childhood cancers.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;We find that for household members that report use of pesticides indoors, specifically insecticides, there is a more than 40% increased risk of childhood leukemia or childhood lymphoma,&rdquo; says Chensheng (Alex) Lu of the Harvard School of Public Health. &ldquo;Outdoor herbicide use also increased the risk of childhood leukemia 26 percent, but the association is not as strong as indoor insecticide use.&rdquo;</p><p>The study also found a weak link to childhood brain tumors, but its association to either indoor insecticide use or outdoor herbicide use was not as strong as leukemia or lymphoma, Lu says.</p><p>The researchers&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/pesticide-exposure-in-childhood-linked-to-cancer/" target="_blank">looked at data from 16 international studies</a>,&nbsp;comparing levels of pesticide exposure in groups of children with and without cancer.&nbsp;Indoor exposures included flea and tick pet collars, insect sprays and foggers, bait traps and commercial pest control services; outdoor exposures were mainly herbicides.</p><p>Lu had suspected that the recent uptick in childhood illnesses, particularly cancer, might be due to pesticide exposures in the home, but before this study&nbsp;the data wasn&rsquo;t there to support this theory.&nbsp;Now, says Lu, there is more cause for concern.&nbsp;</p><p>While Lu acknowledges his study&rsquo;s limitations &mdash; it examined only 16 relevant, previously published papers&nbsp;&mdash; he&nbsp;<a href="http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2015/09/indoor-pesticide-childhood-cancer" target="_blank">told WBUR in Boston</a>&nbsp;that his analysis showed &ldquo;consistent results in terms of the positive correlation between exposure to insecticides indoors and childhood cancer.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;The worst-case scenario in terms of indoor pesticide use and human exposure is to use some kind of fogger,&rdquo; he continued. &ldquo;Also, some kind of open-air application, a broadcast application, a spray can &mdash; those are bound to be significant exposures.&rdquo;</p><p>The study does not aim to &ldquo;cause fear in parents,&rdquo; Lu told WBUR. &ldquo;But it&rsquo;s to give [them] a precautionary principle that those exposures can be prevented, can be mitigated or can be completely removed.&rdquo;</p><p>Since the risk of disease increased with the frequency of insecticide use, the study&rsquo;s authors recommend that parents&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nrdc.org/health/pesticides/gpests.asp" target="_blank">reduce their children&rsquo;s exposure</a>&nbsp;by using natural pest controls, fixing holes where pests enter in window screens and foundations and, whenever possible, eliminating the use of indoor insecticides until more conclusive research emerges.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-15/exposure-insecticides-may-increase-risk-childhood-cancers" target="_blank"><em>via PRI&#39;s Living on Earth</em></a></p></p> Thu, 15 Oct 2015 13:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/point/2015-10-15/exposure-insecticides-may-increase-risk-childhood-cancers-113358 How parents can talk to kids about school shootings http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-05/how-parents-can-talk-kids-about-school-shootings-113181 <p><p>Explaining tragic and traumatic events to kids is a challenge for parents, and the recent school shooting in Oregon no doubt fits into that category. It can be difficult to know where to start, or whether to bring up the topic in the first place.</p><p>We heard from listeners about how they have talked to their kids about Oregon and other tragedies and traumatic events. And child and adolescent psychiatrist Joshua Kellman, who has his own private practice and is on the faculty at the University of Chicago, shared his thoughts and advice.</p></p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-05/how-parents-can-talk-kids-about-school-shootings-113181 The Brits have a sperm shortage — but they have a plan http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-09-02/brits-have-sperm-shortage-%E2%80%94-they-have-plan-112814 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/5396420759_9d5b2675db_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><aside><p>In Britain,&nbsp;as in many countries,&nbsp;there is&nbsp;a growing demand for sperm donors from couples who are unable to conceive on their own. Increasingly, demand is outstripping supply.</p><p>Last year, the British government came up with a solution: Set up a national sperm bank to&nbsp;make it easier for couples to get access to medically checked sperm.</p><p>But it has not been easy finding suitable donors.</p><p>A year later, and with more than 600 applicant donors,&nbsp;the bank&nbsp;still has just nine approved donors. According to&nbsp;Laura Witjens,&nbsp;the executive director of the bank, that should be a cause for celebration, rather than&nbsp;disappointment. &quot;I recognize that people say &#39;Nine? That&#39;s not a lot,&quot; She says. &quot;But I like to turn it round, and say: &#39;At this stage to have nine? Wow!&quot; It&#39;s a great place to be&quot;.</p><p>Part of the problem stems from the extreme difficulty of finding men whose sperm can withstand the demands of the donor process. Freezing and defrosting the samples destroys 80 to 90 percent of even successful donors&#39; sperm.</p><p>There is also the time and commitment required from each donor. Samples need to be taken several times a week for two or three months. That&#39;s followed by blood tests.</p><p>But perhaps the biggest difficulty in recruitment lies in the British law regarding donor anonymity. Under current rules, there is none. In the future, British children conceived from donated sperm will be able to trace and contact their biological father once they reach adulthood. Given the limited number of approved donors in the national bank, that could mean that each donor has the potential to be contacted by a large number offspring over the next few decades.</p><p>Witjens concedes that this may make some men reluctant to become donors, but &nbsp;she says it also forces her team to think more carefully about how to appeal to &nbsp;donors.</p><p>&quot;It would be easy to go for the cheeky advertising, and I know that would get a response,&quot; she explains. &quot;But there is a moral component. We don&#39;t necessarily need a superman, we need ordinary men, doing an extraordinary thing: Be willing to help childless couples.&quot;</p></aside><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&mdash; <a href="http://admin.pri.org/stories/2015-09-02/brits-have-sperm-shortage-they-have-plan" target="_blank"><em>The World</em></a></p></p> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-09-02/brits-have-sperm-shortage-%E2%80%94-they-have-plan-112814