Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Boston University Research Activities

(See below for contact information & discription of study)

For the past 2 1/2 years Mason and now James have participated in research studies thru Children's Hospital-Boston and Boston University Medical School.  They are the "Control" group in studies to find out how typiclly developing children learn and when they learn such things as, Language skills, Ability to process and respond to social and emotional  information, Cognitive Development, etc...

The researchers conducting these studies use the results to compare to children with developmental disorders such as Austim and Williams Syndrome. 

We started participating shortly after a good freind of ours daughter was diagnosed with Autism.  We felt so helpless and such a strong need to "do something".  Although I know our help in these studies do not help our friends directly, I hope that our participation will help in the overall big picture to "Find a Cure" for these devestating disorders.

In doing so we have found a great lesson is being learned by Mason (5years old). 

He is learning to help others that are "sick". 

He is learning about a world bigger that himself, outside of our home/family.

He is learning that is feels good to miss a beautiful 85 degree day in April in MA to do something good for others!

He is also learning what it is like to go to "Work", He loves the idea that he has to pack a lunch, drive to Boston, spend a few hours "working" and he gets payed for doing good work! (like Dada)

He is learning that when the check comes in the mail it is his money and we decide together how he will spend/save it. He usually wants to use it to pay for his Oak Knoll Class, and he used one to buy a Pillow Pet? Thats what he wanted and he earned it!

Every single study we have done has been a very plesent experience.  The researchers and assistants are freindly and happy to work with the kids! 

The researchers NEED children to come in and help in these studies, there are many different ones, for both typical developing kids and those with developmental disorders, siblings too!  If you are interested in these please read below and contact them.  The information below is just one study, feel free to ask about others they are working on too.

Research Activities for your kids at Boston University-------------------------

Are you looking for research activities for your child?

Researchers at Boston University would be happy to enroll your child in a one-time research study for 1 to 3 hours.

Study involves a standardized assessment of cognition and simple computer activities.

Participant must be:
-between 5 and 9 years old
Participants will be compensated $15 for each hour of the research completed and travel expenses will be covered.
Free Parking is provided. Visits are scheduled at your convenience during the week or the weekend. Study takes place at Boston University.
For more information, please call us at 617-414-1309 or email

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Great Flood of 2010

When I was little the big weather events that I remember are the
Blizzard of 78 (OK I don't remember that one, I was only 2! but I have heard stories and seen pictures), hurricane Gloria and the No-Name storm. I was just a kid but they were exciting times. The grownups were all flustered and nervous. School was canceled, the sky's were grey and windy, the ocean was BIG! During the storms we lost power and lit candles etc....the days were not busy with errands,school and work...everyone was home and stranded! For me this was FUN!

Last week New England had a great flood...some a 100 year flood, some a 500 year flood! Some areas were devastated! Houses destroyed, cars underwater, even the RI mall was flooded! When we built our house in MA we had to work with the local conservation lady, who was very passionate about her job and the environment (which is great!) but, there were a lot of guide lines we had to being NO basement and we had to build a FLOW-THRU foundation incase we got a 100 year flood! "There has never been water down to our house before!" (We live near a lake), OK so I have to say this

"Thank you Jennifer the conservation lady!"

If we had a basement it would have flooded! Instead we only had to deal with a pond in our front yard. Everyone I know with a basement got flooded. Rugs, shelves, washers, driers, boilers, RUINED! I feel so bad for all my friends, family and neighbors who had to deal with this invasion of water!

As for my kids.....This was their weather memory....

They watched as a pond formed in the front yard and grew, they had a blast canoing in the front yard! We drove around and saw how the water turned our neighbors houses into islands and streets into rivers. They really enjoyed it!

What it is like to be a child during a disaster! It is to bad childhood only last for 18 years!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Physical Science- Matter-Gas

Mason has been studing Matter (Solid, Liquid, Gas). We did 2 experiments, one was making gas to filling a balloon.
We uses:
1 funnel, 1 round balloon, 1 rounded tablespoon of baking soda, 1 spoon, soda bottle with a line that marked 2 inches up from the bottom, vinegar & washcloth.
Mason scooped the baking soda into the balloon using the funnel.
Pour vinigar into soda bottle up to the line using clean funnel,
Being careful not to pour the baking soda into the bottle attatch the mouth of the balloon over the top of the bottle.
Tip the balloon up so baking powder falls into the soda bottle and observe what happens (make sure you use a 2 litter bottle!)
The balloon should fill with GAS and blow up!

We also filled a balloon with water and let it freeze over night. When we took it out it changed from a liquid to a solid. We peeled away the balloon and observed the ice ball. We noticed that it was starting to melt and turn back to water. Mason took it to the bathroom sink and ran hot water over it and made a whole in the middle! He loved it! We had so much fun..