In Brief: Oct. 16, 2000

  • Share
  • Read Later

LEARNING TO LEARN The thinking has long been that kids with dyslexia and other learning disabilities must work twice as hard to absorb as much as their peers. Now some teachers are making classwork more inviting to all students by adopting dyslexia-friendly "universal instructional designs" that use visual aids like slides, repeat concepts several times and allow more time for tests and note taking.

CRYING FOR A SMOKE New moms are often frustrated by the colicky cries of newborns, but according to one study there's something they can do about it: quit smoking. Researchers at the Netherlands Organization of Applied Scientific Research interviewed parents of 3,000 babies up to six months old and found that colic was twice as likely in infants whose mothers smoked 15 to 30 cigarettes a day, either during or after pregnancy. No data yet on Dad's smoking, but it's a safe bet he should put out the butts too.

HOT PANTS Infancy may seem a little early for worry about a boy's sperm count, but maybe that's when it should start. A new study in the Archives of Disease in Childhood suggests that the use of disposable diapers may explain the increase in male infertility over the past 25 years. Diapers lined in plastic significantly increase the temperature of the scrotum. If the heat is too high, it may affect testicular development and reduce the number of healthy sperm later in life.

--By Lisa McLaughlin