The Lyman Firm - October 2019

Back to Basics Why Old-School Toys Might Be Better for Your Baby The Truth About Lyman Beginning a Journey Starts with Dedication to Transparency 2860 Piedmont Road, Suite 275, Atlanta, GA 30305 T: 404 267 1986 F: 470 745 0699 The Lyman Firm Newsletter TELEGRAPH Amicus Curiae 404-267-1986 February 2019 The Lyman Firm Newsletter


Little kids are tiny balls of energy, scrambling after you from room to room and demanding constant attention. It’s no wonder, then, that the temptation to sit them down with a laptop, cellphone, or tablet for a few hours can be strong for parents in the 21st century. The annoying beeps, chirps, and repetitive music electronic toys produce can seem like a good trade-off for productivity and the chance to relax. Unfortunately, studies have shown that pacifying kids with electronic toys — even ones that claim to be educational — causes more problems than it solves. In 2015, a controlled experiment conducted by professors at Northern Arizona University (NAU) and published by JAMA Pediatrics revealed that compared with books and traditional toys like blocks, shape-sorters, and puzzles, electronic gadgets are associated with a drop in both the quality and quantity of language development in kids. For the experiment, Dr. Anna V. Sosa and her colleagues recorded the interactions of 26 parents with their 10–16-month-old babies. The parent-infant pairs were split into three groups: one group had electronic toys, another traditional toys, and the third simple children’s books. According to Neuroscience News, the researchers found that playing with electronic toys (including a baby laptop, a talking farm, and a baby cellphone) prompted interactions with fewer adult words, fewer conversational turns, less back-and-forth communication, fewer parental responses, and less content- specific word use than the other types of play. Overall, the record for electronics was dismal. mountains, and urban development representing ever-expanding opportunities. Being a native of North Atlanta, I have spent most of my life in this fair state, cultivating both my character and my profession as I grew up. Now, I have a distinct opportunity to help those around me in ways I hadn’t anticipated in my younger days. I lead The Lyman Firm as a proud curator of justice for the everyday person, somebody who might not have gotten a fair shake before they met me. I believe one person can be the face of a greater movement, and these are the everyday people — the heroes — I work for as I drive our cases forward to the fullest extent within our legal system, fighting for what’s right. My passions weren’t always for courtroom thrills, though. Growing up in Smyrna, I sought to chase a different kind of rush: the roar of the racetrack. I wasn’t half bad either, eventually taking my hobby for auto racing from amateur status in 2004 all the way to semi-pro in 2007. Unfortunately, like so many other things that went down along with the economy the following year, my racing career crashed in 2008. Shattered by the abrupt end to my racing journey due to a lack of financing, “I b lieve one person can be the face of a greater movement, and these are the everyday people — the heroes — I work for as I drive our cases forward t the fullest extent within our legal system, fighting for what’s right.” While a missing hour or two of direct parent- to-kid communication each day may not G eorgia is a blue-collar state — a grassroots mix of farmland,

likely be mitigated if parents play electronic games with their kids. There’s no doubt that the more you talk to your kids, the better their language skills will be. Try engaging them in conversation, giving them descriptions of the world around you, naming objects, and using a variety of words and grammatical constructions for the best results. The FPG Child Development Institute also recommends activities like reading together, listening to music, and practicing sign language. If you’re ready to expand your children’s horizons by replacing some of their electronic toys with traditional ones, MelissaandDoug. com is a good place to start. Melissa and Doug, parents of six, started their own toy company to help today’s “overscheduled and overstimulated” youngsters get creative again. They offer fresh takes on old-school toys like blocks, art kits, and puzzles, opting for traditional materials like wood and paper over plastic, and they eschew electronics entirely. Dive into their inventory of developmental toys to get your kids on the fast-track to literacy and learning. -Thomas J. Lyman James and three-year-old daughter Cleo — I am fully immersed in the fun-loving, homely, and exciting life of my family. They are my foundation, and without them nothing would be possible. But I also have a second family of sorts in my clients, whom I treat with the respect and attention a person is owed whenever they find they’re backed in a corner and need help. The pleasure I get from representing good, honest people in the courtroom is unrivaled when compared to the other fields of profession I’ve engaged in life. Oftentimes, I ask a client to share the names of the attorneys they’ve worked with on other cases. Almost none of them are able to muster an answer — the names of their lawyers completely lost in the tides of life’s trials. That’s when I tell them that there are a million different lawyers out there doing a million different things, but when I take on your case for a serious injury or a wrongful death suit, you’ll remember me as a man who gave you the best possible chance while shooting you straight every step of the way. -T o s .

seem like a big deal, those hours add up over time. If the pattern persists for weeks, months, or years, it can have a big impact on your toddler’s language and communication skills, which are vital to academic, and eventually, professional, success. According to the Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute, “Children who develop strong language and communication skills are more likely to arrive at school ready to learn. They also are less likely to have difficulties learning to read and are more likely to have higher levels of achievement in school.” An editorial published by representatives of the University of Michigan Medical School and the Seattle Children’s Hospital after the NAU report was released doubled down on that message, noting that conversational turns during play also “teach role-playing, give parents a window into their child’s developmental stage and struggles, and teach social skills such as turn- taking and accepting others’ leads.” In short, the NAU study concluded that “play with electronic toys should be discouraged.” Though, some of the adverse effects could As we grow older and further away from our teens and 20s, we begin to realize that life isn’t always about going fast, both literally and metaphorically. It was during my post racing downtime that I realized I wanted to go back to school at Georgia State. After spending years as a writer and editor, I discovered and followed my newfound calling and began practicing law after graduating from law school. After years of unparalleled grit, drive, and success in the field of law, I was fortunate enough to be able to open my own practice in January of 2018. This new venture has even allowed me to work alongside my brother, a paralegal and case manager, in what has been one of the most exciting periods of my life. For now, our plans for the future include an imminent expansion of the firm and growing the company in ways that still allow us to keep our fundamental values and operations in check. At home with my wife Lindsay beside me, and r two children — our five-year-old son I began to look for a new avenue to pour my passions into. | 1

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