Typically families with young children may be approaching them with excitement. In my experience, families with children who have disabilities may have apprehensions. How can you proactively approach Halloween? How can your family prepare for dealing with stimulating settings and create a more meaningful/less stressful day in this Halloween week? Here are some resources that may be of help. Firstly:
Here is a wonderful blog post with suggestions for reducing stimulation, creating costumes and preparing for the big day www.familyeducation.com .
Do you want to have a party indoors with snacks and decorations. Perhaps kids movieswww.halloweenmoviesforkid would be a nice activity
This month is another “Awareness” month. We not only become aware of ADHD but one of the concomitant conditions: Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).
The need to have an understanding of the sameness and difference between the conditions is very important as it can have an impact on planning for treatment and perhaps the type of testing that needs to be done. According to the STAR Institute
“many of these kids have both disorders. A national stratified sample of children suggests that 40% of children with ADHD also have SPD (Ahn, Miller et. … Causes: In very simple terms, ADHD and SPD are both disorders that impact the brain. “.
STAR Institute doesn’t talk about adults, but I cannot imagine that there is not a large population of adults who have ADHD + SPD as well…
Being empowered with knowledge and having that increased awareness about individual differences will only help us as individuals -neuro-typical or not to interact with one another. That I believe is the goal of awareness months- so it behooves us all to take a look.
Well… this is ADHD awareness month. I had no idea! In acknowledgement of this fact I am structuring this post with videos embedded and links. I narrowed this post down into four sections with resources in each category and there is one closing section. i tried to include resources for both adults and children My hope is that this blog post will give you some basic strategies for functioning during the day and maintaining health:
STRATEGIES TO HELP WITH ORGANIZATION: ROUTINES
MAINTAINING FOCUS AND SELF SOOTHING
SLEEP ISSUES AND RESOURCES THAT MAY HELP
ADDITUDE MAGAZINE is published on a regular basis throughout the year. A link to the signs and symptoms of this disorder are found. This particular article is quite detailed and the magazine extremely informative.
In closing: The organization CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD http://www.chadd,org provides a wealth of information including support groups – local chapters around the country which are amazingly helpful. Good luck!
There is a valued importance for social learning. “Social Interaction surrounds us as we move through our lives. Even when we aren’t actively engaged in interactions, we’re still exposed to it” according to Anna Vagin, PhD in her a book (see link at the bottom of this post) which outlines a curriculum that she developed using online videos to help teach social learning. Highly recommended for clinicians, teachers and even parents. It’s outline is written in very straight forward and presented in non- clinical terms
Almost every child falls in love with Thomas the Tank Engine. With Black Friday coming next month and holiday shopping – you may want to consider adding this to the list if you have a child unable to do so. Research shows that the first emotions to develop are “happy”, “sad” and “mad” . Look at just this one character and the link below to a Thomas book that may be useful as a part of your home library
In her text (see link below), Dr. Vagin lists these as helpful resources to help children learn about emotions
Emoti Plush toys are dolls with moveable facial features (mouth, eyebrows) that allow children to be shown and themselves demonstrates changing feelings www.emoti-plush.com
Kimochis-characters that can be used as a playful way to help children identify and express feelings www.kimochis.com
For older children-why not act out more lengthy scenarios with materials from those described at this link https://www.smartfelttoys.com/ . The house may be a particularly good one for acting out a scene that may be of meaning for your individual family.
Anna Vagin Ph.D text: YouCue Feelings:Using Online Videos for Social Learning:
I personally have a dislike of labels being put on people, but on some level, they do enable us to understand what we see or experience ourselves. The area of Sensory Processing Disorder is not that commonplace of a condition and not as familiar as the “flu” or “stomach virus” for example. So the importance of understanding and then conveying to others that which you know about the condition has meaning. It allows for the potential of gaining the understanding of others around you and empowers others to be more empathic of the needs of those with SPD.
The below five systems are typically those that we learned about in school… keep reading – there are additional ones:
In a visual manner, we can take a look at the neuroanatomy of the disorder which adds greater understanding of the fact that there is a REAL reason for why the behaviors exist and what may cause disturbances in self-regulation.
The blog post https://blog.asha.org/2019/05/13/the-best-toys-for-slps-are-the-toys-that-do-nothing/ that recently appeared in the ASHA Leader resonates with me. I put individual links to which the author refers at the bottom of this post, So does the book “If You Give a Mouse an iPhone (of course available on Amazon in print). Here is a link to the story being read https://youtu.be/S3nVxt6_lAc If you can’t get it otherwise and are not familiar with it – the mouse is given an iPhone.. he uses it (viewing something that is not defined) and is unaware of his surroundings on a trip. The battery of the phone runs out and the result is a tantrum.
With the new American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines for Family Media Plans that i talked about in a recent post, I really did not give any suggestions for the way to redirect your child when the screen is not visible. That led to this post and the awareness that there are so many things that you can do together. Indeed as my colleague wrote you can really be “the best toy!”.
In NYC https://www.nybg.org/learn/kids-teens/childrens-gardening-program/ and in other cities there are most likely similar types of activities. Novel – if this is not the case is using an avocado seed, allowing it to sprout roots by soaking it in water and allowing it to grow in a pot with dirt. Plant peas from the pods or use others from fruits.
INEXPENSIVE AND SPECIFIC FOR THOSE WITH SENSORY CHALLENGES:
Parents tell me that in one moment the services are all in your home and you have a coordinator keeping very close touch with you who will organize everything. Parents are being required to research schools that may be available to children when they prepare to research appropriate programs for their child. Now it is all up to you and it is “so overwhelming. This appears to be the biggest cooncern during the transition period. I’l hear from parents that “I am so stressed about this right now…how will I ever find a school?”
Speaking with your service coordinator about getting a list of these or visiting the NYS Education Departnment website will be helpful once you have the results of the testing to determine that in fact your child is eligible and the nature of the concerns is defined. Here are links that may be helpful before or after you have these results.
Some parents have found schools but now the laws – at least in NY State and I believe others have changed. You are being required to have your child vaccinated; but are choosing not to do so – for any of a number of reasons. Here is what the law indicates https://www.cdc.gov/phlp/publications/topic/vaccinations.html
As a result of not vaccinating your child and for those in the NYC area this is a youtube video that may help you understand how to get home schooling for your child. I found it on youtube – searching for home schooling in my city and you may be able to find this for your locale.
Maybe your child is starting or has started already. They HAVE been vaccinated.
Here are sometips .
Please do not rely on the school system to have uploaded all of the information about your child into their computer system. NYS Education Department has its own requirements and must be both FERPA (Family Education and Rights Privacy Act) and IDEA (Individuals With Disabilities Act) for their maintenance. Familiarize yourself with what they should have on file, but keep a record of them on your own at home. It is in your interests to have these on file from the very beginning of your child’s education and transition to CPSE or Kindergarten
Go to school and introduce yourself, bringing the IEP in person and any of the other paperwork that they should have there, based on what you read from the above link.
Connect and get to know your special education supervisor, your child’s teacher and related service providers. In my experience – those who do so are those whose children get the most out of the school experience.
You may be given a packet of information- a welcome letter on that first day. Recognize that there are ways to get involved and stay connected with the educational team, as well as the administrative staff.
Joining a parents group at school is a great idea.
Home activities are a great thing to get ahold of from each professional as you can support yor child’s work and perhaps even praise them for their school accomplishments. Request them!
If your schedule allows for it you may want to volunteer to act as a chaperone for school trips.
Enjoy the experience! Recognize that you are now your child’s advocate! It’s great to become their cheerleader now.
The article below appeared in a publication from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association a few years ago and with the holiday season upon us, I thought it would be helpful to share with others. Feeding poses challenges not only in terms of nutritional needs; but, socially and emotionally for special needs families. Perhaps these ideas will help. In addition – the author Melanie Potock is so knowledgeable and she provides meaningful information on her own blog/website https://mymunchbug.com/
show withdrawal symptoms when not using the internet or technology
continue using the internet or technology even when it affects their relationships
neglect their social, work, or school life
How it is diagnosed is complex. Here is a link https://www.psycom.net/iadcriteria.html for you so consider your own habits and that of the medical community https://www.aihc-assn.org/Blog/tabid/1676/ArticleID/379/Internet-Addiction-A-Digital-Problem-in-the-Real-World.aspx. Can you list 25 things that you do each day that does not involve technology? I asked a group of graduate students studying to become speech-language pathologists and they had trouble. How about you?
There are good and unfortunate impacts that technology has had to date based on a variety of sources. Think about the last time that you tried to talk to someone to find that they could not answerer yo. They had earbuds in their ears, were not looking up at you – just at a machine and appeared to be in an entirely non-face-to face world. The effect on communication in this century is both astounding and profoundly changing us.
The good news is that there are positive things that we can use computers for, as noted in an example of a few resources below. There are others if you search by grade level which yields similar listings so look at those as well.