Family fun and disability support for families with special needs
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This website is dedicated to my daughter Monica, who was born with a neural tube defect, called an occipital encephalocele.

Despite multiple disabilities, including cortical blindness, developmental delays, polycystic kidney disease and a complex partial seizure disorder, Monica continues to explore, learn and enjoy life. Monica is a delight and inspiration to all that know her.

We hope that this website will provide hope, support, and inspiration for families with special needs.

Take a tour of our website and discover family fun and recreation, family health and wellness, family life and relationships, parenting and disability support for families with special needs.

Articles wanted - Do you offer a product or service, write articles, or publish a website related to special needs or disability support? Please let us know.

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Let us know.

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•Framercise - low impact walker exercise for whole body fitness. Framercise means exercising using a walking frame, otherwise know as a walker without wheels. Many disabled, special needs and elderly people attend low impact exercise sessions to keep their bodies and general health in good order. Here is another way to exercise at home using a simple walking frame

•Special Education Art by Helen Goren Shafton - Art is important to the development of all children, but it is particularly valuable to children with disabilities. When creating art, the child is building a wide variety of skills – both motor and cognitive. The various sensory experiences involved in art production are positive and pleasurable sensations. Additionally, the creative process provides opportunities for expressing ideas and emotions, which can sometimes be difficult for the child with disabilities.

•No child who has experienced trauma is going to heal and learn to use different ways of coping without first feeling secure. The importance of environmental interventions is essential, in terms of providing the stable and safe place from which therapeutic work can be undertaken. Dissociation is a common component of the complex trauma response - Amongst those committing the most serious of crimes, over 90% experienced childhood trauma in the form of abuse and / or loss and frequently both. A link has been found between sexual abuse and the occurrence of drug abuse, juvenile delinquency and criminal behaviour a few years later.

•Developing childrens motor skills are important when they are very young. Teaching your child these motor skills in the form of a craft or a game allows him or her to learn while also having family fun. Learning these skills will help make them better prepared for when they go off to school and will help them succeed, so play and play often. Developing motor skills doesn’t require doing drills over and over. They can be fun and creative. If the craft or activity is something your child looks forward to doing, they’ll want to keep practicing so they can do better.

•Home safety for your special-needs child - Just as with any child, it’s important to make your home as safe as possible for your special-needs son or daughter. If you have a special needs child at home, you’ll know that as well as the rewards it can also be challenging at times. Just as with any child, it’s important to secure your home to make it as safe as possible for your son or daughter, avoiding the usual bumps and bruises associated with growing up. As any parent soon discovers, children have an unswerving knack of finding the sharpest corners, most slippery surfaces and valuable ornaments to play with, and keeping an eye on your busy baby, toddler or child is tough at the best of times. However, supporting a child with special needs can pop another dimension in to the mix – not only do we have to make sure that the house is safe and secure, but we also need to find as many ways as possible to make their lives easier as well as the environment safer. So, here’s the lowdown on the best aids on the market at the moment, for making life safer, easier and more comfortable for your child.

•As health care reform comes to pass, there is a building momentum towards keeping patients in their homes whenever possible. Home care is quickly becoming an integral part of the care continuum. The primary population creating a demand for home care is seniors. As 78 million Baby Boomers approach retirement age, U.S. demographics are shifting significantly. Seniors 65 and older will soon constitute 20 percent of the population. And it’s estimated that by the year 2020, 12 million older Americans will need long-term care. In addition to the senior niche, home care serves people with special needs of all ages who are recovering from health challenges, disabled, chronically ill or in need of end-of-life care. Their ongoing needs may be medical, nursing, therapeutic or just assistance with the basic activities of daily living. Home care ranges from a one-hour weekly visit to 24-hour care.

•When our children have special needs, traveling becomes more difficult to plan and research, but it can be full of surprises and memories you won't have wanted to miss. Use this guide to travelling with special needs children. Traveling with our children can be educational, magical and down right crazy. In the best of circumstances I would say a family of 4 can expect one meltdown by one person a day, if we are lucky! Children love to travel and soak up so much when we take them places. When our children have special needs, the traveling becomes more difficult to plan and research, but it can be full of surprises and memories you won't have wanted to miss. No matter where your family goes the best way to travel with our children is to research and plan extensively. Knowing what to expect is essential for everyone. There are family vacation specialist out there that can help you plan the perfect vacation to meet the needs of your child, at no cost at all to you.

•A message from Mary - one of our website visitors: "I am an adult with mild CP. I wanted to let you know that I've tried a LOT of things to make movement easier and one of the best has been music therapy." All children can be helped to learn to enjoy and to become involved in music to some extent. Music therapy can be of inestimable value for children who have difficulties in hearing, seeing, moving, thinking or responding. A single instrument can possess qualities of sound and tone irresistible enough to reach a child in a direct, uncomplicated manner. Children who experience severe obstacles in forming relationships with other children, adults and their environment can achieve security and joy in making music.

•Family fun brings not only enjoyment but BIG family health benefits, too. And if you look carefully, you can find fun in whatever you do... it is only a matter of attitude. Enhance your family fun today! And if you look carefully, you can find fun in whatever you do... it's all a matter of attitude. Taking time for the things that you enjoy can help you feel better about yourself and be more satisfied with life. And when you feel this way, you might be more likely to exercise, eat well, get regular medical care and reach out to friends and family - all of which can benefit you physically and mentally. People with special needs often spend a lot of time doing things that don't really benefit their health, such as watching television. Try eliminating some of these isolative, non-social activities from your day. You'll find you then have more time for doing things you enjoy that also will benefit your health.

•Developmental age-appropriate toys - When choosing toys for your child, it is important to consider developmental age. If your child has been diagnosed with a developmental disability or delay, her pediatrician, speech therapist, teacher, and occupational and physical therapists can offer suggestions on the types of developmental toys that will be most beneficial. In general, look for toys at or slightly above your child's skill level. It is important to have toys that can be successfully play with as well as those that challenge. Challenge should be fun and stimulating; not frustrating.