When a child with special needs is born, it is rarely what the parents expected. But treasures are found in the unexpected - Special needs family support

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•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 to do for the child with disabilities.

Online education programs, whether they’re fully online or blended, can be a beneficial approach for students who have specific needs for alternative course work. Most often, these students are: homeschooled students; advanced or accelerated students; disabled students; students who travel frequently, students who struggle socially at school, and students who need extra support or tutoring in a specific subject.

•Effective special needs planning requires a high degree of specialized knowledge and expertise. The special needs trust makes it possible to appoint a trustee to hold property for the benefit of your disabled or special needs child after you’re gone.

•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.

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•Home safe 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 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.

•Disabilities force families to face extraordinary challenges and have extraordinary needs. To remain as an effective unit of society, the family deserves extraordinary support.

•Safety during pregnancy - smoking, eating, drinking, self medicating, exercise and physical activities concerns. Special tests detect fetal defects during a special needs pregnancy.

•Children can have strokes, often caused by birth defects, infections (e.g. meningitis, encephalitis), trauma, and blood disorders such as sickle cell disease. Even though it seems unthinkable, children can have strokes, too! Adult strokes are often caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a history of smoking, too much alcohol and obesity. Children’s strokes, on the other hand, are often caused by birth defects, infections (e.g. meningitis, encephalitis), trauma, and blood disorders such as sickle cell disease. Children who have suffered a stroke may often have problems with speech and communication (aphasia and dysphagia) as well as visual problems such as trouble with visual perception. There are stroke-related disabilities that are unique to children such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation and epilepsy. Some common complications for children who have suffered a stroke are: fever, change of mental status (i.e.- loss of emotional control; changes in memory, judgment or problem solving); changes in behavior such as improper language or actions; poor nutrition and conditions that result from prolonged bedrest.

•Special education - It doesn't help parents to keep looking backward to search for the reasons of the "problem" but to focus on how to reduce the learning difficulties for their child and how to enhance the opportunities for successful learning.

•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,

•Disability and mobility concerns don't have to slow down your summer travel plans. Here are some tips to make your disability summer travel easy.

•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.

•Our website offers a support community for families, parents, caregivers and professionals to meet online, including a newsletter and e-Group forum. Please join our support community and share your experience and expertise with other families

•Early intervention refers to services that are delivered to children three years of age or younger, who are discovered to have or to be at risk of developing a handicapping condition or other special need that may affect their development. a

•About 1 in 150 babies is born with a chromosomal abnormality. These are caused by errors in the number or structure of chromosomes. There are many different chromosomal abnormalities. Many children with a chromosomal abnormality have mental and/or physical birth defects. Understanding what chromosomes are may make it easier to understand the wide range of problems chromosomal abnormalities can cause.

•Pregnancy books tend to gloss over special needs pregnancy and prenatal classes frequently choose to ignore the possibility that you might give birth a baby with special needs. Depending on a mother's risk profile, special fetal tests may be ordered to detect fetal birth defects.

•Even though the Americans With Disabilities Act was passed years ago, many wheelchair-users going on a family vacation still have trouble finding accessible accomodations.

•Adult day care programs provide daytime care and recreational activities for adults with disabilities who have difficulty with being left alone and caring for themselves.

•Every day people with a disability benefit from assistive technology. New technological developments have raised the expectation that adults and children with a disability can use assistive technology and augmentative communication devices to function more fully and independently at work, homes, and in the community.

•Adaptive equipment are are devices used to assist with completing activities. The amount of assistance needed to perform ADLs varies from person to person depending current strength and range of motion, functional abilities, health status and medical diagnosis and precautions.

•Support groups are made up of people with common interests and experiences. People who have been through, or are going through, a similar circumstance can do more than sympathize with you — they can relate to what you are going through and keep you from feeling like you are alone.

•Accessible home design and modifications. Accidents happen and you could find yourself using a wheelchair or walker. As we mature and grow older, getting around our home becomes more difficult.Your home can become more accessible with home modifications.

•At the IEP meeting for middle school and high school students who are 16 years or older, transition services the development of your child's IEP should include transition planning.

•Parents who are considering homeschooling their special needs child want to know where they can find the information, tools, and support to be an effective educator for their child.

•Sign language is primarily used in communication with people who have hearing impairments, but it has also been used to teach people with disabilities who have little or no communication skills, as well as preverbal infants.

• The Internet offers places for people with disabilities to meet, whether you are looking for support, friendship, a date or marriage, or other relationships, these special places enable the creation of all types of relationships.

•Adaptive equipment are are devices used to assist with completing activities. The amount of assistance needed to perform ADLs varies from person to person depending current strength and range of motion, functional abilities, health status and medical diagnosis and precautions.

•Family support for disabilities – modest transfers of money and services that the families may use in almost any way they want to keep their babies and children at home – is less expensive than other services.

•Mobility aids can make life easier for the disabled. If you use a wheelchair or walker, you already know how difficult movement can be without their assistance.

•Employment for people with disabilities - know your disability rights, seek and use the employment services, develop a well-written resume and learn how effective networking can help you find the best job.

•Illness and disability are seen as countering contemporary values such as prosperity, independence, self-reliance, and productivity, so it is not surprising that individuals and their relationships struggle to adapt to a life with disability.

•Coping with stress for parents with children with disabilities. Parents of children with disabilities had very elevated scores on the Parenting Stress Index, signifying that they perceived far more stress in their role than did parents of children without disabilities.

•The evolution of disability rights is a complex story of shifts in consciousness, shifts in political policy, and of changing views on disabilities.

•Sports offers the opportunity to achieve success in a very short time period; to use this success to build self-confidence and focus on possibilities instead of dwelling on what can no longer be done.

•Range of motion exercises reduce stiffness and help keep your joints flexible. the "range-of-motion" is the normal amount your joints can be moved in certain directions.

•Every disability insurance policy from every insurance company is very different so it may not be adivisable to simply shop for the most competitive rate.

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