Technology is Just a Tool

July 18, 2014 in Quotes


James Lavapie

Popular Myths About Asthma – Outgrowing Asthma

July 8, 2014 in All Blogs, Education and Parenting, Health & Medical, Living, Our Blog


As part of our newest series of blogs, we are going to address some of the misconceptions people have about asthma. When people are misinformed about the concrete facts when it comes to their health, the decisions they make can have a negative impact on their overall quality of life. Our mission is to inform readers about how to take care of their bodies so that healthy living can be incorporated into everyday routine.


Despite the persistent rumours that asthma is a childhood disease that most people grow out of in adulthood, the reality is that asthma is chronic treatable health condition. This myth originates from the tendency for asthma symptoms to become better as a person enters adolescence and adulthood. However, there remains no cure for asthma and even though the symptoms may lessen in intensity, the condition will not completely disappear.


The key to not allowing your asthma to control your life is to seek out immediate diagnosis and treatment if you believe you are suffering with symptoms. For concerned parents, it is important to also consider the possibility that the products you introduce into your home may contain chemicals that may cause asthma and allergies. According to the Environmental Working Group and the University of Birmingham, there are 45 studies that propose a link between certain plastics chemicals found in consumer products and asthma. Be sure to check out the links in the resource section for a detailed account of what substances are under question.




Environmental Working Group – Phthalate-Induced Asthma: Gasping For Breath


Public Health Agency of Canada – Asthma


Asthma Society of Canada – The Top 10 Asthma Myths




Janice Yeung

The Five Types of Food Great for Child Growth

July 3, 2014 in All Blogs, Education and Parenting, Food and Nutrition, Health & Medical, Living, Our Blog

We all know that a balanced diet is good for children and adults alike. A nutritious diet full of vitamins and minerals is important because it helps promote healthy growth and development. Other nutrients like protein that helps build healthy muscle and tissue; fat for energy; calcium that supports bone and teeth structure; fiber that keeps the body’s digestive system smooth are also key and essential in a child’s daily diet.


Here are the five types of food that are proven to be great for a child’s growth and development:

  1. Fruits with Peel

Even though organic produce costs a bit more, it is well worth investing in for the health of you and your child. Eating organic fruits means you do not have to avoid the peel of grapes, apples, nectarines and so on when you feed your child these fruits. The peel of fruits contain a significant amount of nutrients and fiber that you do not want to miss out on. Non-organic fruits are most likely contaminated by systemic pesticides or waxing. Just remember to wash fruits because bacteria will still be present, even fruits where you do not eat the peel (e.g. bananas) because your child will handle the fruit skin, spreading the bacterial to the fruit and his/her mouth.

  1. Brown Rice1391019_64352480

Brown rice is much superior to white rice in terms of its nutritional ingredients. It contains three times more fiber, two times more Vitamin E, B6 and magnesium. Being the ‘unrefined’ version of white rice, it is easier to digest and puts a lighter burden on our stomachs. Brown rice is rich in protein, thiamine, calcium, fiber and
potassium. It also has a low glycemic rating which helps reduce insulin spikes and risk of diabetes.

  1. Whole-Wheat Bread

Bread is made out of flour that originates from grain kernels, usually from wheat. Whole grains contain all parts of the grain kernel, unlike refined grains used to make white bread, where the fiber-dense bran and nutrient-rich germ is processed out, leaving only the starchy endosperm. Refined grains used to make white bread is not as rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. The rich content of fiber in whole-grain breads helps us feel full longer, and helps prevent overeating.

  1. Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoes isolatedMaybe you have heard of the rule that the more colourful a fruit or vegetable is, the healthier it is. Chemicals called phytochemicals give fruits and vegetables their vibrant hues of green, orange, red and purple that are responsible for fighting diseases. Sweet potatoes in particular, are very rich in beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium and iron.  Vitamin A in the vegetable makes your children’s eyes strong, vitamin C in it helps keep their immune system healthy, potassium improves the health of their hearts and muscles. Again, choose the organic type of sweet potatoes because it guarantees that no chemical fertilizers, pesticides were used on it and that it was not genetically modified.

  1. Nuts

Instead of smearing peanut butters loaded with artificial sugars and partially 1376951_43863573hydrogenated fat on your children’s toasts, why not reap the essential fats that natural nuts offer? Look for packs of nuts like pistachios,
peanuts, cashews or almonds. Packed with protein, cashews satisfy hunger and provide energy. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. Almonds have been connected to a higher intellectual level and the overall health of the nervous system. Even though a lot of children have nut allergies, it is important to introduce them to the food gradually and in small quantities to make sure if they indeed have the allergy.


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Teach Kids to Think

June 20, 2014 in Quotes


Janice Yeung

The Importance of Special Needs Organizations

June 20, 2014 in All Blogs, Education and Parenting, Our Blog

832858_56289157Families with special needs children often are on the lookout for support. With various Special Education programs in schools, their children’s educational needs might be fulfilled, however, the social need for community might still be lacking.

This is where organizations supporting families with special needs children come in. These organizations advocate for the needs of these families, offer family programs for counseling, socializing; and gathers information concerning academic possibilities, traveling accommodations or healthcare options for the children.

Other times, organizations are the backup mechanisms that help families with special needs children fundraise for needed equipment or treatment. Many times, it comes as a surprise to families who discover that their children need more financial support to maintain their health or to rehab their injured body parts. It is here where organizat


ions help in reaping in resources for the families to be able to get much-needed treatment for their children.

One such organization is Easter Seals in Ontario, Canada. They have been providing support for children and youth with physical special needs for more than 90 years. They assist families with the purchasing of often costly mobility equipment including wheelchairs, walkers, communication devices and toileting aids. Camp Merrywood and Camp Woodeden are their two summer camps, where they offer programs during the summer that strive to accommodate special needs children and provide accessibility for them.

Organizations that support special needs children bring in the support of financially wealthy donors and companies, the appearances of famous celebrities and personalities and helps families with special needs kids gain news coverage of their stories. They help make known of the need to have more support for people with physical and psychological differences and are dedicated to serving those who require medical or mental assistance.

A lot of great non-profit organizations work with special needs children up until they become mature and independent, giving them a happy community where they could flourish as healthy human beings.

Some organizations like Parent to Parent USA even goes so far as to match parents with a buddy parent who has a child with the same disability, giving the contacts of each family to each other so that they can support each other and exchange medical information about their children. This is a great way of fostering friendships since many times parents with children with special needs find themselves to have difficulties relating to other families.

Other organizations aiming at building up advocates such as Family Voices provides families with the tools to understand as much as they can about healthcare and education that is available for their children. They help families learn to advocate for important policies that would affect their children with special needs. They also empower young people with special needs so that they may become advocates themselves for those who struggle the same way that they do.

Organizations supporting families with children with special needs could work with the government, schools and general society to better the lives of many. By supporting these organizations, we are helping our society become one that is more nurturing and friendlier to those of us who may find it harder to achieve the same goals as others.


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Janice Yeung

Top Extracurricular Activities for Special Needs Children

June 13, 2014 in All Blogs, Education and Parenting, Our Blog

child play 3

Special needs children seem to have a harder time finding extracurricular activities. Not only are there fewer activities catered to them, they also constantly face seclusion or discrimination from their peers even at after-school activities.


We set out to find suitable extracurricular activities for children with special needs. There are in fact many that would encourage and empower special needs children specifically


child play 4Children faced with learning disabilities have a harder time participating in mainstream athletics. Sports such as baseball, football, basketball and soccer are team sports where children have to be chosen to play. Having to stay on the bench all the time defeats self-esteem and emotional health.


However, gymnastics is a sport free for all children; coaches also tend to spend time with the children one-on-one. The Discover Fitness Foundation in Houston, Texas offers gymnastics classes for children with special needs.


child playing

Other than gymnastics, music therapy is also an established and proven-successful therapy that helps children with special needs physically, emotionally, cognitively and socially. It is also a lot of fun! Music therapy can improve children’s motor skills, balance, social skills, self-expression, stress management and memory. Music intervention could be especially helpful for children’s growth from six months to six years of age. The American Association of Music Therapy offers list of music therapists in the United States.


Other types of art, such as drama, is a great emotional outlet for creative children with special needs. Given the chance to creatively express themselves in different characters could help children communicate better. There are also opportunities for children in drama to cooperate in completing a production. It encourages children to work together and to develop friendships.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADrawing also helps children who are still learning to express themselves. Children’s art should not be judged upon their skills, but upon their efforts. There is a lot of satisfaction that comes from completing a piece of artwork, which could be proudly displayed in the child’s own home. The city of Ottawa, Canada has a Special Needs Arts Initiative where hands-on visual arts programs are offered to anyone with physical, developmental and mental disabilities.


One more activity that children with special needs could try out is dance. Through dance, children discover what they can do with their body’s movements. Children interact with each other and express themselves with dance moves. The vibrant spirit of dance keeps children constantly active and having fun. Dance allows children to discover their potential and creativity. If you are in Canada, check out Halifax Dance that started a Special Needs Inclusive Movement, which embraces each child’s unique needs and creates a community for children with disabilities.


Could you think of any other after-school programs that are great for special needs children? Share with us in the COMMENTS section below! 

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