Natan

Quote #30- You are You

March 12, 2014 in Quotes

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Janice Yeung

Top Five Apps for Parents with Special Needs Kids

March 6, 2014 in All Blogs, Autism, Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Conditions, Developmental Delay, Down Syndrome, Education and Parenting, Our Blog, Stroke

1415738_96419294For children who have learning differences, their journey of discovering effective learning methods might be longer than others. Children with dyslexia, global coordination disorder, hypotonia, ADHD, autism, and many other conditions require other ways of learning communication, social, organizational, reading, math and even motor skills. Luckily, nowadays, a lot of useful and engaging tools to build up children’s confidence as well as focus. There are lots of possibilities with these new digital devices. While technology cannot replace human support, it could be used to empower parents and their children in pushing their way towards success.

Here are the top five apps that we have found to be especially helpful for parents with special needs children:

1. Dexteria – Fine Motor Skill Development

This app is very helpful for aiding kids develop fine motor skills, which require small muscle movements of the hands to do things like tie their shoes or trim paper with scissors. Children who have suffered from pediatric stroke could have problems with pointing, picking things up, drawing and writing. This app that was named the 2012 “Developer of Distinction” by Apps For Children with Special Needs, works with kids to practice the movements that challenge them. Dexteria is a set of therapeutic hand exercises to improve hand strength, control, and dexterity, it turns the iPad into a therapeutic tool right away.

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2. Tell Me About It!

Out of more than 6 million kids aged 3 – 21 with special needs in the United States, over one-fifth received services for speech or language disorders. These children often have difficulties interacting, speaking with clarity or understanding directions. ‘Tell Me About It!’ is a fun app that gives opportunities for kids to listen to words and respond. It is comprehensive because it breaks down words into categories, shows their functions and features. There are various difficulty levels, so users can master progressively different abilities.

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3. Eye Contact Trainer

For children with special needs, socializing can be a challenge. One clear sign is that they avoid eye contact because they are nervous in unfamiliar social situations. They might show lots of fear, distrust or could not even contain their emotions while with strangers. This app teaches children to practice the skill of eye contact where one of 23 random faces are shown, after a few seconds a shape will appear in the eyes and the user will be asked what shape they saw.  For motivation, answering correctly would unlock an animated video. This is a great tool to help children practice healthy eye contact.

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4. Twinkl Phonics Suite

To do well in school, work, or just life in general, reading and writing skills are a must.  For children with mild vision problems, deslexia or other learning disorders, learning apps are hugely helpful. The Twinkl Phonics Suite is designed to support children in developing key skills verbally and in writing. It covers the sounds and names of each letter of the alphabet, high frequency and tricky words, blending sounds in words and so on. With its cute, child-friendly illustrations, this is a fun opportunity to practice letter or word recognition and expand vocabulary.

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5. iDress for Weather

Children with ADHD or autism can show difficulties staying organized and building routines. This difficulty would especially show in academic and extracurricular circumstances. The iDress for weather is great for children with special needs at any age! It provides the daily weather conditions and allows the user to define whether it is hot, warm, cool, cold or really cold. A single swipe will show clothing matching the forecasted weather. This app is specifically designed to support those with cognitive processing or memory delays due to brain injury, stroke or dementia. This way, your child can develop a fun new routine of managing his/her dressing according to the temperatures outside.

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Were these apps helpful for you and your child? Let us know by commenting below! Share this list to help other parents with special needs children!

 

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Janice Yeung

How to be a Responsible, Yet Calm Parent

February 18, 2014 in All Blogs, Education and Parenting, Health & Medical, Living, Our Blog

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Being a parent is one of the most rewarding, yet most challenging tasks we could be given. As a responsible parent, we naturally want to make our children’s childhoods smooth-sail experiences, however, as human beings, we are bound to make mistakes. Even as a father or a mother, we need to learn to gracefully rise up from our previous errors and deal with them properly.

We have compiled a few major points to help you remain an accountable parent and yet free you from being overly worried:

Your children know when you are feeling guilty

Children know more than you think. Even though we tend to see them as worry-free and innocent, when we think back to when we were children, we were actually extremely perceptive and would feel sad if our parents were having a fight or were feeling depressed. If you could not stop feeling bad about a previous accident that occurred, your child would sense your feelings and might internalize it as the accident worsening the relationship between you and him/her. They might even think it is their fault that you are feeling unhappy. To prevent this, simply apologize, forgive yourself and move on.

We are not liable for everything our children do 

Oftentimes as parents, we make ourselves the culprits of however our children turn out. However, as our children are growing up, they are developing a mind, personality and interests of their own. A lot of their individuality is not in our control. We can try to be the best parents, however, there are still possibilities of incidents that could happen and take us by surprise. Sometimes, how our children act would shock us and make us wonder what caused their outbursts.

If you are still caring for your child, you are not a neglecting bad parent. Stop feeling guilty for no reason. You are a blessing for your child, just relax, learn from your experience and do not become overly anxious over your child’s every act.

Stay emotionally healthy

Maintaining our emotional health well helps us build a better parent-child relationship. When you need to take a break, give yourself one even if it is a quick walk, taking a shower or a short nap. Let the breaks be guilt-free because you need to recharge to deal with some overwhelming situations that might present itself while taking care of your child.

If you find that you cannot shake away your feelings of worry for weeks or even months, you should be concerned with your own psychological health. When you are experiencing sadness, worthlessness or excessive guilt throughout the day, nearly every day and have trouble concentrating on taking care of your child, it is recommended that you reach out to a family doctor or counselor, who could refer you to a therapist who can assess and treat mood disorders. Take this precautionary measure for the wellbeing of yourself and your family.

What are your best tips for being a great parent? Let us know by COMMENTING below! SHARE this article if it helped you! :)

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James Lavapie

Making Family Time a Priority

January 7, 2014 in All Blogs, Education and Parenting, Living, Our Blog

 

Making Family Time a Priority

 

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Although it may have been easy to spend time with the family over the summer, the fall and winter months bring a whole new set of challenges to families. With children returning to school, and all the stress that accompanied the holiday season, in hand with the pressures of the New Year, you may find it increasingly difficult to make family time a priority as your schedule becomes more hectic. Despite the difficulty, it is not impossible to prioritize family time – continue reading for some helpful tips to make the New Year more meaningful than ever.

 

Quantity and Quality

 

One of the most important things to remember about family time is to define this time by quality instead of quantity. Trying to spend every second of your free time together is unrealistic. Instead, aim to prioritize your time together by engaging, interacting and communicating with each other. One hour of talking to your child is certainly better than five hours of watching television in silence with them. By emphasizing the importance of quality over quantity in your everyday life, you will be able to make the time that you do spend together more meaningful and beneficial.

 

Scheduling

 

Most of us are overscheduled. From school, to working full-time, to extracurricular activities, it is far too easy to become overwhelmed with all your responsibilities. Aim to create at least one day in the week where you and your family have some free time to relax with one another. Although it is important to leady an active and healthy lifestyle, we all need some down time to unwind and manage the stresses of everyday life. This means saying ‘no’ to certain things in order to avoid that stressful feeling of being overwhelmed.

 

Dinner

 

Family dinners are a great way to structure your family time and introduce some regularity into everyone’s schedules. While it may not be realistic to eat dinner together every single night, make sure to establish certain days that your family always has a meal together. Don’t forget to maximize the quality of this time by switching off televisions, computers and cell phones. Catch up with one another about the day’s events by having meaningful conversations that will bring your family closer together.

 

Do you have any good tips for prioritizing family time? Leave them in the comments section below!

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Natan

WHY YOU ARE REALLY YOUR CHILD’S SECRET ROLE MODEL

December 23, 2013 in All Blogs, Education and Parenting, Guest Posts, Living, Our Blog

WHY YOU ARE REALLY YOUR CHILD’S SECRET ROLE MODEL

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Our friend, Abby Nelson from www.Nannyclassifieds.com, wrote a great article on about how you influence, motivate and inspire your children everyday through everything you do. Your children are always watching, observing and learning, so being cautious about the choice you make, the feelings you project, your responses and actions are extremely important. Read more from the article and get great tips on ways to learn to be more cautious to serve as a better and more positive role model for your child by clicking the link below. After all, you are their greatest hero.

http://www.nannyclassifieds.com/blog/why-you-are-really-your-childs-secret-role-model/

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Natan

How to Not Let Your Children’s Diagnoses Dictate Their Lives

December 23, 2013 in All Blogs, Autism, Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Conditions, Developmental Delay, Down Syndrome, Our Blog, Stroke

Labeling has become an obsession in this day and age. From grocery labels, to clothing textile labels, and even the different business titles that we chase after on our LinkedIn profiles. We love to have everything set in stone and clearly defined.

To some children, their diagnoses become some sort of labels that state what they can or cannot do. To some extent, we allow it to dictate how much a child is allowed to achieve with the diagnosis attached.

 

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Definition of ‘diagnosis’

From my standpoint, a diagnosis is simply an umbrella term covering certain symptoms or behavioral tendencies. The whole point of getting a diagnosis is to better treat the bodily illness when you are certain what the symptoms are. A diagnosis should not rule out the life of your child. Each child is created to be a unique being, with his or her own special gifts and talents, no one has the power to completely predict what the child could or could not become in the future.

Building Your Child’s Ability No Matter What The Diagnosis Is

If your child has been diagnosed with a certain disorder, whether it is Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), just work with the diagnosis. Believe in your child and discover the individuality of him/her. Work hard in developing your child’s interests. Constantly be aware of his surroundings: what does he eat, is the house designed well for him to grow and develop, is his lifestyle allowing him to have a good work/play/rest balance? Do your best to discover ways to improve your child’s abilities to function and achieve. Help him balance his life well.

Observe Your Child’s Habits

For instance, when it comes to ADHD, from my standpoint I see it becoming more of a ‘fashionable’ diagnosis. Apart from the conventional treatments, I also recommend analyzing how much time a child with ADHD spends outdoors breathing in fresh air; how much time the child has been spending recently with video games on a Xbox or an iPhone or on the computer. Check out what food your child has been eating every day.

Analyze these patterns and see if your child has spent 3 to 4 hours per day on the computer, then most likely he does not have energy to focus on other work. If your child eats a lot of junk food every day, he will most likely not be able to concentrate. In a recent issue of the American Journal of Pediatrics, research has shown that food affects behavior. Patrick Holford, a British nutritionist who runs the Brain Bio Centre has also said, “We’re seeing outrageous imbalances in brain chemistry caused by the kinds of foods that sadly millions of kids are eating, and no one’s doing anything about it. These kids are digging their own graves with a knife and fork. We know some fats found in processed and fried foods should be avoided.”

Think ‘Out of the Diagnosis’

Instead of focusing on your child’s diagnosis, I would suggest that you take a good close look into the lifestyle of your kid. Engage your child in activities that would move him/her forward. Physicians and pediatricians like us who work with patients are educated medically in certain fields, but we are not psychics. How your child turns out is all in God’s hands. A diagnosis is not a label; it is just a bunch of symptoms that help medical professionals determine treatment methods. But you, as a parent, should think ‘out of the diagnosis’ and see your child as an individual fully capable of living a happy, successful life.

 

SHARE this article if you agree with what it says! COMMENT if you have any questions or concerns about your child, I will try my best to answer them!

 

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