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Info, Tips or Resources to SHARE

This is a discussion on Info, Tips or Resources to SHARE within the Parenting Special Needs Child forum, part of the MummySG Special Group category; This thread contains different postings with different tips . Contributed by Rae Explora Learning Company, was started by parents of ...

  1. #1
    Moderator Angelmum's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Info, Tips or Resources to SHARE

    This thread contains different postings with different tips.

    Contributed by Rae

    Explora Learning Company, was started by parents of a child with developmental delay, who had faced much frustration at the lack of awareness and minimal support available within the Singapore school system. Our experience has been that much more can be done to differentiate between the needs of children with neuro-developmental, sensory or moderate learning differences, and those with significant intellectual disabilities.

    Children with mild to moderate learning differences are caught in the unenviable position of not being disabled enough to meet the criteria for special schools and not receiving the appropriate support for them to cope in mainstream schools. Few kindergartens and primary schools are equipped with resources or teachers able to detect cases for early intervention, much less have a structure for catering to the needs of these children. Although this gap is gradually being addressed by state agencies, there is still much work to be done.

    We work hard to help deepen the knowledgebase and increase the choices available to parents, therapists, educators and other professionals, through learning events & resources - so that they can help our children help themselves. It is our hope that Explora Learning would serve as a vehicle to widen awareness, deepen understanding and appreciate that Child among us who can LEARN, albeit differently.

    BOOK I takes a look at developing tasks that address skills across curriculum areas. Task ideas are presented within the following categories: * Fine Motor Skills: Pre-writing, writing, and computer skills * Readiness: Matching and sorting skills * Language Arts: Book, print and phonemic awareness, decoding and word recognition, comprehension, and vocabulary * Math: Number sense, numeration, and numerical operations, spatial sense, measurement, patterns, relationships and functions * Reasoning: Concepts as relate to the student’s environment: exploring materials, making predictions, generating attributes and using common objects * Play: Art, music, manipulatives, games and independent play

    *New* Wikki Stix
    Pre-writing skills & other uses

    Use for prewriting strokes, as well as to practice letter formation. Wikki Stix can also be used to trace prewriting shapes (especially good on laminated paper to be used repeatedly.) Improve hand grasp and stability by wrapping 1/2 of a Wikki around the base of a pencil; also a good reminder to hold it "down low". Create letters and numbers out of Wikki Stix and have student run his/her fingers over them for tactile input. Use Wikki Stix to make borders when handwriting, to keep letters on the line, as well as to indicate where to start and stop on the paper. Can also be used to create boxes to keep letters in.

    Pencil Grip - STETRO Grip
    Another Favourite with Therapists! Plastic molded with finger indentations. Star indicates thumb placement. Forefinger and middle finger fit comfortably into the other two indentations. For use with both the left and right hand.

    Time Timer
    Visual Time Management Tool

    Three different sizes suited for use in the classroom, home or at work. These proven products are so easy to use that even young children and those with learning disabilities can monitor their own timed activities.

    ARK Grabbers
    New Versatile Chewy Tools!

    Made of FDA approved soft plastic, it's a mouthing tool that is easy to hold and exceptionally resilient. The pink Grabber has a soft resilience, the lime green Grabber XT is made of a firmer plastic compound. Wash up with soap and water. Sold singly. Contain no latex. To be used under professional supervision ONLY.
    Last edited by Angelmum; 17-06-2009 at 11:48 AM.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

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    Moderator Angelmum's Avatar
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    Re: Info, Tips or Resources to SHARE

    This is based on a normal child's age. Child with special needs/developmental issue can use this as a guide. The main point is 'Play with your child'.

    Play is a Child's Work
    The many hours that infants and children spend in play are by no means wasted or merely recuperative in nature. Play may be fun but it is serious business in childhood. During these hours, the child steadily builds up his competence in dealing with his environment. A child who is born into this world is like a special sponge - bursting with an inner desire to absorb, explore and find out more about the environment into which he is born.

    Play is a course of exploration and discovery, which occupies the most part of a child's play. It only stops when he is asleep. In essence, PLAY IS A CHILD'S WORK.

    Like a working adult who learns to solve problems in the work place in order to get the work done, the child learns on a small scale through play the skills necessary for being part of his new environment.

    Play influences the physical, mental, social, psychological, emotional and linguistic developments of the child.

    Physical Development
    As a child crawls, pulls to stand, walks and runs, he experiences movement. This movement will facilitate the development of more complex physical coordination such as being able to use both hands in a particular activity, for instance running. Hence, the child is required to coordinate the swinging movements between the hands and legs.

    From the 3rd month of the child's life, he initiates movement from the shoulder and elbow. However, in these early stages, such movements are limited to inaccurate swiping and hitting. As the child plays with smaller and more complex toys, he begins to develop the function in the hands.

    Play also develops the muscles and strength in the upper and lower limbs.

    Mental Development
    In imaginative play, a child may pretend to be a nurse, doctor or a fireman. He may also pretend to cook, sew or have a tea party with his friends. Such imaginative play stimulates the thinking of the child. This will in turn prepare him for more complex learning situations when he is older.

    Social Development
    As children play with one another, they develop an idea of the world around them. They will learn that there are certain rules which have to be adhered to. These rules involve socialisation such as taking turns at the slide, making friends, the act of giving and taking, sharing or just being friendly.

    Although initially, the child will seem to be egocentric and always concerned about himself, he will learn to develop through the guidance of an adult, preferably the parent.

    Psychological Development
    A child gains confidence and self-esteem when he plays and experiences fun and success in the process. Confidence encourages further exploration and drives the child to experience more challenging activities. Development of confidence will help him meet challenges as he grows older. The process of meeting these challenges further develops skills.

    Emotional Development
    Bonding with parents is part of a child's first stage of emotional development. There is no substitute for this stage of development. Parents should be involved as much as possible during play. This will allow the child to experience security in his new environment. With this secure feeling, the child will be more willing to move out to explore the world with the assurance that there is always someone to rely on should things turn sour.

    Language Development
    Language is the medium by which we translate meanings, our thoughts and feelings. Language development starts from day one of birth. Initial attempts at communication are simple and repetitive. As the child develops physically, the language requirements also increase. Children need words and gestures to express ideas and learn to solve problems as they experience new and varied sensations. Language is a unique and wonderful part of play and distinguishes humans as thinking beings in comparison to animals.

    The pre-requisites for language development can be reinforced through play. There are numerous opportunities to encourage the following through play:
    Eye contact
    Listening skills
    The paying of attention
    The learning to take turns
    Social interaction skills

    It is useful to label objects when introducing new words to the child as it will increase his vocabulary. The meaning of the words are further reinforced by encouraging the child to handle the object.

    Learning Other Concepts
    Play also helps children learn and understand basic concepts such as numbers, colours, and spatial positions (left/right and in/out).

    Such concept development is a crucial starting point in a child's development as it teaches:
    Interaction between objects - how one object is related to another. For instance, pots and the stove, fork and spoon, a ball and a bat.

    Interaction with materials. For instance, boiling water is hot, ice is cold, cloth is soft. It helps the child to identify himself with his action and ideas. For instance, if the child does not like the sensation of heat, he may not want to carry the kettle. This gives him greater awareness of what he is capable of doing and teaches him that he can actually do it again.
    Understanding the cause and effect relationship. For instance, "If I touch boiling water, I will get burnt." This is the foundation for problem-solving. By solving problems and experiencing and learning the rules about the nature of things, the child learns to adhere to safety rules.

    Play and Development
    "Deprived of play the child is a prisoner, shut off from all that makes life real and meaningful. Play is not merely a means of learning the skills of daily living. The impulse to create and achieve, working through play, allows the child to grow in body and mind… Play is one of the ways in which a child may develop a capacity to deal with the stresses and strains in life as they press upon him. It acts, too, as a safety valve, allowing him to relive and often come to terms with fears and anxieties, which have become overwhelming." - World Organisation for Early Childhood Education (OMEP).

    Children have a natural urge to play. Even the poorest and most deprived children delight in play. Play is an essential part of growing up. It helps the child learn and understand the world. Research has shown that children who play are happier children.

    Each child is unique. Every child has a little personality of his own. As such, every child will act and play in his own unique way, exploring his individual abilities.

    Children need a supportive adult and a safe environment to develop their skills and creativity to the fullest. Parents or other caregivers are the first persons a child will relate to. It is therefore very important to spend time with your child to create a close relationship and provide the stimulation needed for his development. Through play, you will learn to get to know him better. It often forms an alternative to purely verbal communication. As the child grows, other people such as friends, family and teachers will play a key role as well.

    Benefits of Play
    Play will help your child learn about himself and the environment through assimilation and practice of skills. By creating their own world, children can freely try out and master new situations.

    For instance, playing with cars, planes and boats will give your child the opportunity to get to know all the modes of transport. Likewise, by playing out scenes, he will get familiar with traffic rules, accidents, speeding and the wonders of staying afloat in the water or being able to imagine that he can fly just like a bird.

    Play also helps children to make sense of the world according to their current level of cognitive functioning. Your child may play out some experiences he had, thus making these situations part of his inner world.

    Children also form self-identity through play. They learn to exercise control and develop interpersonal relationships. Cultural expectations and roles can be exercised when playing "family", "hospital" or "school". Play also enables children to express their feelings such as anxieties and fears. This can help the child to come to terms with these feelings and relieve stress. Playing "doctor and nurse" is a good example.

    Types of Play
    Your child will develop emotionally, socially, intellectually and physically through a series of sequential stages. Play requirements will then vary according to age and the child's developmental level. Play should advance your child through these stages.

    As the child goes through these stages, he will engage in different types of play:
    Exploratory play is the very first type of play a baby or toddler will engage in. A baby learns about his environment through the senses. It is important that he gets the right stimulus by being provided with appropriate toys like mobiles to look at, musical toys to listen to, and toys to grip, touch and suck.

    A baby may look at a toy, suck, feel and smell it. In this instance, the baby is developing the use of his senses. When he grows, he will learn eye-movement control, first by impulse, later, planned. A growing baby will grasp for toys and reach out for objects. Toddlers will enjoy playing with moving objects like balls and cars. They will also delight in action / reaction games like pop-up toys, activity centers and musical screens.

    Constructive Play shows the first signs of planning and conscious use of materials and toys. By building towers from blocks, the child gets an idea about sizes and shapes. The first planned pleasure is in knocking the tower over and re-building it again.

    Energetic Play. When your baby starts to crawl and walk, he will be more mobile, exploring the area he is in by moving and touching everything. This is the age when you do not have enough eyes to watch your exploring child. It is also at this stage that toddlers make you feel desperate and you think that your child is being naughty.

    What your child is doing here is learning and exploring his world that's growing bigger and bigger each day and that offers so many new possibilities. The child is also getting to know his growing abilities and thinks he can do everything. Setting the limits is important for him to learn limitations while offering safety in the expanding world, which sometimes can become overwhelming for your child. Toddlers love to exercise their growing motor skills and are very energetic. Going to the playground offers full opportunity for movement and joy.

    Modelling Play. It is cute to see how children start to copy the actions of the caregiver and learn the different roles in life. Your child will follow you everywhere and want to do what you are doing. It is good to have a few jars and bowls in a special drawer or cupboard for your child so that he can join in cooking and washing the dishes when you are doing so.

    Pretend Play. When imagination develops and children can distinguish the real world from their world of fantasy, pretend play will develop. The chair becomes a car, various chairs in a row become a train and your child pretends to be the driver blowing a whistle when the 'train' leaves. In pretend play, the child learns about different roles and how to make sense of everything that happens around him. He is free to create new situations and learns in free play how to master them.

    Social Play. When children go to primary school, friends become more and more important in the daily interaction. It is important for children to belong to some social group, be with their peers and to have a certain role in this group. It is through trial and error that children learn their place in their environment. Attending clubs or other activity groups will help to further develop their skills and enhance their interaction with different peer groups in various contexts. Thus, the child learns about people's uniqueness and social acceptance.

    Skilful Play. During the primary school years, your child will further develop accomplished skills through activities that require specific skills such as handicrafts, thinking games and sports.

    Your child will further refine his motor skills, intelligence and creativity. Specific skills will help him define his personality, strengths and weakness.

    It is important for children to play. Adults should guide children and stimulate them by offering time, space and company. It is important to follow the child's interest and introduce new types of play to him in order to help him grow according to the various developmental stages.

    Play is fun and helps the child find his way in the big world. It is a pleasure and a privilege to share with your child.
    Last edited by Angelmum; 24-06-2009 at 09:04 AM.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

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    Playtime essential for growth

    Play is essential to a child's learning. Parents need to set up their home environment to meet the growing needs in their child's development. During the child's first year, expect a lot of chewing, grasping and dropping. Keep the floors clean and make sure that toxic items are not left within reach.

    Place pictures of real objects, animals and people at your child's level. Avoid cartoon pictures or abstract work of art. Your child during his first year needs to see things as they are. If your child starts to crawl, lay out different textured cloths like silk, cotton, wool and vinyl for him to experience. Children are at their sensitive period for sensorial learning. They absorb the information around them.

    Your child enjoys his own image. A low mirror in the bathroom or the bedroom is great fun for your child to look at himself as well as things behind him. If your child starts to climb, provide piles of pillows or well-padded, low climbing structures. He will have great fun climbing up and down by himself.

    Take your child outdoors frequently. Outdoor play is essential to your child's growth and learning. While you are out with your child, play and sing a variety of music. Children do enjoy their parents' favourite tunes. Watch your baby's physical movements for clues about how he feels. The more you get to know your baby, the better you will become in responding to his needs. When he turns away from you and does not hold eye contact, you may want to back off and allow him some quiet time. When he engages you in play, take his lead and follow him through. You can be your child's guide in finding out that this world is a secure, friendly and interesting place to be.

    When your child enters the second year, he wants to be independent. He starts to grab the spoon from mummy and tries to do everything by himself. He imitates daddy's behaviour. This is a great time to play copycat games. For example, daddy and mummy can take turns to make faces and toddler can imitate. Many skills can be learned when parents play "Do as I do" games with toddler.

    Everyday routines can be play to your toddler. He pours water on the floor, only to wipe it up by himself. Some of his new behaviour can be frustrating to new parents who still expect their child to be totally dependent on them. To help him develop independent skills, parents should create an environment for their toddler to move around freely and decide what he can do for himself. Toddlers need their own chair, table and a cupboard or shelf within their reach without adult's help. Adults should realize that children need to learn practical life skills like pouring, spooning, wiping and wringing a wet cloth. This is part of their home environment where they see their parents work in this way.

    Children are full of interest and enthusiasm. Show your toddler how to do simple food preparation work, like spreading jam on his bread or making a drink for himself. The child regards this work as his play. Once your child has self-help skills to look after himself, he develops a positive self-image. He will be more confident. Children who are occupied with practical life activities, work with a purpose. They are calm and happy because their work is satisfying.

    When selecting toys and equipment for toddlers, have an assortment of wood, fabric, metal and plastic materials. Children enjoy realistic toys to play with. Some of your old clothes, old briefcase, purse, old magazines, and even wooden spoons are fun for children of this age.

    Best of all, people and imagination are the greatest playmates. Upon entering third year, children's play becomes more complex. If your child is galloping like a horse, give him a broom or a scarf for added interest. Even when babies splash water in the bathtub, a plastic cup with hole can give them the added dimension of pouring. When your child reaches preschool years, he needs other children to play with. Companions make it possible for children to learn to share, cooperate and see other points of view. Welcome neighbours' children into your home for at least part of the day. If this is not possible, send your child to a playgroup or nursery school for some group time.

    Encourage your child to explore all kinds of play materials. Do not stereotype boys and girls toys. In their early years, children enjoy pretending to mummy and daddy. Avoid saying to them, "You are a boy.You cannot be a mummy."

    Every child needs trucks, dolls, blocks, paints, cooking set and imagination and friends. Children benefit more if the culture at home is not limited to one ethnicity. Serving all kinds of ethnic foods can help children grow in an understanding of humanity. Children at play discover about the world and more about themselves. They see themselves as competent and interesting people, with useful skills and good ideas.

    Three Best Toys for Intellectual Development
    1) Blocks
    Blocks are the educational equivalent of a multivitamin. Children playing with blocks aren't just honing their gross and fine motor skills, they're learning everything from fundamental math concepts to problem solving. One study even showed that preschoolers who were adept at playing with blocks had higher math grades and test scores when they got to middle school than those who were not. When your child works with blocks, he develops an understanding of fractions, shapes, and counting. Of course, it's not as if your 2-year-old is mastering halves and quarters. Math lessons unfold in different stages for different ages.

    Three Stages of Block Play
    The first phase of block play is what MacDonald terms "tote and carry." Your 2-year-old is doing little or no building, but she can pile, haul, and drop -- and in the process learn about weight, stability, and balance. Of course a toddler's favorite lesson will probably be the noisiest and messiest: gravity. To the outrage of many an older sibling, toddlers learn quickly that what goes up must come down -- and that knocking down blocks brings an exciting reward. "Children like order and structure, but at a young age they love to create chaos even more," says MacDonald. "Just by stacking one block on top of another, they learn that unstable things fall down, while stable things dont't."

    By the time your child is 3, she'll enter the next phase of block play: "stack and row." Now she can stack the blocks vertically or lay them down and configure them horizontally. She's not building with a specific purpose yet, but she is beginning to try her hand at patterns. The first patterns are usually identical blocks placed on the floor one after another until she adds a twist, such as putting a square after a rectangle, and another square after the next rectangle, and so on. "Math is the study of patterns," says MacDonald, "and encouraging block-patterning lays the foundation for math skills." Here's where fractions come into play. When she puts down two blocks side by side, she can see that, together, they form the same size and shape as one larger block.

    In the next stage, "bridging," your preschooler begins to make her own simple structures. She may put two blocks down, then place a third block over the space between them. In addition to learning how to balance, she is beginning to experiment with symmetry. Bridging leads to "enclosures." You can't build without being able to organize and enclose space. How am I going to fill that space? is a complicated question, requiring that your child figure out how many big and small blocks are needed to get the job done. Not only is your child planning ahead, but she is problem solving.

    2) Having a Ball of a Time Play Ball!
    Blocks aren't the only powerhouse in the playroom. Even infants can follow a ball with their eyes as it rolls across the floor. In doing so, says Maureen Maiocco, early-childhood program director at SUNY Canton, in New York, they "must follow the direction and anticipate the location of the ball as it moves toward them." This kind of visual tracking helps coordinate your baby's eye movements with his body's movements. Plus, predicting when the ball will reappear reinforces the idea that when something disappears from sight, it's not necessarily gone for good.

    When babies are older and can crawl after the ball, they are working on spatial awareness -- How far away is that ball? Where is my body in relation to it? As toddlers become preschoolers, spatial awareness leads to logical thinking. Now that they're getting the hang of throwing and catching, they have to start figuring out how hard to throw and in which direction. In other words, they have to estimate the parameters in which they can throw and catch.

    Your preschooler is likely to take ball play deep into scientific exploration. When he sends a ball rolling down a slide, for example, he realizes that different-size balls roll down slides at different speeds.

    3) How Cups Stack Up
    When my kids play with stacking cups, I like to think of it as good practice for emptying the dishwasher, but they're actually stockpiling math and science skills. Sometime between his first and second birthday, he'll be able to place the cups on top of one another. He's usually not stacking them in any order, but he's starting to understand size relationships. dont't pressure him to do it the "right" way. As he gets older, he'll realize, If I put the small cup inside the big one, the medium one won't fit. He's starting to understand seriation -- a fancy word for putting things in their proper order.

    Babies can spend hours filling and dumping cups in the tub or sandbox. As they begin to notice the difference between empty and full, they're getting an idea about volume. He can see that he can fit lots of little cups of sand into the biggest cup, but pouring from biggest to smallest results in an avalanche.
    Last edited by Angelmum; 24-06-2009 at 09:05 AM.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

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    Journaling Your Way Through Stress:
    Finding Answers Within Yourself

    Support groups dont’t seem to work for me. I do get something out of them when I’m there, but day in and day out, sometimes it feels like more than I can bear. Is there anything else that I can try? This is a question I commonly hear from parents of children with special needs. Often we are told to take one day at a time, and that is a helpful concept when we are trying not to be overwhelmed about the future. But what can you do when one day is just too long and too hard? Try reaching for a pen and paper. Keeping a diary, or "journaling," can be an extremely effective tool for discovering our innermost thoughts and releasing tensions. Setting aside 10-15 minutes to put your thoughts into words may just help to reduce your stress or get its physical symptoms under control.

    Many people believe that it is easier to hold in their feelings, but nothing could be further from the truth. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, stressed that emotional factors could be a contributing cause in disease as well as a factor in recovery. In more recent times, research psychologist James Pennebaker and others have found a mountain of evidence that demonstrates that disclosing our pain when we’re suffering through a major upheaval can greatly improve our physical and mental health. Conversely, holding it in can lead to recurrent health problems as serious as colds, flu, high blood pressure, ulcers, and even cancer.

    Having a child with a disability certainly qualifies as a "major upheaval." The inhibition of our upsetting thoughts and feelings is physical work, the burden of which can lead to long-term health problems. People who can open up in a group generally report that they enjoy it and learn from it. In addition, their health notably improves - which incidentally provides the scientific basis for the rapid increase of self-help groups for all sorts of problems. But one size does not fit all. Not everyone can open up in a group, and even for those who get great benefit, the group isn’t always there at the time you may need comfort and support.

    Writing about our inner turmoil can also be therapeutic. Writing helps us to organize and understand our thoughts and feelings. Keeping a journal that we write in with some regularity can thus be extremely helpful for our physical and emotional well-being. By translating the feelings about the events into words, we can gain perspective and understanding about ourselves and what has happened. When we confront upsetting circumstances by talking or in writing, we are often relieved to discover or rediscover that we are not alone, and this helps us gain insight. We can see ourselves as just ordinary people who happen to be going through a difficult ordeal, and this may be a great consolation.

    On a practical note, dont't let journaling become a stressor in itself. Writing as a method of emotional release should be done when you feel the urge. It can be daily, weekly, monthly, or just when you feel like it. One technique is to try writing in response to a question. Here’s a few to get you started:

    1. What’s been really hard about being a mother or a father today?

    2. What have I learned from this?

    3. What moment gave me pleasure or satisfaction?

    4. What contributions have I made to my child and my family today?

    5. How do I feel about my life in general?

    Another way to approach this is to complete a sentence stem. Here are a few that I use in the workshops I present:

    1. The best thing about my child is...

    2. The worst thing about my child is...

    3. A feeling or thought that I am embarrassed about is...

    4. Something that made me proud lately happened when...

    5. The worst thing about my spouse is...

    6. The best thing about my spouse is...

    7. The nicest thing someone said to me lately was...

    8. I hope that...

    9. I grieve about my dream that will never be...

    10. I dream a new dream that...

    11. My child has taught me that...

    12. I am becoming a better person because...

    Try to just let it flow. What comes out may surprise or enlighten you. Often in a conversation, the flow of the interaction will unleash thoughts we never knew we had. Writing expressively can do the same thing. Thoughts and feelings will emerge from your inner self. The important thing is to look for meaning and growth.

    Merely writing about the same painful things over and over will not bring healing. Focus on thought as well as emotion in order to tap into your inner healing power. Keep track of your growth or change as you write about your experiences. Searching for new realizations and understandings will keep you on a path of healing.
    Last edited by Angelmum; 24-06-2009 at 09:04 AM.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

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    Separation Anxiety, Common Mistakes

    Common Mistakes when Dealing with Separation Anxiety

    Saying goodbye is one of the most difficult tasks that people learn in life. Learning to handle separation is an emotionally difficult task that begins in infancy. Too often, parents and caregivers mishandle the child’s transition between them, and the child is left feeling scared and abandoned. “Maybe mommy isn’t ever coming back.”

    Failing to provide the necessary support that children need, to separate well, may have a negative effect on the child’s future relationships. The parent’s own feelings of anxiety and sadness, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, insensitivity to the child’s emotions, can have a profound effect on a child’s level of separation anxiety.

    If separating is handled with sensitivity, children develop confidence and independence and feel secure when left in the hands of a loving and competent caregiver.

    Mistake #1-Ignore the child’s fears-Many parents think that ignoring a child’s anxiety, anger, stress and fear makes separating easier. Mom or dad might believe that springing the separation on the child and sneaking out, like ripping off a band-aid, won’t give the child time to get worked up, tearful and upset. Other parents may not be sensitive to the fact that separating is a big deal, “Why is he so upset, I am just running out for an hour.” dont’t tell the child his or her feelings are insignificant.

    Solution: Explain to the child calmly, clearly and briefly, what he or she should expect. Use the same ritual before each separation. For example: enter the room, hang the child’s coat, put the snack away, take out a loved toy, give a big hug and kiss, etc. Do not sneak out or use a distraction to duck out of the room. In new situations, parents should allot adequate time to hang around while the child becomes acclimated to his new surroundings. The parent should reassure the child that mommy/daddy is coming back soon and should expect the child to feel some distress. Separating is tough.

    Mistake #2-Emphasize the fun and excitement of the activity-Disregarding that the child is feeling frightened, and instead focusing on how much fun she is going to have, does not ease separation fears. The child may be confused and not understand why she is being left and wondering if mommy or daddy will ever return. While upset the child is not able to focus on the fun things in store for her while mom is away.

    Solution: Short absences initially (30-90 minutes) are easier for children. Ensure that the child understands what is happening by using the same description of the situation before each separation. “Mommy is going to have her teeth cleaned, remember we passed the dentist’s office on the drive over here? I will be back shortly to pick you up and then we will go to the park and have our lunch. I know that you feel a little afraid because this is a new place to play and I am leaving. Miss Melanie is really kind and happy to play with you, I like her very much. I love you and I am coming back to pick you up as soon as my teeth are shiny.” Explaining what to expect gives the child a sense of control.

    Mistake #3-Neglecting to give the reunion its proper consideration-“Grab your coat, let’s get in the car, we are late!”…is not a proper hello after being separated from a child. Having a conversation with the caregiver before acknowledging the child, is also a mistake.

    Solution: Handling the reunion between parent and child with sensitivity is just as important as the goodbye. The child is relieved that the parent has returned as promised. Develop a warm and loving routine used for returns. Positive relationship development relies on reuniting with joy and happiness. Using a special routine honors the loving bond between parent and child.
    Last edited by Angelmum; 24-06-2009 at 09:00 AM.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

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    Re: Info, Tips or Resources to SHARE


    When parents have a child with disabilities, one of the most important questions they ask themselves is, "What is going to happen to my child when I am no longer here?" A parent has the right to be concerned given the fact that how they leave their assets after death can greatly affect the quality of life for their child.

    Many parents may be under the false assumption that it is not necessary to create an estate plan because their assets are so minimal. The truth is, often times we may have more in assets than we realize and that some may only be important after death. An example of this would be life insurance, a large cash asset available only upon the death of a parent. Therefore, regardless of your financial position, estate planning can be critical to your child's future.

    A key part of estate planning for your child's future is writing a will. The object of the will is to ensure that your assets are disseminated to the appropriate people. If at death you have no will, your property will be dispersed according to the law.

    Writing a will is often as easy as putting your wishes on paper. However, when you have a special needs child, it is unwise to do so without the assistance of an attorney. Personally, I have not approached a lawyer. I think a will has to be updated so making a visit to see the lawyer won't be once or twice in a lifetime.

    The last thing to consider is how to ensure that your child is being taken care of, in a manner that is acceptable to you, after your death. I wonder verbal family discussion about my intention/plans would have any legal binding. Example, I hope that if I'm gone, little money will be spent on a dead person (me). I rather leave the money to my beloved and living kins. Also, if I need to rely on life machine, coma or undergone operation that has minimal chance of recovery, I rather not waste the money.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

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    Special Needs Trust Fund

    13th November 2008
    Source: 938 Live
    Financial well-being for kids with special needs

    Addressing the financial well-being of persons with special needs was one of the recommendations the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, or MCYS received during a Parents Work Group study two years ago.
    Now, a new non-profit Special Needs Trust Company or SNTC will be set up to assist parents in that aspect.
    Starting in early 2009, the SNTC aims to give care-givers an affordable platform to ensure the financial security of their charges with special needs.
    To find out more, Melanie Yip spoke with SNTC's General Manager, Ling Yin Fong.

    "Parents have expressed their interest that they wanted to a trusted agency to allow them to pool and to grow their savings, and to transfer these assets to their children with special needs. It is actually a tool for the transmission of wealth, and a savings scheme where the parents can plan for their children's special needs. Parents who open a trust account with an opening sum. And they will commit to regularly contributing to this trust account to build it up to a sufficient amount to provide for the future care-giving needs of the beneficiaries. We will also work very closely with the parents to develop an individual care plan that will look into the future care needs of the child with special needs. SNTC will also collaborate with the insolvency and public trustee office on the custody and investment management of these funds. This will provide a reliable and safe platform for the trusteeship scheme."

    Is there a certain amount which parents can start with for this trust fund?
    "We are currently working out the fee structure, as well as the operating model. In addition, the trust account will also be subject to review. During the annual review, we will ensure the adequacy of the funds in the trust account, as well as to review the care plan that has been developed."

    This is going to be a non-profit organization and will be independent in its operations. What is being done to ensure transparency in the management of the SNTC?
    "In setting up the SNTC, care has been taken to ensure that various safeguards are put in place to ensure proper governance of the company. These safeguards are provided under the Company Act, the Trustees Act, the Charities Act, the Institute of Public Character Act or IPC regulations, as well as the Code of Governance for the Charities. NCSS will also be having oversight of the company as a sector administrator. As we are a member of NCSS, we have obtained both charity and IPC status. The Board of Directors will comprise a chairman plus 11 other members. The members are all professionals, and are distinguished members of the public from different professions. NCSS, as well as MCYS will be having their representatives on the board as well."

    Now, given the nature of this trust fund. It is for parents to set up a sum of money for their children with special needs. What is being done to protect the interests of these children with special needs, in the event the parents or caregivers are no longer around?
    "When the parents are no longer able to take care of their children, the care plan that has been developed with the parent will come into effect. The caregiver which has been appointed under the care plan will now take over the care giving needs of the beneficiaries. SNTC's role will be to ensure that the funds which have been placed in the trust account are appropriate dispersed in the interests and well being of the beneficiaries, in accordance with the wishes of the parents. In other words, in relation to caregiving needs, the education needs, training needs, for medical needs, or hospitalization which will be provided for in the care plan. In the annual reviews that will be conducted, once the trust account is opened, we will not just look at the adequacy of the funds, we will also be looking at the care plan. In the review of the care plan, we will also look at the caregivers. And at an appropriate time during the review, we will advice the parents accordingly, that they should also appoint alternate caregivers when relevant or appropriate. The trustee scheme is the first time that is going to be set up in Singapore. There are many details to look into the operating model, the business model, the fee structures. We would also like to go down and get the views of parents, in relation to their preferences so that we can provide value added services to the parents."
    Last edited by Angelmum; 24-06-2009 at 09:01 AM.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

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    Tips from other special needs parents

    Parent 1) Learning to sit
    My little boy finally learned to sit at 17 months of age but was very wobbly. The thing that got him using his hands confidently and sitting was an inflatable rubber ring around his tummy. It meant that he could lean over and know that whichever way he went, he couldn't fall over and hit his head. It gave him the confidence he needed.

    Parent 2) Calm a child
    Child severely delayed and from time to time, he becomes very upset to the point of being inconsolable. We've found that by placing him on a back massage pad on the floor and turning it on a low setting, it will often calm him

    Parent 3) Prevent slipping
    If your child can not sit up without slipping, get shelf liner and cut a piece to fit on his chair, stroller, etc. It stops them from slipping forward

    Parent 4) A hammock swing. We hang it with both ends together, so our child can choose to swing like a conventional swing or we can lay him inside it and he is completely "closed" off! He also likes the pressure of swinging on his stomach.

    A beanbag chair is another great therapy tool for us. Our son enjoys laying under it, as well as having "snuggle" time in the beanbag with his mom, while watching a video. He likes to be able to arrange it around his body.

    Ankle and wrist weights are wonderful for hyperactive, and hyper-aroused children. Our son wears both when we want to take him to a store. They really do help to calm him. Once he puts them on, he doesn't want to take them off! His occupational therapist named them the "Superman bracelets!"

    Parent 5) For parents whose children cannot sit up or are otherwise afflicted with CP, please consider doing the one thing that definitely DID help us: a neurological stimulation program involving (among many other things) daily sessions of creeping. (For children who cannot creep, start by putting them at the top of a very smooth inclined plane that is so steep that any movement will help propel them forward. Offer a tempting object at the bottom. A banana worked for my son.) Keep building up for more ability, and make your kid a winner. You can get ideas from the books by Glenn Doman. Please consider making the effort. My son is still developmentally disabled, but at least no one would say he had cerebral palsy any longer. He went from total immobility at 20 months to taking his first independent steps at 39 months and walking 4 miles nonstop a year later.

    Parent 6) For my son, who has very poor muscle control, we were trying to teach him to sit up and get head control at 9 months of age. So we put him in a bathtub seat (one that would normally go in a bathtub to keep them sitting in one place) on the kitchen floor and proceeded to blow bubbles at him. He was so excited to see the bubbles that he was looking up and eventually got his head control. Then, we kept it up so that he got control of his back and started to lift one hand to try to pop the bubbles. We said "pop" each time one popped that he could see. Then we started to catch a bubble for him to pop. Eventually, he was able to let go with both hands and pop the bubbles and he even learned to say "pop." This taught him his balance for sitting up when we sat him on the floor and then he was able to learn how to get to that position by himself shortly after that.

    Parent 7) This tip is for those of you who do sensory integration therapy. Tupperware came out with a new stackable set of containers that has one lid. It has three containers and we put rice in one, corn in another, and noodles in another. They stack on top of one another and seal wonderfully.

    Parent 8) Mouthing
    My daughter constantly mouths her hands. She would spend all her waking hours doing this and nothing else! Over the years, we have tried everything to stop her. Splinting her arms is the only option. Splints that occupational therapists came up with looked very surgical and were extremely hot. I came up with the idea of using wrist guards for rollerbladers on her elbows. I took out the supporting piece of plastic and turned it around to fit the natural curve of her arm. They are as comfortable as splints can be, and look sort of sporty too!
    Last edited by Angelmum; 24-06-2009 at 09:02 AM.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

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    DIY Therapy

    Therapists can apply years of training and experience, and roomfuls of appropriate equipment, to the care of your child, but you have one advantage that they do not: constant access. If you feel your child could use more help than he or she can get in the hours spent in a therapist's office, here are some sites that offer ways to help your child without leaving home - from organized therapies to fun activities with therapeutic benefits to catalogs that offer helpful equipment.

    Play time cum Therapy

    Finding the time to play with your child can be tricky, when you're also under pressure to do therapy and strengthen learning skills and bolster development. Try one of these eight play opportunities that do double duty, helping you both have fun and do good.


    Floortime is a therapeutic approach that involves getting down on the floor with your child and following her lead as you play together. The hidden agenda is to engage children and help them advance through developmental milestones but to your youngster, it will just feel like play. To you, too, if you're doing it right.

    *Brain Gym

    Brain Gym is a system of exercises and activities that get the brain and body working together to improve learning, memory, and thinking skills. It's also fun to do, and as silly as you want to make it.

    Below is a series of movements called PACE. They are surprisingly simple, but very effective!

    Drink Water

    As Carla Hannaford says, "Water comprises more of the brain (with estimates of 90%) than of any other organ of the body." Having students drink some water before and during class can help "grease the wheel". Drinking water is very important before any stressful situation - tests! - as we tend to perspire under stress, and -hydration can effect our concentration negatively.

    "Brain Buttons"

    This exercise helps improve blood flow to the brain to "switch on" the entire brain before a lesson begins. The increased blood flow helps improve concentration skills required for reading, writing, etc.
    • Put one hand so that there is as wide a space as possible between the thumb and index finger.
    • Place your index and thumb into the slight indentations below the collar bone on each side of the sternum. Press lightly in a pulsing manner.
    • At the same time put the other hand over the navel area of the stomach. Gently press on these points for about 2 minutes.
    "Cross Crawl"
    This exercise helps coordinate right and left brain by exercising the information flow between the two hemispheres. It is useful for spelling, writing, listening, reading and comprehension.
    • Stand or sit. Put the right hand across the body to the left knee as you raise it, and then do the same thing for the left hand on the right knee just as if you were marching.
    • Just do this either sitting or standing for about 2 minutes.
    "Hook Ups"

    This works well for nerves before a test or special event such as making a speech. Any situation which will cause nervousness calls for a few "hook ups" to calm the mind and improve concentration.
    • Stand or sit. Cross the right leg over the left at the ankles.
    • Take your right wrist and cross it over the left wrist and link up the fingers so that the right wrist is on top.
    • Bend the elbows out and gently turn the fingers in towards the body until they rest on the sternum (breast bone) in the center of the chest. Stay in this position.
    • Keep the ankles crossed and the wrists crossed and then breathe evenly in this position for a few minutes. You will be noticeably calmer after that time.
    *Deep Pressure Play

    If your child always seems to want to wrestle or push or pull or slam or drop, playing games that incorporate those activities with some deep pressure and massage may be a rewarding and calming experience. Wrapping up in blankets, pushing the boundaries of Body Sox, crawling through tunnels of pillows, splashing in a ball pit, having a tug of war, bouncing off the soft sides of a blow-up trampoline -- all can be fun ways to play as well as good therapy for input-craving sensory systems.

    *Speech Play

    Chances are you've played goofy word games with your child, or sang some silly songs. Did you know you were reinforcing speech and language skills along the way? Most word-related play involves rhyming, repetition, memory, word retrieval, tempo, volume, and fluency in ways so fun and distracting that kids dont't even know they're working.

    *Number Play

    Doing a big old page of math problems may not sound very playful to your kids, but try a board game or a dice game, or challenge them to figure out the age of a favorite actor or count the number of pennies in a jar, and suddenly numbers look far more friendly. Work math into your playtime routine and get a learning workout for your time, too.

    *PT Play

    Many of the things you might ordinarily do with your child -- catching and throwing, kicking a ball, shooting a hoop, riding a bike -- may involve the very same skills that the physical therapist works on at school. Check with the PT to find out which activities would most reinforce what's going on in therapy, or read over your child's IEP to see what goals have been set.

    *Make a Mess

    It may seem odd to be helping your child make a mess but messy play can help children with sensory integration and occupational therapy goals, and the silliness of doing it with Mom or Dad only makes it more fun. Plunging hands into a bin full of rice with toys hidden inside, or sculpting with shaving cream, or drawing letters in pudding are all sloppy ways to strengthen skills.

    *Use Your Imagination

    In the end, you're the one who's likely to have the best ideas for productive play with your particular child. You know better than anyone else what your child needs, and the kind of activities he responds to. Give yourself permission to spend that time, whether it's a half-hour at the playground or a play-dough session at the kitchen table or a pillow-fight before bed. Having fun with you is important to your child, no matter what you do.
    Last edited by Angelmum; 13-07-2009 at 10:09 PM.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

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    Before you Potty Train your special needs child

    Children with special needs can be particularly difficult to toilet train, for a host of reasons. Before you decide to pick this battle, keep in mind the following factors that may make it a losing cause.

    Children with developmental delays or disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, etc can be more difficult to potty train.

    Medical factors

    If your child seems unable to control his or her bladder, consider that there may be a medical reason. Talk to your pediatrician and rule out any physical causes before undertaking a toilet training regimen.

    Developmental factors

    If your child’s development is delayed in other areas, there’s no reason to expect it won’t be delayed here, too. Consider your child’s developmental age rather than his or her chronological age in deciding whether the time is right to train.

    Sensory factors

    Children with sensory integration problems or low muscle tone may legitimately be unable to sense when they need to go. They may not sense when their diaper is wet or be at all bothered by it. Motor planning issues may make it hard for them to figure out what needs to be done and do it in a timely fashion.

    Temperamental factors

    Children who find even small transitions and conflicts to be stressful may see the challenge of toilet training as overwhelming. This can bring about a cycle of tantruming and explosive behavior. It may not be worth bringing that on if there are other more important issues to be addressed.

    Emotional factors

    Some children may find toilets intimidating, and the loss of something that comes out of their bodies frightening. The intensity of their parents' desire for them to achieve this milestone may also cause alarm.

    Control factors

    For the child who craves control, potty training is the ideal battleground, because although the parent may bribe or threaten, Mom or Dad can’t really reach into their bodies and control their bladders and bowels. An area where the child has the upper hand is probably not one you want to tackle if control is an issue.

    Peer pressure factors

    Not peer pressure on your child -- peer pressure on YOU. The world is full of opinions on when children should be trained. If you are pushing the potty and your child is resisting, ask yourself if you’re doing this because you truly believe he or she is ready, or because your mother/mother-in-law/sibling/co-worker/daycare is nagging at you. Remember that age-old motherly question: If all those people were jumping off a bridge, would you jump, too? And take your child?

    The bottom line on potty training children with special needs is that they’ll do it when they’re ready. That readiness may be impacted by physical, developmental, emotional, sensory, and other factors that dont’t respond to bribes and threats. When it comes to potty training, kids hold all the cards, and if they won’t or can’t cooperate, it’s almost impossible to make them. However, if you think your child might be ready: Set aside a week to focus on absolutely nothing else but potty training.
    Last edited by Angelmum; 09-06-2009 at 11:40 AM.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

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    Children with disabilities may have specific needs based on their impairment, but the following are some general ways in which you can help.


    Regular toys can be modified or changed to suit a special need. For example, a child may have difficulty with stacking rings. Simplify the game by removing every other ring.

    2. SET GOALS

    Parents, consultants, and caregivers need to set goals together. Goals should be simple and should match the abilities of the child. For instance, choose a goal to get Chad to point at a toy rather than to get Chad to talk.


    Slight adjustments in the environment may make the time that a child with special needs spends in your home easier and pace for play may help an overactive child. A child with poor vision will benefit from a room that is kept constant. Children who have difficulty standing alone can crawl into cubes or barrels without tops. They then can pull themselves up, hang on to the edges, and watch others from this new, upright point of view.


    Children with disabilities are sometimes hesitant to play with others. You can model appropriate play behaviors by being a play partner. As the child becomes more comfortable, you can invite other children to join your play activity.


    Learning how to look directly at another child when speaking or how to say "May I play?" are big steps for some children.


    Model understanding and acceptance through actions and words. Teach children specific skills. For instance, a gentle touch on the shoulder of a child with a hearing impairment, or a direct look at him while talking, are effective ways of getting his attention.


    Provide opportunities and activities that will support those strengths. Avoid becoming too focused on a child's disability. Treat each child as a whole person. Every child needs to feel successful and capable.


    Parents and specialists can provide specific information and suggestions for working with a child who has disabilities.


    The following information may be useful to you in determining the specific handicap that a child may have, either when you are considering accepting the child in your care or if she is already in your care.


    Children with mental disabilities generally will go through typical developmental stages but at a much slower rate. Characteristics vary with disabilities, but a few approaches can be applied to all kinds of disabilities.

    • short attention span; easily distracted
    • difficulty with transitions
    • prefers to play with younger children
    • afraid of trying new things
    • difficulty in problem-solving
    • does not remember things well
    • may not be able to transfer learning to a new situation
    • stumbles and falls because of poor body control
    • speaks and uses language like a much younger child
    • may repeat same movement over and over
    • frustrated with change and transitions
    What you can do:
    • Keep verbal instructions simple.
    • Break activities into small steps and give one instruction at a time.
    • Practice activities over and over.
    • Select activities that match the child's mental age and abilities.
    • Show and tell a child how to do something by guiding hands and body through the motions of an activity.
    • Provide opportunities to play near a child who is doing a similar activity. This can give the child with mental disabilities some ideas on how to use and explore the same materials.
    • Make sure that there are obvious differences in size, shape, and color when sorting or classifying objects. Subtle differences between red and maroon or circles and ovals can be confusing.
    • Limit the number of art materials or toys to avoid overwhelming the child with choices.
    • Give plenty of warning when an activity is about to change or end.

    Children with behavioral disabilities often display one of three types of extreme behavior: withdrawal, aggression, or hyperactivity. Each type of behavior may require a different type of response.

    • uses aggressive behavior to deal with most situations
    • withdraws or stays quiet and passive most of the time
    • shows excessive activity, restlessness, or inability to stick with something
    • regresses to babyish behavior whenever stress occurs
    • cries a great deal, seems depressed and unhappy, laughs seldom
    • shows extreme fear and anxiety
    • doesn't seem to recognize basic feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, or fear
    • always reacts in the same way, such as crying or hitting
    • may not want to be touched
    What you can do:
    • Invite a withdrawn child to join others in an activity by watching others. As the child becomes more comfortable, demonstrate how to play with materials or toys. Encourage the child to play along with you.
    • Watch for signs of aggressive behavior and intervene quickly. Teach problem-solving skills.
    • Provide developmentally appropriate activities that are not overly difficult and that will help the child feel capable. Avoid activities that can be done only a certain way.
    • Watch for periods when children are less excitable and in control. Use these times to present a new activity that requires some concentration.
    • Keep stories and group activities short to match attention spans. Seat the child near you and away from distractions such as a nearby toy shelf.
    • Avoid over stimulation. Limit the number of toys or materials you set out at one time.
    • Provide adult guidance and structure. Help children to plan or organize an activity. For example, if a child wants to play "fire fighter," you might make suggestions that can help him organize props and invite other children to play.
    • Announce cleanup time and other transitions ahead of time. Children with behavioral disabilities often have difficulty with transitions. Assign a specific task to the child during the transition.

    Children with physical limitations have specific needs depending on their particular disability. Playmates are usually eager to assist the children with disabilities. While you need to applaud and encourage helping behaviors, a child with physical disabilities also needs encouragement to do as much as possible on his own. This may mean that tasks and chores could take a little more time, but self confidence and independence are fostered by encouragement and patience.

    Characeristics (small motor):
    • poorly developed hand or finger coordination
    • difficulty in picking up small objects
    • difficulty in drawing or writing
    Characteristics (large motor):
    • stumbles and trips frequently
    • difficulty walking or running, jumping or climbing
    • poor balance
    • difficulty in bouncing, catching, or throwing balls
    • may be unable to release objects voluntarily
    What you can do:
    • Provide heavy, stable furniture and equipment that are not easily knocked over.
    • Avoid area rugs. Arrange furniture and equipment to allow for a wide aisle.
    • Provide a safe place for walkers, crutches, or canes so that other children do not trip over them.
    • Provide objects that can be used for grasping, holding, transferring, and releasing. Objects should be age appropriate. For example, a bean bag made from dinosaur fabric is much more appropriate for a 5-year-old
      than a rattle or baby toy.
    • Work with parents to find comfortable ways for a child to sit. A corner with two walls for support, a chair with a seat belt, or a wheel chair with a large tray across the arms are three possibilities that might work well.
    • Make objects more steady. For instance, secure paper, mixing bowls, or wood blocks to the table or floor with tape so that they remain secure as the child paints, draws, stirs, or hammers.
    • Provide materials of different textures such as play dough, fabric swatches, ribbon, corrugated cardboard, and sandpaper to encourage the sense of touch.
    • Plan activities to encourage exercise and movement of all body parts. Work with parents and specialists to give special exercises for the child depending on her needs

    Children with visual disabilities often are delayed in their physical and motor skills. Often they will not be able to locate or pick up small objects that have been dropped. Helping children understand about space and size will further their development.

    • sometimes or always crosses one or both eyes
    • has eyes that won't focus
    • avoids bright lights
    • blinks or rubs eyes a lot
    • stumbles or falls a great deal, trips over small objects
    • covers one eye
    • tilts head to side or to front
    • squints or frowns a great deal
    • complains of dizziness, headaches, or nausea after doing intense work
    • is unable to locate and pick up small objects that have been dropped
    • may turn face away when being addressed; does not mean inattentiveness, but rather may have better peripheral vision
    • if partial vision is possible, may be able to see shadow forms, color, or large pictures
    • holds books or objects very close to her face
    What you can do:
    • Place sound-making objects (clocks, wind chimes, radio) in different parts of the house to help the child learn her way around.
    • Encourage the child to find and sense different textures throughout the house: tile, carpet, wood, glass windows, plastered walls, marble counter top, etc.
    • Look for toys and books with raised numerals, letters, or designs that children can touch and explore.
    • Provide activities with sensory experiences. Children with visual disabilities learn through hearing and touch. Sand and water play, collages, play dough, and finger painting are good learning activities.
    • Read aloud stories that have a predictable story line. You also may wish to choose stories that offer interesting descriptions of actions or objects.
    • Follow up descriptions with concrete experiences. For example, after reading "The Three Little Pigs," the child might find it interesting to feel the difference between straw, sticks, and bricks.
    • Cut out symbols, shapes, letters, and numbers from sandpaper or cardboard. Guide the child's hand over these shapes as you discuss them.
    • Show the child how to make rubbings by coloring over an interesting texture.
    • Be sure play areas are well lit so that children with limited vision can see better.
    • Establish specific areas for play activities. Help a child become familiar with your room arrangement. If you decide to change the block area or art area, you will need to reorient the child to the new room arrangement.
    • Provide toys and materials in colors that children with visual disabilities can see well.
    • Tape raised cardboard labels of toy symbols on toy shelves to facilitate cleanup.
    • Arrange the house for safe and free movement. Keep doors and cabinets closed.
    • Teach non-disabled children to identify themselves and describe their art activities or building constructions in words to children with visual disabilities. Teach them also to call the child with visual disabilities by name to get his attention and to use specific words to describe objects such as a phone, hat, or car rather than this, it, or that.
    • Expand the child's learning by talking him through an activity. Use descriptive words such as long, short, over, under, big, and little. Whenever possible, provide concrete experiences that illustrate these important concepts. For example, you might offer the child two balls and say, "The ball in your hand is big. Feel how big it is. But the ball in my hand is small. Would you like to touch it?"
    • Encourage children to build with blocks horizontally. Children can feel shapes and lay them end to end or in different patterns without the frustration of falling blocks.

    Children who have difficulty hearing need opportunities to learn how to listen and speak. Provide activities that encourage communication and language development. Children can develop important language skills with practice. Activities with very little verbal interaction are also very important. Art activities and block play offer good opportunities for satisfying play without heavy demands on language or communication.

    • does not respond when spoken to
    • does not startle at loud noise
    • does not wake up in response to sound
    • coos or gurgles, but does not progress to saying words
    • does not talk very much or at all
    • talks, but is impossible to understand
    • leaves out many sounds when talking
    • talks in a monotone voice
    • seems unable to follow verbal directions; often says "huh" or "what" - requires repetition
    • interrupts conversations
    • seems unaware that others are talking
    • may hold head so that one ear is turned toward speaker
    • alert and attentive to things that can be seen; disinterested in those he is expected to hear
    • talks in a very loud or very soft voice
    What can you do:
    • Cut down on background noise from the radio, dishwasher, etc., when you are doing an activity. Use carpets, rugs, drapes, and pillows to absorb excess sound.
    • Make eye contact before you start to speak. A gentle tap on the shoulder usually will get a child's attention.
    • Talk in a normal voice. Use gestures and facial expressions to clarify your message.
    • Provide earphones or set up a special area where a tape recorder can be played at a higher volume.
    • Teach children in your program to use gestures and sign language.
    • Encourage a child to talk about what she is doing. Ask open ended questions that will invite the child to practice using language.
    • Use stories, songs, and fingerplays to enhance language development. Repeat favorite rhymes and songs to encourage confidence in developing language skills.
    • Provide children with visual cues. For example, label shelves with a picture of toys to facilitate easy cleanup. Use pictures to illustrate the steps of a recipe during cooking activities.
    Last edited by Angelmum; 17-06-2009 at 11:43 AM.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

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    Some realistic ideas for teaching students with severe disabilities.

    1) Cause and Effect

    Hanging Noise
    Suspend a rope or net between two volleyball standards. Hang pots, pans, tambourines, bells, anything that will make some noise when students pass under/through them with their wheelchairs. Students seem to love this activity. Often, the more noise they can make, the prouder they are. Another variation is to suspend cans, bells, pots, from a pole suspended across a high jump standard (or even across the backs of two chairs) and have students toss bean bags at this hanging wall of noise. Manual assistance ensures everyone participates. Get as close as needed. This facilitates range of motion, as well as grasping and releasing skills, however minimal these skills may be. Older children may wish to form mock teams for cooperative fun­­teams which make the most noise win. Rotate team members often to ensure that all are winners; let fun and controlled chaos reign!

    Knock It Off
    Set balls of different sizes and colors on T-ball stands or traffic cones of different heights. A toilet bowl plunger can be placed upside down in a cone to accommodate larger balls which may roll off a cone or tee. While explaining this activity to students, push them in their wheelchairs by this set-up and ask them to try to knock off the balls. A string or leash may be attached to the balls to minimize fetch time required to set back up and re-load this fun activity. Tactile balls, bell balls, anything which makes noise is helpful for students who are blind and much more fun for all involved.

    Blowing Games
    Blowing games with soap bubbles, ping pong balls on a table top or in the water, and pin wheels are usually a hit with students with quadriplegia. Medically, it is important that activities like these be done to maintain and improve respiratory function as much as possible. ·

    Scooter Boards
    Scooter boards come in many different sizes and shapes. Select (buy or build) one large enough to support even recumbent students. Strap them on securely. Most of these students are not too fragile to be spun around by teachers, aides, or classmates. We take this one step further and have the teacher on skates, pulling and skating with the scooters. All of our students, even those who are blind, love it. They can take part in relay races this way. Often, the faster and more furious the spinning, the more they like it. Frequently, we use an inner tube around the student as a sort of combination spotting belt, protective wear, and grabber handle.

    Obviously, great care is necessary for more fragile students; those with shunts should not be spinning wildly. But the point is that many students can safely participate in this (organized chaos), want to do so, and love it. It is necessary to understand each child's medical situation and adhere to activity contraindications; however, it is not necessary to be over protective. Too many students are never taken out of their wheelchairs when they can and should be.

    Students can lie or sit on mats and be dragged around, even for relay races. A gentler variation of the preceding scooter activities is to take a small gym mat, approximately three feet by two feet in diameter, and put two holes in one end and string a rope through to make a handle (like a sled). Gently lay the child upon the mat and pull it around (again, like a sled). This works wonderfully for students who have severe physical disabilities that preclude them from being placed on a hard surface. Students can be placed in doughnut type mats and creep forward causing the mat to revolve around them (like treads on a tank). They creep forward, and the result is an advancement of their tank tread mat.

    Stretch Bands
    Therabands or bicycle inner tubes make great sling shots. The ammo can be a soft bean bag, nerf ball, or even students themselves as they sit in their wheelchairs!

    Playground Swings
    Often a student's feeding chair can be safely and securely fastened to playground swings to allow the most severely involved student to swing alongside peers.

    Parachute Play
    The common group activities with parachutes are possible with most students. If everyone sits around the parachute, even students with the most severe disabilities can interact on the same level. Some of these students enjoy just lying in the middle of the parachute and then being spun around. Others enjoy lying on a mat and having the parachute moved up and down above them.

    2) Balls

    Ball Bins
    Even the most severely involved students can enjoy the tactile stimulation, safety, and fun of sitting, lounging, or rolling around in a bin of plastic balls. If buying such a bin is out of the question, make one with mat borders lined with a parachute. A plastic wading pool or a new or clean sandbox can be used for starters. Foam balls, nerf balls, even sponges as balls can be used if plastic bin balls are too expensive. Even old tennis balls or homemade newspaper balls can be used if necessary. Children love receiving a shower of soft balls falling upon them and around them as they gather to fill up their dry wading pool of ballwater. Creativity abounds.

    Big Ball
    Have students gather in a small circle. They can stand or sit, with or without a wheelchair or stander. Take a huge beach ball, cage ball, or therapy ball (whatever is available) and start to roll it around within the circle. Make sure the ball is large enough to obligate it being touched by all students it comes near. Each student's touch can be the throw to the next student. If possible, many students enjoy being able to shed their shoes and push the ball with their bare feet. Sensory stimulation, aiming skills, confidence, group work, and fun are products of this game.

    Hanging Balls
    Suspend balls of all sizes, textures, colors, and softness from a basketball goal (or whatever). Students can now play many games. You, or they, can roll their chairs (selves) into them. They can use a whiffle ball bat to strike them (if they cannot hold the bat, the bat can be fastened to their hands, arm, or wheelchair). They can try tether ball with a friend. Activities are only limited by the imagination.

    Ball Trays
    Balls and other objects such as bowling pins can be placed on table tops or trays. They can be knocked down by a swinging tethered ball (like table top tether ball), or they can be knocked down by whiffle bat armed students, or by students' bare hands (or other body parts). Ball trays can be made from firm cardboard three feet long by two feet wide; add an edge to the length to cover with contact paper. This will allow two students to face each other with the ball tray between them, resting on their trays or laps. Now students can roll a ball to each other affording independent peer play with little or no help from the teacher.

    Soccer Throw In
    In inclusive situations, as during a soccer game on the grass (students in wheelchairs can participate equally in soccer on hard top surfaces), the student with disabilities, perhaps in a wheelchair, can be the person who throws the soccer ball back into the field of play. The student is not the fetcher or the score keeper, but has an integral, physical, strategy-requiring role in the game. Obviously, this also works for basketball (and many other games, as well). When a goal is made, the ball can be thrown in bounds by the student in a wheelchair. Certainly, students in wheelchairs can take more active roles than even this in most hard surface games; wheelchair basketball athletes are among the most elite athletes of any sport.

    3) Group Activities

    Parachute Activities
    So versatile and enticing, these activities can fit in multiple categories (cause and effect, balls, and even in the music unit). Group cooperation, sensory stimulation, and just plain fun can all be achieved through participation in parachute games. The parachute can be fastened to the child (or even the wheelchair) if the child cannot grasp it independently.

    Make these fun! Usually, the more zany, the less stressful and competitive they are. To maximize participation, emphasize fun. More severely involved students can zoom their wheelchairs (with or without help from the teacher) up and back between cone targets, simply having to knock something off the cone to prove they made their designated distance. They can also nudge something off their laptrays into an awaiting bucket or other container (i.e., net, target).

    Mr Rubberband
    This is a wonderful activity involving a large stretchy band (isotonic band, bungee cord) with which groups can encircle themselves, play tug of war (both end-to-end to form a straight line, but also with three equi-distant teams to form a triangle, or four teams to make a square). The group can also encircle itself with it, form a line and march, play choo-choo, and more. The group can also form a circle with the rubber band in the middle with everyone grasping it, and do seated or standing exercises. In all these examples, the band can easily be fastened to a student, wheelchair, or gurney, if it can not be grasped independently by the student. A series of old (but washed) bicycle inner tubes can be substituted for the stretchy band when commercial stretch bands are not affordable.

    Pass the Rubber Ring
    Have students enjoy sitting in a very tight circle, shoulder-to- shoulder, while trying to pass an object around, such as a rubber ring, a spongy ball, or some other object. By sitting closely, chance of dropping and losing the object in the process is diminished, thus maximizing playing time and minimizing fetching time.

    An oldie but goodie with infinite variations. Freezing and unfreezing people allow more easily tagged students to get multiple other chances of escaping the tagger. This works very well on gym floors or other hard surfaces when wheelchairs are present.

    Duck, Duck, Goose.
    There are many variations of this; we suggest leaving out the head patting part. We have renamed the game Drop the Handkerchief, which reflects another modification; the handkerchief drops more slowly and softly which keeps the game inviting to more children.

    Crash the Cans
    Often an activity as zany as building a can pyramid and then running the student in the wheelchair into it just to see, feel, and hear the cans crash down motivates and thrills even the most reticent students. Obviously this would also fit nicely in the cause and effect category.

    4) Music

    Songs with Themes
    Music facilitates learning and alleviates monotony. Have students act out themes as they listen to them. Give physical assistance to those who need it. Students with hearing impairments can often pick up on the beat and can hear some of the lower, more vibrating notes and tones. Play songs about trains and have children line up and choo-choo around a town. Play songs about dinosaurs and have children imitate some dinosaur movements. The list is endless.

    Songs with Holiday Themes
    Play songs about the Easter Bunny or other catchy spring tunes and have an Easter Egg hunt; anything can be used as eggs (bright balloons, balls, pogs, etc.). Even severely involved children can run their chairs into a homemade pinata, specially designed to spill out its candy or toys with the slightest nudge. Valentines Day may be a good time to introduce various types of dancing.

    Dancing with Students in Wheelchairs.
    Dancing is a highly versatile activity. Line dances, square dance, rap dancing, dancing from the 60s and 70s (the jerk, the monkey, the swim, the Freddie, and so many more) can all be done fantastically in a wheelchair.

    This is a name given to an activity using the multiple discipline of music, physical education, speech, physical or occupational therapy, and even art together, interactively. For example, a physical therapist may help a child work on sitting and balancing postures while the child catches and rolls a ball to music, perhaps toward a target he/she painted, while trying to pronounce the words correctly for the number of times the ball is thrown/caught or whatever.

    Another example is to select songs about body parts; the therapist, teacher, or aide can manipulate the body part being sung about. Even just touching the body part being sung about helps the student feel more a part of a lesson. The touch can be a gentle rub, pat, shake, or even a brief tickle to get a laugh or show some warmth. This is truly transdisciplinary and integrative. Communication among various professionals is optimized at the child's benefit.

    Feel free to adapt movements (e.g., from the videotapes), or even physically assist students as needed. If students cannot do it at first, do it for them! Yes, passive exercising, especially in a group setting with music, is a wonderful, motivating activity. It is surprising how much students learn and take on themselves in time.

    5) Locomotor Movements

    Scooter Boards
    If students can propel their own scooter boards, wonderful! Often they may only need some assistance to get going. Some of the more severely involved students may need full assistance (pushing, pulling, and spotting) for the entire ride. It does not matter how much assistance is needed; what matters is the experience of traveling from one point in space to another in the most fun-filled, exciting way possible. Even our more fragile students love to use a larger, softer, adapted scooter, and have the feeling of zooming and spinning around with peers. Obviously, care must be taken as needed (students with shunts due to hydrocephalus do not need to be spun around). Still, many more students than one might think can safely participate in this activity and would be thrilled to do so; just give them the chance!

    Obstacle Course
    This is the gold standard which allows for exploration, problem solving, and individualized teaching due to its informal station format. Be creative! Students in electric wheelchairs or gurneys can negotiate interesting and safe courses. For example, just having them move through a series of multi-colored plastic flags hung from a clothesline is safe, stimulating, and fun. Many other similarly interesting and adaptable ideas for the course can be gleaned from some of the other instructional units described here. Slalom courses for students in electric wheelchairs are common events in some sport contests involving athletes with disablities.

    The obstacle course format allows for virtually any skill or activity to be taught within its framework. With the use of seasonal themes, plus a little creativity, this activity can be everyone's favorite.

    Body Bowling
    This is another popular event in which with care even more severely involved students can participate safely. In this activity, the student rolls his/her body into bowling pins, or plastic pins, trying to knock down as many as possible within a specified time frame. Students who cannot roll independently can have help to do so. Feel free to use a mat for comfort. For the most severe disabilities, a student can lie supine and turn his/her head toward the pins. This often facilitates extension of the limbs on this side (due to the asymmetric tonic neck reflex which is often present in children with neurologic deficits), which can then reach the pins to knock over.

    Barrel Rolling
    Students love crawling into a barrel (often a hollow round or hexagonal mat). The teacher and/or classmates can carefully, slowly, push (roll) each other around. This is a vigorous and stimulating experience for all.
    Haunted House (play fort, club house or whatever). Children love to crawl, roll, or scooter board under a table with sheets hanging down to hide or briefly gather with their peers to plot their next activity. Simply put, hang some sheets from a table, call the game what you wish, and the children will be attracted to it like a magnet. They may problem solve their own ways of being able to locomote themselves to it­­variations are endless.
    Last edited by Angelmum; 17-06-2009 at 12:13 PM.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

  13. #13
    Moderator Angelmum's Avatar
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    Re: Info, Tips or Resources to SHARE

    Savings account for our Special child

    I wanted to get a savings acc for gal at POSB but they said I cant since gal of special needs. They refused to let me open a savings acc w/o a legal document.... this happened months back. I thot I wont have any chance to get gal a savings or trust acc and regreted not getting her one when she's still a baby... ppl cant tell she's a special child.

    Today, went OCBC and UOB to try my luck ... totally no problem... they dont even need my gal to be present nor require court document.

    Lucky I didnt gonggong so court apply a legal document that can easily make me part with $2000.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

  14. #14
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    A S$30-million boost for special needs education to expand intake

    A S$30-million boost for special needs education to expand intake

    04:46 AM Sep 13, 2011
    SINGAPORE - In a nod to the growing demand for quality education for children with special needs, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be looking to boost capacity and quality of education in this sector.

    First flagged by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally, Education Minister lucky Swee Keat provided the details yesterday, announcing that the ministry will be setting aside S$30 million for refurbishment and infrastructure upgrading of three special education (SPED) schools to expand their intake.

    The expanded capacity will also reduce the waiting time for enrolment into an appropriate SPED school.

    Pathlight School will see an increase of 300 places by the end of 2013 and Metta School will take in 150 more students from 2013, while Delta Senior School will be moving to its purpose-built premises next year, which features more vocational training facilities in line with its curriculum.

    Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Sim Ann is also leading a review of the SPED sector to enhance pathways for professional development of teachers and outline clear goals for the schools to ensure that the time spent by students in the school is worthwhile.

    Ms Sim, who has visited five SPED schools since the review began in June, said some concerns raised include retention of teachers and having specific outcomes for the pupils.

    Given the different types of needs, "we need to be very clear on what is their end goal for their time in school … We also want to make sure that resources are very properly focused in helping them achieve the best they can be", she said.

    While the attrition rate for SPED school teachers is comparable to that of mainstream school teachers - which stands at about 3 per cent - she acknowledged the importance of having a supportive environment for teachers to acquire skills and knowledge to fulfil their passions.

    The review, which is expected to be completed next year, will also look at special needs children in mainstream schools.

    Ms Sim noted that there has been demand for Pathlight's curriculum, which caters to autistic students who are able to cope with mainstream syllabus, and there is also potential demand for the vocational training, such as those provided by Metta and Delta Senior School.

    Mr lucky, who spoke to the media yesterday after a visit to Pathlight School, said that there is still available capacity among the 20 SPED schools here but more could be done to help children with special needs.

    He said that this requires a "many helping hands approach" involving the schools, employers and the community as "the needs of students with special needs are very diverse and complex (and) it is not something that schools alone can deliver".

    On the MOE's measures, parent Diane Wong, who has a four-year-old son with autism, said: "Detailing outcomes in SPED schools will enable the curriculum to be well-tailored and allow parents to be assured of the educational pathways for their children."

    But she added that unlike mainstream schools, "there needs to be more room for allowance so as to not create an overly stressful environment for the families".

    Meanwhile, more than 100 students have benefitted from the MOE-NCSS Financial Assistance Scheme for students from low-income families in SPED schools, launched in April this year.

    The MOE said the coverage of the scheme will also be looked at under the review led by Ms Sim.
    Angelman Syndrome Rare Genetic - deletion of Chromosome 15

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelmum View Post

    When parents have a child with disabilities, one of the most important questions they ask themselves is, "What is going to happen to my child when I am no longer here?" A parent has the right to be concerned given the fact that how they leave their assets after death can greatly affect the quality of life for their child.

    Many parents may be under the false assumption that it is not necessary to create an estate plan because their assets are so minimal. The truth is, often times we may have more in assets than we realize and that some may only be important after death. An example of this would be life insurance, a large cash asset available only upon the death of a parent. Therefore, regardless of your financial position, estate planning can be critical to your child's future.

    A key part of estate planning for your child's future is writing a will. The object of the will is to ensure that your assets are disseminated to the appropriate people. If at death you have no will, your property will be dispersed according to the law.

    Writing a will is often as easy as putting your wishes on paper. However, when you have a special needs child, it is unwise to do so without the assistance of an attorney. Personally, I have not approached a lawyer. I think a will has to be updated so making a visit to see the lawyer won't be once or twice in a lifetime.

    The last thing to consider is how to ensure that your child is being taken care of, in a manner that is acceptable to you, after your death. I wonder verbal family discussion about my intention/plans would have any legal binding. Example, I hope that if I'm gone, little money will be spent on a dead person (me). I rather leave the money to my beloved and living kins. Also, if I need to rely on life machine, coma or undergone operation that has minimal chance of recovery, I rather not waste the money.
    Is really very true. I started to get worry if so happen that both of us (My husband and I) happen in an accident and neither of us survive. What will happen to our girl? If you think individual WILL is not necessary, my point of view. @ least has a WILL for in event of both parents are not around. What will happen to our living children? Who is going to look after them? Our Assets what will happen? GUESS what! A simple WILL do not required a lawyer! http://www.lawsociety.org.sg/forPubl...kingaWill.aspx
    Find out more from this website.
    Will Writing Service | SimplyWills
    Last edited by piglet_kfc; 10-12-2012 at 04:40 PM. Reason: Add additional Info

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    Happen to know the websites that sells ST and OT stuff
    Therapy Resources

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