January is Braille Literacy Month. Invented by Louis Braille, at the age of 15 years old while attending the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris. Braille lost his sight during a childhood accident at the age of 4. Braille is not a language, rather it is a code that uses symbols formed within units of space that consists of six raised dots , 2 across and 3 down.
The term “neurodiversity” was first pioneered in the late 1990’s by two forward-thinking individuals: journalist Harvey Blume and autism advocate Judy Singer. Blume and Singer both believed that the ‘Neurologically Different’ deserve their own political category, standing alongside the familiar ones of class, gender, and race and working to augment the rights and redefine common perceptions of the neurodiverse.
It was Blume and Singer’s wish to see the neurodiverse perceived in light of their strengths as well as their weaknesses. They noted, for example, that those with dyslexia often show above-average visual thinking abilities and entrepreneurial knack. Those with ADHD have a penchant for creative problem solving on the fly. They are typically very imaginative and excel in holistic problem processing that is based on imagination rather than working memory. People on the autism spectrum often show an unusual affinity for mathematics and computer programming. Those who struggle with mental illness, though their challenges may be many, often come up with unique and insightful ways to cope, and frequently exhibit heightened creativity. Click here to read the rest of the story
Stress and anxiety is a normal part of life for many people, including children. Children, like adults can struggle with intense feelings of frustration and anxiety leading to challenges in cognition, academic performance, managing emotions, building resiliency, etc. Anxiety in can children diminishes their intellectual, emotional and social development, as well as physical health. Increased stress and anxious behavior in children can be associated with parent’s divorce, abuse, biological sensitivity, personality, stress in school, self or parent inflicted pressure, death of a loved one, significant/abrupt familial changes, rigid schedule, etc.
Anxious feelings do not exist in a vacuum, anyone can experience stressful and anxious feelings, even children who are often overlooked. As with adults, children respond differently to stress depending on their age, individual personalities, and coping skills. When it comes to anxiety in children, very young children may not be able to fully explain or understand their feelings, whereas older kids may be able to express what they are feeling and why they are feeling it. Children struggling with anxiety often struggle with low self-esteem, self-doubt, and difficulty building and establishing social relationships. Children that do not develop the skills to appropriately manage frustrations and anxiety or develop maladaptive coping skills will experience difficulty with building self-confidence. Children that develop healthy coping skills exhibit a higher rate of self-confidence, increased social and self-control skills, have better management and control of their mood, communicate their needs more effectively, perform better in school than peers struggling with decreased confidence, etc. Click here for the rest of the story
Our 2018 disability awareness month article blog is here
Awareness campaigns serve the purpose of informing and educating people on a certain causes. Each year, the number of special needs organizations bringing awareness to specific disabilities and disorders seems to grow. Awareness activities range from one day to a month.
Here is a calendar of major special needs awareness months, weeks, and days. Most websites include awareness toolkits, promotional materials and fact sheets.
The autism spectrum is very large. If you think of it as a rainbow (or a bell curve), you’ll note that there’s an awful lot of the spectrum that is at neither one end nor the other — but somewhere in the middle.
At this point in history, we don’t have good information to tell us whether MOST people on the autism spectrum are “somewhere in the middle,” but it is clear that the lion’s share of media attention goes to folks at the high and the low ends of the spectrum — that is, the profoundly disabled and the very high functioning. Please click here to read the rest of the story.