Parents of children living with Autism face unique challenges during COVID-19 restrictions

Published by: WBTV
Written by: Amanda Foster

Families everywhere are facing new challenges involved with suddenly teaching kids from home.It is a total shift in routine and a big adjustment for many families, and a unique challenge for parents of children who live with Autism.Lori Price’s dining room looks like many others right now – papers strewn across the table, kids learning from home because of COVID-19.But the reality for this Gastonia mom is that setting up learning experiences for her kids can be a little different than it is for others.“We’re in a time right now where everything’s different, and it’s not working for these kids,” Price says.Her 8-year-old son Damien lives with autism, and her 11-year-old daughter Alex with ADHD. With children who experience challenges with changes in routine, it makes a big shift like this difficult. “Right now, we are far from routine,” she says. “Every day, it’s something’s changing.” Click here to read the ret of the story

Coronavirus Ireland: Being stuck at home is extra stressful for autistic people says Adam Harris CEO of AsIAm

Published by: Irish Mirror
Written by; Marguerite Kiely

The Covid-19 crisis has brought uncertainty into all our lives, with our day-to-day routine severely disrupted.

The autistic community, however, is particularly vulnerable to the huge change, as the loss of structure from their lives can be a source of enormous anxiety and distress.Adam Harris, founder and CEO of AsIAm, has revealed the issues autistic people face at this difficult time and what their parents can do to help.

He explained: “What we have seen over the last few weeks is the complete removal of routine. That’s a real challenge and there is a need to create a new structure as a result.

“For many autistic people going places may be a very important part of their routine. Maybe they go to a certain cafe on a particular day of the week or like to walk in the park every evening.

“All of those opportunities are being removed and it doesn’t just cause upset, it removes the certainty and predictability for the person.” Click here to read the rest of the story.

Special Needs COVID-19 Resources and Information

Hi Everyone, Like most people in the world, the COVID-19 Virus has greatly impacted my own little universe. Living in the epicenter of the virus at last count, almost 4,000 people in my county have tested positive. I too seek ways to live a normal life in these trying times.  Its been very challenging to continue to write articles on special needs with so much is going on in the world.

Looking to see how I can help others during this time, I created COVID-19 virus page which I will continue to add more information as we learn more. I advise you to stay tune to both local news and get regular updates from the CDC as they update on a regular basis. If you are a reader from another County, please check on updates from your government on a regular basis.

Please all stay safe during these trying times, continue to help one another and we will come out from this better and stronger.

 

Articles on what you need to know about the COVID-19 Virus:

CDC

CNET.Com

RWJ Barnabas Health

Washington Post

UNICEF- What parents should know

CDC Resources

Cases in the United States

Community and Faith Based Leaders

How to prepare

Guidance for Schools and Childcare Programs

Travel

The following are free social stories on Teachers Pay Teachers Must have a log on account):

COVID-19 No Print Social Story

COVID 19 and Social distancing Story

COVID 19 Social Narrative

Social Narrative for Autism

The following links and information comes  from the U.S. Education Department. Check for updated information:

Additional Resources for Higher Education Institutions:

Schools should continue promoting everyday disease prevention strategies:

  • If you are sick, stay home from school.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are already sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the crook of your arm.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Consult this web page for further guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.

Schools can share relevant CDC fact sheets to help students, families, and staff understand COVID-19 along with steps they can take to protect themselves:

COVID-19 and Special Needs

Best practices in using telemedicine for ADHD during the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus and Anxiety

How to help a child with autism adjust

Supporting families through COVID-19

Handwashing

CDC- Handwashing Training and Education-Includes lessons and activities for all ages including a 30-page PDF and age appropriate handwashing curriculum.

Free Printables– Activities from nourishinteractive.com, includes handwashing worksheets, lesson plans and a math sequencing worksheet that teaches the important steps to good handwashing techniques.

Kids Handwashing Coloring Page– Developed by Lancaster County Health Department including 2 coloring pages and instructions on how to wash your hands properly.

Teach-nology- A lesson plan for kids pre-school age which discusses germs and how germs make people sick.

Why We Wash Our Hands– From Florida Health Department for children ages 3-41/2. The lesson educates children on how to prevent common health problems by developing handwashing skills.

The following articles are links to articles specific to handwashing and the COVID-19 virus:

CDC- Handwashing and Prevention

Family Doctor

UNICEF

USAToday

The following are worksheets to keep your little ones busy during this time:

Identify Money Freebie

Free Printable Money WorkSheets

Free Skip Counting by 5″s Worksheet

 

Getting Self Help With ADHD

Published by: ADHD Man of DistrAction
Written by: Kelly Babcock

I’ve had ADHD all my life, I guess. Though, of course, when I was younger it would have been harder to detect, since both childhood and ADHD are afflictions denoted by being not completely developed yet.

The first sad thing about that statement is that it makes people think that we are childish.

The second, but bigger sad thing about that statement is that the childish thing is, though damned insulting, also accurate.

I mean, technically, of course.

Truth of it …

There is a freedom of spirit that comes with ADHD that we enjoy and that others are attracted to. We attract people because we are fun and somewhat exciting to be around.

Life is not dull around us. A person with ADHD can be a vortex of activity, a tornado of plans and schemes and attempts at instant gratification, and impetuous sudden decisions to have fun in yet another way.

All of these things are exactly why children have so much fun. Click here to read the rest of the story

 

Many doctors aren’t addressing safe sex, driver readiness with teens who have a history of ADHD

Published by: Philly Voice
Written by: Tracey Romero

Primary care doctors need to more closely monitor the health risks of teenagers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, particularly in regard to two classic teenage thrills – driving and sex, researchers say.

Children diagnosed with ADHD before age 10 are at increased risk for sexually-transmitted diseases and car accidents, previous research has shown. But a new Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia study found that only 1 in 2 teens with a history of ADHD receives a safe sex talk from their doctor. And far fewer discuss their readiness to drive. “Although doctors do a good job screening for many behavioral health risks, like suicide risk and depression, we need to be more aware of the dangers associated with driving and sexual health,” said Thomas Power, director of CHOP’s Center for Management of ADHD.

“For example, our previous research shows teens with ADHD are more likely to be involved in a car accident particularly in the first month after receiving their driver’s license, so this is definitely an issue that should be discussed with our patients.” Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

Dancing with a purpose: Woman with down syndrome teaches dance class

Published by: Fox News
Written by: Meg Gatto

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – The young dancers at the Martha Mayer School of Dance perfect their craft, nailing every step along the way. While the goal is to blend in with the team, there’s one person in the sea of black leotards who stands out because of what she’s had to overcome to get there. 21-year old Tess Landry is an assistant dance instructor at the Martha Mayer School of Dance. She also has down syndrome. “I love to dance so much and it makes me so happy and i just feel something in my heart from it,” said Landry. Tess’ mother, Angel Landry, said that enrolling her at the Martha Mayer School of Dance 18 years ago was a gamble and that they didn’t know if it would even work. Gina Iserman, co-owner of the School of Dance, however, said that Tess is just like everyone else. Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

Self- Injurious Behavior Resources

Working with individuals- both children and adults diagnosed with self-injurious behaviors can be challenging at the very least. Some examples of self-injurious behaviors include head banging, handbiting, and excessive scratching. There are many reasons why a student or individual may cause self-injurious behaviors including the inability to communicate needs, the environment, sensory issues and physiological issues. The following are articles on identifying cause of self-injury and ways to prevent it.

Autism, head banging and other self-harming behaviors– Autism Parenting

3 techniques to stop self-injurious behavior of children with autism– Steinberg Behavior Solutions

6 Strategies for Addressing Self-Injurious Behaviors– Wonderbaby

Effective evidence-based strategies to minimize self-injurious behaviors in young children with autism- CSUSB Scholarworks

Essential guide to self-injurious behavior and autism– Research Autism

Head banging, self-injury and aggression in autism– Treat Autism

Self-injurious behavior in people with developmental disabilities-crisis prevention.com

Self-injury in patients with intellectual disabilities- Nursing2020

Understanding and treating self-injurious behavior– Autism Research Institute

Understanding self-injury among autistic individuals- Good Therapy

 

Understanding and Treating Self-Injurious Behavior

Understanding and Treating Self-Injurious Behavior

Mothers of Children With CP Say Depression, Fatigue Hurt Quality of Life, Study Finds

Published by: Cerebral Palsy News Today
Written by: Charlotte Baker

Depression, burden of care, and fatigue all hamper quality of life for mothers of children with cerebral palsy (CP), a study found.

A “holistic approach” including training in managing children with CP along with “psychological interventions” would improve quality of life for these mothers, the researchers said.

The study, “Factors associated with quality of life among mothers of children with cerebral palsy,” was published in the International Journal of Nursing Practice. 

Researchers in Iran asked mothers to complete a series of questionnaires to evaluate the impact of fatigue, depression, and burden of care on their quality of life (QoL).

“The burden of caregiving can adversely affect the physical, psychosocial, and mental health of caregivers, leading to poor quality of care and unmet patient need,” the researchers said. Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

Teaching Children and Adults with Rare Diseases

February 28th is the official day of bringing awareness to rare diseases. According to the National Institutes of Health, in the United States, a rare disease is defined as a condition that affects fewer than 200,000 people. Definition of rare disease vary from country to county. In Europe affect 1in 2,000 people and in Canada, more than 3.5 million or 10percent of the population are diagnosed with a rare disease.

Facts You Should Know About Rare Diseases

  • There are over 300 million people living with one or more of over 6,000 identified rare diseases around the world
  • Each rare disease may only affect a handful of people but taken together directly affected is equivalent to the population of the world’s third largest country.
  • rare diseases currently affect 3.5%-5.9% of the worldwide population.
  • 72% of rare diseases are genetic while others are the result of infections.(bacterial or viral).
  • 70% of those genetic diseases start in childhood
  • About 30 million people or 1 in 10 people in the United States are affected by a rare disease
  • 95% of rare diseases do not have FDA-approval treatment.

Most children diagnosed with rare diseases are more than likely to also exhibit some form of learning disabilities including intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, speech and motor issues. Also, you may find in addition to an intellectual disabilities, students may also have medical issues including epilepsy and ongoing medical concerns.

While it is impossible to know and remember all of the signs and symptoms of rare diseases, the key is to teaching students based on their level of development. The following are useful teaching strategies when teaching students diagnosed with a rare disease:

  1. Teaching should include using multisensory teaching strategies by engaging students on multiple levels by encouraging students to use their senses. This is done by utilizing learning that includes visual (text, pictures, flash cards), auditory (music, songs),tactile (textured items, clay), kinesthetic (games, movement activities), taste ( cooking activities).
  2. Use concrete items and give examples
  3. Use hands on material as much as possible
  4. Break longer, new task into smaller task. Use task analysis.
  5. In some instances, children may have tactile and sensory issues.Signs include over and under reacting to pain, avoiding messy textures, picky eaters, and reacting to loud and sudden noises. Strategies include using a sensory diet and create activities using play doh or silly putty.

The following are articles and links to further information on rare diseases found in this blog:

Aicardi Syndrome– A rare genetic disorder that occurs in 1 in 105,000 to 167,000 newborns in the United states and occurs exclusively in females. People with Aicardi Syndrome often have undeveloped tissue which connects the left and right halves of the brain.

Angelman Syndrome– A genetic disorder that affects the nervous system. Characteristics include developmental delays, intellectual disabilities and speech impairments.

Chromosome 22q11.2 (DiGeorge Syndrome)- a rare disorder that is caused by deletion in chromosome 22 located specifically in the middle of the chromosome in the area. It affects 1 out of 4,000 births. Symptoms include developmental delays, poor muscle tone, learning development and feeding issues.

Cri Du Chat– A rare genetic disorder that results when a piece of the 5p Chromosome is deleted. Characteristics include intellectual disability, hyperactivity, and developmental delay.

Dravet Syndrome– A rare form of epilepsy found in children. Symptoms include developmental delays, sleeping conditions, and chronic infections.

Duchenne Muscular– Occurs in 1 out of 3,600 male infants and is characterized by progressive muscle degeneration. early signs include muscle weakness in the hips, pelvic area, thighs and shoulder affecting delayed motor skills, sitting and walking.

Landau Kleffner– Characterized by the gradual or sudden loss of language in children between the ages of 5 and 7.

Lowe Syndrome– Is a rare genetic disorder that affects the eyes, brain and kidneys. It has a prevalence of 1 in 500,000 and mainly affects males.

Prader Willi– A genetic disorder resulting from an abnormality of chromosome 15. It is found in 1 in 20,000 births affecting both sexes. It is also the most common recognized genetic form of obesity.

Rett Syndrome– A neurodevelopmental disorder occurring mostly in females in which the child exhibits reduce muscle tone, and autistic-like behaviors including hand movements consisting of wringing and waving. It is a rare disorder that affects about 1 out of 10,000 children.

Williams Syndrome– A rare disorder with a prevalence of 1 in 7,500 to 20,000 caused by the deletion of genetic material from chromosome 7. Signs and symptoms include moderate intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities.

 

Don’t leave employees with dyspraxia out in the cold

Published by: Real Business Company
Written by: Annie May Noonan

he fact that a dyspraxia sufferer isn’t easy to define makes the job of being understood and supported difficult for those with the condition – and I would know.

I was diagnosed with dyspraxia and dyscalculia at the age of eight after my physical balance and concentration levels suddenly, and very rapidly, deteriorated.

From the outside, I made the transition from my junior to ‘senior’ school as an atypical student, able to play sport and complete both writing tasks and times-tables well. My inability to dress or pack my school bag myself didn’t seem like a big issue until I suddenly could no longer retain my balance and started walking into doors, and falling down flights of stairs. I also developed problems writing and was unable to sit on a chair properly.

After my dual diagnosis, my frustrations around the difficulties I was experiencing lessened. I felt a sense of calm and clarity in the fact I had a condition, and could now learn strategies to make living with it less stressful. After seeing an occupational therapist for a year, I was able to manage my condition, however, my dyspraxia hasn’t gone away. Click here to read the rest of the story/