Teaching children at home during a pandemic can add to an already long list of things to do

Published by: Journal Pioneer
Written by: David Wong

I am having a tough time in the last few weeks, being stuck at home with our two children because of the pandemic. Don’t get me wrong, I love them dearly; but it is hard to deal with them all day, doing home-schooling and keeping up with my work.

Our younger son is in Grade 2; his teachers have suggested he needs to see his doctor. He has been very disruptive in class since Grade 1, but I thought the teachers were inexperienced and couldn’t handle his hyperactivity. Now I can see how frustrating it is to teach him. He is bright, but he can’t pay attention and gets distracted by anything around him.

Our 10-year-old daughter is very argumentative, and she knows how to push her brother’s buttons. They are constantly fighting. When I talked to my mom, she reminded me that my brother and I were the same growing up. Both of us were diagnosed with ADHD. Apparently, I took medicine for a short time and lost weight, so my parents stopped it.

School was a huge struggle for me. My older brother was worse and took medicine until he was a teenager. He is now addicted to drugs and alcohol. My parents blamed the medicine for his addiction. Is there anything that I can do to help our children other than medicine? Click here to read the rest of the story


Summer Sensory Activities

June 20th mark the first day of summer. In many places with Covid-19 still looming around, summer fun may be limited but still there is always an opportunity to create sensory activities. the following links below are some suggestions. Some of the links show ways to create sensory bins using different themes. Enjoy and stay safe.

5 summer sensory activities

10 awesome summer sensory play activities

10 washing activities summer sensory play ideas

17 cool summer sensory activities that help kids

Ideas for summer sensory play

Must-try summer sensory activities

Sensory Summer

Spring and summer sensory bins

Summer Sensory Bins

Summer sensory play ideas for kids with ice and water

Woman is the first person with Down syndrome to graduate from Rowan University

Published by: The Denver Channel
Written by: Kyle Hicks

Anna Rose Rubright is blazing trails for countless others.

The 24-year-old woman has become the first person with Down syndrome to graduate from New Jersey’s Rowan University.

Rubright received her bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film earlier this month, achieving her lifelong goal of graduating from a four-year college.

It wasn’t an easy road though. After graduating high school in 2014, Rubright first earned an associate’s degree from a community college in 2017 and then transferred to Rowan. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Mom, Being Separated From Sons With Autism Is Tough During Pandemic

Published by: WABE
Written by: Susanna Capelouto

Judith Steuber of Kennesaw has two sons with autism who live in separate local group homes. They’re in their 30s.

Christopher, the older one, has significant autism. He can read some words and has an aversion to numbers of any kind, Judith said.

“If you ask him how old he is, he’ll say 5, although he is 35, and he’s been saying he’s 5 ever since he’s was 5,” she said.

But Christopher is able to understand what germs are and seems to adjust to the changes the coronavirus pandemic has brought to his routine.

Jeremy, her younger son, has more severe autism, is almost nonverbal and has a hard time with the new norm of living in a pandemic.

Before COVID-19 forced people to “shelter in place,” Judith was able to take her sons home on the weekends.

“But since the pandemic, of course, we’ve not been able to pick them up,” she said.

Jeremy is unable to comprehend what is going on. Click here to read the rest of the story

Autism center uses modified face mask to better serve kids

Published by: WISH.TV
Written by: Katiera Winfrey

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — Wearing a face mask can create some challenges for people who rely on facial expressions to better communicate. Cornerstone Autism Center is modifying their masks in order to help children with autism.

For many of the kids, they wouldn’t be able to get the quality service if the staff wore a traditional face mask. But with a specialized mask with a clear plastic covering around the mouth, they are able to do it.

Kids who attend Cornerstone Autism Center are full of energy and smiles. The only difference is some need to see the hands and faces of others to communicate.

“American Sign Language is made up of head movements and facial expressions that really make up the linguistics structure of American Sign Language. When our faces are blocked it can completely change the meaning of a sign,” said Stephanie Dille-Huggins. Click here to read the rest of the story.

What can people with autism teach businesses about social distancing? Jefferson Center gathering answers

Published by: Philadelphia Business Group
Written by: John George

While some people on the autism spectrum are struggling with the pandemic, a subset of that group — for whom a socially distant world is ideally suited — is actually thriving.

Dr. Wendy Ross is hoping members of that subset can provide advice for people having difficulties adjusting to workplace and environment changes that have occurred during the Covid-19 outbreak.

“There is a lot to be learned from some people on the spectrum about remote learning and remote interactions,” said Ross, director of the Jefferson Center for Austim and Neurodiversity. “I would not wish Covid on the world, to be clear, but this is an opportunity for people who have traditionally been seen as different, or people who are seen as needing to learn how to be social. Here is an opportunity for them to be the educators and the leaders. It’s a role-reversal.” Click here to read the rest of the story

Surge in Telemedicine One “Good” Outcome From COVID-19 Crisis, Doctors Say

Published By: Cerebral Palsy News Today
Written By: Grace Frank

While there are few silver linings to the cloud created by COVID-19, the pandemic that has killed tens of thousands, hobbled economies worldwide and drove millions to quarantine in their homes, one may be a new appreciation of telemedicine.

“If something good could come out of this crisis, it’s that we would learn how valuable telehealth could be to our community,” said Steven Shook, a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Shook specializes in neuromuscular disorders such as Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and amyloid lateral sclerosis (ALS), and in polyneuropathy. Click here to read the rest of the story

Autism Researchers Adapt Studies For a Socially Distant World

Published by: Spectrum
Written by: Laura Dattaro

When the coronavirus pandemic first forced universities and labs to close, research teams raced to save their work and adjust to a socially distant world. Now, weeks into the crisis, many scientists are moving their investigations to virtual and online formats, a shift that may bring lasting changes to autism research.

Some researchers are adapting existing studies to the new realities. Others are initiating entirely new projects that can be conducted remotely, including some related to the pandemic.

Antonio Hardan’s team switched gears after closing a laboratory preschool that serves autistic children and suspending at-home therapy visits. Hardan, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University in California, seized the opportunity to launch a previously planned study. The study is intended to evaluate the effectiveness of remotely training parents to use a therapy called pivotal response treatment (PRT), which helps minimally verbal autistic children communicate1.

The team had been running a small uncontrolled trial on remote PRT for the previous two years. In August, Hardan and his collaborator, Grace Gengoux, received institutional review board approval to conduct a larger, controlled trial. Click here to read the rest of the story.

UN Calls for Better Protection for Those with Disabilities During Pandemic

Published By: Disability Scoop
Written By: Michelle Diament

Governments should consider several steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities, including removing individuals from institutions and granting testing priority, according to guidance from the United Nations.

In an 11-page document issued this week, the U.N. Human Rights Office said that countries and other stakeholders ought to do more to address the needs of people with disabilities who are being inordinately affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“People with disabilities not only face greater risks from COVID-19, they also are disproportionately affected by response measures, including lockdowns. To address this double risk, we need to be engaging persons with disabilities in the COVID-19 response, and adapting plans to address their needs,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. Click here to read the rest of the story

We are alone in this together

Published by: Cerebral Palsy News
Written by: Briana Beaver

“This pandemic is really working for you,” my mom said, half-jokingly. She nor I never could have imagined that over the course of only weeks, society would rearrange itself into a more Briana-friendly place. The “awkward” social necessities characteristic of my interactions with others have now become the norm.

For years, I have received critical looks upon entering a public space wearing a mask. When I would ask people not to stand close to me, to refrain from touching me because of my immunocompromised state, people would look at me strangely. Trying to explain to others that I have been isolated in my home because of environmental health triggers has been met with skepticism. Suddenly, social distancing and quarantining have become the rule, not the exception.

The ability of society to reorganize with warp speed is something to behold. The countless years during which I attempted to legitimize my health needs and requisite social arrangements have felt fruitless. I’ve lost friends and watched sprouting relationships fade into the background because others could not understand my life. The cultural repercussions of the pandemic are providing us with a unique opportunity not only to legitimize the various needs of those with chronic health conditions and disabilities, but also to increase awareness about the flexibility of humanity. Click here to read the rest of the story.