Helping Children Understand Person First Language


Pubished by: ASD
Written By: Nicole Dezarn

Person first language is an important ethical matter often discussed in the field of special education and disability advocacy. The idea that the important descriptor for a person is not their disability but that the disability is something that the person has is fundamental in framing the mindset that having a disability doesn’t mean that a person is less or incapable of success. It can be challenging enough to broach this subject with adults but how do we help children to understand what person first language means and why it is so important? I felt it might be helpful to share an approach with which I have had success. Click here to read the rest of the story

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Choking Prevention for People with Developmental Disabilities

Children and adults with developmental disabilities have a higher risk of choking compared to the general population.

Risk Factors Include:

Some medical conditions that increase a person’s risk of choking are:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Seizure disorders
  • Neurological and muscular disorders
  • Down Syndrome
  • Brain Injury
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Inability to swallow certain food textures and liquids
  • Medication side effects which decrease voluntary muscles
  • Dysphasia (difficulty swallowing)

Other contributing factors include:

Eat or drink too fast

Have poor posture when eating

Swallow non-edible objects (PICA)

The following foods put people at greater risk:

  • Hotdogs served whole
  • Hard candy
  • Popcorn
  • Sandwiches
  • Broccoli
  • Raw carrots
  • Nuts

Teaching Material on Choking

Arizona Department of Economic Security

Eunice Kennedy Shriver-Dysphasia, Aspiration and Choking

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

New York State Choking Prevention Resources

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

State Agencies Choking Alerts

Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

Minnesota Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities 

New Jersey Health and Safety Alert Choking

Resources on Teaching Scissor Skills

One of the ways to improve fine motor skills is helping children and adults develop cutting skills also help with pre-writing skills and pencil control. Below are resources that will help in developing and teaching scissor skills.

Cutting Skill Development

2 years- snips with scissors

2.5 years- Cuts across a 6-inch piece of paper

3.5 years- Cuts along a 6-inch line

4.5 years- Cuts out a circle

6-7 years- Cuts a variety of shapes and pictures.

Resources on Teaching Scissor Skills

5 easy ways to introduce scissor skills

How to teach a child to use scissors

How to use scissors

Scissor cutting skills: Why they are important

Teaching kids how to use scissors

Teaching preschoolers to use scissors

The importance of teaching your child how to use scissors

Tips for teaching scissor cutting skills

Practice Scissor Skills- The following links below include practicing cutting straight lines, curved lines and circles, zig-zag lines and mixed lines.

10-page scissor skills packet (Mama’s Learning Corner)- geared towards preschoolers and kindergartners.

12 free shapes and cutting page (www.mpmideas.com)- geared towards preschool aged children

Construction truck scissor cutting practice sheets (MO & MH)- Kids will practice cutting lines.

Cut, copy and glue for spring (Your Therapy Source)- Free 3-page packet in black and white. Includes a butterfly, ice cream cone and a snail.

Free cutting and coloring pack (Tot Schooling)- Cutting pack features straight, diagonal, curved and zig zag lines.

House scissor practice (Teaching Station)- Download free worksheets. Includes shapes of circles, squares, triangles, and rectangulars.

Printable preschool cutting busy box (Fun with Mama)- post includes ways to teach kids how to use scissors and develop cutting skills

Rocket scissor practice (Teaching Station)- Kids will practice cutting and pasting shapes to make a rocket.

Snake spiral worksheet (www.education.com)- Kids can both color and cut out the spiral design.

Trolls, hair-cutting (Tot Schooling Net)- Several different levels of difficulties.

Shopping Center Teaching Activities For Children and Adults With Special Needs

Shopping Centers (or malls as we call them in North America) provide a great way for customers to walk from one store to another without the hassles of having to leave one store in order to go into another. Through the years, Shopping centers  have added on movie theatres, arcades, and food eateries. This has led to a variety of ways of teaching children and adults with disabilities a number of skills.

 

Money Management.

Increasing money skills can be used in almost all areas of a shopping mall. Opportunities include stores such as banking, clothing , restaurants, etc. examples of items to teach include:

  • Will identify coins
  • Will identify money
  • Will count change
  • Will create a budget
  • will fill out deposit slip
  • Will fill out a withdrawal slip
  • Will use an ATM
Sensory

A shopping center provides a low-cost and effective way of arousing more of  more of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch). Yankee Candle offers candles with a variety of fragrances including apple pumpkin, apple spice, beachwood, black cherry, etc.  Bath and Body Works also provides samples for both olfactory (smell) and touch. Samples of fragrances include lotions, cream, massage oils and fragrance mist. Window shopping is an additional opportunity to enhance visual cues with teaching a number of basic skills.  Other places include day spas, massage chairs and nail salons. Examples of sensory teaching activities include:

Window Shopping (Visual)
  • Will describe the color of the outfits
  • Will identify which items cost the most
  • Will describe how many of the outfits are the same, different
  • Will describe the various shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangular)
  • Will count the number of items in the window
Olfactory (Smell)
  • Will identify a good smell
  • Will identify a bad smell
  • Will identify the smell (i.e. smells like apples)
Tactile (Touch)
  • Will identify the object
  • Will tolerate hand massage
  • Will touch the object
  • Will describe the shape of the object

***  Be mindful some children and adults may have sensory processing issues and can be oversensitive to sights, textures, flavors and smells.

Social Skills

Teaching social skills involves communication, decision-making, self-management and relationship building. Locations in a shopping center to develop these skills includes, eatery and restaurants, banks, department stores and movie theatres. Samples of teaching social skills includes:

  • Will greet the store associate
  • Will say thank you
  • When promoted, will ask for help
  • Will wait patiently
  • Will make eye contact
  • Will use appropriately voice tone
Teaching Prompts

A few guidelines in teaching new skills:

  • Teach a new skill at least 2-3 times. The shopping center allows multiple opportunities to work on a number of skills including money management, and social skills.
  • Allow the person to think for themselves use prompt levels to help navigate levels of independence: Independent, verbal, gestural and physical.
  • Allow for real choice-making. Choice is more realistic when it involves at least 3 items or more. Choosing a new outfit or an item from a menu are perfect examples.
  • Always remember to praise!

 

 

June Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the June article links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of June on special needs and developmental disability topics. Enjoy!

8 activities for your preschooler with cerebral palsy (Cerebral Palsy News Today)

8 tips for wheelchair travel on an airplane (Cerebral Palsy News Today)

10 benefits of jigsaw puzzles for people with special needs (Autism Parenting Magazine)

20 tips on employment for students with disabilities( The Inclusion Lab)

25 sensory hacks for kids for vestibular and proprioceptive input (AndNextComesL)

At airports, making travel easier for autistic passengers (New York Times)

Epilepsy and Exercise (Epilepsy Foundation)

Helping your child with special needs develop empathy (Friendship Circle)

Kids with cerebral palsy take to yoga (The Times of India)

From tragic death, a law to safeguard people with developmental disabilities (Philly.com)

Let’s talk about the fidget spinner craze (Neurodivergent Rebel)

Parents of those with disabilities fear deportation (Disability Scoop)

Simple ways sensory-based intervention can change your ASD child’s life (Autism Parenting Magazine)

Sleep strategies for teens with autism: A guide for parents (Autism Speaks)

The difficulties that get overlooked when your autistic child is verbal (FaithMummy)

When a parent and child has ADHD (HuffPost)

When the brain can’t hear: Auditory Processing Disorder (Sensory Spectrum)

Maternal Anxiety and Depression May Affect the Quality of Life of Children with Cerebral Palsy

Mother’s Anxiety or Depression Affects Her Child’s Quality of Life, Study Suggests
Source: Cerebral Palsy News Today

A new study suggests that maternal anxiety and depression may affect the quality of life of children with cerebral palsy (CP).

The study, “Impact of Symptoms of Maternal Anxiety and Depression on Quality of Life of children with Cerebral Palsy,” was recently published in the journal Archives of Neuropsychiatry.

CP is a leading cause of physical disability.  A heterogenous condition, it causes motor and sensory impairment, negatively affecting quality of life (QOL). However, that QOL in CP patients is multidimensional, and can be affected by other variables, including the person’s specific type of CP, cognitive function, and other medical disorders. Click here to read the rest of the story.

World Cerebral Palsy Day

Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day, not just a way to bring awareness, but to create a movement among people with cerebral palsy, their families and the organizations that support them.

Held in over 50 countries, World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day is an opportunity for people to take action by creating a global movement for change.

What can you do?

The goal of World CP Day is to encourage people to take action in six-key areas:

  1. Public awareness- putting an end to ignorance and the stigma it can create.
  2. Civil rights- ensuring that government officials at the local, regional, and national level will take concrete action
  3. Medical/Therapeutic- ensuring the best information for diagnoses, prevention and treatment is available.
  4. Quality of Life- ensuring that people with cerebral palsy find enjoyment and fulfillment in life.
  5. Education- helping all educators provide an education to members of the cerebral palsy community
  6. Contribution- making sure each person has the ability to contribute to society.

Oh, and don’t forget to tweet using the hashtag #WorldCPDay

Resources

cp-poster-what-is
What is cerebral palsy?- Infographic

cp-poster-diagnosis
Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis and Treatment Infographic

Cerebral Palsy History Timeline

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood. About I in 323 children are diagnosed each year. Although more than likely, cerebral palsy has been around for years, it was not until the 19th century that cerebral palsy was given a name. Here are some key events in cerebral palsy history.

cptimeline

1810- Dr. William John Little is credited with first identifying spastic diplegia is born.

1836- Louis Stromeyer corrects John Little’s club foot. This discovery begins a career in understanding and treating childhood impairments.

1843- Dr. William John Little begins lecturing on spastic ridgity.

1853. Dr. William John Little publishes On the Nature and Treatment of the Deformities of the Human Frame.

1861- Dr. William John Little establishes the classic definition of spastic cerebral palsy.

1889- William Osler, one of the founding professors of John Hopkins Hospital, wrote the book, Cerebral Palsies of Children

1937- Herbert A. Everest and Harry Jennings Sr., built a lightweight collapsible wheelchair.

1937- The Children’s Rehabilitation Insitute is founded by Dr. Winthrope Phelps specializing in children with cerebral palsy.

1897- Dr. Freud states cerebral palsy may be caused by fetal development

1946- Cerebral Palsy of New York State founded by parents of children with cerebral palsy.

1948- United Cerebral Palsy is incorporated.

1949- United Cerebral Palsy founded by Leonard Goldenson, his wife Isabel, Nina Eaton and Jack and Ethel Hausman.

2002-  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts first U.S. multi-state study on the prevalence.

10 Speech Therapy Blogs You Should Be Reading

Speech therapy is a key component in the life of a child with a disability. When it comes to speech therapy, there are so many blogs that provide an abundance of resources for other speech therapist, teachers and parents. Finding the right ones however can be a challenge.

speechblog2

The following blogs provide tons of information, resources and tips on speech language topics. Here are 10 speech therapy blogs worth checking out (in no particular order).

Beautiful Speech Life– Creates and develops therapy materials for fellow SLP’s and teachers. This website provides freebies, language materials and quick therapy tips.

Nicole Allison Speech Peeps– This website offers speech language resources on a variety of topics and an evidence-based intervention series.

PediaStaff– A resourceful blog providing informative news information and article blogs from speech language websites.

Simply Speech– A site with freebies and great blog ideas and activities

Speech 2 U- Provides resources, freebies and therapy topics on communication, social language, social language, organization, plus more!

Speechy Musing– Provides speech therapy resources on a variety of topics. Age range includes, birth to 3, elementary school and middle school on the subject of articulation, language and AAC; The site also includes a blog for fellow speech therapist.

Sublime Speech– Provides therapy to children with severe and profound disabilities. Website includes information on apps, articulation, language, materials and social skills

Teach Speech 365. Includes freebies, giveaways and therapy topics.

The Dabbling Speechie– A website for speech and language pathologist and parents offering a variety of resources on articulation, language and social skills.

The Speech Room News– Specializing in pediatric speech and language therapy, Jenna’s site provides resources for speech language pathologists and educators. The website includes free resources, and treatment topics on articulation, social language, preschool and more.

 

26 Great Resources on Special Needs Clothing

Children and adults with disabilities with sensory issues, autism, ADHD, down syndrome and cerebral palsy often find challenges in finding clothing that meets the need of feeling good and appropriate.

25clothing.resources

Challenges may also include difficulties in handling buttons and closures. Here are 25 resources that focus on shoes, outerwear, and adaptive clothing.

Adaptive Clothing

Adaptations By Adrian- Adaptive clothing including side zippers, wide band elastic waist for custom-made capes, wheelchair, pants, shorts adult protectors and cape protecting scarf.

CAPR-Style– Located in the U.K, adaptive clothing for adults and children including feeding tube covers.

Designed By Dignity– Adaptive clothing fashion clothes for men and women.

Down Design Dream– Adapting Clothing for children and adults with special needs

Easy Access Clothing– Adaptive clothing for adults and children.

Professional Fit Clothing– Adaptive clothing for adults and children including adults bibs, clothing protectors and nightware.

Rackety’s- Based in the U.K, products include adaptive clothing for children and adults such as vests, outdoor clothing, and nightwear.

Something Sew Special– Handmade adaptive clothing for children with special needs including bibs, ponchos, bodysuits and bandanas.

Special Kids Companywhere every child should be seen and not hidden!  International provider of bodysuits for older children with special needs including PEG/tube fed children aged 2-14 years old.  Available on all Amazon platforms (.com/.ca/.co.uk/.fr/.de/.es/.it)

Specially For You Inc.– Custom clothing for children with physical disabilities. Products include night wear, dresses, tops, one piece outfits and hooded poncho’s.

Tender Ivy– Onesie garment designed for protecting vulnerable areas.

Wonsie– Based in Australia, products include special needs onesie bodysuits for older children and adults.

Sensory Clothing

Children and adults with sensory processing issues may find it difficult wearing certain types of clothing. The following stores sell items that are for sensitive skin, medically fragile and pressure points.

Cool Vest– products includes children’s cooling vest.

Independent You– Adaptive outerwear, sportswear and sleepwear.

Kozie Clothes– Adaptive medical and sensory clothing for medically fragile and special needs babies and children.

No Netz– Anti-chafe swimwear for boys and men.

SmartKnit Kids– Seamless products for children with sensory issues. Products include, socks, undies, tees and bralettes.

World’s Softest– Socks for sensitive skin

Shoes for AFO’s

The following are stores that sell shoes that fit over orthotics.

Ablegaitor- Orthopedic shoes for children. Can be used without AFO’s.

Hatchbacks– Children’s orthopedic shoes for use with orthotics.

Healthy Feet Store– An online orthopedic shoe and footcare store including AFO’s accommodations.

Keeping Pace– Children’s orthopedic footwear designed for AFO’s.

Shoby Shoes– Custom-made orthopedic shoes and support boots for special needs children

Soft Star Shoes– Will customize shoes to work wit AFO’s and DAFO’s.

Coats for Wheelchairs

Coats for individuals who use wheelchairs  made need special clothing. The following online stores, specialize in adaptive outerwear for children and adults.

Koolway Sports– Based in Ontario, Canada, Koolway Sports items include blankets, hoods, and capes.

Silvert’s– Adaptive clothing for men and women including footwear and wheelchair clothing.

Weighted Vest

Weighed vest can be used for children and adults with autism, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and a sensory processing disorder.

e-Special Needs– provides a selection of weighted vests and clothing

Fun and Function– Includes items such as explorers vest, fleece hoodies and compression vests.