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

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Autism and Wandering Resources (update)

Studies show that nearly half of children with autism attempt to wander off or bolt from a safe supervised place (Autism Speaks). Children with Angleman Syndrome also tend to have an obsession with water and will tend to wander if water is nearby. The following resources includes wandering kits, articles and additional resources on the topic of wandering.

What is Wandering?

When a person, who requires some level of supervision to be safe, leaves a supervised, safe space and/or the care of a responsible person and is expected to potential dangers such as traffic, open water (drowning), falling from a high place , hypothermia, heatstroke, dehydration.

Types of Wandering

  • Goal-Directed Wandering- wandering with the purpose of getting to something ( a place of obsession, water, etc.).
  • Non goal-directed wandering- Wandering with no purpose, random from one place to another.
  • Confusion Wandering-Wandering due to disorientation or confusion.
  • Bolting/fleeing- The act of suddenly running or bolding, usually to quickly get away from something, or in negative reaction to an event, anxiety or stress.
 Facts and Statistics
  • Roughly half, or 49%, of children with an ASD attempt to elope from a safe environment, a rate nearly four times higher than their unaffected siblings.
  • In 2009, 2010, and 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with an ASD ages 14 and younger subsequent to wandering/elopement.
  • More than one third of ASD children who wander/elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number.
  • 32% of parents reported a “close call” with a possible drowning.
  • 40% of parents had suffered sleep disruption due to fear of elopement.
  • half of families with elopers report they never received advice or guidance about elopement from a professional.
Source: Interactive Autism Network research report: Elopement and wandering (2011)
Source: National Autism Association, Lethal Outcomes in ASD Wandering (2012)

Caregivers Information

Autism elopement and wandering kit for families (Parenting Chaos)

Big Red Safety Toolkit (National Autism Association)

28 page toolkit that provides information on preventing wandering. The toolkit includes the following information:

  • Caregiver checklist
  • Family wandering emergency plan
  • swimming lessons tool
  • Root-causes scenario and strategies tool
  • Caregivers log
  • How to get tracking technology in your town.

First Responder Resources

First Responder Checklist– A checklist for first responders developed by the National Autism Association

First Responder Notification Form

First Responder Tips

GPS Tracking Technology

The AngleSense Guardian Kit

  • Comes with a GPS device, embedded SIM card, customized wearables and a magnet key for parents $39.00 monthly service plan.

7 tracking devices to find a lost child with autism (Friendship Circle)

Articles

5 simple ways to prevent wandering in children with autism (Autism Parenting Magazine)

Autism and Wandering (SFGate)

Autism and Wandering: How ABA can help keep kids safe. (HuffPost Parents)

Teaching safety skills to children with autism (Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland)

The autism epidemic that can no longer be ignored (HuffPost Parents)

Wandering: A hazard for more than a third of kids with autism (U.S. News)

Wandering & Autism: Elopement within the classroom (Autism Classroom Blog)

Wandering & Autism: Students who flee, bolt, run and elope (Autism Classroom Blog)

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.

4 Tips On Task Initiation For Children and Adults

Task Initiation is often a challenge for children and adults with an executive functioning disorder. For a child, it may be lack of initiative in doing homework while for an adult, it may include forgetting or putting off paying bills. Children and adults with task initiation issues generally have a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, Intellectual disability or a learning disorder.

Signs of a task initiation impaired executive functioning skill would be someone having difficulty in getting started on a task and keeping the effort needed in order to complete the task. A child or an adult require external cues in order to complete the task. Also, it will require understanding what is expected and understanding the task. Here are a few strategies:

  1. Limit Distractions. In the classroom any type of added sensory input can defer the student from getting started in their school work.
  2. Create a List. Visual support will help to increase getting the work done for a school-age child, you may want to create a to-do list which the steps are broken down into smaller steps. When a person with an executive function is given a task, it may be overwhelming, making it more difficult to get started.
  3. Use Cues. A clock or a timer will help the child or adult stay on time and understanding the amount of time it will take to complete a task
  4. Break task down. Create where the work is done in chunks so that the work will not be as overwhelming for the student.

16 Must-Read Training Resources In The U.K.

There are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the U.K.- An estimated 1 in 100 people are affected. Studies also show that 60% of teachers in England do not feel they have adequate training to teach children with autism.

Thankfully across the U.K., a number of trainings that focus on autism help parents, professionals, caregivers and educators learn more about the autism spectrum disorder. below are links to trainings in the U.K.

England

Autism West Midlands
  • Autism West Midlands supports families and people with autism. Seminars and workshops are offered as well as an annual conference on autism.
Child Autism U.K.
  • Child Autism U.K. provides information and support for parents of children with autism. Training courses for parents includes beginner ABA and social skills.
The National Autistic Society- 
  • Leading U.K. charity for autistic children and their families. Provides information, support and services. NAS offers scheduled training events, in-house training and online training modules including training modules on communication, sensory experiences, stress and anxiety and physical activity.

Northern Ireland

Autism Initiatives
  • Provides a range of person-centered services throughout the U.K. Autism Initiatives Northern Ireland includes a learning and development department which is designed to meet the needs of all professional staff. Upcoming training topics for July includes, Understanding Autism, Epilepsy Awareness, and Keeping Children Safe. E-Learning courses are also available.
Autism NI
  • Northern Ireland’s longest-serving autism charity and training provider. Autism NI  provides family support workshops and discussion group. Training topics include, Fundamentals of Autism, Understanding Social Skills, Sensory Processing, and PECS training courses are held off-site.
Centre For Autism
  • Provides a wide range of training for professionals working with autistic children to parents, educators and caregivers. The organization also publishes a research bulletin designed to meet the needs of professionals working in education with autistic children. Trainings for parents include topics on, transition, sensory processing and life skills
PEAT
  • PEAT provides a wide range of training services for parents of children with autism and professionals involved with individuals with autism. PEAT provides in-house training and tailors made programs to meet the needs of parent groups and specific organizations.
The National Autistic Society, Northern Ireland
  • Provides information, support and training for autistic people, families, and professionals. Offers a variety of scheduled events, courses and online training modules.

Scotland

Autism Forth Valley
  • The Autism Forth Valley Website includes a table which contains information on training providers and courses including university courses on autism, professional organizations and social service agencies.
NHS Education for Scotland
  • NES offers a wide range of education and training support for both clinical and non-clinical staff in Scotland. Formats include e-learning, workbooks, publications and blended learning.
Scottish Autism
  • Provides a wide range of support services across Scotland for individuals with autism, their families and professionals. Scottish Autism offers external training core courses including, Introduction to Autism and Autism Profiling.

Wales

ASDinfoWales
  • An E-learning introductory course on autism spectrum disorder. Participants will be asked to answer a series of 20 questions. Once completed, participants will receive a certification.
Awares
  • Provides a library with a wealth of information on autism topics from previous conferences in Microsoft PowerPoint format. Geared towards professionals however this are also useful information for parents as well. Sample topics include; psychosexual development in ASD, A guide for practioners and resources for families living in Wales.
Learning Disability Wales
  • Training program includes a range of person-centered and practical courses for people in the public, voluntary and private sectors as well as parents and caregivers. Courses include a fee at an onsite facility. Training topics include, An Introduction to Mindfulness and Making Information Easy to Read and Understand
Ringway Training

A training provider delivering online courses on autism for professionals working with children, young people and adults on a host of topics including, Autism Spectrum Condition Advance Level Training and Autism and ADHD

The National Autistic Society/Wales
  • Offers a host of free one-hour webinars for teachers, professionals and parents. The website includes two series of one hour webinars on various topics such as, promoting inclusion, preventing bullying, and neurodevelopment and social competence in autism spectrum disorder.

World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. A campaign designed to create a single voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down Syndrome. Resources on this page include information on inspiring articles and facts on people with Down Syndrome.

Post From Special Needs Resource Blog:

20 Facts You Should Know About Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome Characteristics

Facts About Down Syndrome (Infographic)

Top Books On Down Syndrome For Parents and Professionals

The following are articles highlighting stories around the country on Down syndrome:

Clemson Student With Down Syndrome To Compete In Pageant

Couple with Down Syndrome Celebrate 22 Years of Marriage

Displaying The Myths of Down’s Syndrome

First Person With Down Syndrome Finishes Local Half-Marathon

Funny Down Syndrome Ad Will Change The Way You Feel about “Special Needs”

Get To Know Madeline Stuart, The World’s First Supermodel With Down Syndrome

Swimmers with Down Syndrome Find Empowerment in the Pool

Walgreens Features Model With Down Syndrome

Woman With Down Syndrome Starts Her Own Bakery

World Syndrome Day Marked In Georgia

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities

 

NACDD

Through the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, created the State Councils on Developmental Disabilities which serves to coordinate and provide services for individuals with developmental disabilities. In the United States, there are 56 councils focusing on advocacy, systems change, and capacity building.

Alabama
Executive Director: Elmyra Jones-Banks
Phone: 334-242-3973
www.acdd.org

Alaska
Executive Director: Patrick Reinhart
Phone: 907-269-8990
www.dhss.alaska.gov

American Samoa
Executive Director: Norma Smith
Phone: 684-633-2696

Arizona
Executive Director: Erica McFadden
Phone: 602-542-8977
www.azdes.gov/addpc

Arkansas
Executive Director: Eric Munson
Phone/TDD: 501-682-2897
www.ddcouncil.org 

California
Executive Director: Aaron Carruthers
Phone: 916-322-8481
www.scdd.ca.gov

Colorado
Executive Director: Marcia Tewell
Phone/TDD: 720-941-0176
www.coddc.org

Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands
Executive Director: Pamela Sablan
Phone: 670-664-7000/1
www.cnmicdd.org

Connecticut
Executive Director: Melissa Marshall
Phone: 860-418-6160
www.ct.gov/ctcdd

Delaware
Executive Director: Pat Maichle
Phone: 302-739-3333
www.ddc.delaware.gov

District of Columbia
Executive Director: Mat McCollough
Phone: 202-724-8612
http://ddc.dc.gov

Florida
Executive Director:Valerie Breen
Phone: 850-488-4180
www.fddc.org

Georgia
Executive Director: Eric Jacobson
Phone: 888-275-4233
www.gcdd.org

Guam
Executive Director: Roseanna Ada
Phone: 671-735-9127
www.gddc.guam.gov

Hawaii
Executive Director: Waynette Cabral
Phone: 808-586-8100
www.hiddc.org

Idaho
Executive Director: Christine Pisani
Phone: 208-334-2178 or
1-800-544-2433
www.icdd.idaho.gov

Illinois
Executive Director: Kim Mercer
Phone: 312-814-2080
www.state.il.us/agency/icdd

Indiana
Executive Director: Christine Dahlberg
Phone: 317-232-7770
www.in.gov/gpcpd

Iowa
Executive Director: Becky Harker
Phone: 800-452-1936
http://iddcouncil.idaction.org

Kansas
Executive Director: Steve Gieber
Phone: 785-296-2608
www.kcdd.org

Kentucky
Executive Director: MaryLee Underwood
Phone: 502-564-7841
www.kyccdd.com

Louisiana
Executive Director: Sandee Winchell
Phone: 225-342-6804
www.laddc.org

Maine
Executive Director: Nancy Cronin
Phone: 207-287-4213
www.maineddc.org

Maryland
Executive Director: Brian Cox
Phone: 410-767-3670
www.md-council.org

Massachusetts
Executive Director: Dan Shannon
Phone: 617-770-7676
www.mass.gov/mddc

Michigan
Executive Director: Vendella Collins
Phone: 517-335-3158
www.michigan.gov/mdch

Minnesota
Executive Director: Colleen Wieck
Phone: 651-296-4018
www.mncdd.org

Mississippi
Executive Director: Charles Hughes
Phone: 601-359-6238
www.mscdd.org

Missouri
Executive Director: Vicky Davidson
Phone: 573-751-8611
www.moddcouncil.org

Montana
Executive Director: Deborah Swingley
Phone: 406-443-4332
Fax: 406-443-4192
www.mtcdd.org

Nebraska
Executive Director: Kristen Larson
Phone: 402-471-2330
www.dhhs.ne.gov/ddplanning

Nevada
Executive Director: Sherry Manning
Phone: 775-684-8619
www.nevadaddcouncil.org

New Hampshire
Executive Director: Isadora Rodriguez-Legendre
Phone: 603-271-3236
www.nhddc.org

New Jersey
Executive Director: Kevin Casey
Phone: 609-292-3745
www.njcdd.org

New Mexico
Executive Director: John Block III
Phone: 505-841-4519
www.nmddpc.com

New York
Executive Director: Sheila Carey
Phone: 518-486-7505
www.ddpc.ny.gov

North Carolina
Executive Director: Chris Egan
Phone/TDD: 919-850-2901
www.nccdd.org

North Dakota
Executive Director: Julie Horntvedt
Phone: 701-328-4847
www.ndscdd.org

Ohio
Executive Director: Carolyn Knight
Phone: 614-466-5205
www.ddc.ohio.gov

Oklahoma
Executive Director: Ann Trudgeon
Phone:  405-521-4984
www.okddc.ok.gov

Oregon
Executive Director: Jaime Daignault
Phone: 503-945-9941
www.ocdd.org

Pennsylvania
Executive Director: Graham Mulholland
Phone: 717-787-6057
www.paddc.org

Puerto Rico
Executive Director: Myrainne Roa
Phone: 787-722-0590
www.cedd.pr.gov/cedd

Rhode Island
Executive Director: Kevin Nerney
Phone: 401-737-1238
www.riddc.org

South Carolina
Executive Director: Valarie Bishop
Phone: 803-734-0465
www.scddc.state.sc.us

South Dakota
Executive Director: Arlene Poncelet
Phone: 605-773-6369
www.dhs.sd.gov/ddc

Tennessee
Executive Director: Wanda Willis
Phone: 615-532-6615
www.tn.gov/cdd

Texas
Executive Director: Beth Stalvey
Phone: 512-437-5432
www.tcdd.texas.gov

Utah
Executive Director: Claire Mantonya
Phone/TDD: 801-533-3965
www.utahddcouncil.org

Vermont
Executive Director: Kirsten Murphy
Phone: 802-828-1310
www.ddc.vermont.gov

Virgin Islands
Executive Director: Yvonne Peterson
Phone: 340-773-2323 Ext. 2137
www.dhs.gov.vi/disabilities

Virginia
Executive Director: Heidi Lawyer
Phone: 804-786-0016
www.vaboard.org

Washington
Executive Director: Ed Holen
Phone: 360-586-3560
www.ddc.wa.gov

West Virginia
Executive Director: Steve Wiseman
Phone: 304-558-0416
www.ddc.wv.gov

Wisconsin
Executive Director: Beth Swedeen
Phone: 608-266-7826
www.wi-bpdd.org

Wyoming
Executive Director: Shannon Buller
Phone: 307-777-7230
www.wgcdd.wyo.gov

 

10 Must Read Articles On Special Needs Children and Safety

 

safety

According to the National Autism Association, children with special needs are at an increase risk for injuries than the general population. The following article links provide information on additional tips and resources on a variety of safety topics.

7 safety strategies for kids with special needs

How to teach fire safety to special needs kids

Keeping children with disabilities safe

Keeping your autistic child safe

Special needs children and safety

Teach home and community safety skills to kids with special needs

Teaching stranger safety skills to children and adults with disabilities

Teaching stranger safety to kids with autism

The importance of teaching children body safety

Traffic safety for children with special needs

2017 Disability Awareness Month and Observances

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.

awareness-header

January

January 4- World Braille Day

National Birth Defects National Month

February

February 15- International Angelman Day

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Week February 13-19

March

Down Syndrome Awareness Week March 18- 24 (United Kingdom)

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Multiple Sclerosis Month

National Tuberculosis Awareness Month

Social Work Month

Trisomy Awareness Month

April

Auditory Processing Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month

Occupational Therapy Month

May

May 5- Cri Du Chat International Day

International Cri Du Chat Awareness Week May 1-7

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Apraxia Awareness Month

Better Speech and Hearing Month

Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

Prader Willi Awareness Month

Williams Syndrome Awareness Month

June

Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week June 24-30

Dravet Syndrome Awareness Month

Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month

July

National Fragile X Awareness Month

August

Aicardi Syndrome Awareness Month

September

Craniofacial Acceptance Month

Hydrocephalus Awareness Month

National Spinal Cord Injury Month Awareness

Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness Month

October

October 6- World Cerebral Palsy Day

OCD Awareness Week- October 8-14

ADHD Awareness Month

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

National Disability Awareness Month

National Dyslexia Awareness Month

National Physical Therapy Month

Rett Syndrome Awareness Month

Sensory Processing Awareness Month

Special Needs Law Month

Spinal Bifida Awareness Month

November

November 4- National Stress Awareness Month

22q Awareness Month

Epilepsy Awareness Month

December

December 3- International Day of Persons With Disabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

December Special Needs Article Links

specialneedslinks

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

10 good reasons to hire a person with Asperger’s (Hub Pages)

How to decrease tactile defensiveness in children with sensory processing disorder (Brain Balance)

Is there a link between sensory processing disorder and anxiety? (Psych Central)

Local yoga instructor brings yoga to classrooms (Learning Success)

People with autism make more logical decisions (The Conversation)

Points to consider when choosing materials (Active Learning Space)

Simple ways to help your child with ASD sleep without medicine (Autism Parenting Magazine)

Top 10 children’s books for kids with ADHD, learning differences and sensory processing disorder (Brain Balance)

What does success mean for an autistic woman? (Network Autism)

What it feels like to receive an Asperger’s diagnosed later in life (The Guardian)

What it’s like to be married to an ADHD husband (Attitude)