Thanksgiving is the day set aside in the United States and Canada as a day of pausing to reflect all that we are thankful for by connecting with friends and family over good food. It is also the day of taking special precautions when serving people with developmental disabilities.
Aspiration is a huge risk during the holiday season. Factors that place people at risk for aspiration includes the following:
Being fed by someone else
Poor chewing or swallowing skills
Weak or absent coughing/gagging reflexes which is common in people with cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy
Eating to quickly
Inappropriate fluid consistency
Inappropriate food texture
For children and adults with autism, Thanksgiving may be a challenge for a variety of reasons:
Sensory and emotional overload with large groups
Difficulty with various textures of food
To help you mange Thanksgiving with ease, click on the articles below:
Most news today whether it is social media, newsprint or broadcasting, focuses on the crisis of the COVID-19. It seems information changes everyday and we are still learning ways to protect ourselves. When the news of COVID-19 first appear, there was emphasis on the implications for people who have severe underlying conditions such as heart or lung disease and diabetes. The picture painted were people that were over the age of 65 who were more likely to be at risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19.
It occurred to me that very little information indicated that people with disabilities and special risk also fall under the high risk category. for us who are parents or professionals (in some cases both), we know the dangers of this deadly disease for children and adults with serious medical issues.
Many special needs children and adults have co-occurring issues including chronic heart disease, GI issues, diabetes, asthma, seizure disorders, GERD, and breathing issues.
For this reason, it is all the more reason to ensure that professionals, frontline staff and families know how to hand wash properly. The Powerpoint focuses on the transmission of the virus as well as the appropriate way to wash hands. You will find the link to the Powerpoint at the bottom of the page.
Organizing clothes in a regular household can be challenging. Imagine striving to clean, organize and store clothes when it is 12 people living under one roof! This can often lead to clothing getting mixed up causing further confusion.
There are a number of steps you can take that will help to alleviate this often challenging task:
Create an inventory list for each person. This list should include a tri-annual schedule when clothing are sorted. Choose a time in the spring, fall and winter when to sort out clothing. An inventory list should also list the types of clothing and the number of items for each. Below is an example of an inventory. You will find a free template here: clothing_inventory
Spend a day with each person and go through the closet taking everything out. Sort the clothing and throw out anything that is torn or broken. People may have a favorite item they might like to wear. Look to see if it can get either fixed or replaced
Once clothing is organized, choose a day with the person and determine a laundry day. While it can be easier to try to do wash clothing for several people at a time, you risk the chance of mixing up clothing.
Always make sure if possible, the person participates as much as they can in this household task. It encourages independence and individuality at the same time.
I like to hear tips you use for clothing organizing for multiple people.
Besides trick or treating, Halloween provides a great opportunity to participate in some fun art and craft activities. Each of the craft activities provide multi-sensory opportunities. The following activities are items easily found around the home.