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Showing posts from September 25, 2016

Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit

  Sometimes the difficulties of autism can lead to behaviors that are quite challenging for us to understand and address. Most individuals with autism will display challenging behaviors of some sort at some point in their lives. Autism Speaks has created this Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit to provide you with strategies and resources to address these behaviors, and to help support you and your loved one with autism during these difficult situations. The guiding principle used in developing this kit is that each individual with autism and his family should feel safe and supported, and live a healthy life filled with purpose, dignity, choices, and happiness. With this in mind, positive approaches and suggestions are highlighted throughout the kit. The general framework and intervention principles included are relevant at any stage of life, and we have included basic background information, with links to further information and resources on a variety of topics.  Click here to

Safety for Your Child

​ Did you know that injuries are the greatest threat to the life and health of your child? Injuries are the leading cause of death of school-age children.  Yet you can prevent most major injuries! At age 5, your child is learning to do many things that can cause serious injury, such as riding a bicycle or crossing a street. Although children  learn fast , they still cannot judge what is safe. You must protect your child. You can prevent common major injuries by taking a few simple steps. Bike Safety Your child should always wear a helmet when riding a bike. Buy the helmet when you buy the bike!  Make sure your child wears a helmet every time he or she rides . A helmet helps prevent head injuries and can save your child's life. Never let your child ride a bike in the street.  Your child is too young to ride in the street safely . Be sure that the bike your child rides is the right size. Your child must be able to place the balls of both feet on the ground when sitting on

Emotional Development in Preschoolers

Your three-year-old’s vivid fantasy life will help her explore and come to terms with a wide range of emotions, from love and dependency to anger, protest, and fear. She’ll not only take on various identities herself, but also she’ll often assign living qualities and emotions to inanimate objects, such as a tree, a clock, a truck, or the moon. Ask her why the moon comes out at night, for example, and she might reply, “To say hello to me.” From time to time, expect your preschooler to introduce you to one of her imaginary friends. Some children have a single make-believe companion for as long as six months; some change pretend playmates every day, while still others never have one at all or prefer imaginary animals instead. Don’t be concerned that these phantom friends may signal loneliness or emotional upset; they’re actually a very creative way for your child to sample different activities, lines of conversation, behavior, and emotions. You’ll also notice that, thro

How The ACA is Helping Children with Special Needs and Their Families

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped both children with disabilities and their parents.  Two reports from the Urban Institute (see Resources) highlight how two generations are benefiting from healthcare coverage under the ACA. How Health Care Coverage is Maximized The Urban Institute report cited a number of problems faced by families without insurance. “For instance, in September 2015 nearly 6 in 10 uninsured parents …reported that their family often or sometimes ran out of food in the previous 12 months… In addition, 45.0 percent of uninsured parents reported that they often or sometimes were unable to pay the rent, mortgage, or other housing costs; 69.3 percent had problems with unexpected bills, such as car repairs or home repairs; and 44.7 percent were unable to make the minimum payment on a credit card bill or loan. Research shows that when parents have coverage, their children will too.*  One of the Urban Institute reports stated that “… just 1.7 percent of insured pa

15 Tips to Survive the Terrible 3’s

​​ By: Kathleen Berchelmann, M.D., FAAP They call them the "terrible 2's," "trusting 3's" and "pleasing 4's," but in reality having a 3-year-old can be harder than the 2's. Here are 15 tips to help you learn to love parenthood again  (or at least make it through the day): Yell less, love more:  Yelling is a late defense mechanism, a technique we use when everything else fails. But yelling can hurt kids more than we realize– it might cause an immediate behavior change, but in the long run can cause real psychological harm. Rather than yelling and harsh punishment, children need positive parenting for  healthy brain development . Dr. Joan Luby is a professor of child psychiatry and director of the Early Emotional Development Program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Her research shows that  positive parenting of toddlers  in stressful situations, rather than scolding or corporal punishment, is actua