When we were first went on a vacation in Kennebunkport, Maine, we stumbled upon a surf shop called Aquaholics. I’m from a little beach town in Southern California, so finding a surf shop in New England is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. They offered surfing lessons and Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyKidPix wanted to give it a try. Thus began their great love of surfing five years ago.
All posts in Special Needs
Thank you to everyone who took time to give me feedback on my last sponsored post on Special Needs Resources for Parents from The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). Many of you left kind comments that this was useful stuff so I will continue to highlight resources from the NCLD.
As this is the holiday season, I thought I would start with some timely topics to help reduce the stress during this busy time of year.
How to Deal With Relatives Who Don’t “Believe” in Learning and Attention Issues
“She has such a hard time controlling that child.”
“Oh, it’s only a stage. He’ll grow out of it.”
If you hear frustrating comments like this, here’s some great advice from NCLD on how to respond:
When you get these kinds of comments, take a deep a breath and try not to be defensive. Instead, try to talk with your mother or whoever is doubting you. Keep in mind this person may be coming from a well-intentioned place and may not want to see flaws in your child. Sometimes generational differences can be a factor. Issues like ADHD may not have been as well known or as widely discussed when you were a kid. There may also be an element of denial. More here.
I’m proud to be an ambassador for the National Center for Learning Disabilitites (NCLD) and even though my three children are typicals, I think that all kids benefit from a deeper understanding and empathy for their classmates with special needs. For my kids, diversity no longer means skin color or whether their classmates have two moms. These are non-issues for them (and what wonderful progress in terms of Civil Rights!).
Instead, they will benefit immensely from a deeper understanding their classmates with learning disabilities that may not be obvious to them. This is the new millennium diversity issue and helping everyone succeed will make us a stronger community.
I wanted to share the great resources they have in the hopes that it helps parents. Here are four examples of the information they provide.
National Center for Learning Disabilities Resources
What’s the difference between ADD and ADHD?
The biggest difference is that kids with ADHD are hyperactive—they can’t sit still and are so restless that teachers quickly notice their rambunctious behavior and begin to suspect there might be attention issues involved.
Kids with ADD might fly under the radar a bit longer because they aren’t bursting with energy and disrupting the classroom. Instead, they often appear shy, daydreamy, or off in their own world. More here.
I volunteered in the 5th grade a few weeks ago for a really great program run by volunteer moms called Understanding Our Differences. I believe we purchase curriculum from a Newton based non-profit with the same name which was started by a Newton parent with a special needs child. It’s basically sensitivity training for grades 3 through 5, possibly even younger.
Understanding Our Differences Makes a Difference
Understanding Our Differences sponsored author R. J. Palacio of Wonder as well to speak at our local high school as well and I run into them on Twitter. Small world, isn’t it?
I am not a coordinator. I just show to help run the breakout sessions. This was the final session for the 5th graders and we combined in two units that day: Physical Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders, focusing on Asperger’s Syndrome.
Parenting Advice for ADHD Kids
When I think of troubled kids — drop-outs, drugs, and delinquency — who’ve made good, I invariably think of certain celebrity chefs who also happen to write beautifully. Tony Bourdain of the TV shows No Reservations and The Layover. His first book No Reservations was supposed to be his fifteen minutes of fame. Fifteen minutes isn’t enough though because he’s that perfect balance of funny, snarky and soft-hearted.
Gabrielle Hamilton, chef owner of Prune, also comes to mind. Her poignant memoir, Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, chronicles her improbable climb from waitress and drug dealer to chef and author.
My latest discovery via my husband is bad boy Eddie Huang of Bao House. His memoir is a laugh-out-loud kind of book but you might have to be Asian to revel in the uncomfortable and meant-t0-be-secret Tiger Parenting antics that we’ve all endured.
L. Todd Rose’s book, Square Pegs, is a book — part memoir, and part parenting book — that the chefs’ parents might have benefited from. Rose challenges us to rethink education constructs. Square pegs, he argues, are also innovators and visionaries. They are exactly what the U.S. economy needs to compete in the new global economy.
Square Peg: My Story and What it Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries, & Out-of-the-Box Thinkers by L. Todd Rose with Katherine Ellison Read more…
Best Books for Kids about Disabilities
The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a picture or chapter book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. I really like how these great picture and chapter books let kids walk in the shoes of another and I find the themes of “trying to fit in versus accepting themselves and their family members” to be universal for all children. Read more…
Best Gifts for Kids with Autism
With autism affecting one in 110 children, more and more families are facing the question of what presents to buy and what holiday activities to plan for children with autism, who are often sensitive to over stimulation. MyAutismTeam, the recently launched social network for parents of children with autism, asked their nearly 14,000 parent members for their recommendations. Read more…