Teach Your Children: Educational Activities for Kids

3 Considerations to Make Before Placing a Baby With Down Syndrome for Adoption

Posted by on 11:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Considerations to Make Before Placing a Baby With Down Syndrome for Adoption

An estimated 18,000 babies are placed for adoption each year in the United States. The reasons that birth parents choose adoption vary; some birth parents are very young and unable to care for a child, some cannot afford the time or financial demands that raising a child requires, and still others choose to make an adoption plan for their babies because they are not able to to care for a child with special needs. If you are expecting your baby to be born with Down syndrome, you may be considering the heart-wrenching choice to place him or her up for adoption. There are some special considerations to keep in mind in this difficult situation. #1 Some people hope to adopt a baby with Down syndrome. At this time in your life, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the possibility of caring for a child with this disorder. You may already know that children with Down syndrome are likely to need their parents to arrange for them to have lifelong care. These children have a higher risk of developing certain heart problems and even certain cancers. Special therapies and learning assistance will most likely be necessary. Although you might not feel equipped to take on this responsibility, the good news is that there are hopeful parents who are familiar with the demands of caring for a child with Down syndrome. They are not only ready to adopt a baby, but they are ready to adopt a baby with this specific chromosomal disorder. Talk to your adoption agency about finding out more about these families who are hoping to welcome a baby just like yours into their homes. #2 You will still get to choose whether to have an open or closed adoption. Just as with any other adoption, you, as the birth parent, will get to choose whether or not you would like to have contact with your biological child. You may choose to request letters, photos or even occasional visits with the child. This can be a particularly valuable experience for your other children, if you have any. They will get to see that their biological sibling is in a loving home that can meet their needs. It is important to keep in mind, however, that adoption is a legal agreement that relinquishes the care of and responsibility of the baby to their adoptive parents. This means that you will not have any input on which therapies the child will have or what types of medical treatment he or she will have throughout the child’s life. This would be the same whether or not the baby had Down syndrome, but it bears consideration, simply because you know ahead of time that the child will almost certainly need care for special needs. #3 Nothing is final until after the baby is born. Many birth parents of babies with Down syndrome wonder if the child really will be born with the defect. While amniocentesis and specialized ultrasound tests are very accurate, there are very occasional instances when a baby who was thought to have Down syndrome is born without it. In this case, either you or the intended parents might not want to continue with the adoption. In other cases, birth parents fall in love with the baby once it is...

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Trampolines: Great At-Home Treatment For Children With Sensory Processing Disorder

Posted by on 6:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Trampolines: Great At-Home Treatment For Children With Sensory Processing Disorder

Has your child recently been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder (SPD)? Are you wondering what your child is feeling and how you can help them better adapt to living with this condition? If so, read on to learn what goes on in the mind of a child with SPD, and how a simple trampoline can help them accomplish their daily tasks. Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder As you go about your day, your body is constantly sending sensory information to your brain. Every movement you make and everything you touch, feel, taste, smell, and hear sends a signal to your nervous system, which then organizes this information and acts accordingly. For example, if you grab a hot pan on the stove, your nervous system is alerted and your brain tells your hands to let go of the pan as fast as possible. For children with sensory processing disorder, however, this process doesn’t work quite so smoothly. Somewhere within the neurological pathways of kids with SPD, the sensory information gets jumbled up, making it difficult — if not impossible — to react appropriately to sensory stimuli.  SPD can affect one or all senses, and a child with this disorder may overreact or under-react to sensory stimuli.  What It’s Like For Your Child Daily tasks can be extremely difficult for children with SPD. Children who under-react to sensory stimuli may feel detached from their surroundings, lethargic, or depressed. They may experience a high occurrence of playtime injuries as their minds struggle to respond to situations that pose risks and/or dangers. Children with SPD who overreact to sensory stimuli often feel anxious and unable to focus on their schoolwork. Since their bodies over-compensate the effort and strength needed to perform even the slightest movement, they may appear clumsy. Many of these children also have difficulty sleeping and trouble interacting in social situations. How A Trampoline Can Help  Treatment measures for sensory processing disorder involve creating an environment in which the child can explore and practice their sensory responses in a fun and rewarding way. Occupational therapists who work with children with SPD often have entire rooms dedicated to immersing the children in a variety of colors, textures, and mobility activities; however, for optimal results, you should also integrate activities that cater to sensory-exploration into your child’s home life.  According to spdfoundation.net, purchasing a trampoline for your home is an excellent way to help your child explore their senses at in a healthy, rewarding way. What are the benefits of a trampoline for a child with SPD? By performing regular jumping exercises on a trampoline, your child’s brain is able to learn how to better respond to their vestibular (movement in the body in relation to the head) senses and proprioceptive (movement of muscles, joints and limbs) senses. In short, your child will become more aware of how their body responds to certain types of movement. Furthermore, just 10 minutes of trampoline-jumping is enough of a workout to mimic 33 minutes of running, so your child will also produce plenty of feel-good endorphins to calm and sooth them. Keep your child safe by setting up your trampoline on level ground and purchasing a net enclosure for it. Inspect the trampoline daily for any loose springs or tears in the mat, and always clear it...

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Preparing For Adoption As A Single Mother

Posted by on 7:29 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Deciding to adopt a baby as a single mother is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime. The harsh reality is that you will be raising this child on your own, with your own finances, resources and time. Although this will undoubtedly be challenging, it will be the most satisfying experience of your life and you will be extremely happy. In order to prepare, there are some things to consider during the adoption process: Understanding Childbirth With adoption, you may not have the “luxuries” that an expecting mother may have, such as visiting pregnancy meetups or consulting with your midwife and medical staff. Therefore, it’s important that you take similar steps by yourself in order to fully prepare yourself for the introduction of a child into your life.  If you’re expecting to adopt a newborn baby, make sure you do learn about childbirth so that you understand what your baby has gone through. Childbirth isn’t only a difficult time for mothers, it can also be very stressful for the baby. As such, it’s important that you understand the intricacies of the process and how your baby is likely to respond.  Single mothers who adopt typically do so because of their need to nurture. This is perfectly natural, and is the same for both adoptive mothers and pregnant mothers. However, you have to ensure that you don’t become over-excited by the baby’s arrival and overstimulate him when he first arrives. Your baby needs a lot of time to rest and recover, so make sure you provide a calm, nurturing environment.  Doing Your Homework In addition to learning about the childbirth process, you also need to understand the subject of adoption. If you’ve been dealing with an adoption agency or foster home for some length of time, you likely have a lot of reading material to help you prepare. This should be seen as the bare minimum however, and you should make attempts to go above and beyond what your adoption agency has given you.  One of the best ways to do this is to speak with other adoptive parents to find out how they dealt with the situation. Your adoption agency should be able to put you in contact with families who are willing to discuss their experience in order to help.  During this time, it’s important to get a few baby-care skills under your belt so that you feel comfortable when the baby arrives. The critical ‘survival skills’ you need are:  Changing a diaper Feeding your baby  Bathing your baby  Holding your baby  What to do when your baby cries  Learning these skills early in the process will boost your confidence moving forward.  Appreciating the Change to Your Life As a single mother who is adopting, you’ve likely invested a large chunk of your finances and time in fertility treatments and traveling to adoption centers to make your dream a reality. With married couples, adoption is a highly stressful time that requires dramatic changes to personal freedoms. However, with single mothers this is often magnified.  As a single mother, you may feel guilty or shameful when you long for some alone time. Married couples typically don’t have this problem, as they have a partner to take care of the baby whilst they recuperate. Therefore, it’s...

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Youth Mental Health: Knowing When Your Child Needs Therapy

Posted by on 10:07 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Even when you do your best to provide a safe and healthy environment for your children, circumstances beyond your control can affect the health of your youngest family members. It is important to learn the signs of mental health issues in children so you can get your help for your young ones as soon as possible. In addition, you should also pay attention to the health of your child when there are major changes in your family life. Common Signs There are a number of reasons why a child may need the help of a therapist. However, you do not need expert help to recognize some issues. When you notice any of the following problems, you should begin searching for a licensed child therapist to schedule an appointment for your young one. Withdrawal and depression Argumentative behavior and a quick temper Intense, frequent mood swings Problems in school and struggles to complete homework assignments Problems listening and following instructions Signs of self-harm Hyperactivity and problems focusing Eating disorders Fear of sleeping Overall, any behavior that severely interferes with your child’s ability to perform in school, take care of personal hygiene, get along with family members and interact with peers should be a cause for concern. Getting Help After a Divorce Divorce is not just hard on adults, it can also have severe affects on a child’s mental health. It is common for children to suffer mentally for years after a divorce. Children have to cope with going back and forth between two residences, custody battles, acrimonious encounters between their parents and possibly, a shift in financial circumstances. Getting your child help after a divorce can help them regain a sense of stability, calm their fears about losing the love of a parent, stem regressive behavior and understand why you and your spouse split. Instead of thinking that your child is resilient enough to handle a divorce and that they will get over it, take action when you begin to notice extreme changes in your kid’s behavior and schedule an appointment with a child therapist. Coping With the Death of a Family Member After the death of a parent, it is common for children to become depressed, withdrawn and suffer in school. The grieving process can last for years and some children may need extra help coping with death. If you feel that your child is stuck in grieving and cannot move on, it is time to consult a professional. You should also talk to your child’s teachers and your pediatrician about ways to help your child cope with the death of a parent. They may have suggestions for books and movies that can help your young one work through their grieving in a productive manner. Moving to a New Home While moving to a new city can be an exciting adventure, do not underestimate how it may adversely affect your child’s mental health. When you move, kids leave behind a familiar house, their friends and a comfortable school environment. If your child is already dealing with problems such as anxiety, the move can exacerbate the condition. Do not hesitate to contact a child therapist if your kid has trouble adjusting to their new environment. Coping With an Illness Children who suffer from serious illnesses face issues that are much...

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Colors Of Wedding Dresses: Why White Isn’t Your Only Option

Posted by on 5:54 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Wearing a pure white wedding dress is a tradition that dates back to the 1890s in the U.S., but this tradition is slowly losing its popularity. Today, bridal stores, like those at sites like http://bridalelegance.us.com/, are now offering a much larger selection of wedding dress colors, and you may want to choose a different color for your upcoming wedding. Why White? White dresses for weddings is a custom that became extremely popular by the 1930s in this country, but white wasn’t always the color of choice. Prior to this time period, women wore wedding dresses of all colors, and this included women of royalty. Most people believe that a white dress is a symbol of virginity and purity, but this is not actually why women wear white. Many women still choose white for this reason and you can too, but you should realize that white is not your only option. How About Ivory? Another assumption many people have is that women wear ivory if they are getting married for the second time. Ivory is slightly darker than white, and it is assumed that brides wear this because they are not virgins at their weddings. While this may seem to be a logical reason, this really isn’t the case. A lot of women choose ivory dresses simply because this color looks better on them. Choosing ivory over white might be better for you if you have: Skin that is extremely fair – ivory is a toned-down version of white, and it often makes a person with fair skin look more appealing than if she wore a bright white dress. Red hair – white can also come across too bold for a person with red hair, whereas ivory tends to blend better. For a bride, choosing a wedding dress is one of the most exciting parts of a wedding, and you can select a white or ivory dress, or you can be bold and go with a completely different look. What Other Colors Are Available? As you begin shopping around for wedding dresses, you may notice a new trend in colors. Wedding dresses now come in almost any color you can think of, and this offers a lot of options for any bride-to-be. According to Color Combos, 80% to 90% of brides still choose white dresses, but there are many brides that are also going outside this normal tradition. Time.com reports that a recent poll revealed that 46% of Americans believe that brides should be able to wear a dress that is a color other than white. If you’re planning your wedding and considering choosing a different color, you may want to consider these factors: Time of year – pink, yellow, and turquoise are great color choices for spring weddings, but orange, brown, and other warm colors are best for fall weddings. Color scheme of wedding – if you have already selected the colors your wedding party will wear, you can choose a bridal gown that matches these colors. New trends – every year new trends in wedding dresses appear on the shelves of bridal stores. Each year there are changes in types, styles, and colors of dresses, and you may want to choose the trendiest dress around based on these features. Meanings of colors – as you choose a color, it...

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