Many lives around the world are affected on a daily basis by Down syndrome, a chromosomal condition that affects 1 in every 691 babies born. There are over 400,000 people living with the condition in the United States today. The most common type of Down syndrome is caused by an error in cell division prior to or at conception. This is called Trisomy 21, because three copies, instead of two copies, of chromosome 21 are created. Down syndrome affects one’s intellectual ability and can cause a higher incidence of certain conditions like heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Leukemia.
Should children with autism be encouraged in their obsessive behaviors?
This summer our child had to transition with two new aides. His one on one after school aide went back to school as did one of his social group facilitators. Plus, there was the start of school, where our child has two teachers and not just one (they teach a split week). Now, you must admit that our child dealt with some serious transitions lately!
Of course, we have been down this road many times in the past. And here are some things we've learned about our numerous aide/facilitator/teacher transitions.
Like many parents, we prepare for our child's return to school. Because of our child's autism, though, we may prepare a little differently than parents of typical children.
During the summer, our child spent five weeks at a pilot program for kids on the autism spectrum. The kids in this program are on the mild end of the spectrum. The program was five weeks long, four days a week, and only half days. The idea behind the program is to give children on the spectrum some school structure during the summer months.
I wrote my ebook, "A Parents' Guide to Early Autism Intervention," to tell the story of what we did with our son when he first started his autism journey. Among the many topics, I discuss the overall "parent learning curve" involved with an autism diagnosis.
I've written several times before about how my son has amblyopia, which is also known as "lazy eye." If you haven't read my previous posts, amblyopia is a brain disorder in which the brain doesn't process what one of the eyes is seeing. If left untreated, the eye will become weaker and weaker since it's not being used (hence the term 'lazy'), and eventually it will stop working all together, causing blindness in that eye. After a year of patching therapy - where my son wears a patch over his good eye in order to force the other eye to work - I'm thrilled to report that his vision has improved tremendously. A year ago, when he was diagnosed, his vision was 20/60 with glasses. Now, its 20/25.
I am the mother of an eight-year-old with autism and my family has been in the "autism system" for seven years. If you do the math, you'll figure out that we began around our child's first birthday.
“Honey, Do you have the diaper bag?” she frantically asks as she fills bottles with formula.
“Yeah babe. We are ready...let’s go so we aren’t late!” he replies in a haste.
“What about the binky??? Don’t forget his binky!!!!” she implores.
“I’ve got it all...just get him in the car seat and let’s go!!!” he hollers from the driveway as he starts the car.
From actor and singer to active philanthropist, Holly Robinson Peete is the epitome of a ModernMom. We were beyond excited at the opportunity to interview the beautiful and talented mommy of four, and learn more about the journey that brought her to where she is today!
We’ve all been a part of moments like this, some of us more often than others:
Your child sits on one side of the table, eyeing you with suspicion. More specifically, eyeing what is in your hands. You are shielding your hands with little success, hoping that the popsicle you just gave your child a few minutes prior was a satisfactory peace offering. Your child backs away as you lean in.