Monthly Archives: July 2020

10 Great Activities For Autistic Children

Sometimes trying to come up with activities for autistic kids that will be fun, educational and not cost a lot can be a struggle. So it’s reassuring to know that there are a number of possibilities out there, it’s just a matter of finding some that will appeal to your child’s personal tastes. The following are examples of popular activities for autistic children between the ages of 7 and 11.

Indoor Activities:

– Singing – autistic children gain a number of benefits from singing. Children who are non-verbal can hum, make sounds, or play musical instruments such as whistles, tambourines, drums, kazoos, or small keyboards. Repeating sounds, making up new tunes, or even learning educational lyrics can be very useful for helping kids to learn and may also provide them some much-needed sensory stimulation – the same they would get from yelling, only more pleasing to the parental ear! Mimicking one another’s notes and tunes can be an important social experience that encourages interaction. Experiment with different sounds and different types of music to find the ones your child enjoys and responds best to.

– Funny Sounds – making and mimicking funny sounds can be a laughter-filled social learning experience for autistic kids and their parents. Children enjoy the sensory outlet and repetition element of this game. You can try writing down a number of different animals or items on different pieces of paper and whichever you choose you have to make the appropriate noise.

– Castles – building castles out of just about anything can be a great deal of fun. The type of building “blocks” depends on the motor skills of the child. It can range from plastic or wooden alphabet blocks to large “Lego” or “Duplo” style blocks, or even playing cards if they’re manually dexterous.

– Safe Emergencies – these games are educational based but can also be fun to. They involve enacting the right procedures for what to do in an emergency event. This includes what to do in case of fire and other urgent situations. The important part of these games is to build a calm routine around them.

– Simple Board Games – Begin with simple or basic board games and increase the difficulty level as your child gets older and learns how to work with the rules of the games. Many board games are enjoyable activities for autistic kids because they are relatively predictable and provide a routine. They also encourage turn taking, but make sure losing is never a big deal, it’s just an outcome. Otherwise they may associate negative emotions with the game and refuse to play.

Outdoor Activities:

– Simple Childhood Games – think back to your childhood and the games you used to play. For many children there’s no reason why they can’t take part in basic childhood games. As long as they are not too socially complex, many autistic children can have a lot of fun playing games such as tag or follow the leader. Keep in mind that the best activities for autistic children don’t require them to keep close or extended physical contact with other people. You may want to make sure that you stick to games that focus on your child’s unique skills to add comfort and confidence to the playing.

– Organized Sports – many children enjoy taking part in organized sports like any other children their age. Aim for sports that allow them to take part without too much sensory stimulation and that doesn’t require lots of equipment. Golf and baseball are good activities for autistic kids, whereas sports such as tackle football may not suit.

– Water Balloons – autistic children can often benefit from various sensory stimulators and water balloons can fit the bill. Tossing them about, or holding and squishing them can be lots of fun. This also encourages children to play with others when it comes to games such as “hot potato” – tossing the water filled balloon to one another pretending it’s a hot potato.

– Skipping Rocks – if you are fortunate enough to live near water and your child is responsible around water, skipping rocks can be a great way to have fun and use arm muscles, encouraging the development of motor skills. If you have a swimming pool that is large enough, you can try skipping plastic floating disks instead.

– I Spy – whether trying to pass the time in the car or sitting in the yard, this game is a great way to learn colors socially interact with others.

These activities for autistic children are a great way to have fun, learn important lessons, and develop basic social skills without spending the earth.

Communication Apps for Autistic Children

Communication is at the heart of learning. Traditional arguments on whether or not technology can help in education, have become more complex, in the context of children with autism and their communication needs. Much has been discussed about the potential of mobile apps for children with autism, which can be readily seen in the field of communication, particularly augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Mobile devices running these apps have opened up a whole new world of opportunities for those with limited expressive communication skills. But the huge potential of mobile technologies hasn’t been fully realized. Rather, these technologies are mainly implemented as speech prostheses in a limited range of activities.

Parents and educators have to broaden the scope of using these devices, not only for using inside the classroom and the therapeutic domain. Practice is the key with apps for children with autism, so that they can successfully use tabs and smart phones as communication aids. All those involved with autistic children should practice using the apps along with the novice learners. Continuous practice should happen both at school and home for successful outcomes.

It’s important to remember that apps for children with autism alone can’t improve communication. A supportive environment which complements the app is crucial in this regard. The symbol system used in apps for children with autism, has to be incorporated into a wider environment with which the autistic child has to eventually cope up with. Collaboration with parents is another important aspect to ensure a consistent approach towards core word modeling outside the school. Parents are often reluctant to use apps for children with autism as a potential communication aid, hoping that language and communication skills would automatically develop down the years. There are around 250,000 words in the English language. About 200 of these words constitute 80% of our everyday use.

A common concern among parents of autistic children is that their child may become over-reliant on these apps for communication. Studies, however, have revealed that apps for children with autism, both high and low-tech, help to kick start speech. For many autistic children who are unlikely to speak ever because of language reproduction difficulties, these apps can become their voice. Use of synthesized, rather than digitized speech, has come a remarkably long way over the past several years, allowing apps for children with autism to sound more natural and personal.

Many autistic children use associative instead of linear thinking. Strong image processing skills allow them to associate symbols with words. It helps them to get a sense of the world around them, become language competent, and allow greater access to parts of the curriculum they previously couldn’t. If there’s a nonverbal or a minimum-speaking child in your classroom, apps for children with autism can help him/her pick up communication skills.

But at the same time, it’s important to remember that an app user can’t pick up communication skills overnight. It’ll take time for both the child and his/her communication partner to master the app. Be patient and with time and you can see the benefits.

Children Discipline

Discipline is sometimes compared with physical punishment. This discipline-as-punishment methodology is utilized to inspire conformity from young kids. On the off chance that the kid does something rebellious, discipline is dispensed to prevent the youngster from whatever he or she is doing, and to encourage the youngster to behave in an all the more acclimating way.

Being a guardian is an extreme occupation to handle. A stand-out amongst the most troublesome assignments of parents is disciplining a youngster. Parents have created diverse approaches to discipline a kid. A few folks are firm, while others are excessively delicate that they can’t tolerate reprimanding and spanking their youngsters. Discipline is an image of caring to a child. Discipline is guidance. On the off chance that there is adoration, there is no such thing as being excessively tough with a youngster.

Punishment also called ‘corporal punishment’ can take various forms. It includes but is not limited to open-handed smacking, kicking, ear-pulling, pinching, asphyxiation, shaking, smacking with an implement, squeezing, hair-pulling, punching, pressure point activation, or any forms of deprivation of liberty.

Nurturing discipline is not a reactive strategy applied to a “wicked” kid. Supporting a kid obliges the guardian to encompass the kid with a safe environment that encourages positive conduct, to secure clear limits of what is expected from the kid, to apply a consistent framework of motivations or disincentives, and to guarantee that the kid is constantly approached with respect.

The following is a list of possible consequences that may work in a nurturing discipline program:

Positive Behavior

• Decrease of correctional measures for expanding positive behavior.

• Rewarding the child for increasing positive behavior.

Negative Behavior

• Reduction of punitive or reformatory measures for diminishing negative behavior gives the youngster more of a particular motivating force in the event that he complies in a certain time.

• Corrective measures for diminishing negative conduct like removing the privilege of hot water showers.

Ineffective Ways of children discipline

Regrettably, there are folks who don’t have a clue about the distinction between corporal punishment and abuse. Subsequently, more than five youngsters die each day as a consequence of child abuse. Beneath we specify the insufficient methods for children discipline.

1. Ignoring

Ignoring can be both an effective and ineffective discipline style. It can be effective when a child is giving tantrums. You can ignore the behavior but make sure that the child is safe. On the other hand, ignoring becomes bad when a parent no longer cares about the child, for example, ignoring the behavior that his or her child hits another person.

2. Shaming

Shaming is the same as publicly humiliating a child. Shaming a child in public is a form of emotional abuse. Often, children who suffer from this kind of punishment or discipline commit suicide because they feel that they are rejected by the world and that their own parents do not care about them.

3. Shouting

Screaming and shouting at your child is a form of verbal abuse. Shouting will never help a child to understand the situation. Shouting can only lower the child’s confidence to self.

4. Threatening

As a last resort, many parents unintentionally turn to threats as a way to discipline their children. Threats can be as plain as not going to the party if a chore is not done or as horrible as spanking or hitting the child

Conclusion

Certainly, there are no impeccable parents. One may miss the mark and be caught in anger. The principle part of parents is to protect the kid from abuse and not be the ones to begin the abuse.

Adult Children Come Home to Heal

Should you let an adult child come home again? Parents send their nearly grown children out to conquer the world and sometimes they bounce right back home. A parent’s goal is to teach their child to survive the best and the worst that life has to offer. Most young people are able to maintain a level of existence, sobriety and relationships that sustain them until they really know who they are and what they want to do with their lives.

However, sometimes life throws them a curve and they falter. Circumstances can hurt them, even bring them to their knees. A devastating break-up with a lover, flunking their first semester, an unexpected death of a best friend, or getting fired from his or her first real job can knock your child out of the game and take months to a year to recover.

Did you keep their childhood bedroom just the same? Perhaps this is the time to open the shades and prepare for a wounded visitor. Make it clear that the invitation is temporary but open your door widely and let them come home again. As irritating as they are to you and your spouse, remember that your little habits will irritate them, too. As they begin to recover their sea legs, they will want the freedom of their own place ASAP. If you want to encourages them to leave quickly after a few weeks recovery, begin to talk endlessly about developing a strong work ethic and new disciplined habits in place of blaming others for their situation or procrastination. Hopefully, they will soon be out seeking new adventures.

Help them improve their diet and sleep patterns. Try including fish oil and B vitamins daily to help them recharge their nerves and bodies. Less coffee and colas and more vegetables will help them with their mood. If your child seems to be getting worse or rarely leaves the house, antidepressants may be indicated. Get medical help immediately if your child seems despondent or suicidal.

Being mom or dad again may even heal your empty nest pain. Give them a safe haven for a little while away from the pressures of living fast and competitively. Soon, they will try to fly again, this time a little wiser, a little stronger and a bit more ready. Oh, and don’t redecorate that room just yet. They may be back.

Children Learn the Best by Observing the Behaviour of Adults and Copying It

Learning is a process of gaining new experiences or transforming the existing information. Learning is easy to carry if it is obtained from the parents because that is the repeated observational learning. Children appreciate their parents without judging them because they are the role models. Children have an ability to learn more by observing others doing any kind of work. Children have brain like a plain paper. They learn good or bad from what they watch around them. First, they watch their family members, how they communicate with each other, their lifestyle, and way of living. They get same impression because they spend most of their time with them. They copy the information which is the most characteristic of humans and is called imitation. Psychologically the children are into the phase of sensitive learning, they rapidly copy the behaviour of their parents which is imprinted on their minds. Sometimes the learning is the result of an event which is recorded in their memory and by observation and repetition becomes a part of their habits. Secondly, they adopt many habits from the society. If they communicate with well-educated or well-mannered people then they can learn good moral values and if their neighbourhood and society members have some bad qualities it influences them negatively.

Similarly, children have parents who teach them and prepare them for life. Parents have the first and strongest influence on their children. Children observe their way of doing the things. People who are chain smokers or alcoholics must know that children watch their activity and they are leaving bad impression on the children’s mind. Sometimes these activities have a deep impact on young children’s brain and heart. They learn their first lessons from these situations because it’s the parents that guide them about these situations.

The peer group plays a major role in shaping an individual. As it is often said “A man is known by the company he keeps”. Bad company has a negative influence over a child. This is because the teenagers listen more to their friends than their parents and teachers. The peer group can turn denial into acceptance and gives the children sense of fulfillment in life. Children enjoy playing with friends more than anything in life; there are times when they want to stay with their friends more than their parents. Learning from friends is kind of magnetic and it has creative force in it. They open heart out with their friends and see a gleam of pleasure in their eyes. They believe in them and in a way they are their spiritual guides. Friends and peer group are a kind of sheltering tree for children so whatever they say turns a meal into a feast and a house into a home. We all have at times bent over backwards to please a friend be it a colleague at workplace, a friend at college or even a playground buddy at school. Sometimes in pursuit of pleasing friends and to come in each other’s good books they start to covet one another. There are many instances where a good child was spoiled due to bad social circle.

In addition to this, we should try to understand their activities regarding their behaviour. Parents should watch them, where they go. What they do, whom they meet and what do they feel. We should apply on them friendly behaviour, however they share their feelings frequently with us and they won’t try to adapt bad habits. There should be a lesson about moral values in their school curriculum. Teachers should teach them about good ethical and unethical. Parents and teachers activities play an important role to develop their personality. They should be more attentive about their activities. However they can’t adapt wrong ways in their life because children are the future of our nation.

In conclusion, we can say that it is true that children learn best by observing the behaviour of adults and they try to copy it. It is the adults who should watch their behaviour and try becoming a good influence and example for the children.

How Is Healthcare for Children Handled After Divorce?

One very important, yet often overlooked, aspect of the outcome of a divorce is providing healthcare to children. Who’s responsible for the cost, and how is this determined? How do healthcare expenses get weighed among other expenses? Here, we’ll take a broad look at the issue of a child’s healthcare post-divorce.

The most general and common rule of thumb in this matter is that the parent who claims the child or children on their tax return as dependents, is the parent who is responsible for obtaining and paying for healthcare insurance. Keep in mind that the parent claiming the child as a dependent is not always the custodial parent, so that’s another issue to consider on its own.

Whether both parents have a full-time employer, and have health-insurance through that employer, also factors in. If only one parent has health insurance from his or her employer, it will in all likelihood be that parent who provides healthcare insurance to the child. If both parents have health insurance policies from their employers, then a primary and secondary policy can be dictated.

Beyond that, there are also additional and related costs to take into account outside of the actual insurance premiums. Consider the costs of co-pays, deductibles, medication, non-covered expenses, and all the rest that factors into a child’s actual health and wellbeing. These expenses may be hashed out as part of the divorce settlement itself.

Another factor to consider is that the cost of healthcare may in some instances be factored in to a Court’s alimony award. Additionally, healthcare expenses for a child will be factored into the Court’s determination of child support pursuant to the state’s specific guidelines. So whether one of the parents is obligated to pay healthcare expenses for the other, as well as the child, and whether those are classified as child support, alimony, or separate matters, are all factors to consider.

Finally, keep in mind that different states may have different requirements or legislation in place which specifically dictate or mandate how healthcare for children after divorce should be handled. Further, the entire healthcare realm in the United States is always ebbing and flowing, and there could be more changes on the horizon, too.

That’s why it’s always important to consult with an experienced and qualified professional in your local area before taking action. He or she will be able to advise you on potential courses of action and what the best decision will be, not only for the parents, but for the children themselves.

Tips For Treating Children With Traction Alopecia Hair Loss

Children are just as susceptible to traction alopecia as adults are. The causes of traction alopecia in children are similar to grown ups. Hairstyles such as pigtails, cornrows and braiding can cause hair loss in kids. When a child’s hair is repeatedly styled tightly, over a period of time hair follicles become damaged and incapable of producing healthy hairs. The hair follicle may become so damaged that it stops producing hairs altogether. Hair loss occurs in the areas of the scalp that are pulled the most, usually at the front hair line, the nape of the neck and crown.

Traction alopecia in children can be treated in a similar fashion to the way it is treated in adults. In fact children have a much better chance of regrowing hair from damaged hair follicles if treated correctly. It is worth bearing in mind that children have more sensitive skin than adults and certain rules should be followed in order not to cause more damage to their delicate scalps.

Tip number one – avoid tight hairstyles

Avoid hairstyles that cause any sort of pulling whatsoever on hair follicles. Don’t use rubberbands, headbands, clips or any accessories that may cause tension on the scalp. If possible let the child wear their hair down.

Rule number two – do not use harsh chemicals

It is not uncommon for people that have children with unmanageable hair to be tempted to apply some sort of texturizing treatment to tame their wild unruly hair. Texturizers and relaxers contain powerful ingredients to chemically restructure the hair and can damage the scalp of an adult, talk less of that of a child. Although some of these products are made with gentler formulae and aimed at children, it is best to stay clear of any products that might interfere with the health of the child’s hair follicles.

Rule number three – maintain a clean scalp

A dirty scalp is an ideal place for fungus to grow which results in conditions such as dandruff. Ensure the scalp is kept clean by washing it several times a week. A clean scalp will also help remove any dirt and sebum blocking the hair follicles. Most shampoos, even those designed and made for children contain sodium laureth sulfate, a cheap detergent that is also an irritant. It’s a cheap foaming agent that “cleans” the hair by stripping away grease and your hair’s natural oils. Aim for a shampoo that is sulfate free and if you can afford it organic or plant based.

Rule number 4 – apply a hair promoting topical treatment

Hair loss treatments can be applied directly to the scalp to stimulate hair follicles into producing new hairs. While products like minoxidil are suitable for both adult men and women, it should not be used on a child. Instead other hair promoting topical natural treatments can be used. Bhringaraj has been used for centuries in India to promote hair growth and can be safely used on a child. It is a plant and can be applied on a child’s scalp without fear of any adverse effects. Bhringaraj is popularly sold in both its powder form and as an oil. Simply add some water to a teaspoon of powder and mix it into a smooth paste which can be applied to the areas where hair loss has occurred.

Rule number 5 – regular scalp massages

A regular scalp massage will increase circulation and also stimulate damaged hair follicles. Getting into the habit of gently massaging the child’s scalp will speed up their hair regrowth. It is best to use a lubricating agent such as oil to eliminate any friction which may cause further damage to the scalp or hair follicles. Bhringaraj oil or virgin coconut oil make excellent massage oils for the scalp and can also double up as deep conditioning hair treatments.

Following these rules will ensure more hair doesn’t fall out because of the excessive force applied to the hair follicles and that further harm isn’t caused to the follicles by the use of unsuitable hair products. Stick with gentle products and stimulate hair growth by increasing scalp circulation through regular massages to give the hair follicles a chance to heal themselves and start producing healthy new hairs.

What Do Expectations Mean to Adult Children?

While expectations, which can be equated to needed, hoped for, anticipated, or even pre-believed outcomes, are integral to everyone’s lives, those of adult children may hinge upon their very development as people.

Closer to unquestioned truths, these expectations begin in infancy and entail the basic caring, nurturing, and loving needs of sustenance, clothing, and protection. Viewing their parents as never betraying or harming, God-equivalent representatives, they are forced to place their lives and trust in them, since they are totally dependent upon them at this stage. Yet those who are in the hands of alcoholic, para-alcoholic, or dysfunctional caregivers, who themselves never resolved their upbringings, quickly learn the fallacy of their expectations.

“Turning to an alcoholic for affection and support can be like going to the hardware store for bread,” advises Al-Anon’s “Courage to Change” text (Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 1992, p. 2). “Perhaps we expect a good parent to nurture and support our feelings or a loving spouse to comfort and hold us when we are afraid or a caring child to want to pitch in when we are ill or overwhelmed. While these loved ones may not meet our expectations, it is our expectations (themselves), not our loved ones, that have let us down.”

Recently created by God, however, a young child expects the same unconditional love, seeing his parents in the equivalent light. If there is neglect, abandonment, or even worse, abuse, he is only likely to justify it as appropriate “discipline” for his own wrongs, flaws, or general unloveability and not because of my lack on their part-in other words, it is he and not them.

Because these expectations are more akin to fundamental needs at an early age, he may erroneously believe that it is somehow his responsibility to reach, influence, right, or repair his parents, shifting the burden from perpetrator to victim. And doing so may be the equivalent of penetrating a steel wall of denial with a plastic knife. Resultantly, any expectations of them prove futile, since alcoholism is a disease not influenced by means such as reason or logic.

Forced to function in a fight-or-flight survival mode, especially in the midst of an unpredictable, chaotic, and dangerous home environment, the person seeks internal safety by creating the cocooned inner child, but fails to develop into a secure, fully functioning adult. Left with the hole in his soul and very low self-esteem, he may expect little from himself, but a great deal from others later in life, especially since he views them through a distorted lens that deludes him into believing that they are somehow so much more than he in terms of value, stature, and importance.

But his illusion may soon be shattered in a fallen world. And while he may perceive them as superior, they are in their own imperfect, impermanent states.

Some of an adult child’s unmet expectations may result from the never-considered, but anticipated mind-reading ability of others. He cannot automatically expect them to know what his needs or wants are without verbalizing or demonstrating them, and it is unrealistic to expect any single person to meet all of them. As human beings with their own distractions, distortions, and deficiencies, they cannot be expected to focus on the needs of a single other.

“Before coming to Al-Anon, I spent most of my life having expectations of, and making unrealistic demands on, everyone around me,” according to a testimonial in “Hope for Today” (Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 2002, p. 180). “Anyone who didn’t follow through on those demands invited my wrath. However, of all those I placed under my jurisdiction, the person I was hardest on was myself.”

Perfectionism, one of the very adult child behavioral characteristics, is an attempt to fill the childhood-bored hole in the soul and compensate for the lack of parental attention, validation, praise, and love. A single error, such as the misspell of a word, for instance, may cause the person to rekindle his deeply ingrained belief of inferiority and inadequacy and blind him to his assuredly numerous strengths and positive qualities. There may be even a deeper reason, however.

“Perfectionism and forms of perfectionism exist in all types of alcoholic and dysfunctional homes,” according to the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” textbook (World Service Organization, 2006, p. 36). “There is a difference between parents challenging their children to reach higher and to improve, and the damaging perfectionism in which the bar keeps being raised beyond reason. (It) is a response to a shame-based and controlling home. The child mistakenly believes that she can avoid being shamed if she is perfect in her thinking and acting.”

Because home environments are considered early representations of what will occur in the world at large, adult children carry their traits and beliefs into it.

“I grew up with problem-drinking,” “Hope for Today” continues (op. cit., p. 22). “I carried the notion into adulthood that I must be perfect and that I was responsible for everyone. Of course, I never achieved this goal, which left me feeling less-than, not smart enough, not attractive enough, simply not good enough. To cope with my failure to achieve perfection, I focused on the character defects of those around me. My need to be perfect fed into my preoccupation with others.”

While professors, colleagues, and even acquaintances may view rule-adhering actions and achievements in a positive light, the person delivering them may be more of the human-doing versus human-being type and rigidly unreachable. His expectations that others will automatically like or even admire him may be unrealistic, predetermining his failure and enabling him to transfer blame from him to them because of it. Instead of perceiving how others should feel about him, he must amend his own attitudes toward them.

Despite the inherent help of twelve-step venues, they may carry their expectations into them.

“If I become impatient with myself, I can examine my expectations,” “Courage to Change” concludes (op. cit., p. 19). “Perhaps I expect recovery to happen overnight. I will take time today to acknowledge my efforts and to trust the process of the Al-Anon program.”

Expectations-or the playing in a person’s mind of outcomes that will not necessarily occur-can be investments in disappointments, frustration, and anger if they do not, and the strategy shifts the burden and blame from the faulty thinking process to the failure of others to meet the preconceived results. The higher the expectations, the greater will be the disappointment. Echoing what may be the subconscious attempt to influence or fix displaced parental representatives later in life, the methodology is just as unrealistic and ill-conceived. Yet the more whole a person becomes, the less likely will be his need to employ it.

Article Sources:

“Adult Children of Alcoholics.” Torrance, California: Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization, 2006.

“Courage to Change.” Virginia Beach, Virginia: Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 1992.

“Hope for Today.” Virginia Beach, Virginia: Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 2002.