November 2009 - Posts

Sensory Integration
22 November 09 03:55 PM | RebeccaL | with no comments
The timer is buzzing, the phone is ringing & somewhere in the background little voices are screaming "Mommy... Mommy". Did someone say sensory overload? It is so easy for us to get overwhelmed with all that goes on. These days there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day, so we do everything at once. Just as adults get stressed and overloaded, so do children. But some children have what is known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID). Sensory integration is how our bodies integrate and respond to stimuli in our environment. Stimuli being things such as light, sound, things we touch; more or less how we process the information through our senses. SID comes in different forms. Some children are constantly smelling objects, others are extremely active and get over-stimulated in a noisy busy room, while others are impulsive and easily distracted. There are times when these behaviors can be mistaken for something else such as a child misbehaving or acting out, when all the child is doing is trying to satisfy a craving their body has for the sensory information they are seeking. Children with SID have difficulty controlling themselves without the proper sensory input (such as jumping, running, a massage to calm them down, etc)and it is important for us to be aware of children with these behaviors. Children who have been identified as having SID can improve with the help of an Occupational Therapist who can provide a "sensory diet" to help children receive the input they are seeking. There is a lot to sensory integration and it is by no means a subject easily summed up in a few paragraphs. There are different forms of SID and there are great books and websites to help us learn and understand more about it. Here are a few: "The out-of-sync child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz. http://www.out-of-sync-child.com/ Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation: www.spdfoundation.net Sensory Integration Education and Research Foundation: http://www.sierf.org/ Even if your child doesn't have SID, they still get overloaded and overwhelmed, just as we do and they look to us to help. So help them take a few deep breaths, bring them to a quiet room or stop to smell the roses. Sometimes it's just enough to help for the moment...
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Government Sites have Kid's Pages to Help Children Learn More
20 November 09 07:43 PM | RebeccaL | with no comments
There has been a lot of controversy these days surrounding health care reform, tea parties, the economy and more. Although they may not understand, children hear about these issues on the news, by hearing adults speak about them and possibly from other sources and they learn about the President, history and what is going on in our country through school. Since these children... your children... are America's future and are affected by these issues one way or another, it's helpful for them to learn a bit more about the White House, the jobs and roles of our government employees and government agencies like the FBI and CIA. Did you know that these agencies all have kid's pages so that children in grades K-12 can learn more about what each does. They provide information, fun games and educational activities that are pretty interesting for adults too. The CIA also provides information for parents and teachers which can help them talk to children about issues such as internet safety. The FBI has cool info about their working dogs, has interesting stories and has safety tips. On the Government site you can learn about diplomacy and being a diplomat, how laws are made, learn about money, national parks as well as many other things. Additional government departments such as the Treasury Department have links to other sites such as the U.S. Mint department as well as a White House page. Take some time to look at these sites with your kids and you might be surprised how much you learn. We are the land of the free and our children have the opportunity to learn about the government in a fun way, so why not take advantage?
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Swine Flu Parties
17 November 09 05:37 PM | RebeccaL | with no comments
Move over birthdays and graduations, there's a new party in town: Swine flu parties. Yes you did not misread, as I thought I did when I first read about this "party". There has been some chatter regarding these "parties" where people purposefully expose themselves to the swine in hopes of getting it. It stems from the idea that exposure will help people avoid a more serious illness in the future. Back in the day, moms made play dates with kids who had chicken pox, so their child could get it, get it over with, and not have to worry about it as an adult. But these are two very different illnesses and the same rules don't apply. Who knows if people are actually having these parties, but the CDC (center for disease control) strongly advises against these parties. They do however offer some tips to stay healthy, which is what we have hopefully been doing all along, such as frequent washing of our hands etc. There has been a lot of media regarding the swine flu and personal feelings regarding getting vaccinated or not. The media loves to hype things up and make things bigger than they really are, so what you won't hear them saying is that the 'regular' flu has been the cause of many deaths for years, and that swine flu is no more than a different strain of the flu. For centuries there have been much worse illnesses that people have met with such as the black plague, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, and more. So we need to keep our perspectives in check and realize this is nothing more than the flu with another name and we've been dealing with the flu for our entire lives. Just because certain strains of the flu are out there doesn't mean any of us will catch them, so to expose your child on purpose to an illness is at the very least a cruel and awful thing to do. We should carry on as we had been doing in the years before we ever heard of swine flu and let nature take it's course. And instead of thinking about exposing children to a potentially serious illness, we should focus on keeping our children warm, fed, clothed and loved.
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