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Eczema

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
Eczema is a skin condition which affects many different people of all different ages. It has varying degrees of intensity from dry, to cracked and bleeding skin.  In its most severe form, eczema can be quite disfiguring, however it is not contagious and the symptoms are treatable.

Causes
Eczema can be hereditary, passed from parents to child, or it can be a reaction to allergens in the environment, chemicals, or detergents. The individual’s immune system can react severely, causing irritated, inflamed, sensitive skin.

Down Syndrome

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
Children with Down Syndrome are born with an extra copy of chromosome 21 (thus the medical term: "Trisomy 21"). It is a chromosomal anomaly, or mix-up, in the genetic blue-print that occurs at conception.

Causes
Approximately 1 in 700 live births is a child with Down Syndrome in Canada. It is important to know that nothing the mother does during her pregnancy could cause this to happen. The chance of having a baby with Down syndrome increases significantly with age of the mother.

Cerebral Palsy

Definition
It is a disorder caused by injury to the parts of the brain that control our ability to use our muscles and bodies. "Cerebral" means having to do with the brain. "Palsy" means weakness or problems with using the muscles.

Autism

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
Autism is a complex developmental disorder that appears in the first three years of life, though it is sometimes diagnosed much later (it is not a mental illness). It is a life-long disability that tends to be three to four times more common in boys than girls. It affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills.

Attention Deficit Disorder

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
The official clinical diagnosis is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) but the term Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is used as well. ADHD is a diagnosis applied to children and adults who consistently display certain characteristic behaviours over a period of time. The most common core features include:

Attachment disorder

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
Attachment disorder is also known as Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Attachment forms the foundation for a child's physical, cognitive, and psychological development. It becomes the basis for development of basic trust or mistrust, and shapes how the child will relate to the world, learn, and form relationships throughout life.

Asthma

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Description
Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways, characterized by periodic attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. Asthma is a disease in which inflammation of the airways causes airflow into and out of the lungs to be restricted.

Aspergers Syndrome

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Description
Aspergers Syndrome (AS) is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder. It is considered a milder variant of Autistic disorder, characterized by severe and sustained impairment in social interaction, development of restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, and activities.

Allergies

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Description
An exaggerated immune response or reaction to substances that are generally not harmful. Common allergic diseases are:

Diary of an Adoptive Mom #33

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the 33rd of our series, our mom of three kids--Emily, Grant, and Lynn--finds a winter activity that all the family can enjoy.

We had so much fun! I’ve found an activity that suits all the family!

I hate winter and the thought of spending another season of timing everyone’s turn on the computer or video games, from November to March, was more than I could take. Perhaps I could take the kids skiing? I skied right up to my teen years. I had fun. They’d have fun too. Wouldn’t they?

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