As if the back to school routine isn’t busy enough for families, there is also the added stress for parents of children with special needs to participate in Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings for each of their children. Here are 10 tips to help you go in with a positive attitude, a collaborative mindset, and a plan of action.
Preparing to welcome a new child is one of the most intense, emotional, demanding times in any waiting parent’s adoption journey. It’s also when friends and family are likely to have the most questions! Keeping everyone in the loop can be overwhelming. One way to handle it is to write a letter. Here’s a heartfelt and inspirational example from a waiting (now adoptive!) parent, who shared her letter on Facebook.
Respite is a vital support for many adoptive families, but it can be a challenge to access funding and to find trustworthy and reliable caregivers. In this article, an adoptive mom of many explains how to make respite a basic part of your family lifestyle rather than a last resort.
“I can’t deal with this right now”
My beautiful daughter’s hair was plastered to her head, soaked in sweat. Her clothes were covered in dirt from her tantrum, which almost always has her kicking and screaming on the floor, or the ground, or wherever.
When Ellen and her husband adopted a child from foster care, they were blindsided by the challenges. Now, Ellen is the happy mother of a successful adult daughter. She hopes her story encourages other parents to hold on to hope.
Being a parent is never easy. Add in the complexities of adoption, trauma, and special needs, and you’re likely to discover that tactics like time outs and star charts are useless at best. What does that leave you with? Amanda Preston’s surprising suggestions may be just the tricks you need.
Rethinking bad behaviour
You’re standing in your kitchen washing dishes when suddenly your 10-year-old child walks in. He asks if he can have an ice cream sandwich. Dinner is in 5 minutes so you calmly let him know not right now, but after dinner.
How our brains grow
We’re each born with as many brain cells as the Milky Way has stars—approximately 100 billion of them. These brain cells cells, known as neurons, form connections that are called synapses. They divide and multiply like wildfire, creating new cells and and forming even more connections. In a positive, healthy environment, the brain explodes with growth until around age 3.5.This frenzy of growth slows and levels off after that, but it doesn’t stop. By mid- to late childhood, a typical brain contains twice as many synapses as it did at birth.
New research reveals that prenatal alcohol exposure impacts the entire body, not just the brain.
A whole-body disorder
For the past several decades, the widely held assumption in the field of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) research has been that a fetus’s brain is by far more vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol exposure than any other part of its developing body.
Storytelling can help your child receive a more accurate assessment
Advice from a counsellor on how to recognize and help wounded children and youth.
Trauma: adoption’s shadow
Many children and youth who are adopted have been exposed to highly stressful situations and traumatic events; however, the resulting special needs these children can experience aren’t always recognized or supported. It’s vital for caregivers and professionals to learn the signs and symptoms of trauma as they present in children and youth, and to know how to find and access age-appropriate trauma-informed care.
As the eldest daughter in a family with 13 children, Rosaleen Milner knew all about life with many siblings. She also knew she wanted something different for her own future, something bold and adventurous. She wasn’t going to get married, and she definitely wasn’t having kids. That all changed when she met a handsome engineering student named Roger at Bible camp the summer she turned 15. A new vision started to take shape, one that would lead her on an overseas adventure, yes—but as that engineer’s wife, and the mother of their six children.