Special needs

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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.

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:

High school and my older adopted child

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Gayla was adopted from Russia at age 11. Here, Gayla's mom describes how the family navigated teh academic challenges of high school.

Galya spent three solid years at elementary school and, though she was older than her friends and classmates, she neither felt nor behaved out of place. How would the move to high school go?

You know your child. Be an advocate.

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Galya was adopted from Russia at age 11. Her new parents quickly learned ways to help their child with this momentous transition. They also fought the school system, which so often fails to acknowledge the challenges faced by an internationally adopted child.

Galya was almost 12 years old when we brought her home from Novosibirsk. It was just three weeks before a new school year began.

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