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BellaOnline's Children with Special Needs Editor

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Supported Housing Options and Caregiver Choices
Families of teens with disabilities transitioning to adulthood have many questions about housing options and caregiver support for their sons and daughters throughout adulthood. Some questions could best be answered by adults with disabilities who have had experience hiring and managing caregivers.

Challenging Chronic Sorrow - Childhood Disability
The symptoms of depression in mothers of children with disabilities are not acknowledged or understood in the same way as a physical injury requiring treatment and accommodations. Mothers of children with disabilities have been said to experience chronic sorrow that intrudes into their happy lives.

Loneliness and Friendship in High School
Students with Down syndrome or other developmental disabilities may experience less loneliness and more friendships in high school than their mainstream peers, unless a club like Circle of Friends offers all students the support and encouragement found in inclusive extracurricular activities.

Babies with Hydrocephalus
Pediatric hydrocephalus can be prenatally diagnosed via ultrasound and involves a buildup of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that cushions the brain. Early diagnosis and treatment by placement of a shunt system to divert the extra cerebrospinal fluid to an area where it can be reabsorbed is helpful.

Children of Divorce - Childhood Disabilities
Issues in families where parents are divorced or separated can be slightly more complicated when one of the 'children of divorce' has a disability or developmental delay. Helping build resilience in our children benefits everyone in the family during and after divorce.

Vestibular Disorders - Childhood Disabilities
Older children and teens with vestibular disorders may experience dizziness and problems with balance that negatively affect their development and everyday lives. Younger children with sensory processing or sensory integration disorders may experience balance problems with or without vertigo.

Neurofibromatosis is a set of 3 genetic disorders causing tumors to grow along the covering of nerves, also affecting bones and skin. Earliest symptoms in babies with the most common type of neurofibromatosis (NF1) are café au lait birthmarks. Two-thirds of individuals with NF1 are mildly affected.

Yoga and Childhood Disabilities
Yoga classes may be beneficial for children, but should be taught by certified and responsible instructors, like all physically demanding activities for children and especially for those who have developmental disabilities, motor planning delays, physical challenges, or chronic health conditions.

Papoose Board Restraints - Dental or Medical Uses
Use of restraint boards or passive restraints for medical or dental procedures can be frightening and traumatizing for patients with developmental disabilities and those who are unable to communicate due to injury or illness; often insulting to Native Americans to refer to misuse as Papoose Boards.

Talking to Your Daughter About Her Period
Daughters with developmental disabilities may have even more difficulties than their mainstream peers expressing their questions and concerns about the physical changes that occur at puberty. Planning and preparing for a daughter's first period can help her become more adept and confident.

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