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BellaOnline's Children with Special Needs Editor

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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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A Smile as Big as the Moon - More than Space Camp
The 2012 Hallmark movie "A Smile as Big as the Moon: A Special Education Teacher, His Class, and Their Inspiring Journey Through U.S. Space Camp" is as inspirational today as it was in 1989. The actor playing the student with Down syndrome is Peter ten Brink.

Teaching Babies to Self Soothe When Crying
Many babies who are are late to learn 'self-soothing' are not developmentally ready to take on that responsibility. Teaching an infant to self-soothe without being aware of what might be causing them physical discomfort or other distress is counterproductive to raising a resilient child.

Organ Transplants and Developmental Disability
In 1995, Sandra Jensen was initially denied a heart/lung transplant because she was born with Down syndrome and medical professionals felt she would be unable to manage post-operative care. In 2012, a young patient with intellectual disability was denied a kidney transplant even with a family donor

Early Intervention and Advocacy - Then and Now
The first early intervention programs for children with developmental disabilities began as preschool studies of children with Down syndrome. Films, photos and videos showing their potential and accomplishments raised professional and public awareness, like today's advocates using social media.

Bacterial and Viral Pneumonia
Parents and caregivers of babies and children with disabilities should be familiar with the symptoms and lack of symptoms seen with bacterial and viral varieties of pneumonia.

New Resolutions and Childhood Disabilities
New Year resolutions for parents of children with disabilities, delays, or chronic health conditions often have less to do with the child or the diagnosis than they do the relationships we have with family, friends, and professionals involved in our children's care.

Holidays and Family Stress
There are many reasons that winter holiday stress complicates the lives of families of children with disabilities, developmental delays or chronic health conditions. There are more reasons to dwell on the joy and let the stress take a holiday.

When My Son was Born with Down Syndrome
I became sensitive to certain words and phrases when my son was born and diagnosed with Down syndrome. I am grateful that his pediatrician developed his own awareness without my intervention. A good doctor can learn from every new patient. Some average doctors may overwhelm by their own ignorance.

Moya Moya Disease and Down Syndrome
Moya Moya disease is a rare condition slightly more common in children with Down syndrome and should be considered if an individual with DS of any age shows symptoms of stroke, seizures, headache or continued loss of cognitive abilities. The Stanford Moyamoya Center has treated patients since 1991.

Using Business Cards for Communication
Individuals with communication challenges or Down syndrome may find using business cards helpful while networking and building relationships in the community, establishing themselves as advocates as they develop the habit of exchanging cards with medical and educational professionals at meetings.

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