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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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Nurturing Parents of Babies with Disabilities
There are simple steps advocates, friends and family can take to support and nurture parents the first full year after their baby is diagnosed with a developmental delay or disability, is injured, or develops a physical illness or other condition.

Babies with Developmental Delays
Babies with developmental delays can grow up in the mainstream even if they qualify for services for those with a certain degree of delay in one of five areas of development. Many babies with delays respond well to early intervention as if they just had a different timetable of development.

Talking About Childhood Disabilities in Public
Discussing childhood disabilities in public often means talking about individual children, without respect for their privacy or self-perception. Researching or broadcasting information on common challenges, best practices and symptoms raises awareness without benefitting the child with a disability.

Teaching Reading to Children with Speech Delays
Even today, children who are nonverbal or preverbal may lack the opportunities they deserve to learn to read or write, or may not be recognized as readers or writers when they have learned the skills but have not been provided the tools needed to show that they have learned to do so.

Inclusive Playgroups for Babies and Toddlers
New moms looking for playgroups with other mothers of babies or toddlers can use social media or local resources to set up a series of introductory meetings with childhood specialists, parent educators, or others with expertise in development. Inclusive playgroups often lead to lifelong friendships.

Bras for Daughters with Disabilities
Like their mainstream peers, girls and teens with disabilities benefit from professional bra-fitting at a department store or specialty shop to find appropriate, well-fitted bras with features to accommodate physical challenges, while aesthetically pleasing the young woman who wants or needs one.

Disability Diagnosis in Multicultural Communities
Disability occurs at nearly the same frequency across race, culture and ethnicity, but diagnosis for chronic health conditions, developmental delay or autism in early childhood is too often delayed for children of color. They also lack of representation in research and awareness.

A Childhood with Down Syndrome
Babies with Down syndrome who grow up with friends with similar interests or geography often have more in common with their family and mainstream peers than they do with other chromosomally enhanced children and teens.

Earaches and Ear Infections
Children with disabilities experience ear infections and painful earaches at least as often as their mainstream peers. Symptoms may be attributed to the primary diagnosis, behavior issues, or other factors; especially for the very young or those with communication delays.

People with Down Syndrome Raise Awareness
Families and advocacy organizations raise awareness about the potential of individuals with Down syndrome during events year-round, and especially during October or on World Down Syndrome Day March 21st. People with Down syndrome are more powerful advocates, working or just living ordinary lives.

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