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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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Medical ID Bracelets for Children and Teens
Identification bracelets, tags and other jewelry are especially important for children and teens who have conditions like diabetes, autism, Down syndrome, asthma or seizures, speech impairments and/or developmental disabilities. There are varieties that suit different fashion needs and special needs

Teddy Bear Hospital Events for Children
Communities may offer Teddy Bear Hospital events for kindergarteners, where nursing and medical students have been trained to communicate with and soothe children's fears about hospitalization or medical procedures. Teddy bear picnics may include first aid clinics during children's hospital tours.

Doorstops for Kids and Teens in Wheelchairs
Local businesses, entertainment venues and school event locations may not think to provide low-cost, thoughtful supports for children, teens and adults with disabilities - including doorstops for those in wheelchairs.

Autism Awareness
Families of children who are diagnosed on the autism spectrum want others to know that each son or daughter with autism is as unique and different from one another as their mainstream peers. They also stress awareness of best practices that benefit most children and teens who have autism.

Response to Intervention - RTI and IDEA
Response to Intervention, known as RTI, is included in IDEA 2004. RTI allows earlier access to accommodations and support for children who struggle in school, including intense intervention, and frequent progress reporting to modify instruction or goals, for more effective teaching of all children.

Patient Advocacy for Children in Hospitals
Families of children with special needs may be more aware of the specific risks during hospitalization that a son or daughter may experience than the most common dangers every child faces due to hospital mistakes, miscommunication or uninformed decisions. Companions and checklists reduce the risks.

Community Emergency Response Team Training - CERT
Parents and other caregivers of children with disabilities, chronic health conditions and other special needs are participating in Community Emergency Response Training to build stronger networks for support and to expand planning efforts for severe weather, natural disasters and unforeseen events.

Inclusion in Brownies and Girl Scouts
Brownie and Girl Scout troops in your community may already include classmates and neighbors who have developmental disabilities like Down syndrome, chronic health conditions like insulin dependent diabetes, or other special needs. Information and support are available to Girl Scout leaders.

Communication Partners
Children with Down syndrome and their families benefit from Dr. James D. MacDonald's 'Communicating Partners' strategies that encourage late talking children as well as their mainstream peers to be more social, responsive and conversational.

Adaptive Dance Classes and Down Syndrome
Children with developmental disabilities and physical challenges have shown that they can perform beautifully and express themselves through dance and theater wherever they have opportunities to show their talents and develop their skills.

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