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BellaOnline's Children with Special Needs Editor

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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.

Little League Challenger Division
The Little League baseball Challenger Division gives youth with physical and intellectual disabilities the opportunity to play on real teams with mainstream buddies who also love the game. Daily physical activity is encouraged by the national "Let's Move" campaign led by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Cataracts and Down Syndrome
Babies and children with Down syndrome have a higher incidence of cataracts. Some babies with Down syndrome are born with cataracts; there is also a slightly higher incidence for individuals with Down syndrome who may acquire cataracts during childhood or adolescence.

Aid for Haiti - Childhood Disability
Families and individuals around the world are reaching out to the people of Haiti who were so tragically affected by the 2010 earthquake. Organizations who had already committed to family supoprt, schools and clinics for children with disabilities remain dedicated to filling the urgent need for help

Communication Alternatives - Childhood Disability
Alternate forms of communication for children with speech delays or disabilities include body language, behavior, facial expressions, and informal sign language or shorthand words as well as standard sign language, icon based communication systems, handwriting and typing.

Voice4u iPod Touch iPhone Communication App
The Voice4u iPod Touch / iPhone App is a low priced software application providing graphics, speech support and alternative communication for children and teens whose speech or behavior may be difficult to understand. You may add icons, pictures and sounds and it is available in Japanese, too.

Service Dog Etiquette
There are certain rules of etiquette for interacting with service dog handlers and their animals that are critical for people with disabilities as well as being recommended by trainers for the well-being of the dogs.

Positive Psychology and Childhood Disability
Positive Psychology suggests ways of supporting and enhancing mental wellness in children and adults coping with increasing daily stress or anxiety. Human rights activist Norman Kunc explains Abraham Maslow's well-researched theory of the hierarchy of needs as it relates to our families.

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