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BellaOnline's Children with Special Needs Editor

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End Aversive Restraints and Seclusion in School
Use of time-out or seclusion rooms, physical restraints and other aversive techniques for any child ~ and especially for students who communicate mainly through their behavior ~ should be eliminated from the written policies and all practices of our children's schools, care and education facilities

Engaging in the Natural World and Gardens
Children with disabilities and their families can benefit from a closer connection to the natural world where diversity is the rule and life is abundant.

Environmental Issues and Childhood Disabilities
Environmental dangers to children require strict regulations and earnest measures to reduce or eliminate disease, infection and related childhood disabilities. Dangers include toxic chemicals in products and environments; all types of indoor air; soil and water pollution; and inadequate sanitation.

Epilepsy, Seizures and Vagus Nerve Stimulation
VNS (Vagal Nerve Stimulation) therapy to reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures for children and adults was developed in the mid-1990s. Today it is used when children who lose consciousness during complex partial seizures or generalized seizures not being controlled by medication or surgery.

Equine Therapy for Communication Delays
Children who have delayed speech or articulation difficulties may benefit unexpectedly with hippotherapy - riding horses bareback with an OT or PT even though the main goals are physical: vestibular stimulation, building better balance responses or building and using their core strength.

Establishing Advocacy Priorities
Parents and advocacy organizations can establish advocacy priorities for children and teens with developmental disabilities, chronic health conditions or other special needs that maintain support, encouragement and opportunities throughout the lifespan of each individual.

Evaluations and Diagnosis Childhood Disability
When a child is diagnosed with a disability or chronic health condition, families want to know how best to help them meet the challenges and cope with the difficulties that stem from it.

Executive Functioning and Behavior Issues
Families of children with Down syndrome and behavior issues may not understand the challenges of executive functioning difficulties. Our sons and daughters need to take the time they need to respond to requests or comments, prepare for new situations, or have other special needs accommodated.

Explaining a Cancer Diagnosis to Children
Explaining to a child that a parent, relative or close family friend has a serious or life threatening condition can be difficult for adults who may feel overwhelmed themselves. National and regional treatment centers may have resources for families to share with children, who have special needs.

Explaining Disabilities to Classmates
Understanding and explaining to other children what a having a developmental disability will mean for our children is a complicated challenge that may lead to unintended consequences for them as well as their classmates, who may be sensitive about our acceptance of their abilities and struggles.

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