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BellaOnline's Children with Special Needs Editor

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Explaining Down Syndrome to Children
Deciding how to explain Down syndrome to young children may challenge the beliefs and expectations of adults who see more differences than similarities among children with Down syndrome and their mainstream peers.

Expressing Friendship with Valentines
Valentines Day holiday is a great opportunity for expressions of friendship between children and a wonderful incentive for them to practice writing their first names on the backs of cards, or placing stickers with preprinted names and messages of friendship.

Extended School Year and Special Education
Students who qualify for special education services through and IEP or 504 plan may also benefit from extended school year services to focus on existing or emerging skills that can diminish or be lost be lost over summer vacation. An excellent resource for parents is the Wrights Law website on ESY.

Fainting Due to Vasovagal Syncope
Some teens faint due to vasovagal episodes: a drop in blood pressure and heart rate with a pooling of blood in the legs and lack of oxygen to the brain, usually caused by fear; anticipation of injury or pain; the sight of blood or needles; heat exposure; extended standing; straining or shock.

Faith, Religion, and Childhood Disabilities
Families of children with special needs have found wonderful support and encouragement from religious groups and their own communities of faith; children who grow up included in a faith community make and find lifelong friends and good company.

Family Games for Parties - Social and Educational
Families of children with special needs may worry about isolation and lack of social context in communication between their sons and daughters and cousins. Playing games at holiday parties, family visits or informal dinners gives us a common frame of reference and helps us get to know one another.

Family Happiness and Childhood Disability
Scientific research on the psychology of happiness has resulted in a great deal of knowledge that should apply to families of children with special needs. Instead, diagnosis of childhood disability most often leads to a description of 'worst case scenarios' and explanations of the stages of grief.

Family Relationships with a Complicated Diagnosis
Children rely on their immediate and extended families for care and nurture, social and cultural education, and a sense of who they are in the world. Those who have a complicated diagnosis may lose connections with extended and even immediate family members, increasing vulnerability due to isolation

Family Thanksgivings - Childhood Disabilities
Thanksgiving for families of children with disabilities is a lovely time to celebrate opportunities our sons and daughters find growing up appreciated and included in our neighborhoods and schools, especially if a chid has been injured, has a medical condition, or has a developmental disability.

Father and Child Relationships - Disabilities
Every relationship between a father and a child with a disability is unique. It is difficult to predict how each relationship will develop over time. Differences between sibling relationships with their father may be related more to the age, interest and personality of the child than any diagnosis.

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