Here's the latest article from the Special Needs Children site at BellaOnline.com.
Holiday Safety, Risk and Childhood Disability
Children with developmental disabilities or physical challenges are slightly more at risk for wandering off, being unaware of danger, and difficulty avoiding accidents. Mainstream children also have low awareness of danger and physical inability to protect themselves due to physical, emotional and developmental stages.
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The last weeks of the year can be tricky for individuals and families due to weather, holiday stress, and, as in our household, inconvenient everyday challenges that we should be able to take in stride. It may be difficult for us to consider the loneliness of adults with developmental disabilities or other special needs who do not have the company of family or friends as they age. I believe their mainstream peers may sometimes feel blue for the same reasons, and wish we had more options to reach out to one another throughout the year and especially during the winter months and holidays.
Sometimes during long winter illnesses I get distracted by the isolation and long hours and can barely put one foot in front of the other. I know it does not make sense to perceive 'everyone else' as being content and in the company of compassionate friends and supportive family - and it does not help that I resist complaining or asking for help until the most difficult times ease up. When I read or someone else mentions going through similar experiences I am completely surprised. Even though I have let go of the fantasy of perfection in my own life, somewhere that thought factory is turning out all sorts of ideas about how other people achieve perfect lives, no matter what challenges their children face. So silly, really.
Thank goodness for those occasions when we can enjoy holiday traditions with family and/or friends; an extended period of good health and/or good moods; or unexpected empathy from professionals or bureaucrats making big or little decisions about our children. There are times I completely forget kindness, peace or naptime exist in the world.
During this season there a many crabby, lonely, meanspirited and angry people who are so distracted they don't consider other people at all. My hope is that for the next two weeks, I won't be one of them, or at least, not as often as I could be. You might meet me while shopping, driving or walking down a public sidewalk. Please remember that on my best days, I am as patient, funny, and pleasant to be with as you. I'll try to remember that other people have their good days, too.
Thank you for all you do to support and encourage your children and to build more opportunities for all our families. You may never be recognized, thanked, or awarded a prize for the everyday things that keep us all going, but I am glad you are in the world and moving forward. Hang in there, dear readers. I hope you have wonderful memories of 2009 that will inspire you and keep you glad well into the fabulous coming new year, 2010. And for the less than perfect moments that pop up here and there, remember, we may someday laugh loudest about just those terrible stories.
December is a wonderful month and I hope it treats you well!
Ordering Amazon.com Gift Certificates here: http://tinyurl.com/AmzSNCGftCd - or browsing and buying products from a link in my articles will (slightly) help support the Special Needs Children website. If prices are not significantly different, try to shop and buy gifts, books, toys and other products in your neighborhood and nearby towns to support your community during this economic recovery period.
Please visit specialneedschildren.bellaonline.com for new and archived articles of interest by the SNC editor, Pamela Wilson.
Teaching Printing and Cursive Handwriting - Childhood Disability
Sign Language and Childhood Disability
Encouraging Fussy Babies and Sensitive Toddlers
Photography Lessons for Children with Disabilities
Anxiety and Childhood Disability
Sensory Integration and Children
Orthotics and Shoe Inserts for Children
Nintendo Wii Therapy Rehab for Children and Teens
Amazon Kindle and Childhood Disability
Nintendo Wii Therapy for Children and Teens
Holiday Shopping for Children with Special Needs
Holiday Parties for Children with Disabilities
Holiday Party Planning - Support Groups
Holiday Play and Crafts
Perfection, Gift Giving and Winter Activities
Holiday Travel and Weekend Getaways
Gratitude and Perfection - Childhood Disability
Pain Management for Children at Clinics and Hospitals
Interviewing Caregivers for Your Child
Teaching Relatives to Care for a Disabled Child
To participate in free, fun online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Special Needs Children located here -
I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I thrive on your feedback!
Have fun passing this message along to family and friends, educators and other advocates!
Pamela Wilson, Special Needs Children Editor
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