Special needs family-friendly fun and disability support

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This website is dedicated to my daughter Monica, who was born with a neural tube defect, called an occipital encephalocele.

Despite multiple disabilities, including cortical blindness, developmental delays, polycystic kidney disease and a complex partial seizure disorder, Monica continues to explore, learn and enjoy life. Monica is a delight and inspiration to all that know her.

We hope that this website will provide hope and support for families with special needs.

Take a tour of our website and discover family fun and recreation, family health and wellness, family life and relationships, and disability support for families with special needs.

Articles wanted - Do you offer a service, write articles, or publish a website related to special needs or disability support? Our visitors want to know.

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Excerpts from recent articles -

Online education programs, whether they’re fully online or blended, can be a beneficial approach for students who have specific needs for alternative course work. Most often, these students are: homeschooled students; advanced or accelerated students; disabled students; students who travel frequently, students who struggle socially at school, and students who need extra support or tutoring in a specific subject.

•Every bride wants her wedding day to be the perfect day, the day that she's dreamed of since she was a little girl. Brides with disabilities and special needs are no different. Although a bride with a disability may worry about how her wheelchair will fit into her perfect day, she need not have those worries. With just a little creativity, wedding planning and imagination, her wedding day can be just as spectacular as she has always imagined.

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•Parents, teachers and therapists of children with autism often use interactive reading to facilitate interaction and social skills as it sparks their imagination and also engages them in a social activity. It also makes reading fun, which helps children to approach the learning process with enthusiasm rather than the dread they tend to feel if they are struggling to progress with their reading.

Container gardening is an accessible way to grow plants. A patio area can be brightened by the addition of baskets of cascading tomatoes or a colorful herb mix. Planter boxes or buckets can be used to create a garden space on an apartment balcony. Container gardening presents opportunities for many innovative and accessible ideas to enjoy gardening.

•Special Education Art by Helen Goren Shafton - Art is important to the development of all children, but it is particularly valuable to children with disabilities. When creating art, the child is building a wide variety of skills – both motor and cognitive. The various sensory experiences involved in art production are positive and pleasurable sensations. Additionally, the creative process provides opportunities for expressing ideas and emotions, which can sometimes be difficult for the child with disabilities.

•Developing childrens motor skills are important when they are very young. Teaching your child these motor skills in the form of a craft or a game allows him or her to learn while also having family fun. Learning these skills will help make them better prepared for when they go off to school and will help them succeed, so play and play often. Developing motor skills doesn’t require doing drills over and over. They can be fun and creative. If the craft or activity is something your child looks forward to doing, they’ll want to keep practicing so they can do better.

•Home safety for your special-needs child - Just as with any child, it’s important to make your home as safe as possible for your special-needs son or daughter. Just as with any child, it’s important to secure your home to make it as safe as possible for your son or daughter, avoiding the usual bumps and bruises associated with growing up. As any parent soon discovers, children have an unswerving knack of finding the sharpest corners, most slippery surfaces and valuable ornaments to play with, and keeping an eye on your busy baby, toddler or child is tough at the best of times. However, supporting a child with special needs can pop another dimension in to the mix – not only do we have to make sure that the house is safe and secure, but we also need to find as many ways as possible to make their lives easier as well as the environment safer.

•When our children have special needs, traveling becomes more difficult to plan and research, but it can be full of surprises and memories you won't have wanted to miss. Use this guide to travelling with special needs children. Traveling with our children can be educational, magical and down right crazy. In the best of circumstances I would say a family of 4 can expect one meltdown by one person a day, if we are lucky! Children love to travel and soak up so much when we take them places. When our children have special needs, the traveling becomes more difficult to plan and research, but it can be full of surprises and memories you won't have wanted to miss. No matter where your family goes the best way to travel with our children is to research and plan extensively. Knowing what to expect is essential for everyone. There are family vacation specialist out there that can help you plan the perfect vacation to meet the needs of your child, at no cost at all to you.

•Family fun brings not only enjoyment but BIG family health benefits, too. And if you look carefully, you can find fun in whatever you do... it is only a matter of attitude. Enhance your family fun today! And if you look carefully, you can find fun in whatever you do... it's all a matter of attitude. Taking time for the things that you enjoy can help you feel better about yourself and be more satisfied with life. And when you feel this way, you might be more likely to exercise, eat well, get regular medical care and reach out to friends and family - all of which can benefit you physically and mentally. People with special needs often spend a lot of time doing things that don't really benefit their health, such as watching television. Try eliminating some of these isolative, non-social activities from your day. You'll find you then have more time for doing things you enjoy that also will benefit your health.

•Developmental age-appropriate toys - When choosing toys for your child, it is important to consider developmental age. If your child has been diagnosed with a developmental disability or delay, her pediatrician, speech therapist, teacher, and occupational and physical therapists can offer suggestions on the types of developmental toys that will be most beneficial. In general, look for toys at or slightly above your child's skill level. It is important to have toys that can be successfully play with as well as those that challenge. Challenge should be fun and stimulating; not frustrating.

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