The Problem: A relative has been just diagnosed with terminal cancer. Should I tell them about the cancer or just tell them that the relative is very sick? My children are in elementary school and preschool.
Having just gone though this myself, I know how hard the decision can be. Ultimately, I chose to tell my children. I felt they had a right to know. I did not want them to have any regrets on how they chose to spend the time they had left with the relative. There were those within my family who disagreed with my decision. However, I stood firm, and later they realized the wisdom of my decision. This was the right choice for my children but it might not be the right choice for your children. Honestly, there is no right or wrong answer. Just choose what you feel is in the best interest of your children and the relative and ignore those who disagree with your decision. The only person who knows what it's like to be in your shoes is you.
The Problem: My child is in a wheelchair and is unable to reach forward. How can I make a wall that she is able to reach?
Purchase a TV bracket with an articulating arm, preferably one that extends at least 20 inches. Cut a piece of plywood or plexiglass, using the directions of the TV bracket as a guide, as the same dimensions of the maximum size TV that can be used for that bracket. Attach the bracket to the wall. Next, attach the plywood or plexiglass to the bracket. Make sure the center of the plywood or plexiglass lines up with the center of the bracket. Be careful to leave enough clearance so that when the plexiglass or plywood is attached, the wheelchair is still able to go under the wall. Now you have a moveable wall that can be either extended out or placed flat against the existing wall.
Problem: My child's chin strap keeps slipping off of the headrest. The earliest repair appointment is still one month away. How can I keep my child's head supported while I wait for the repair appointment?
Purchase nonslip material such as shelf liner. Cut 2 squares, approximately 2 inches by 2 inches, from the nonslip material. Place each square on the outside of the headrest where the chin strap wraps around the headrest. Next, place the chin strap back on the headrest. The nonslip squares should be between the headrest and the chin strap. This will prevent the chin strap from sliding
Get a plastic shoe box container to hold the rice. Place the container, filled with rice, inside of the freezer when the sensory activity is over. Not only will the freezer protect the rice from the field mice but it will also increase the sensory experience.
Support the RICS App, a new communication system to help those with special needs communicate by utilizing real images that can speak for them.
The Problem: My child is afraid of squirrels. He refuses to walk whenever he sees a squirrel and I can no longer take him to the park.
Buy a squirrel puppet. To introduce the squirrel, have the squirrel puppet come over to the house to visit. While the caretaker and child are in the house, have another person hold the squirrel puppet just like he or she was holding a real squirrel. Make sure the person is able to work the puppet so that it looks real. Have the person ring the doorbell. The caretaker can say, "The squirrel came to visit us today." Have the child stand as far away as possible but where he can still see the door. The caretaker opens the door, has a short conversation with the person and the squirrel, says goodbye, and closes the door. Next, the caretaker talks to the child stating how much fun it was to see the person and the squirrel. Repeat this once a day, until the child is comfortable with the squirrel outside of the house. Next, have the conversation with the person and the squirrel standing in the doorway with the door still open. Once the child is comfortable with this, have the person take one step into the house and close the front door before the caretaker has the conversation. As the child becomes comfortable, move one step closer to the child until the child can comfortably stand next to the person with the squirrel. Now the child is ready to go back to the park.
A Word of Caution: Do not have the child touch or pet the squirrel or he may try to touch or pet a squirrel when he sees one outside.
DETMAR LLC: Help, Support, Education and Communication Ideas for Autistic, Multiple Disabilities, Severely Disabled, Moderately Disabled, Life Skills, Intellectual Disabled, Emotional Support, Preschool, English Language Learners, Special Education, and Students of All Ages.
Do you have a problem, question, or a concern? Just send a comment to Alison!
Alison Nguyen has worked in the educational field for 16 years. She has experience with autistic, learning support, resource room, itinerate, push-in, and multiple disabilities. Alison lives with her husband and four children in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.