Special Needs Summer Camps or ESY?

Special Needs Summer Camps or ESY?

Special Needs Summer Camps or ESY?

Patricia S. Lemer, M.S.Bus., NCC, Chairman of the Board, Epidemic Answers, fills us in on special needs summer camps. Parents frequently ask me to make recommendations about summer programming for their children with special needs. They are torn between using the season for intensifying therapy programs or giving the child a break from routine. Any child who has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is eligible for an Extended School Year (ESY) program. ­ First, “critical life skills” are identified in the IEP. Next, a committee determines if the child’s critical life skills, without ESY services: Will regress and not be recovered in a reasonable amount of time Are emerging and at a breakthrough point Are impeded by stereotypic, ritualistic or self-injurious behaviors If an interruption in programming is likely to prevent a student from receiving some benefit from the educational program during the regular school year, the school system must provide ESY services. IEP goals for ESY are carried over…

Parenting Special Needs Children

Parenting special needs children can be quite the challenge, but children will more easily reach their full potential if the adults around them are working as a team. Collaboration with Professionals A child’s neurodevelopmental disorder or disability brings parents into contact – and sometimes into conflict – with doctors, teachers, and therapists. Here are suggestions for developing partnerships with professionals for parenting special needs children. Develop Positive Communication Skills It’s easy for the relationship to become adversarial, but that’s counter-productive. You make it easier for professionals to give you what you need if you communicate with them positively. Be Assertive But Not Aggressive Say what you believe firmly, but not with anger or implied threats. Your goal is to get them to listen – not to make them defensive. Listen It’s easy to spout a list of grievances, but if you don’t listen to the professionals, you can’t expect them to listen to you. Your goal is open communication. Act…

Handwriting and Occupational Therapy

What is writing?  Writing is a complex process that requires the integration of touch, proprioception, kinesthesia, vision, motor coordination and language.  This blog is about handwriting and occupational therapy for developmentally delayed children. Every sense must be well-developed and collaborate with each other sense to produce the memory, motor coordination, perception and attention necessary to put thoughts on paper. Writing is one aspect of written language that depends on the interaction of a multitude of developmental skills. Some children move smoothly through the sequential steps necessary to write.  For children with developmental delays, however, writing can be extremely frustrating. Until young bodies are ready, we must not demand paper and pencil results.  To assure success, we must understand how handwriting skills develop. “Write” from the Start – The ability to write starts devel­oping in infancy and evolves into adulthood.  Small muscles of the hands begin to strengthen as babies push themselves up from their tummies.  (The recent recommendation to place…