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Holiday Gift Guide

As the holiday season quickly approaches, caregivers and parents of children with special needs are considering what new toys, games and learning tools are appearing on the market and which of those might be a good fit for their child. To help families through their toy purchasing decisions, EP’s editors have compiled a selection of some new products as well as some classic choices, each of which offer fun ways to improve motor skills, balance, […]

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Tactile And Sensory Gift Guide

Children can use tactile and sensory toys for calming themselves, reducing stress, promoting focus and concentration, and increasing tactile awareness, all while keeping fidgeting fingers busy! Fidget and sensory objects are great for all children and young adults, but especially those with ADD/ADHD, OCD, autism, or high anxiety levels. These toys help promote a sense of calm, lower anxiety and can increase focus and attention. Below we have compiled a selection of some new products […]

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Games And Puzzles Gift Ideas

Helping your child with special needs use their play time to the most benefit can be tricky. Try a little fun instead, using focus games to stretch their attention span. Puzzles are a fantastic tool for your child’s mind and cognitive development. Additionally, many types of games help children develop new social cues and skills and come to terms with the idea of right and wrong. Best of all, board games allow you to spend […]

Fine Motor Skills Gift Ideas

Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscles, usually involving the synchronization of hands and fingers, with the eyes. Controlling smaller muscle movements can often present big challenges for children with special needs. Developing fine motor muscles is an essential first step towards holding a pencil, learning to dress, and much more. We feature toys that are designed specifically to help kids develop their finger muscles and their hand-eye coordination. Below we have compiled […]

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GROSS MOTOR SKILLS

Big muscle movements, also called gross motor skills, involve a variety of areas of the body and specific aspects of their use. Gross motor skills are involved in movement and coordination of the arms, legs, and other large body parts and movements, such as running, crawling and jumping. Development of these skills result in postural control, coordination, strength, balance, and bilateral coordination (both sides of the body working together). Toys that emphasize these movements help […]

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Bringing the Family’s Voice to Research: Parents as Members of the Research Team (Part One)

  By: Lisa Diller, Seattle, Washington; Paula Drew, Edmond, Oklahoma; Marquitha Gilbert, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Nancy Ford, Atlanta, Georgia; Tina Hjorngaard, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Kim Rayfield, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Barbara Taylor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania “Nothing About Us Without Us!” is a slogan used to communicate the idea that no policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of members of the group(s) affected by that policy.” It has been embraced by the disability community for […]

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In Someone Else’s Shoes

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN She knew these parents care for their children each and every day, knowing the difficulties they face. These parents may struggle each day to do something as simple as transporting them to school. I’ve always wondered if there would be more empathy in the world for people with disabilities, or for families who are raising children with disabilities, if those not affected could live in our shoes for a […]

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How A Child Developmental Passport Can Help Families

BY DEEPA SRINIVASAVARADAN Developmental Passports can be used by parents to track the health, wellness, and development of their child. These are available in both English and Spanish for families. A STATE EXAMPLE The Child Developmental Passport in NJ was developed in collaboration with the State Ambassador of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Learn the Signs, Act Early Program and the Help Me Grow and Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Initiative of the NJ Department […]

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Finding The Right New Team

BY ALLEN FRIEDLAND, MD, FACP, FAAP I urge you to ask your current team for advice on where to look locally/regionally. It is not easy to do a web search to find these practices (wouldn’t that be nice). As a physician that has an interest in the care of young adults with special health care needs, I hear from patients and families all the time about how hard it is to find a physician that […]