Obesity In Children With Developmental Delays

THE FITNESS PRIORITY BY KRISTIN MCNEALUS, PT, DPT You get to influence your child’s health and set the pattern that, when your child grows, another caregiver will accommodate. Does your child participate in physical education class at school? How much screen time does your child get every day? Does your child eat any vegetables? The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) finds that children with developmental disabilities have a higher prevalence of obesity than […]


Addressing Chronic Pain: A Five-Step Team Approach

BY GRACE L. FRANCIS AND VICTORIA MCMULLEN Living with someone who has chronic pain is difficult; living with someone who is in pain and also has challenging behavior and limited communication abilities can be downright miserable for all involved. Ron, age 35, has numerous educational and medical diagnoses, including mixed type cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disability, and autism. He also experiences many types of chronic pain related to conditions such as osteoarthritis, tempomandibular joint […]


The Dietary Supplement Decision

GENETIC ALLIANCE BY CLAIRE MENA While dietary supplements do give reason to consume with caution, certain supplements, particularly vitamins, can play an important role in a child’s health. Throughout my life I have gone through bouts of anemia. When I disliked meat as a child, my iron levels dropped and the pediatrician recommended a diet filled with leafy greens, whole grains, and my least favorite—cream of wheat. The iron levels continued to fluctuate with diet […]


Stop Drinking Soda

THE FITNESS PRIORITY BY KRISTIN MCNEALUS, PT, DPT Don’t beat yourself up if you cheat! But cutting back is a great start. Soda is still the second most consumed beverage to water in the United States and it is making us unhealthier by the year. It is time that you make healthy habits for your children, and lead by example. Stop drinking soda. Let’s look at what it does to the body: Soda’s high sugar […]


Parent Engagement In Healthy Schools

BY JOANNE AIDALA AND KAREN STRAIM Engaging parents as advocates for healthy schools is also common sense. Parents have political clout as residents and taxpayers to advocate for change on behalf of their child’s school before school boards and municipal councils. INTRODUCTION Schools understand that parents1 care deeply about their children, and expect that parents will support their child’s health and learning at home. As reflected in the CDC’s online materials (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/parentengagement/parentsforhealthyschools.htm), parents are also […]


Reducing the Stress of Mealtimes for Picky Eaters

As a behavior analyst, I learned a long time ago, that fixing “bad” or ineffective routines was extremely difficult. However, creating new routines was always much easier. THE REALITY VERSUS THE DREAM For so many parents (with or without children on the autism spectrum), difficulties at mealtime are a daily reality and these struggles can make mealtimes one of the least preferred parts of their lives. Anticipating another battle royale over eating can often lead […]


Caring For Children With Special Needs – Allergies And Asthma

We don’t usually think of children with allergies or asthma as children with “special needs,” but they certainly are. In fact, children with these conditions are probably the most frequently encountered “special needs” children. Child care providers can do a great deal to help individual children manage their specific allergy or asthma needs and feel more comfortable in a child care setting. Allergies Children with allergies face the same social difficulties as do adults, but […]


Celebrating Our Men And Women Of Service

BY MICHELLE BOUDREAU As we move into the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we are looking to honor all men and women of service. At this time, we are featuring two fathers who have encountered difficulties in their own lives, yet have shown up to serve their communities in heroic fashion. We honor Tony DeLeon, serving Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department (LASD is the nation’s largest Sheriff’s Department and the second largest law enforcement […]


Fitness for Children with Physical Disabilities

THE FITNESS PRIORITY BY KRISTIN MCNEALUS, DPT, MBA, ATP Exercise can also lower risk for complications associated specifically with spinal cord injury and spina bifida, such as the development of some forms of cancer, respiratory illness, and UTI. Are you an Exceptional Parent of a child with a spinal cord injury, spina bifida, or cerebral palsy? It is important to encourage your child to get a sufficient amount of exercise! Even if it is difficult, […]


Tripp Halstead Finds Happiness

BY MICHELLE BOUDREAU All across the country, fall is in the air. When we think of fall, typically the first thing that comes to mind is the gorgeous changing colors of tree leaves and the foliage across the country that can be breathtaking. The air feels crisp, clean and for many people it is their favorite time of year. § For one family I had the pleasure of interviewing this month, the colors of fall […]