During Maya’s* first birthday celebration, her mother knew something was different. “We were singing ‘Happy Birthday,’ and she had such a blank stare. In that moment, I knew something was off,” recalls Elizabeth Chaillou, who perhaps had special insight into typical childhood milestones given that Maya is the youngest of her five children. Chaillou also noticed for several months that …Read More »
Coding: A Good Career Path for Autistic Children?
For parents of autistic children, “learn to code” is not a snarky rejoinder to the absence of computer skills. It’s a legitimate suggestion for a career path. Many children who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) struggle to find employment once they come of age, according to experts, who estimate most American adults with autism cannot find work. Now, hundreds …Read More »
The Importance of Play and Neurodiversity
Imagine a newborn lying on a mat and reaching for toys hanging overhead, a toddler building a tower of blocks and knocking them down—over and over again—or a child bouncing and catching a playground ball with peers. Each child is playing and learning at the same time. They are learning about their strength, balance abilities, problem-solving and motor-planning skills. They’re …Read More »
About ‘Special Needs’
This issue’s “My Turn” is brought to you in the form of a list. When you’ve been tasked with writing about way-down-deep-in-your-soul beliefs that are as much a part of you as your heart, kidneys and veins in about 600 or so words, perhaps it is best to communicate these beliefs in the form of a list. This list is …Read More »
Redefining ‘Special Needs’: Does This Often-Used Term Serve, Strengthen and Stimulate Connection?
Humans are perpetually learning. Research indicates that people aren’t limited by the amount of information they can remember. According to the ed-tech startup Synap.ac, “a lot of evidence (exists) to suggest we are more likely to remember something if we make an active effort to understand it and if we encounter it regularly.” How does this understanding relate to the …Read More »
Survival Guide for Parents of Kids with Special Needs
Teaching kids with special needs is not just a vocation. It is a specialized skill, and for some, even a calling. After COVID-19 shuttered schools last year, parents of kids with special needs found themselves, overnight, forced to assume the role of special educator, all while parenting, quarantining and, in some cases, simultaneously performing other jobs. Parents faced this learning …Read More »
Sensory-friendly Experiences Serving Families in the Frederick Area
Loud noises and large crowds can sometimes be too much for children on the autism spectrum or with sensory sensitivities. Several venues in the Frederick area offer special sensory-friendly experiences serving families in Frederick County. Frederick’s Child put together the following list of several local spots. Walkersville Southern Railroad The Walkersville Southern Railroad will host a Sensory Friendly Summertime Excursion …Read More »
Benefits of Special Needs Summer Camps
As the chilly winds of winter blow through the mid-Atlantic region, many of us long for the sunny days of summer. For our kids, it’s not only the warmer weather that boosts summer’s appeal. They look forward to swapping school days for pool days at summer camp. Attending summer camps has long been a part of the quintessential childhood experience. …Read More »