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Tag Archives: special needs

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the nation and affects approximately one in 54 children. Early intervention for children diagnosed with autism is pivotal in helping them learn, cope and discover new possibilities. Knowing the key indicators of ASD and the first steps in getting screened helps countless children avoid the pitfall of having a late …

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The Importance of Early Diagnosis of Autism

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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What’s in a smile? Learn About the Faces Behind Moebius Syndrome

Moebius Syndrome Foundation | Photo: Rick Guidiotti of Positive Exposure

  Pediatric neurologist Carl E. Stafstrom remembers his first experience with Moebius syndrome was with a child’s mother. She had the tell-tale signs: a drooping face, eyes that could not glance to the side—and, most importantly, she couldn’t smile. Without such a simple means of communication we often take for granted, he couldn’t help but wonder what challenges she might …

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Spotting a Speech Disorder in Children

When my son was a toddler, he couldn’t pronounce the letter “R.” Words like “river” were “wivuh” and “crab” became “cwab.” At the time, I thought these speech errors only made his chubby-cheeked baby-talk ramblings all the more endearing. As he entered kindergarten, he learned to read and write, but not how to pronounce his “R’s.” My husband and I …

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