Robo3d Customer Features:Amazing Father Uses 3D Printer To Teach His Blind Daughter

Published on 16 Apr 2015
See how this amazing family uses a 3D printer to teach their adopted blind daughter about the world around her. The Walker Family is truly inspiring. Please SHARE!

Watch this video on YouTube.

That is awesome and inspiring!!

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World’s leading philanthropists to be honored with Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

World’s leading philanthropists to be honored with Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy (via PR Newswire)

Download image Winners of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy 2013, are pictured in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament Edinburgh where the awards were presented. (L-R Back Row: Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton on behalf of the Wolfson Family…

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Military Families with Special Needs Children – 6 Tips to Reduce Stress by Raven W Green/Special Happens.com

 

I was impressed by a nice article on Specialhappens.com

Military Families with Special Needs Children – 6 Tips to Reduce Stress

Posted on May 20, 2013 by Raven Green • 3 Comments

US Flag and father holding son's handBeing a military family with a special needs child is a unique situation.  There are  challenges such as deployments, frequent moves, distance from family, trying to navigate Tricare in addition to any medical issues.

However, as a military family there are also countless resources, assistance and support that is available exclusively or targeted to the military community. Resources and acronyms vary from branch to branch but the available support, for the most part, is similar.

As any special needs OR military family knows, organization and planning is a huge part of reducing stress and time management.  Here are a few  of my tips for doing just that!

  1. Learn to Organize– Everything needs a place; having a place for everything may be an old saying but it holds true today.  Paperwork, photos, medical supplies, medical records, food and almost everything in a household can be organized, contained as well as labeled for quickly locating and using.  Home management binders, filing systems, family command centers  and labeling systems are huge steps to a more streamlined home in addition to easy access to what is needed for everyone.
  2. Manage & Plan Time– Schedules, routines and plans help to maintain the consistency and structure both special needs children AND parents need to thrive. Military family life involves understanding plans WILL change and frequently. Just knowing that having a plan (even a flexible one) is essential is the first step to time management.  Morning / bedtime routines, chores / rewards , a family calendar, and meal planning are a few ways to incorporate planning.   Remember that knowing what to expect, what one is responsible for and maintaining a “to do” list can do wonders to lessen stress and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.  Using visual aids posting the “family calendar” and using charts help to keep everyone on the same page and feel like they are part of the overall plan.
  3. Take Care of Yourself and Marriage– The biggest piece of advice I would give for other special needs parents is to lean on your spouse during both the good & bad times.  Special needs parents and military spouses have a tendency to put both themselves as well as their primary relationship on the back-burner in order to take care of everyone plus everything else.  Taking care of both yourself and your marriage is essential to a healthy and resilient military special needs family. Don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Always schedule time for yourself and remember to use that time for a hobby, time with friends or even a nap.  Use a family calendar to schedule in that time as well as date nights (either at home, out on the town, or on Skype with a deployed spouse).  Staying rested, healthy, and in constant honest communication with your spouse should be non-negotiable aspects of your life.
  4. Ask for Help– One person cannot do it all regardless of what they may believe.  It is not a sign of weakness to reach out and say, “I need help.”   Special needs parenting and military life are both demanding high stress lifestyles.   Be specific when asking for help instead of assuming people know what is needed because they do not.  Military special needs lives are unique and even mysterious to friends who may not have a clue what your daily life entails. Having a friend prepare a few meals, babysit a few hours a week while you have “me time” or a date night or even just  asking a friend to take you to a movie are ways they could  be helpful to you.   Sometimes, hiring a professional is needed and that is okay.   Hiring a nanny, babysitter or caregiver that is trained in helping a special needs family can be a blessing for an overwhelmed parent.   Being able to trust that your child is taken care of by a professional can give you that much needed relief to be able to run errands, visit with friends or whatever YOU need to do alone because it is not always feasible to handle certain things with your children in tow.
  5. Know Your Military Resources-The military has many resources to turn to for reference, assistance, guidance and support.  Get to know your local, branch and national resources. Each branch may have different names or acronyms for the same service so check with your local base.  In the Army, a few essential resources are the Exceptional Family Member Program- EFMP, Army Community Service- ACS, School Liaison Officers-  SLO and Family Readiness Groups- FRG.
  6. Utilize Community Resources –Reaching out to your local community can be a great way to find support and friends.   It is always beneficial to have friends who are in the same situation.  Finding other special needs families and military families can help you build a circle of trust, comfort and support.  It is also a great way to help others and to feel that you are not alone. Support groups, play groups, hobby groups and your children’s sports/activities  are perfect opportunities to reach out and find kindred spirits.  Utilizing the Internet, smart phones and tablets are perfect for today’s military special needs parent. With a few buttons, touches or words to Siri, a world of online support groups, websites, blogs and networks put you in touch with an endless variety of resources.

Military special needs parenting can be a complicated, stressful, and demanding lifestyle. However, reaching out to utilize the available resources, support, advice, and tips available can make the difference between a successful, resilient, happy family and an overwhelmed, exhausted and depressed household.

I’m looking forward to sharing more information on available resources and helping to explain the EFMP process, acronyms and other military specific programs.

If you have a specific question or would a certain resource featured please send me an email with the subject line “Special Happens- Military Series”.  I can be reached at msmommyhh6@yahoo.com .

Live, Love & Learn,

Raven W. Green

 

If you have Autistic or Special Needs Kids take a look at a free program offered by the Torino Foundation!!

 

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JUNE 20-23, 2013
MISSION Our focus is on alleviating the strain that an Autism diagnosis takes not only on the affected child but the child’s family. Our primary goals are to help campers build self-esteem, develop better social skills and self-expression, make and maintain friendships, improve fine motor skills, gross motor skills and sensory integration.
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ABOUT Camp I AM is our second co-ed residential summer camp program designed specifically for children ages 6 – 17 with a primary diagnosis of Autism. Camp I AM’s emphasis is ‘personal growth’.  The program is designed for children who would benefit from structure, small group dynamics and individual attention all in a private setting where the campers enjoy typical outdoor camp activities.   All campers participate in a daily rotation of non-competitive camp activities with their cabin groups.  We encourage camper participation and inspire them to reach their full potential by realizing their best is ‘the best’.  Our curriculum focuses on improving physical health, problem solving, teambuilding, starting and finishing tasks as well as many other objectives including having fun!
Free quality services are provided at Camp I AM including accommodations and meals, onsite medical support, and recreational facilities. A tasty, healthy and hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served each day and snacks and beverages are provided throughout the entire program.  We also provide for the campers with special dietary needs.ELIGIBILITY Camp I AM welcomes children ages 6 – 17 with a primary diagnosis of Autism.  Camp I AM does not offer a clinical setting and therefore, cannot accept children who have a history of aggressive, abusive or violent behaviors.

PROGRAM FEATURES A unique feature of Camp I AM is the Camper Passport.  The majority of our parents are most interested in helping their child improve their social skills, learn new activities, develop a better sense of self, and to take greater responsibility for themselves.   The Camper Passport is a tool that Counselors use while at camp, to keep written record in a non-intrusive way, of each camper’s personal experience while staying with us at camp.  It’s nice to know that your quiet, softly spoken child was front and center on the stage during the camp talent show singing their heart out.  The Camper Passport is gifted to each camper’s parents after camp allowing the parents to benefit from and enjoy their child’s personal journey through Camp I AM.  Although the campers learn many new “camp” skills from participating in activities, it’s the skills that are less visible that are the most recognized when returning home.  The campers feel very empowered to share new things with their family.
Our one-to-one adult counselor to camper ratio, plus activity instructors and safety staff, allows us to work closely with each camper to provide individualized attention to their special needs. Our counselors are adults who are experienced in working with children with Autism or are pursuing a degree in special education or a related field. Each child is also assigned a non-disabled Peer Buddy. Camp I AM is run by a group of highly skilled, experienced and caring professionals who work in collaboration with our community affiliates to provide the highest quality of service to each camper.
Campers attend two – three activities in the morning and two – three activities in the afternoon. Evening activities serve as opportunities for the entire camp to come together for structured entertainment such as campfires, dances, movies, and music. Picture schedules are used throughout the day to support communication between campers and staff if needed.

OUR STAFF Torino Foundation’s camp program staff consists of dozens of individuals who are experienced with our programs and facility, many of which have been working with Torino Foundation for over ten years.
Our Volunteer counselors and Activity staff undergo intensive training to ensure they are fully equipped to meet our campers’ needs and provide them with the most enriching experiences possible.
Medical Staff stay at camp during the entire duration of the program to ensure each camper has consistency in a supportive environment.

A BIT ABOUT TORINO RANCH Nestled in the Spring Valley Mountains west of Las Vegas, Torino ranch offers a supportive environment for campers of all ages to meet other peers with critical illnesses, disabilities, or life altering situations.  The ranch is a pristine oasis with spring-fed streams, crystal clear lakes and waterfalls, and hundreds of organic fruit trees and organic gardens.  The ranch is a sparkling jewel of natural beauty complete with camper villages, lodge, amphitheater, and many other amenities.  The ranch is a playground and a sanctuary – a place of peace.  Campers have the opportunity to make friends, enjoy nature, gain self-confidence, create wonderful camp memories and develop skills for increased independence.  They can leave their worries behind while laughing, playing and enjoying life.

Here is a link to their Facebbook page–>
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Torino-Foundation/203601819672853?ref=hl

Our 3 kids are going to attend one of their autism camps and since I have not been rich lately they really wanted to go to camp at least once!!

Please help them in their efforts.

We also need help getting with our autism efforts as well, please donate instruments tablets, and services to help us to help autism!!

Moms With Disabled Children Struggle To Climb The Career Ladder When Children Are Older An FYI For Employers And Society At Large

Mari Nosal another fine article
Moms With Disabled Children Struggle To Climb The Career Ladder When Children Are Older An FYI For Employers And Society At Large

It is my privilege to be featuring an article by Mari Nosal this week. She has great insight into the lives of parents and educators of special needs children–>
I have just come back from my umpteenth interview. I have a dream of working in the non profit arena in a community based program helping to empower parents and children to live the most fulfilling life possible. As many of my readers know I have a young adult son with Aspergers and ADD and spent many years fighting for his proper diagnosis ,intervention, and support. Many people with older children on the spectrum recall that Aspergers was not a household word a decade ago. Many supports and better identification techniques abound in the present that were not available when my son was young.

My older son developed a seizure disorder at age 11 which stabilized at age 18 all though is still medication controlled at age 26. The neurologist calls the medication a “band aid effect”. Grand mals were infrequent but focal seizures were frequent during age 11 to 18. For those of you that are not acquainted with focals, children can speak to you but can not answer questions that require recall such as phone numbers, where their mom or dad works etc. On other occasions these children will freeze like statues and must be gently guided to their bed, etc.

I make my statement with a point. Assisting two children let alone one born 22 months apart into some semblance of normalcy takes a toll on family dynamics, husband wife relationship, sibling relationships, and the family dynamics as a whole. Parents in this situation work hard to keep some family normalcy. It is hard work. We are just like any parent, merely wanting the best for our children. Like any parent we will go to the ends of the earth sacrificing our own needs to insure our children’s, and families needs are met.

My research shows that Moms with disabled kids experience less career growth, and tend to earn less money than parents without children with challenges because their children’s demands require extra effort, i.e. therapy appointments, i.e.p.s, and most important intensive ca-retaking demands. In a nutshell Mom cannot be in two places at once and selflessly chooses her children’s welfare over a fat paycheck and a BMW in the driveway. I love my family and would not have had it any other way!!!!!

To contribute financially when my children were young, I worked double shifts on weekends, overnight shifts, evenings during the week, resultant in small amounts of sleep in the evening so I could tend to my kids while my husband was working during the day. I know many woman have done the same thing to make sure their children were properly cared for. Thus, validating my research that woman with special needs kids earn less money.

As a Massachusetts resident this is confirmation to Mitt Romney that I was not a slacker.

Now that I have elucidated on the distinct issues that parents with special needs kids face daily, I will elaborate on my initial statement regarding Moms with older kids attempting to enter the career ladder and fulfill their long forgotten goals. As my children grew and stabilized, I decided to go back to college. This culminated in a bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in sociology in 2005 cum laude. I continued towards my goal of an advanced degree. I completed that in late August 2009 with a 3.78 average. My thesis on education reform and school age programs cancan be found in book form on Amazon.com.

Entering the non profit arena has proved to be difficult. I specifically wish to work with special needs families. I always make it to the second interview to be number two or number three choice. The rationale is always that I did not have enough experience with special needs population. My rebuttal to the world is bold but I must make it.

Parents who bring up children with special needs possess a unique level of experience that would be an asset to any company. We have a unique reflective empathetic capacity born from walking down the path of others in our shoes. We do not get a paycheck for this work but it is work nonetheless. It is a job with no time clock – 24 hours a day. It is a job that does not receive much recognition, merely the ultimate goal of insuring that our children grow into the most independent functioning adults that they can.

Parents walk with your head up high knowing that you are selflessly performing the most difficult job in the world, assuring your child’s well being, and happiness.

To employers here are some of the qualifications I would put on a resume for parents of special needs kids. Although not monetarily compensated it is experience non the less. Never underestimate the power of a special needs parents background.

Experience:

Advocate – nurse -chauffeur – therapist – organizer – special needs advocate – cook who specializes in the palate of special needs children – mind reader and more

Special qualities :

Empathetic – reflective – doesn’t waver emotionally during a crisis – stays positive when life throws curve balls – responsible, altruistic and more

I have gone out on a limb writing an article so personal but I hope I speak for all parents who are not recognized for their unpaid experiences. My goal si to have this article reach as many people as possible on behalf of special needs parents. Education is power.

Special needs parents,you possess many skills, and some are learned through life experience, not merely within a paid job. I speak on all your behalf so you walk with your head up high and remember your fulfillment comes from within you, be proud, and never give up.

Mari N. , M.Ed., CECE

Please check out www.scentsability.com they do great things for people with special needs via their candles!!!

 

 

Welcome to a new candle company that’s doing it’s best to empower individuals with special needs. Our staff is comprised of individuals with special needs and volunteers that assist in the candlemaking process. Jessica and her friends make every candle themselves. Hand poured with love. As we say here at ScentsAbility, making candles is like making smiles. 100% of all proceeds benefit individuals with special needs. Lighting the path to independence one candle at a time.

 Please check them out http://www.scentsability.com

I found this superb musical piece on Scentsabilitie’s youtube channel:–>http://youtu.be/lV3SHBFyDZM

See:

and these:

They enable special needs folks to improve their lives as we also want to do.

 

 

I am you an awesome poem by the truly exceptional Mari Nosal(M.Ed., CECE)!!!

I am You

I am you and you are me
For God created us all
The grass is greener on your side, but I shall climb the wall
I have many talents as you’ll see
Even though you view me differently
You laugh and sneer when I join your game
You ignore me when I ask your name
You think emotions I do lack
You talk about me behind my back
I shed many tears because of vengeful peers
I painfully endure the constant leers
But I am smart, make no mistake
I am here to say, a great friend I would make
Take the time, just be my friend
And misunderstandings, with time we’ll mend
It may take me longer to climb the wall
And along the way I may fall
But I will climb again until I get it right
And when I do you will see my plight
For I am you and you are me
We can be friends as you will see
I hope, I dream, and want to grow
We are not so different you will know
Some call me learning disabled
But I am handicapable
With a zest for life, and humor to match
That if you spend enough time with me you will catch
Just be my friend, and help me grow
In return, my talents to you I’ll show
For I am you and you are me
God doesn’t make junk as you will see.

 

Curriculum ideas for the inclusive classroom and parents too by Mari Nosal!!!

I am a huge fan of Mari Nosal and her writing. Here stories are very informative and inspirational and I really enjoy them.

 

 

Have you ever wondered how to encourage empathy, increase fine and gross motor skills, social awareness, independent thinking, teamwork, independent play, or anything in-between within a classroom or at home? I have compiled quite an array of activities throughout my years. The majority of my activities were used and intended for a multi-age classroom. The children I’ve taught range in age between five and twelve years and include those with emotional, physical, behavioral, gifted, neurotypical, and learning disabled circumstances. The activities are therefore acceptable for a mixed range of abilities and ages. I have pondered what I have learned through many years of trial and error. My goal is to share these activities with parents and educators to enhance the lives of other children who could benefit from my ideas.

1) Musical Paper Plates: This game is an adaptation of musical chairs. Musical paper plates is especially suitable for children who present gross motor skill issues. The chance of injury is diminished as children cannot fall on a chair when children are vying for the last coveted spot. Plates are strategically spread out in a circle. When the music stops, a plate is removed. For children who present with socialization issues and struggle with the concept of being “out”, leave all paper plates in the game. Thus, no one wins or loses. An adaptation I made for letter and number recognition is to write numbers or letters on the plates and keep everyone in the game. i.e. If a child lands on the letter A etc., I differentiate my question according to each child’s ability and ask questions such as, What is the name of your letter? What sound does your letter make? Can you name a word that begins with your letter? Can you spell the word ? My goal is to provide a game here that includes all children, no matter what their ability is, at their level, and without singling children out. I make the same adaptations with numbers. If the child steps on number five, I may ask them to stomp their feet five times, give them a math problem to solve, ask what number they are standing on, and more. The options within this game are limitless. The game then continues with no one left out of the game. This game has proved to be extremely popular with the children.

2) Enhance Thinking Skills: One child sits in the middle of a circle and mimes emotions. The child who guesses the emotion goes in the middle and the game continues. This game is an awesome springboard for discussing feelings and reinforcing social awareness. An adaptation is to pick moral oriented situations out of a bowl, and having children act them out.

3) Share a Book: This is a voluntary activity that proved popular with the children. Rather than reading for the children, ask for volunteers who would like to read during circle time. This enhances reading skills, positive self efficacy, and teamwork. I adapt this activity so all children can participate no matter what their abilities or age. If a child volunteers to read to the class, but is an early or none reader, they are allowed to choose another child to assist them. I wish to emphasize that no child should ever be forced to read if they do not wish to. Forcing a child with a developmental challenge, reading issues, speech problems, etc. to participate can backfire. The child will lose self esteem, become embarrassed in front of peers, and withdraw. I still recall being an advanced reader in elementary school. I also suffered from “watery S’s.” My second grade teacher would force me to display my reading skills in-front of the class. It was humiliating and still resides in my memory today. After the fact, I recall pretending I struggled in reading so the teacher would stop choosing me.  Some children will participate in the future if they are not forced and are allowed time to feel safe within the group.

4) Don’t Squish the Bug: This game can be played in a group, modified for two individuals, played one on one, or done just plain solo according to the child’s skills and social development. This game is great for increasing hand-eye coordination. The children fill balloons with jello and enjoy a game of catch, or adapted catch as mentioned above. It is suggested that this game be played outdoors. It is fun. However, when the balloon inevitably breaks – jello, jello everywhere. :-0)

I hope you enjoy my ideas. I would love feedback. If there is enough interest I will continue with weekly or bi – weekly curriculum ideas. Happy teaching and parenting.

Mari Nosal M.Ed.