Celebrating 4th of July Safely with Your Special Needs Child

4th of July can be a very beautiful, patriotic experience for any family.  But if your child has special needs it can be a very nerve-racking event.

For a child with special needs there are several things that can cause your child stress, the sound of the fireworks, the constant flashing of the fireworks, the crowds can all be overwelming to a child that has sensory issues.  Not including the safety and knowing that they don’t start the fireworks until it gets dark, you may go through lugging blankets and chairs through crowds, dodging misquotes for your child to fall asleep.

 So how can you enjoy 4th of July peacefully with your family?

Well if your local town is celebrating find a location that you can watch from the car. Maybe your local radio station is airing the event with patriotic music.   Bring some snacks and drinks and celebrate in the quiet comforts of your car.

Or maybe you can even find it being celebrated on the television.  For example Independence Day celebration at the White House, New York , some of the bigger cities may be airing their show on tv.  This way you don’t have to go out and fight the crowds.  Your children can decorate your tv room with red, white and blue paper chains or decorations.  You can make patriotic colored snacks and lay a blanket down on your carpet and celebrate in the quiet comforts of your house.

Happy 4th of July, stay safe!

Dealing With Disaster When You Have A Special Needs Child

(Sample picture) Disaster occurs all the time and it happens when we are least prepared for it.  It doesn’t schedule an appointment, and can happen when there really isn’t many people or family members around to help you.  So what do you do when a disaster happens and you are a parent of a special needs child?

I’m typing this post today, because I experienced just this.  On Thursday, May 12th I woke up with my son who is 5 and has Down Syndrome to a nice clear, cool morning after we had just had the night before a horrible thunderstorm.

As I had started opening the windows I heard a rather strange sound, and I thought our air conditioner was starting to go since I had not been upstairs to shut it off yet.  I went upstairs and made sure all the fans were off both upstairs and downstairs.  But when I came back to my office to see if the noise had stopped I realized it didn’t.  Still not knowing exactly what this was I was starting to get nervous.  My little guy was watching Barney so he was occupied.  So I went down to our finished basement to see if this is where the sound was coming from.

I was in complete and utter shock.  A pipe hard burst, and it punched about a 8 inch hole in the drywall and was spraying water every (picture of my wall) where.  It was so forceful the best way for me to describe it was, it was like the way it looks when the fire department opens a fire hydrant.  There was just water every where.  I paniced needless to say.  My husband wasn’t home he was traveling and my son was up stairs.

So I ran upstairs to get the phone and a flashlight because there is no light in that small room behind the bathroom.  I called my husband, freaking out asking him “what knob do I turn off because the irrigation pipe broke and tore a hole in the wall which is spraying water all over the basement.”  I told him to call the company while I tried to turn off the water, even though I was terrified.

I could see now that my son was starting to get nervous himself because he saw my stress.  I didn’t want to leave him because I didn’t know what he would do, so I brought him downstairs with me but told him to stay by the steps so he didn’t come in the water.   Well of course being scared and curious he didn’t listen and followed me to the spraying water.

Nervously I started turning the valve every direction just to see if I could get it to stop.  Finally after about 5 minutes of turning in one direction and now being completely soaked I was able to get it to a point that it was not spraying so forecfully, but I couldn’t turn it anymore.  So I kept it as it was and contacted the irriga tion company to send out a plumber to get this thing turned off.  The stream that was coming out was a steady enough stream to still cause a lot of flooding.

Well in all this chaos my poor son was saying “a shower mom, a mess!”  And I had to laugh because I was about ready to cry as I looked around at all this water in my basement thinking what the heck happened.

As I am on the phone making calls to the water emergency company, the insurance, my husband and the irrigation people, I’m trying to take pictures and trying to keep my son as calm as I possibly could, because he really couldn’t understand what happened.  All he knew was mommy was stressed out.

Thankfully my nanny showed up and I told her to just take him to the library since it was going to be a lot of people walking in and out of the house and it was going to be loud.  I felt better knowing he was away from the chaos so not to cause him anymore aniexty.

When they did get home I wanted to show him what happened and what the loud noise was, now that I had 13 blowers drying up water in my basement.  I could see he was scared, he doesn’t like loud noise.  So I held him and explained to him that they were going to help dry up the water.  And he says “vaccum” and I said “yes, honey clean up.”

After I was able to get this all under control the stress had finally set in.  I thought to myself what would I have done if my nanny wasn’t there to help me with my son.  I have no family in the area, and my husband was traveling.

So the point of this post is to really have as much of a backup/emergency plan as you can have.  Identify people you trust that you can bring your kids to, so they can be safe while you are taking care of the disaster back at your house.  Have a plan with your child’s medication and medical equipment, do you have a list of what they take, the number for your pharmacy or medical equipment store?  There is so much on your mind during a disaster that it is hard to think it all through.

Here is a great article to reference on how to create an emergency preparedness plan.  But mostly I learned to stay as calm as you can under the circumstances because your children feed off your fear and stress.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!

This is my Mother’s Day gift to all of you. I came across this link to “Love Notes for Special Momshttp://specialchildren.about.com/od/needinspiration/ig/Notes-of-Encouragement/ and I wanted to share it with all of you Special Moms.   Click on the link above, the notes are very empowering and inspirational.  I have printed down several and have hung them in my office.  This one printed below really hit home with me today for many reasons.  This is just a sample of these great notes:

You Make A Difference

 Your child’s progress might not be that easy to see on a day-to-day basis, but when you reflect from time to time on how far he or she has come, give yourself some credit: Would that progress have happened if you hadn’t been planning, praying, pushing for it? Everything you do for your child — every appointment, every therapy, every intervention, but also every smile, every hug, every conversation — makes a difference. But you’re also making a difference in the world. Every time you give information about your child’s disability to an educator, you make a difference for the next child. Every time you give advice in a support group or online forum, you make a difference for that parent and family. You are a force for good.

 

Happy Mother’s Day all you Special Moms!!!!

Become Our Guest Blogger

 

Be Our Guest Blogger

Are you a writer or blogger that has knowledge and/or experience of what is needed for a mom to start a business?  Your contribution of quality content to SpecialMoms Entrepreneur Club, can be helpful to our members who are looking to start, build and market a small business.

  Are you a writer or blogger for a special needs online community?  Would you be interested in sharing a topic that could assist mothers of a special needs child?

 Are you a writer or blogger that would like to share tips on balancing work and family and/or parenting topics?

 Then we want to hear from you!

 Benefits:

  • You will gain access to a new audience and can potentially acquire traffic back to your site/blog and possibly a few subscribers as well.
  • Your bio will be featured under Guest Bloggers.
  • Your post will have exposure on social networks.
  • My readers will also have an opportunity to hear a new and fresh prospective and discover another informative site to follow as well.

Audience:

  • Members are moms and businesswoman, who want the ability of financial freedom and the responsibility of owning a business, in order to give them the flexibility of caring for their special needs child.

 Categories Discussed:

  • How To Start and Grow a Small Business for Woman Entrepreneurs/Stay at Home Moms
  • List Building
  • Email Marketing
  • Blogging
  • Direct Sales
  • Social Media
  • How To Be a Successful Mompreneur – (Work/Balance)
  • Nutrition
  • Special Needs (therapy, products, services, therapists)
  • Parenting
  • Appearance, Health and Fitness for busy Mom/Mompreneur
  • Life Coaching
  • Financial Planning
  • Organization

 If you are interested in becoming a Guest Blogger, please contact me at specialmompreneurs@gmail.com and I will forward you a form for consideration.  Thank You!

The Benefits of Music Therapy for Children with Special Needs

Here is a picture of my little guy at about 6 months old in Kindermusik.  We went to Kindermusik for about 3 years.  I truly believe that music has played an extremely important role in Jacob’s growth and development.

I can remember even when he was a baby, how I would move his legs and arms around, while singing “Wheels On The Bus” to help him increase his low tone issues.

We dance and listen to music every day.  Music has become such an important part of our lives.  I incorporate a lot of songs into our daily tasks for example “Following the Leader” or “Clean Up”.  They all help to increase his knowledge of learning and provide him such physical and occupational input.

Before Jacob was born I can remember holding up speakers to my belly playing instrumental music like Jim Brickman.  I read that this helps with cognitive development.  I can honestly say that even though Jacob has Down Syndrome one of his greatest areas of strength is in the area cognitive learning.

I have taken him to see the Notre Dame Glee club sing when he was about 9 months old.  The library had a free performance of the South Bend Quartet and we sat right up in the front.  Jacob just moved his hands to music.  We took him to see Swan Lake and the Nutcracker, now keep in mind he’s only 5 and he stayed awake and alert through both performances.  He absolutely loves music and anything that has to do with it.

I just took him to see Barney Live for his 5th birthday.  Wow what a smile on a child’s face.  Barney is wonderful.  People may have mixed emotions about the show, but I can tell you that purple dinosaur has taught my son a lot and I’m thankful.

If you have the ability to get involved with your local music class or program, I would definately suggest it.  It brings tremendous benefits to our children.  See more in the article below:

The Benefits of Music Therapy for Children with Special Needs   by: Betsey Zenk Nuseibeh

While therapists and medical professionals have long recognized the measurable benefits of occupational therapy and physical therapy for children with developmental disabilities and other special needs, the far-reaching benefits of music therapy have only relatively recently been discussed in depth.

The latest research proves that music therapy offers children with special needs a wide range of long-term benefits. It helps children improve their gross and fine motor skills, aids in academic achievement, improves social interaction skills and helps with communication.

Do you remember learning the alphabet? Did the familiar “A-B-C” song help you retain that information? That’s a small example, but a good one, of how music can help us learn and retain academic knowledge. Music therapy helps organize a variety of information in smaller, easier to learn, bits.

One of the greatest upsides to music therapy that makes it one of the best activities for children with special needs, is the fact that it music very appealing to the children themselves. For example, children with autism are often extremely interested in and stimulated by music. They respond more often to music than many other types of sound. In fact, there are some children who will respond only to musical stimuli. Their affinity for music is a great motivator for them to participate in therapy and helps make music therapy that much more effective.

According to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), since music is processed by a different area of the brain than speech, it’s easier for children with special needs to absorb and retain a wide range of information using music therapy. The well-known mood enhancing or soothing aspects of music help the children improve their emotional state. Research shows that group music therapy for children empowers them to channel feelings such as frustration and anger into creative forms of expression and communication.

Music therapy also helps these children focus. Again according to AMTA, research proves that children in early education programs who participate in music therapy group activities greatly improve their ability to pay attention and stay on task. Furthermore they score higher in language skills, fine motor skills, social interaction and cognitive development.

Finally, the benefits of music therapy in helping children with physical disabilities or other special needs to improve their motor skills are enormous. For example, learning to play a musical instrument through adapted guitar lessons or adapted piano lessons can help these children improve their fine motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination. The repeated rhythms of music therapy have been proven to help with gross motor skills also, helping children who have irregular gaits or challenges with muscle control.

Truly, music therapy is one of the most effective and helpful ways to teach special needs children. One of its best, most appealing qualities is that it’s fun. Like all of us, children are drawn to music. It engages them, improves their mood and helps them focus. Music therapy makes learning enjoyable and offers a remarkable variety of benefits to children with developmental disabilities and other special needs.

About The Author Betsey Zenk Nuseibeh, of Melodic Connections is a special educator and a board certified music therapist in Cincinnati.

The author invites you to visit:
http://www.melodicconnections.org

Great Video to Answer Questions About Breastfeeding

How often do I breastfeed my child?  Will too much cause obesity?

Do I supplement if I don’t have enough breastmilk?

Can I have caffeine if I am breastfeeding?

 

Some questions that were submitted to Amy Gole, Manager of Parenting Education of Morristown Memorial Hospital and Overlook Hospital in New Jersey.

If you have asked yourself these same questions and more, check out this video.  It’s very informative.

We are also discussing this topic in our community forum at the SpecialMoms Entrepreneur ClubDid you breastfeed your special needs child?  Come register as a member and join the conversation – it’s FREE!

“Music From The Heart” by Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker and 25 ACM Lifting Lives music campers with developmental disabilities joined Rucker on the ACM Awards stage to perform “Music from the Heart.” One of Sunday night’s most moving performances, the ACM Awards shared a moment with the audience and had many people recognize the value of music to all, especially those on stage for the presentation.

The special performance supported the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, as fans were asked to call or text to donate after the performance. The Center makes a positive difference in lives of those individuals with developmental disabilities as well as their families.

As the ongoing tradition of helping the fans of the music, the ACM Lifting Lives is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music. It is dedicated to improving lives through the power of music and each year a new organization or charity is brought to the attention of the audience to support.

I love Darius Rucker, he is a fantastic performer.  I saw him in concert and he is just incredible and you can see why.  Click here for video.