So many times as special needs parents, we tend to focus on the things we struggle with, the things our kids can’t do and the frustrations we feel in our daily lives. Today, I am going to focus on what gifts we receive from our son, the things he teaches and the joys he brings to our family every day.
Thanksgiving should be a relaxing day of joy, good company, warmth, and celebration, so let Relay Foods relieve some of the stress of preparation. Here is Relay’s Thanksgiving guide to prepared foods, shopping staples, and healthier options for your holiday dinner. Still looking for the perfect turkey to grace your table? From local to all-natural and antibiotic-free to organic, Relay Foods has sourced turkeys you’ll be proud to serve and thrilled to eat.
“We’ve always thought about adopting.” I’ve heard that phrase a lot over the last two years as part of our own journey in parenthood. Usually what follows that phrase is a list of reasons why the person is just not quite ready to take the plunge. While the adoption of a child may not be for everyone, it’s a lot more possible than people sometimes think.
On March 16, 2014 at the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, sixteen-year-old Cameron K. Gallagher passed away as she crossed the finish line from an undiagnosed heart condition. On that day Cameron struggled to finish a race that she had set as a personal goal for herself—and was victorious. But that was not the only hard fight that Cameron fought. Cameron suffered from severe depression and anxiety for several years. The ever-smiling teen was growing tired of keeping her struggle a private battle. She knew that like her, many teens were in great pain behind closed doors. As she trained for the half marathon, she took it upon herself to address the misplaced stigma held by so many about teenage depression. Her dream was to create a 5k race in her community to help raise awareness of teenage depression. She had titled that race the SpeakUp5k in order to draw attention to the issue of teen depression and to let other teens like herself know that it was okay to “Speak Up” about their personal battles. Unfortunately, Cameron did not see her dream come true but Cameron’s dream is now a legacy far greater then she ever could have imagined.
Northstar Academy is a unique and highly successful non-profit school serving children ages
5-22. We promote educational excellence and career opportunities for students with disabilities who have academic, physical, or social challenges.
Our students are not defined by their disabilities. We ensure an educational experience that is both traditional and unconventional, recognizing the unique qualities of each student. Northstar’s dedicated faculty embrace and appreciate our student body of diverse learners and identify tangible ways each student’s abilities will position them for the demands of our 21st century. Our innovative curriculum is cutting-edge and custom-tailored so that each student can overcome their challenges and achieve their greatest potential.
Lindamood-Bell Language and On-Cloud Nine Math
Daily Social Skills Instruction
Visual and Performing Arts
Watch this video, and see what life at Northstar is all about!
Peter and the Starcatcher review
Hello, internet. Cole here. Last month I saw a play at a building called the November Theater with the rest of my Theatre Arts class. It was called Peter and the Starcatcher, and it followed the events that led up to the first Peter Pan. This month, I’m going to discuss and review the play, as well as explain how it changed my perspective of what a play is and what it ought to be.
For those of you who are unaware of the history of this story, it’s based on a book of the same name by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, which in turn was based off of the book Peter Pan. (If you don’t know what Peter Pan is, you’d better start reading. If you don’t know what a book is… you’ve got a serious problem. Talk to your parents – the outside world probably isn’t as bad as they say it is.) The story begins with two separate ships headed for the nation of Rundoon – one (known as the Never Land) bearing treasure, and the other (known as the Wasp) bearing a decoy. The “treasure” in question is starstuff, a material that falls off of stars sometimes, and it’s being “protected” by Starcatcher Leonard and Molly Aster, who have to make sure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, as it has the power to turn living beings into what they truly wish to be. However, a band of pirates led by the notorious “Black Stache” captures the decoy vessel, and they’re after the real treasure. While on the ship with the real treasure, Molly encounters a group of three boys, one of them unnamed (Peter), and together they must defend the treasure from the pirates. Other things happen after that, but you’ll have to read the book to find out. You can’t just mooch off of me for every detail. Cheaters.
…Anyway, on to the play.
I felt that the play was very good overall. The actors stayed in character throughout the play, even managing to hold various English accents that corresponded to the characters. Furthermore, their voices projected very well, and their speeches and actions were charged with emotion and passion. There was only one stage design throughout – a ship’s deck – but it was lovingly made, with planks that could be moved up and down by some kind of backstage mechanism and props used for decoration. Additionally, different colors were used when characters were in different areas – for example, green lighting was used while the characters were in a jungle. (If you don’t understand this, you probably haven’t read the book or watched the play.) The technical design was also excellent. There were two treasure chest props, but the decoy was marked with an “X” at the beginning of the play so the audience could tell the chests apart. The actors also did something which I found very interesting – they used themselves as props! This was done in a variety of ways, but what I remember the most about this system is a scene that takes place below the deck of the Never Land. As some characters are exploring the area below deck, the others form a “wall” using their own bodies. At times a character “opens” a door, and one of the actors steps aside, acting as the door. When the door is closed, all the “prop actors” shout “SLAM!”. While not as perfect a replication as in other forms of media, I found the resulting effect to be rather charming. Overall, the play was captivating and entertaining. I have only one complaint – the characters sometimes make anachronistic pop-culture references for the sake of humor. While I recognize that this is to appeal to the audience, I personally felt jarred by the characters with British accents making pop-culture references to things that would not even exist in that time period. Nonetheless, the audience seemed to be mostly teenagers and young adults, so I guess that it works in context.
In conclusion, the play was excellent in many regards, and I’d recommend patronage. Overall, I give it 4.372 stars out of 5.1. Why 5.1, you ask? Because I don’t know!! Thanks for reading, and I’ll be seeing you!
The constant fear of your son or daughter becoming overly stimulated and then having a total meltdown can be a major turnoff for wanting to go on a family trip. However, there may be some solutions to keep your family night out from turning into a family night in. Here are 7 helpful tips and tricks that you can use to help address your child’s needs and keep the good times rolling.
1. Aroma Therapy
Bringing along a fragrance that your child likes can help cut down their anxiety levels. Some soothing and calming fragrances are vanilla, lavender and cinnamon. Try out different scents and make a list of their favorites. Spray it on a blanket, stuffed animal or towel before leaving home so they can take it with them.
Noise can be a major problem for kids with sensory disorders. Bringing along headphones can limit unpleasant sounds coming into your child’s ears and be used to produce more pleasing sounds. Those that are more pleasing. There are many types of headphones that can both reduce sound and be subtle enough that they can wear them in public without drawing any unwanted attention. Plug them into your phone or tablet and play some nature sounds to increase the effect.
3. Light Sensitivity
Fluorescent lighting is horrible and it is everywhere. Remember to throw a pair of sunglasses and a sleep mask in your bag. This will help your child be able to cope with bad lighting issues that can actually cause headaches making the problem worse.
4. Weighted Blankets/Clothing
Sometimes, the best medicine is a good, strong hug. The weight provided by sensory blankets are the next best thing. There is a wide variety of weighted items that can give your child the pressure they need to stay calm. Some of the most popular are blankets and vests. The bonus is they can be taken anywhere.
So, you’re at a restaurant or airport and the wait time is getting a little lengthy. Try bringing along activities to occupy time. With things like coloring books, word finds, apps on tablets and smart phones, the possibilities are endless. Making mini sensory containers (made in shoebox sized totes) that can be taken on trips with you is another option. Check out our video on sensory bins to get some ideas. (5 Reasons Why We Need Sensory Bins in the video section of the site).
Don’t forget the items for those oral sensations that can lead to biting if they get too bad. Bring along gum, mints, celery or items that are specifically made to be chewed on like Chewlery.
6. Bring a familiar face
We all feel braver when we have support from others. When going somewhere new and unfamiliar, your child may feel more comfortable facing this challenge if they have a family member or friend with them. If it is a situation that requires you to leave them, try giving them a wallet sized photo of you with a short message on the back from you as a comfort tool.
7. Bring their favorite toy
Bringing their favorite toy can calm your child and make them feel more comfortable. You can even buy a new one and dedicate it as a “Travel Buddy”.
You should have your Military ID on you and it is always safe to call and confirm these details. Some of these locations are franchises and may not choose to participate.
The holidays are fast approaching, if you’ve been in Lowe’s recently, you’d think it’s Christmas! However, Thanksgiving is up first and just around the corner. It’s a time of family gatherings, big celebratory meals, and other fun activities. However, if you are suffering from depression then the stress that comes with the holiday season can be a massive trigger leading to frustration and increased anxiety.