Once a month, AMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and with other special needs ”Sensory Friendly Movie Screenings“ – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy their favorite “family-friendly” films in a safe and accepting environment.
The movie auditoriums will have their lights turned up and the sound turned down. Families will be able to bring in snacks to match their child’s dietary needs (i.e. gluten-free, casein-free, etc.), there are no advertisements or previews before the movie and it’s totally acceptable to get up and dance, walk, shout, talk to each other…and even sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced during movie screenings unless the safety of the audience is questioned.
Does it make a difference? Absolutely! “It can be challenging enough to bring ANY child to a movie theater” says PedSafe Special Needs Parenting Expert Rosie Reeves “they are dark, the sound is very loud, there are tempting stairs and rails and they are expected to sit still and stay quiet”. For a parent with a special needs child attempting an outing like this may seem overwhelming. And yet getting out, being with the community and sharing in an experience with an audience can be invaluable for just such children”.
On June 30th at 10am local time, Brave will be screened as part of the Autism Society “Sensory Friendly Movie Screenings” program. Tickets are $4 to $6 depending on the location. To find a theatre near you, here is a list of AMC theatres nationwide participating in this fabulous program (note: to access list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).
Coming July 21st: Ice Age: Continental Drift
Editor’s note: Although Brave has been chosen by the Autism Society as this month’s Sensory Friendly screening, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for some scary action and rude humor. As always, please check the IMDB Parent’s Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your child.
In fact, research shows us that kids learn more from making mistakes, then taking the easy route and getting everything correct all the time.
So how do we talk to our kids about their mistakes?
- Don’t sigh or scoff when your children make mistakes or when discussing their mistakes.
- Don’t talk about how the mistake has made your life inconvenient. Never make your child feel bad because you had to exert effort to clean up after a mess, or work through the mistake.
- Don’t ask for perfection. Instead, offer praise for their effort.
- Don’t talk about their past mistakes. Our kids will never want to do better if they think we will just point out the mistakes they have made in the past.
- Don’t withhold love or affection as a punishment for mistakes.
- Do encourage your children to take responsibility for their mistakes.
Turn the error into an opportunity…a wrong into something right…
Talk to children about what they can learn from their mistakes. As parents it is not our job to rescue them when they make a mistake, but instead to help them focus on a solution to the problem so they can avoid making the same mistake again. Acknowledge that OUR kids mess up, and refrain from blaming everyone else.
Thank them for being honest and admitting when they have done something wrong.
Talk about the positives, and the lessons that can be learned from the mistake.
Do tell your children about mistakes you have made. Don’t unload all of the mistakes you have made, but using good judgment, use personal examples to teach your children. Focus on what you learned and how you felt. Talk about the consequences.
Mistakes are normal – we all make them. Your kids probably feel like they make them all the time. And the truth is, they probably do – it’s all part of growing up. What we can do is help them learn from the mistakes they make so they know how to better handle situations and avoid making the same mistakes in the future.Pin It
You may have enjoyed this year’s balmy winter, but it’s a cause for alarm among scientists. All across the U.S., temperatures broke all records. March 2012 was the warmest March ever recorded — and records go back to 1895. The first quarter of the year was also the warmest, and the period between April 2011 and March 2012 was the warmest 12-month stretch on record. Across the country, there were 7,775 new daytime highs.
Temperatures in the U.S. have already risen more than 2 F in the last century, and like the price of gas, they’re still going up. In fact, they’re expected to climb another 1-2 F by 2020.
Still think climate change is a myth? What does this warming spell bode for your health? Get ready for some bad air days, the experts warn. By 2020, said the Union of Concerned Scientists in a report released last year, rising temperatures will cause higher ground-level concentrations of ozone that could lead to 2.8 million more occurrences of acute respiratory symptoms, such as asthma attacks, shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and chest tightness. And that’s not just in people with respiratory problems.
The Dangers of Ozone
Ozone is a colorless gas found in the air we breathe. Where it occurs determines whether it’s good or bad. It’s good when it’s in the Earth’s upper atmosphere (anywhere from 10-30 miles from the surface), shielding us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. But when it’s near the ground, it’s a result of air pollutants from vehicle exhaust and power/chemical plants interacting in the presence (and heat) of sunlight.
This earthbound type of ozone — the main component of smog — can irritate your respiratory system, make it difficult to breathe deeply (particularly when you exercise), inflame and damage the cells that line your lungs, aggravate asthma and other lung diseases (e.g., emphysema and chronic bronchitis), and make you more susceptible to respiratory infections. You can even experience severe chest pain.
How common is it? Unfortunately, these days, it’s as much a part of summer as the ice-cream man.
How to Protect Your Family
Children, the elderly, and people with chronic lung conditions are most susceptible to health problems from ozone exposure, though even healthy people can experience upper respiratory problems and even permanent lung damage as a result of breathing in ozone.
“Some people are sensitive to ozone gas, and you’ll probably know it if you are,” says Dr. Nick Hanania, pulmonary physician and director of the Adult Asthma Clinic and Pulmonary Diagnostic Laboratory at Ben Taub General Hospital. “Once you inhale it, you get upper airway irritation, with sneezing, itchy nose, and coughing. Ozone can also prime the airways for allergies, irritating the airways so they’re more susceptible to allergens.”
Here are a few tips from Dr. Hanania and other experts to protect yourself and your family:
- Pay close attention to ozone alerts if you have chronic respiratory problems, small children or older relatives, or if you are older yourself. Now, along with temperatures and precipitation, your local meteorologist includes ozone levels as well as pollen and other pollutants in the forecast as part of the Air Quality Index (AQI). If the ozone is high, limit the time you and your family spend outdoors. Stay inside with the air-conditioning. If you don’t have AC, go somewhere that does. Window fans can keep you cool, but they can also draw ozone inside.
- If you need to be outside — for yard work, for example, or to exercise — do it early in the morning or in the evening when ozone levels are usually lower. If you usually jog or play tennis, pick a less intense activity during high-ozone periods. Walk rather than run, for instance. “When you’re exercising, you’re inhaling more air per minute than if you’re just sitting,” says Hanania.
- Forget masks. Ozone is a gas, and it will pass through even the finest filter.
- Get your own personal ozone alert. EnviroFlash is a free service that alerts you when ozone is approaching dangerous levels. Sign up here.
Each day we use Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 20 news-worthy events.
- Merck Panned for ‘Madagascar 3′ Children’s Claritin Campaign http://t.co/kIOSrhnq 2012-06-24
- Program aims to keep kids ‘Cavity Free at Three’ http://t.co/KwltDrqy 2012-06-22
- Childhood obesity and bullying top health concerns for voters | Fox News http://t.co/o8K1dpWB 2012-06-22
- Summer is Here – How to Keep Your Kids Safe & Healthy http://t.co/tP2ndfc7 #pedsafe 2012-06-22
- Dramatic Rise in Kids Hospitalized With High Blood Pressure: Study http://t.co/HMvsLhT4 2012-06-21
PedSafe Headline of the Week:
Is there a Jerry Sandusky in your child’s life? – National Child Safety Examiner
http://t.co/vZOZmYmp Scary, but worth reading!
- # of Prescriptions for ADHD Drugs Increasing, while the # of Antiobiotic Prescriptions Declined http://t.co/QwqHbGU3 2012-06-21
- Consumer groups urge Facebook to ban ads to kids http://t.co/Co3aL0Ul 2012-06-21
- June’s Internet Safety Month Offers a Chance for Parents to Talk to Kids — Family iBoard Shares Online Safety Tips http://t.co/333jF7QQ 2012-06-20
- Get Bugs to Buzz Off And Leave Your Kids Alone This Summer http://t.co/gF5zFayk #pedsafe 2012-06-20
- 3 Sunscreen Safety Tips You Probably Don’t Know, But Definitely Should | Healthy Child Healthy World http://t.co/sllPNZ1E 2012-06-19
- Keeping your baby safe in the crib http://t.co/HsVlfBVe useful tips worth reading 2012-06-19
- Emergency healthcare workers discuss caring for kids and infants during disasters http://t.co/2fqf3C72 2012-06-19
- Cuomo, leaders agree on cyberbullying bill http://t.co/lbws0LDd 2012-06-18
- The European Child Safety Alliance launches its Child Safety Report Cards http://t.co/998UPOTw 2012-06-18
- Costs Of Raising Children Grows, And Health Care Is A Big Reason http://t.co/zNnCf6uz Total for a child born in 2011 – $235k 2012-06-18
- Tips for parents, guardians to keep kids safe at summer camps, daycare | http://t.co/RpeIYd7H 2012-06-18
- MY FOOD FIGHT! App Makes Nutrition Fun for Kids and Adults http://t.co/GUUTZB3f #pedsafe 2012-06-18
- U.S. approves Glaxo meningitis vaccine for children http://t.co/T5K1aNIv 2012-06-18
- Having older dad may aid child’s, grandchild’s health http://t.co/j9InCwQj interesting research 2012-06-18
During the 2008 Summer Olympics I witnessed additional Olympic events every day at my local pool. Inspired by the swimmers, the children spent every afternoon recreating the the aquatic competition – complete with cheering, colorful commentary, and imaginary award ceremonies.
Now, are all those children going to be competing in the Olympic games some day? Of course not, most kids have no more hope of becoming the next Michael Phelps than they do becoming the next Michael Jordan, but that is the sheer beauty of children’s imagination. The only thing limiting them is the cranky adults who surround them, too wrapped up in the ‘should be’ to remember the joy of ‘could be’.
Beginning on July 27, your budding Olympian can be inspired by 34 swimming events, 6 diving events, the fierce competition of water polo and the beauty of synchronized swimming. Click here for a schedule. Take advantage of the global focus on aquatic competition and follow-up the excitement of watching the Olympics by taking your children to the pool frequently so that they can engage in their own Olympic games.
If your children need a bit of encouragement to jump-start their imaginations, here are a couple of suggestions: Invest in some weighted rings and have them dive for them (or reach down in shallow water for younger children); put an inflatable ring in the water, hand them some splash balls and see who can toss the most balls into the center of the ring; toss a volleyball in the water and get a game of water polo going; or have your dancer transfer her skills to the water.
Then stand back, watch them closely (because you always need to watch your children in and around water and stay within arm’s reach of your non-swimmers), cheer wildly, and let them dream of Olympic gold. Besides, you never know, you may have the next Ryan Lochte or Missy Franklin splashing in your own bathtub, just waiting to be inspired and find the sport that makes their heart sing.
Let the Games begin!