Isolation Rooms in Schools for Special Needs Kids? Just Wrong!

Last updated on April 21st, 2013 at 10:16 pm

AutismSpeaksI admit it; I am not the most patient person in the world. I can become easily annoyed. As a result I know there are just some jobs that are not a good fit for me. As much as I respect those who are able to work with kids with emotional disabilities, I know it’s not something I could do.

It seems there are many who are not as self aware, who work with those needing special care and fail to meet the need. Imagine administering electric shock to a child for acting up, or locking them into a duffel bag or padded room. A padded room for hours on end, no windows no interaction. According to a story on World News with Diane Sawyer, this happens on a regular basis in many public schools across the country.

According to the piece, there are no national standards that regulate the punishment or restraints used on school children. Only 17 states have laws that prohibit cruel punishment leaving 33 states that have no such laws. Highlighted in this story – one boy died after being wrestled to the ground by teachers because he refused to stop playing basketball.

This is the US, how can this happen? The duffel bags used are described as specially designed. Really? Who designs duffel bags to control unruly kids? The only bit of good news is that there is an effort on Capitol Hill by some members of congress to outlaw such behavior. Please- get behind these efforts. This needs to stop. As many of the kids who are subjected to this punishment are autistic – and as many autistic kids are unable to speak for themselves- won’t you please speak up for them.

I admit it; I’m no expert on using social media to bring about change. But I have heard about it happening. I believe if enough people want this to end, stand up to stop such barbaric behavior, it will end. Please watch the story (above), click on this link to read more about it on the ABC “Blotter” and take action to make this stop.

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 04-01-2013 to 04-07-2013

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 04:26 pm

twitter thumbWelcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

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 10 events & stories.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

A quarter of UK pregnant women are ‘highly concerned’ about their weight, with 7% suffering from eating disorders

Tips for Potty Training Success

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 04:28 pm

Whether you call it potty training, toilet training, or toilet learning, teaching a child to use the toilet instead of diapers is a big task for both the parents and one that can cause a lot of frustration if you aren’t prepared ahead of time. MomRN recently shared several tips for potty training success on Great Day Green Country (Fox 23, Tulsa).

First, you should have plenty of patience and time! Some kids learn quickly, others need a long time to learn, so don’t rush it! They will learn eventually, trust me!

When to start potty training

Most kids are developmentally ready to start training somewhere between 22 and 30 months of age. Every child is different though so look for these signs that your child is ready to start the process:

  • Your child is interested in using the potty or in wearing underwear
  • Your child is able to tell you when she’s about to pee or poop, or shows signs that she is going
  • Your child wants to be changed right after going in his diaper
  • Your child is able to stay dry for at least 2 hours at a time
  • Your child is able to walk to the bathroom on her own, pull her pants down and sit on a potty chair or climb up on a toilet

Even before a child is developmentally ready to start, you can do some pre-training by talking about using the potty as you are changing a diaper. Kids learn best by example, so your toddler can watch you or the other parent or an older sibling use the potty. Pretending to have a doll go potty is also a great way to introduce the concept.

Recommended tools

A potty chair that sits on the floor is ideal, so your child can easily sit on it without assistance. If you prefer to use a potty seat that fits on top of a regular toilet seat, make sure you have a step stool to help them climb up and down and to rest their feet on, as it will help your child feel more secure and comfortable. There are some great potty training books and DVDs you can share with your child to help him learn. I used Toilet Training in Less Than a Day by Drs. Nathan Azrin and Richard M. Foxx and found it very helpful when my oldest child was a toddler. I did not follow it exactly and chose to spread out the process longer than a day, but I used many of their suggestions and the process went pretty smoothly, so I used it again for my youngest child. We also had a potty training video called It’s Potty Time by Learning Through Entertainment, Inc and Duke University Medical Center. It had fun songs and skits about potty training and my kids and the children in my daycare loved it. It is available on DVD now and I highly recommend it.

“Big Boy” or “Big Girl” underwear with your child’s favorite cartoon characters or other fun designs can make potty training more appealing. Cheerios can be used as “targets” for little boys to help them learn to aim and to make potty training fun. There are also flushable targets you can buy in bright colors and fun shapes. Stickers or other small rewards can be used to encourage your child to go to the potty. A doll that drinks a bottle and “wets” can also help teach your child.

When to wait or stop the training process

If you and/or your child are getting too frustrated or upset over the potty training process, you may need to put it on hold and wait a few weeks, then try again. Otherwise it could become a big control issue or battle of wills and may take much longer for your child to become potty trained. It’s also not a good idea to start potty training during a stressful time in your child’s life, such as a move, divorce, or the birth of a sibling. It’s better to wait until things are more stable. And setbacks and regression are common if stressful events occur after a child has been potty trained. Be patient and understanding if that occurs. If you are concerned about your child’s potty training problems, consult with your pediatrician or family doctor.

On Sat. April 6th, THE CROODS 2-D is Sensory Friendly!

Last updated on April 21st, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Sensory Friendly Films logoOnce 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! Imagine …no need to shhhhh your child. No angry stares from other movie goers. Many parents think twice before bringing a child to a movie theater. Add to that your child’sThe Croods 2D special needs and it can easily become cause for parental panic. But on this one day a month, for this one screening, everyone is there to relax and have a good time, everyone expects to be surrounded by kids – with and without special needs – and the movie theater policy becomes “Tolerance is Golden”.

On Saturday April 6th at 10am local time, The Croods 2-D 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 June 1st: Epic 2-D


Editor’s note: Although The Croods 2-D 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. 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.

5 Simple Steps to Relieve Your Child’s Hay Fever Symptoms

Last updated on April 8th, 2013 at 12:26 am

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AllergiesSniffling, sneezing, puffy eyes — kids’ hay fever misery can be the first sign of spring. Up to 40 percent of all children struggle with allergic rhinitis, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). That’s the proper name for the upper respiratory symptoms caused by either year-round allergens (like mold or pet fur) or seasonal allergens (like pollen, which multiplies and becomes airborne in warmer weather).

Medication can help manage your child’s hay fever symptoms, but the best remedy is to nip those allergies in the bud. “Once the bad symptoms start, it takes less and less pollen to exacerbate the whole vicious cycle,” says Neeta Ogden, M.D., an adult and pediatric allergist at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey. Here are a few steps you can take to ease your kid’s hay fever symptoms:

Step No. 5 to Ease Hay Fever Symptoms: Fend off fresh air.

Keep windows shut from early morning to late afternoon, when pollen counts are at their peak. Change filters in your air-conditioning units and vents frequently. Keep car windows up and your vehicle’s air-conditioning on the “closed system” setting so air recirculates instead of coming in from outside.

Step No. 4 to Ease Hay Fever Symptoms: Check pollen counts.

Log on to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website for a daily update. When the numbers are high, take extra precautions, such as asking your child’s school to keep her indoors during recess.

Step No. 3 to Ease Hay Fever Symptoms: Keep the house clean.

Despite your best efforts to keep allergens out, they will still find their way inside — and onto just about every surface. Extra vacuuming and dusting can help, along with regularly washing your child’s bedding. Wipe down pets and keep them out of your child’s bedroom and off of the furniture.

Step No. 2 to Ease Hay Fever Symptoms: Strip ’em down.

As soon as your child enters the house after spending significant time outside (and before she gets anywhere near her bedroom), peel off her pollen-laden clothes and toss them into a plastic bag until they’re ready to go into the wash. Have her shower and shampoo immediately.

Step No. 1 to Ease Hay Fever Symptoms: Get a jump on medication.

If your child takes preventive allergy medications, she should start taking them well in advance of warmer weather. Since kids’ bodies can change dramatically from year to year, visit the allergist to be sure the medication and dosage is appropriate. “Don’t wait until the last minute. Make it routine to see your allergist in late February or early March,” says Ogden.

From medication to spring-cleaning, early precautions can keep hay fever symptoms at bay — or at least to a minimum.

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 03-25-2013 to 03-31-2013

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 04:29 pm

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twitter thumbWelcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

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 15 events & stories.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

Children’s Health Insurance Coverage in 2013: Updated State Market Data Released