Currently browsing children with special needs posts

Thor: Ragnarok is Sensory Friendly Twice in November at AMC

New sensory friendly logoSince 2007, AMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other special needs “Sensory Friendly Films” every month – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fun new 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’s 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“.

Families affected by autism or other special needs can view a sensory friendly screening of Thor: Ragnarok on Saturday, November 11th at 10am and Tuesday November 14th at 7pm (local time). Tickets are typically $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 full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Still to come in November: Thor: Ragnarok (Tues 11/14); COCO (Sat 11/25); Justice League (Tues 11/28)

****************************************************************************************************************************

Editor’s note: Although Thor: Ragnarok has been chosen by the AMC and the Autism Society as this month’s Sensory Friendly Film, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive material.  As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your family.

How to Handle Your Child’s Learning Disabilities Diagnosis

Having a learning disability diagnosed can be difficult, and in some cases it isn’t clear what the learning disability is or why it happened.

However, your child’s abilities and needs can be assessed to make sure they get the support they need.

Learning disability diagnosis

Some learning disabilities are discovered at birth, while others are not diagnosed until much later. If your child is diagnosed at or around birth – for example, with Down’s syndrome – their doctors probably won’t be able to tell you exactly how it will affect their development. The extent of your child’s disability will become clearer as they reach the ages when they should be talking, walking or reading.

For children who are not diagnosed at birth, finding out they have a learning disability can take time. “The main problem is that learning disabilities are quite hard to diagnose very early in life,” says Dr Martin Ward Platt, consultant paediatrician at Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

“There may be very little in the way of developmental signs. If a child hasn’t started talking by the age of two, that can be linked to learning problems later on, but this is not certain.”

Most learning disabilities are obvious by the age of five. “Intellectual function [also known as cognitive ability] can only be assessed by testing children from the age of five, so most children with these disabilities are only diagnosed when they start school,” says Dr Ward Platt.

Even after a diagnosis is made, it can be hard to tell how it will affect your child in the future. However, your child’s current needs can be assessed to work out what kind of support will help them, and they will be referred to a paediatrician (a specialist in child health). You can talk to parents of children with learning disabilities in your area to ask whether they can recommend a good one.

Find a local learning disabilities support group in the UK through Mencap**.

Getting a learning disability diagnosis

In the UK – under the Children and Families Act 2014, social services has a duty to assess children in need, including children with disabilities. The aim is to identify the child’s specific education and healthcare needs and draw up a plan of action for meeting these needs.  (**see below for resources in the U.S.)

For more information on all aspects of being a carer in the UK, including practical support, financial matters and looking after your own wellbeing, see Care and support.

If you believe your child has an undiagnosed condition, your GP (*doctor) should be able to help you to get the advice you need. The UK charity Scope’s expert forum includes advice for families who can’t get a diagnosis**.

Your child may also benefit from an assessment of your care and support needs.** The assessment establishes the needs of a child with a disability and which services would be best for them. The purpose of the assessment is to draw up a plan of action for your child.

After diagnosis

If you’ve had concerns about your child, you might feel relieved to have a diagnosis. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions. Find out as much as you can about your child’s needs.

Most parents assume their children will be healthy and develop normally, so hearing that your child has a learning disability can come as a shock. It takes time to accept the diagnosis and to mourn the child you might feel you have lost.

Talking to your child’s doctors, nurses, support groups or friends and family can help, although friends and family might need their own time to accept what has happened. Many parents find it helpful to contact other UK families** who have been through the same thing, as talking to other parents can be a useful source of support.

Counselling can also help, so ask your health visitor or GP (*doctor) for recommendations.

Developmental delay

The term “developmental delay” is sometimes used to describe a child’s condition if they are not progressing as expected. “By itself, ‘developmental delay’ is not a diagnosis,” says Dr Ward Platt. The main issues when assessing a child for learning disability are:

  • By how much is the child delayed, and in which areas?
  • Are there areas in which the child is not delayed?
  • What explanation for any delay might lie in the child’s background (such as a long stay in hospital for an unrelated condition)?
  • What underlying medical condition might explain the delay?
  • Is the delay likely to be the product of a low level of care and inadequate stimulation in the home?

Delay is not always significant. “Some children are slow to walk, so may appear to be delayed. But if one of the parents was very slow to walk, then it’s likely the delay just runs in the family,” says Dr Ward Platt.

Check out our selection of apps to help people with learning disabilities in our Digital Apps Library.

Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.

** Resources in the United States

NHS Choices logo


From www.nhs.uk





#MeToo in the Special Needs Community

The #metoo movement has brought the issue of sexual harassment and abuse out of the darkness. Many people are finally finding the courage to speak up and speak out. But what if you can’t speak? Some communication boards are now including pictures that will allow non-verbal children to explain what has happened. Anatomically correct dolls are another way a child can report an event without words.

What if you don’t want to speak up because you depend on the abuser for care? What if you are unaware that what is being done to you, or what you are being made to do, is inappropriate? Individuals with special needs of all ages and all genders are among those being victimized, but are not always included in the crime statistics. While the abuse may happen at the hands of another child, often it is an adult who is taking advantage of someone with a disability such as drivers, aides or anyone who comes into contact with the child, especially in a one-on-one setting.

While we all try to shield children from some of the upsetting realities of the world we need to give them at least enough information to be able to realize what is not okay. They also need to know who to tell if something is making them uncomfortable.

Just as the Harvey Weinstein case has brought out something that was going on for a very long time and was almost considered “business as usual,” individuals with special needs deal with sexual assault and abuse so much it may seem part of the norm especially in institutions and group homes. It is important that we all agree that it should not be overlooked or shrugged off.

As parents or caregivers of someone with special needs we are already vigilant, and we should also be looking out for signs of this sort of mistreatment.

SIGNS

  • The child gets anxious or reacts negatively around a certain person or setting
  • Bruises anywhere in the areas of hips, thighs and buttocks
  • Bleeding anywhere in the underwear area
  • New behaviors that seem inappropriate or new interest in sexual topics
  • Suddenly spending a lot of one-on-one time with someone, such as a coach or an older friend
  • Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease

For more statistics and information, go to http://cirinc.org/catta/pdf/FactSheet.pdf

Sensory Friendly Screening of Geostorm Tomorrow Night at AMC

AMC Entertainment (AMC) has expanded their Sensory Friendly Films program in partnership with the Autism Society. This Tuesday evening, families affected by autism or other special needs have the opportunity to view a sensory friendly screening of Geostorm, a film that may appeal to older audiences on the autism spectrum.

As always, 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’s 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“.

AMC and the Autism Society will be showing Geostorm sensory friendly tomorrow, Tuesday, October 24th at 7pm (local time). Tickets can be as low as $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 full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Coming in November: Thor: Ragnarok (Sat 11/11) and (Tues 11/14); COCO (Sat 11/25); Justice League (Tues 11/28)

****************************************************************************************************************************

Editor’s note: Geostorm has been chosen by AMC and the Autism Society for a Tuesday Sensory Friendly “Mature Audience” screening. Parents should be advised that it is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for destruction, action and violence.  As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your family.

My Little Pony: The Movie is Sensory Friendly 2x in October at AMC

New sensory friendly logoSince 2007, AMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other special needs “Sensory Friendly Films” every month – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fun new 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’s 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“.

Families affected by autism or other special needs can view a sensory friendly screening of My Little Pony: The Movie on Saturday, October 14th and October 28th at 10am (local time). 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 full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Still to come in October: Geostorm (Tues 10/24); My Little Pony: The Movie (Sat 10/28)

****************************************************************************************************************************

Editor’s note: Although My Little Pony: The Movie has been chosen by the AMC and the Autism Society as this month’s Sensory Friendly Film, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for some mild action.  As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your family.

Sensory Friendly Screening: Blade Runner 2049 Tomorrow at AMC

AMC Entertainment (AMC) has expanded their Sensory Friendly Films program in partnership with the Autism Society. This Tuesday evening, families affected by autism or other special needs have the opportunity to view a sensory friendly screening of Blade Runner 2049, a film that may appeal to older audiences on the autism spectrum.

As always, 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’s 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“.

AMC and the Autism Society will be showing Blade Runner 2049, sensory friendly tomorrow, Tuesday, October 10th at 7pm (local time). 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 full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Coming in October: My Little Pony: The Movie (Sat 10/14);  Geostorm (Tues 10/24); My Little Pony: The Movie (Sat 10/28)

****************************************************************************************************************************

Editor’s note: Although Blade Runner 2049 has been chosen by AMC and the Autism Society for a Tuesday Sensory Friendly screening, we do want parents to know that it is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for violence, some sexuality, nudity and language.  As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your family.

Next Page »