Now that summer is closer than ever and your Pre Kindergarten student is going off to Kindergarten in a few months, now is the time to get them ready. I'm positive that you taught them about making friends, sharing and kindness. I'm sure you're also wondering where did the time go? But now is the time to practice getting children ready to take care of their own needs.
When a child can be more independent then they have greater self esteem and confidence. They won't need to ask for help constantly, and they can help others. The teacher will appreciate you totally for spending time to teach these basic skills.
Have fun teaching your children these essential tasks this summer!
Coping as a mother with a disability brings a completely unique dimension to motherhood. Let's face the facts - being a good, responsible, loving mother takes a lot of energy and time. Mothers don't get a practice session or any training in knowing how raise your child. You have to learn as you go and use your mistakes as wisdom. Add in a disability and you are lucky enough to have even more wisdom.
Every disability is different especially when it comes to what we can and cannot do for our children. As anyone with a disability knows, we learn how to adapt, change and create new ways of doing tasks. You can't hold your baby and rock them to sleep? OK, have you tried a bouncy seat that vibrates? I absolutely could not live without bouncy seats for both of my babies. I couldn't hold them, but I would have someone sit them in their bouncy seat and I'd get very close. I could talk to them, kiss them and make eye contact. I learned that it was certainly fine to do things in a whole new way as long as my baby was safe and loved.
Being a mother with a disability also means using your strengths at there absolute best. Our strengths can make our weaknesses not seem as apparent. I'm organized and try to foresee any problems or needs my children might have. I also have a vivid imagination so if I can't steer a toy train around my son's wooden track or jump rope with my daughter-I can create a story as they play and be completely present as they play. I can listen to their every word with love and respect. I can encourage their minds, dreams and aspirations. I can setup play dates and fun activities to create lifelong memories. I can be their biggest fan for the rest of my life. I can only hope that what I can do is far more important than what I cannot do for them.
Many people compliment my children positively and think that having a mom with a disability somehow transformed them into being perfect. My children are beautiful, intelligent, kind, funny, and awesome. But, they are still human beings as the rest of us and need guidance. Yes, they probably know the importance of accessibility and wheelchair repair more than the average person. However, my cerebral palsy doesn't consume their life and activities. They live life pretty much as they would regardless of my disability. They might have a broader understanding of differences, more responsible for their belongings because they know I won't pick it up, and be more helpful. They also have typical tantrums, get angry with me over normal things, argue with each other, and do all the normal kid things regardless of my capabilities.
Coping as a mother with a disability isn't too different than any other mother. At the end of the day, I worry if I loved them enough, spent time enough, and listened enough. Sometimes I feel down that I can't run with them, pick them up or just get in a car and take them on an adventure just them and me because I can't drive. But what I can't do as a mother will only push me to succeed in what I can do. At the end of the day, my children hug, kiss me and can't wait to spend another day together so I guess I'm doing a pretty good job.
Even though my children were young when I had my breast cancer diagnosis, I knew that they wanted to be there for me. I have completed a bit of research on the parent child relationship as far as cancer. One of the biggest questions most children have no matter what their age is how can I help my mom through cancer?
No matter how old you might be, hearing that your mother has cancer can be scary and almost devastate you emotionally. Your mom has been with you your entire existence, and the idea of losing her seems almost impossible. But please keep in mind that a breast cancer diagnosis is not an automatic death sentence not by a long shot. Survival rates are increasing by the day and so are new treatment options with researchers working around the clock. Breathe and think with cautious optimism.
Before we talk about the specifics of how you can help your mother, I want to tell you what your mom needs more than anything. Your mother wants you to take care of yourself and never quit on your goals. Yes, she wants you to be there for her and see you. However, she does not want you to stop your life by helping her with her life. As a mother who had cancer, I wanted my children to have fun and keep their normal routine as much as possible. I had children so they would grow to be strong and independent, kind people. It would have killed me if they were crying all of the time or constantly worried about my health.
With that said, now I will tell you of the other things that you can do to help your mom during her breast cancer battle.
Be there for her - As your time allows, visit your mom and talk to her. You can talk about feelings and fears. Be honest and open. By having you being honest, she will feel more comfortable being honest with you. You don't need to constantly talk either. You can play games, cook together, go to the mall, go to an event or work on a project together. If you don't live that close, call and text her when you can. Send her get well or cheer up cards. Write her emails. She needs to know that you are out there caring for her the best way that you are able.
Help at home - Lend a hand in any services at home. Cook meals, clean the house or do some laundry. Try to ask her what would be the best way to help.
Open your ears and heart - Sadly, you might not always agree with your mom's options for treatment. You might want her to do one thing and she might want to do the complete opposite. Feel free to express your concerns and reasons for why you think that she should do a certain treatment, but never force her to do what you want. Only her doctor and she knows what her body can take.
Spend the time - A cancer diagnosis has a way of making you quickly remember that we are all on Earth for a limited time. Take the time with your mom. Write down memories, take the pictures, memorize the details. Love her and thank her for all she has done. Let her know the positive ways that she has shaped your life. Ask all the questions that you need to.
Become an informed advocate - Take the time to research her type of breast cancer, her doctors, the hospital, nurses and treatments. Education is always key, and if you are going to be her advocate, you must be informed. Offer to go with her for medical consultations, remind her about second opinions, and be present whenever you can for treatments.
Your mother loves you more than anything and knows your heart. Just breathe and try to do whatever you can and learn what you can. You can do this because she loves you.
originally published by Jessica Grono on breastcancernewstoday.com
Leggings are all the rage right now. I like my leggings because they are comfortable, soft and pleasant to wear. They can go with many articles of clothing and great for a very busy lifestyle such as a busy mom.
I'm always on the lookout for good deals as well. Some legging companies, I feel are way overpriced for what they are. I noticed last year that my cousin's wife was selling a leggings brand called Buskins. They are a lot cheaper plus the same quality as the other brand. You can also pick what you want from a site and have more of a selection in solid colors.
I'm on the floor a lot with my children. The wear and tear on my Buskins have been fabulous. They stay true to their comfort and size. Speaking of sizes, they come in One Size which is size 3-14. Pluskins size is 14-20. I've had no issues with sizes.
If interested, you can become an affiliate and get a great deal on each legging you buy. You also get paid for every legging you sell. It's a win win situation. There is also legging of the month club that allows you to get two brand new patterns that no one else has seen or gotten yet. So many options, styles, patterns, skirts, leggings and Capris!
I love my leggings, capris and skirts from Buskins and I'm now an affiliate. If you'd like to try them out please go to Jessica Buskins Page
I didn't know a whole other community existed of people who had disabilities played competitive power wheelchair hockey. I didn't know that I would play as hard as I do. I didn't know I would enjoy every second of my playing time only to try to do better the next. I didn't know I would meet some of the best friends I could imagine that accepted me for who I was and not what I'm not. I didn't know until the day I joined Philadelphia PowerPlay.
I met Pat Hilferty shortly after I joined hockey. He gave me a big, warm smile and made me feel welcome. I was in awe watching him play goalie only to hope that one day that I'd play as goalie too. He always asked me about my children and liked to talk to them. He encouraged me to do my best but don't worry about the mistakes. I liked playing defense when he was goalie because he taught me skills and we had awesome teamwork.
I admit that I'm not a huge sports fan, but I love to be apart of a team, be judged on my playing ability fairly, and to make friends. I didn't know of all the players as the other team members talked about national teams and sports conversations. But when they say that it's my time to play, I give my absolute best and learn from my mistakes (or at least try.)
I thank Pat Hilferty for founding such an awesome organization. He was the rock, the support , the role model and biggest fan to all of the players. He has made an incredible difference that will be well felt in years to come.
Did you know that March 25 is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day? National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day originated in 2013 due to a government resolution < https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/sres89> to celebrate. The nation has come a very long way in accepting cerebral palsy and understanding cerebral palsy, but there is still some work to do. In my lifetime, I have seen some major improvements in the treatment of people who have cerebral palsy, and that is an excellent thing to see.
I compiled a list of 15 points to consider when you communicate or with someone with cerebral palsy. These are facts and suggestions to make both of your lives just a bit easier. On March 25, don't forget to wear green to show your support for cerebral palsy. Educate others about the disability as well.
Originally published by Jessica Grono on CerebralPalsyNewsToday.com
Check out this super cool Cerebral Palsy tshirt
During the last few weeks in the news, there has been an increase in stories featuring children and adults who have cerebral palsy being horribly abused or their rights being limited. Finding the right words to portray how I feel about these issues aren't easy for me, but abuse needs to be addressed and seriously worked toward finding a better solution. People that abuse or take advantage of people with disabilities have some serious issues that should not ever be ignored.
Let's start with Alex Scott who is 44 from Virginia who has non verbal severe cerebral palsy, and he takes time to eat his food. The group home where he has lived for twenty years is denying him access to live there anymore until he has a feeding tube according to the Washington Post. His family and medical team doesn't believe Scott needs a feeding tube but just patience in feeding him. Scott has been in the hospital since because he doesn't have any place to go.
Having a feeding tube installed is a surgery that includes risks, uncomfortable times and recovery. But most importantly, Scott enjoys food and eating. Once a feeding tube is in place, eating orally is no longer an option. Also, this surgery isn't necessary. As a person who has severe cerebral palsy and takes longer to eat, this situation is very scary to me. I don't think anyone who has a disability should be forced into a non medical surgery just to make a caregiver's job easier. This is a human rights violation.
I also, unfortunately, just read a horrific case of a father who murdered his four year old daughter who had cerebral palsy. Her murder happened in 2015, but he just pled guilty to her murder. Her death is obviously very upsetting and tragic. Four year olds can't defend themselves to begin with but having cerebral palsy on top of that makes the situation even more disgraceful that anyone could harm her let alone kill her. But the most frustrating part, in my opinion, is that the father had already been investigated and known to abuse. So, my question is how was he ever allowed to be alone with his daughter in the first place? I would think that one incident of abuse would prevent anyone from being alone with any child.
There has been several different cases of abuse and extreme neglect of children and adults who have disabilities including cerebral palsy. I believe that society has a way of honoring those that care for people who have disabilities that sometimes without realizing it, it can devalue the person living with a disability. If abuse happens, society somehow tries to justify that the caregiver or parent was under stress or felt hopeless. However, feeling stressed or hopeless doesn't give anyone a right to hurt someone, abuse someone or kill someone.
Society needs to take the attitude of the "hero" caregiver or parent and focus on the unit as a team. The child or adult who has the disability is an individual with feelings, intellect, and rights to safety as anyone else. They need advocacy that if abuse is suspected or documented then it's time to help and not wait until someone dies. Punishment for abuse or murder doesn't need to be less because the victim has a disability. Value of human life needs to be put back in its rightful place.
If you suspect abuse, please do something to help. Don't look the other way or try to forget. This is about someone's life, and they deserve a safe environment to live.
Originally posted by Jessica Grono at http://cerebralpalsynewstoday.com
People with cerebral palsy and other disabilities would like society to see them equally. Society has a way to give people with disabilities the term "special" when all we really want is to be seen as normal but needing to do some things differently. Depicting people with disabilities has been lacking in television and movies. But, finally there is a new sitcom on ABC that now sheds a whole new light on what having a disability is really about. Speechless is on Wednesday 8pm ET on the ABC network. I, and several people with cerebral palsy, couldn't be more excited.
When I was growing up, I longed to see someone in a wheelchair star in a movie or television show. Yes, I could relate to characters that didn't have any disability, but it's important to see someone with a disability. It's important because they teach indirectly that having a physical disability is also normal. Perhaps if media saw people with disabilities more than someone that was dying, incoherent or also mentally challenged, then they would expect them to also be just like themselves.
The show, Speechless, depicts a family that include a mom, dad, two sons, and a daughter. One son is JJ and he has cerebral palsy that affects his ability to walk, motor control and speak clearly. The actor who plays JJ is Micah Fowler, and it's really cool that he actually does have cerebral palsy. Many times Hollywood casts people without disabilities to play characters that are disabled. Fowler's cerebral palsy isn't as severe as JJ's so he has to resist the urge to use his hands.
JJ uses a computer to communicate with a laser pointer. He isn't sick, mentally challenged or suffering in any type of way. He's just a normal kid trying to navigate his way in school like everyone else.
His mother, Maya, is played by Minnie Driver. Maya is JJ's biggest advocate and support. She does everything possible to give him an equal playing field in life. She also has to learn how to let go a bit and tend to the needs of her other two children. She adequately depicts what most parents of children with disabilities do for their children on a daily basis. Her love and support of her son is right on point and hits a soft spot in many parents today.
I am very happy with the show overall. My parents also had to fight for me to be in a regular classroom. The fight was even a bit harder back in the 1980s when inclusion was still very much in the infantile stages. My parents fought for me, but I also had to learn to fight for myself. I knew what I'm capable of more than anyone so I needed to let others know as well.
Like JJ in Speechless, I also had an aide in school. She helped me write, fed me lunch and any other physical aspect that I needed in my school day. Luckily, I was fortunate to have the best aide that I could imagine. I realized this whenever my aide needed a day off and they would send in a substitute. Having other clueless aides made me appreciate who I had!
One of the best things about the show Speeches is the use of humor. It is relatable and very much real for those of us who have disabilities. But the humor is for everyone. I love to laugh and sometimes in situations that seem unreal, all you can do is laugh. Sometimes the every day challenges can be the most hilarious. For example, people who don't know me that talk to me like I don't understand anything do make me feel frustrated, but it can also be humorous.
originally written by Jessica Grono published by cerebralpalsynewstoday.com
Every child is different. Whenever a parent potty trains their child, everyone seems to have an opinion, experience or idea. Laura was easy to potty train because she was mentally ready and enthusiastic. Her body wasn't quite ready and that was the hardest part. Jason wanted nothing to do with potty training. At first, he seemed a bit excited but it was short lived.
We tried everything! By the time he was three and a half, I felt determined to potty train him before he went to pre school. I knew that he could use the potty, but I had to get him there. While looking up techniques online, I stumbled on the Three Day Potty Training site. Her video enticed you but the online book seemed way too expensive. I thought if I had to spend the money, it'll be worth it but I checked out Amazon. Low and behold, it was a lot cheaper so I bought it for my Kindle.
I read the book within about twenty minutes. And, the method is so simple and made complete sense that you're left thinking- why didn't I think of that? I discussed it with Jeff who agreed it sounded like a great idea. We couldn't start immediately. We had to buy incentive toys, small rewards, marbles and lots more underwear. I also started on a Monday and week that I knew I could give complete attention to training.
Long story short- it worked wonders. It took him a little longer than three days but paitience, consistently and kindness got us through. Below is the method we used, and I hung it in our kitchen for everyone helping Jason. Best tip I know is don't use pull ups - they slow the process. If we didn't use them, I bet Jason would've been potty trained so much quicker.
Three Day Potty Training
Monday to Thursday but might be longer
We need to not go anywhere with Jason for three days. No errands etc.
Monday morning - he throws away his pull up and then together, we gather all of the pull ups and diapers in the house,car and diaper bag to donate for other families. He helpsand we tell him that diapers are for babies and Jason is a big boy.
Jason wears underwear and comfy, easy clothes.
We show Jason a new toy that he wants on the counter and a small jar with marbles. When he uses the potty, we let him put the marble in the jar. When the jar is full, he gets the toy.
When Jason seems to begin an accident, take him to the bathroom ASAP.
Never be negative. If an accident happens, we simply say, "Jason, remember to tell me when you need to use the potty."
He can get stickers after using the potty..
Our job is to watch Jason and recognize signs of needing to go. We never just sit on the potty to try because that frustrates him.
If he resists sitting on the potty, then just get him into the bathroom. Never use force or sound mad. After awhile, he will get comfortable.
We push liquids to get him to go. We want him to go lots so he practices and learns
He should go before and after nap. Hold back liquids before sleep.
The biggest key is never show frustration or anger. Only praise!! Even if he has 20 accidents a day.
For going poo, he will receive a "magic wand" to hold when he sits and it won't be scary.
Jason can and will do this! We just need to keep positive, focused and be with him!