Category: Parenting

Swimming Lessons For Children With Special Needs

Swimming Lessons for Children with Special Needs

Learning how to swim is an essential life skill that everyone should learn at a young age. Children with special needs can still learn how to swim so they can avoid drowning and other water-related accidents. Enrolling children with special needs in swimming lessons can help remove fear of going into the pool.

Swimming lessons also ensures their capability of handling themselves should they fall into a body of water.  There is more to swimming than just water safety. Whether your child has a neurodevelopmental disorder or physical disability, they will highly benefit from this life-saving skill.

This blog discusses the various benefits of swimming lessons for kids with special needs.

Benefits of Swimming Classes for Special Needs Children

Swimming holds various benefits for kids with special needs and conditions. Here are some of the advantages your child will get when you enroll them in infant swimming lessons that specialize in handling these students.

Burns Excess Energy

Parents of children with ADHD can attest to how much energy their child has. Swimming is one way to redirect this energy to learning a life-saving skill. An hour in the water can burn up to 500 calories. It can tire their body quickly as it requires concentration and coordination of different parts. You can sit them down much easier so they can focus on their everyday tasks or turn in for the day.

Since physical exercise drains their energy, it can promote better sleep. Special needs kids will also have greater control over their emotions and behavior even while out of the pool once they are swimming more regularly due to lessons.

Maintains a Healthy Weight

Special needs children have a higher rate of becoming obese. Enrolling them in swimming classes will challenge them to be more active in exercising. Since swimming is a low-impact activity that engages the whole body, it is an efficient way of maintaining a healthy weight.

Provides a Sense of Calmness and Freedom

The water environment also offers a sense of freedom and calmness for children with cerebral palsy, ADHD, and autism. Water buoyancy reduces our body weight by up to 80% and offers a greater range of movements. Children with cerebral palsy complain about restricted actions on land but will love the freedom that water provides. The hydrostatic pressure from the water also reduces everyday noises that can be irritating for most children.

Apart from freedom of movement in the water, the pool is also a serene place where children with ADHD can learn how to swim calmly. You don’t let them swim on their own entirely but instead still facilitate their movement, so they remain alert. Special needs kids may even think of the swimming pool as a fun escape from their everyday living.

Moreover, children with autism will significantly benefit from the predictability and repetitive movements in the pool. Doing repeated movements can be a way for autistic children to keep their anxiety in check and concentrate better. Learning how to float in the water also helps them become more aware of their bodies while dealing with overwhelming emotions.

Improves Communication

There are various activities during baby swimming lessons, including blowing bubbles and regulating breathing underwater. These activities can help special needs children with their speech and oral articulation. Moreover, toddlers become more expressive of their emotions, whether through verbal or non-verbal communication.

Boosts their Confidence

Mastering a skill can be difficult for special needs kids. As they progress through their curriculum, the lessons become more difficult but not impossible. Failure can lead to a lack of self-esteem and may even result in not trying at all. However, learning how to swim lets your child celebrate small attainable victories. With the help of trained swimming coaches, they can perfect a stroke, stay afloat, and do a lap on their own.

Swimming also boosts the confidence of children with physical limitations. While their peers can do everyday activities alone, being disabled limits what they can do independently. Toddler swimming lessons are tailored for special needs children to help them learn and explore beyond their limits.

Moreover, your child can receive rewards for every skill they learn, giving them the confidence boost they need. With these small achievements, they can become more confident to face other challenges in life. There’s no stopping a child who believes in themselves, right?

Build Relationships with Peers

A swimming school is a great place to meet new friends and build a relationship with them. Swimming classes group your child with students of the same age and skill level to avoid feeling shy or intimidated by their peers.

Letting your child engage with other children introduces them to people outside their regular home and school life. In fact, they can also mingle with their swimming instructors and other parents. The public setting lets them be more comfortable with people outside their comfort zone.

Puts No Pressure on Students

Unlike other sports, swimming puts no pressure on passing or catching a ball to a teammate. Swimmers can compete with themselves by finishing a lap faster or swimming a farther distance than before. Enrolling in swimming lessons for kids with special needs lets them learn at their own pace with the help of a swimming coach that tracks their progress.

Enroll in Private Swimming Lessons Today

Swimming offers many benefits for special needs children. Provide them with the opportunity to learn this life-saving skill to reap its long-term effects. This low-impact activity goes beyond enjoyment and promotes their developmental health while boosting independence and confidence.

Find a school that offers special needs swim lessons and enroll your child today.

What is Stimming ADHD? What is its Effect on the Human Body?

Stimming ADHD

The word ‘stimming’ is an abbreviation for ‘self-stimulating behavior’ which is typically socially acceptable and normal behavior. What is stimming ADHD?  The answer is that it’s a form of self-stimulation used when one is bored or experiencing something uncomfortable.

Children living with ADHD face unique challenges. Stimming is simply a way to help them to focus, reduce anxiety, or release excess energy.

Some of the things a person does that can be considered ‘stimming’ include:

  • Chewing the inside of their cheek
  • Excessive or unnecessary sniffling
  • Twirling your hair
  • Biting your nails
  • Humming
  • Tapping a writing utensil such as a pen, or pencil

From these examples, you can see that stimming is a very common behavior. These behaviors can be observed in people of all backgrounds, disabilities, and ages. Stimming is a natural response that is not unique to intellectually or developmentally disabled individuals.

Difference Between ASD Stimming and ADHD Stimming

Stimming for those on the autism spectrum disorder is different than ADHD Stimming in severity and duration. ADHD self-stimming behaviors occur when sensory overload happens while trying to concentrate. An example is someone with ADHD thinking about writing, as they rock back and forth, or twirl their hair.

ADHD Stimming or in Developmentally Delays

ADHD stimming can function as a source of comfort and control for those with developmental disorders. Most children or adults with developmental disabilities often experience sensory overload. Stimming is a means of regaining control over a certain sensation or experience.

Children who are easily overwhelmed by too much auditory input might easily begin shouting or shrieking in response. A child overwhelmed with visual input may begin pressing their hands against eyelids, or move their eyes back and forth quickly. These actions are known as adaptive mechanisms.

These adaptive mechanisms, or stimming help the disabled to communicate their emotions. For this reason, stimming can be loud, different, and distracting from the ‘normal’ sources of self-stimulation. These types of stimming are most likely the reason people associate stimming with those who are developmentally delayed.

ADHD Stimming

Developmental disabilities are not always accompanied with ADHD. What is more common is for children with ADHD to experience sensory difficulties. For this reason, ADHD stimming is much like what you would see in a child on the autism spectrum, rather than what would be observed in their typical peers.

ADHD stimming typically involves fidgeting. Stimming for these children can range from squirming in their chair to humming loudly, and even speaking over others and more. These behaviors are used for the child to find some form of sensory input.

Stimming helps a child with ADHD quiet down their sensory systems and the unpleasant sensations in their body. Depending on the child and the environment, stimming will create a new sensation that is pleasant to experience. The reasons for seeking sensation are unique to each and can change daily.

How ADHD Stimming Helps

There are multiple reasons an individual uses stimming. For some, they want to gain control over a situation, others are trying to redirect unpleasant energy or fear. When used for these reasons, sensory overload is typically involved. Stimming is a form of control and can appear in a dramatic movement.

Dramatic stimming can include rocking, crying, or jumping. These actions are able to help quiet an overloaded sensory system. Stimming can relieve excess energy, so tapping feet, pacing, and fidgeting can also quiet overloaded sensory systems. The core of ADHD is hyperactivity, so these actions are not abnormal, but more matter of course.

For some, stimming is used as a means to alleviate boredom. This is perhaps the most common reason for those without a disorder. These small expenditures of energy engage a body in several ways without taking a lot of effort or thought.

When to Intervene on ADHD Stimming

For the most part, stimming does not require intervention. If the action is not interfering with one’s daily life, you do not need to stop the action. When stimming begins to interfere with one living a well-adjusted, healthy life, then educators, parents, or therapists need to intervene.

Intervention is often needed when a child is on the ADS, and in some cases, children who have ADHD. If a child stares off into space and does not acknowledge their educator, it interferes with their academic achievement. If a child hums or speaks over others, this will also require intervention.

Intervention can include applied behavioral analysis, as these behaviors negatively impact a child’s social skills and social behaviors. Children with ADHD and sensory issues are likely to have larger stimming behaviors. These students will probably have an IEP, or 504 plan to improve their learning abilities.

ADHD stimming at home is unlikely to need the same level of intervention as when in school. You may still want to apply some support or an intervention such as therapy. Children with ADHD often have trouble sitting at the table and could develop unhealthy relationships with eating and food.

Other stimming events that can occur in the home include difficulty completing chores or listening to your directions, which can lead to rifts in relationships. There are some cases where stimming can lead to self-injury which will need intervention.

In Conclusion

Some people feel that discouraging a child not to stim is like forcing someone to give up something they love, that it is cruel. For others, stimming functions are a source of alienation from peers and must be addressed and resolved.

Determining if stimming is damaging or not depends on your child’s goals. You will have to seek the treatment you feel necessary for them to succeed.

Teaching Your Kids About Responsible Consumerism

Teaching Your Kids About Responsible Consumerism

We live in an age of information. Knowledge is accessible through the internet and it can help inform everything from our life paths to our shopping habits. The availability of this information means that we have the power to be responsible consumers. It also means we have the responsibility to teach our children about what it means to be a responsible consumer.

In a world that often places more value on profits than people, teaching responsible consumerism is about improving outcomes for communities across the globe. You can better achieve this by demonstrating the definition of value, using gratitude to teach sustainability, and taking every opportunity to show children what responsible consumerism looks like.

Here, we’ll explore how you can go about teaching your kids responsibility in the marketplace in a relevant and age-appropriate way.

Help Your Kids Learn Value

Understanding what it means to be a responsible consumer requires first having some understanding of value. Though most abstract concepts will be difficult for younger children to grasp, value is a good place to start. This is because children as young as three can begin to understand basic monetary concepts, and by seven, kids develop many life-long shopping habits.

This is why teaching responsible consumerism to your kids from a young age is particularly important. By educating them on the value of a dollar, you encourage behaviors that could last them their whole lives and teach them to better appreciate what they have.

This can be best achieved by using physical cash when you go shopping with your little ones. Talk them through your budget and grocery list. Even consider allowing them to pick out a toy with a budgeted amount they hold onto.

As kids gain this experience managing money and learning value, they’ll be able to understand how far a budget can take them and learn to make immediate sacrifices for longer-term gains. They’ll understand their own possessions and moments not just in terms of monetary value but in the value they impart through pleasant memories and feelings.

For example, buying a toy can be fun, but saving for an amusement park trip can build life-long memories. It’s teaching saving habits and delayed satisfaction through examples like this that can then translate to responsible behaviors later on. Investing in real estate, for instance, represents a similar situation in which the cost may seem high in the present but the benefits come later through tangible assets and predictable cash flow.

Prepare your children for responsible financial decisions in the future by teaching them the true meaning of value. They’ll likely learn patience and gratitude in the process.

Teach Sustainability Through Gratitude

Part of teaching value and responsibility will be instilling in your children a sense of gratitude for all that they already have. Real estate serves again as a great example to demonstrate this.

It can be difficult for a comfortably housed child to know what it means for others to struggle. Yet, being aware of others in the socio-economic spectrum who are less fortunate is a key element of being a responsible consumer. Take little moments to educate your children about the injustices of the economy, how even for some folks who try their hardest, things might not be working out in their favor.

Then, set an example by donating to a homeless shelter or similar nonprofit while engaging your child in the process. Show them the difference you can make by being conscious with your money and what it means for others. Money may not buy happiness, but it certainly improves the quality of life up to a point.

Children need to understand that products, services, and money all have value, value that can extend far beyond the product itself. In fact, marketing companies are now eager to prove to customers that there is value inherent in what they have to offer as a means to instill urgency in customers and stand out to investors. Lately, this has included sustainability claims and promotional material.

As many as 66% of respondents in a retail survey said they considered sustainability in their purchases. This shows that people value more than just the product itself. You can showcase the sustainable values of responsible consumerism by drawing attention to the value beyond the value.

For example, many children use video games to cope with anxiety. Your kids may place value in video games for similar reasons. Explain how a $60 video game purchase may be worth it to them because of this value extension and how the same might be true of sustainable products and services.

Take Every Opportunity to Educate

It will be difficult to impart a sense of responsible and sustainable consumerism in children without showing them real-world examples of what you mean. Fortunately, there are a lot of great opportunities you can make the most of when giving your child a financial education.

These opportunities include:

  • At the store
  • At the bank
  • When making a big financial move, like moving into a new home

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to burden your child with financial concerns. Instead, engaging your child in the process should only happen if it can be a stress-free demonstration of how money works in the real world. This could look like the in-store example mentioned previously or talking your child through digital citizenship and commerce when browsing Amazon.

There are innumerable factors involved in being a responsible consumer in the modern era of global and digital trade. Taking the time to point out these factors and talk through them with your child can be enough to establish a consumer conscience. From here, teaching responsible consumerism comes down to encouraging and exemplifying good financial behavior.

Being informed and responsible while shopping isn’t always easy. Give your children an advantage in life by taking time out to teach them what responsible consumerism looks like. These tips can help.

What to Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied: Single Parent’s Guide

Single Parent Guide with Bullied Child

“I am a single parent, and my lovely kid is being bullied at school. Is my status as a single parent the main reason for a child’s violence? How can I stop bullying? Are there resources available to assist me in helping my child? ” Many threads on parenting forums begin like this.

There are many ways you can help your children cope with cruel treatment. However, to provide the correct aid, you first need to understand the true bullying nature.

What do the statistics say?

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, every fifth child (20.2%) reported being bullied at school. And many of them think the bullying will also continue after graduation.

The constant exposure to bullying at primary school and high school can traumatize the mental health of children. As a result, kids become fearful, depressed, have low self-esteem, and have sleep difficulties. Also, when a child is being bullied for a long period, suicidal thoughts may appear.

Students from different states ages 12-18 indicated that they had been subjected to different types of bullying, including:

  • Threatened with harm – 3.9%;
  • Destroying of the property on purpose – 1.4%;
  • Being the subject of lies or rumors- 13.4%;
  • Shoved, pushed, spit on, or tripped – 5.3%;
  • Being made fun of, insulted, or name-calling – 13.0%;
  • Exclusion – 5.2%;
  • Others tried to make them do things they did not want to do – 1.9%.

The males are more likely to be subjected to physical violence, and females are often subjected to verbal (rumor) violence. But not all parents are aware of this.

The bullying symptoms and why it happens

Schoolchildren rarely speak openly about their problems to their parents for fear of condemnation and that the situation will worsen.

Typical bullying symptoms include emotional and physical complaints such as worries, fears, and tummy aches. In addition, the kids do not want to go to school for some reason. In such a way, kids try to avoid things that are making them stressed.

Childhood society is like a wild jungle, where everyone learns to survive, coexist, and defend themselves. In this case, the herd instinct is triggered. It pushes children to group together in search of protection. As a result, a sense of security gives confidence and the ability to defend their interests. After all, there will always be someone who will cover your back.

When someone is different or does not fit into the framework of the already established order of the children’s society, we have bullying. “Weaks” under the protection of a strong leader will attack the “black sheep” with a special effort. Why? They may also have a fear of being in the victim’s shoes.

Anyone can become a black sheep – the child is an excellent student, too beautiful, an orphan, poor, not talkative, or just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Below are practical tips and advice for what you can do when your daughter or son is being bullied at school.

Tips How to Teach Your Child to Deal with Bullying

Avoid Wrong Attitudes

While giving guidance, people want to do what is best. But often, it leads to misunderstanding or alienation between the child and the parent. As a result, the child can retire into their shell and stop sharing their problems with a single parent.

To help your child deal with bullies, you should avoid such bullying myths:

“You need to learn how to resist bullies.”

Children who tell their father or mother about bullying are looking for support first. They may be upset and depressed. Therefore, it is not necessary to say that they have to cope with the situation independently. If a child asks for help, they can not do it alone.

“Words will never harm you, unlike sticks and stones.”

You shouldn’t underestimate the power of words. Unfortunately, sometimes the consequences of name-calling can cause mental pain for many years.

“We all went through it, and we’re fine.”

Bullying is not the behavior norm. It can lead to long-term negative mental and physical health effects. Many adults who were frequently bullied during their school years have PTSD.

“You have to stand up for yourself and fight back when you are bullied.”

Violence breeds violence. A bully fight can make the situation worse and hurt your child. Also, responding to bullying at school may cause your child to be punished for school disturbance.

Use a Strategy for Dealing with Bullying in School

When teaching children to handle bullies, a single parent first needs to explain how to respond to bullying appropriately:

  • Don’t expect to be mistreated from the start. It would help if you were not wary and belligerent towards the new group of children. Instead, it would be best if you treated others the way you want others to treat you.
  • Don’t let the bully make you feel bad. Ask, “So what?” You are not a hundred-dollar bill to please all. There will always be someone who doesn’t like something about you. However, this does not mean that you do not have positive traits. Always keep your benefits in mind.
  • Disarm the bully with humor. Laugh at their name-calling or threats, and then leave. Are they trying to hurt you by pointing out your flaws? Instead, show that you can laugh at yourself and accept your weaknesses.
  • Tell the bully how you feel and what you want them to do. Sometimes, when peers use name-calling, they do not think it can cause the victim severe emotional pain. For little hooligans, this is just entertainment. So express your feelings about name-calling or other types of bullying in a calm and confident voice.

Bullies often want to assert themselves at the expense of the victims because they look stronger and more authoritative. However, they do not yet realize that fear does not equal respect.

Take more serious action to stop bullying

If your children are being bullied every time they go to school, you should cooperate with the administration and other parents to improve the situation. Also, it would be more helpful if you prepared your child to make intelligent choices and teach them how to act if they experience or see someone being bullied.

Step 1. Talk to Your Child

First, talk to your child about the situation. You should find out how long the bullying has taken place, who the bully is, the reasons for the bullying, and how it all started. Also, avoid extreme reactions and judgments. It will help if you do not make hasty decisions until you see the whole picture.

Step 2. Report About Repeated Bullying

If your child is afraid or unwilling to report bullying on their own, you should go with them. Talk to the teacher, psychologist, and school principal to help resolve the situation under the school policy against harassment. If necessary, contact your family therapist, police officer, or specialist organizations such as Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP), Stomp Out Bullying, and National Bullying Prevention Center to help stop bullying.

Step 3. Contact the Offender’s Parents

Working as a team is a smart way to deal with peer bullying as soon as possible. As a parent of the victim party, you should call or email the offender’s parents to resolve the issue together. But, in no case should you accuse them of the improper upbringing of their child.

Step 4. Cooperate with Your Child’s School

Teachers may not know that your child is getting bullied at school because no one tells them about it. Let them know about any bullying that has happened, and feel free to suggest anti-bullying programs to add to school policy. Although many schools already have similar policies, they still lack resources and support from the community and parents.

Step 5. Teach Coping Skills

If your child is being bullied, remind them that it is not their fault, and you will always be on their side and ready to help. Children of all ages need to define their feelings to tell their parents about what happens.

Final Word

Unfortunately, bullying at school is a common issue. Therefore, as a single parent, you should prepare your child in advance to avoid harassment from peers. Become an example for your child of how to get along with others. It is also essential to help them develop positive body language because our body unconsciously indicates our inner state and attitude towards others.

by: Natalie Maximets

Natalie Maximets is a certified life transformation coach at OnlineDivorce.com. She has expertise in mindfulness and sustainability. She is a published author focused on the most progressive solutions in the field of psychology. Natalie helps people go through fundamental life challenges, such as divorce, and build an entirely new life by reframing their personal narrative.

Holiday Kids Gift Book