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Web Based Autism Screening

  Web Tool Aimed for Early Identification of Autism

Check this new tool out! “About Autism in Toddlers” is a new free resource for professionals and families alike. It aims to aid in early identification of autism spectrum disorder in young children. This web-based tool is a part of Autism Navigator and includes many videos to assist in identifying core features of autism and how to recognize unusual behaviors and other information. It even includes side-by-side videos for comparison of two similar age toddles, one diagnosed with autism, and the other typically developing. Early identification and intervention are key, make sure you check About Autism and Toddlers out!

Autism and Toddlers click to navigate.

He is just a sloppy writer!

He is just a sloppy writer! Sometimes poor handwriting is more than just being sloppy. Some kids (and adults) struggle with “dysgraphia”. Dysgraphia includes problems with poor spacing when writing, poor spatial planning on paper, difficulty forming letters, difficulty copying from the board and troubles with writing and thinking at the same time. Read More

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Lose the Training Wheels!

Learning to ride a bike seems like an unattainable goal for many kids with special needs.  A study from the University of Michigan found that less than 20% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and less than 10% of children with Down syndrome learn to ride a bike.

An organization called “I Can Shine” can help kids with special needs learn how to finally lose the training wheels!  The mission of this organization is to teach individuals to ride a two-wheeled bike independently.  After a week of bike camp 80% of the participants learn to ride a bicycle. 

In Minnesota the “I Can Shine” bike camp will be held from August 3rd to August 7th at Hamline University.  Bike camp is for any child with special needs who would like to learn to ride a bike.  Contact the Down Syndrome Society of Minnesota by emailing Mary@dsamn.org.  Happy trails!

Kid learns to ride a bike!


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Letting go of the sippy cup

Parents love sippy cups. It’s not hard to see why. It’s great to have your toddler drink independently without the worry of spills. However, sippy cups can often be harmful to oral health and speech development. Read More

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Fun in the sun: The safe way!

Fun in the SunHere in Minnesota, the unofficial start of summer is upon us! Nothing beats being outside and soaking up some summer sun fun while we have the chance. Staying safe means the fun can go on and on. One summer hazard is the heat. It can get really hot and humid in Minnesota. Experts recommend monitoring the heat index and taking extra precautions in the heat with children. Kids are more susceptible than adults to heat related illnesses. You can monitor heat warnings at nws.noaa.gov/os/heat. In extreme heat conditions, children should wear lightweight clothing, participate in low-key activities in the shade and take frequent water breaks. 

New sunscreen labeling requirements from the FDA took effect in June of 2012. Broad spectrum coverage sunscreens now must protect against UVA and UVB rays. Misleading terms such as sweat proof and water proof may not be used anymore. The new minimum for waterproof sunscreen is that it must last at least 40 minutes with water exposure. Low SPF sunscreens and those with poor broad spectrum coverage must carry warnings that they do no not lower the risk of skin cancer or premature aging.

Consumer reports recently reported that the FDA recommended that spray sunscreens should not be used on children. There is concern that children may accidentally inhale the sunscreen. If you use spray sunscreen put it on your hands first, then rub it on your child. For more information follow this link to consumer reports http://news.consumerreports.org/health/2011/07/spray-sunscreens-should-not-be-sprayed-on-kids-at-least-for-now.html

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