Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Educate Yourself about Your Child's Disability (By: Grandma Jeddah) ....Continued

Educate Yourself about Your Child's Disability (By: Grandma Jeddah) ....Continued

Easily Influenced
Because of their strong desire to be accepted by others, children who have learning and cognitive disabilities can be gullible and easily taken advantage of.  Your child needs to know that she can depend on you as a friend, even when others may forsake her. So be available as a friend to your child. You must also remain keenly aware of where and with whom your child spends her time. This type of child can easily be influenced to shoplift when shopping with unsavory friends, or participate in countless other mischievous activities youth can be influenced to engage in.  Inform your child about disreputable activities such as shoplifting, vandalism, bullying and drug use. Even though your child is a Muslim, she still desires acceptance by her peers and can be led to commit unsavory acts.

Acting out Feelings
Your child may sometimes act out aggressively exhibiting behaviors such as throwing tantrums or shouting rudely when expressing her displeasure. This type of hostile behavior can be attributed to your child’s limited verbal abilities. She may be unable to express her feelings appropriately with words so she acts out her frustrations.  Teaching your child the words she needs to describe how she feels is critical if you want to minimize emotional outbursts. It allows her to communicate with words instead of undesirable behavior.  Teach emotion words and phrases such as, “I feel angry, hurt, sad, happy, disappointed, jealous, mad, excited etc.”  The more your child can verbally express her feelings, the less she will have a need to act out her feelings in order to be understood.

Focus on Strengths
Focus on your child’s abilities rather than weaknesses. Children who are constantly bombarded with corrections, complaints, and criticism develop hostilities that can result in combative, defensive, and resistant behaviors. 
            Take mental note or written notes of what your child enjoys doing and is capable of doing.  When you see her involved in these activities, compliment her endeavors.  Compliments boost her self esteem which gives her the desire to cooperate. When praising, don’t ruin it by following up with a negative.  “I see you’re texting your friends.  You seem to like text messaging.  You spelled school wrong it’s s-c-h . . . .” Leave a compliment a compliment. Also, be sure to involve your child in activities in which she can succeed.  Find activities that she enjoys that aren’t competitive.  Someone else‘s winning is at the cost of your child losing . . . often repeatedly.  Your child might be heard saying, “I never win.”  The fact is, she’s probably correct.  This can cause her to begin to doubt herself and her abilities.  This is why it’s a good idea to get her engaged in non-competitive activities.  Examples of such interests can be shooting hoops free style,  hiking, fishing,  bird watching, rock collecting, shell collecting, swimming, scrapbook making,  roller skating, ice skating, assembling puzzles, beading jewelry, creating crafts, sewing, gardening, T-shirt printing, T-shirt tie dying, designing tissue paper flowers, crocheting, macramé, knitting, and much more.  You can look up crafts and hobbies on-line or visit the library for books on leisure activities.

More excerpts continued, insha'Allah

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Educate Yourself about Your Child's Disability (By: Grandma Jeddah)

Educate Yourself
It is particularly important for parents to educate themselves regarding their child’s disability so they can understand the child better and learn the special techniques needed to handle such children. In addition, it is wise to seek out parenting groups, support groups and other helpful resources for moral support.  
            If your child has a mild to moderate cognitive disability or a learning disability, it’s important to find out what her developmental age (functioning age) is in various areas of performance such as physical and motor capabilities, daily tasks, academic abilities and other areas of competencies.  You’ll also want to find out what the abilities are for a normal child of the same chronological age (true age) as your child. All of this information can be obtained from the special education resource person in your local public school. Once you have this information, it will allow you to determine if the expectations you have for your child are unrealistic and should be reset accordingly. It will also allow you to see the degree to which your child differs from children without such a disability.  Parents sometimes have unrealistic and excessively high expectations regarding how their child with a learning disability or cognitive disability should behave or act.

            If your child has a cognitive disability and has the developmental age of a 6- to 8-year-old, but is chronologically (true age) 15-years-old and she is still unable to recite surah Fatiha as well as the last 3 surahs of Quran without numerous mistakes, she may simply lack the intellectual ability to memorize the surahs without error. Her performance of salat certainly should not be judged based upon the average 15-year-old’s maturity level.

Guiding Them
 Children with a cognitive disability take longer to learn than the average child. Your child might need to be reminded more frequently and for a longer period of time in order to master certain behaviors or skills. For instance, it might take years rather than weeks or months for your 15-year-old daughter to master the skill of proper bathroom etiquette-- using water after relieving herself and wiping correctly and sufficiently.  To encourage her to maintain proper habits, compliment her often. When you see her maintaining proper hygiene, tell her she’s a good Muslim. Let her know that what she’s done is good. Creating incentive charts can be extremely helpful as well. You will find more on incentive charts in chapter 5.

Praise is extremely important for your child.  Praise your child generously when you find her following your instructions. Children with cognitive disabilities and learning disabilities thrive on compliments, praise and encouragement.  They can never get enough. If you want them to behave a particular way, just remember to compliment them often when they do it.  Their performance of your instructions needn’t be 100% perfect.  Praising effort is just as important as complimenting performance for your child with a cognitive disability.  Your 12-year-old may not place all the freshly folded clothes in their proper drawers. However, she should still be commended for her efforts in doing the job.

Be a Friend 
One of the best ways to establish proper discipline with your child who has a cognitive disability is by developing a close relationship with her.  Your child’s manners and awkwardness in social situations can prevent her from developing close emotional ties with friends. Because of this, a solid relationship with family--and particularly parents--is even more important. Many sufferers of cognitive disabilities believe that the pain of being lonely and not having friends or significant relationships far outweighs the difficulties they suffer from being incompetent in their abilities.

I remember hearing a story once. A man with a cognitive disability lived in a home for the mentally challenged. To the attendants’ dismay, they'd often find him pulling and grabbing at his face and mouth. He'd pull until his lip was bloody and partially hanging off. Because of sexual misconduct issues, workers were not allowed to have unnecessary physical contact or display affection towards patients.  Whenever this patient began his episode of face disfiguring, the attendants would grab him and hold him tight to physically restrain him from harming himself further. They would then take him to the hospital to have his lip repaired.  This pattern of behavior continued for some time.   The employees later came to realize that the man’s extreme actions were a drastic attempt to have someone embrace and hold him.  He was starving for love and affection.  The desire to be held was so strong that he severely mutilated himself just to receive the close physical contact of a person.   

More excerpts continued, insha'Allah

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Woman Promised Paradise (Picture Book e-book) By: Grandma Jeddah

The Woman Promised Paradise (Picture Book e-book) 
By: Grandma Jeddah

If you have a child with a disability or know someone who does, this e-book is an excellent reminder of how Allah rewards those who are patient with their trial. A great read for all children, but a special stand-out for kids with disabilities, their siblings, and parents trying to manage the challenges of raising a child with a disability. The Woman Promised Paradise has a wise and inspiring message that will endure as a reminder for generations, insha'Allah. This e-book is an easy reader for grades 3rd through 6th. It's 16 pages and has fun-to-read large script. 

Order your children's picture e-book Now --Begin reading it in minutes! 

What is a Special Need?

To encourage parents to learn more about developmental disabilities like cognitive disability (formerly mental retardation), and autism, Grandma Jeddah will be posting throughout this month excerpts from her e-book Your Challenging Muslim Child with Special Needs, insha'Allah.

What is a Special Need?

Special needs is a broad term used to describe a wide variety of conditions or disabilities that certain people may be affected by and need assistance with. It is a condition in which a person has special requirements due to a learning, emotional, behavioral, or physical disability.  Individuals with special needs might need assistance for medical, mental, psychological or health problems.  Assistance can be in the form of special arrangements or accommodations, special education services, specialized services and support, or monitoring. The following is an incomplete list of disabilities that fall under the term of special needs:

·         Learning disabilities
·         Food allergies
·         Terminal illness
·         Motor disabilities
·         Visual impairment
·         Hearing impairment
·         Autism
·         Mental retardation/Cognitive disability
·         Alzheimer’s
·         Paralysis
·         Epilepsy
·         Cerebral palsy
·         Diabetes
·         Downs syndrome


What is a Disability

The definition of a disability varies depending on whom you ask and what agency is defining it. In essence, it refers to a person who has limited,  impaired, or a lack of ability to perform as most others do in the areas of a person’s  physical, learning, language, or behavioral areas. Essentially, a disability is a special need that an individual has. It might be said the terms are synonymous.  Disabilities can be caused by genetics, an accident, or unspecified causes. A disability can occur at any time in a person's life. It may begin in a fetus within the mother’s womb or in an elderly person who develops Alzheimer’s.

What is a Developmental Disability?

Similar to a disability, a developmental disability is a condition in which a person is impaired or lacks the ability to perform as most others do. The distinguishing factor between a disability and a developmental disability is that a developmental disability begins during the developmental period of a child. Thus, it is a condition that initially affects a child. However, the impact can and often does last throughout a person’s lifetime. A few examples of the most common developmental disabilities include autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities.

            Although a wide variety of developmental disabilities exist, in this book I will focus on primarily five, as these are the disabilities I have most extensive and ongoing experience with. These five disabilities are learning disabilities, mental retardation/cognitive disabilities, autism, ADHD and Tourettes syndrome. All five are developmental disabilities. Even though my primary focus will relate to these five disabilities, the information contained in this book can certainly be used for children with other special needs.

            Throughout this book, I will use all three terms--special needs, disability, and developmental disability—synonymously.

More excerpts continued, insha'Allah

Please click here to order http://www.grandmajeddah.com/Your-Challenging-Muslim-Child-with-Special-Needs-135.htm

Sunday, April 3, 2016

My knowledge of special needs began over 30 years ago (By Grandma Jeddah)

To encourage parents to learn more about developmental disabilities like cognitive disability (formerly mental retardation), and autism Grandma Jeddah will be posting throughout this month excerpts from her e-book Your Challenging Muslim Child with Special Needs, insha'Allah.

My knowledge of special needs began over 30 years ago with a student I had in a class soon after I began teaching. He was unruly, belligerent and was a complete behavior problem. I didn’t know what to do with him. It was then that someone introduced to me the incentive/reward system for managing discipline problems with children.  I used it halfheartedly, my personal upbringing told me that the child was simply bad, and that was that. I resented having to do anything extra to manage this child’s behavior—why should I—he was the one who had the problem, not me.  And, after all –I was the teacher and should be obeyed. My ideas on who was responsible for the problem didn’t change the situation I was experiencing with the child. It may have only made me more indignant.
     I had several other students with varying behavioral problems over the following years since my first experience with that student. However, the children with special needs who had the greatest impact on me were those I managed at home--my own children.  It would be nearly fifteen years after my initial exposure to that student with the behavioral problems that I’d come to realize that the incentive/reward system I’d been exposed to decades prior was a valuable tool to use for my special needs students--as well as my own children at home. I appreciated this system even more as I came to learn of the challenges and difficulties children with developmental disabilities struggle with on a daily basis. 
I’d been planning to write this book for a long time. I made many mistakes over the years when managing both my students and my own children with special needs. Through trial and error and extensive research, Allah has blessed me with a wealth of practical experience and knowledge that has been enormously helpful and resourceful for managing my students and raising my children with special needs. I hope some of my experiences and wisdom expressed in this book will be a great means of support and help for other parents searching for help and solutions in managing their children with special needs.
   Keep in mind this book is in no way definitive by any means. It provides parents with practical introductory information on common disabilities that frequently contribute to behavioral problems with children. It also provides parents with practical advice on how to manage these special children to receive more desirable behavior from them. After completing this book, parents are encouraged to use this book as a jumping board to leap into the pool of knowledge available on special needs, discipline, and positive parenting. I have provided a list of helpful resources at the end of this book.

    Many of the suggestions given in this book on nurturing, managing, and disciplining children with special needs are fundamentals—develop a loving and caring relationship with your child and you will have a child who is more willing to comply with your regulations.  Help your child feel needed and wanted. Provide your child with the emotional support she needs, and you will find the relationship between you and your child improve phenomenally by leaps and bounds. You will find your household a much more peaceful and loving home. Fundamentals indeed—a reminder is good for the believer.

More excerpts continued, insha'Allah

Please click here to order  Your Challenging Muslim Child with Special Needs

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