Autistic Children

Autistic children

Teaching Autistic Children through Art

We want the absolute best for our autistic children! We want to use all the latest ideas and therapies! But what we are finding is what works for one autistic child, doesn’t necessary work for another. And so it continues! There is currently a new angle, a new look, a new intelligent way to look at autism for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Teaching Autistic children through art seems to give them a voice which was silent before but now is a bridge to let them speak, basically inviting you into their world. This disorder would be due to their sensory needs such as visual and tactile, and possibly potential non verbal expression plus their need to draw to visualize and the need for hands-on- therapy.
And surprisingly, it comes to us from the autistic children themselves. We are listening like never before, as it seems the autistic community are teaching themselves through art. There have been many inspirational testimonials from autistic children ages 12 and up that are truly stunning. Through their creative art the autistic child is able to express their feelings, though non verbal and any expressions which they find difficult to express verbally. It seems this very safe way to express their feelings and it is actually working.
There is much literature available resounding this new finding and some of it is even written by autistic children themselves. So by teaching autistic children through art it demonstrates its effectiveness, thereby indicating that it may be a clinically-sound safe treatment option. There is much that can benefit an autistic child through this art therapy such as an increase of self awareness, developing problem solving strategies, giving them their own creative thinking knowing they are in a safe environment. There may be many changes of behaviors and development of social skills. So the benefits are many and they may not come all at once or maybe they come slowly but it’s certainly worth a “look see”.
Teaching autistic children through art can be taught by art therapists. But it seems the goals that parents want for their autistic children are the same as any therapist:
 Opportunity for creative expression with different art techniques whether abstract or imagination. Therapists can design individual art techniques for certain needs.
  Art therapy provides safe and enjoyable sensory integration through exploration of the art. It’s a nurturing relationship giving the art a way to create product and meaning with self accomplishment.
 Communication awareness for those autistic children who have difficulty expressing themselves, giving them a safe forum for emotion and self –expression.
 Art is a visual activity and with integration can be so much fun which helps in social skills and expressions, giving a strong form to peer support.
 Leisure, Recreation go along with social skills and can be developed through observing and learning from others whether a therapist or group or family. It’s a strong form of support.
With the building of trust you can provide directives to encourage communication to the child which will reap great rewards.
Of course safety is an absolute when working with any art supplies. Depending on the age and comprehension of the child, the use of pencil, clay, paint, collage or even glue should be closely watched. With the building of trust you can reap great rewards and encourage communication which in the long run makes for a happier child. There may be many goals reached, so depending on the age of the child and what they are interested in see what rewards you can gather.

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Crafts

Crafts for kids page

Crafts help to foster creativity and imagination. They give children a sense of accomplishment. They can lead to lifelong hobbies. They can even provide the parents with a few minutes of peace and quiet.
Many parents fear that their own lack of creativity will inhibit them from producing quality craft projects for their children. This is simply not the case. First, children can make craft projects out of almost any material. Craft projects can be as simple as setting out old magazines and newspapers and letting children cut out pictures and words to glue on brightly colored construction paper. You do not need to have a lot of supplies or knowledge in order to create crafts with your children that they will really enjoy.
Crafting is one of the most interesting hobbies one can enjoy. Many adults enjoy different types of crafts, such as sewing, knitting, and scrapbooking. However, crafts should not only be enjoyed by adults, but children should also be encouraged from a young age to be involved in craft making.
Children can reap many benefits from making crafts. By making crafts, children can build their imagination. This is very important for the children’s development. Apart from having endless fun, they can express themselves creatively and achieve the sense of accomplishment. There are many types of easy kids crafts that children can enjoy. Crafts that involve drawing, coloring, painting, cutting, gluing, and even stamping can excite children. Parents should not be afraid of their children making mess. Simple precautions like lining the floor with old newspaper or old cloth, or even having their children wear old clothes should do the trick. Buy paints that are lead-free, do not stain and safe for children. Older children can handle more complicated crafts, such as sewing, knitting or carpentry. Most of the children who enjoyed making crafts as a child will usually enjoy them as they grow up and become adults.
Making crafts can help children learn educational values, such as learning more on mathematics by identifying shapes and sizes. They will be able to learn more about colors and shapes, learn how to measure using a ruler, and practice drawing and coloring. These activities allow them to express themselves better, thus helping them deal with the problem they might have in school. Many professional psychologists analyze children’s drawings to understand them better. Children who enjoy making crafts also have great hand-eye coordination and motor control. They will be able to do things like drawing an animal by copying from a book or even imitating what their teachers are demonstrating in art classes. Apart from that, they are also able to think faster and make decisions quicker, hence making them smarter.
Making crafts together is a great opportunity for parents to spend more time with their children. Parents and children will definitely interact more, and they will get to know each other better. Parents should not feel that they are not creative enough to make crafts. There are many types of craft to make and there is bound to be something for everyone. Craft making should be a joyful activity for the whole family.
Parents can organize birthday parties and have their children invite their friends and have craft-making activities. Easy kids craft such as making party hats, friendship bracelets or simple origami like paper planes should be a hit with the children. Let the children make crafts together and encourage them to exchange them. Crafts like friendship bracelets should be perfect for this. The children can learn the value of friendship and this will help them communicate better. Parents can also join their children and make crafts together, like making a huge collage of the family photos. Frame it and hang it where everyone can see it. Each time anyone asks about it, be proud and tell him or her how a lot of the works were done by the children. Any child will feel happy, knowing that their parents are very proud of them.
Children often pick up on the skills needed to complete a craft easier than adults, which make learning at a young age ideal. Parents can also help foster positive self-esteem in children by displaying their artwork and craft projects throughout the home. Grandparents and other relatives often enjoy receiving a child’s work as a gift. By encouraging your child’s creative side, you will not only help to develop their imagination, but also improve the way they feel about themselves.

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Good Oral Hygiene

teeth2

A healthy mouth is a clean mouth, and a clean mouth is a happy mouth! In a healthy, happy mouth teeth are free from plaque and debris, gums are pink and healthy, and breath does not exude an odor. This is the ideal that we must teach out kids to aspire to, and a few hints on developing good oral hygiene will go a long way towards sweetening their little smiles!

Why is Developing Good Oral Hygiene Important?
Developing good oral hygiene is your first line of defense against dental problems such as plaque, tooth decay, gum disease and halitosis. Developing good oral hygiene now will help keep you out of the dentist’s chair later!

  • Plaque is a white-ish substance that develops when food, mixed with bacteria and saliva, clings to the teeth. Good oral hygiene helps loosen and remove plaque.
  • Tartar is hardened plaque that has calcified and sticks to the teeth. Generally only a dentist can remove tartar with special tools.
  • Tooth decay occurs when small holes (cavities) form in the tooth. Plaque is also the culprit of tooth decay because when the bacteria living in plaque comes into contact with sugars in the food we eat, acid is formed that eats away at the tooth’s protective enamel. Ridding the teeth of plaque keeps teeth clear of tooth decay as well.
  • Gum disease refers to any infection or inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth. Healthy gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when brushed. Unhealthy gums are open to the bacteria in plaque causing an inflammation called gingivitis. If the tissues that connect the teeth to the gums become involved, then it is called periodontitis. Again, ridding the teeth of plaque will help guard against gum disease.
  • Halitosis, the technical term for bad breath, is also the result of an unhealthy plaque build up. When the gums become infected or inflamed due to the bacteria in plaque, bad breath often results. Keeping the teeth and gums clean, and even brushing the tongue, will help alleviate this embarrassing condition.

What is Considered Good Oral Hygiene?
Good oral hygiene means getting into the routine of thoroughly cleaning your mouth at least once a day, though preferably after every meal.

  • Brush your teeth for two full minutes with fluoride toothpaste and a brush that is small enough to maneuver around the inside, outside and top of every tooth in your mouth. Replace your brush every three months.
  • Consider investing in an electric toothbrush if you feel you need more help.
  • Floss after every brushing. If you have never flossed before, ask your dentist for advice. Remember that using just a small bit of dental floss to gently slide debris from between the teeth goes a long way towards eradicating plaque and keeping your mouth free from bacteria.
  • Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash that will get rid of small pieces of debris and help keep your gums healthy. If you find that an antiseptic mouthwash “stings,” ask your dentist to recommend a brand for more sensitive teeth and gums.
  • If you are unable to clean your mouth directly after eating, consider chewing sugar free gum. This will stimulate saliva in your mouth that will naturally help flush out any lingering remnants of food.

When Should Children Begin To Practice Good Oral Hygiene?
As soon as children grow teeth, good oral hygiene should be practiced. When children are old enough to grasp their toothbrush themselves, ask them to be responsible for their own brushing.

Where Does the Dentist Fit Into Good Oral Hygiene?
Going to the dentist every six months, or at the very least once every year, is very important. Your dentist will be able to:

  • Recommend cleaning techniques and products for your family.
  • Clean plaque and tartar from the teeth.
  • Fill cavities that could lead to further tooth decay.
  • Administer fluoride treatments.
  • Treat mild gingivitis before it turns into periodontitis.
  • X-ray teeth.
  • Remind your children about the importance of proper oral hygiene.
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