Caring For Your Special Children

Children serve as binder in a family. Their pure, innocent and angelic traits tend to bring love and sympathy which is a bonding factor in every family.

Those with handicapped, who are suffering from mental retardation, autism and other behavioral disorder or learning disabilities need serious attention and care.

These children may draw genuine sympathy and love from the people caring for them, they may also attract feelings of self pity and crippling hopelessness to those who feel sorry for having them. Whatever treatment you may give, these children need loving tender care and attention by their parents and care givers as well.

Mental retardation occurs when something injures the brain or if something prevents the brain from developing or functioning normally. It can happen while the baby is in the womb or it may happen after his birth.

The baby could become mentally retarded if his mother contracted certain infections during her pregnancy such as rubella and toxoplasma, among others.

A mentally retarded baby could also be conceived if the mother took medicines not prescribed by doctors intended for pregnant women or drank alcohol during her pregnancy, or if she suffered from genetic problems.

Sometimes the baby is born without any problem, but when the baby contracted serious infections, it can generally affects the baby brain development.

A serious head injury, malnutrition or unhealthy living conditions and exposure to lead based paint from toys can also cause mental retardation as what an OB- Gynecologist has said.

It is also advised that couples planning to have babies would do well, to allow themselves to undergo tests to determine if they are at risk of having a child with certain medical conditions. Pregnant women should always eat healthy foods and avoid alcohol and drugs.

Babies should also undergo blood tests to check for certain problems that can cause mental retardation like inborn errors of metabolism which can be detected by newborn screening tests. Parents should also prevent brain and head injury to their kids to happen.

It is advised that parents has to keep an eye on their young children. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment of any mental or behavioral disorder the better the prognosis for good outcome.

Baby check ups are important because part of what the pediatrician will evaluate is the developmental milestones of the child. Babies may appear to develop normally or look normal physically and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement. Herewith, are predominant learning disabilities and behavioral disorders that need special attention by parents and caregivers:

a) Autism – is diagnosed as a developmental disability resulting from neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain. Most autistics however, can be taught to capitalize on their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses with the help of an appropriate education program. Over twenty percent of them can grow up to become functional adults living by themselves and have gainful employment.

b) ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) – is diagnosed applied to children and adults who consistently display certain characteristic behaviors over a period of time like poor sustained attention to tasks, impaired impulse control and delay gratification, excessive activity and physical restlessness.

Scientists say that ADHD is likely caused by biological factors which influence neurotransmitter activity in certain parts of the brain, which have a strong genetic basis.

There is a great deal of evidence that ADHD runs in families which suggest of genetic factors. If a person in a family is diagnosed with ADHD chances are that twenty five percent to thirty five percent any other family has ADHD.

Effective treatment for ADHD is a combination of medication and behavioral therapy or counseling. Medication is often used to normalize brain activity as prescribed by the physician. Stimulant medications are commonly used because they have shown effectiveness for most people with ADHD.

Behavioral therapy or counseling are often helpful to modify certain behavior and deal with emotional effects of ADHD. Many adults also has also benefited from working with ADHD coach to help manage problem behavior, develop coping skills such as improving organization, skill and productivity.

Parents of children with learning disabilities should not lose hope in the treatment in such affliction. What is important however, is for parents,teachers, medical and behavioral professionals to discover the child’s learning disability early.

The kind of help that can be immediately accorded to the child and give him the chance to develop whatever skills he has to lead a successful and productive life.

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