Special Needs Care Archive

ADHD Medications for Children

Posted April 3, 2015 By careforall

ADHD Medications for ChildrenParents of children with ADHD often face difficult decisions about ADHD medications and treatments. Fortunately, there are many types of ADHD medications for children. There are also various treatment strategies that parents can consider. However, not every medication or treatment is right for every child, and parents may need to find the right treatment through a trial and error process.

There are certain popular ADHD medications that are used by a majority of children with the condition. These medications include Ritalin, Concerta, and Metadate. Two other drugs that are commonly recommended by doctors are Adderall and Dexedrine.

However, there are downsides to taking ADHD medication. The first downside is that most ADHD medications require several dosages per day. This means that a child may have to take pills at school and in other cases when a parent may not be present. Parents may not always find it easy to coordinate dosage times, especially if a child is very busy and socially active. Furthermore, medications that must be taken in three to four hour intervals may feel overwhelming for both the parent and child.

Another downside to ADHD medication is the potential side effects related to ADHD drugs. Two common side effects are weight loss and loss of appetite. Other common side effects could include upset stomach, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. Some ADHD medications cause mood swings and parents may feel they are simply exchanging one set of behavior problems for another. For some, the side effects from medication far outweigh the benefits.

ADHD medications may also become habit forming. This could lead to drug abuse and addiction. Some ADHD sufferers who have become addicted to medication suffer terrible withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking their medication or switch to a different treatment. Every person responds differently to ADHD medication. Some people have a significant improvement, while others may experience little to no relief at all.

Many healthcare professionals would not recommend depending on medication alone to help a child alleviate ADHD symptoms. Some would recommend combining ADHD medications with behavioral therapy. Behavioral modification therapy allows doctors to dramatically lower doses of ADHD medications that a child must take.

Medication isn’t the only treatment option for children with ADHD. There are a variety of nondrug options that can have a substantial impact. One powerful ADHD treatment is exercise. Exercise is an easy and effective way to reduce ADHD symptoms. Exercise helps alleviate ADHD symptoms by boosting the brain’s dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels – all of which affect a child’s focus and attention. Eating right can also help reduce symptoms. Children should eat healthy meals and snacks. Also, getting enough iron, zinc and magnesium all work to combat ADHD symptoms.

Fidgeting, inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are all symptoms of ADHD. Children may experience these symptoms on a regular basis, but a good ADHD treatment should eliminate or greatly reduce these symptoms. If a medication or treatment doesn’t seem to work at reducing or eliminating ADHD symptoms, parents should look for additional options until they find something that works.

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Caring for Children with Special Needs

Posted August 20, 2014 By careforall

Do you need the skills to care for a child with special needs? Even the most experienced nannies may feel inadequate caring for a child with special needs. This view and attitude is in most cases driven by lack of sufficient understanding on the conditions affecting these children. Knowing what to expect can provides care givers with the confidence to succeed.
The following is a brief summary about three of the most common conditions.

Autism
As a child minder, the most important thing you need to know about children with autism is that they may have trouble understanding indirect/understated instructions, instructions and requests. Remember, autism is a developmental disorder that affects communication and social skills; some cases are mild while others are severe. Some children may become overcome by noisy environments and other may hate being touched. Find out as much as you can from the parent because each autistic child is unique. Here are some great pointers:
• Follow the kid’s routine, more so at bedtime and during meals
• Enquire about the kid’s favorite toys.
• Special toys can go a long way in helping cooperation
• Don’t be discouraged if the kid doesn’t want to play with you or wants to play alone.
• Ensure a calm environment.
• Be careful with physical contact
• Learn from parents and prior caregivers on how to deal with challenging behavior
Some autistic children are calmed by stuffed animals while others may like to rock in a chair or swing set.

Down Syndrome
This is another developmental condition seen with special kids. Children with this condition often seem younger than they really are because their behavior corresponds with that of younger children. A caregiver needs to adapt to their level of their understanding.
Here are a few pointers:
• Find something the kid loves doing.
• Take note that kids with Down syndrome may suffer from lower muscle tone and babies in particular tend to have weak neck muscles.
• Kids with this condition may have difficulty picking up small objects.
• Teach the child how to do new things.
• Avoid complicated rules, keep it simple.
• Kids with Down syndrome might have speech problems.
• Know how to deal with challenging behavior from parents and past caregivers

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Kids with this condition tend to be hyper active. They can have high energy levels for brief periods of time and then lose interest completely. Their attention spans are very short thus learning activity has to be optimized to occur when they are in an active state.
Here are some pointers on caring for such children.
• Kids with ADHD are often very creative. Many enjoy drawing or playing with building blocks.
• Kids with ADHD love active outdoor games like jumping rope or hopscotch.
• Find some low key activities to help them wind down and sleep at night.
• Find out the dosage for any medication the child may be taking
• Your instructions have to be very clear and specific
• Find out from the parents how to deal with difficult situations
As you can see from the foregoing, it’s really just a matter of doing some due diligence. Kids with special needs are like all other kids, sweet and loving. Try and look at the world from the special kid’s perspective and it will change your entire outlook.

by CareForAll

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Finding a Caregiver for an Adult with Special Needs

Posted August 19, 2014 By careforall

Millions of children with special needs subsequently become adults that require special care. The term “special needs” in this regard refers to a wide range of conditions. The adult may suffer from a developmental condition such as autism or Down’s syndrome or, they may suffer from a chronic or systemic illness. Whatever the situation, finding a care giver for an adult with special needs is a daunting task. We offer the following suggestions the next time you are looking for a caregiver.

Cast your net wide
Begin by asking your friends and colleagues. There may be someone in your circle of friends that has recently hired a caregiver in the past. Also, check Craigslist and local service agencies.

Phone Screen before Inviting for Interview
Formulate a number of questions which you can ask the candidates on phone. The questions will vary based on the person who needs the care, the hours you want them to work, your budget and the responsibilities you want them to fulfill. The best way to screen in this manner is to have a spreadsheet where you can place a tick or x based on the response you get for each question.

Invite Screened Candidates to Interview
One you have finalized the phone screener; invite the shortlisted candidates for a face-to-face meeting. It is a good idea to have the individual that needs care to be present during the meeting. This allows you to gauge their initial impression about the candidate. The last thing you would want is to hire a candidate that individual despises from the onset. Also, encourage the candidate to talk so that they can open up. Be keen to listen and take note of the kinds of questions that they ask you.

See how the Candidate Communicates with the Special Needs Adult
The key thing here is to evaluate how your special needs adult and the candidate communicate. If things progress well from the onset, ask the individual to show the candidate around the house. Follow them, watch and listen. See how the candidate tries to engage. Does s/he speak at the right pace? Does s/he ask questions? What does the caregiver do if a question is not answered? Take note that the language used needs to be respectful and match the special needs adult capabilities. 

Is there heart in the right place?
Irrespective of their education or background, the caregiver should have a mindset of putting people with disabilities first. What is their motivation for seeking a job caring for an adult with special needs? Use probing questions to peel apart their mindset and real intentions for seeking a job of this nature. Closely related to this is to find out if they have the mental and physical stamina for the job. Caring for adults with special needs requires lots of patience. Also, if your adult is confined to a wheelchair, the caregiver must be strong enough, literally, to fold a wheelchair, lift it into a car and push it around.

Special Needs Experience & References
Finally, as with all jobs, anyone with prior experience should always be at an advantage provided the pay they seek is within your budget. Further, experience needs to be great experience. For example, ask them how they dealt with the most challenging behavior they ever faced.
Get several reference checks and if all check out, hire the caregiver.

by careforall

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