On the Horizon – 04/28/2009

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 57: How Do I Know if My Child is Anxious?

On the Horizon is an award winning weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

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In This Issue

Identifying Anxiety

A Note from Nicole: Have Questions?; Good News About Our Book

Idea of the Week: Monkey Mix

Feature Article: How Do I Know if My Child is Anxious?

The Horizons Team Recommends: Learning
as we Grow; Summer CAMPS

Upcoming Events: Sibshop; Parent Chat

A Note From Nicole
Nicole Beurkens

Hi Everyone!

Very soon I’m going to share some information about a big online project I’ve been working on (hint—it will be a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about remediation). But, right now I need to ask for your help. Do you have a question that you would really like to have answered regarding autism, neurodevelopmental disorders in general, co-occurring conditions, or treatment? Do you hear other people asking certain questions on a regular basis? I’d like to start collecting these questions as part of the project I’m working on. I promise they will get answered at some point! If you want to contribute to my “question bank,” please send me an email. Thanks in advance for sharing your burning questions with me!

I’ve been thinking about the topic of anxiety quite a bit recently, as I’m working with some clients for whom this is a significant obstacle. As Courtney points out in her feature article this week, anxiety can be overlooked or misperceived in individuals who have a neurological disorder. The good news is that once we identify anxiety we can begin to do something about it. I think you’ll find this first article (Courtney is planning a series of them) to provide some important food for thought on this topic.

A really cool thing has started to happen in relation to our new book Learning as we Grow. Libraries are ordering it to put on their shelves! Thanks to all of you who are spreading the word, and feel free to let your local library know that they can order a copy as well.

Here’s to a fantastic week!

Looking to the horizon,

Nicole Signature

Idea of the Week

mmmm Monkey Mix

Monkey Mix

Combine these ingredients together & enjoy this tasty treat like George and his friends would.

  • 1 ¼ cup dried bananas
  • 1 cup dried papaya or dried mango
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup coconut
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

You can even add other things to the mix that you think might taste good. Makes for a great treat on the go—just don’t climb into a tree like a monkey to eat it!

Feature Article

How Do I Know if My Child is Anxious?

By: Courtney Kowalczyk, M.Ed.

When thinking about autism and all that is involved with it and other similar neurodevelopmental disorders, we sometimes overlook the possibility of co-occurring conditions like anxiety. All too often I hear responses about a child’s odd behaviors in relation to him or her “being naughty,” or that “it is just his or her autism”; but, in many instances, that is not the case. Anxiety is a complex disorder that can manifest itself in many different ways, especially in children and adults affected by autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. My goal over the next couple of months is to share with you information related to anxiety, and how you can help your child or student who may be affected by it.

Neurotypical individuals affected by anxiety on a day to day basis have varying symptoms. We often see individuals who perspire or use avoidance techniques to escape or withdraw from what makes them anxious, like social settings and large events. Others deal with their anxiety in different ways, and can become excessively chatty or extremely quiet. Whether it be withdrawing, perspiration, or becoming excessively talkative, many individuals are able to cope somewhat with their anxiety. Children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders also have ways of expressing their anxiety and attempting to cope with it. When thinking about your child or student, here are a few ways that they may express their anxiety:

  • Increased self-stimulatory behaviors. Many individuals affected by autism and other neurological disorders will use self-stimulatory behaviors like rocking, flapping, hand flicking, and talking to themselves from time to time. Self-stimulatory behaviors are often static in nature, and are used by individuals to avoid situations that are too difficult for them to process and understand, as well as to deal with anxiety. When you see an individual begin using self-stimulatory behaviors or an increase in the behavior intensity, it may be helpful to ask yourself if this person is anxious and why.
  • Odd intensity of verbalizations. Most individuals within society today use talking as a way to deal with anxiety. Individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders who have the ability to express themselves verbally often use talking as a way of dealing with anxiety, too. When you notice a drastic increase or decrease in communication, or an individual talking about odd sorts of things for a lengthy period of time, it may be a good indication that the individual is anxious.


The Horizons Team Recommends

Learning as we Grow

Learning as we Grow

You’ve Been Asking For It – The Resource for Applying Principles of Remediation in School Settings is Finally Here!

This long-awaited book is written for parents and professionals who want to be more effective in their work with students who have neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.

You will learn how to:

  • Identify the core features of neurodevelopmental disorders that create communication, learning, and relationship challenges for your students
  • Shift from a mindset of working around deficits (compensation) to correcting the root issues that create obstacles for your students (remediation)
  • Modify your communication to promote your students’ communication and thinking abilities
  • Identify the unique strengths and obstacles of each student in order to determine appropriate placement and programming
  • Achieve meaningful outcomes for students that allow them to reach their greatest potential
For more information, click here

Summer CAMPS 2009

CAMPS 2009

Your child is going to LOVE the exciting adventures we have planned for
this summer! Each week we will explore a different theme together,
complete with lots of opportunities for movement, music, problem
solving, working together, and indoor and outdoor fun. Our camps are
designed to offer a fun, safe, and therapeutic environment for children
with developmental disabilities to engage with peers, try new things,
and retain skills over the summer months. A low staff to child ratio
ensures that everyone is supported. Principles of the Relationship
Development Intervention (RDI)® Program are integrated throughout all
activities, which provides opportunities for campers to improve
communication, increase competence, enhance regulation, and build

For more details on our Summer Programs, click here

Upcoming Events

Please join us!

See our Event Calendar for more details…

On the Horizon is a weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child¹s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

Our mailing address is:

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center

3120 68th Street SE

Caledonia, MI  49316

Our telephone:

(616) 698-0306

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