On the Horizons – 05/26/2009

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 61: What Should I Do When My Child With Autism 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

Fun and Adventure

A Note from Nicole: Great Holiday Weekend; Summer Events

Idea of the Week:  Apple Ladybugs

Feature Article: What Should I Do When My Child With Autism is Anxious?

The Horizons Team Recommends: Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Edition; Summer CAMPS

Upcoming Events: Horizons Parent Chat; Sibshop

A Note From Nicole
Nicole Beurkens

Hi Everyone!

Anyone else having trouble getting back into the swing of things after the long holiday weekend? We had a fabulous four days with my sister and her family, who came to visit from Washington, DC. My daughter and niece are just 4 months apart, and they had a great time running around and playing together. Tonight it was cool enough for us to build a fire and toast marshmallows. The kids were sticky messes by the time we were done, but it was a great yummy time!

Summer is right around the corner and we are kicking it into high gear around here. Alicia and Courtney have been working with the camps team to get everything ready for the summer gang. We’re also planning the Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Edition workshop that we’re hosting in July. So far we have people registered from both coasts and the mid-west. If you haven’t seen the information yet for the workshop, click here.

This week’s feature article is a continuation of Courtney’s series on anxiety. You’ll get some valuable information on coping strategies for helping yourself and your child manage anxious moments.

Have a fantastic week!

Looking to the horizon,

Nicole Signature

Idea of the Week

Apple Ladybugs

Apple Ladybugs

Slice a red apple in half from top to bottom and scoop out the core. Place half the apple flat side down on a small plate. Dab peanut butter on the back on the ’ladybug’ and stick raisins onto it for spots. Use this method to make the eyes too. Stick one end of a pretzel stick into a raisin then press the other end into the apple to make antennae. There you have it – an Apple Ladybug!

Feature Article
Holding Hands

What Should I Do When My Child With Autism is Anxious?

By: Courtney Kowalczyk, M.Ed.

Anxiety can be debilitating for many individuals, especially those affected by autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. Last month, I shared specific symptoms and changes in behavior to consider when determining whether or not your child or student is anxious. Now that you know what to look for in relation to anxiety symptoms, the next step is to understand ways in which you can help your child or student work through and reduce that anxiety.

Individuals cope with anxiety in many different ways; and as parents and teachers, it is important for us to guide our children without exacerbating the level of anxiety the child is experiencing. The most important person in helping someone work through anxiety is you. You, as the guide, can make the difference in increasing or decreasing anxiety for your child or student just by the way that you interact with them. Here are several suggestions and ideas for you to keep in mind when your child or student becomes anxious.

  • Stay calm.As a parent or teacher, it is important for you to act confidently as a guide to your child or student. If you become anxious when your child or student becomes anxious, then their anxiety level is going to continue to increase. As guides, it is our job to remain calm and composed during stressful situations. It is important for you to model for your child or student how to behave calmly and not overreact.
  • Be quiet. During moments of anxiety, adults tend to cope with the stress by talking more; however, this is not helpful in relation to reducing anxiety for children, especially those with neurodevelopmental disorders. Language can take quite a bit of effort to process; and if someone is already anxious, it is going to take even longer and may exacerbate the situation. By remaining calm and using as few words as possible, you can support your child or student in a more effective manner.


The Horizons Team Recommends

Extreme Makeover

Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Edition Workshop

July 29-31, 2009

Grand Rapids, MI

Put together the soaring increase in students diagnosed with autism and related impairments, a group of dedicated educators seeking solutions to the challenges they face daily, a team of been-in-the-trenches experts, three days of amazing content and hands-on experience, and what do you get?

An amazing 3-day workshop that will transform how you understand and educate students with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Click here for more information!

Summer CAMPS 2009

Summer 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 relationships.

For more details on our Summer Programs, click here

Upcoming Events

Please join us!

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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