A Message of Hope from Professor Feuerstein

image Reuven Feuerstein22  A Message of Hope from Professor FeuersteinDo you ever feel you walk alone, handcuffed to an insolvable problem?

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and hopeless before the challenge of nurturing our wonderful child.

She needs me SO much SO often. Sometimes an awful sensation of stuckness grips me—that I will be forever stuck in this treadmill of solving basic problems that will never  improve, never get better. EVER.

(And of course there are lovely moments as well, but that is not the topic of this blogpost.)

We are fortunate in our world that some people are filled with unlimited positive energy to uplift us and guide us. Such a person is Professor Reuven Feuerstein (pictured above), a cognitive psychologist (that means he studies how we learn and think) who has devoted his life to finding ways to work miracles on unpromising conditions most scientists gave up on ever improving: attachment disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, autism, down syndrome, brain damage, etc.

He has researched and scientifically proven that our brains can constantly develop—even after being born deficient or after suffering damage. WE ARE NOT AS STUCK AS YOU MIGHT THINK. Our children can develop beyond what we see at the moment.

Below is a concise transcript of the video that follows, in which Professor Feuerstein urges us all: Believe you can overcome! If you do—you will create amazing results!

In practical terms for us, parents of special needs children the message is this: Believe that you can constantly improve your child’s functioning—and you will discover ways to improve it. AND IT WILL IMPROVE.

My daughter was lucky to have a teacher who studied with Professor Feuerstein in Israel. I can attest to the positive effect it had on her learning abilities.

Here is the transcript and the video:

“Belief is generated by a need.

You, the parent, have the need:  if you need to help your child you begin to believe you can change their disability. And if you believe—you begin to achieve.

Human beings are modifiable. Not only their behavior can be modified, but also their neurosystem—marvelously, miraculously!  Actually, the behavior which we IMPOSE upon our brain really SHAPES the hardware of the brain.

Neuroscience today support this view: we can help a person’s brain no matter what their genetic condition or age.  Even severely limited children can be significantly modified. More than we previously believed.

In the past we didn’t believe we could do it—so we didn’t!  But once we believed we could do it and we tried—we achieved very meaningful results.”


You can visit Professor Feuerstein’s website here.

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Posted in Advocating for Your Child, Healing The Parent, Helping the Child, Inspiration on January 6th, 2010 by Caroline Gaibel





Did you Know that Dance/Movement Can Re-Wire the Brain?

Dance 199x300 Did you Know that Dance/Movement Can Re Wire the Brain?Do you realize how much your special needs child can benefit from participating in dance or movement groups?

As a movement therapist,  I am totally in favor of a Mind-Body approach which advocates activating the body in order to more readily access  and focus the mind.

Have a look at this  Brain Dance Video that I discovered on this wonderful site http://www.sensorystreet.com/ It is the brainy invention of Anne Green Gilbert of the Creative Dance Company in Washington.

She shows how a fully functioning body can create a fully functioning brain and claims that this kind of dance can actually rewire the brain for the better .

Her dance moves contain 8 steps that mirror the behavior of babies during their first year of development.

  • 1. Breathing
  • 2. Tactile Stimulation
  • 3 . Core Distal Patterns of reaching out and contracting
  • 4.  Head Tail movements for alignment
  • 5.  Upper and Lower body Movements for Emotional Grounding
  • 6.  Body Side Movements for Balance
  • 7.  Cross- Lateral Reach for Robust Thinking
  • 8.  Spinning to work the vestibular system

Anne claims that these movements promote cerebral health and is a strong advocate of dancing one’s heart out for the sake of one’s mind.

Let’s hear your reactions to this incredible video.

To learn more about a Mind-Body Movement program that can help your special needs child, click here

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Posted in Helping the Child, Inspiration, Tips, Uncategorized on January 6th, 2010 by Caroline Gaibel





How Can You Help Your Child with Sensory Integration Disorder?

crying 225x300 How Can You Help Your Child with Sensory Integration Disorder?

Does your child suffer from sensory integration disorder?

When you parent your special needs child, are you sufficiently sensitive to the bombardment of noise you may be subjecting him to every day? We adults may be able to zone noise out, but have you noticed how even a simple trip to the supermarket can be a sensory violation with all the different TV screens blasting their ads?

A recent trip to the YMCA pool turned into a rhythmically pounding nightmare because of the loud music from open day, rather than the welcoming calm that we expected. Other families seemed to adjust to the noise and shouted  conversation over it, but maybe they would experience meltdowns from their children later on in the day as a result.

What can a parent do?

  • Be watchful for warning signs of distress before hand so that you can prevent a tantrum
  • Mindfully turn off TV, loud music, video games distractions
  • Find your quiet havens:bedroom, park, backyard, hammock,tree house, thick blanket
  • Learn calming foot or back massage techniques for instant release for your child.

Listen to our experience on this clip and tell me where your secret safety havens are…….

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Posted in Helping the Child on January 2nd, 2010 by Caroline Gaibel





Do You Give Your Child Physical Choices?

choices 300x225 Do You Give Your Child Physical Choices?Listen to a father’s perspective about raising a special needs child by Nitsan.

Here is a Mind- Body approach to parenting that can make your child less impulsive:

Help your child make a choice in a physical way within their own body. When your child has  a decision to make, let them imagine themselves as if they are approaching an intersection of a road where there is a clear choice of left turn and a right turn. You the parent can act out with your body using your arms how the right side is the good side that is wise,appropriate and a suitable choice whereas the left side is a bad choice with unfavorable consequences. Have your child also raise his arms and act out the different sensations of the right side versus the left side. Help your child to stop and think before each decision looking at each side for a moment,weighing up what each arm  represents.

We try to make this method concrete with our daughter’s name DEENA. When she has made a good choice, we call her by her normal  name Deena. It is symbolic of her good behavior and a sign that she is choosing to go with her correct instinct (right arm). When her behavior is bad and she has a sudden loud meltdown, we reverse her name and call her A NEED, symbolizing that she made a bad choice and went with the wrong choice (left arm). We want her to comprehend that her decisions can be thought through in a physical way and felt within her own body  to assist her in making the correct choice.

Listen to this clip that  clearly explains how to use this technique together with your child.

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Posted in Helping the Child on January 1st, 2010 by Caroline Gaibel





Have you Taught your child to Listen to Body Sensations?

body feelingsDo you want to keep your special needs child SAFE?

At the last Parent/Teacher Conference, I was given a great tip by one of the therapists. This tip is especially helpful for children with Special Needs who need some help in identifying potentially dangerous or  unpleasant situations.

I had mentioned that Deena often chooses to mix with children who are not kind to her. Even though they reject her in a mean way, she seems not to notice enough and keeps on coming back for more without realizing that they are unsuitable friends for her. I talk to her often about noticing who is being kind and who is being mean and remembering to stick with the good group, but she always forgets.

The therapist suggested that Deena notice her body sensation when she is with the mean kids. Notice when she is emotionally hurt and see where she hurts in her body at that moment. If she can identify an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of her stomach or in her throat again and again, she can begin to recognize when she is getting herself into a bad situation……and then she can remember to do something about it.

Listen to this clip and see if this is helpful for your child.Can you tell me what tips you have given your special needs child?We can share our ideas and help to keep everyone safe.

If you like the video below you can see a video of my Number One Calming Technique right here

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Posted in Helping the Child on December 29th, 2009 by Caroline Gaibel





A Beautiful Song For Parents of Special Needs Children

SDC10394DO YOU NEED TO BE INSPIRED: READ ON FOR GOOD CHEER!

Hello to all parents of children with special needs. I wanted to share with you a song I just discovered from youtube  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84FHZhB5__Y&feature=player_embedded

It was written by Karen Taylor-Good and Lisa Aschmann and performed by Karen Taylor-Good in Orlando December 9th, 2008 for the first time to the parents of those that the song was created for.

THIS  SO EXPRESSES WHAT WE ARE GOING THROUGH AS PARENTS OF A “SPECIAL” CHILD:

  • we need you to listen
  • we need a hug or 2
  • we need  friendship
  • we need your understanding
  • Don’t ignore or desert us if we have special needs

What does this song do for you? please share with us………

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Posted in Inspiration on December 23rd, 2009 by Caroline Gaibel





Does Your Child Have Quirky Talents?

band aidDoes your child have fetal alcohol syndrome? Are you dealing with so many behavioral hassles every day that you feel drained as a parent of a special needs child?

Is there any positive aspect?

Some times it’s possible to forget that special needs are only part of the story. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has their strengths as well as weaknesses, and it can be so refreshing to discover what those qualities are.

Deena has a beautifully creative side to her and today she surprised me by making beautiful drawings of people that were made out of Band aids. They were quite unique in their detail and I loved them.

So, every day, amidst the difficult moments , I remind myself to also be on the look out for :

  • poignant conversations
  • original humor
  • personal insights
  • surprising reactions
  • unexpected giving

Has your special needs child made or done something that took your breath away? Can you tell us about it? If you like the video below you can see a video of my Number One Calming Technique right here

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Posted in Inspiration on December 22nd, 2009 by Caroline Gaibel





Give Yourself A Sweet Note Of Appreciation

Hey,  all you wonderful parents of special needs children! Give yourself a note of appreciation.

My husband discovered 28 exciting notes of encouragement like this … and sent me them.

note7 mission3 Give Yourself A Sweet Note Of Appreciation

IT REALLY TOUCHED ME. I printed them all out and chose one to frame and put next to my desk.

So I want to share them with you parents, who might be thirsty for encouragement, like me.

Sometimes I am strong and I can deal with the frustrations and
disappointments of parenting my demanding  daughter. and
sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I need some reinforcement and
encouragement.

1- See this collection and choose what suits you most: CLICK HERE

2- and download the notes of encouragement and print them out

3- and stick them up all over your house

4- and then tell me which note touched YOU most!

This is a wonderful creation of

Enjoy!

Terri Mauro

Terri Mauro

moz screenshot Give Yourself A Sweet Note Of Appreciation

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Posted in Healing The Parent on December 16th, 2009 by Caroline Gaibel





Does Tiger Woods Wish He Had Told the Truth?

Tiger Woods

Lying is never a good option!

If Tiger Woods had learned this skill as a child, maybe he wouldn’t have complicated himself as an adult? His parents could have  done a better job of conveying to him this important life lesson, so that he could be a true role model.

Parenting a special needs child is never simple, so let’s encourage our children not to add to the load by stretching the truth in ways that might complicate them.

What’s a parent to do when hearing one’s child exaggerating and faking situations in order to keep up with peers?  I overheard my child pretending to have seen movies and done things that she clearly had no idea about just so that she could be involved in the conversation with other kids, and I squirmed inside that she was making a fool of herself.

Check out how I tackled it in this clip and please leave a comment to let me know what you would do in this situation.

What is the biggest exaggeration you have heard coming out of your child’s mouth?

If you like the video below you can see a video of my Number One Calming Technique right here


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Posted in Mess Ups on December 14th, 2009 by Caroline Gaibel





Do You Know How to Prevent Acting out?

acting outDo you want to prevent the next meltdown of your special needs child? Listen to this video.

Does your child “ACT OUT” fears with bad behavior and out of control mood swings?  If you, the parent catch the situation in time, and talk about it,then sometimes it’s possible to prevent this from turning into a massive storm.

I thought there must be a reason why Deena was acting so strangely and finally she managed to express what was bothering her. We had the greatest conversation talking about being nervous and worrying, which helped her to open up about what was upsetting her.

This clip is worth listening to! Please leave a comment and let me know if you have experienced something similar?

And if you want to see me demonstrate on video the Number One Technique I use most with my child—click here.

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Posted in Helping the Child on December 11th, 2009 by Caroline Gaibel