Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Down Syndrome Innovations Conference Sept. 16-17, 2006 Little Rock, AR


September 16-17
Statehouse Convention Center

Little Rock, Arkansas   

Don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear dynamic researchers, physicians, therapists and advocates present cutting edge translational medical research and interventions to improve the health, cognition, behavior and development of individuals with Down syndrome.

Make new friends and connections. Network with other attendees who share the common goal of exploring ways to enrich the lives of individuals with Down syndrome. Be able to speak face to face with expert vendors of supplements, quality service providers and try out innovative products for yourself.

Sponsorship Opportunities available!

Check out the Down Syndrome Innovations conference website for details.

Also join the 2016 Down Syndrome Innovations Conference Event Page for up to date news.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Preorder your Readeez Volume 4 DVD Today!

For those of you haven't heard of Readeez, it's short musical, educational video songs. In them, the words come up the same time that the child hears them. So kids are learning to read with them as well as concepts such as math, money, planets, etc. Readeez is working on a new DVD and have GREAT specials so that you get Volumes 1-3 and preorder Volume 4. But you only have a few days left to do it! 

For $10 you can preorder the digital download of Volume 4.

For $50 you can order the whole set to be donated to a family w/a child with Down syndrome or ASD.

For $75, you'll get the Readeez Volume Four DVD/CD set, signed by Michael Rachap, weeks ahead of the August release. Your name (or your child's) will appear during the closing credits. Plus you get the digital versions and the sticker. As well as everything in the Readeez Mega Bundle (that's 3 DVDs -- Volumes 1-3, 1 CD called Songeez and 6 digital downloads).

Estimated delivery: Jun 2016

Here's a sample: http://www.readeez.com/watch/22-blues

Jett learned all the Presidents of the US as well as all 50 states by listening to Readeez. (I guess that's how--I didn't teach him!) It's also the perfect distraction while feeding your child supplements, getting a hair cut or getting blood work done. Yes, we've used Readeez successfully for all three.

So not only can Jett read, but he also has nice hair, a good nutritional panel and up-to-date labs. Readeez is pretty amazing!

Don't let this opportunity to support quality products for our kids slip from our fingers!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1310173902/help-us-make-readeez-volume-four-music-and-video-f

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Watch me Online at the FREE Happy Healthy Kids Summit!

Me and Jett, 5 years old
Join me at the FREE Online Happy Healthy Kids Summit
Thursday, January 21st 
(and will be available on Friday and Saturday)

I'll be giving tips on: 
  • clearing congestion 
  • relieving constipation 
  • things to consider regarding vaccinations for our kids with DS 
  • importance of thyroid treatment 
  • my favorite supplements 
  • alternative therapies 
Sign up today to get the Summit link

It's especially good for newbies. :D
Hosted by chef/author Christine Waltermyer. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Recipe for Success: How to Get Your Child to Feed Supplements to Himself!

Finally, a way to give supplements without a struggle! This is also how your child can get his supplements at school. Jett takes his morning dose of vitamins, herbs and minerals mixed in his applesauce or a mashed banana while he watches one or two 3-4 minute educational videos from Brain Pop, Jr. But I also put in 4-5 "party balls" in his lunch with about six supplements and he always eats them. I also brew him some holy basil or rooibos tea (with apple cider vinegar and probiotics-- I know, yum!) and put it in his straw cup that he brings to school.

video


The video is of Oliver, Jett's 25 month old brother who has cerebral palsy, feeding himself his supplements. I did make too many (11) so he ate 3-4 at the first sitting and 4 at the next and then the rest a couple of hours later. But that's okay because he's still getting them! Since then, I've been adding much less nut butter and making only about 4-5 "party balls" so he eats them all by noon.  

video

And here's Jett's (5 years old) review of them while doing a little math. (I swear, HE started the math -- I was just following his lead.) :)

Recipe for Supplement Success

They are a gluten and casein free, nutrient-dense treat.

Party Balls

Ingredients
You can purchase all the ingredients here. 
  • Supplements of your choice (See how to decide what to give here.)
  • Nut butter of your choice (preferably sprouted and organic so that it becomes a nutrient as well rather than an anti-nutrient) or dates/figs can replace the nut butter:
Pumpkin seed butter     or          smashed dried dates/figs
Sun nut butter
Peanut butter
Almond butter
  • Organic sweetener of your choice:
Stevia (plus one of the others)
Manuka honey
Maple syrup  
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt (as needed)
  • Organic "goodies" of your choice:
Puffed amaranth
Shelled hemp seeds
Chia seeds
Coconut shavings/shredded
Finely chopped organic, unsulphured, dried goji berries
Finely chopped organic, unsulphured, dried gooseberries (amla)
Chia Goodness cereal like apple almond (It's not organic but it's quicker and cheaper--in the short term--because it has most of the ingredients already in it.)

Directions

These are the supplements that Oliver is eating in the video: 1 MitoQ, 2 Curcumin Longvida, 1 Partoid PMG (for detox), 1 MegaFolinic, 2 Stress Guards (organic B vitamins with adaptogens), Mega Food Zinc, Raintree Immune Support (natural antivirals/antibacterials/antifungals), 2 Vitamin Code Vitamin Cs, 2 Cognitex (brain support mix), 2 Prenatal Fish Oils and 2 Garden of Life Children's Multivitamins. 

1) Crush tablets, open capsules and squirt soft gels into a bowl. 


2) Add a nut butter to the supplements with a bit of cinnamon and stir until well blended. Taste. Then add a tiny bit of salt (helps with bitter flavors), a drop of stevia and a bit of maple syrup (helps with sour flavors) until you think your child will like it. The first time you make it, I'd err on the side of a little too sweet just so that he'll like it. Then once he already thinks of it as good, then the next time you can make it less sweet.

Notes: It seems that the less the mix contains synthetic ingredients, the easier it is for their palates to tolerate. When I buy the raw sprouted pumpkin seed butter, I try to buy it without added sweeteners or salt so I can add my own. When I first open the jar, I stir in some pink Himalayan sea salt (more nutritious than processed salt) and maple syrup if absolutely necessary. I would use manuka honey instead of maple syrup, but both Jett and Oliver muscle test negatively for honey at the moment.


3) Get some nutrient-packed goodies and put them in a bowl and stir. Pictured: Chia Goodness cereal, shelled hemp seeds, chia seeds and puffed amaranth. I also add coconut flakes and finely chopped goji berries or gooseberries.


4) Roll the nut butter/supplement mix into balls and put in the goody mix. 
Note: Now, I smush the balls into the mix first so that the goodies are incorporated throughout the nut butter then I roll into a ball. I add more puffed
amaranth to coat the outside.


5) Coat with goodies and give to your little one for a healthy treat that he can feed himself and you can feel really good about!

Note: If there's any extra goodies left over that I didn't use, I put in a wax paper baggie and use for the next day. 

Make Ahead Suggestions
  • Premix the "goodies" in a wax paper bag for quick easy mixing the morning of.
  • Put the unopened capsules, uncrushed tablets and unpunctured softgels in a small container ready for the next day.
  • I don't know that I would premake the balls other than one serving the night before because you can't be certain how potent the supplements would stay. I do make mine every morning. I did premake it once and the balls were more crunchy on the inside. Jett enjoyed that texture was well as the softer texture of the freshly made ones.


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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Down Syndrome Innovations Conference Sept 11-13, 2015 Arkansas Children's Hospital

 and
 Arkansas Children's Hospital and Down Syndrome OPTIONs bring you therapeutic ideas, educational strategies and research supporting translational medical interventions that can improve the symptoms seen in those with Trisomy 21.

Register today!


Seize this opportunity to make life-long connections with caregivers, practitioners and researchers!
 
Schedule of Events
Billy Spillman, Artist

Friday, September 11, 2015

     Day 1 supports physicians and other professionals* Continental breakfast and lunch included.
     Meet and Greet that evening.
     Art Gallery featuring adult artist with T21, Billy Spillman.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

     Day 2 gives parents, advocates, and caregivers* more knowledge and better tools to help individuals with Trisomy 21. Continental breakfast and lunch included.

     *Both days of the conference will be open for parents and professionals to attend. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

     Day 3 Family day!
    Join attendees at either Little Rock Zoo or the Donald W. Reynolds Science Center

To get the group rate, email kerrinelson70(a)gmail.com to let us know which one you want to attend and how many adults and children (indicate ages) will come.   
 
Expert Presenters on Must-Hear T21 Topics for Day 1 and Day 2
  • Dana Crawford, Ph.D. -- Dietary Targeting of RCAN1 and Chromosome 21 Genes to Treat the Down Syndrome Population
  • Jorge A. Busciglio, Ph.D. -- Mitochondrial Dysfunction
  • Norman Schwartz, M.D. -- Thinking About Trisomy 21- Towards a Best Practices Approach
  • Barbara Strupp, Ph.D. -- Maternal Choline/Neurogenesis/Therapeutic Intervention for Basic Brain-Cognition support
  • D. Allan Butterfield, Ph.D. -- Molecular Mechanisms Engaged in Brain Prior to and Following Development of Alzheimer's Disease Neuropathology and Dementia in Down Syndrome
  • Anat Baniel -- NeuroMovement: Turning the child with Down Syndrome into a Potent Learner
  • Raphael Kellman, M.D. -- Thyroid/Endocrine Function, Microbiome
  • S. Jill James, Ph.D. -- Oxidative Stress and Epigenetic Alterations in Down syndrome: Targeted Nutritional Intervention Trial at Arkansas Children’s Hospital
  • Richard Frye, M.D., Ph.D. -- Treatment Strategies for Mitochondrial Dysfunction
  • Alison Wimmer -- Educational Strategies: Change Your Perception of dis-Abilities
  • Monica Purdy, MA, CCC-SLP -- Oral Placement Therapy – The Missing Link for Increased Feeding and Intelligibility in Speech
  • Erica Peirson, N.D. -- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
  • Morley Robbins, MBA, CHC -- Balancing Minerals in Down Syndrome
  • Louisa Silva, M.D., M.P.H. -- Qi Gong Massage Benefits
  • Jill Rabin, M.S., CCC-SLP -- The Baby-Led Weaning Approach: An Excellent Option to Assist Babies with Down Syndrome in Transitioning to Solid Foods
  • Lydia Winans -- The Life and Times of a Teen with T21
  • Kent MacLeod -- Optimized Nutrition is Essential for those with Trisomy 21
  • James Bieneman, D.D.S. -- Palate Expansion in the Down Syndrome Population
  • Russell Jaffe, M.D., Ph.D., FACN -- Healthy Digestion = Healthy Microbiome: What to Test, What Tests Mean and What to Do

Lydia Winans, Presenter
Child Care
Register now for child care. We will be providing qualified special needs care givers to make sure your little ones are safe and having fun. There will be a 2:1 ratio for kids w/special needs and 4:1 ratio for typical children, which is reflected in the price.

Hotel Reservations
We have rooms blocked off at Residence Inn Little Rock Downtown. Let them know you are with the Down Syndrome Innovations Conference.
     View map of Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Teaching Your Child to Get Dressed from Infancy On


We all want our children to be independent. But sometimes we don't realize our child can't do something that other kids his age can do until your child reaches that age and is already behind. So we need to be proactive and allow our children plenty of opportunities to acquire the tools necessary to accomplish his life skills in a timely manner. For such an important and rather complicated daily task as dressing one's self, it's best to start early so that by the time your child is in kindergarten, he would have had plenty of opportunities to learn and would be well on his way to getting dressed on his own. 

The first list is the order in which children usually learn how to dress as far as being able to physically and cognitively perform the skills. The second list has tips and the steps in which you can teach your child to dress himself.
Jett dressing Bessy.
Find out where your child is on the first list and go from there as far as helping him to acquire the skills needed to properly dress himself. If your child can do things in a different order than is shown, go ahead and rearrange the list to best fit your child. For instance, all the ones that I marked (FM) for fine motor, Jett did in a later order than is shown here. One child with DS that I know did all the FM's earlier than the other tasks. Much to his single mom's "delight" his fine motor skills made him quite the escape artist. She'd often get a hug from him while driving even though he had been well strapped in his car seat! 

The list allows you to notice where your child is and what the next step may be so that you can let him give it a try the next time you go through your dressing routine. And then you can add supportive activities like practicing buttoning on a doll like "Dressy Bessy" or on a busy board. Our local library has a developmental center where we can check out developmental toys such as a giant book that has big buttons, zippers, etc. You can make something for your child to practice on by taking an old shirt and stapling it onto an unused frame. Here is a great list of items you can make at home to help your child acquire these fine motor skills related to dressing. One of my favorites is the Button Snake.

Different types of therapy can help with gaining these skills. Kay Ness' Tactile Sequence, part of neurodevelopmental therapy, helps your child to integrate his tactile senses. MNRI is another type of therapy that releases the blocked reflexes so your child can move more easily. One exercise Jett does directly relates to holding a pencil, for instance.

If your child has difficulty cooperating, check out How I get Good Behavior from Jett. And, of course, I can't help but mention the importance of supporting your child's health and thereby supporting his cognitive development with proper nutrition and supplements. For instance, B12 helps restore sensations in the nerves, which means your child would be able to feel his or her fingers better, allowing him to use his fingers more accurately.

Order of skill acquisition related to dressing
  1. Holds arms out for sleeves and puts foot up for shoes
  2. Pushes arms through sleeves and legs through pants
  3. Pulls socks and shoes off
  4. Removes unfastened coat
  5. Removes shoes when laces are untied
  6. Helps push down pants
  7. Finds armholes in t-shirts
  8. Pulls down pants with elastic waist
  9. Tries to put on socks (FM)
  10. Puts on front-buttoned shirt (without doing up buttons)
  11. Unbuttons one large button (FM)
  12. Puts on t-shirt with little help
  13. Puts on shoes without fastening (might be wrong foot)
  14. Puts on socks (might have trouble getting heel in the right place) (FM)
  15. Pulls down pants on his own
  16. Zips and unzips without joining or separating zipper
  17. Removes t-shirt without assistance
  18. Buttons large front buttons (FM)
  19. Finds front of clothing
  20. Snaps or hooks clothing in front (press studs and zips) (FM)
  21. Unzips/zips front zipper on jacket (separating zipper) (FM)
  22. Puts on gloves (FM)
  23. Buttons series of 3-4 buttons (FM)
  24. Unbuckles shoes or belt
  25. Removes t-shirts on her own
  26. Buckles shoes or belt (FM)
  27. Connects jacket zipper and zips up zipper (FM)
  28. Puts on socks the right way (FM)
  29. Puts on shoes with little help (FM)
  30. Knows front and back of clothing
  31. Steps into pants and pulls them up
  32. Puts belt in loop (FM)
  33. Dresses without your help or supervision
  34. Puts on t-shirt or sweater correctly each time
 This list is adapted from Dunn Klein, M. (1983). Pre-dressing skills (rev. edn). Tucson: Communication Skill Builders.

How to Teach Your Child to get Dressed
    Oh, the hat's the easiest, Jett! But you do look cute!
  • First, teach him how to undress. Once he can do that fine, then he's ready to dress himself.
  • Give yourself plenty of time so you don't have to rush or feel anxious. He'll feel the anxiety and can effect him as well.
  • Find the same spot to do it every morning. Lay out his clothes with shirt flat and face down, then pants face up, then underwear face up.

1) Slowly go through each step w/him yourself, quietly. Use only the key words described below for each action. Show him what you are doing w/out expecting him to do it. Use hand over hand for all of the actions, which means to put your hand over his hand and do the action with him. Use the verbal cues according to what processing level your child is at. For an auditory processing of one, use one word "foot." For two, say "Put foot." For three "Put in foot," etc. You don't want to keep a constant flow of words going or he might lose the key word you want him to remember. You can get an explanation of auditory processing here.

The steps:
  1. Say, "Where's your clothes?" or "Where clothes?" or "Clothes?"
  2. Say, "Oh, here are your clothes!" "Clothes, here!" or "Here!"
  3. Say "sit." Sit him down in front of the clothes.
  4. "Oh, here's your underwear!"
  5. Put on underwear: Have him stick his thumbs in and pinch each side w/both hands. Just say "thumb" to get his thumb there and then "pinch" for one side and "thumb" and "pinch" for the other side.
  6. Pull the underwear open (not tight though). Say "open."
  7. Say "foot". He puts one foot in one hole. Say "foot". He puts the other foot in the other hole.
  8. Then you say "pull" and pull the underwear up past his knees.
  9. "Stand" Then he holds on to you and stands up. If he can't yet stand, you can have him lay down.
  10. "Thumb front" Then he puts his thumb at his waist band in the front and pinches. Say "pinch front" and puts his thumb at his waist band in the back and pinches. Say "pinch back."
  11. The "pull up."
  12. "Sit" Then he sits back down and does the same process with the pants.
  13. For the shirt, I like head first, then arms, saying "Head" and "arm" "arm"
2) You actually start teaching him with the last thing first. Depending on the processing level, kids usually only remember the last thing you say, so that's why you start with last task first. Have you noticed that you tell your child "Blah blah blah... don't touch the dog." And then they go and touch the dog? It's because they can only remember the last part of what you say. That's why I also never use the word "don't...." because they might not catch the "don't" part!

Day 1, you do the whole thing hand over hand for every action.
Day 2, he does the arms part by himself in Step 13, you say "arm" and pause to give him a chance to do it.
Day 3, he does both arms himself.
Day 4, he does head and arms himself. Once he gets the entire sequence of putting on his shirt, then he will automatically group the actions together in his mind, called "chunking". Then you can just say "shirt" and he can do all the steps involved with putting on his shirt.
Day 5, he pulls up the pants himself and then puts on his shirt... etc.
Say things like "good try" or "great pinch" each time instead of "good boy." He's always a "good boy", no matter the situation. This activity isn't about his self worth, it's about practicing new skills. :) 

3) In real life, things are never carefully set out for you each morning! So, after he has the whole sequence down, then you do things like mess up the clothes and ask him to lay them right. Then once he can do that, you have him choose between two different outfits starting with an obviously poor choice and an obviously correct choice, depending on the weather, time etc. Like pajamas verses a raincoat. Then you have him decide which clothes to wear out of several choices and eventually, the entire drawer. 

Before you know it, your child will be one step closer to independence. And you'll have your mornings back! (Or at least enough time for a second cup of coffee.)

Mãe de criança com síndrome de Down explica como ensinar os filhos a se vestirem desde pequenos. Confira: http://bit.ly/1Jh3S6O