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The Family Center: enrichment programs for families and professionals

Eight Reasons to "Age at Home"

Ask the Experts by Mary Ellen Brayton

Q: My 82 year old father lives alone and is fiercely independent but he's finding it more difficult to handle everything at home. We are not sure if he should still be driving, cooking, and if he's actually taking his medications on a regular basis. It's a touchy topic with him, but we are starting to see a decline in his abilities.

A: "I don't need help" is a typical response when a family member suggests calling someone for assistance.

As tough as it may

Read more: Eight Reasons to "Age at Home"

 

What is this 'ABA' I keep hearing about?

Ask the Experts by Veronica McAtee & Lori Warner

Q: My son was just diagnosed with autism, and the team recommended he receive "ABA therapy." But I don't even know what that means, or where I can get it.

A: ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis, which studies how we learn and how we can change behaviors.

We break down complex skills like having a conversation or getting dressed into smaller, more manageable pieces, and use a system of prompts and rewards to motivate learners. ABA treatment

Read more: What is this 'ABA' I keep hearing about?

 

Encouraging Reading Skills in Children

Ask the Experts by Michael Richman

Q. What can parents do to encourage kids to read more and improve their skills as they get older?

A. Reading comprehension skills are crucial to academic achievement. Children will be expected to read vast amounts during their academic careers and will need to continue to develop this skill from their early school years and further.

Reading for pleasure is also important for children. Reading fiction helps students develop healthy imaginations which encourage

Read more: Encouraging Reading Skills in Children

   

Plant Some Seeds to Better Health and Teachable Moments

Ask The Experts by Mary Ellen Brayton

Q:  What are some fun summer activities that I can let my children help my parents with that would be interactive plus maybe share some teachable moments along the way?

A:  Why not start with a garden? Besides looking nice and providing healthier foods, maintaining a garden can also improve your health. Working in the garden on a daily basis has been proven to relieve stress, improve mental health, boost exercise, and improve nutrition.

Read more: Plant Some Seeds to Better Health and Teachable Moments

 

Stress Relief: Pause and Breathe

Ask the Experts by Jill Wrubel

Q. STRESS is being written and talked about everywhere, however much of the information is so difficult to comprehend and figure out what to do? Often I feel stressed at work, come home and feel stressed there too, not knowing how I can let go of the day.

A. There are many writings about Stress: articles, books, blogs, DVD, CD, television specials, yet why does it continue to seem so elusive?

Perhaps the varying degrees of language? Whether from the most eloquent,

Read more: Stress Relief: Pause and Breathe

   

How to Help Children when Parents Divorce

Ask the Experts by Mary Anne Lushe, LMSW, LMFT

Q. My husband and I are divorcing after 16 years of marriage. We have three children ages 4, 11 and 14. What can we do to help our children through this difficult transition?

A. A couple in any phase of divorce, generally have powerful and pretty raw emotions which make it more difficult to provide the security, consistency and parenting that children require. It is a time of self-focus that asks parents to contain their anger, pain and conflict.

Read more: How to Help Children when Parents Divorce

 

Celebrating Differences! How to Support Your Different Learner

Ask the Experts by Geralyn DeBoard, DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan Autism Center

Q. How might I know if my child is a different learner?

A. Parents may recognize differences in their child once he or she enters school and begins participating in school activities. Parents may also receive reports or seek information from their child's teacher regarding strengths and weaknesses noted in school performance.

It may be a good idea for parents to observe their child in school and in social

Read more: Celebrating Differences! How to Support Your Different Learner

   

Early treatment is key to correcting concerns about your child's development

Ask the Experts by Amy McKenzie, MD

Q. It seems like my child isn't developing like the other children. My pediatrician says there's nothing to worry about. What should I do?

A. Listen to your instinct!

Early warning signs include:

  • Sensory issues (when a child strongly dislikes (or craves) touch, sound, sight, and/or smell)
  • Delayed milestones
  • Limited eye contact or engagement with family members and other children
  • Lack of pointing
  • Lack of waving bye-bye
  • Lack of speech to develop,

Read more: Early treatment is key to correcting concerns about your child's development

 

Ways Older Adults Misuse Medications

Ask the Experts by Jeff and Debra Jay

Q. I am the primary adult caregiver in our family for my parents. How do I help my aging parents manage all of their prescriptions and over-the-counter medications?

A. When drugs come from a doctor's prescription pad, misuse is harder to identify. We assume pharmaceutical drugs are only used for medical conditions, but many older adults take medications for nonmedical reasons.

Abusing or misusing mood-altering prescription drugs can affect older adults

Read more: Ways Older Adults Misuse Medications

   

How to Have Stress Work for You, Not Against You

Ask the Experts by Nancy Piatek

People are always talking about how stressed they are in life. However, without stress, your life would be unexciting and boring. There is good stress and bad stress. Let's learn how to handle stress and have it work for you instead of against you.

Q. What is stress?

A. The definition of stress is a physical, chemical or emotional, factor to which an individual fails to make a satisfactory adaptation and which causes physiological tensions that may be the contributory

Read more: How to Have Stress Work for You, Not Against You

 

The Middle Years - Empowering Your Child

Ask the Experts by Michael Dib, EdD

Q: How do I empower my child to deal with disappointments that relate to test and report card grades?

A: Many parents feel the need to protect their children from getting their feelings' hurt when it relates to test and report card grades.

If your child expresses concern to you about a low test score or report card grade, the first step is to encourage your child to speak directly to the teacher before or after school. If that is not possible, have your child

Read more: The Middle Years - Empowering Your Child

   

Kindergarten Essentials READY, SET, GO! Helping Your Child Get Ready for Kindergarten

Ask the Experts by Pam Cronovich, Christine Miller and Melissa Sharp 

Q: Now that spring is almost here, what can parents do to help their child get ready for kindergarten?

A: Readiness for Kindergarten can be found in many forms. Early academic skills and concepts will give your child a strong base as he or she enters kindergarten.

But there are equally important readiness skills that set the stage for your child's learning. Raising an eager learner is the goal, and it can be achieved

Read more: Kindergarten Essentials READY, SET, GO! Helping Your Child Get Ready for Kindergarten

 

Lunchtime Nutrition Tips

Ask the Experts by Dan Kellogg

Q:  Should I continue to follow the food pyramid nutritional guidelines when packing my daughter's lunch for school?

A: No. MyPlate, published by the  United States Department of Agriculture, has replaced the pyramid. Look for the MyPlate graphic of a fork, plate and glass divided into five food groups

MyPlate is displayed on food packaging and used for nutrition education. MyPlate is divided into four sections of grains, vegetables, fruits, and

Read more: Lunchtime Nutrition Tips

   

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