IF YOU HAVE JUST FOUND OUT THAT YOUR CHILD HAS A BIRTH DEFECT----- SEEK EARLY INTERVENTION

When your child has a birth defect, early intervention is usually the best strategy. A team of experts taking into consideration each child’s unique needs designs early intervention services. This helps in establishing a program of treatment. Early intervention services include feeding support, identification of assistive technology that may help your child, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and social work services. In addition to identifying, evaluating. And treating your child’s needs, Early Intervention Program will:

  • Tell you where you can get information about your child’s disability
  • Teach you to care for your child at home
  • Help you make important decisions about your child’s care
  • Provide counseling to you and your family

What are Birth Defects?

Birth Defects are defined as abnormalities of structure, function, or body metabolism that are present at birth. These abnormalities lead to mental and physical disabilities or are fatal. There are more than 4,000 different known birth defects ranging from minor to serious, and although many of them can be treated or cured, they are the leading cause of death in the first year of life.

Causes of Birth Defects

Most babies with birth defects are born to two parents with no obvious health problems or risk factors. A woman may do everything her doctor recommends, to deliver a healthy child, and still have a bay with birth defect.

About 60% of birth defects have unknown causes. The rest are caused by environmental or genetic factors, or some combination of the two. To know more about the role of Genetics and faulty genes you could contact us at Aikya and we will be able to provide literature on the same.


GENETIC COUNSELING


Genetic counseling is the process of evaluating family history and medical records, ordering genetic tests, evaluating the results of this investigation, and helping parents understand and reach decisions about what to do next.
Genetic tests are done by analyzing small samples of blood or body tissues. They determine whether you, your partner, or your baby carries genes for certain inherited disorders.

Current science indicates that human chromosomes carry about 30,000 genes. An error in just one gene (and in some instances, even the alteration of a single piece of DNA) can sometimes be the cause for a serious medical condition. For example, some diseases, such as Huntington’s disease (a degenerative nerve disease) and Marfan syndrome (a connective tissue disorder), can be inherited from one parent.

Most disorders cannot occur unless both the mother and the father pass along the gene. Some of these are cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and Tay-Sachs disease. Other diseases, such as Down syndrome, are not inherited. In general they result from an error (mutation) in the cell division process during conception or fetal development.

Genetic tests don’t yield easy to understand results. They can reveal the presence, absence, or malformation of genes or chromosomes. Deciphering what these complex tests mean is where a genetic counselor comes in.

Please don’t ignore us, or look the other way when we approach you, Doing that to us will not make us or our disability go away. We didn’t have a choice about our disability, but you definitely have a choice in how you accept us!’

-Differently abled child


HELPING YOUNG CHILDREN CHANNEL THEIR AGGRESSIVE ENERGIES.


Does any parent want her child to be an aggressive person? Well there is more than one answer. After all, aggression is associated with both approved and disapproved behaviour in our minds and in our society—both with the energy and purpose that help us to actively master the challenges of life and with hurtful action and destructive forces.

Most of us want our children to be able to take a stand for themselves when others treat them roughly. We hope that they will not start fights but if attacked will be able to cope with the attacker and not be overwhelmed. A child’s learning to find a healthy balance between too much and too little aggressive behaviour is probably the most difficult task of growing up.

How do parents moderate and channel their child’s aggression without stamping it out by being too severe? While there is no exact rule, here are twelve suggestions that may help you to provide your child with the guidance he needs.

  1. Love your child and make him see it. Feeling loved and affectionately cared for builds the foundation for his acceptance of the guidance you will provide as his development proceeds. Putting reasonable restrictions on your child’s behaviour is part of loving him, just as are feeding, comforting, playing and responding to his wishes.
  2. Try to figure out what triggered your child’s aggressive behaviour. Ask yourselves what might have happened that set him off—your behaviour or that of another person, or something else is the reason; Investigate and try identifying the cause.
  3. Make use of what you know about your child’s temperament, rhythms, preferences, and sensitivities.
  4. Tell your child what you want him to do or not to do in a specific situation but try not to give a long lecture. Make your displeasure evident from the tone and the child will understand. Provide corrective guidance without invoking threats and fears.
  5. When your child is playing with other children, keep an eye on the situation but try not to hover.
  6. When your child is being aggressive in ways you don’t like, stop the behaviour and give him something else to do. You may either suggest and help start a new activity or perhaps guide him to a place where he can discharge aggressive feelings without doing harm to himself, to anyone else, to toys, or the family pet.
  7. When time permits, demonstrate how to handle a situation in which there is conflict between children. Get him to learn easy words of expression like “no” or “mine” for that would help him to handle a situation than having to resort to pushing and crying.
  8. If your child has language skills, help him explain what he is angry about. If you are able to guess and he cannot say, do it for him. E.g. “I guess you are mad because you cannot go to play with Johnny. I know how you feel, but it’s too late for today”(or whatever the reason is).
  9. Ask yourself if you are sending “mixed messages” to your child about his aggressiveness.
  10. Keep in mind that parents are the most important models for behaviour and the creators of the family atmosphere and guidance that the children need in order to use aggression in a healthy way. If social exchanges in your family include much arguing or physical fighting in the presence or hearing of your children, you can count on their picking it up.
  11. Think about the very real disadvantages of physical punishment for your child. Children often arouse anger in adults when they provoke, tease, behave stubbornly, or attack others. If your practice is to hot or physically punish your child in some other way for such behaviour, you need to think carefully about what he learns from that.
  12. Your child’s learning to love and live in reasonable harmony with others comes about only gradually and over many years. For you as parents there will be ups and downs, periods when you despair of “civilizing” your child or when you worry that he will be too timid for the rigors of the world. While living from day to day with the pleasures and frustrations of being a parent, it is also important to keep the long view in mind: there is appositive momentum to development. This forward thrust of your child’s growth and development actually works in favor of his acquiring the ability to channel and productively use those aggressive energies that are a vital part of our makeup.


TEACHING KIDS HOW TO RELATE TO THOSE WITH DISABILITIES


Does your child have a friend in the wheel chair?

Can your kids relate to schoolmates or neighborhood kids who have disabilities, whether physical or developmental?

Many school systems require kids with disabilities to be mainstreamed, so your child may have classmates with problems ranging from hearing to mobility to learning. Hear are some ways to help teach your child to relate to those who have physical or other differences:

Examine your own feelings. Do you feel unusually uncomfortable around individuals with disabilities or use disrespectful words to describe them? Your kids will pick up on your attitude and may duplicate it. Give some thoughts to why you have these feelings. Provide opportunities to interact. The sooner you expose kids to those who have physical or developmental differences, the more likely kids are to accept differences as part of life. If your kids are old enough, get them involved with volunteer activities at the Special Olympics or a children’s hospital. Make an effort to invite schoolmates or neighborhood kids with disabilities to your home or on outings. Put it in perspective. Remind your kids that they have certain limitations too. Then point out that kids with disabilities are just like them, but with problems in other areas. You can read together about specific disabilities and learn, for example, how cerebral palsy affects muscles or dyslexia makes it hard to read. Talk about teasing. It does not take much about a “not-cool” pair of sneakers or a new haircut—for kids to get teased. But if a child is being teased because of a disability, your kid needs to know what to do to stop it. Help her have some phrases ready: “Sita has to wear a hearing aid because her ears don’t work well. That’s no reason to make fun of her”. Let kids know it’s appropriate to tell a teacher or coach if others are being teased for having a disability. And make sure they understand they should never be the one doing the teasing. Don’t be afraid to ask. Kids in wheelchairs, like kids everywhere, like to do things themselves. But sometimes they need extra help. Let your children know it’s okay to ask if a classmate wants the wheelchair pushed or needs other help.

Learn alternative communication. Kids can learn simple sign language if classmates have hearing disorders. Let them know they can use nonverbal communication- an appropriate pat on the shoulder or hand squeeze--when kids have other disabilities.

Be a friend. Kids with disabilities from ADHD to cerebral palsy can get especially frustrated or sad. That’s when they need a friend to talk to. Teach your child to take time to ask kids with disabilities how they are feeling and then be supportive. When possible, help them include the kids in regular activities like going shopping or coming over for coffee.

AIKYA is staffed with a team of qualified, experienced and dedicated professionals