Monday, November 30, 2015

BLOOM media round-up

By Louise Kinross

Last week we posted Ho, ho, humbug about how toy shopping can be a difficult time for parents whose children have disabilities.

Every year Ellen at Love That Max creates a list of regular toys that may work well with children with special needs, based on recommendations from therapists and parents. She just posted her 2015 list.

We had a comment on our post about how expensive specialty toys can be, particularly for a single mom. If you have any ideas on how to find great deals, or perhaps gently used toys, please comment below.

We also heard from Holland Bloorview family leader Susan Cosgrove about how she changed her gift-giving routine to make it manageable for her son with autism. 

Although it's in a different way, the holidays are a challenge around here too. I think it's hardest on Liam who is 12 and autistic. He gets so wound up about his Christmas list and wondering if I will be able to find the things he's asked for. He's not being greedy... But surprises and unpredictability stress him out.

Last year I let him choose and purchase his own gifts. One month before Christmas I give him a $100 budget. We purchase his gifts together (sometimes online). This year he chose Toys R Us on a Saturday. 

I wrap his gifts and put them away. He knows what he's going to get and plans what order he will open his gifts Christmas morning. For my own sake I wrap up a few surprise gifts, but we don't talk about those beforehand. 

It's amazing. It reduces his anxiety by 90 per cent, easily. He knows what's coming and plans his Christmas morning. I think it's a great system and could work for most kids who have anxiety. It's a small thing but it's been life-changing for us. 

Let us know if you have other ideas for making the holidays merrier. Here are some links you may find interesting.

Ontario's sheltered workshops to close forever, The Toronto Star

How one Paris start-up is becoming an Uber for people with disabilities Mashable

Don't get angry, and don't get even Paul Levy, former CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, on why anger in negotiations doesn't work on the world stage or among senior clinicians in hospitals.

Study says disabled face clear job bias Boston Globe

How high-paid bosses blew it The Toronto Star
"...While the Community Care Access Centre bosses were getting massive pay raises, many of the therapists, personal support workers and nurses who actually provide care to patients were earning less than $25,000 a year and hadn't seen a pay raise in years."

Special needs traumatic stress disorder Seizing Hope
This parent notes that there is no P (post). "We get up and live these scary moments every day."

Wheelchair users 36 per cent more likely to be killed in traffic than pedestrians The Atlantic CityLa