The 6th Annual Great Bike Giveaway

[Source: Friendship Circle]

For a child with special needs, bike riding offers far more than a recreational experience. Bike riding provides a source of much-needed exercise, gives therapeutic value, and contributes to an inclusive environment where a child with special needs can ride a bike like everyone else.

Due to balance and mobility challenges, many children and teens with special needs require the use of an adaptive bike. Sadly, most families cannot afford the high costs of adaptive bikes and their children remain on the sidelines watching their friends and family members ride by.

For the 6th consecutive year, Friendship Circle is holding the Great Bike Giveaway, an annual campaign that strives to provide as many bikes as possible to children and teens with special needs. We partner with adaptive bike companies from around the world to offer these special adaptive bikes as well as a fundraising platform so friends and family members can give a child with special needs the experience, joy and independence of riding a special bike.

The Great Bike Giveaway is dedicated to the memory of Michaela Noam Kaplan of blessed memory. Despite her physical limitations due to cerebral palsy, Michaela adored life, traveled the world, went to school — and loved her adaptive bicycle.

Learn More About the Campaign and/or Donate!


Posted in OT, PT, Special Ed | Tagged , ,

Why We Do What We Do: Girls with Disabilities Get to Dance Like Ballerinas

[Source: USA Today]

Girls with developmental and physical disabilities are getting the chance to dance next to professional ballerinas as part of a program to build their mobility and confidence.

Watch this Precious Video on USA Today

Posted in OT, PT, Special Ed | Tagged , ,

Pediatric Therapy Corner: National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Editor’s Note:  This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.    As therapy and clinical professionals, we are in a unique position to know our students and clients.  According to the National Institutes of Health 2.7 percent of children aged 13- 18 will have a severe eating disorder in their lifetime, and that girls are twice as likely as boys to suffer from one.    Research suggests that roughly 2/3 of patients admitted to eating disorder treatment programs will also meet diagnostic criteria for depression.   Given that many of the children we treat do suffer from anxiety and depression, it is incumbent on those in our field to be vigilant for the signs and symptoms of eating disorders as well.

[Source:  National Eating]

Spearheaded by the National Eating Disorders Association, the goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness (#NEDAwareness) Week is to shine the spotlight on eating disorders and put life-saving resources into the hands of those in need. This year’s theme is It’s Time to Talk About It and we’re encouraging everyone to get screened.

It’s time we take eating disorders seriously as public health concerns. It’s time we bust the myths and get the facts. It’s time to celebrate recovery and the heroes who make it possible. It’s time to take action and fight for change. It’s time to shatter the stigma and increase access to care. It’s Time to Talk About It!

Visit the NEDA Website to Learn More

Download the Educator Toolkit

Download the Medical Professionals Toolkit



Posted in Blog, OT, Psych, PT, SLP | Tagged , ,

Second Case of ‘Down Syndrome’ in Chimps

[Source: Science Daily]

Japanese researchers have confirmed the second case known to science of a chimpanzee born with trisomy 22, a chromosomal defect similar to that of Down syndrome (or trisomy 21) in humans. The report on Kanako, a 24-year-old female chimp born into captivity, was led by Satoshi Hirata of Kyoto University in Japan, and appears in the journal Primates, published by Springer. The authors also describe their attempts to improve the quality of life of this chimpanzee, through providing and managing opportunities for normal social interaction. Such efforts are seen as key in caring for disabled chimpanzees in captivity.

Human cells normally contain 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46. Down syndrome occurs when a person’s cells contain a third copy of chromosome 21 (also known as trisomy 21). In turn, apes have 24 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 48. Trisomy 22 is diagnosed when the cells of apes such as chimpanzees, gorillas or orangutans contain a third copy of chromosome 22.

Read the Rest of this Article on Science Daily

Posted in Blog, OT, SLP, Special Ed | Tagged , , ,

Teens With PTSD Have Difficulty Recognizing Facial Expressions

[Source: Science Daily]

Adolescents with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are more likely to misidentify sad and angry faces as fearful, while teens with symptoms of conduct disorder tend to interpret sad faces as angry, finds a study by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

“Our findings suggest that exposure to stress and trauma can have acute emotional impacts that simply translate to misidentification of important affective cues,” said Shabnam Javdani, assistant professor of applied psychology at NYU Steinhardt, who led the study with Naomi Sadeh of the University of Delaware. The study was published in the February issue of the journal Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

Read the Rest of this Article on Science Daily

Posted in Psych | Tagged , , ,