Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

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Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

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Article excerpt

S Car seat

My 2-year-old son has spinal muscular atrophy and severe hypotonia (low tone). He is getting too long for a rear-facing convertible car seat. The car seat we have will work if we turn it around but we are concerned about neck and head support when he is facing forward. None of the neck support collars is "transport approved." What have others whose children have low tone done for car seats?

Lisa, via the EP Web site

S Destructive behavior

My son is 2-years old and was evaluated by our area school district. They were unable to complete any testing, however, because he was pretty upset with the whole process. He throws things, hits, pushes, is very destructive, and acts dangerously without realizing the consequences. Some of this is developmentally appropriate behavior, but the school and I both agreed that he needs further evaluation. He is home with me every day except for one day per week when he is in a daycare program al church. He has had problems there with hair pulling, pushing, hitting, etc., and has to be separated often. We are testing his vision and hearing next. I wonder if any other parents have experienced this in children so young. My son is not talking, but seems bright. I am wondering if we should get help outside of the available county programs.

KH, via the EP Web site

S Easy exercises for a child with CP

I have a 13-year-old daughter with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. I am in desperate need of ways to help her exercise in order to try and give her some relief from her spasticity. Her muscles are very tight at night, and she is not getting enough physical therapy at school because they are very short-staffed. I have carpal tunnel syndrome and it is difficult for me to maneuver her.

ND, via the EP Web site

S Communication device

We have a 13-year-old son who has severe spastic cerebral palsy and is also blind. We are interested in a communication device for him. He can reach for a large switch with his hand, but cannot use his fingers. He can move his head--perhaps to hit a switch--and can use his foot a little. We have tried numerous things without much success. Our main problem has been that he is unable to see the communication devices.

LG, South Carolina


You may want to contact the Communication Aid Manufacturer's Association (CAMA). CAMA hosts workshops throughout the United States year round, highlighting the products of various augmentative and adaptive communication device manufacturers. CAMA can be reached at (800) 441-2262. E-mail: Web site:

S Potty training

My 5-year-old son has autism and is nonverbal. We have been trying to potty train him, but we cannot get him to understand that it is okay to go in the toilet. His receptive language is almost nonexistent, so we cannot explain it to him. Does anyone know how we can get this across to him? We have read tons of books and watched lots of videos, with no success. I would appreciate any input.

KS, Oklahoma

S Sleep difficulties

I have a 4-year-old son who has cerebral palsy, microcephaly, asthma, reflux, and severe sleep problems. He has an extremely difficult time falling into a deep sleep. He will fall asleep, but, wakes up with a scream after about five minutes. This goes on for several hours every night. Once in a deep sleep, he will sleep until morning. I hope someone with a similar experience can suggest a solution.

Tom, via the EP Web site

R Summer caregiver

JT (June 2000) has a 13-year-old daughter who has speech and motor delays and some developmental delay. …

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