October, 2011 | Littman Krooks, LLP
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Opportunities Within Reach For Individuals With Down Syndrome

October 25th, 2011

The National Association for Down Syndrome dedicates October as Down Syndrome month, and encourages awareness in online and offline events throughout the month to show how this condition affects many children and adults. Advocacy for individuals with Down Syndrome has increased over the years, but there is always more that can be done to focus on their special needs and the many educators and caretakers that dedicate their lives to the cause.

Even though there might be certain health and education challenges that individuals with Down Syndrome must overcome every day, great strides have been made to help them lead healthy, fulfilling lives in the greater society. Access to government benefits, a free and appropriate public education, therapeutic recreation, and other mobility services are available to people with Down Syndrome and their loved ones who are looking to provide the best living environment.

A recent success story shows how much individuals with Down Syndrome can achieve. A 31-year-old Minnesotan man with Down Syndrome was able to move out of a group home he lived in for 10 years to his very own townhome. In the townhome setting, he is able to decrease the need for around-the-clock care by 25 percent. He is able to do this by having the home wired by Sengistix, a health and safety technology company. Sensors on the front door, bathroom door, stove, under the mattress, and on a cedar box that is his medicine cabinet are all connected to alert his parents, remote caregivers, and townhome maintenance staff should he fall, open the front door after 11 p.m., or forget to take his medicine. By being on his own for an increased amount of time, he is gaining more confidence and life skills.

Littman Krooks LLP counsels individuals with Down Syndrome and their families to get the federal and state support services their loved one needs. Our New York City, White Plains and Fishkill special needs planning attorneys assist in education planning, health benefits, and innovative resources for individuals with Down Syndrome. We believe in helping clients build a strong foundation for their child’s well-being and optimal independence.

To learn more about New York special needs planning, visit http://www.littmankrooks.com/special-needs-planning/ or https://www.specialneedsnewyork.com.


Follow up: The Importance of Self-Esteem with Children and Bullying

October 13th, 2011

By Susan Hendler, Owner of Sociable Kidz (Mamaroneck, NY)

As the owner of Sociable Kidz, a social skills group for kids, it is clear that children with low self-esteem are easy targets for bullying. Bullies like to take control and hurt others. They like to make others feel powerless. Bullies feel better about themselves when they put others down.

In my work I try to encourage children to “stand tall, be proud and confident” in themselves. Many children lack these abilities on their own due to being teased or bullied at one time or another. We do a lot of role-playing with the children. Someone will act out being the “bully” and the other children practice standing up for themselves. One way, is by using an I-statement (our favorite I-statements include, “I don’t like what you are doing! I want you to stop!”). It is not easy using an I-statement. We practice and practice until the children feel confident doing it themselves.

We write jokes together for the children to use as another strategy against bullies. I encourage my students to have one or two jokes at the tip of their tongue to use against someone who is being mean to them. Telling a joke in the middle of a confrontation really confuses the bully.

I teach my students to turn around an insult and give it right back to the bully. For example, as an adult, if someone tells me he/she doesn’t like my dress, it could bother me all day if I let it.  I have learned to turn these types of statements around. I say, “I like my dress and I don’t care what you think about it!”  I turn around and walk away. I have empowered myself by telling the “bully” how I feel. This is very powerful for young children to master.

Children need to feel good about themselves and have the inner confidence and self-esteem in order to stand up to a bully.

Listen to Susan’s full podcast on “Peace of Mind with Bernie the Attorney” by clicking here. For more information about Sociable Kidz, contact Susan Hendler  at 914-502-3295 or visit www.sociablekidz.com.

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