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Along Came Alyssa

By on Jun 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Along came Alyssa As a pediatric home health agency, we believe that all kids are truly exceptional. This is especially true of the children we are lucky enough to work with on a daily basis. Alyssa is one of these amazing kids. Alyssa was born with a rare genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow all over her body. She was not expected to live past the age of two, and it has not been an easy road for her. A few years ago, she developed a large inoperable brain tumor. The only treatment at the time was chemotherapy, but doctors had to end those treatments after discovering that the tumor had grown instead of shrunk. Her family did not give up. They visited many doctors until coming across one who suggested an experimental treatment using lasers to destroy the tumor cells. This treatment had never before been done, and there was only a fifty percent chance that she would make it off the table. Thankfully, the surgery worked. It has now been two and a half years since the procedure, and regular check-ups haven’t shown any signs of the tumor re-growing. Thanks to Alyssa and her bravery, that treatment is now approved for all patients. Even after the successful treatment, Alyssa requires around the clock, highly skilled nursing care. For a while, her family had a difficult time finding a home health agency that could accommodate those needs. However, we are happy to report that Alyssa has thrived in the time she has been with our agency. Last year she graduated from high school. This year she turns 21. We are honored to have Alyssa as part of our family at San Rafael Healthcare and are excited to see what the future has in store for her. Even though she is technically an adult now, she will always be one of our exceptional kids! To learn more about San Rafael Healthcare and the services we provide, please call us at (210) 255-1466 or visit our website at...

Brody’s Corner

By on Apr 1, 2016 in Parenting | 0 comments

In November of 2009, 7 months into my pregnancy, I learned that something was wrong with our baby boy. We were told that our son was in heart failure and we needed to “prepare for a stillbirth”. At thirty-seven weeks, Brody came into this world and our lives forever changed. We jumped headfirst into the proverbial “deep end” of the swimming pool that is “special needs parenting”. After five months in the neonatal intensive care unit, we loaded our baby boy into an ambulance and brought him home. Our living room became his room. Fast forward six years, and here we are. I’m still navigating murky waters, but somethings have become very clear over the years. It is clear that we MUST take life day by day and be thankful for every moment that we have together. It became clear that I am not only Brody’s mom, but I am his voice. I’ve learned that doctors don’t always have all the answers and that if I don’t look for answers, no one will. I realized that his sisters are his biggest fans and I am always amazed at what kind and compassionate human beings they are becoming because of their brother. Additionally, I have witnessed the power of prayer and I believe in miracles. I made a decision very early on that even if my son never walks or talks and developmentally plateaus without meeting any milestones, he WILL know one thing. He will know what it feels like to be loved. And I have accomplished that. If you have love, you have everything. It is a language that is felt and does not have to be spoken or heard for someone to understand. We have been very fortunate to meet and work with some very kind, compassionate and considerate people over the years as well. Rodney Gray, owner of Wave Healthcare, and his staff, are perfect examples of people who are genuinely in the business to help children with special healthcare needs and their families. Wave Healthcare has been very helpful with acquiring the necessary equipment and supplies needed to keep Brody’s needs met and has exceeded my expectations time and time again. I am so very thankful to have Rodney and his staff “in Brody’s corner” and for all they do for us to help keep our son happy, healthy and out of the hospital. – Michele...

Asthma is a chronic condition

By on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Asthma is a chronic condition marked by inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. It usually starts in childhood. Asthma is very common. It afflicts more than 25 million people. About 7 million of them are children. An asthma action plan helps you and the school system manage your child’s asthma. It’s a legal document used by school nurses. The plan is specific to your child and describes his or her symptoms, what medicines are prescribed for everyday use, and what medications to give and what to do in case of emergency. If grandparents or other caregivers spend a lot of time with the child, they should have a copy of the plan too. Many schools use an Asthma Action Plan form developed by the South Texas Asthma Coalition. It is available on the Texas Department of State Health Services web site and is organized by the colors of a traffic light — green, yellow and red. Similar to traffic lights, green means go, yellow means caution and red means danger. Green: This part of the plan applies when your child’s breathing is good, with no coughing or wheezing. His or her asthma is under good control, and if your child’s asthma is well-managed it should be in the green zone most of the time. The asthma action plan will list medications they take daily to prevent an asthma attack, the dosages and when to take them — before exercise, for example. Yellow: This applies when a child is having symptoms such as coughing, wheezing or a tight chest. It prescribes how to use quick-relief medicines to help your child breath more easily and prevent the asthma attack from worsening. Red: Provides direction when quick-relief medicines aren’t working and your child is having difficulty breathing and/or continues to wheeze. If your child’s symptoms aren’t improved with quick-acting medications, then it is recommended that he or she is seen by a doctor. The South Texas Pediatric Lung Center at University Health System has launched a new online tool for parents, an asthma symptoms profiler that can help you understand your child’s asthma, how well it’s controlled and how to avoid what his or her particular triggers are.   For full article http://healthfocussa.net/uncategorized/a-plan-of-action-for-your-childs-asthma/ Dr. Donna Beth Willey-Courand is director of the South Texas Pediatric Lung Center at University Health System, and chief of the Pediatric Pulmonology Division at the UT Health Science Center Photo by Mark Greenberg...

Pet Allergies – Is it your pets hair?

By on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Did you know that no matter what breed of ‪#‎dog‬ you have, whether short hair or long hair, doesn’t affect your ‪#‎allergies‬? That’s right! The main culprits that cause allergies are dander, saliva, and urine. Of course none of this can keep us away from pups, especially one as lovable and sweet as Dingo! He swung by the office today with his 86 year old boss in tow to give us a big hello! And of course, to remind us that allergies should never be a reason to keep us away from our furry children. Provided by Dr. Gligoric, MD, Board Certified Pediatric & Adult Allergies...

How to Tell if Your Child Struggles With Learning

By on Aug 28, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Research has proven that early intervention is the best means of helping a child succeed in school. Take the time to carefully observe your child and talk to his doctor or teacher if you notice anything concerning. Although every child’s development is unique, there are several general indicators that a child may struggle with learning.  Ask yourself these questions: Does he know the days of the week, shapes, colors, numbers, and letters? Can he tell the difference between left and right? Before and after? Yesterday and tomorrow? First and last? Is his speech late to develop? Does he have difficulty with rhyming words and correctly pronouncing words? Can he follow simple sets of directions? Are his fine motor skills adequate? Can he button, cut, catch a ball, and zip? Can he perform gross motor activities such as jumping, skipping, running, and kicking a ball? Does he fall down a lot? Helping kids with disabilities in school is one of our areas of focus at Exceptional Kids. Our blog is designed to be a resource for families and educators where we share timely and relevant information, activities, and news...

Prepare Now for Your Special Needs Child’s Adult Life

By on Aug 26, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Any parent can feel nervous about a child’s transition to adulthood. They may ask themselves questions such as: What will the future hold? Is my child ready? What can I do to ensure he is happy and healthy? Although questions such as these are common for any family, the process of transitioning to adulthood may be even more stressful on a family of a child with special needs. You can use this helpful guide focused on transitioning children to a life after high school to help prepare for your child’s adult life. It outlines steps that parents can take to ensure the child is happy, healthy, and well-cared for. The guide explores several different real-life situations and the challenges that parents may face when making decisions about the future of their child. The guide is available online and will connect you with additional resources to help your future planning. It can help ease the anxiety any parent feels when trying to prepare their child for adulthood. If you’re interested in learning about more things that help kids with disabilities visit us online at Exceptional Kids. We are committed to gathering resources, news, and information aimed at both families and...

Have an Awesome Vacation With Your Kids With Special Needs

By on Aug 19, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Today there are more vacation options for families of children with special needs than ever before. If you’re ready to get away for your summer vacation we have some proven tips to make your planning go smoothly: Choose the lodging that’s best for your child- Take your child’s specific needs into account when choosing where to stay. Condos and rental cottages offer fewer amenities but feel more like home than hotels. If you opt to stay in a hotel you should contact the reservation staff to select the ideal room to meet your needs. Plan ahead- Spending time ahead of your vacation to research accessible restaurants, attractions, and entertainment will help you plan a successful vacation. Call ahead to find out more information and seek out other families of children with special needs for advice. Be flexible- Even though a plan is important you should also remain flexible as situations change. Stay mindful of your child’s needs and choose activities that are fun for the entire family. Going on vacation is just one of many fun things for kids with disabilities to enjoy this summer. Stay connected with a wide variety of summer activities by visiting our Exceptional Kids...

How to Prepare Your Child With Autism for the New School Year

By on Aug 12, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Before you know it, summer vacation will be over and the kids will be headed back to school. For children with autism the transition back to school may be a challenge. You can help prepare your child for school’s return by focusing on new routines while emphasizing past successes. Consider: Requesting meetings with teachers- Short conferences with your child’s teachers are a great way to start the school year off right. Use these meetings as a way for your child to become comfortable with the teachers and to explain your child’s strengths and challenges. Spending time at school- Check with the school’s principal and your child’s teachers to schedule time at school. Walk the hallways, have conversations, and let your child become comfortable in the classrooms and general school spaces. Slowly adjusting your summer schedule- We suggest slowly adjusting your summer schedule to coincide with the upcoming school schedule. Move bedtimes up over time, start waking up earlier, and schedule additional “study” times of reading and writing to help prepare for school. Our team at Exceptional Kids is committed to helping kids with disabilities in school. Visit us online to view all of our outstanding resources for families and...