Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review - "Raising an Army of Helaman's Warriors" by Mark Ogletree, Ph.D. and Kevin Hinckley, M.Ed.

The subtitle of this book is "A Guide for Parents to Prepare the Greatest Generation of Missionaries", but this is an understatement, as the skills you will help your son or daughter develop will serve them throughout their lives in higher education, career, marriage, and as parents.

This is the first time I have been reading a book for review and stopped to not only order a copy for myself, but for other people. I can't recommend this volume highly enough for all parents -- including those who have children with special needs. I had been planning to create a curriculum for youth with an autism spectrum disorder to prepare for missionary service, but that is no longer needed as this guide is completely appropriate for that purpose.

If your child is young, you may think this is something to tuck into the back of your mind for the future, but you can begin these lessons when your child is 8 years old, or even younger for some children. You will learn many concepts that will help you as a parent, including:

  • Your rule in Gospel teaching.
  • The difference between discipline and punishment.
  • How to teach obedience, and why it's important.
  • The power that can be found in the scriptures and how your youngster can learn to use it.
  • Teaching how to pray and ask for guidance.
  • How to become truly converted.
  • The recognition of inspiration.
  • Methods to help your child learn the value and principles of work. 
  • Physical preparation for mission experiences. 
  • Ways to become and remain emotionally healthy and resilient. 
  • Appropriate communication.
  • How to turn your home into a missionary preparation center. 
Each chapter contains an explanation of the importance of the subject,  valuable background information to prepare you for instruction, teaching methods, ways to apply what you've learned, and supplemental materials to help you and your child. 

This valuable guide does more than help you understand what skills and abilities your child will need. It is a practical teaching help that will benefit parents as well as Church teachers and leaders. The abilities described by the authors are especially important for those with special needs, and the activities are completely appropriate. 

Time to stop reading this blog and order the book!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Finding a Summer Camp for Children with Disabilities

Summer can be a time for fun and relaxing activities, learning new skills, or exploration. Parents of children with special needs often struggle to identify camps that are appropriate for their youngsters.

The American Camp Association has created a new search tool to help in your hunt. They have a database of programs that have been certified for safety and quality.

You can search for day or sleepover programs, for camps that deal exclusively with one particular disability, or those that accommodate for special needs. Family camps are also included. You can also limit your search by age, gender, location, activities, dates and duration, cost, or affiliations such as religion or Boy Scouts of America.

This web site also has information for parents, tips on how to prepare, facts on homesickness, and help making camp decisions.

Go to ACA Camps for more information.