2012年2月29日 星期三

How Integrated Marketing Can Save Your Budget and Your Mind

Is your marketing plan all over the place? Does your message get diluted by the number of competing priorities and interests within your company? Do you often feel like you're wasting your budget?

In this tip I'd like to introduce you to the simple wisdom of Integrated Marketing Communications. It's one of those concepts that seem so obvious; you can't imagine why you didn't come up with it yourself.

Currently, your company is represented on many platforms. You have the website somebody built for you. You have the social networking effort you manage in-house. You have an advertising campaign produced and implemented by an outside agency. There's a consultant who handles your PR. There's the sales staff who communicates directly with customers. You also have your database marketing, your customer servicing department and your retail sales promotion team, all of whom report to different managers. These department managers operate in functional silos. They may also be protective of their ideas, their budgets and their power bases. In short, you have many types of company spokespeople, and they are not all on board with a unified game plan.

This situation is common. It is also a template for mixed messaging, miscommunication and inconsistent branding to your target customer.

But hope exists right here in this blog article, in the form of IMC. Essentially, Integrated Marketing Communications is a customer-focused, coordinated effort to align all the marketing and business operations of a company into a seamless program that provides a consistent and constantly reinforced central message. IMC is not a strategy in itself, it's the tactical delivery of a communications plan.

That's a lot of words. But, if you can get your mind around this concept and implement it, each of the independent channels along which your business operates can reinforce the other and advance your goals exponentially.

Here are some integrated marketing suggestions followed by an example:

• Conduct research directly with your target customer through social networking, focus groups, online surveys or review sites. Establish dialogues and learn from them.

• Assess your business and determine a unique selling message that not only separates you from your competitors, but directly addresses what you learned from your target customers.

• Include all communication channels - marketing, sales, advertising and press relations- in a unified message, with feedback mechanisms at all consumer touch points.

• Train all of the people in the organization with any degree of customer contact to embody the tone and message of the brand. Keep them current on all promotions and marketing efforts.

• Ensure that your branding looks the same across all marketing channels, with the same logo, typeface, color palette, balance and emotional quality. This includes everything from your letterhead to packaging to point of sale materials to your Facebook page to your magazine ad.

• It is extremely important that your website's home page perfectly matches the theme of your advertising and marketing campaigns.

• Link any advertised promotions and specials directly to a website landing page that deals specifically with that promotion. Consumers should not be asked to navigate multiple pages in their quest for a 15% discount.

• Use each marketing medium for its unique strengths. Your campaign should combine the scale and brand building abilities of traditional media with the nimbleness and precision of online options.

• Use traditional media to encourage consumers to seek out more information on your website or your social networking channels. The sites should include a call to action and a follow up from a trained sales or service staff member.

• Your brand's image, emotional tone and central message should remain consistent across multi-sensory delivery vehicles: through sight on television, sound on radio, and the tactical and kinetic experience online. It should all reinforce the consumer's impression of your brand as he seamlessly travels the arc from discovery to engagement.

• Integrated marketing should enable consumers to interface with the product at any point along the arc and to receive a consistent experience, whether it is from an online conversation, a voice on the phone or a sales call. Branding must be constant across the entirety of the organization.

Now for an example. Let's say that you run a dental office offering all of the usual services. You take most of the insurances, your fees are reasonable and your location is easy to access. You've been promoting your general dentistry practice in the local newspaper and through direct mail, but you don't have much to show for it.

Meanwhile, you've made a habit of asking every patient to submit an online review of your services in exchange for a 5% discount. You notice that the patients who actually do this enthusiastically are the ones who have had cosmetic work- you've corrected a crooked tooth or whitened a smile or replaced a silver capped crown. You're proud, because you know you do exceptional work in this area. You also recognize that cosmetic work is a good way to get people in the door who may become regular dental patients after their custom work is completed.

You've concluded that expert and artful cosmetic dentistry is your unique selling proposition. Now, run with it!

Provide cosmetic services to your receptionists and dental hygienists, so that each of them can greet customers with a shining example of your work. Create a tag line, such as "We give your back your perfect smile." Include this line in your letterhead, on your business cards and in your email signature. Have your receptionist include the line as part of her welcome when she answers your phone. Use it as the subject of your print ads. Make it the theme of your website home page, and then optimize your site to cover all the search terms you can think of that have to do with cosmetic dental work. Use pay per click marketing to target people who are searching for cosmetic dentistry. Write a blog about how to maintain a perfect smile. Display "before and after" photos on your website and in your waiting room. Host an open house featuring satisfied patients. Use your website to invite potential customers to share photos and stories about how their stained and ragged teeth stifle their smiles, and provide free services to a random winner.

Supply toothpicks to area restaurants with wrappers that say, "If you had your perfect smile, you wouldn't need this toothpick!" Donate a series of white modern enamel chairs to the local park, with a sign that says, "Wouldn't you like your smile to look as perfect as these?" Put a white picket fence around your office to resemble teeth and affix a banner, "Home of the Perfect Smile!" And be sure to smile at your customers! You've created a winning integrated marketing campaign!

IMC is a tactical process that involves not just creativity, but big-picture organizational vision and an ability to communicate between departments. If you are an entrepreneur of a small business, this may be something you can handle independently. If you are an executive at a larger company, you may need to host regular meetings between managers of different business operations to confirm that all are on message. As another alternative, companies can hire one individual to be responsible for managing the effort. This person could be on staff or could work as a freelancer.

I happen to know somebody who specializes in integrated marketing communications. If you are interested, contact me at jenwhite@whitehousemedia.org and I'll make an introduction.

Jennifer White is President of White House Media, Inc.


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Alternative Remedies For Autism

Usually the first therapy mentioned for Autism is medicine. This is changing. More men and women are open to trying different remedies. Treatments might have terrible side effects, so more people are looking for natural products. Here are some alternative treatments used for Autism.


There are several diets that can be used when treating Autism. They range from eating Gluten free items to eliminating dairy from the diet plan. Some Autistic children have a sensitive reaction to certain ingredients in food. These ingredients will help with behavioral problems, or meltdowns when consumed.

Omega 3's

Omega 3 has been discovered to be of assistance in treating Autism, in addition to a few other disorders. People utilizing the Omega 3 have discovered better sleep patterns, social interaction, and over all health of their child. People needing to try this alternative treatment can add fish oil to their children's diet. Fish oil can be found in capsule for or fluid. Some kids have trouble swallowing the capsule. The fluid form can be located in a flavorless type that is mixed in a drink.

Music Therapy

A number of studies have discovered music therapy to be very beneficial to the Autistic child. Now and again an Autistic child will sing together with music while they won't speak. This is one means of working on the child's speech. The music may be relaxing to an Autistic child. It can settle them down enough to participate in an activity with others.

Sensory Integration

Kids with Autism can be very understanding of noises, tastes, textures, and smells. Sensory integration therapy helps their youngster to deal with whatever it is causing them problems. It can likewise be employed to calm a youngster with something like a certain smell or texture.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is a must for any child with Autism. Kids with Autism commonly misuse words. They often times have a difficult time comprehending the significance of words like few or many. Speech therapists can can assist in teaching gestures and correspondence skills to nonverbal children. They can help their child to quickly learn how to read other individuals body language.

Play Therapy

Play therapy can be be extremely helpful when treating an Autistic child. Play therapy allows their youngster to relax and center on things they like. A therapist working with an autistic child will play on the ground with the youngster. They will give the child various toys and see if the child takes a liking to one of them. If their child starts to play the therapist will then endeavor to interact with their child. After the therapist has created a relationship with the youngster they might bring some other child into play therapy. This can sometimes be a good way to have the Autistic child to play with other children. Usually a therapist does the play therapy, still the mum or dad can do the therapy after they have learned the techniques used.

These are just a a couple of the numerous alternative treatments obtainable for Autism. Medication does not need to be a first resort. These can also be mixed with medication for a better remedy plan.

Read more about author in:
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Toy Ideas for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Special Needs

One of the more common problems with mainstream toys is that they are meant to be used with two hands- often times children with cerebral palsy will have limited use of one side of the body or the use of only one hand.

Toys should be fun and children should have a feeling of accomplishment or success when playing- not frustrated or reminded of what they cannot do.

Many of the commercial toys on the market can be adapted or used by children with cerebral palsy.

There are many toys that you can buy at any toy store or department store that are affordable and fun to use. Look for toys that can be used with one hand.

Musical instruments are great for this- a trumpet, harmonica, xylophone or maracas. These also develop a sense of cause and effect with young children and help controlled movement with older children.

Magnetic type toys are all the rage and a big hit with kids of all ages- there are tons of magnetic toys available in many forms- magnetic jig saw puzzles, magnetic construction toys and magnetic marbles.

A simple ball is a lot of fun and great for developing coordination- get a neat ball that glows in the dark, flashes lights or play music when you roll it.

Toys or play that involve the senses will help with sensory integration development.

Sand and water are great for this. You can also fill a empty dish pan with uncooked rice- a great makeshift sand box for a rainy day.

A tip to avoid sand box mess: put the sandbox on cement blocks- will be at waist level and kids won't get sand in all their clothes.

Toys that help with coordination and controlled movement are also a good choice.

Bowls filled with beads, beans or jelly beans are good for sorting, counting and grouping. Excellent for controlled movement.

Building blocks- simple wooden blocks, large dominoes for stacking also help with controlled movement. Also try empty milk cartons for stacking.

Play-doh is always a favorite- make your own play-doh and use Kool-Aid to not only color it but give it a fruity scent. Your child will be developing sensory awareness and visual motor integration skills as he plays.

Keep a box around filled with wheeled toys. Toy trucks and cars of all sizes. These deal with non-verbal expression, problem solving and self-control.

Keep toys in site so your child can see what available- avoid opaque containers and lids. Baskets are great for this.

You can find many toys in local stores and make your own from even around your house without having to spend a lot of money on adaptive or special needs toys. Mainstream toys help with developmental skills such as cognitive awareness, controlled movement and coordination- and don't forget they are fun!

LJ Stewart is homeschool mom and freelance writer. She has special interest in providing support to families coping with cerebral palsy and preventable birth injuries.

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2012年2月28日 星期二

The Conceptual List To Keeping Your Attitude Positive

This article will be pretty much a numbered list of practices I do to keep my attitude and my reality positive without matter to what appearances are around me. Indeed, this article will start normally and then end with a numbered list of items telling you some of my practices in this matter. I actually do these things in real life, so I will list them in ten concepts:

The Magic Circle Concept: I actually got this one from Anthony Norvell. I project a magic circle from my mind around where I live, my personal space including my body, the places I frequent and wherever I need to. I use the appropriate color for the circle that I feel warrants the situation. For example: I use the colors green and gold around the bank I bank at and the color white around my personal space anywhere it is.

The Gratefulness Concept: I am grateful for life, and I express this every morning through saying personal creeds, doing personal visualizations for good and in any way I can express it productively.

The Thought Guard Concept/The Right Thinking Concept: I guard my thoughts gratefully and vigilantly every day from negativity without matter to what situation I am in, so that my consciousness goes from benefit to neutral without acknowledging the genuine negativity in an actively destructive way. In short, I can also call this concept Positive Rationality.

Consistent Affirmative Behavior In The Positive: Yes, I do this too, I keep my behavior consistently positive by saying "good morning", "good afternoon", and being friendly or at least business like to my friends and enemies in that order. I am realistic, but, I am always affirming positivity, and not acknowledging what does not do the gain for me.

Realistic Perfectionism: This one is rather hard to describe, but I will describe it nevertheless, do what can genuinely be done right efficiently, logically, and honestly with vigilance and you will get it right almost every time. What I mean by "almost every time" is there is always that natural margin of error that happens in nature for good or bad, usually good, like the how the yellow sticky notes were conceived as an invention to replace scraps of paper because the adhesive did not work right for other things.

My Personal Sensory Integration Formula: This is simple, when possible think in pictures as well as words to integrate the senses fully, and when really possible, think in all the dimensions you possibly can. Sight, sounds, touch, smell and every sense possible to make the concepts a reality for yourself.

Romantic Realism: I got this one from Ayn Rand, always think the best about everything, and the best possibilities about everything using my Sensory Integration Formula. For example in Chapter Six of Wallace Wattles "The Science of Getting Rich", he talks about how a man does exactly this near the end of that chapter to improve his financial and home situations. I am not listing any of these concepts as "magic bullets", but I am giving you practical thinking and thought tools to work with in bettering reality as a whole.

The Vigilance Concept: This is key, but I had to finally mention it as a concept down here. When things become dull and not integrated, that is when things really do fail. Excitement and gratefulness combined is the vigilance concept. Sure, vigilance in the dictionary means being consistently awake and alert to all situations. But realistically vigilance is engagement, integration, and being awake to all possibilities when you or anyone (including myself) thinks about it.

Alertness is a process, not a static state to be stayed in: If I did not say that, I would be fully contradicting the rest of the concepts, and contradicting The Vigilance Concept. To be alert is a process that requires full and complete working consciousness, and never fear or conformity.

The Ultimate Concept, Consistent Success: Consistent success comes through perseverance and never quitting without matter to what the temporary failure is without matter to how seemingly bad it is. Without mincing words, consistent failure leads to death, genuine consistent success leads to life. The end.

My name is Joshua Clayton, I am a freelance writer based in Inglewood, California. I also write under a few pen-names and aliases, but Joshua Clayton is my real name, and I write by that for the most part now. I am a philosophical writer and objective thinker and honest action taker.
I also work at a senior center in Gardena, California as my day job, among other things, but primarily I am a writer.

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Sensitivity to Lights and Sounds in Vehicles

Children with sensory integration disorder or sensitivities to light and sound, can resist going out for a walk, playing on the playground, and even going for a ride in the car. Sensory integration disorder is when the brain doesn't understand the information it is receiving from the senses and misinterprets it.

When a child is sensitive to the brightness of light or sound that it is either too loud or high-pitched, they may overreact and exhibit a variety of behavioral challenges, such as crying, screaming, having headaches or stomachaches. As onlookers, we interpret this child as being temperamental or having a bad day. The way the parents respond, if they are not aware of this sensitivity, is to do a number of things to calm or stop the child's behavior. Most people have not heard of sensory integration disorder, although it is on the rise, primarily due to the frequency of diagnosis and quantity of people having the same or similar sensory issues.

Sensory integration disorder can coexist with Autism spectrum disorders, other learning disabilities or disorders. The book, "The Out of Sync Child," by Carol Stock Kranowitz, discusses and explains what this disorder is and how to adjust events in your child's life so that your child can be more comfortable. Checklists on the web do not fully understand the disorder, and try to attest their validity by making blanket statements, with black and white conclusions. Many children exhibit sensory issues, but parents and therapists may not recognize all the symptoms. Symptoms may occur one day and not the next two days or new ones may surface. Some days a child may be overly sensitive to sound or light, and other days they may be under sensitive.

Some children are okay with having sunglasses on, to protect their eyes from the light. Those who do not like to have things on their face or who are too young to wear eye protection, can typically shield their eyes with a hood or cover. Vehicles that have darkly tinted windows in the backseat are perfect for these children. Some people find that tires that do not have a specific expiration mileage will produce more sound and noise than tires that that last for just 50,000 or 100,000 miles, for example. These types of tires are firmer due to the amount of rubber that is spun tighter around the tire.

Some of the newer vehicles, have features that auto adjust mirrors so light is either reflected or muted and won't glare or bounce off other reflective objects in the car. Additionally, there are muted colored lights throughout the car that given an amber, blue or red glow to light the console or dashboard.

If you are unable to purchase a newer vehicle, there are ways to adjust the interior of your car to reduce the glare or brightness. Private investigators use black curtains hung near or around the windows to prevent the light from glaring in. The same curtain can be used to hang from the inside of the car's window, using the window to hold it up. Using white noise machines, video games, or soft music helps with irritating or aversive sounds.

Observe your child's behavior on a daily basis to see how or if the amount of light is bothersome. Ask your child questions and help them become more comfortable. Traveling in a car with your child in car can be a pleasant experience; most importantly, it needs to be safe so the driver is not distracted and the passengers are safe.

Julie Callicutt is the owner of Ferko Therapeutic Group, a company specializing in providing intensive rehabilitation therapy to children with disabilities, specifically those on the Autism Spectrum. Julie's services include 1:1 intensive therapy, coaching/mentoring of caregivers and making herself available to speak at local and national early childhood conferences. If you would like more information, please visit, http://www.ferkotherapy.com.

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2012年2月27日 星期一

Treating Autism Symptoms In Your Child - Self-Injurious Behavior

One of the hardest autism symptoms in your child to observe is that of self-injurious behavior. What is self-injurious behavior? Well, some kids with autism will bang their head, hit themselves, bite their hands, or otherwise engage in activities that hurt themselves.

Why does an autistic child deliberately hurt himself?

There are many theories to explain these autism symptoms in a child.

For some kids, it may block out other stimuli. They may be overwhelmed and over-stimulated from their environment, and they desperately need to focus on something internal or external. Causing pain to is a way to switch that focus of attention.

A child may have extreme sensory issues and need a lot of tactile feedback. Head banging and other similar behaviors may be ways of trying to get that tactile feedback, although not very good ones. If this is the case, sensory integration therapy should be undertaken, and the child with autism should be given other ways to get the tactile feedback they need.

There is a whole "sensory diet" that can be employed in this case to help these autism symptoms in the child.

For some children, hitting their ears could be evidence of a middle ear infection, and a comprehensive ear examination should be undertaken to rule out this possibility.

Additionally, it is also possible that self-injurious behavior could be caused by a certain type of seizures. The child with autism exhibiting these autistic symptoms should get an EEG done to rule out this possibility.

Frustration May Cause These Autism Symptoms in a Child

Finally, we know that poor communication skills are a common symptom of autism in a child. These self-injurious behaviors are often just the result of extreme frustration.

Here, the child with autism has no better way to communicate his or her frustration - it is both a release and a form of communication. In this case, if the child is not verbal, they should be taught alternative ways to communicate, such as using picture cards, sign language or facilitated communication; having the ability to communicate one's feelings and needs will greatly reduce frustration levels.

Also, if possible, any child with autism should be taught ways to handle and try to lessen their frustration levels, such as through a sensory diet, relaxation exercises, deep pressure and through exercise.

How do you treat self-injurious behavior in a child with autism?

When trying to figure out how to treat these behaviors, it is important to first try to figure out what the source is. Sometimes, there are other medical complaints that are causing pain, and this pain cause the child with autism to act out and exhibit this autism symptom. A careful medical evaluation should be done.

Some drugs, such as Risperdal, have been prescribed to help self-injurious behavior, but not for everyone. Doses should be carefully monitored by a doctor. Detoxification of heavy metals, if this is an issue, can also help. Behavior therapy such as ABA (applied behavior analysis) is a common treatment for these symptoms also.

In time, as you figure out your child's triggers, and find ways to help him function better in his environment, these behaviors should lessen. Self-injurious behavior is a hard autism symptom in your child to deal with, but it can be done.

Hopefully, the treatments and therapies mentioned above can make life a little easier especially for those with autism and the people who love them. For additional tips and suggestions that can help your loved one live a fulfilling and happy life visit the AmericanAutismSociety.org. There you can sign up for their FREE newsletter with tips and info on autism.

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Overcoming the Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy Cognitive Impairment

Cerebral palsy (CP) is caused by injury to the parts of the brain that control movements in the muscles. It is commonly thought that kids with cerebral palsy will also suffer from cognitive impairment or mental retardation (I hate that word). But this simply isn't true. Statistics show that only 65% of kids with CP will also suffer some form of cognitive impairment.

Cognitive impairment is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that relate to learning and not by damage to the areas of the brain that control muscle movement. Just because a child has CP doesn't automatically mean they will experience cognitive impairment of learning difficulties. Learning difficulties as a result of cerebral palsy is most common in children with spastic quadriplegia.

How CP is caused is still a bit of a mystery and many parents find themselves frustrated at the lack of answers to their questions of 'how did this happen?' I certainly did. My baby was full term, ticked all the boxes at his various pre-birth checks and yet was diagnosed with right sided hemiplegia at 4 months.

According to scientific studies, babies whose mothers are older than thirty-five years old are susceptible to this condition. Complications during pregnancy can also lead to the development of this condition. Mothers who have suffered from herpes-type viruses and German measles will have more chances of causing severe brain damage to the brains of their unborn children. Birth canal infections and the usage of hormones during pregnancy can also lead to cerebral palsy.

Alcohol and drug abuse during pregnancy can also lead to cognitive impairment. Some prescription medications can also lead to foetal damage. Difficult labour, maternal infections, and other complications during childbirth can also lead to serious conditions like brain damage and cerebral palsy.

And you know what? Sometimes you did all that you could do to avoid any of the possible causes I've mentioned and your child still has cerebral palsy. That's the way it is sometimes.

Taking care of children with cerebral palsy
If your child is suffering from cerebral palsy, you have to pay attention to his cognitive and emotional needs. A long-term treatment method can hone your child's potentials and give him the chance to lead a normal life. Here are some of the most common methods used for easing the symptoms of cerebral palsy.

Speech therapy can improve your child's speech problems while helping him overcome the various challenges in his speech patterns. Start improving his ability to speak by giving him a wide array of stimulating activities. Once you have improved his speech, his ability to eat may also increase as he gains a level of mastery of the muscles in the mouth.

Physical therapy is also an element in caring for children with cerebral palsy. Start developing your child's muscles and coordination at a young age. This can decrease his dependence on various mobility aids and give him the freedom to do easy tasks without your help. Early therapy can also prevent his muscles from being permanently immobile and rigid.

You can also engage your child in vision and hearing therapy sessions in order to help him overcome the symptoms of cognitive impairment. Hearing aids can give your child the chance to interact better with other people.

Sensory integration therapy is also a popular method used in caring for children with cerebral palsy. This approach can help your children reach his potentials by overcoming the problems affecting his capability to absorb and to process sensory stimuli. Aside from improving your child's cognitive condition, this natural approach can also improve their steady movement. Sensory integration therapy includes activities for stimulating the kinaesthetic sensations through tangible items. Water, textured toys, and Styrofoam are only some of the items used for this therapeutic approach.

Caring for a child with cerebral palsy is hard work and can often be frustrating if you don't see signs of improvement. But remember that your love is what your child needs the most as you face the on going challenges in overcoming the symptoms of cerebral palsy cognitive impairment.

My son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 4 months. He's 8 now and whilst life is still a struggle for us both, I sometimes think I'm the one who has a harder time coping with his CP than he does. If you'd like more information on cerebral palsy and the brain then please visit the blog I've made to share information on CP: KidsWithCerebralPalsy.com. If you are the parent of a child with CP, my thoughts are with you.

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2012年2月26日 星期日

Explaining Asperger Syndrome

Have you ever heard of Asperger Syndrome? Well, it is a known neuro-physiologic disorder that was accepted formally in 1994 after Austrian doctor Hans Asperger identified it in 1944.

Asperger Syndrome is not considered an illness or disease that can be given from one person to another. This condition is often present at birth and takes time before a person is consider showing patterns of Asperger Syndrome. This is a diagnosis for children that are in the world of autism. These are pervasive developmental disorder known as PDD, or Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Asperger Syndrome has severe deficits as well as pervasive impairment. Development areas that suffer include communication impairment, reciprocal social interaction impairment and other behavior, activity and interest presences that are associated with such a disorder.

A child with Asperger Syndrome has trouble socially including reacting differently than others and having trouble understanding certain things. Someone that has this won't understand various social elements as body language and facial expressions as well. They don't even do well when it comes to making eye contact and maintaining it. Another symptom is they have sensory issues including not being able to judge personal space and are attracted to certain foods or fabrics only. Asperger Syndrome sufferers also don't do well with change or going through a transition. They even go by their own rules no matter if they are instructed otherwise. Each person with Asperger Syndrome can have their own compensation of symptoms.

Most of the common symptoms include:

* Talking extremely well for their age yet having trouble communicating because they don't understand listening and talking go together.

* Constantly preferring to be with adults or older children rather than children their own age.

* Extreme criticism sensitivity.

Yet another element of Asperger Syndrome in children is they have a high or at least an average IQ score. These children will also have trouble making friends and keeping friends. They are often bullied because they have social issues since they have this condition that can lead to abnormal repetition issues and various awkward actions. Even their speech can take on abnormalities.

When it comes to treating Asperger Syndrome there are no medications for it directly. Nevertheless, such medication used for obsessive compulsive, anxiety and attention deficit diagnosis is often prescribed for this condition as well. Often as a person gets older the symptoms lessen and the person learns to cope with their condition. As it is a genetic condition, complete cure has not been found but coping with many of the associated symptoms has been helped by therapy and behavioral counseling.

• parent education and training

• specialized educational interventions for the child

• social skills training

• language therapy

• sensory integration training for younger kids, usually performed by an occupational therapist, in which they are desensitized to stimuli to which they're overly sensitive

• psychotherapy or behavioral/cognitive therapy for older children

• medications

Currently there are some schools that provide normal schooling for children diagnosed with this syndrome but the progress is dependent on the teachers, caregivers and parents while others receive education at special schools.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula please visit www.childdevelopmentmedia.com.

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Children With Autism - Recognizing the Signs

1. What is autism?

Autism is considered a spectrum disorder because symptoms and severity vary from individual to individual. Autistic children express differently from each other. Autism is characterized by failure of the child to develop communicative language or form proper social communication. But they show motor and other skills far beyond that of a mentally retarded child.

Autism is characterized by varying degrees of impairment to develop communicative language or form proper social communication. Some of them are obsessively pre occupied with inanimate objects such as lights, running water or spinning objects, and also by repetitive behaviors. Symptoms range from mild to severe. Some of them gradually develop extreme talents such as in mathematics and these are retained mostly throughout the life. Studies of people with autism have found abnormalities in several regions of the brain which suggest that autism results from a disruption of early fetal brain development

There is a milder form of the disorder known as Asperger's Syndrome. Other developmental disorders that fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorders are Rett's Syndrome, PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified), and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. If you have concerns about your child's development, don't wait: speak to your doctor about getting your child screened for autism.

2. What is meant by "On the spectrum"?

Autism is considered a spectrum disorder because symptoms and severity vary from individual to individual. Though the Autistic children show similar traits they are individual and express differently from each other. one child may have not developed speech and have difficulty in learning how to read and write, where as another child can easily read and write and can be attending normal school. Some children may display hypersensitivity to touch noise and other may have no sensory issues at all.

3. How common is autism?

According to the survey by Centers for Disease Control, autism affects as many as 1 in every 100 children and it is rising by 10-15% every year. It is the most prevalent developmental disorder in today's time. Boys are more susceptible than girls to develop Autism but it is seen that girls manifest a more severe form of the disorder that the boys.

4. How do I know my child is Autistic?

No two children with autism are alike, each one managing a different set of symptoms. But there are some signs and symptoms that are common and may be recognized as early as the toddler years, or even sooner. They usually do not have or do not sustain eye contact and have trouble communicating with other people or they may communicate in ways that others cannot easily understand. They may hardly speak and even if they speak it's just babbling and not coherent. They're also prone to repetitive behaviors like flapping their hands constantly or uttering the same phrase over and over again. They may also be over sensitive to sights, sounds and touch.

Criteria for Autism

A total Of 6 or more items of the following with at least 2 from [1], and one each from [2] and [3] are satisfied by the patient:

[1] Qualitative impairment in social interaction:

Marked impairment in facial expression

Failure to develop peer relationships

A lack of spontaneity in sharing interests

Lack of social or emotional reciprocity

[2] Qualitative impairment in communication:

Marked inability to initiate or sustain conversation with others.

[3] Restricted, repetitive and stereotyped pattern of behavior

Encompassing preoccupation with one stereotyped and restricted pattern.

5. How did my child develop autism?

No one is yet able to point to a probable cause. Though a disorder as common as autism would have a known cause, in many ways it's still quite mysteriously not known. Recent studies have suggested a strong genetic basis for autism. There are about 20 sets of genes that may play a part in the development of autism. Genes are not the only one responsible for all the cases; there are other triggers which are yet not discovered.

6. Does vaccination cause autism?

Many studies have been conducted to determine if a link exists between vaccination and increased prevalence of autism, with particular attention to the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and those containing thimerosal. These studies have not found a link between vaccines and autism It remains possible that, in cases, immunization might trigger the onset of autism symptoms in a child with an underlying medical or genetic condition.

As this is a sensitive topic it is best to discuss it with your healthcare provider who will guide you and ensure the optimal well-being of the child. Establishing open communication and trust with a physician who understands each child and his or her family is the best strategy for keeping a child healthy.

7. What help my child needs if He/She is Autistic?

Do not Panic first understand and learn about Autism from the right source that can be your doctor. You will need a good team of doctors, therapists, psychologists and teachers who understand and have experience with autism and can respond to his needs appropriately. Your healthcare provider can guide you toward various intervention programs and suggest complementary therapies. It also helps to associate with the existing network of parents facing the same challenges as you.

8. How to I deal with the diagnosis of Autism?

It is difficult to come to terms with the diagnosis that your child is having Autism but there is always a brighter side to every adversity. As we know the Autistic children have some special capabilities which the normal kids may not process. For e.g. some of the children we saw one was having an extraordinary power to memorize things only after reading once, one of them was brilliant in drawing and another in playing musical instrument. So do not blame your self or feel sad or hopeless. Take the right steps understand the disorder and if take care from your healthcare provider who will guide you with the exact nature of the disorder and how to deal with it. Keep the faith.

9. What therapies do I need for my child with Autism?

There are various therapies that are useful some of them are -

• Speech Language Therapy (SLT)

• Occupational Therapy (OT)

• Sensory Integration

• Physical Therapy (PT)

• Social Skills

• Picture Exchange Communication system

• Auditory Integration Therapy

10. What role Homeopathy plays in Autism?

Homeopathy is a holistic treatment and it plays a vital role in treatment of Autistic children. With the Constitutional Homeopathic treatment we can achieve increased level of concentration, decrease in hyperactivity and channeling of the energy in a constructive method. Homeopathic remedies act at the level of the Psycho Neuro endocrinal axis. Homeopathic treatment is safe and without side effects.

11. Can Autistic children become independent?

Yes Autistic children can become independent with the right intervention programs, therapy and proper care from the early stages once the child is detected with Autism. A sustained effort is needed to achieve the desired outcome from therapy and treatment. As Autistic children are having special capabilities which when nurtured properly can be a great asset in making the individual independent.

Dr Santosh Joshi graduated from the University of Pune India in the year 1999-2000.
With a firm grounding in classical homeopathy and the experience achieved by working with senior Homeopaths. He was an active participant in the seminars organized in Pune during his college years. He has also given case presentation on Homeopathy.He practices Homeopathy in the city of Mumbai India and he treats his global patients via the Online treatment procedure.

You can call him on: +919819155780
Email: tosh116@gmail.com

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2012年2月25日 星期六

What are the Different Forms of Autisim

There are many different types of autism, and just as with many things you can't just group all Autistic people into one category. Autisim range of symptoms covers a very large field. It will include autistics who are very near to being dysfunctional and appear to be mentally retarded, to the autistic who shows very mild symptoms, or who has received therapy to control their autistic traits to the point of appearing to be normal to the average person.

Autistic persons will be often categorized between those who have an IQ of less than 80 being categorized as having what is called "low-functioning autism", while the autistic person who's IQ is higher than 80 are categorized as having what would be called "high-functioning autism". This method of categorization is not usually accepted or used by medical professionals when dealing with the autistic person. Normally the terms high or low high functioning autism are used to describe the level at which the autistic person can perform the daily activities that are a part of living, and related to their IQ level. Within the Autistic community the use of the labels, high functioning autism, and low functioning autism, are seen to be highly controversial by many autistics.

Many service providers who serve the autistic community still rely to heavily on a person's IQ, with the ability to function on a daily basis may not work with autistic people who test at a high IQ level, or in the case of a person with a low IQ level fail to acknowledge the potential of many of the autistic people who are diagnosed as having low functioning autism. With all the information about autism which is available it is hard to believe, but some within the medical profession still will not recognize autistics who can write or speak as suffering from autism at all.

This all leads to many with high functioning autism, as well as the autistic person who has a fairly normal IQ, being left undiagnosed. This furthers the idea that autism automatically implies mental retardation. Even having said this it should be noted that the number of diagnoses for high functioning autism are now showing a sharper rise, than those for low functioning autism. One reason for this may be due to better diagnostic testing for autism.

Asperger's Syndrome and Kanner's Syndrome

In the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders the biggest difference when comparing Autistic Disorder (Kanner's) and Asperger's Syndrome would be that a Autistic Disorder will include; observed delays or even abnormal levels in at least one and maybe more of the following areas, normally the onset of symptoms of autism will be before the age 3 years old: The first would be in the area of social interaction, second would be problems with language as used in social settings, or the third area would be in symbolic or imaginative play that would not be considered to be a normal level for the average child. While in Asperger's Syndrome there would only be a slight, to no observed delay noticed.

While the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not really include levels of intellectual function for the diagnosing of Asperger's Syndrome, it is a proven statistical fact that those person's who do have Asperger's Syndrome will as a general rule will tend to out perform those autistics with Kanner's Autisim or Low Functioning Autisim this has led to a popular idea that Asperger's Syndrome can be thought of as being synonymous with high functioning autism, or that it could be considered as a totally separate disorder from autism. A popular belief is that those autistic individuals who have a higher level of intellectual function do in fact actually have Asperger's Syndrome.

Autisim as a spectrum disorder Autisim disorders also come under the heading of autistic spectrum disorders. A closely related disorder would be, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, which would involve just how well a person is able to use the information that they receive from their senses. Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Autism, as well as Asperger's Syndrome, have been found to be closely related and in many cases have been found to overlap each other.

While still subject to much debate, there are some people who believe that there might be two separate scenarios for the timeline for the onset of regular autism, these would be early infantile autism and regressive autism. Early infantile autism would be present at the time of childbirth, and regressive autism would begin between the ages of 18 months and 36 months.

Kevin Caldbeck is the owner and publisher of several websites dealing strictly with Health Issues Todays Families are Facing. For more information about autism and the autistic community be sure to check out the resources available for you at http://www.answers-about-autism.info or http://www.better-your-health.com

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If I Were a Child I Would Choose to Live on a Swing Set

Swings are avidly enjoyed by children, as well as the child inside us all. Children especially love the motion of swings, as it allows them to experience the exhilarating feeling of flying. Truly no other piece of playground equipment can capture such a magical experience.Unfortunately, due to some rare and isolated incidents, some communities have deemed swings either unsafe or an inefficient use of space and have expelled them from playgrounds. While as with anything some risks do exist, the benefits of swinging far outweigh any possibility of injuries, especially with properly supervised use.

The motion of swinging helps to develop balance and body awareness. The term "body awareness" encompasses two sensory systems: the proprioceptive, which gathers information from muscles and joints; and the vestibular, which collects stimuli from the inner ear. Swinging stimulates both of these systems and thus helps children develop balance and coordination. This is why children with sensory integration disorders often have swinging included in their therapy.

The motion of swings is also a natural relaxant, elevating serotonin levels. Low levels of serotonin are often present in anxiety disorders. When serotonin levels are naturally raised, as in swinging, this helps to relax the body and lead to sleep. We are all familiar of the common infant soothing method of "rocking the baby to sleep". In fact, there is science behind why it works.

Learning to swing independently presents an opportunity for gross motor skill development. There is significant limb and body coordination required to set a swing in motion and keep it in motion. Swinging allows children to learn to control their bodies while floating through the air. Such skills also lead to improvements in balance and coordination.

Delight your children!

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2012年2月24日 星期五

Does Your Child Have a Learning Disability?

If your child is struggling in school and nothing seems to be helping then they may have a learning disability. Here are some signs of learning disabilities in children:

o Has difficulty recognizing or connecting letters to sounds.

o Shows significant frustration with schoolwork or homework.

o Demonstrates poor academic performance despite hard work and motivation.

o Shows loss of interest or motivation to do schoolwork.

o Has difficulty learning new games or puzzles.

o Has difficulty paying attention or following directions.

o Has problems completing schoolwork.

o Makes comments about being "dumb".

Here are some common types of learning disabilities:

Dyslexia - A reading disability (the student has trouble reading written words fluently, out loud).

Dysgraphia - A writing disability (the student has difficulty with forming letters and legibility).

Dyscalculia - A math disability (the student struggles with math problems and concepts).

Dyspraxia - A motor coordination disability (also known as Sensory Integration Disorder).

Dysphasia - A language disability (the student has difficulty with reading comprehension).

Aphasia - A language disability (the student has difficulty understanding spoken language).

Central Auditory Processing Disorder - A sensory disability related to processing sounds.

Visual Processing Disorder - A sensory disability related to processing images.

Non-Verbal Learning Disorder - A visual-spatial disability related to body control.

What should you do?

Most children with learning disabilities have average or above average intelligence their brain just simply doesn't process information the same way as other children do. If you suspect your child has a learning disorder then act quickly. The quicker your child receives the help they need, the better they will do in school. Here are some steps to take:

o Gather any academic information about your child you can find such as tests, progress reports, report cards, and notes from teachers and organize it.

o Share your concerns with your child's teacher and ask about her observations of your child's performance, interactions with his peers, etc. Together you may come up with strategies to try in the classroom and at home to support your child's learning and behavioral needs.

o Arrange for testing through your child's school district. A team of educators can translate the test results and create an individualized education program (IEP) for your child. Under the U.S. Department of Education Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), kids with an identified learning disability are entitled to special instruction and accommodations.

If it is determined that your child has a learning disability then arrangements will be made at the school to accommodate them. You can help your child at home by establishing a regular time and a specific place to do homework, and give lots of encouragement. Praise your child for work well done and help him or her practice good school behaviors at home. Be sure and talk with your child about their learning disability. Make sure they understand that this does not mean that they are "dumb" but just that they need to learn things in a different way. Children with learning disabilities often have self-esteem issues. So be patient with your child and praise them often.

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Early Recognition of Learning Difficulties - The Key Component

Babies grow at an incredible rate. Parents watch in amazement as their beautiful infant baby suddenly becomes a toddler, then a pre-schooler, and so on. Suddenly the one little develops from the point of needing consistent attention for satisfaction of their needs to the self-sufficient child who wants to do everything for him/herself. Babies and young children are different and develop their skills at varying rates. However through the study of child growth and development, there are established times in which one expects certain physical, cognitive, and behavioral developments to occur. Early identification of developmental delays is critical to the remediation of any affected area of delay.

One area of need in early identification of problem is that of literacy - the skills of reading and writing. Children begin acquiring the skills for literacy very young, well before any parent even thinks about a potential problem in their child's ability to read and write. Emergent literacy actually begins at birth and continues through the years prior to beginning school! It is during the years of speech and language development that young brains are networking the understanding and expression of their language systems - the systems of organizing and relating ideas, thoughts, and communication needs into a multi-sensory environment. One may be surprised that the foundations of reading and writing begin so early, however the truth is that children begin making impressions of written information very young as they watch and monitor their environment.

According to the regulations for Public Law (P.L.) 101-476 which is entitled The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the definition of Learning Disability is "a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations." The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 4.6 million people in the United States have some type of learning disability. A learning disability may manifest itself with one or more of the following diagnoses: Dyslexia, Auditory Processing Disorder, Visual Processing Disorder, Dysgraphia, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit (ADHD), Reading Comprehension Disorder, Alexia, or Sensory Integration Disorder (SID).

It is important to know that learning with disabilities is possible. Critical to this is identification of potential learning difficulties at an early stage in the development process. Attacking deficits early can aid significantly to the child's ability to establish the foundations needed for reading and writing. If a child begins school without these baseline functions, the abilities to keep with the learning requirements over time will be difficult for the child. Some of the early warning signs of possible learning problems recorded in the literature are as follows:

- Late talkers based on developmental scales and limited vocabulary knowledge and expression.

- Delayed in motor developments such as walking, standing, pulling up, or holding/manipulating objects.

- Lack of interest in books and in nursery rhymes or understanding rhyming words.

- Difficulty in remembering names of letters and relating them to their sounds.

- Problems in saying the alphabet or counting.

- Inability to understand simple directions and remember routines.

- Difficulty in paying attention and being easily distracted.

- Comprehension problems for basic language information.

Learning is like constructing a building: in order for the building to have strength and stability, a firm foundation must first be laid. Without this foundation, the building will not support continued upward growth. As a Speech/Language Pathologist of many years and one who specializes in processing and learning disorders, I understand the frustrations parents have when their children are identified with learning disabilities or problems after attending school for two, three, or more years. Every school grade is a building process of learning and without a firm foundation, children cannot comprehend and learn more advanced material content. For children identified late, filling in the gap becomes extremely difficult or sometimes impossible. The answer to this problem is helping the child before they even begin pre-K for the developmental foundations that are necessary to learn basic academic skills. Simple learning activities and learning strategies can be incorporated into a child's normal, exploratory day to encourage development of neural networking patterns necessary for learning success.

In summary, success can most effectively be gained for children at risk for learning problems and disabilities by early identification of delay. Developmental and incremental physical, cognitive, and language acquisitions are foundational for learning. It is essential that the underlying root cause of a problem be uncovered and remedied for the building blocks of learning to successfully take place. With early and correct diagnosis, children dealing with the affects of learning disorders can achieve more productively and effectively in their pursuit of personal life goals and ambitions.

Lucy Gross-Barlow: As a Speech/Language Pathologist of over 26 years and having practiced in a wide variety of therapeutic settings, Lucy brings to her clients a diversity of patient care knowledge. For the past 12 years, she has specialized her practice in the area of processing disorders and remediation of learning impairments, and she has a passion in seeing her clients succeed in their communicative and learning skills. Lucy now desires to extend the knowledge she has gained in processing and learning remediation to as many children as possible to enable them to reach their full learning and communicative potential in life.

Lucy is a founding partner of The Therapy Group, an association of Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, learning specialists, Speech-Language Pathology Aides, parent teachers, administrators and advocates pioneering an industry in web-based consulting for parents who seek to help their children with learning challenges or those learning with disabilities in achieving academic and social success. Providing parents with resources, learning therapies, proprietary products and programs worldwide.

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How Do I Know If My Child Has Developmental Dyspraxia?

One of the more common symptoms of dyspraxia in children is the development of sensory integration dysfunction, which is a condition which effects the body's natural reaction to stimuli. This affects their five senses, which means the sense of touch, their sight, their smell etc. The condition makes children, especially of the younger ages, have abnormal and over the top reactions to stimuli like light, sound and even touch.

They react badly, often have crying spells and will shy away from the light because it either hurts their eyes or causes them to blink uncontrollably. It may also manifest in symptoms like the revulsion to certain textures, which can sometimes be cloth or certain textures within walls of homes. Children with sensory integration dysfunction will also seem to be extremely unsociable and will retract to a safe place because they are unable to withstand being touched by other people (sometimes even their loved ones). They also become very picky eaters, with aversions to food based purely on the colour and their texture. Auditory sensitivity can come in the form of screaming when they hear music, putting their hands over their ears when people are in conversation or even crying spells when thunderstorms occur.

There is also the question of temperature sensitivity, normally associated with environmental temperature. Children with this form of sensitivity will often be accustomed to unusually cold or hot environment, and will complain when placed in room temperature. One of the more common symptoms is their insistence to have either the air conditioner switched on at all times or even the heater, even when the climate is relatively cool or warm. Also, dyspraxia is more commonly known to affect the body functions of a child, commonly cropping as problems with timing and balance. Especially in toddlers who have started to learn how to walk, common imbalances and falling over frequency can sometimes be early symptoms of dyspraxia.

They cannot control their limbs, they are unable to pull of a co-ordinated movements and they are also unable to form and learn the physical motions necessary to do certain simple tasks like stirring a drink, opening a lid or even holding a pencil to write. If your child is constantly knocking things over, or they have trouble telling which is left or right or even have poor muscle development due to idleness or even proneness of staying in bed and not moving. General difficulties can also appear in phonics and speech, which can come in the form of unable to form a single sentence or even have difficulty in pronouncing even the most simplest of words. They will also have difficulty in grasping writing and drawing instruments and have inertia to learn, sometimes even showing symptoms of ADHD (although it is simply a reaction to their own frustrations). These are some of the symptoms of developmental dyspraxia that should be noted if you want to prevent it from being either full blown or developing into some further, more advanced and much more dangerous.

MindMatters Psychology Practice provides child development support services for children and young adults. They also provide an Autism Test [http://www.mmpp.com.sg/giftedness-testing.html] for children.

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2012年2月10日 星期五

Brand Identity - Building Your Brand With Integrity

Building a brand is not a gimmick or fluke, marketing for deep positive branding is a necessary part of business. If marketing with integrity is at the core of your business, you can develop branding strategies that are customer focused built on your values.

Branding Strategy #1 - Branding through top notch customer service

A major aspect of branding for any business is the customer's experience from first learning about the company to actually using the product. Competitive pricing, quality return policy and programs to generate customer loyalty all add up to effective customer service. Running a business with integrity includes asking for customer feedback, efficiently handing customer complaints and truth in advertising, your brand's essence is based on the promises made with the initial branding. From the onset, give your potential customers your brand's promise in the simplest terms possible THEN live up that promise - that IS customer service!

Branding Strategy #2 - Consistent visual branding

Visual branding is very powerful. Both online and offline branding is built on your use of logos, banners, tag lines, packaging, business cards, advertising and direct marketing tools. Even if funds are limited, you can strive to be consistent AND creative with your visual branding efforts. As your business grows, invest in creating a visual logo that can be built into all aspects of your business. Remember that your brand's promise and personality is most effective if your customers can mentally CONNECT your logo with your business.

The use of a trademark is an integral part long term visual branding. A trademark also protects your business in the long run. Building your brand with a trademark occurs when you convey you are a serious contender for their business. When your potential customer is on the fence between two companies seemingly equal companies, a trademark can influence their choice. Your customer service from sale to repeat sale will help keep them loyal customers but getting that initial foothold will either make or break your business.

Branding Strategy #3 - Branding through relationships with your customers.

Through building relationships with your visitors and customers, you will create deep connections that compel them to return to you for future business. Granted many customers buy based on price or brand names regardless of the environment or customer relations BUT if your business is built on customers rather than sales ~ you will learn the power of branding through relationships. Essentially, it comes down to what your business offers. A service business can only thrive when you are able to develop strong professional relationships with your customers. If you run a website that offers digital products with little human interaction then you may discount the relationship aspect. Smart business? I don't think so. Customer loyalty and word of mouth recommendations come from customers impressed with your product, service and the way they were treated by you and your team. That's the bottom line. The long term benefit of connecting with your customers definitely outweighs any short team business success.

Branding Strategy #4 - Choose your branding and marketing strategies based on your potential customers.

Personality branding lifts a business apart from the competition and above similar business with the human element of the business. Your brand's "personality" is made up of the human aspect of your brand. What human attributes do you WANT you're branding to project? Think of the customers you seek. Consider the human traits that will draw them toward your brand. Does your brand project warmth, fun, wit, efficiency, imagination, maturity or thriftiness? The human elements you convey in your marketing and branding will be key to reaching your target market. Investment bankers often use branding strategies that convey steady, mature, serious and bottom line thinking because those are what their potential customers seek.

On the other hand, viral branding works best with businesses that tote themselves as cutting edge, trendy, hip and fresh like Apple computers, cell phone companies and even credit cards.

While sensory branding is built on the full experience of the customer, you may make the sale but the customer's TOTAL experience is what provides the branding you seek. Although sensory branding occurs after you make the sale, sharing customer testimonials that relate their own total experience with your product or services will help get the first sale. When their own experience closely matches the testimonials, the branding will be further deepened for them. Because branding helps customers make a choice, deep positive branding is your goal.


Branding and marketing your business is a big venture. Spend time each week on building your brand. Your brand consists of the qualities others assign to your business. Your business offers something - but starting a business alone does not mean success. Success comes when others look at your business in its entirety as VALUABLE and DELIVERS.

How will you know when your branding efforts have succeeded? When the experience of doing business with you fulfills the Brand Identity you set out to develop. Essentially, it comes down to the customer's experience. When your business is living up to your brand's essence, consistently and with honest business practices...you will know you have succeeded in building your brand! Profit margins aside, you will know you ARE a successful business owner.

Tam Carson is owner of Article Marketing Profits blog helping other online marketers and home business owners that want to learn how to promote your business on the internet. Stop by and sign up for feed updates at Article Marketing Profits today to learn how to boost your income with article marketing!

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2012年2月9日 星期四

Did Helen Keller Demonstrate Paranormal Abilities Similar to Some Individuals With Severe Autism?

"The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or heard-they must be felt with the heart." --Helen Keller

That simple quotation reminds me of my former student' directive: "Open Your Heart and Join." This directive, I believe, meant to link consciousness together in a state of surrendering self to soul. In this state, language impairments based on a conscious selection of words become obsolete. A higher understanding based on subconscious knowing becomes apparent. Separation of ideas ceases to exist, as a mutual flow of blended communication comes to the fore. Unconditional love, trust, and expectation of competence open up this channel for subconscious blending. A sense of balance is created as we establish a rhythm and move in tandem. I am part of them and they are part of me. We are in communion. By linking souls with individuals with severe autism, I appear less alien to them and they appear less alien to me. I speculate that Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller had a similar link.

Helen had typical sensory experiences until she was 18 months old. At that point, she was struck with fever. Age of onset correlates to the many reports of parents who say that their autistic children were developing normally and then suddenly regressed. For whatever reason, I suspect that Helen's typical sensory processes were disrupted. Nothing seemed as it once was. Try to imagine!

Helen appeared lost until Annie Sullivan came along. I see a correlation between Helen's journey and her relationship with Annie Sullivan with some of the kids I have worked with. This type of catalytic relationship is both humbling and awe-inspiring.

Many of the students I have worked with have demonstrated paranormal abilities. Helen and Annie's relationship was also noted as having extrasensory elements, according to Dennett's (1998) article titled "Helen Keller: did the deaf blind genius posses ways of sensing beyond normal?" I have wondered whether these extreme intuitive elements were a part of the initial "key' for unlocking Helen's understanding. Like the severely autistic children I have was Helen able to tune into Annie? Did this ability help her to understand, through Annie's sensory system, information that formerly was incomprehensible?

The article quotes author Lawrence Hutton in 1894 as saying: "Miss Sullivan told us that with no conscious movement, no intentional or perceptible 'talking with her fingers,' she could make the child follow her own thoughts, do what she wished her to do, go where she wished her to go, perform any of the acts of 'mind- reading' which the professional psychologists exhibit on stage, or in an amateur way."

I had one former student who acted according to my fears. Otherwise, none have physically acted upon what I was thinking, as Helen did with Annie. Yet, I certainly have served as a catalyst for having children select the words or pictures or type of letter based on my conscious thought. I used a type of telepathy, or image-sending with sub-vocalizations. In addition, I have been able to assist many kids with low-verbal capability to "say" the word I mentally and sublingually suggest, if I limit the field of possibilities, i.e. numbers from 1-10, or shapes and colors.

As Helen has been quoted, "When one door closes, another one opens." According to Dennett, Sullivan stated: "Helen Keller's development suggest to me that the loss of one or more faculties may, by way of discipline, drive the handicapped person to deeper levels of will-power than is required of normally equipped human beings. I have no doubt whatever that most people live in a very restricted sphere of their potential capacities. They make use of only a small portion of their possible powers and resources of their minds. It is as if, out of all their physical furnishings, they should use only a fraction of each sense."

I agree with Annie. Typical people, no matter how extreme their cultural differences, have a shared perceptual reality based on information received through their senses. I suggest that it would be natural to develop a different perceptual reality when one has atypical sensory experiences. Imagine being an infant who was having typical sensory experiences for the first eighteen months of life, and then a sudden disruption changes everything forever. This surely would have an altering effect on your perceptual reality and ability to interact with the world.

The article mentions Mark Twain's meeting with Helen and Annie: "Annie asked, 'What is Mr. Clemens distinguished for?' Helen answered, in her crippled speech, 'For his humor.' Mark Twain spoke up modestly and said, 'And for his wisdom.' Helen said the same words instantly- 'and for his wisdom.'" Twain says: "I suppose it was mental telegraphy for there was no way for her to know what I had said." I have often experienced this instantaneous knowing with my students. Fleeting anticipatory thoughts often resulted in immediate responses. It is a much faster transfer than a communication system based on words.

The article quotes Helen: "It has always been a strong belief with me that there are powers in many animals which can be developed beyond the physical senses, and it is a gratification to note that orthodox scientists are beginning to seek other causes than mechanical ones to explain telepathy...Surely if creatures without the reasoning faculty can perform such wonders, Man endowed with spiritual and intellectual powers can achieve phenomena not to be explained by mechanism but by laws still waiting to be discovered."

Individuals with severe autism have demonstrated to me that they have developed their senses beyond the ordinary. I speculate that they are more in touch with the subconscious knowing and the spiritual side of life. Their souls may not have totally integrated with their bodies. This lack of integration may leave the soul in a unique position, unlike those who have fully integrated, resulting in a greater attunement with the subconscious or spiritual self. This lack of grounding may leave the body unsure of how to direct itself in the physical world. As if in a dream state, the individual has difficulty controlling or categorizing thought. The knowledge itself, however, is vast, covering innate understanding of universal truths lost by the more integrated individual.

Artist and sculptor Gutzon Borglum, mentioned in the article, wrote of his meeting with Helen Keller, "I shall never forget that hour with Helen Keller...From it I learned that soul, over and above the body, has eyes." I came to the same realization when working with some amazing autistic children and young adults.

According to the article, Helen appeared to have a profound out-of- body experience. Helen said, "I had been sitting quietly in the library for half an hour. I turned to my teacher and said, 'Such a strange thing had happened! I have been far away all this time and I haven't left the room.' 'What do you mean, Helen?' she asked, surprised. 'Why,' I cried, 'I have been in Athens.' Scarcely were the words out of my mouth when a bright amazing realization seemed to catch my mind and set it ablaze. I perceived the realness of my soul and its sheer independence of all conditions of place and body. It was clear to me that it was because I was a spirit that I had so vividly 'seen' and felt a place thousands of miles away. Space was nothing to spirit! In that new consciousness shone the presence of God, Himself a Spirit everywhere at once, the Creator dwelling in all the universe simultaneously."

My response to that final quote based on my experiences is AMEN!

It appears Helen eventually was fully independent of Annie, functioning in this world without giving up her gifts of thought sharing, remote viewing, or spiritual attunement. I hope that someday individuals with nonverbal low functioning autism will do the same.


Dennett, P.E. (1998) Helen Keller: did the deaf blind genius posses ways of sensing beyond normal? Atlantis Rising 17,

Perhaps if we open our consciousness as the article indicates Annie had done, miraculous improvements in understanding of may occur.

Mary Ann Harrington

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5 Areas to Pursue When Your Child is Diagnosed With Autism

Do you have a young child who has recently been diagnosed with autism? Do you feel lost and don't know where to start? Then this article is for you! This article will discuss what 5 areas to concentrate on, when your child is diagnosed with autism. The good news is that autism is now considered treatable; but treatment must start as soon as possible, to be the most effective.

The first thing to do if your child has been diagnosed with autism is to call the Autism Research Institute located in San Diego Ca, and ask for that a free parent packet be sent to you. The phone number is 1-619-563-6840. This packet will contain a lot of important information on autism and how to effectively treat it.

Also, contact your local Autism Society of America (look in your phone book for contact information), who can help you find service providers in your area, as well as other parents for support.

These four areas should be pursued together (if possible) and as soon as possible:

1. Health; Determine if your child has health concerns. Many children with autism have gastrointestinal difficulties (yeast overgrowth, high levels heavy metal), food allergies or sensitivities, or seizures. A lot of children with autism have one or more of these. Try and find a doctor in your area that treats children with autism. Or try Defeat Autism Now (DAN) that has a list of DAN doctors.

2. Investigate and consider using bio medical treatments of autism. The DAN group has an approach to bio medical treatments of autism. The book is called; Autism: Effective Bio Medical Treatments and can be found at http://www.autism.com.

3. Special Education is available for children with autism when they turn 3 years old under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Early Intervention from birth to 3 years of age is available under Part C of IDEA. This should be pursued as early as possible, for the best outcome. Just understand that you will have to fight for your child, to receive a free appropriate public education, which is their right under IDEA. Unfortunately parents are the main enforcement mechanism of IDEA, but your child's life is worth it.

4. The educational treatment for autism is applied behavioral analysis (ABA). ABA is a well documented and effective teaching method for a lot of children with autism. This teaching method involves 1 on 1 instruction and utilizes educational tasks that have been developed for children with autism. O. Ivar Lovaas is the person who developed this method many years ago.

ABA should be started as close to 3 years of age as possible, but definitely by 5 years of age. It should continue at least until the child is 7, but depends on the level of disability. ABA is expensive, but there are many court cases where parents have won the right, for the school district to pay for this educational program. If your child receives ABA for at least 25-40 hours per week, with qualified staff they could receive major benefit by age 7.

5. Educate yourself about Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID), and seek treatment for your child if they have it. Sensory integration refers to our ability to take in information through our senses, interpret that information and respond to it. Sensory Integration Dysfunction is the inability of the brain to correctly process information brought in by the senses. People with SID may misinterpret everyday sensory information such as touch, sound and movement. Treatment is usually occupation therapy, with a qualified Occupational Therapist.

JoAnn Collins is the mother of two adults with disabilities, and has helped families navigate the special eduation system, as an advocate, for over 15 years. She is a presenter and author of the book "Disability Deception; Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game." The book has a lot of resources and information to help parents fight for an appropriate education for their child. For a free E newsletter entitled "The Special Education Spotlight" send an E mail to: JoAnn@disabilitydeception.com

For more information on the book, testimonials about the book, and a link to more articles go to: http://www.disabilitydeception.com

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2012年2月8日 星期三

ADHD Comorbid Disorder: Non-Verbal Learning Disorder

It's so easy to associate inattention or hyperactivity with ADHD comorbid disorders, especially when you consider how similar their symptoms are. Take nonverbal learning disorder (NLD), for instance. This fairly common disability goes easily undiagnosed because its most obvious symptoms resemble the non-stop talking often found in children with ADHD.

So what's the difference between a child with nonverbal learning disorder and a child with ADHD? The first thing you should know is that children with NLD are actually very verbal people - they have mature vocabulary, talk "like adults," have excellent reading ability, and demonstrate good rote memory skills. However, they are clearly deficit in the nonverbal arena. As a preschooler, your child might have trouble getting along with other kids, adapting to new situations, and troublesome but minor fine motor problems. For instance, your child might have incomprehensible handwriting.

During elementary school, your child might do fairly well in terms of academics, except for when a subtle symptom of NLD interferes with socialization or non-academic areas. As your child enters middle school or high school, things start to deteriorate as he is faced with more responsibilities. Teachers find him rude and he gets into fights with classmates because he cannot understand nonverbal cues like facial expressions or body language. Your child has difficulties completing homework, reading an assigned chapter, or writing an essay. Yet your child maintains his articulate speech and precocious language.

Children who have NLD are able to make up for the limitations of their disorder. It only starts to get worse once they hit puberty, when they start to suffer from anxiety or alienation. When they become adults, they experience problems setting priorities or picking up on social cues, or undergo mood disorders, which make it difficult for them to maintain relationships or jobs.

Diagnosing NLD involves a series of speech and language tests, neuropsychological tests, and other evaluation procedures. Since the most obvious symptom of NLD is advanced language skills, doctors usually administer the Brown ADD Scales and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale to distinguish NLD from ADHD. Children with NLD usually have 20 verbal IQ points more than their performance IQ scores.

Just like with ADHD, children with NLD will flourish if they receive holistic treatment. Some therapies that benefit NLD sufferers include:

Social skills groups, which teach children how to meet strangers, greet friends, recognize when they are being teased, etc.
Occupational therapy, an approach that improves fine motor skills and balance.
Sensory integration therapy. Some children with NLD tend to be hypersensitive to stimuli or have difficulties processing multi-sensory stimuli. This can make them feel agitated when confronted by distractions and other sensory stimuli. Sensory integration therapy can help them overcome these setbacks and reduce the anxiety caused by encountering strange sensory information.

Dr. Yannick Pauli is an expert on natural approaches to ADHD and the author of the popular self-help home-program The Unritalin Solution. He is Director of the Centre Neurofit in Lausanne, Switzerland and has a passion taking care of children with ADHD. Click on the link for more great information about ADHD Comorbid Disorder.

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Early Childhood Development and the Media

Waldorf education likens the developing human being to the three-fold image of a flower: root (birth to seven-focus is willing), stem (seven to fourteen-focus is feeling), and blossom (fourteen to twenty-one-focus is thinking). The healthy development of the "roots" is a predictor of strong emotional and cognitive capacities in later life. The roots represent the critical window of time in which the child learns through the will-that is, by "doing" and through movement, the limbs, play, and imitation. Everything we do in the kindergarten is premised upon this insight.

All too often today, children are not allowed the freedom of movement necessary for healthy sensory integration. Science strongly supports the idea that movement is crucial to healthy development, yet this is not reflected in mainstream early childhood education and practice. Some examples are infants immobilized in car seats, which also serve as carriers, allowing for little "floor time"; children who have little to no outdoor play; and exposure to media, which today has so many aspects, including computers, cell phones, and portable devices, in addition to TV and movies.

Four foundation senses come into play in early childhood: proprioceptive (which gives the child a sense of body geography and a sense of orientation in space), tactile, vestibular (or balance), and the life sense. In the Waldorf kindergarten, we strive to provide the child with as broad and rich a palate of sensory opportunities as possible. This is facilitated by the use of natural play materials and by domestic activities such as sweeping, chopping vegetables, and kneading dough-activities that naturally train and harmonize the developing senses and that are no longer a regular part of many children's daily lives. Additionally, there are many opportunities for healthy fine and gross motor movement during circle time and outdoor play.

One of the signatures of the Waldorf kindergarten is work with the life sense. This is the sense that gives information about inner, organic well-being or lack of it. The sense of life is particularly nurtured through warmth-both physical and soul warmth-and by predictable, strong rhythms.

The media, or screen time, is a major culprit in hindering full and healthy motor-sensory development. Some points to note are:

While watching TV, brain activity is less than that of a person who is in a state of deep sleep.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends zero screen time for children younger than two and limited screen time for all children.

An excellent resource for parents regarding media use is Consuming Kids, a hard-hitting documentary on the science involved in creating consumer habits starting with the very youngest children. You can view this film online for free.

More Resources:

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (commercialfreechildhood.org)
Alliance for Childhood (allianceforchildhood.org)
The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World, Susan Linn
Taking Back Childhood: Helping Your Kids Thrive in a Fast-Paced, Media-Saturated, Violence-Filled World, Nancy Carlsson-Paige

The Clover Hill School is an emerging Early Childhood Center that is committed to bringing Waldorf education to lower Fairfield County (CT). We offer a Mixed-Age Kindergarten for 3 to 6 year-olds and a Growing Together program for moms, dads and children 2 months to 3 years of age. Our campus, including beautiful, newly renovated classrooms and a private play yard, is located in East Norwalk, CT.

For more information, please visit http://www.thecloverhillschool.org

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2012年2月7日 星期二

Design Psychology: How Our Sensory Responses to Aromas Create Happy Homes

Our sense of smell elicits strong emotional reactions and triggers powerful memories, whether we're consciously aware of it or not.

Scents and Feelings

Our olfactory system sends a chemical message about the scents around us through the limbic part of our brain, which is the oldest part of our brain. In seconds, that message is telegraphed to our central nervous system, which, in turn, controls how our body functions and how we feel about those smells.

Scents also influence the temperature we feel emotionally. For instance, a grass matting floor covering has a pleasant scent, and makes us feel cooler, while the aroma of fresh baked bread creates a warm feeling of being loved. Marine scents, such as salty sea air, refresh us, while spice and wood scents bring warm thoughts.

The Evolution of Aromatherapy

The ancient civilizations of Arabia, Babylon, China, Egypt, Greece, India, and Rome all used the aromas of scented plants, flowers, and woods to heal and protect. Religious and spiritual ceremonies have used aromas to arouse mankind's deeply spiritual nature from the dawn of time. Today, the science of aromatherapy, which is a holistic healing practice, uses essential oils and herbs, to treat stress-related illnesses, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, and digestive ailments, and even skin problems.

The Effects of Scent on Emotions

Essential oils influence our emotions within seconds of inhalation. For instance, clary sage stimulates the thalamus to release a hormone called encephalon, a neurochemical that creates a sense of euphoria and provides pain relief. Lavender and chamomile fuel the release of serotonin, which has a calming effect on fear, stress, aggravation, or insomnia.

Scents activate the deep part of the brain, where memories are stored. You can recreate pleasant memories and share them with your family and friends through the use of smells. For instance, my mother often baked a cake just before we kids arrived home from school. Now that I've grown up, we don't eat as much cake in our home, but sharing a vanilla scent with my children often prompts them to share stories about their grandmother.

Smells are a powerful link with the memories of our past. My mother used to tell me stories of her grandmother, whose home smelled like baked cinnamon rolls in the morning and exotic, tangy spices in the evening.

The sense of smell, a potent tool in Interior Design Psychology, brings a feeling of harmony and serenity to any room in a home. Embrace the scents you love and those that conjure pleasant memories, and make the use of scent an integral part of your overall design plan.

Copyright (c) 2004 by Jeanette J. Fisher

Jeanette Fisher, Design Psychology Professor, is the author of Joy to the Home eNewsletter. Discover innovative Interior Design Psychology and makeover your home to support happiness, productivity, and well-being. For Design Psychology information, see http://www.designpsych.com/ For more information about ?Joy to the Home,? see http://www.joytothehome.com/

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