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Autism Awareness Month

April 3, 2014

By Jessica Vician

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month, which serves as an opportunity to educate the public about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There are various degrees of autism, which is a brain development disorder that can cause communication and social-interaction challenges, along with some physical difficulties, depending on the severity of the disorder.

While there is no known cure for autism or ASD at this time, it is helpful to know the symptoms. If you believe your child may be autistic, note the symptoms and discuss them with your doctor. Early diagnosis can help you find an appropriate treatment sooner while also giving you the tools to modify parenting techniques as necessary. Early symptoms include:

For a detailed infographic on ASD, including how to treat it, various levels of the disorder, more symptoms, and celebrities with ASD, visit the Global Medical Education website.

Autism affects us all, even if your children are not autistic. Many of our friends and family members at YOU Parent are affected by the disorder. Research is critical to earlier diagnosis and better treatment plans, which is why we support Autism Speaks throughout the year.

During Autism Awareness Month, we support our YOU Parent staff member’s family team, Darryl’s Cheerleaders, for their annual fundraising walk in Florida. Please consider a donation to either Autism Speaks or Darryl’s Cheerleaders this year to help further research on this disorder.

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4 Types of Public Schools for Your Child

April 2, 2014

By Sunny P. Chico

A group of kids stand outside lockers.

Every child residing in the United States has the right to a free education, even if he or she does not have proof of citizenship, has a disability, or is homeless.

In the book, YOU: Your Child's First Teacher, I discuss four common types of public schools. Since urban areas are more populated, they tend to have more options than rural areas, but wherever you live it is important to know the options for your child’s education.

  • Neighborhood Schools. Admission to these schools is open to any student living in the school district. While the cost is free to you, it is financed primarily by state and local taxes. Register early so that the school has time to prepare for an accurate number of students.
  • Charter Schools. These schools are also free and open to students living in the district, but may have specific enrollment criteria or may select students through a lottery system. Check with your school district now to see when the application deadline is for the fall term.
  • Magnet Schools. Magnet schools have a specific education focus, from math and sciences to arts to college prep. Because of the specific focus, they will likely have limited enrollment and require specific criteria be met by potential students. Like neighborhood and charter schools, magnet schools are free to you and financed primarily by state and local taxes.
  • Home Schools. Unlike the above schools, the parent teaches the child at a home school. The laws and requirements vary from state to state, so if you are considering home schooling your child, check your state’s laws and guidelines immediately to prepare. You may be required to become a certified teacher, register with the state, and/or have the state approve your curriculum before beginning the lessons.

For more detailed information on these schools, please refer to the second book in the YOU: Your Child's First Teacher 3-book set, Through Elementary and Middle School. Check back next month for the companion piece to this article on private schools.

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April Fools’ Day Pranks for You and Your Kids

April 1, 2014

By Judy Razo

A girl wears glasses with bushy eyebrows and a large nose attached to them.

Not every moment with your child has to be a serious one. It’s important to encourage him or her to have some fun and for you to participate in the excitement. After all, the best way to teach is by modeling behavior.

April Fools’ Day is a great opportunity to partner with your child to play some silly and safe pranks on your parenting partner or other family members. Your child will learn that having fun is important and can be done in a safe and playful way. He or she will also cherish these memories as some of the best times with you.

So go ahead, team up with your child and have some April Fools’ Day fun together with some of these easy pranks:

  • Blue tooth. Add a couple of drops of food coloring to a toothbrush and watch as your victim’s teeth turn blue when he or she starts brushing.
  • Fake fruit punch. Take a clear glass, fill with water, and add a few drops of red food coloring. Let your target take a few sips and watch the reaction when he or she realizes it’s only water.
  • Dyed cereal. Put a few drops of food coloring at the bottom of a bowl. Pour cereal over the food coloring drops and place the bowl on the table. Have the person eating the cereal pour his or her own milk. The bowl will fill with colored milk and surprise your victim.

Want more options? Try these on for size.

Find more kid friendly April Fool’s day pranks here

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