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OCTOBER 2014

FREE

baystateparent Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996

IS THE FLU SHOT SAFE FOR KIDS? OUT & ABOUT FAMILY EVENTS CALENDAR HAPPY HAUNTING! • AREA HALLOWEEN ATTRACTIONS • FRIGHTFULLY FUN RECIPES • CRAFTY HATS TO MAKE

Our Annual Special Needs Issue MANY YOUNG READERS SLOWED BY DYSLEXIA ASPERGER’S SYNDROME REDEFINED


Congratulations to this month’s

&6%&+$03,216 Tahanto Regional High School Student Council A Few Minutes with Claire Pendergast, Student Council President How would you describe what it means to be a “Champion?” A champion to me is being able to accomplish something for the benefit of yourself and others. In what way are the Student Council members considered leaders within the school? We run events that everyone can be involved in and try to get everyone in the school to become one within the community. We represent the school and all of the people around us. We organize dances, bonfires, meetings, fundraisers, etc.

Claire Pendergast Student Council President

Pictured from top to bottom, left to right: Ms. Lisa Sequeira (Advisor), Colton Marshal (11), James O’Day (12), Trevor Sasso (10), Ryan Grady What lead you to being involved with the Tahanto Regional High (10), Cole Lombardi (10), James Mongeau (10), Michael Redington (9), John Allen (9), Andrew School Student Council? Barakian (11), Amy Bernier (11), Samantha Baril (9), Samantha Sullivan (11), Devon Marshal (9), My older sister was involved in it before and I noticed that she always had Grace Pendergast (10), Alison Porter (10), Caitlyn Myers (9), Holly Rapkin (9), Samantha Starkey (12), fun and was able to make a difference here at Tahanto. It is an honor to be Mollie Cashin (Treasurer, 12), Natalie Boucher (Historian, 12), Claire Pendergast (President, 12), able to organize and be part of all that happens here at Tahanto Regional Allie Tolles (Vice President, 12), Emmalie Vanderpool (Secretary, 11), Aine Redington (11)

High School.

Do you know the next

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Each month, Clinton Savings Bank is recognizing an individual or group of students for their accomplishments in school, sports, the arts or the community. To nominate someone you know, email marketing@clintonsavings.com. Winners will be honored on our website, on Facebook and Twitter, in ads in their hometown newspaper and Baystateparent magazine, and even spots on AMP 103.3 Radio. Presented with:

What moment is the one you and the Student Council Members are most proud of? One of our proudest moments was organizing an icebreaker for the new 6th graders. We started planning in early August, figuring out how to help the new students calm their nerves and get them excited to be at the Middle School with our advisor, Ms. Lisa Sequeira. Since there were 12 new staff members as well, we made survivor kits for their first day at Tahanto. The day before school started, every Student Council Member was working – making “welcome back” posters, delivering supplies to teachers’ classrooms, and helping out the janitors. On the first day of school, Student Council Members reported to the gym with the sixth graders for the program we created to welcome them, including a quick name game, an energizer activity, and a fun rock-paper-scissors tournament. When all was said and done, the 6th graders seemed a little more excited and comfortable. All the time spent at meetings and preparing paid off.

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Welcome to our annual Special Needs issue, packed with articles on families who are raising incredible children â&#x20AC;&#x201D; many with unique challenges. I was touched at the outpouring of information shared with me for this issue, and it is rewarding to present this resource for all of us as we travel our journeys to raise happy and healthy children. One story that particularly moved me can be found on page 32. This remarkable piece of writing is called Emergence, by Judy M. Miller. In it, Judy details the struggles suffered by the daughter she adopted from China. Testing revealed that her toddler experienced sensory processing disorder, the result of being abandoned by her birth mother. The story is gripping in its honesty, and it also beautifully tells of a motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unconditional love for her daughter â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and her personal pictures are stunning, too. Another interesting read explains

dyslexia. In researching this article, I was stunned to learn that one in five of us has some form of this condition. Dyslexia is when the brain has trouble processing written language. And while the stereotype has always been that of reversed letters and reading backwards, dyslexia can affect people in many other ways â&#x20AC;&#x201D; causing slow reading in children, for example. Find out the symptoms and solutions for dyslexic learners in A Loss for Words on page 38. While those two articles are a bit heavy, there is a lot of fun in our October issue, too! Our Creative Director Paula Ethier shares tips for making delightful hats inspired by Alice in Wonderland. See page 14. Once you have created your dashing costume topper, you can wear it to one of the many area Halloween events that we have listed on page 12 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or check out the Out & About Family Calendar, page 19, which is packed with October activities for all ages. Finally, I want to mention that I am moving to a new position, so this is my last column as the editor of baystateparent. While I know that I have a wonderful new opportunity

waiting for me, I leave with a heavy heart. Spending this past year listening to your stories, laughing with you on Facebook, tweeting with you and sharing time together as parents has been a privilege â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and one that I hold dear. I leave with amazing memories and terrific new friends. A big thank you to our incredible staff. Publisher Kirk Davis allowed me the freedom to be creative and decisive about our editorial. Paula and our Sales Director Regina Stillings provided me with something to smile and laugh about each day. And the entire crew at our parent company, the Holden Landmark, showed me the amazing work that a dedicated, talented group of people can achieve. Join me in welcoming our new editor, Melissa Shaw, for our November issue. Melissa, this is where I tell you to pour a cup of tea (maybe in one of those clever Mad Hatter tea cup hats!) and pull up a chairâ&#x20AC;Ś â&#x20AC;&#x2122;cause itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to enjoy the October issue of baystateparent magazine!

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Our cover photograph was taken by Shawna Shenette Photography of Millbury. The cover model is Central Massachusetts third grader Cecilia. Celilia told baystateparent that she enjoys art and dancing. For Halloween, she plans to be a scary werewolf. Ceciliaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advice for others who would like to be a cover model is to â&#x20AC;&#x153;smile big and relax.â&#x20AC;? That certainly works for her!

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''674 %61$'41064+$76145 There are 6 things you should be telling your children every day, writes Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D. in her article SelfConfidence Begins at Home on page 48. Sherrie is an inspirational speaker, avid writer and proud mother. She is also a licensed psychologist specializing in psychotherapy with adults and teenagers. Her new book is Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person. To learn more about her, visit sherriecampbellphd.com. While newborn blood screening is capable of identifying them, several special needs and developmental issues are not routinely included in the test. The reason may surprise you. Journalist Amanda Collins explores this issue in The Pros and Cons of Newborn Screening on page 42. Amanda, a transplant from California, is a Sturbridge resident. She lives with her boyfriend, Jonathan, and two one-eyed rescue cats. She enjoys reading, hiking and biking, and being “the fun aunt” to her six young nieces and nephew. Christina Cooper runs support and education groups for new parents in the greater Springfield area. On page 28, she shares a lighthearted and personal story of postpartum depression in a piece titled Postpartum Pleas: Calling for Help. Although no longer vibrating with anxiety and wanting to whack her husband with a baby monitor if he touches her when she’s sleeping, she remembers it well. Christina, John and their seven-year-old twins live in East Longmeadow. Malia Jacobson is an award-winning parenting and health journalist, sleep coach, and mom to three young children. She has several articles in this month’s issue. Look for What’s in a Name? Asperger’s

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Now accepting students for our fall session Private lessons, classes and ensembles for all ages

Syndrome, Redefined on page 44; Squelching Food Squabbles on page 62; Poky No More: Help for Problem Procrastinators on page 66; and Growing Pains, Growing Problem: 10 Surprising Facts About Pediatric Restless Leg Syndrome on page 72. When she’s not writing, Malia co-organizes a parenting group, gardens, and hikes with her family. Her most recent book is Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades. Will your children be getting a flu shot? Journalist Susan Bushey Manning explores the pros and cons of the decision. Find her article Flu Shot: Yay or Nay? on page 36. Susan’s career includes work in TV, print and online. She currently works in communications at National Grid and owns a communications consulting company. Susan is mom to toddler Jameson. She and her wife live in Worcester and are expecting their second son in January. Judy M. Miller is a freelance writer, essayist and author of the international selling parent guide What to Expect from Your Adopted Tween. In this issue, Judy shares the tender story of her quest to find out why her adopted daughter struggled to find peace as a young child. Her search led to a diagnosis of sensory processing disorder, the result of her daughter being abandoned by her birth mother. Find Judy’s story Emergence on page 32. Doug Page, a Medfield father of two tween-age boys, reports on a new study in his piece Video Game Violence Linked to Childhood Depression on page 52. Research shows that some kids who play violent video games are prone to depression. Doug interviewed experts in the field and offers strategies to use when it comes to regulating game play. In addition to his work with

baystateparent, Doug has been published at United Press International and the Chicago Sun-Times. The Special Education Surrogate Parent program is an initiative to help foster children get the best possible education by using volunteer advocates to meet with educators on behalf of the students. Journalist Amanda Roberge shares details of this program in Advocating for Underserved Kids: A New Way to Volunteer in the Classroom on page 40. Amanda is a regular and popular contributor to baystateparent and the busy Leominster mother of three daughters. With our November 2014 issue, Melissa Shaw is coming on board as the new editor of baystateparent! Melissa is a freelance writer in Central Massachusetts and mother of three. When asked what she likes to do in her spare time, she smiled and said, “Nap.” Hey, she’s honest! This month, Melissa serves up some handy apps to make parenting a little easier. See her article 5 Top Apps for Mom on page 76. Then visit baystateparent.com and our Facebook page and tell us about some of your favorite apps! Author Colleen Wright is a work-at-home mother with a 3-year-old daughter, EmmaRose. Her article The No Fear Guide to Handling Public Tantrums offers handy solutions for parents of young children. Just about all of us have lived through the uncomfortable scenario of a public tantrum. Do you discipline your child? Can you prevent tantrums? How do you handle meddlers? Read tips from the experts on page 64.

ke Marvelous Music at the Mansi a M e on! Com

Set up a visit with y! our Director toda

Thayer Performing Arts Center 438 Main Street, South Lancaster, MA, 978-368-2100, email: tpac@auc.edu visit: tpacma.org

BAYSTATEPARENT 9


EVS RQOLQH If you’re only reading baystateparent in print, you’re missing half the fun! Online every day we feature new information, contests and ways to get your children and your thoughts in our magazine.

No Tricks! Just the treat of a cozy warm home this season!

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Friends who like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or receive our email newsletter had the opportunity to win a series of great prizes in September. Here are just some of the great prizes we gave away:

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Join us online today and join in the fun! www.facebook.com/baystateparent twitter.com/baystateparent Sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter at the top of our home page: www.baystateparent.com

CAPEN HILL NATURE SANCTUARY Get Back To Nature! explore • learn • support Trails are open daily from dawn until dusk Visitor Center and Gift Shop Hours: Mon-Fri 9-2 • Sat 10-2 56 Capen Road, Charlton, MA • 508-736-3974 • Capenhill.org 10 OCTOBER2014


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Gather up your ghosts and goblins for some ghoulish fun! We crept through the vault to stir up some tricks and found these treats! Do you know of more Halloween family fun? Stop by baystateparent. com and tell us about it!

“The Witch Trials.” Salem Theatre, 90 Lafayette St., Salem. September 25 through October 18. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. This theatrical adaptation uses historical sources from the 1690’s trials. $30 per adult, $25 per senior, $10 per student. 978-790-8546. salemtheatre.com.

3:30 to 6 p.m. Kickball and costuming starts at 3:30 p.m., walk at 4:30 p.m.

Haunted Happenings Grand Parade. Downtown Salem. Thursday, October 2. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Pageantry, music. Parade begins at Shetland Park and ends at Salem Common. 978-744-0004. hauntedhappenings.org.

Boston Halloween Parade & Pumpkin Festival. Frog Pond, Boston Common. Friday, October 24. 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Public invited to wear costumes and enjoy parade, puppet show, magic show, pumpkin festival. Free. 617-635-4505.

Pumpkins Aglow. Edaville USA, 5 Pine St., Carver. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October. Garden of endless jack-o-lanterns, costume parade, trick-or-treat. $20 per person. 508-866-8190. edaville.com.

Treats and Tricks. Old Sturbridge Village, Route 20, Sturbridge. Friday, October 24. 6 to 8 p.m. Evening of safe, familyfriendly trick-or-treating includes scarecrows, cackling witches, grizzled wizards, puppetry, juggling, magic. $24 per adult, $8 ages 3 to 17, free for children age 2 and under. osv.org.

Monster Dash 5K. Mansfield High School, 250 East St., Mansfield. Saturday, October 4. 9 a.m. to noon. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Hosted by Mansfield Pop Warner Football & Cheer, all ages are welcome and encouraged to wear their favorite Halloween costumes. Halloween Hike at Boo Meadow Brook. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. October 10 and 11. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Suitable for all ages. Take a stroll through the haunted forest and meet characters by the light of luminaria. $6 per person. Registration required. 508-753-6087. massaudubon.org. Zombie Walk Salem 2014. Collins Cove Park, East Collins St., Salem. Saturday, October 11. 12 OCTOBER2014

Witch City 5K. Salem Willows, 167 Fort Ave., Salem. Saturday, October 18. 9 to 11:30 a.m. Costume race around downtown Salem. 781-990-7063. northshoreymca.org.

Halloween Happenings. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield. October 24 and 25. 6 to 9 p.m. Suitable for ages 4 and up. Guided walk along Halloween trail. $10 per person. Registration required. 978-887-9264. massaudubon.com. Haunted Woods Hayride. Lions Grounds, 68 Brigham Hill Rd., Grafton. October 24 and 25. 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. $10 per person, $5 for children under 10. graftonlionsclub.org. Leominster Halloween Parade. Leominster Credit Union, 20 Adams St., Leominster. Saturday, October 25. 12:30 p.m. Dress in costume for parade, trick or treat to local businesses.


Halloween Night Hike and Hayride. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. Friday, October 25. 6 to 8 p.m. Suitable for all ages. Guided hike includes craft, hayride, bonfire, treats. $8 per adult, $4 per child. massaudubon.org. Ghosts-n-Goblins Run. Clinton Central Park, 242 Church St., Clinton. Saturday, October 25. 3 p.m. Registration begins at 2 p.m. 5K run/walk includes family activities, food trucks, costumes, music, kids race. $30 registration fee. clintonroadrace.com. Halloween Party & Ghost Walk. Shirley Town Common. Saturday, October 25. 6 p.m. Ghost walk, party at Town Hall, stories, food, music. $5 per adult, $3 per child. shirleymeetinghouse.org. Zombie Run and Kids Halloween Party. Clark Memorial YMCA, 155 Central St., Winchendon. Saturday, October 25. Race starts at 11:30 a.m. Party is 1 to 3 p.m. Dress in costume and take part in Zombie run/walk 5K. $20 per person. 978-297-9622. theclarkymca.org. 10th Annual Halloween 5K & Kids Fun Run. Essex Art Center, 56 Island St., Lawrence. Sunday, October 26. Kids fun run begins at 9:45 a.m.; 5K begins at 10 a.m. Prizes, fun run, family activities. essexartcenter.org. 16th Annual Monster Dash. Cunningham Hall, 75 Edge Hill Rd., Milton. Sunday, October 26. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. 5K and children’s fun run. miltonfoundationforeducation.org. 36th Annual Spooner 10K Spooky 5K. Buttonwood Park Warming House, 1 Oneida St., New Bedford. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Free Spooky Kids’ Run for children 10 years and under begins at 8:15 a.m. spookyspooner.com. Battleship Boo Bash. Battleship Cove, 5 Water St., Fall River. Thursday, October 30. 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Trick-or-treat on a World War II battleship,

costume contest, movie on outdoor screen. $5 per person. Reservations required. 508-678-1100. battleshipcove.org. Halloween at the Museum. Blue Hills Trailside Museum, 1904 Canton Ave., Milton. Thursday, October 30. 3 to 4:30 p.m. Family-friendly, non-scary event includes stories, animals, crafts, games. $5 per person. 617-333-0690. massaudubon.org. Halloween Storytellers. Berklee College of Music, David Friend Recital Hall, Boston. Thursday, October 30. 7:30 p.m. Features Berklee singers and singer-songwriters in an intimate concert performance. Free. 617-747-2261. berklee.edu. Halloween on Main Street. Plymouth Memorial Hall, 83 Court St., Plymouth. Friday, October 31. 2 to 6 p.m. Family event, costumes. plymouthchamber.com. Halloween on the Farm. Newton Community Farm, 303 Nahanton St., Newton. Friday, October 31, 3:30 to 5 p.m. Spooky stories, apple bobbing, cider press, crafts. Suitable for preschool to 3rd grade children, with an adult. $5 per family (2 children and 1 adult), $2.50 per additional person. newtoncommunityfarm.org.

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FALL FUN at the ZOO

Flashlight Maze. West End Creamery, 481 Purgatory Rd., Whitinsville. Saturday and Sunday, November 1-2. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. westendcreamery.com Trunk or Treat. Tri-State Speedway. 35 Chase Avenue, Dudley. Saturday, November 1. 5 p.m.-7 p.m. All vehicles can start decorating at 3 p.m. Decorate your trunk and compete for prizes while trick-or-treating through the parking lot. Prizes for best costume and best decorated car. tristatespeedways.com. Haunted Adventure Lights Out. 5 Wits, 202 Patriot Place, Foxboro. Friday and Saturday nights through Halloween. Tickets start at $17.99. 5-wits.com.

October 2 – November 2

November 29

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

Santa’s Arrival & Holiday Parade

presented by Citizens Bank This “Disney quality” event runs nightly.

See Santa arrive in grand style, then enjoy a festive holiday parade through the Zoo.

October 25 & 26

November 29, 30 & Dec 6, 7

Spooky Zoo

Visits with Santa

Daytime family fun with half price admission for costumed children ages 3 – 12 (kids 2 and under are always free).

Meet the Jolly Old Elf himself while enjoying a tasty treat and fun, holiday-themed activities for the whole family (nominal fee for admission in addition to Zoo admission).

Explore the possibilities at rwpzoo.org | Open 10am-4pm October - March

BAYSTATEPARENT 13


Tops for Trick-or-Treats Easy-to-make hats inspired by Alice in Wonderland Sure you can be a hatter, but why not have fun as the Mad Hatter? These delightful toppers were designed by baystateparent Creative Director Paula Ethier, who said, “These are easy to make, but you could really go crazy decorating them, if you like.” Photography by shawnashenettephotography.com

Queen of Hearts • Empty plastic container • Tulle • Boa feathers • White tissue paper • Headband • Mod Podge • Playing cards (hearts, of course!) • Glue gun

Guest at the Party • Foam board • Styrofoam coffee cups • Black or brown pipe cleaners • Embellishments • Glue gun • Exacto knife • Red ribbon

Mad Hatter • Plastic black top hat (available at most craft/party stores) • Foam sheets • Feathers • Ribbon • Emellishments 14 OCTOBER2014

Cover an empty plastic container with white tissue paper, using a paintbrush and some Mod Podge to hold it in place. Using a glue gun, add a ruffle of tulle to the bottom of the container and attach the newly formed hat to a headband. To

secure the playing cards, make a small slit in the bottle with an Exacto knife, insert the cards and hold them in place with a dab of glue. For a feathery finish, stick a twist of red pipe cleaner to the top of the hat and drape it with black boa feathers. To finish the costume, Queen of Hearts Kamryn is wearing a red turtleneck and black cape. Game on!

To make the base of the hat, cut a circle from the foam board using an Exacto knife. Adhere the red ribbon to the bottom of the circle with hot glue. To create the stacked cups, remove the bottom quarter of three different Styrofoam cups. (Save the cup bottoms to create the circular cup handles.) Glue the three cups together in a topsy-turvy

design. Decorate with embellishments. To create “steam” from the top cup, attach twisted pipe cleaners to a circle of foam board. Glue the foam circle to the inside of the top cup. Our party guest Caitlin completes her costume with a yellow apron and some freshly baked sugar cookies. A tasty attire!

• Paintbrush • Exacto knife • Red pipe cleaner

• Glue Gun • Exacto knife Create a splashy top hat by gluing a foam sheet to the plastic hat base. Paula decorated the design with cutouts, ribbon and feathers. “This is where your trash is your treasure because you can

really use anything for decorations. Glue on some pompoms or glitter or buttons. Go to the dollar store and look for ideas,” she suggested. Our Mad Hatter, Cameron, accessorized with a colorful bow tie and a pocket watch. He has no plans to be late for any important date!




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Oct 10 & 11, 2014 6:30-8:30 p.m. $5 Mass Audubon members $6 Non-members â&#x20AC;˘ $8 at the door At sundown, the sanctuary will be transformed into a magical enchanted forest. Our resident spirits, primarily native wildlife, will delight visitors young and old on this special romp through â&#x20AC;&#x153;Booâ&#x20AC;? Meadow Brook. During your walk, you will have a chance to learn about some of the most fascinating creatures of the forest. Arrive anytime between 6:30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 8:30 p.m. (Last tour leaves at 8:30 p.m.)

Held rain or shine. Festivities held indoors if it is raining.

Call 508-753-6087 for more information and to register! Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary 414 Massasoit Road, Worcester, MA 01604 â&#x20AC;˘ bmbrook@massaudubon.org

+DOORZHHQ1LJKW+LNHDQG+D\ULGH October 25, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 6-8 pm â&#x20AC;˘ Rain date: October 26 $6 members, $8 nonmembers; children $3 members, $4 nonmembers Experience the sounds of night on a guided hike through the ďŹ elds and woods. Then enjoy a hayride with friends and family. Learn about nocturnal wildlife, do a craft and taste some goodies.

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Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton, MA 01541 â&#x20AC;˘ 978-464-2712

www.massaudubon.org

Corn Maze! Pumpkin Patch! Wagon Rides! Cow Train! Barnyard Jump! Fall Season: Sept. 19-Nov Fridays and Weekends!

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all treats , no tricks

Avast ye mateys, it’s Tyler, 2, of Millbury.

5-year-old Kylie of Millbury, is one pretty kitty.

Auburn’s Tyler, 8, and Madison, 12, masquerade as super-popular kid faves in their homemade costumes.

3-year-old Alana of Attleboro reaches for the stars with her costume.

Northbridge’s Regan, 7, McKenna, 2, and Ali, 11, are ready to take on the neighborhood.

7-year-old Caleigh of Spencer is ready for anything.

Hayden, 6, of Belchertown, is one colorful trick-or-treater.

12-year-old Mason of Millbury is a scream.

Abigail, 11, of Millbury is ready to prowl for treats.

Samuel channels his best John Cena.

Danvers’ Mason, 3, certainly has a friend in 15-month-old Madison.

16 OCTOBER2014


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Find or create the craziest, whackiest hat to wear to the Halloween performance of

Shawna Shenette Photography

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and pay only $15.00 per ticket for admission.

Show starts at 7.30. The Mad Tea Party will start at 6:30.

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Send baystateparent your photo for a chance to have your photo posted on baystateparent.com!

Bring the exciting culture of Africa to K-12 students through the transformative power of music, dance and art!

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Matching grants available on a ďŹ rst-come basis, email or call for details. PERFORMANCES

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287&$%287 MELTDOWN WARNING: Before you pack up the mini-van, please confirm your destination. Although weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done our best to assure accuracy at press time, things can and do changeâ&#x20AC;Ś

Celebrate World Smile Day. Worcester Public Library, Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Program Room, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Games, fun facts, activities. Free. worcpublib.org.

Plymouth Barktoberfest. Nelson Street Park, Plymouth. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contests, vendors, entertainment. 508-830-1620. plymouthbarktoberfest.com.

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Hey Day. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Suitable for all ages. Farm-related demonstrations, exhibits, activities including cider pressing, hayrides and canoeing. $8 per person. massaudubon.org.

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The Block 2014: A Beverly Main Street Party. Cabot St., Beverly. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Music, drink, food. Free. 978-922-8558.

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:HGQHVGD\ King Richardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Faire. 235 Main St., Carver. Through October 19. New Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest and longest-running Renaissance Festival. $29 per adult, $16 per child. kingrichardsfaire.net. Pine Forest Exploration. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill St., Sharon. 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Suitable for children ages 4 to 6. Outdoor exploration in the pine forest. $11 per child. Registration required. 781-784-5691. massaudubon.org. Drop-In Parent/Child Playgroup. Worcester Family Partnership, 130 Leeds St., Worcester. Mondays through Fridays, 9:30 to 11 a.m., through December 19, 2014. Books, puzzles, toys, blocks, family engagement. Free. 508-799-3136. worcestermass.org.

7KXUVGD\ The Lion King. Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston. Stage production. Tickets $30 to $140. 866-523-7469. Early Explorers (Ages 3 to 6). Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Movement, games, stories, art. Free for adults, $7 per child. Registration required. 617-983-8500. massaudubon.org. Haunted Happenings Grand Parade. Shetland Park to Salem Common, Salem. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. salem-chamber.org. 20 OCTOBER2014

Wonderful Webs. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill St., Sharon. 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Suitable for children ages 4 to 6. Spider-themed program includes, activities, games. $11 per child. Registration required. 781-784-5691. massaudubon.org.

 )ULGD\ First Friday Nights Free. Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Food donations accepted for Open Table of Concord and Maynard, and the Acton Food Pantry. discoverymuseums.org. Bats and Other Animals of the Night. Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary, 1417 Park St., Attleboro. 7 to 8 p.m. Suitable for ages 4 and up. Outdoor program about night animals. $8 per adult, $6 per child. Registration required. 508-223-3060. massaudubon.org. Hay Day. Drumlin Farm, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 to 5 p.m. Suitable for families with children up to age 7. Visit the barns and learn about hay and the animals. $16 per person. Registration required. 781-259-2200. massaudubon.org. The TopsďŹ eld Fair. 207 Boston St., TopsďŹ eld. October 3 through 13. Agriculture exhibits, entertainment, rides, games, shopping, food. Tickets $9, free for children under 8 with an adult. topsďŹ eldfair.org.

The Berenstain Bears. The Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston. 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Critically-acclaimed production features song and dance. Tickets $12 to $29. 1-800-745-3000. Fall Celebration. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. October 4 and 5, 11 and 12. Music, live animals, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s programs, apple tastings, orchard tours. towerhillbg.org. The Frog Prince and Other Frogs. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. October 4 and 5, 1 and 3 p.m. Puppetry, music, storytelling. Tickets $12. puppetshowplace.org. Cambridge 5K Oktoberfest. 500 Technology Square, Cambridge. 9:30 a.m. Road race, food. cambridge5k.com. Douglas Octoberfest. Downtown Douglas. Street fair includes vendors, crafts, food, games, entertainment, rides. douglasoctoberfest.com. Oktoberfest in Hopedale. 12 Hopedale St., Hopedale. Vendors, food, drinks, music, entertainment. Free. hopedaleoktoberfest.com. Horseshed Fair. First Church of Christ, 725 Main St., Lancaster. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Arts and crafts fair, food, entertainment. 978-3652427. ďŹ rstchurchlancasterma.org. Fall Bird Walk. Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. Suitable for all ages. Observe resident birds and fall migrants. Free. Registration is required. 617-983-8500. massaudubon.org. Halloween Costume Sale. Maynard High School, 1 Tiger Dr., Maynard. 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Gently used Halloween costumes, accessories, bake sale, rafďŹ&#x201A;e. odoktorov@maynard.k12.ma.us. Tiny Trekkers. Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 108 North St., Norfolk. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Suitable for families with children ages 2.9 to 6. Crafts, activities. $6 per person. Registration required. 508-528-3140. massaudubon.org. Oktoberfest. Plymouth Masonic Lodge, 116 South Meadow Rd., Plymouth. 1 to 6 p.m. Outdoor events includes live entertainment, refreshments, activities. Tickets $20. 508-493-7696. manometcurrent.com.

Global Harvest Festival. Heifer Farm, 216 Wachusett St., Rutland. October 4 and 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Celebration includes tours, foods, animals, hands-on family activities, hay ride, games. $10 per vehicle. heifer.org. 2014 Global Cardboard Challenge. Phoenix School, 89 Margin St., Salem. 10 a.m. to noon. Join kids around the world to create giant imaginary creatures out of cardboard, recycled materials, tape. $5 per team. 978-741-0870. phoenixschool.org. Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair. Essex Street Pedestrian Mall, Salem. October 4 and 5. Street performers, vendors, music. 978-744-0004. salem-chamber.org. Apple Days. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. October 4 and 5. Apple-related activities include applepicking, orchard tours, cider-making. $24 adults, $22 seniors, $8 ages 3 to 17, free for children 2 and under. osv.org. Fall Foliage Paddle. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, TopsďŹ eld. 1 to 3 p.m. Suitable for ages 6 and up. Canoe trip along Ipswich River. $15 per adult, $13 per child. Registration required. 978-887-9264. massaudubon.org. West Boylston Fall Festival. West Boylston Town Common. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entertainment, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, music, crafts. Free. wbaf.org. Free First Saturday. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10 a.m. to noon. Free admission. worcesterart.org. Canal District Farmers Market. Crompton Collective, 138 Green St., Worcester. 9 a.m. to noon.

 6XQGD\ From the Top Live in Boston. NECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St., Boston. 2 to 3:30 p.m. Meet â&#x20AC;&#x153;young musicians who will knock your socks offâ&#x20AC;? when From the Top tapes its NPR radio show at New England Conservatory. Tickets start at $27. 617-437-0707, ext. 128.


287&$%287

Nuts About Squirrels. Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. Outdoor program will explore the lives of squirrels. All ages welcome. Program content is geared to ages 7 to 11. Free for adults, $7 per child. Registration required. 617-983-8500. massaudubon.org. Seaport Chowder Festival. Pier 3, New Bedford. Noon to 5 p.m. Chowder and soup from more than 20 area restaurants, live music. $18 tickets, $5 for children 6 to 12, free for ages 5 and under. 508-990-2777. downtownnb.org. Homestead Hayfest. Jackson Homestead and Museum, 527 Washington St., Newton. Noon to 5 p.m. Family-friendly outdoor festival. Free. North Easton Harvest and Craft Fair. Sheep Pasture, Route 138 and Main St., North Easton. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Crafters, chili cookoff, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, pony rides, food, rafďŹ&#x201A;es, music. 508-238-6049. Wee Ones Paddle. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, TopsďŹ eld. 1 to 3 p.m. Suitable for families with children ages 4 to 6. Canoe trip on Ipswich River. $15 per adult, $13 per child. Registration required. 978-887-9264. massaudubon.org. Family Concert. Boston Civic Symphony, Eleanor Welch Casey Theatre, 235 Wellesley St., Weston. 2 to 4 p.m. Music from Walt Disney and Looney Tunes. Tickets $10. 617-923-6333.

 0RQGD\ Regional Environmental Community Farmers Market. Beaver Brook Park, Chandler and MayďŹ eld streets, Worcester. Mondays and Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October 31. 508-799-9139. recworcester.org. Baby Time! Worcester Public Library, Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Program Room, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. Mondays and Tuesdays, 10:30 to 11 a.m. through

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 7XHVGD\ ASD Friendly Afternoons. Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. During ASD (autism spectrum disorder) Friendly Hours, special sensory-based activities will be open to everyone. Registration required at discoverymuseums.org.

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Annual Arts by the Bog Festival. Flax Pond Farms, 58 Pond St., Carver. Arts and crafts, music, food, kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; activities. 508-866-2162. ďŹ&#x201A;axpondfarms.com.

Your Nose Knows. Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 10 to 11:30 a.m. Suitable for families with children ages 3 to 5. Experience nature with your nose. 617-489-5050. massaudubon.org. Toddler Time. Worcester Public Library, Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Program Room, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 10 to 11 a.m. Songs, rhymes, activities. Free. worcpublib.org.

:HGQHVGD\ Garden Discovery Program for Ages 3 to 5. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. 10 to 11 a.m. Craft and story features pumpkins and gourds. Museum admission fees apply. towerhillbg.org. Chipmunk Song Program. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill St., Sharon. 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Suitable for children ages 4 to 6. Lean about chipmunks, make puppet. $11 per child. Registration required. 781-784-5691. massaudubon.org. Dadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Night. Worcester Family Partnership, 130 Leeds St., Worcester. 5:30 to 7 p.m. Evening for dads and kids includes games, music, dinner. Free. 508-799-3136. worcestermass.org.

7KXUVGD\ Early Explorers (Ages 3 to 6). Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Movement, games, stories, art. Free for adults, $7 per child. Registration required. 617983-8500. massaudubon.org.

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Colorful Leaves Program. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill St., Sharon. 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Suitable for children ages 4 to 6. Find out why leaves change color, explore outdoors, make a craft. $11 per child. Registration required. 781-784-5691. massaudubon.org. Preschool Storytime. Worcester Public Library, Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Program Room, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 10 to 11 a.m. Stories, songs, ďŹ ngerplays. Free. worcpublib.org. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Built to Amaze! DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. October 9 through 13. Tickets $30 to $200.

 )ULGD\ Twilight Hike. Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant St.,

Leominster. 8 to 10 p.m. Hike and campďŹ re. sholanfarms.com. Halloween Hike at Boo Meadow Brook. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. October 10 and 11, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Suitable for all ages. Take a stroll through the haunted forest and meet characters by the light of luminaria. $6 per person. Registration required. 508-753-6087. massaudubon.org.

 6DWXUGD\ Free Evening for Families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing Children. Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 5 to 8:30 p.m. ASL interpreters will be available. Registration required at discoverymuseums.org. Sleeping Beauty. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. October 11 through 13.

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287&$%287 Presented by Tanglewood Marionettes. Tickets $12. puppetshowplace.org. Mister G. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 to 11:30 A.M. Critically acclaimed childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s singer-songwriter. Tickets $11 adults, $8 children. 617-734-2500. Columbus Day Weekend Flea Market. 14 Mass Ave., Harvard. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 170 booths, farmers market items, food. $3 per adult, $1 per kid. Freedom Way Trail Days. Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant St., Leominster. October 11 to 13. sholanfarms.com.

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Fall Bird Walk. Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. Suitable for all ages. Observe resident birds and fall migrants. Free. Registration is required. 617-983-8500. massaudubon.org. Fall Festival. Blue Hills Trailside Museum, Milton. October 11 to 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Games, crafts, animals, hikes, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, food. $7 per person. 617-333-0690. massaudubon.org. Harvest Car Show, Craft Fair and Parade. ButterďŹ eld Park, Orange. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Car show, 50-booth craft fair, food, parade. Free. 978-544-5335. Phillipston Fall Fair. Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Phillipston. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Country festival, pumpkin fair, food. The Big Draw Festival. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All over the world, people gather to doodle, sketch , think and share at Big Draw events. 978-745-9500. pem.org. Pumpkin Festival. Clearview Farm, 4 Kendall Hill Rd., Sterling. Noon to 6 p.m. Free. clearviewfarmstand.com. Alfalfa Farm Winery Harvest Festival. 267 Rowley Bridge Rd., TopsďŹ eld. October 11 and 12, 1 to 5 p.m. Family event includes live music, vineyard tours. alfalfafarmwinery.com. The Great Duck Migration. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, TopsďŹ eld. 5:30 to 7 p.m. Suitable for ages 5 and up. Hike into Bunker Meadows and climb observation tower to observe migrating ducks coming in to roost. $9 per adult, $7 per child. Registration required. 978-887-9264. massaudubon.org. Cranberry Harvest Celebration. Tihonet Rd., Wareham. October 11 and 12. Juried crafters, activities for children, animal shows, cooking demonstrations, food, pony and wagon rides. Admission is $10, $5 for seniors and military, free for children under 7. admakepeace.com.

22 OCTOBER2014

SouthCoast ButterďŹ&#x201A;y Adventure. Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, 1280 Horseneck Rd., Westport. 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Suitable for ages 2 and up. ButterďŹ&#x201A;y program explores the migration of butterďŹ&#x201A;ies. $8 per person. Registration required. 508-636-2437. massaudubon.org. Act Out Africa Folk Tales. Worcester Public Library, Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Program Room, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 2:30 to 4 p.m. Professional storyteller leads children in acting out west African folk tales. Free. worcpublib.org.

 6XQGD\ Tails â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;n Trails. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. Saturdays and Sundays, 9 to 11 a.m., through December 28. Families are invited to walk dogs through trails. 508-869-6111. towerhillbg.org. 36th Annual Oktoberfest . Harvard Square, Cambridge. Beer garden, food, live entertainment, vendors, family activities. harvardsquare.com. Columbus Day Parade 2014. East Boston. 1 p.m. Parade honors Christopher Columbus, military commitments to freedom and Bostonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Italian heritage. Weather Wonders. Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. Suitable for families with children ages 3 to 7. Learn about weather, make weather predictions, go for walk. Free for adults, $7 per child. Registration is required. 617-983-8500. massaudubon.org. Fall Harvest Festival. Market Square, Downtown Newburyport. October 12 and 13. Live music, art, ďŹ ne crafts, food. 978-462-6680.

 7XHVGD\ Little Naturalists Program: Mice. North River Wildlife Sanctuary, 2000 Main St., MarshďŹ eld. 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Suitable for children ages 3 to 5. Nature walk, story, songs, crafts. $7 per child. Registration required. 781-837-9400. massaudubon.org. Paws to Read. Worcester Public Library, Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Program Room, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Boost reading skills and conďŹ dence by reading to certiďŹ ed therapy dog. Register at childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s desk. Free. Childcare provided. worcpublib.org.

 :HGQHVGD\ Trucks, Tractors and Tools. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 1 to 2:30 p.m. Suitable for families with children up to age 8. Get behind the scenes look at farm machines. $16 per person. Registration required. 781-259-2200. massaudubon.org.


ages. Hay rides, arts and crafts, food, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities. massaudubon.org.

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Rockport Harvest Festival. Downtown Rockport.10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Food, music. Free. 978-546-6575.

Early Explorers (Ages 3 to 6). Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Movement, games, stories, art. Free for adults, $7 per child. Registration required. 617-983-8500. massaudubon.org. Skunks. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill St., Sharon. 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Suitable for children ages 4 to 6. Program on skunks includes story and craft. $11 per child. Registration required. 781-784-5691. massaudubon.org.

)ULGD\ French Fryday. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. Suitable for families with children ages 3 to 7. Help to harvest the pommes de terre in the garden and make French fries. $16 per person. Registration required. 781-259-2200. massaudubon.org. October Festival. Westminster Farmers Market, Town Common, Academy Hill Rd., Westminster. 3:30 to 6 p.m. Entertainment by Joe Reidy and Jeff Mendoza. westminsterfarmersmarket.com. Lights Out DJ Public Skate. Buffone Skating Arena, 284 Lake Ave., Worcester. Fridays, 8 to 9:50 p.m., through January 2, 2015. Suitable for preteens through adults, the program features laser light show and music. $5 per person. 508-799-0910. fmcicesports.com.

 6DWXUGD\ Microscope Magic: Family Edition. Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 10 a.m. to noon. Suitable for families with children ages 5 to 12. See the wonders that can sit on a microscope slide. $10 per person. Registration is required. 617-489-5050. massaudubon.org. John Winthrop School Street Fair. 66 Marlborough St., Boston. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pony rides, moon bounces, music, games, prizes, food, auction. 617-267-7159. Head of the Charles Regatta. 1225 Soldiers Field Rd, Brighton. October 18 and 19. Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest two-day rowing event. hocr.org. Farm Day. Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, MarshďŹ eld. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Suitable for all

31st Annual Applefest. Wachusett Mountain, 499 Mountain Rd., Princeton. October 18 and 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Craft exhibitors, farmers market, family events, kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; entertainment, SkyRide. $12 adults, $7 child 6 to 12. wachusett.com.

Providence Grays Baseball Game. Salem Common, Salem. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. See baseball the way it was played during the time of the Civil War as the Grays take on the Brooklyn Atlantics in two 1864-style vintage baseball games. Free. providencegrays.org. Teen Night Hike: Are You Afraid of the Dark? Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, TopsďŹ eld. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Suitable for teens ages 13 to 15. Learn common night animal sounds, hike around sanctuary. $8 per child. Registration required. 978-887-9264. massaudubon.org. Harvest Festival. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Saint Ann Parish, 24 Mulberry St., Worcester. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pumpkins, apples, food, entertainment, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, crafts.

 6XQGD\ Coyote Program. Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. 1 to 2:30 p.m. Learn about coyote behaviors and history. Suitable for all ages. $7 per person. Registration required. 617-983-8500. massaudubon.org. Sense of Wonder Walks: Spooky Spiders. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, TopsďŹ eld. 1:30 to 3 p.m. Suitable for ages 3 and up. Learn about spiders. $9 per adult, $7 per child. Registration required. 978-887-9264. massaudubon.org. Mr. Balloon for You. Worcester Public Library, Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Room Ellipse, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 2 to 4 p.m. Mr. Balloon makes balloon requsts. Free. worcpublib.org.

:HGQHVGD\ Chili Taste Off. Red Apple Farm, 455 Highland Ave., Phillipston. 4 to 8 p.m. Sample chowder and local brews. 978-632-1780.

 7KXUVGD\ Tales of the Night. Drumlin Farm WildlifeSanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. October 23 and 24. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Suitable for all ages. Prowl the farm with curious creatures of the night on candlelit paths. Over 100 jack-olanterns. $11 per person. Registration required. 781-259-2200. massaudubon.org.

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Third Week Wonders: Chipmunk Song. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. October 15, 16 and 18; 10 to 11 a.m. Suitable for adults with children ages 3 to 5. Thematic hour includes story, activity, nature walk. Free for adult, $4 per child. Registration required. 508-753-6087. massaudubon.org.

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 )ULGD\ Stone Barn Spooky Night Hike. Stone

Barn Farm, 786 Horseneck Rd., Dartmouth. 5 to 6:30 p.m. October 24 and 25, 5 to 6:30 p.m. Suitable for ages 2 and up. Hike, exhibits, refreshments. $10 per person. Registration

FITCHBURG ART MUSEUM PRESENTS THE EXHIBITION:

required. 508-636-2437. massaudubon.org. Castleberry Royal Arts and Craft Fair. Royal Plaza Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Rd., Marlborough. October 24 through 26. American made arts, crafts, food and music. $8 for adults, free for children under 12. castleberryfairs.com.

Halloween Party and Haunted House. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Saint Ann Parish, 24 Mulberry St., Worcester. 4 to 6 p.m. Games, refreshments, costume parade, prizes. Party is free. Haunted house is $5, $3 for children under 11.

Preschool Story Hour: Owls. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Learn about owls with book, craft, walk. $3 per child. Registration is required. 978-464-2712. massaudubon.org.

Going to the Bridge. Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 10 to 11 a.m. Suitable for families with children up to age 5. Nature walk, story. $6 per person. Registration required. 617-4895050. massaudubon.org.

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2nd and 3rd Grade Book Club. Worcester Public Library, Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Program Room, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 4 to 5 p.m. Book discussions, refreshments, crafts. Free. worcpublib.org.

Wild and Furry Neighbors. Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary, 1417 Park St., Attleboro. 10 to 11:30 a.m. Suitable for ages 5 and up. Program includes information about area animals, hike. $10 per adult, $8 per child. Registration required. 508-223-3060. massaudubon.org. Harvest Fair. St. Vincent de Paul Church, 1 Forest St., Baldwinville. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Crafts, auction, food. 978-939-8851. 19th Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont St., Boston. October 25 and 26. Natural food vendors, speakers, chefs, exhibits. Free. bostonveg.org. Fall Feathered Friends. Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Outdoor walk looking for birds in their natural habitat and make bird feeders to take home. Adults are free, $7 per child. Registration is required. 617-983-8500. massaudubon.org.

Featuring

EL SALĂ&#x201C;N DE APREDIZAJE, our interactive, family-friendly, bilingual LEARNING LOUNGE where visitors of all ages can explore the creative process of the exhibiting artists through drawing, painting, collage, photography, and more.

September 21, 2014 - January 4, 2015 Wednesday-Friday: 12-4, Saturday-Sunday: 11-4 (OP6WUHHW)LWFKEXUJ0$ ILWFKEXUJDUWPXVHXPRUJ 24 OCTOBER2014

Mystery Festival Family Flyby. Joppa Flats Education Center, Newburyport. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Suitable for families with children ages 2 to 12. Live creepy crawlies, activities, crafts, stories. Free for adults, $8 per child, $20 family maximum. massaudubon.org. 5th Annual New England BBQ Fest. Wachusett Mountain, 499 Mountain Rd., Princeton. October 25 and 26, noon to 6 p.m. Crafters, farmers market, entertainment, Oysterfest. $12 adult, $7 children 6 to 12. 978464-2300. wachusett.com.

 6XQGD\ Creepy Crawlies. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick. 1 to 2 p.m. Suitable for families with children ages 4 and up. Program features some of the strange and creepy critters from the animal world. $13 for adult, $8 per child. Registration is required. 508-655-2296. massaudubon.org.

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. October 28 through November 2. Family musical. Tickets $45 to $75. 877-571-7469. thehanovertheatre.org.

:HGQHVGD\ Cheese and Quackers. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 to 5 p.m. Suitable for families with children ages 3 to 7. Meet cows, make cheese, meet ducks, see if quackers like crackers. $16 per person. Registration is required. 781-259-2200. massaudubon.org.

7KXUVGD\ Afternoon Chores and Sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;mores. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 to 5 p.m. Suitable for families with children ages 4 to 12. Help with chores on the farm, feed the animals, collect eggs, enjoy seasonal farm treat. $15 per person. Registration is required. 781-259-2200. massaudubon.org.

)ULGD\ Halloween Finale Fireworks. Washington Street at Bridge Street, Salem. 10 to 10:30 p.m. hauntedhappenings.org. Haunted Story Hour. Worcester Public Library, Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Program Reading Room, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 10 a.m. to noon. Children ages 5 and younger are invited to dress up and listen to stories followed by trick or treating in the library. Free. worcpublib.org.

Visit baystateparent.com to post your family event. Email listings to editor@baystateparent.com.


BAYSTATEPARENT 25


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If you were to meet me today, you wouldn’t know I was quite recently bonkers. Not that long ago, I was sitting on a pile of sneakers in my hall closet, crying over the phone to the Pampers 1-800 number. “I…just…can’t…do…it…anymore,” I whispered between hitching sobs. “They never stop needing me.” My twins were tucked in a bassinet just outside the door of the closet, also crying. “Oh, sweetheart,” sympathized the customer service lady, “babies can be so hard. And you have two of them, bless your heart. You give me your address and I’ll send you some coupons, OK?” “OK,” I sniffled.

;

twins were born six weeks premature and spent twelve days in intensive care. My sleep deprivation began immediately even though my boy and girl had round-the-clock nursing care. Determined to breastfeed them, I set an alarm to wake me every three hours to pump milk. Once they were home from the hospital, the kids set their own wailing alarms to get fed every two hours. Sometimes every hour. Sometimes Jack would nurse for 45 minutes, sleep for ten, and be ready for his next meal. My body decided vigilant, twitchy insomnia was the new normal. Thus began my two-year struggle with postpartum

28 OCTOBER2014

anxiety and depression. I spent most days at home under my twin nursing pillow, two babies in a football hold, puzzling out if I was getting better or worse. Today I have cried for 8 hours, but I have been awake for 22 hours, so percentage-wise, I am 63 and 2/3% sane and 36 and 1/3% nuts. I called my husband constantly at work to see if he could come home early. “I’ve been awake since 4 a.m. last Tuesday. Please, please come home so they can cry at you instead?” “It’s only 9:15,” he’d say. “I can’t leave yet!” “OK,” I’d say. I’d wait as long as I could and then call again. “How about now?” “It’s only 9:30! Call your mom!” My postpartum anxiety was like a nasty houseguest that wouldn’t leave. Usually it yelled at me. “HEY! YOUR BABIES ARE CRYING AGAIN! YOU ARE A TERRIBLE MOTHER!”


If the babies weren’t crying, it would complain about something else. “THERE ARE NOISY BIRDS CHIRPING OUTSIDE! WHY DIDN’T YOU BUY A HOUSE WITHOUT NOISY NEIGHBORHOOD BIRDS? YOU ARE A TERRIBLE MOTHER!” “Anxiety, shut up. Look, Susannah is smiling; I’m doing a good job taking care of her.” “SHE’S SMILING? YOU HAVE GIVEN HER FALSE HOPE THAT THE WORLD IS KIND AND WHEN SOMEONE TEASES HER AT SCHOOL SHE WILL BE CRUSHED AND DEPRESSED FOR LIFE. YOU ARE A TERRIBLE MOTHER!” I had to talk to someone other than the voices in my head, but I was new to town and had no friends. I tried calling my doctors first, but they told me all this was baby blues and would pass. (This was before the crucial 2010 Massachusetts legislation requiring all mothers be screened for postpartum mood disorders.) I called my health insurance and reached a young male receptionist. I burst into tears begging him to connect me with a therapist that made house calls to moms over 36% crazy. He stammered at me in alarm to use their website. He’ll probably never have kids now. I needed to talk daily, even hourly, to someone trained to be nice no matter what. Did you know there are a lot of 1-800 numbers on all the baby products in your house? I called the Enfamil hotline. “Why do they need to eat so much?” I moaned at the customer service lady. “Babies are hard, twins are more than twice as hard. I’ll send you some free samples, darling,” she soothed me. “OK,” I sniffled. I called Gerber and Beechnut and Playtex and Avent. I got a lot of coupons and sympathetic murmurings. I found the Parental Stress Hotline number and finally had someone to talk to at 4 a.m. about noisy birds. I eventually found numbers for the Hadley-based group MotherWoman and MOMS Club in East Longmeadow, not to mention the number of a psychiatrist who prescribed me wonderful, wonderful drugs. The more I talked, the better I became.

I’ve since become a trained MotherWoman facilitator and lead support groups for new parents. I’m at least 913/8% sane most days now and my 7-yearold twins are apt to offer new moms their sympathy for how darn hard those first years can be. Fellow moms and dads whose crazy percentage is unacceptably high: don’t stop calling for help. You are not alone. Just keep calling. Someone will listen.

   24-HOUR PARENTAL STRESS HOTLINE 1-800-632-8188 POSTPARTUM SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL WARMLINE 1-800-944-4773 MOTHERWOMAN 413-387-0703 www.motherwoman.org

Because it takes expert care to deliver a miracle

Bringing miracles to life is our passion at the LaChance Maternity Center at Heywood Hospital. Our expert team of physicians, nurses and doulas, provide personalized attention in a state-of-the-art environment that promotes a tranquil and natural birthing experience, resulting in the lowest caesarean birth rate in the state. And our specialty services – from our post-birth celebration dinner to our rejuvenating spa treatments including relaxing whirlpool hydrotherapy, post-partum massage therapy, music therapy and aromatherapy – will leave you feeling just heavenly. To find out more about the services offered at the LaChance Maternity Center visit www.heywood.org. To register for a Childbirth Class or schedule a tour of the LaChance Maternity Center call (978) 630-6216.

242 Green Street, Gardner, MA 01440 | (978) 632-3420 | heywood.org

BAYSTATEPARENT 29


Conversations to Keep You Healthy and Well

Photos courtesy Making Strides

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Inside Simply Well, our new blog: School Snacks and One Song Workouts

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Follow today: www.umassmemorial.org/simplywell UMassMemorial Medical Center A Member of UMass Memorial Health Care

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a reminder to schedule due mammograms and to perform a monthly breast self-exam. For instructions on conducting a breast self-exam, visit this page of WebMD.com: http://www.webmd.com/breastcancer/guide/breast-self-exam. This is also a month of increased attention to the topic of breast cancer and fundraising for a number of breast cancer organizations. Here, we compiled a list of events taking place in this area to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you have others to add, please post them on our Facebook page and at baystateparent.com.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19TH, 12– 4PM

Cookies & Tea With Clara Meet Clara in the Promenade of the Hanover Theatre.You’re invited to her tea party and to enter her magical world of the Nutcracker. Read the Nutcracker story with Clara, receive a signed autograph picture and be the lucky child to dance away with Clara’s famous pointe shoes!!!!

SHARE Talk Radio Presents the EMBRCA Trial. Thursday, October 2, 1 to 2 p.m. Learn about this phase 3 clinical trial for women with BRCA 1 or 2 positive metastatic breast cancer on SHARE Talk Radio. You can listen online or by phone by calling 347-989-0646 at the designated time. sharecancersupport.org.

CALL 508.791.3233 FOR RESERVATIONS $12 per person Limited Seating

Nutcracker Performance

PHOTOGRAPH BY ALICE PEPPLOW

Tickets on Sale NOW!! Nov. 28–30, 2014 Thanksgiving Weekend Call 877.571.SHOW or TheHanoverTheatre.org 877-571-SHOW

Women’s Health Fair. St. Vincent Hospital, 123 Summer St., Worcester. Thursday, October 2, 5 to 8 p.m. Healthy cooking demonstrations, health screenings, self defense demonstrations, adventure boot camp, schedule routine mammogram, breast cancer awareness. Free. RSVP 508-363-5031. stvincenthospital.com. A Beautiful Pair 3: An Evening of Song. Grace Episcopal Church, 160 High St., Medford. Friday, October 3, 7:30 p.m. Featuring the Sisters In Song to benefit the Ellie Fund. Tickets are $20. elliefund.org. A Beautiful Pair 3: An Evening of Song. All Saints Episcopal of the North Shore, 46 Cherry St.,

30 OCTOBER2014

Danvers. Saturday, October 4, 7:30 p.m. Featuring the Sisters In Song to benefit the Ellie Fund. Tickets are $20. elliefund.org. A Beautiful Pair 3: An Evening of Song. St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 54 South Common St., Lynn. Sunday, October 5, 4 p.m. Featuring Sisters In Song to benefit the Ellie Fund. Tickets are $20. elliefund.org. Making Strides of Boston. DCR Hatch Shell, 47 David G Mugar Way, Boston. Sunday, October 5, 8 to 10 a.m. Rolling start. Non-competitive, 5-mile event. 800-227-2345. bostonmastrides@cancer.org. Coping with October: Ideas for Those Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer. Webinar. Monday, October 6, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. In this session, specifically tailored for October-related issues, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center oncologist Dr. Don Dizon shares some coping strategies. sharecancersupport.org. continued on page 35


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You can plan your schedule around certain doctor visits, like annual physicals. But there are times when a visit for a sprained ankle or a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fever suddenly has to fit into your already hectic day. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why we offer adult and pediatric urgent care services, including our two ReadyMEDSM locations, with night, weekend, and seven-day walkin care. Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in your doctorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office or through urgent care, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get the right care, right when you need it. reliantmedicalgroup.org

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Cries and screams–which occurred without warning and often over a dozen times each day–expressed her inability to connect, to experience, and her fathomless grief. I did not know how to help her other than to snuggle my daughter up as close to me as I possibly could, often skin-to-skin, heart-to-heart, in an attempt to calm her and absorb the demons that chased her.

My daughter joined us at thirteen months, broken in spirit and disconnected. I sensed this in her referral pictures and felt it as soon as she arrived in the large meeting room at the Ministry's office in China. I stepped forward to take her when her name was called. She did not cry; she smiled, and this would be the only smile that day. Her smile was unexpected and although it registered somewhere in the back of my mind, I ignored the warning of things to come. She scooted up on my shoulder. Dark hair grew out of the shaved head, bug bites covered her pale face and the stink of polluted water permeated faded ratty orphanage clothing that had likely been shared and worn by many babies. She promptly stuck her thumb in her mouth and fell asleep. I batted one official's hand away when she reached over to take my daughter's thumb out of her mouth, "Bu (no)." Her thumb comforted her. Let it be. 32 OCTOBER2014

My girl was a sad baby those first days in China. She would sit folded in half, her chest flat against the short-piled carpet in our hotel room, in between her splayed-out legs, and suck her thumb–one, two three, four, rest... one, two three, four, rest... The rhythm soothed her, and in the months and years to come I would find myself putting her thumb into her mouth to settle her. My husband and I were rewarded with another smile two days later, and a few days later she began to sit up unassisted. Within the second week she was walking while holding onto our hands. We were thrilled with her progress and believed that love and attention were working to bring this precious

I was ripped open each and every time my daughter tumbled into her hell. Her agony connected us on the deepest level imaginable. She felt safe with me and shared every bit of her grief. Years later, I would understand the magnitude of the cards she had been dealt by losing her birth mother and by being adopted.

baby girl around. Prior to arriving home, we cautioned our other kids not to take anything from her. In China we observed that our daughter ate off the outside of her closed chubby fists, grinding them into her food and then carefully sucking the food off her right hand. After it was clean, she would carefully open her fingers to suck the food that had made it into the crevices between her fingers. She kept her left hand tucked behind her, hiding what little food was there within. We had made the mistake in China of cleaning the left hand before giving her more food to hold in her right. Never again. She was in survival

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mode. I cleaned that little hand only during her deep sleep, when it unfurled to expose the macerated and spoiled remains. Once home her adjustment seemed to go well. She enjoyed being with her brother and sister. She smiled and cooed often, and yet something seemed off. Within months, I began to notice other things. She was content to be still — not the normal activity for a toddler. My daughter could hear me, but she would not respond. She would fall and not react. I received blank looks when trying to engage her in "follow me" games. I had her assessed by developmental therapists. They said my daughter was developmentally in the low-normal range. Everything looked fine and it did not. Time passed and I asked for another assessment. The findings were that she was slightly delayed and would catch up soon. She was an extremely late walker and her gait was odd. We had her hips x-rayed. Normal again.


My niggling feeling grew into fear and then panic when it all began to escalate — the screams, the crying, throwing herself on the hardest surfaces imaginable, like concrete, without any warnings or triggers. One afternoon, I began to cry as I held her rung-out-from-her-tantrum diapered-only three-and-a-halfyear-old sleeping form. She was so beautiful and at peace as she slept. I wanted her to feel peaceful all of the time. I ached from watching her. I bled every time she screamed, cried or splatted herself onto a hard surface. I made phone calls while she slept, damp, against my heart, and found another therapy group that could see us the next day. The hour-long assessment turned into three and a half. Multiple therapists went over my daughter with a fine-toothed-comb and then, as a team, they met with me and went over my notes. She was given a diagnosis, something I had never heard of – sensory processing disorder (SPD), also known as sensory integration disorder, a disorder that can affect any combination of the far and near senses. The therapists explained that normal sensory integration involves the neurological processing of information received by a person's body and his or her environment. They helped me understand that SPD occurs when the brain cannot modulate the reciprocal processes of intake, organization, and output flow of the sensory information that it receives. Children who have been institutionalized, like my daughter, are at a substantially higher risk for developing SPD. My daughter exhibited difficulties with the tactile (touch), vestibular (movement), and proprioceptive (positioning) senses. Additionally, she was responding to situations, people, and her environment with a combination of hyper- (over responsiveness) and hyposensitivity (under responsiveness). Her prognosis was good because she was healthy and very young. She

Egg Collecting

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would require intensive therapy. The recommendation was that she should begin occupational, speech, and physical therapy as soon as possible. The improvements that occurred within a matter of weeks were miraculous. My daughter began talking and processing. Her tantrums decreased. The "splats" disappeared. Her gait became normal. I enrolled her in a developmental preschool program in addition to her therapy sessions. She "graduated" within a year. I realized that my daughter's neurological system, severely stressed by being separated from her birth mother, had continued to shut down while she lived in the welfare institute with little stimulation and nurturing. In other words, the neglect she suffered intensified her SPD. As my daughter healed from her SPD, she began to process and grieve openly for her losses — of her birth mother, of being given up, of not growing up in China. It took six long and patience-stretchedthin years for my daughter to fully emerge from the cocoon of SPD and several more years before she gave up the comfort of her thumb. My daughter is now a teenager. She is tender, full of light and has an insatiable hunger to learn. She speaks Mandarin, her birth language, and enthusiastically explores her culture of origin. She grieves less about what she sees as the injustice of adoption, of her being our daughter. She calls on her coping skills, taught to her by her therapists, when she feels out-ofsync. Our bond is sacred. My daughter understands there is nothing she can do to make me stop loving her. And knowing that I will love her, no matter what, has given her the permission she has needed to open up, to talk about adoption and loss, and to find some resolution. And her thumb? Well, she paints it wild funky colors.

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Animals have helped Christopher though some hard times, so he has become an animal lover. As he celebrates his fifteenth birthday this month, Chris — as he prefers to be called — would love to become part of a family with pets! Chris is of Caucasian and Hispanic descent and is a natural athlete. He is open to trying new activities. He enjoys listening to music, dancing

+4%.'1( 4+'0&5 We make every effort to keep this list of adoption events current at publication. But because things can and do change, we encourage you to call ahead to verify that there are no changes or cancellations to the program you plan to attend. Wednesday, October 15 — Webinar: Sexual Abuse Prior to Placement, Advice for Adoptive Parents. 8 p.m. Learn how to recognize signs of past abuse, respond if you suspect or know abuse happened, protect the abused child and other children in the home, talk to your child about norms in their new home. $15. adoptionlearningpartners.org. Wednesday, October 15 — Adoption Information Meeting. Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, 451 Blue Hill Ave., Dorchester. 4 to 5:30 p.m. 617-989-9209. mareinc.org. Wednesday, October 15 — Foster Care/ Adoption Informational Meeting. Brockton DCF, 110 Mulberry St., Brockton. 6 to 7 p.m. Learn how you can change the life of a child in need by becoming a foster parent with the Department of Children and Families. This session is primarily for those interested in doing

foster care and reside in Brockton, Avon, Easton, Holbrook, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Bridgewater or Stoughton. RSVP 508-894-3745. mass.gov. Thursday, October 16 — Online Adoption Information Meeting. 12 to 12:45 p.m. Registration at whfc.org. Thursday, October 16 — Southern Region Adoption Info Meeting. Morton Hospital, Margaret Stone Conference Room, 88 Washington St., Taunton. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Presented by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. RSVP at 508-894-3830. mareinc.org. Thursday, October 16 — Foster Care/ Adoption Informational Meeting. Arlington DCF, 30 Mystic St., Arlington. 6 to 7 p.m. Learn how you can change the life of a child in need by becoming a foster parent with the Department of Children and Families. Registration not required. 617-520-8762. mass.gov. Sunday, October 19 — Adoption Option Family Recruitment Event. Jordan’s Furniture, 50 Walkers Brook Dr., Reading. 9 to 11 a.m. All families, including homestudied/in-process families and those beginning to explore adoption are invited to

and going fishing. In school, Chris has the support of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to help him meet his academic goals around writing and math. In the past, Chris has performed in school plays and has an excellent singing voice. Legally free for adoption, Chris would do well in a single parent or two-parent family. He gets along well with children of any age. Chris currently lives in a group home but really wants to be part of a family. He still has periodic contact with his

birth mother and grandmother and seeks a family that could support that.

attend and speak with experienced adoptive parents. Register at mareinc.org.

• Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton

Monday, October 20 — Southern Region Adoption Info Meeting. Canton Police Station, 1492 Washington St., Canton. 6 to 8 p.m. Presented by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. RSVP 508-894-3830. mareinc.org.

For more information regarding Chris, please contact Department of Children and Families (DCF) Adoption Supervisor Eileen Griffin at 978-353-3629. The Worcester DCF Office hosts monthly informational meetings for those wishing to learn more about the adoption process in general. Please call 508-929-2143 for specific information about the next meeting.

• Executive Office of Health and Human Services, One Ashburton Place, 11th Floor, Boston • Skribbles Learning Center, 348 Main St., Northborough • Jordan’s Furniture, 100 Stockwell Dr., Avon

Ongoing — Child & Family Services, 21 Cedar St., Worcester. 508-753-5425. 1-800-972-2734. child-familyservices.org/ worcester/. Ongoing — The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children offers an after-hours telephone helpline that provides emergency assistance to foster kinship and pre-adoptive families when the DCF offices are closed. The helpline is available 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. on weekdays and 24-hours on weekends and holidays. The number is 800-486-3730. Ongoing — The Heart Gallery is an exhibit of portraits of children in the state’s foster care system in need of adoption. The display can currently be found at: • Cambridge Health Alliance Malden Family Medical Center, 195 Canal St., Malden

• Jordan’s Furniture, 1 Underprice Way, Natick • Jordan’s Furniture, 50 Walker’s Brook Dr., Reading Ongoing — Webinar: Waiting is the Hardest Part, Tips and Survival Strategies for the Matching Process. Casual conversation about the challenges and successes of waiting for a match, this webinar is most appropriate for families who have already started the training/homestudy process. To listen to the recording, visit mareinc.org. If your group or organization is holding an adoption information or support group, and you would like to have information posted for readers of baystateparent, please email editor@baystateparent.com.

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The Chestnut Hill School

In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month continued from page 30 Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer. Webcast. Wednesday, October 8, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Registrants can listen over phone or online. cancercare.org. Brides Against Breast Cancer Charity Wedding Gown Sale. Hilton Boston Back Bay, 40 Dalton St., Boston. Saturday, October 11, 10 a.m. A portion of the proceeds 617-236-1100. Hope Filled Meditation with Emily Flanders. Whitin Community Center, 60 Main St., Whitinsville. Saturday, October 11, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hope-filled meditation workshop. Free for cancer patients, $10 for caregivers and others. Registration required. 508-987-3310. pinkhippy.org. The Ginny Robinson Memorial Breast Cancer Awareness Weightlifting Competition. RWL Weightlifting, Inc., 72 Grove St., Franklin. Sunday, October 12. 508-509-8660. Metastatic Breast Cancer: Cutting-Edge Research from National Cancer Institute. Webinar. Wednesday, October 15, 1 to 2 p.m. Featuring Dr. Patricia Steeg of National Cancer Institute. sharecancersupport.org. Runway for Recovery 2014. Revere Hotel Boston, Space 57, 200 Stuart St., Boston. Thursday, October 16, 6 p.m. Fashion show, silent auction, cocktail party includes models who are breast cancer survivors, children who have lost mom to breast cancer, family members walking in celebration of women who have survived breast cancer. Breast Cancer in Younger Women: A Forum for Patients and Survivors. Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston. Friday, October 17, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lectures, panel discussions for young women with breast cancer and those close to them. $10 registration fee. 617-632-1924. Let’s Tackle Breast Cancer Fundraiser. Arlington Sons of Italy Lodge 1349, Function Hall, 19 Prentiss Rd., Arlington. Friday, October 17, 6:30 p.m. Fundraiser includes DJ, appetizers, raffles, silent auction. $20 in advance, $25 at door. 2nd Annual Jan’s Pitch for Breast Cancer and the Arts. Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, 5 Littles Lane, Newbury. Saturday, October 18, 10 a.m. A day of baseball games that benefits breast cancer research and school art projects. 978-462-2634.

Academic Excellence, Community & Diversity

Dana Farber Metastatic Breast Cancer Forum. Jimmy Fund Auditorium, 35 Binney St., Boston. Saturday, October 18. 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Open to all patients with metastatic or advanced breast cancer and their families, this forum includes experts, discussions, strategies, and resources. 617-632-4915. dana-farber.org. Stamp Out Breast Cancer: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Fundraiser. Harmony Hall, 1660 Lakeview Ave., Dracut. Saturday, October 18, 7 p.m. Raffles, instruction, food. $22.50 per person.

OPEN HOUSE Sunday, November 2, 1:00-3:00 pm Beginners (Age 3) to Grade 6 Co-Educational Financial Aid Program Exceptional Secondary School Placement Afterschool Extended Day 428 Hammond Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-1229 617-566-4394  fax: 617-738-6602 WWW.TCHS.ORG

Pull for a Cure. Head of the Charles Regatta, Memorial Dr., Boston. Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19. Participants in Pull for a Cure compete in the Head of the Charles in lieu of walking in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. Sign up your team at 508-270-4895. Cynthia.Ironson@cancer.org. Making Strides of Worcester. Elm Park, 284 Highland St., Worcester. Sunday, October 19, 9 a.m. registration, 10:30 a.m start. Non-competitive, 2.5-mile event. 508-270-4658. WorcesterMAStrides@cancer.org. Using Art as Therapy with Artist Karen Reid. St. Vincent Cancer & Wellness Center, 1 Eaton Pl., Wellness Suite 25, Worcester. Wednesday, October 22, 6 to 8 p.m. Join other patients, caregivers and family members for an evening of expressive arts. Free. RSVP tracey.hall@stvincentospital.com. pinkhippy.org. Haute Pink II. Phillips Old Colony, 780 William T. Morrissey Blvd., Boston. Saturday, October 25, 6 to 10 p.m. Benefit for The National Breast Cancer Foundation includes fashion show, cocktail hour. Tickets $25. 617-282-7700. Facing Forward After Breast Cancer Treatment. 101 Columbian St., Weymouth. 6 to 7:30 p.m. Workshop to empower women through education and support. 781-624-4797. Live Webchat on Latest Research and Treatments for Metastatic Breast Cancer. Wednesday, October 29, 1 p.m. Presented by Eric Winer, MD, director of the Breast Oncology Program at The Susan F. Smith Center at Dana-Farber. Submit questions to webchats@dfci.harvard.edu and tune in live at dana-farber.org/webchats. BAYSTATEPARENT 35


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Flu

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No one likes a needle, but for some, the reason goes far beyond the pinch of their skin. There’s a growing segment of parents who are choosing to not vaccinate against influenza.

36 OCTOBER2014

ecky Myerov, 41, of Westford, has a few reasons she doesn’t usually vaccinate against the flu, even though she supports all other vaccinations. She said her kids —Hannah (11), Emily (8) and CJ (6) — used to get the shot, but, “I started questioning it when CJ was diagnosed with autism. Although I know and understand that vaccines don’t cause autism, it just made me think twice about what I was giving my kids,” she said. According to Myerov, “My kids seemed healthy with or without the flu shot. There are so many chemicals, vaccines, pesticides in our environment today, it seems like everything causes cancer. It’s one less thing I have to worry about, I figure. “I understand getting it for the benefit of people who have low immune systems. However, we are not currently in that situation. If I had an elderly parent with a compromised immune system, I may reconsider,” she said.   “[Another] reason I don’t do flu shots is for convenience. It is difficult to get the kids into the doctors to get the flu shots done … time-wise and everybody being scared,” she said.   But with one in three kids who get the flu at risk for serious complications, according to a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics,  is it worth taking a chance?   Pediatric infectious disease physician Tina Hermos of the UMass Memorial Medial Center in Worcester said the statistics are convincing enough.   “There are essentially no cons (to the shot). We all wish it worked a little better, of course, and would not be needed every year, but the risks of a serious side effect are extremely low with the shot,” Hermos said.   “One in five get the flu every year. Everyone who dies of the flu, including previously healthy kids, got it from someone who probably made out okay in the end. Fifty percent of kids who die of the flu have no underlying condition. In Massachusetts last season, there were just five pediatric deaths from influenza: two healthy, one with asthma, two with more serious underlying conditions—all un- or under-vaccinated,” she said.   The study, released in September, said, “During peak influenza season, many children meet criteria for  flu-like symptoms including a fever, cough and sore throat. Most children have mild illness and recover quickly, however, some children can develop a more


serious illness.” Findings showed of 241 patients with the flu between the ages of 0 and 19, high-risk conditions showed in 53.5 percent. Of those, 35.3 percent developed severe complications, including pneumonia.   The risks are enough to convince Ashland mom Erica Blades to vaccinate her children. The 35-year-old mother said she doesn’t think twice about vaccinating her 3-year-old son and 5-month-old daughter.   “I want to protect my children from serious illness and disease. … The risk is far too high not to (vaccinate). I think many parents think that vaccinations cause autism, ADD, ADHD or other problems in children. I’m not convinced that this is true. I believe that if you don’t vaccinate your children, you put them at risk as well as others,” she said.   For Massachusetts General Hospital oncologist Inga Lennes of Newton, mother to 1-year-old Jack, the flu shot is not even a question.   “I am a flu shot fanatic. Not so much to save children from the flu, but to save elders, the immunosuppressed and otherwise vulnerable populations from the flu that unvaccinated children and adults can spread throughout communities. I tell people not to get the flu shot for themselves, get it for the neighbor receiving chemo or the newborn who could die from the flu if you accidentally gave it to them,” she said. Primary care doctor Elizabeth Armstrong, who practices in  Westfield, said her kids getting the flu shot is a practical decision.   “Speaking as a working parent with an inflexible schedule, I make sure my kids get the flu shot. Obviously, I don’t want them to get sick with the flu. But it’s also a logistical decision. If I can keep them from getting ONE febrile illness this winter, it’ll save me at least three days’ worth of sick leave and/or the hassle of finding babysitting coverage when they’re too sick to go to daycare,” she said.   Leominster mother of three boys, Wendy Anderson, is somewhere in the middle — vaccinating one child, but not the other — and not on a standard schedule.   “I vaccinate my children but on a modified schedule. We do this because my 13-year-old had a bad reaction to his first set of shots. After that, he had his vaccinations spread out so he didn’t get more than two at a time, but mostly he just had one at a time. When my youngest — who is now 9 — was born, we just used that modified schedule. When he was diagnosed with autism at 4, I could honestly say that his vaccines were not the

cause,” said the 43-year-old PTO president. “My 13-year-old gets the flu shot. For my 9-year-old, we don’t do it. While I’m not a believer of the autism-vaccination link, I am not keen on putting anything I his body he doesn’t need. Add to that the fact that he had a flu vaccine once when he was in preschool … He was cranky and irritable for a few days and had a low-grade fever. When he gets sick, it takes him a long time to bounce back. We now decline the vaccine for him,” she said.

What about your family? Do you get a flu shot? Tell us your thoughts on baystateparent.com or on our Facebook page!

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A LOSS

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When her daughter was in kindergarten, Massachusetts mom Justine Turner* noticed problems with her daughter’s reading. “She was having trouble. The teacher said it would come in time. I believed it would come in time,” she recalled.

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ut by second grade, Justine’s fears were growing. “She just can’t get it. Other kids are getting it,” she said. “Some kids are carrying around Harry Potter, and my child is still reading Biscuit Goes to School. With difficulty.” Her daughter was placed in remedial reading in October of first grade and remained there until the end of sixth grade. “Despite numerous years of the school district evaluating her for special education eligibility at my request, she never received an IEP (individualized special education plan) until the middle of seventh grade. Even then, it was not for reading, but it was for written expression,” she said. “Having a teenager who reads at a second or third grade level despite numerous years in remedial reading is a disgrace.” By the time her daughter was in fifth grade, Justine took her for an evaluation outside of the school district. It was then that the struggles were clearly identified as dyslexia. “Since many parents do not know their child has dyslexia, they do not know or understand that dyslexic kids need a specific method of being taught how to read. Without 38 OCTOBER2014

proper instruction, many dyslexic kids use compensatory strategies to try and keep up with their peers. But, unfortunately, around the time middle school starts, they are left behind because they do not have the skills to read text books and assignments with new vocabulary,” she said.

Nearly 20 Percent Have Dyslexia

  Dyslexia is often overlooked as the reason for reading difficulty. Yet, the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity reported that it is the most common reading disability, affecting “approximately one out of every five people.” It is a neurological condition that crosses racial and socioeconomic lines. It is when the brain has difficulty processing written language. Many “remain undiagnosed, untreated and struggling with the impact of their dyslexia,” the center reported. The result is that children with dyslexia are left to find or create new ways to cope with reading issues. Central Massachusetts mother Lisa Nelson is co-founder of Decoding

Dyslexia MA, a 47-state grassroots movement dedicated to dyslexia awareness and identification. “The crazy part about this is that everyone I talk to knows someone who struggles with reading,” she said. “Part of the issue is that educators are not educated on what [dyslexia] is and how to remediate.” Using alternate learning methods can help those with dyslexia, Nelson said. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), “some [dyslexic] children show few signs of difficulty with early reading and writing. But later on, they may have trouble with complex language skills such as grammar, reading comprehension and more in-depth writing.”

Early Detection Is Key “Most kids get diagnosed in third grade, when it goes from learning to read to reading to learn,” said Nelson. “I think that reading transition is sometimes now getting even younger, down to second grade.” The NCLD published guidelines identifying some of the early warning signs of dyslexia. For preschool children, the symptoms include

trouble with things like recognizing letters, matching letters with sounds, rhyming, learning the alphabet and numbers, or understanding common word sequences. For school-age children, the NCLD cites difficulty with spelling, remembering facts and numbers, handwriting or gripping a pencil, and word problems in math. A child may also reverse letters, such as b and d, or move letters around when spelling a word. Teenagers and adults may show signs of difficulty reading aloud, reading at an expected level, managing time or learning a foreign language. The NCLD also notes that many show problems with summarizing a story or understanding non-literal language, such as that of a joke. “Originally, I took my concerns to my daughter’s teachers,” said Justine. “But the teachers didn’t have the resources or understanding to diagnose my daughter.” So, Justine took her daughter for an outside evaluation. “I ended up doing it when she was in fifth grade,” she said. “I absolutely thought I was late, but at least I had a diagnosis.” An evaluation may include a child’s ability to understand spoken and written language and will often


examine family history for possible hereditary conditions.

Strategies are Available to Treat Dyslexia “With help from a tutor, teacher or other trained professional, almost all people with dyslexia can become good readers and writers,” reports the NCLD on its website. Dyslexia professionals suggest that parents introduce children to different types of reading (such as books, computer screens and magazines) at a young age. In addition, multi-sensory instruction, such as books on tape and screen readers, can be helpful for dyslexic children. “I stress that parents find resources in others, too. I met with a PAC (parent advisory council) and learned from another PAC mom that I needed an advocate,” Justine said. “Find or work with an advocate who understands testing. With the help of an advocate, I looked into private schools and found one that specialized in dyslexia.” Justine’s daughter started attending the private school last year when she was in eighth grade. “One of the things about dyslexic kids [who are not diagnosed] is that their selfesteem goes down and they start to act up,” Justine said. “When my daughter first went to the new

school, she said, ‘Mom, there are kids like me.’ It was a good year. We had appropriate remediation and she had the special attention she needs.” Today, her daughter is in ninth grade and is continuing at her private school. “Her fluency has increased,” said Justine, smiling and nodding. “And her ability to self-advocate has increased.”

Information and Support Can Be Found Online “I learned a great deal from other families,” she explained. “I started on Facebook, liking anything dealing with dyslexia. [Parents with dyslexic children] started telling stories to each other and sharing websites. There are even places online where kids are telling their stories. The key component to understanding dyslexia is to educate yourself.” She also stressed that dyslexia may not be an isolated condition. “Often, more than one thing is going on. There could be a number of issues,” she said. “It’s a community,” said Nelson. “Groups like Decoding Dyslexia work to educate. We’re working for early identification, early and appropriate remediation, teacher training, changes in state and federal law, screening for children. We

want people to understand that the dyslexic brain doesn’t work the way a typical brain works.” Nelson recommended a number of websites for families interested in learning more about the condition. These include: •Decoding Dyslexia MA, decodingdyslexiama.org

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• The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, dyslexia.yale.edu • The International Dyslexia Association, interdys.org • WrightsLaw (an advocacy group for children with disabilities), wrightslaw.org • Federation for Children with Special Needs, fcsn.org

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• Reading Rockets, readingrockets.org “[My daughter] has a long way to go because of the amount of time it took for me to find help for her,” said Justine. “But the fact that she feels better about herself and she is in a better place where people understand her, and the fact that her teachers say she has a confidence and air about her that is helping her, well, that’s great.”

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In the early 1990s, Elaine Arsenault had a foster child come to live in her home and she quickly realized the child had a third-grade education. The problem was that the child was in high school. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That, I felt, was completely unacceptable,â&#x20AC;? she said. She swiftly moved into action and became that childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s number one advocate, attending IEP meetings and making demands on his behalf and working tirelessly to make sure he was afforded the same opportunities in education that his peers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; who had the benefit of

          

    

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loving parents and a safe, secure home â&#x20AC;&#x201C; had access to. Arsenault currently recruits others to do just that through the Special Education Surrogate Parent (SESP) program, which is a project of the Federation for Children with Special Needs. Under this volunteer program, more than 600 adults throughout

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and social justice for an underprivileged population. It relies on their commitment to children. While nonprofits rely heavily on corporate funding, it is through volunteers that much of the work is done. For SESPs who become skilled in the world of advocacy for kids through the Federation for Children with Special Needs, the devotion is priceless. It means that otherwise underrepresented kids â&#x20AC;&#x201C; many of whom are in foster care or residential homes with no parent to advocate for them â&#x20AC;&#x201C; have an educated, caring adult fighting for their rights at school. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of kids donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make it in foster care and they have so many strikes against them already,â&#x20AC;? said Paige Parisi, Project Director for the Recruitment, Support & Training Center (RTSC) that is the very foundation of the SESP Program. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Education is often their only real route to success, and the relationships they form with their friends, coaches and teachers can help them later in life. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the benefit of someone acting as a parent and helping them to form those connections.â&#x20AC;? Among the current volunteers, said Parisi, a vast majority are schoolteachers, social workers, and parents â&#x20AC;&#x201C; often of kids with special needs who understand the importance of having an advocate in the school system. But many are regular people who fall into none of these categories, said Arsenault. The real common thread is their compassionate personalities. According to Renee B. Williams, Recruitment and Outreach

Specialist for the RTSC, the children depend on their SESPs to protect their legal right to a free and appropriate education. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once appointed, these volunteers have the full legal authority of a parent or legal guardian to attend team meetings, approve or reject IEPs, and, if necessary, file a complaint or appeal,â&#x20AC;? she explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;On average, an SESP spends about 10 to 20 hours a year volunteering their time.â&#x20AC;? For would-be volunteers who have no shortage of compassion but are concerned about the logistics, the training and support center is comprehensive and encouraging. The staff, she said, is there for the SESPs every step of the way, teaching them about the IEP process, about the unique needs of children whose lives have been plagued by abuse, neglect and trauma. The biggest worry she hears from potential SESPs is that they are afraid they wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the answers to educatorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; questions at meetings, since they are not often fully acquainted with the individuals they are seeking to help. While some SESPs get a chance to know their student, many do not live in close proximity or the child has mental health issues that make relationships with his or her SESP difficult or ill-advised. The personal challenges these kids face, added Arsenault, make the need for an advocate so much greater. *For more informaiton about this program, visit fcsn.org/rtsc.

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The Pros and Cons

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wo decades ago, when Denise Devine's oldest child, Pat, was growing from a healthy infant into a happy toddler, the new mom began to notice he wasn't quite like other kids his age. Pat would walk on the very tips of his toes and flap his hands when he was excited, things his mom said she didn't see other children doing. But

he was happy and she was a first-time mom, so for a while, Devine figured it was just a part of his developing personality. But as Pat continued to grow, he missed an important milestone: other children in his daycare were beginning to talk and he wasn't. The delay in his speech, along with a push from his daycare provider, brought the Devines to their pediatrician for testing when Pat was about 24

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What is newborn screening and who decides what to screen for?

 Most babies, even those born with a disorder, appear healthy at birth. Screening newborns for important, but not necessarily obvious, health conditions can help doctors identify

and treat some disorders that aren't apparent when they're born. Newborn screening began in the 1960s when scientist Robert Guthrie developed a blood test that could detect whether newborns had the metabolic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU). Since then, scientists have developed more tests to screen newborns for a variety of genetic disorders. All states have newborn screening tests but what is included in the test varies from state to state. With a prick of the heel, a blood sample is collected from a baby at about 48 hours old. The sample is then sent to a laboratory and quickly tested. In Massachusetts, newborn screening is mandatory, and the test screens for dozens of disorders. Other than religious exemption, there is no permitted reason to opt out of newborn screening in the state, said Roger B. Eaton, Ph.D., the director of the New England Newborn Screening Program (NENSP) at UMass Medical School. Parents can, however, decline other optional testing without providing any reason. Eaton explained that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health along with NENSP, the agent that operates newborn screening in the state, determines which disorders are screened. Conditions that are screened for must meet certain criteria. That includes whether or not the condition is treatable, if there is a good test, and if early medical intervention would benefit the infant.

If there's no cure, should we test? If there would be no direct medical benefit in identifying a disorder at birth, is there any reason to screen for it? Before a disease or disorder is considered for inclusion in newborn screening in Massachusetts, it would have to be determined that identifying it would medically benefit the infant, but Devine, for one, thinks there is more to consider.

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months old. When the doctor told them it was Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment, Devine said the family immediately went into “crisis mode.” “I think that's true for any family that finds something out at that time in their child's life. There's the craziness of having an active toddler running around and the worry of what's going on with them. You're already in that mode, and then you find out a diagnosis, and it leads to total meltdown,” she said. By the time of Pat's diagnosis, Devine had already had another child. She has asked herself many times over the years if life would have been any different if she knew about Pat's disorder earlier in his life. What if he had been tested as a newborn? Would she have made any different decisions? “I think, in general, parents would rather have a diagnosis sooner than later. Information is always a good thing, even if it's bad news,” she said. The Hadley resident recently joined a national Consumer Task Force on Newborn Screening through the non-profit organization Baby's First Test. They're working to engage and educate groups that are underinformed when it comes to newborn screening policies. There's debate in the medical community on whether newborn screening should be expanded to include conditions that don't necessarily have a “cure.” Devine is hoping that, at the very least, promoting discussions around newborn screening will provoke other parents to begin asking the same questions she does.

Call 1-855-366-5221 or visit umassmemorial.org/healthymoms UMassMemorial Medical Center


â&#x20AC;&#x153;The test is really just the first step for families,â&#x20AC;? she said. Even when it comes to an untreatable diagnosis, families still need to meet professionals, access information and learn a whole new vocabulary. The sooner they know, the sooner they can find the support they need, she said. Eaton agreed that there would be some benefits to screening newborns for disorders that can't be cured, noting an earlier discovery may lessen a family's stress over a long period spent trying to determine a diagnosis. Detection during the newborn period could also provide an opportunity for earlier supportive, if not curative, care, and provide mothers with more options should they choose to have another child. But there are also cons to consider. Eaton pointed out that identifying an untreatable disorder during a time that the child is clinically well could have long term implications. There's the potential that it could impact the relationship between the parent and baby, as the newborn period is an important time for parent-child bonding. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Screening for such disorders also will likely result in some number of false-positive reports that introduce their own sources of stress and expense,â&#x20AC;? said Eaton. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While generally considered a necessary downside of screening for disorders

that may be greatly benefitted by treatment, the risk-benefit balance of such unavoidable false positive notifications is shifted when there is no effective treatment for the disorder being identified.â&#x20AC;?

Can babies be screened for disorders beyond those that are mandated? Beyond the scope of what's routinely screened for, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) does offer screening for optional conditions. This is part of research studies for new tests called pilot studies and requires no additional blood from the baby. Any newborn can be included in optional screening or parents can opt-out without providing a reason. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Parents may always arrange for additional testing through their own health care providers,â&#x20AC;? added Eaton. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Such testing would not be performed on the same sample collected for DPH-regulated newborn blood screening.â&#x20AC;?

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For more information on newborn screening in Massachusetts, visit nensp.umassmed.edu. To follow Devine on the Consumer Task Force on newborn screening, visit babysfirsttest.org.

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What’s in a Name? Asperger’s Syndrome, Redefined Regardless of the label, early intervention is vital. %<0$/,$-$&2%621

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eagan Peterson’s first birthday party was a happy occasion — cake, balloons and gifts — but his mom, Stephenie, couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. Keagan, now six years old, seemed to be suffering from a major sensory overload. “He didn't want to touch the frosting on his birthday cake. He was greatly upset by the feeling of the grass on his feet. And I noticed that he wouldn’t sustain eye contact,” she recalled. By age two, he’d been diagnosed

with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). But the diagnosis didn’t explain all of Keagan’s quirks: his habit of repeating words and phrases, his obsession with patterns or his penchant for gigantic violent meltdowns. He was officially diagnosed with autism at three. But his symptoms, such as his inability to read social cues, avoidance of eye contact, high intelligence, and advanced vocabulary, were more consistent with Asperger’s syndrome, one of numerous developmental disorders on the autism spectrum. Earlier

this year, his 4-year-old sister Eden received the same diagnosis: highfunctioning autism, or Asperger’s syndrome. Two kids with three labels between them — SPD, autism, and Asperger’s — made life complex, and insurance paperwork was a nightmare. It’s a familiar scenario for families with a child (or two) on the spectrum: Because many spectrum disorders have overlapping symptoms, arriving at an accurate diagnosis and getting needed treatments can be a murky medical maze.

A new label In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association removed the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Under the new definition, Asperger’s is recognized as a form of highfunctioning autism and is grouped under the autism umbrella, along with other familiar spectrum disorders like pervasive developmental disorder and childhood disintegrative disorder. The change makes it

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possible for those on the spectrum to get needed treatments, since certain states provide services for autism but not for related spectrum disorders like Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. The DSM is the diagnostic bible used by mental health professionals, education providers, and insurance companies. Its language channels the flow of treatment resources, helping schools determine how to allocate special education funding and informing insurance companiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; decisions about coverage. Changes to its verbiage are a big deal, and not without controversy. This one sparked angry protest and impassioned petitions from Global and Regional Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Syndrome Partnership and the Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Association of New England. And new research stirred up more controversy by making the case that Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is, in fact, a distinct disorder. According to a study published in BMC Medicine, children with Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s have different electroencephalography (EEG) patterns (or brain waves) than children with autism â&#x20AC;&#x201D; showing that Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is not merely a mild form of autism, but an entirely separate condition with unique neurological implications. Many health professionals acknowledge that Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s syndrome has unique characteristics that differentiate it from autism: Individuals with Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the language deficit often seen in those with autism, are not intellectually impaired, and can have tremendous focus. These uniquely â&#x20AC;&#x153;Aspieâ&#x20AC;? (a friendly nickname for those with Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s) characteristics will continue to shape treatments and therapies for those with Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, even under its â&#x20AC;&#x153;autismâ&#x20AC;? label. But regardless of how the disorder is labeled, early intervention is key to successful treatment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While the brain remains plastic throughout life and new things can always be learned, the greatest plasticity is during the younger years,â&#x20AC;? said Stephen Shore, Ed.D. author of Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome. So interventions like occupational therapy, speech therapy, and specialized social skills groups may have the greatest impact â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and the best chance of positively shaping a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future â&#x20AC;&#x201D; if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re initiated during early childhood.

Sneaky symptoms Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s syndrome can be tricky to spot, particularly in toddlerhood,

because it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cause speech delays. But symptoms often appear before age three, and parents can pick up on the signs if they know what to watch for, said autism specialist Gary A. Stobbe, M.D. Many times, children with Asperger's begin speaking early, like Keagan Peterson, who knew hundreds of words before his first birthday. Children with Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s can have large vocabularies, but may speak in a monotone or with an odd inflection. And they may be unable to match their vocal tones to their surroundings â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they might not use a quiet voice at the library or at the movies, for example. They may lack physical coordination and their movements may seem either stiff and stilted or overly bouncy, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Individuals with Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s or highfunctioning autism can struggle with â&#x20AC;&#x153;executive functioning,â&#x20AC;? or the ability to plan and organize, said Stobbe. Bigger challenges come during the school years, when children are expected to work on projects over several days and turn in homework.

Diagnosis drama Ultimately, the precise name of the disorder may not matter much. A parentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s job remains the same, noted Stobbe. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let the diagnosis dominate your planning and parenting. Your goal as a parent is to provide an environment to help your child be happy and succeed.â&#x20AC;? Life in a home full of Aspies has not been easy, said Stephenie. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wonderful. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My kids are so smart, so funny, so amazing. And it isn't like they are great kids in spite of Asperger's. A lot of the amazing things about them are in part because of their Asperger's.â&#x20AC;? Symptoms of high-functioning autism, also known as Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s syndrome: â&#x20AC;˘ Monotone pitch â&#x20AC;˘ Extensive vocabulary â&#x20AC;˘ Restricted interests â&#x20AC;˘ Lack of empathy â&#x20AC;˘ Avoidance of eye contact â&#x20AC;˘ Repetitive motions Source: Stephen Shore, Ed.D., author of Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome

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Self-ConďŹ dence

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childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sense of self is shaped by every interaction he or she has, but is shaped most powerfully by how they are loved and parented in their home. How children see themselves will influence every aspect of their lives from their education, relationships and overall well-being. Life is about feeling good enough, competent, loved, successful and happy. Unfortunately, the outer world doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always reflect this, so the unconditional love and acceptance at home is the catalyst for their greatness.

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Truths Our Children Deserve to Hear About Themselves

affirmation, we teach them no one can stand in the way of their dreams. We believe in them to dig deep and to find the power to surpass all challenges.

6. They are lovable. Our children learn how to love themselves by how we love them. We must always affirm their unconditional lovability. No one is perfect and having confidence doesn’t come as a result of being perfect. Confidence comes from

learning to love themselves in their not-so-perfect moments. We must always tell them to love themselves, not just that we love them, but that they need to love themselves.

Little Life Message: Our external parenting becomes the internal dialogue within our children, so we must strive to make it positive.

1. They are amazing. They are amazing just because they are. They don’t have to do anything to be amazing. They are a gift, deserve to be loved and treasured, and need to be disciplined to think and believe in their own greatness. When we see them having low self-esteem, we must remind them nothing can stand in the way of their greatness.

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2. They are smart. When we raise our children, we must raise them to see, believe and use their intelligence. When our children hear they are smart, and we find every opportunity to reflect this to them through their own actions, we help them believe it about themselves. When they believe they are smart, they behave smartly, perform smartly, communicate intelligently and they make wiser choices.

3. They are significant.

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Our children are precious people. They are unique and different from us, and we, as parents, need to celebrate and allow this. When we love them according to their special qualities, they learn to see themselves not as different but as genuinely gifted, unique and significant.

4. They are capable. We must parent them to believe they can stand up with all the confidence in the world. They will then be proud of the person they are. It won’t matter what people say about them because they know what they think of themselves. When we believe in their capabilities, they will naturally live up to higher expectations.

5. They are powerful. As we parent them with love, discipline, support and positive

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ideo games — available on personal computers, gaming consoles, cell phones, tablets or other wireless devices — can take a child on a gruesome, violent, virtual reality trip, and a new study shows that video game violence is linked to depression in pre-teen children. What are parents to do? “Know what your kids are watching,” advised Massachusetts General Hospital psychiatrist Eugene Beresin, of the hospital’s Center for Mental Health and Media. “Ninetyfive percent of the parents we talk to have no clue what their kids are seeing or playing on a screen.” “Set time limits and be outspoken about the types of video games you’ll allow,” Great Barrington psychologist Anne Benson added. And what if your child becomes upset because you prohibit certain video games?

“Ignore their slamming doors and rolling eyes,” Benson said.

Link to Depression This advice comes on the heels of a recent study, of more than 5,000 fifth-grade children published in the Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking journal. It found that kids who played violent video games every day for more than two hours a day were likely to show signs of depression. “It’s possible that kids prone to depression are attracted to violent video games,” said Susan Tortolero the study’s lead author and University of Texas psychologist. “They exasperate their depressive mood because they’re seeing violence and develop a cynical view of the world.” Massachusetts mental health experts reacted differently to this

study but agreed on the steps parents can take to control how often children play video games as well as other kinds of media they consume. “Some kids are depressed and try to manage their depression by video game playing,” said Cheryl Olson, co-author of the book Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and the co-founder of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Mental Health and Media. “Girls who play video games the most use them as a way to combat depression,” said Beresin. “It’s like self-medicating. Video games can help release the chemical dopamine in the brain.” In other words, video games, because they can help release this chemical, can make kids feel better and distract them from their problems. Boston-based psychologist

Anthony Rao, author of The Way of Boys: Promoting the Social and Emotional Development of Young Boys, said the study’s results are no surprise. “These games can affect the neurochemistry,” he noted. “A little for entertainment can be okay, but anything beyond that can be a problem. Heavy use is correlated with depression. Whether or not it’s cause and effect is unimportant. If your kid is off track or there’s depression, the game is likely a problem.” Springfield psychiatrist John Fanton, of Baystate Medical Center, is equally worried. “The problem, in some ways, isn’t so much the screen time but that children are spending time in stories that aren’t their own,” he said. “Video games crowd out their imagination and prevent them from exercising their own imagination as well as learning problem-solving

“Heavy use is correlated with depression. Whether or not it’s cause and effect is unimportant. If your kid is off track or there’s depression, the game is likely a problem.” ²%RVWRQEDVHGSV\FKRORJLVW$QWKRQ\5DR 52 OCTOBER2014


skills and self control by developing their own story.” Another problem, Fanton said, is that video games allow kids in a group setting to focus on the game, not each other. “Video games are coming at the expense of kids being able to deal with the awkward silence during a conversation and being able to share a moment with someone,” he added. But Olson said that while video games can provide a social experience for children – if they’re playing with other kids – they can be a problem if children are always alone when they are playing these games, have no friends and appear to have no balance in their lives.  

What’s a parent to do?

“Protect your kids’ sleep,” Olson advised. “Studies show electronic media can interfere with sleep. Get the game system out of the kids’

bedrooms, put their cell phones by the front door so they’re not listening to music or texting when they’re supposed to be sleeping.” Cheryl Hogan, a Medfield mother of two boys, said her sons aren’t allowed to play their electronics Monday  through Thursday  during the school year and, when they are, it’s not until homework and household chores are completed. “Media (whether it’s video games, television, movies, radio or the Internet) can shape a young person’s view and how they interact in relationships, but we also know that if parents talk to their children, they can counteract the messages kids receive from these games,” Tortolero said. “The research doesn’t support absolutes, whether it’s taking away sugary snacks or video games,” said Olson. “It’s about balance, which is harder for parents but a wiser course of action.”

CALLING ALL BIG AND LITTLE STARS! Families and kids of all ages send us a video performance of your favorite song from Annie. We invite you to get creative and enter to win 4 tickets to see the show! Dance, sing, act, play an instrument... the possibilities are endless! DON’T WAIT ‘TIL TOMORROW! Enter today for your chance to win 4 tickets to Annie at the Citi Wang Theatre, November 5–16! Find your entry on the baystateparent magazine Facebook page! For your chance to win tickets to Annie the Musical, email your video (2 minutes max), name, and address to win@baystateparent.com. Put “Annie Contest” in the subject line. One entry per email address. Entries accepted through October 24, 2014. One winner will be randomly chosen from all eligible entries each week. (7 lucky people will receive 1“family 4-pack” each in total.)

®© Tribune Content Agency, LLC 2014. All rights reserved. © 2014 Citi and Citi Arc Design are registered service marks of Citigroup Inc. Citi Performing Arts Center is a service mark of Citigroup Inc.

Resources for Parents

Each video game is rated for content, including violence and language, and some retail outlets, such as GameStop, say they will not sell a game rated M (mature) to underage children unless they’re accompanied by a parent.   Here are some websites that review video games. Each is searchable, making it possible to enter the game’s name to find the review and the rating.   https://www.commonsensemedia.org/  http://www.gamespot.com/  http://www.esrb.org/index-js.jsp

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*OXWHQIUHHIDFWVIURPWKHH[SHUWV Celebrities, athletes, talk show hosts and nearly 30 percent of people say they are turning to gluten-free diets to solve health issues from “foggy mind” to bloating and obesity. But before you throw out the flour or start embracing all things non-wheat, barley and rye, it’s important to consider that not all nutrition experts advocate a gluten-free diet. According to Dr. Stephano Guandalini, founder and director of the Center for Celiac Disease at the University of Chicago, “There

is a popular belief that gluten is bad for everyone. This is not the case. There is no evidence to show that anyone who does not suffer from celiac disease (CD) or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) benefits from following a gluten-free diet.” Gluten: Wheat Protein Explained Gluten is a protein matrix in wheat formed by gliadin and glutenin. It’s also present in barley and rye, and their many ancient grain ancestors. Gluten’s

structure forms pockets that trap carbon dioxide released by leavening agents, such as yeast, baking powder or baking soda, giving bread and baked goods their texture. Gluten-free breads and products are denser and heavier because they can’t form air pockets without gluten. Wheat and Gluten Facts Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease, is very real and affects about 1 in 141 people — less than 1 percent of the population. For people who have celiac, even a

small amount of gluten is unsafe. When they eat it, their bodies immediately react, damaging the lining of their intestinal tract. The damage allows many proteins and other substances to enter the blood stream that should not, setting up physical reactions and digestive problems with serious health consequences. Incidences of all autoimmune diseases are on the increase, with CD four times more common than it was 60 years ago. Research is being conducted by a number of leading medical and scientific BAYSTATEPARENT 55


Understanding Gluten-Free Diets â&#x20AC;&#x153;Following a gluten-free diet is very difficult and one must know how to read labels. Foods such as broths, soups, gravies, sauces, seasoned rice mixes and seasoned tortilla or potato chips may contain small amounts of gluten,â&#x20AC;? said Tricia Thompson, registered dietitian and founder of the Gluten Free Watch Dog. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The new FDA labeling rules define â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;gluten-freeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; foods as having less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This is extremely helpful for people with celiac disease or NCGS who must avoid all gluten, even in tiny amounts.â&#x20AC;? The Topic of Weight Management According to the NPD Group, a market research firm that has followed nutrition trends for more than 20 years, the biggest driver behind the gluten-free trend is weight loss. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Eliminating wheat products (bread, rolls, cereals, pasta, tortillas, cakes, cookies, crackers) will result in fewer calories,

happy & healthy

we eat, has undergone farmer selection and traditional breeding over the years,â&#x20AC;? states Brett Carver, PhD, wheat genetics chair in Agriculture at Oklahoma State University. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The hybridization that led to bread wheat occurred 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. All cultivated wheat varieties, both modern and heirloom varieties, have these hybridization events in common, so the kinds of protein (and gluten) present in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s varieties reflect the proteins present throughout the domestication process of wheat.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Genetically modified wheat is not commercially available anywhere in the world,â&#x20AC;? said Guandalini. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wheat has been, and continues to be, a life-saving and nutritious grain for most people.â&#x20AC;? Gluten-Free: The Bottom Line

Facts About Wheat Breeding Some promoters of the glutenfree lifestyle say that recent wheat breeding practices have led to higher, more â&#x20AC;&#x153;toxicâ&#x20AC;? types of wheat. They believe that such practices are increasing the rates of celiac and gluten sensitivity. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wheat, like all other food plants

Most of us can eat and enjoy the many varieties of wheat foods available to us. And, luckily, for the few of us who canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, there are gluten-free options. For more information, visit www.wheatfoods.org.

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but important nutrients like B-vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid), and iron and fiber will also be lost,â&#x20AC;? said Pam Cureton with Bostonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Center for Celiac Research and chair of the Academy of Nutrition and Dieteticsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; sub-practice group, Dietitians in Gluten Intolerance Diseases (DIGID). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grains provide 43 percent of the fiber in the U.S. diet and wheat is approximately three-quarters of the grains eaten in the U.S. Nutritionally, many gluten-free products are not equal replacements for their wheat-containing counterparts.â&#x20AC;? Cureton recommends that anyone thinking about starting a glutenfree diet see a skilled dietitian first to be sure it is nutritionally sound and to help guide them through the difficulties of the diet.

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institutions to investigate if changes in our gut bacteria might be the cause. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very important that people who have celiac get diagnosed and tested so that they can begin following a gluten-free diet as soon as possible. And, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something they have to stay on for the rest of their lives,â&#x20AC;? said Dr. Joseph Murray, celiac disease researcher at the Mayo Clinic. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is the other rare condition. According to Guandalini, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Around 0.5 percent of people react to gluten in a way that is not a food allergy but is also not celiac.â&#x20AC;? Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, explained, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some people simply donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t react well to gluten and feel better when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s removed from the diet. Unfortunately, there is no test for NCGS and this is part of why going gluten-free has become â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;theâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; answer to all that ails us digestively and otherwise. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unfortunate because there are a lot of causes besides gluten for digestive issues.â&#x20AC;?

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Q:

Halloween is coming again, and that means another wave of candy for my family. What are the repercussions of a couple of weeks of increased sugar for all of us? My husband and 9-year-old son will devour candy for days, and it concerns me. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Lydia, SpringďŹ eld

A: If Halloween trick-or-treating typically puts your household into a sugar overload, taking time to prepare for the festivities beforehand will prove your greatest strategy. In reality, a few pieces of candy here and here will not negatively impact your familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nutrition. The issues lay in when a few pieces turn into large portions that continually

displace healthful foods such as whole grains, lowfat milk products, vegetables and fruit. The silver lining of Halloween is that it gives parents yet another opportunity to model a healthy relationship with food where there are no forbidden foods. Although it is easiest to introduce healthful behaviors from the beginning of your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Halloween experience, it is never too late to begin instilling small changes from one year to the next. Here are a few tips to help keep the sugar monsters in your life at bay while maintaining the Halloween spirit:

keep, discuss the best practice for enjoying it. How many pieces are approved to have each day? Would candy need to be combined with a nourishing food such as a glass of lowfat milk? Whatever the plan is, stick to it yourself. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t simply stash away leftover candy to enjoy without abandon.

2. Giving out goodies? Think outside the candy dish! Trick-or-treaters will surely have their bags filled to the rim with sugary treats, so why not mix it up? In lieu of traditional candy fare, offer small gifts such as little tubs of bubbles, whistles, colored pencils, fun erasers, stickers, costume jewelry and temporary tattoos. Offering alternative treats like bags of popcorn, pretzels, fish-shaped cheese crackers or trail mix are also crowd pleasers.

the season like pumpkin soups, and baked goods, and apple sauce and cider in addition to a few Halloween-inspired dishes like baked pasta with ghost and witch shaped noodles.

4. Think Your Treats If you prefer to hand out candy on Halloween, do so sensibly. Choose options that are not family favorites. For example, love peanut butter cups? Offer peppermint patties. Love gummy bears? Offer chocolate. Whatever your tempting indulgence is, keep it out of the house. Carrie Taylor is the lead registered dietitian nutritionist for the Living Well Eating Smart program at Big Y Foods. Have a nutrition question? E-mail livingwell@bigy.com.

3. Hosting a party? Celebrate the harvest. Children are well aware of Halloweenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sugary offerings, so why not make the theme of the party about the season versus the ultimate candy splurge? Focusing on the festivities of the harvest season not only shifts attention away from food it also helps keep everyone active. For example, you can go on a hayride, explore a corn maze, pick apples or decorate pumpkins. Serve up foods highlighting

Would you like to be featured in a future issue of baystateparent? Send your question to editor@baystateparent.com and you might soon be Dishinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; with the Dietitian!

1. Make a Candy Plan Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true that Halloween is only one night a year, but the goodies can last for weeks. Plan accordingly and practice the behaviors you want to teach. For example, have a conversation with your children ahead of time on what they should do with the candy they receive: How much should they keep? How much should they donate to troops stationed abroad? Can they sell pieces to you (i.e.: $0.05 per piece)? For the candy they do BAYSTATEPARENT 57


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Sholan Farms Annual Harvest Celebration Weekend October 11th-13th • 10am-4pm Good old fashioned family fun FRIDAY - Twilight Hike and Campfire SUNDAY - Airborne Jugglers • 12:30-2:30pm SATURDAY - Davey The Clown • 12:30-2:30pm Jazz Depot, 5 Piece Jazz • 1-4pm Worcester County Bluegrass All Stars • 1-4pm MONDAY - Lucky Bob Interactive Variety Farm Tour and Hike • 3pm 12:30-2:30pm

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great eater!â&#x20AC;? bright-eyed new parents gush as they beam at their bouncing newborn. Fastforward several years, and the one-time â&#x20AC;&#x153;great eaterâ&#x20AC;? shuns vegetables, milk, and anything resembling protein, choosing instead to subsist on a diet of goldfish crackers and juice. Sound anything like your child? If so, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not alone â&#x20AC;&#x201D; most young children are somewhat picky about food, said pediatric nutrition specialist and registered dietitian Allison Lachowitz, CSP, LDN, CNSC. But you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to turn into a short-order chef to please your  picky  child. Read on for age-by-age tips on helping a picky eater expand her palate.

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According to Linda Piette, MS, RD, author of Just Two More Bites! Helping  Picky  Eaters Say Yes to Food, the toddler and preschooler years are a prime time for  picky  eating habits to surface: tots and young children are naturally inclined to test limits. In cases of extreme

pickiness, she encourages parents to consider having a child evaluated for underlying causes like swallowing difficulties, digestion problems, or food allergies, which can impact a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s willingness to eat. For otherwise healthy children who simply prefer pasta to vegetables, Lachowitz  tells parents to tone down the veggie-pressure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If a child skips vegetables at one meal or refuses to eat them for a few days, it's not the end of the world,â&#x20AC;? she said. Instead of forcing veggiehating kids to choke down peas and carrots, encourage a variety of fresh fruits, which offer many of the same nutritional benefits as vegetables. Presentation matters, too: arrange vegetables on the plate in a fun way, and provide a rainbow of colors to ensure a balance of vitamins and antioxidants.

(/(0(17$5<<($56 &KHI0RP During the chaotic, busy school years, parents of picky  eaters may be tempted to head off battles by fixing each child a


separate meal. But morphing into a short-order chef at mealtimes wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t solve the problem and just creates more  work (and eventually, resentment) for parents. Instead of falling into this common trap, involve school-age children in shopping and meal planning.  â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you work with a selective eater, instead of against him, you will be  more  successful,â&#x20AC;? Lachowitz noted. Try to include one to two items in each meal that everyone will enjoy, and then prepare the rest of the meal normally without making excessive accommodations for a  picky  eater. Encourage a child to try the main course without forcing him to eat (nearly always a losing battle). And never use food as a reward, even for finishing another food (â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you eat your salad, you can have some ice cream!â&#x20AC;?). You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want your child to view vegetables as their ticket to dessert, said Lachowitz.

7((1<($56 *RRG+HDOWK7R*R Many children leave fussy eating behind in early childhood.

But for some, eating habits become more  problematic during the tween and teenage years, as busy schedules, afterschool jobs, and socializing enable  picky  eaters to consume  more  of their meals away from parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; watchful eyesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which can make for a few nutritional nightmares, like lunching on nothing but French fries and nacho cheese, or worse, skipping meals altogether. Despite the challenge of an on-the-go schedule, parents shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t throw in the towel when it comes to teen eating habits: teensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; growing bodies and developing brains still require hearty nutrition. Together with your teen, glance at the weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s calendar and develop a â&#x20AC;&#x153;game planâ&#x20AC;? for quick meals: teens can toss a wrap, salad, or sandwich, which can be made in advance, in a bag along with dried fruit, nuts, and sparking water. Learning to make a few fast, healthy meals is a skill that will serve teens well in college and beyond, said  Lachowitz.  â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hopefully, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll continue these good habits for a lifetime.â&#x20AC;?

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BAYSTATEPARENT 63


The No Fear Guide to Handling

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Looking for the thrill of a good horror flick this month? Forget Michael Myers. I have two words for you: public tantrum. There’s nothing like parenting a screaming child to put a chill up your spine. It seems children have a sixth sense for the situations where parents are most likely to cave, and they’re usually the public ones. While parenting in front of an audience is never easy, you can discourage tantrums and reduce the fear factor by keeping a few things in mind. 

You’re in Good Company When Sherie Cocchiola’s 3-yearold starts winding up, “I pretend it’s not bothering me, but I feel my face getting hotter and hotter. It’s almost worse right before, when I know she’s about to lose it.” This is a great time to remind yourself that you’re not alone. Of 1,500 children aged three to five, 84 percent were reported to have had a tantrum that month, according to a 2012 study led by researcher Lauren Wakschlag of the Northwestern University 64 OCTOBER2014

Feinberg School of Medicine. While it may feel like your child is the only one with an issue, the occasional tantrum is a normal part of childhood—and parenthood.  “When I see another parent dealing with a tantrum? There’s no judgment. I just thank God it’s not mine,” Cocchiola said. “I know I shouldn’t let it bother me so much. They’re probably thinking the same thing when it’s us, right?”

Set Boundaries Before You Go Out Knowing your preschooler’s triggers will give you a good idea of when and where a tantrum will strike. If you’re not sure of their triggers, pay attention to where you are and what’s happening when they get especially cranky or defiant. Some children find it difficult to tag along on errands, while others might act out when required to sit still at a restaurant. One way to discourage negative behavior is to set boundaries ahead of time. “With public tantrums, it’s even more imperative that you’re black-

and-white and that you state what’s expected before you go out,” said Tanya Buchrieser, MS, a parent trainer for over 10 years. “Let’s say you’re going to a party and your child has an issue with sharing or taking turns…you might indicate at home or in the car on the way, ‘last time we had a problem with sharing. Remember that we take turns when we’re playing with other children. If I see you having a hard time sharing—screaming, yelling or kicking—we’re leaving.’” If you’re asking your child to withstand a particularly challenging situation, such as getting a haircut or enduring a trip to Home Depot, consider offering a reward for good behavior. Avoid the pitfalls of bribery by offering the reward beforehand, on your terms, and not right in the middle of a difficult trip or tantrum. Before entering the situation, let him know that if he behaves appropriately, you’ll stop for ice cream after, let him watch a favorite television show, or give another reward you’ve chosen. Simple reminders of the reward may be enough to keep him on track during your trip. 

Keep Your Cool If your child does pitch a fit, deny her not only the object or reward she wanted, but your emotional response as well. That means remaining calm and not showing anger or frustration. Preschoolers throw tantrums for different reasons, but the classic tantrum is often prompted by an underlying desire for control— whether it takes the form of buying a desired toy, extra playtime, or simply getting a rise out of you. If that doesn’t happen, she’ll soon learn that they’re ineffective. This doesn’t mean you should have no reaction at all when out in public. “It’s interesting how many parents sit there while their child is having a huge temper tantrum in the middle of the mall,” said Buchrieser. “Definitely don’t ignore it. You want to, in a clear and calm voice, restate what you said in the car and then indicate that ‘we’re going to leave if you don’t stop.’ Remind them what’s expected, and if they don’t calm down within a minute or two, I would just take the child and leave. It also depends on the child. If you know that talking to your child


Know What Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Say â&#x20AC;&#x201D;and Not Sayâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; to Meddlers

The Aftermath If you feel the need to discuss behavior after your child has calmed down, be brief. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are still very little, and the more you harp on it, the worse it makes it,â&#x20AC;? said Buchrieser. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Keep it simple, sweet and firm: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I know you were upset, but I told you before we went into the store that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not buying you anything, so weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll try again next week.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And then thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s it, move on to something else.â&#x20AC;? An exception to this would be if you suspect a deeper issue, such as sickness, special needs, or changes at home like a death in the family. In that case, your child may need a doctor, therapist or early intervention to work through the real cause of her tantrums.  Channel your inner calm, and with a little practice and preparation, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll handle the next tantrum cool, confident and fear-free. 

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Sometimes, in addition to stares, you may find yourself fielding unsolicited advice or sideline commentary. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in public, there are a lot of considerations. You start getting embarrassed, people start looking, you feel like you have to make excuses. So now youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re telling people, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sorry, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not feeling well today,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; or whatever it is,â&#x20AC;? said Buchrieser. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If I were in the mall and

my child was acting inappropriately, I think I would remove them so quickly that there wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be anyone coming over.â&#x20AC;? If they did comment, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would probably look at them and say â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;thank you, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re okay. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re dealing with a temper tantrum. You know how it is when theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re [this age].â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And I would just keep it very short, no excuses, very concise. Thank you, but no thank you.â&#x20AC;?

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during that temper tantrum is going to set them off even more, then you just pick them up and go.â&#x20AC;? If you, too, dread the stares that follow your screaming childâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and youâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;out the door, prepare in advance to leave as quickly and gracefully as possible. Note where the exits are and plan how youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll remove her from the situation until she calms down. If she tends to run away, hit or kick, a stroller with snug straps should contain her nicely. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re entering a social situation with people you know, decide in advance if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll take the time to excuse yourself, and how. Planning ahead will make it much easier to handle things quickly and remain levelheaded should a problem come up.

Just a Tantrum or Something More? According to a 2008 study by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, certain behavior during tantrums could indicate a clinical problem. Parents may wish to consult a physician or mental health professional if their children: â&#x20AC;˘ Intentionally hurt themselves, such as head banging and scratching â&#x20AC;˘ Are consistently violent towards a caregiver or objects â&#x20AC;˘ Have more than five tantrums per day for several consecutive days â&#x20AC;˘ Have tantrums that last more than 11 minutes, often up to 25 minutes or more â&#x20AC;˘ Are preschool age and unable to calm themselves down from a tantrum

Common Tantrum Causesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and Cures Lack of Sleep:  Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s had a restless night and spent the morning at a bounce house, and you know the afternoonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s playdate is pushing it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unfair to expect your exhausted child to push through with star behavior. Reschedule or try to find a way for him to get some rest beforehand. Lack of Food or Drink: Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the middle of errands when she wants something to drink, and you realize you left the bag of snacks at home. This isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the time to ask your child to deal with it. Hit the nearest convenience store or drive-thru, stat. Overstimulation:   Birthday parties are ripe with tantrums, thanks to constant activity, excitement and sugar. If you suspect sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on a downward spiral, consider taking her someplace calm for a bit, such as a quiet room or on an extra-long walk to the car.

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may be loath to admit it, but adults are champion procrastinators, notorious for waiting until the last minute to file our taxes or get the carâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oil changed. But when kids display these same behaviors, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s especially irksome. Maybe your tot drags out the morning get-dressed routine for a grueling hour, or your grade-schooler waits until the proverbial last minute to start on an important school project. Whatever your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s procrastination problem, you can help him build important life skills like punctuality and responsibility that will pay off in school and in the working world. Read on for expert advice on replacing procrastination with promptness.

TODDLER/PRESCHOOL YEARS, Ages 2-5: Keep it simple Though your toddler may sprint like the wind at her favorite park, young children generally arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t known for their swiftness. In fact, they can be downright poky. Tasks like dressing, using the restroom,

or picking up toys â&#x20AC;&#x201D; things adults can handle in a matter of minutes â&#x20AC;&#x201D; simply take longer for young children to complete, said Jane Bailey, Ed.D, Dean of the School of Education at Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut. She encourages parents to have patience and to match tasks with a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s developmental level. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Parents often assume a procrastinating child is being willfully defiant, when in fact itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s simply that the chore is bigger than the child can handle,â&#x20AC;? she noted. Avoid power struggles by making the job simple and doable. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expect a preschooler to know how to make hospital corners; making the bed might mean pulling the blanket up over the bed and smoothing it out. Similarly, â&#x20AC;&#x153;setting the tableâ&#x20AC;? might entail folding and placing napkins, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;clearing the tableâ&#x20AC;? may mean that the child takes his own plate and cup to the sink.

ELEMENTARY YEARS, Ages 6-11: School rules During grade school, book reports, science fairs, and a

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plethora of other school projects mean that kids (and their parents) have no shortage of homework deadlines to meet. This makes the elementary years a prime time to instill solid study habits in preparation for the more intense academics kids will encounter in middle school, high school, and beyond, said parenting educator Dayle Lynn Pomerantz, author of Secrets of Great Parents. When a child has a big project looming, think time management, said Bailey. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Just giving a student a deadline for a major assignment is not teaching him/her how to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;chunk it.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Write due dates on the family calendar, break the project into three manageable â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;chunks,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and set a deadline for each one. Offer a reward (such as extra TV or video game time) if the project is done on time, she said, and talk about how great it is to have an assignment done early.

TEEN YEARS, Ages 12-18: Tough love With heftier responsibilities, burgeoning academic loads, and college admissions deadlines to juggle, teens pay a higher price for procrastination. Missing a scholarship application due date or falling behind on SAT prep brings lasting consequences, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural for parents to push teens to meet deadlines. Some parents even step up and take on some of their teenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s duties themselves or resign themselves to constant nagging. But this type of pushy â&#x20AC;&#x153;helicopter parentingâ&#x20AC;? wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help your overbooked teen build the skills she needs to thrive after high school. If your teen is struggling with a packed schedule and is missing deadlines as a result, make time for a weekly mini-meeting to help her organize her calendar. Then,

turn over the responsibility for meeting commitments to your teen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If something isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t done because of a studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s  procrastination, then itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to let the light stay on later and have the student learn that help wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always be available when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve waited until the last minute,â&#x20AC;? said Pomeranz. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time for the teen to face the music and accept the consequence!â&#x20AC;?

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Kids b Kids is a non-proďŹ t organization where children create art which is printed onto the cookies that are sold. The proceeds from the sales beneďŹ t Pediatric Medical Research. 61 Shrewsbury Street (Route 140N) Boylston, MA 01505 508.869.6577

www.wickedgoodcookies.com 70 OCTOBER2014


“Where bright minds come together!” Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Six

Open House Thursday, Oct 23rd • 6-7 p.m. The Brighton School is a non-profit, private, independent elementary school dedicated to providing a quality education that addresses the individual needs of students. • Accelerated Program Available • Individualized Curriculum • Small Class Sizes • Nurturing Environment • Specialized Instruction in: Music, Art, Science, Computer French, Physical Education and Creative Movement

360 Water Street, P.O. Box 3204, Framingham, MA 01705 508-877-8200 • www.brightonschoolofma.org BAYSTATEPARENT 71


Growing Pains, Growing Problem 10 Surprising Facts About Pediatric Restless Legs Syndrome %<0$/,$-$&2%621

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very night, a silent thief steals sleep from children of all ages, leaving them cranky and inattentive, hampering school-day success, and upping the risk for a wide range of health ailments, from depression to ADHD. This sneaky sleep-stealer is Pediatric Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), and it affects an estimated 1.5 million children and teens, according to the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation. Per a recent study in Pediatrics, RLS is on the rise in children. And though RLS is well-known for keeping adults awake with leg pain, creepy-crawly sensations, and strong urge to move the limbs at night, many parents don’t know that it’s a common pediatric sleep problem, affecting around 6 percent of children, according to a recent study. Read on for ten surprising facts about RLS, and how parents can stop this sleep thief in its tracks.

1. Surprisingly Common According to the Mayo Clinic, RLS is underdiagnosed in children, and it’s an often-overlooked factor in childhood sleep problems. 72 OCTOBER2014

Pediatrician Lenora Lehwald, M.D. agreed. “Restless Legs Syndrome is more prevalent than we realized before. Parents will recognize that a child doesn’t sleep well, but they don’t consider RLS unless we ask very specific questions about the symptoms,” she said.

2. A “Growing” Problem Increased understanding of RLS is prompting doctors to view “growing pains” — sharp aching in the lower legs at night — In a new light. Kids who complain of “growing pains” may actually have RLS, said Lehwald. Though occasional growing pains probably aren’t cause for concern, children should see a physician if growing pains are a nightly occurrence.

3. Family Matters If parents have restless legs, kids are more likely to have them, too. Family history is a significant risk factor for the disorder, according to new research. This is good news, because a child’s family history can help point the way to a correct diagnosis. And scientists are uncovering genetic risk factors for RLS — findings that could help pave the way for future research and treatment.

4. Trauma-Rama According to chiropractor Perry

Chin, board member of the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society, RLS may be related to a series of falls or trauma to the spine or legs. “Toddlers and young children who are just learning to walk and run have abrupt falls all the time,” he said. “Generally it’s not one fall but a series of falls that can cause a misalignment of the spine and lead to RLS symptoms.”

7. Restless Arms

5. Delicate Diagnosis

8. Tiny Legs

There is no conclusive medical test for RLS, so doctors rely on patients’ descriptions of symptoms. That can make a diagnosis difficult for very young children who can’t describe painful sensations or restlessness. RLS is suspected in children if there is a strong family history of the disorder, said pediatrician Maida Chen, M.D. An overnight sleep study can also help doctors make a diagnosis by showing whether a child’s limbs are moving at night.

6. Nutrition Necessities Research shows a strong link between iron deficiency and RLS. In a recent Mayo Clinic study, 83 percent of children with RLS had low iron levels. When RLS is suspected, doctors often order a blood test to determine is ferritin (stored iron) is lower than normal, and prescribe supplementation or dietary changes if needed.

Restless Legs Syndrome isn’t limited to the legs. The characteristic creepy-crawly, tingly feeling can show up in the arms, too. Parents should take note if a child complains of unusual sensations or discomfort in any limbs.

Children of all ages can have RLS, including young infants — and unlike older children, a baby can’t tell his parents why he can’t sleep. “If I see a baby who can’t sleep as a normal baby would, or perhaps a baby who can take daytime naps but is irritable and can’t sleep at night, I may suspect RLS, especially if there is a family history,” said Lehwald.

9. Natural Comfort Though prescription medications are available for RLS, many parents and health care providers prefer to try natural remedies first. Treatments like massage and chiropractic are effective and free from side effects. Chen recommends a bath before bed along with a nightly massage.

10. Sleepless Legs Getting enough high-quality sleep helps control the severity of RLS symptoms, said Chen. Chronic


overtiredness can worsen restless legs, so an age-appropriate bedtime and good sleep habits are especially important for children with RLS or a family history of the disorder. Chen hopes more parents will recognize RLS and take steps to

help children get relief, because quality sleep is vitally important to young kids. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we can get some of these kids identified, we can help kids sleep, which may help kids in school and in life,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s make sure that kids are getting as much sleep as they can.â&#x20AC;?

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TO ADVERTISE Contact Regina Stillings regina@baystateparent.com 1HZ)ODYRUV'DLO\Â&#x2021;)UHVK)UXLW 0DGHIURP6FUDWFK 3DUWLHVÂ&#x2021;:HGGLQJVÂ&#x2021;6KRZHUV 74 OCTOBER2014

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For good or ill, smartphones are everywhere these days and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re useful far beyond simply staying in touch with your children, the school or your office. iPhones and Androids offer seemingly endless cool apps that can make your life easierâ&#x20AC;ŚOK, a little easier.

your arrival time â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or suggest an alternate route - if traffic is bad. You can use the app for navigating to a destination or simply keep it on as you drive to stay abreast of whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on the road ahead.

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Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a handful of Mom-tested favorites:

1<+ #/+.; #.'0&#4n+565 #<' Free iPhone and Android www.waze.com Ditch that bulky rectangle taking up prime real estate in the middle of your windshield and follow your phone instead. Waze is a social network-style navigation app, in which users report on traffic, road hazards, construction, police and much more. Small icon alerts appear as you drive, giving you a real-time heads-up to upcoming issues â&#x20AC;&#x201C; like the police officer a half-mile away. Waze will also recalculate 76 OCTOBER2014

Free iPhone & Android www.cozi.com A 21st-century version of the calendar in your kitchen, this family organization app helps parents and children manage their myriad of schedules and commitments. However, unlike the legacy paper calendar, this app keeps track of everyone all in one place, allowing users to access, view and update on their device of choice, keeping everyone on the same virtual page. It also offers a bevy of lists, allowing you to share grocery, chore and to-do lists-and-more in real time.

Free iPhone www.anylistapp.com If the notepaper-on-the-fridge method is proving inefficient, try AnyList. This app lets iPhone users create and share organized grocery lists for streamlined shopping. No more â&#x20AC;&#x153;You forgot to buy peanut butter!â&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re out of paper towels.â&#x20AC;? Users can sync their lists so theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re automatically updated when needed items are added or removed/purchased, quickly streamlining grocery runs for homes with multiple shoppers. AnyList also allows users to store and organize recipes to help plan shopping.

magnifying glass, ruler, timer/stop watch, bubble level and more. True to its name itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s handy and compact â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this one app saving you the hassle of downloading and updating individual apps for each tool.Â

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Free trial / Full app $4.99 iPhone & Android Baby Connect is a master log, replacing the worn notepad on the coffee table with a multifunction app that tracks nursing, pumping, solid food, sleep, diaper changes, medicine and more. It also compiles all daily information into neat summaries, statistics and graphs that can identify trends in your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s routines or easily answer the question: â&#x20AC;&#x153;When was the last time I pumped?â&#x20AC;?

Free Android This app includes just what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d expect: a flashlight, compass,

What are your favorite apps? Share your recommendations on our Facebbok page or baystateparent.com!


INDEX African Arts In Education ...............17 Annie/Citi Performing Arts Center..... 11,53 B.A.W. Inc ..................................30 Backyard Adventures ....................21 Bag2School ................................45 Bancroft School ...........................79 Battleship Cove ...........................15 Bay State Skating School .............60 Big Y Foods, Inc............................6 Blossom Station ..........................18 Boston Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum..............4 Boston Paintball ..........................10 Capen Hill Sanctuary ....................10 Claytime.....................................54 Clinton Savings Bank......................2 Commonwealth Ballet ..................33 Cornerstone Academy.....................3 Cultural Care Aupair .....................65 Davis Farmland ...........................23 Destination Imagination ................39 Ecotarium ...................................35 Edaville USA ...............................50 Edumentor Tutoring ......................67 Fay School .................................63 Fitchburg Art Museum ..................24 FMC Ice Sports ............................61 Franciscan Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital ........43 Great Wolf New England...............47 Harrington Oil .............................10 Heywood Hospital........................29 Inn at East Hill Farm ....................33 Justice Resource Institute ..............41 Lanni Orchards ............................63 Legoland Discovery Center Boston ....69 Mall At Whitney Field ...................22 Marini Farm ................................56 Mass Audubon Society .................15 Mass Motion Dance .....................27 May Institute ..............................43 Metrowest Jewish Day School .......42 Mill Street Motors ........................62 Millbury Federal Credit Union ........33 Millbury Savings Bank ..................43

Music Together Corporation ...........39 NEADS .......................................46 New Horizon Karate & More .........40 Next Generation Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ctr..........5 Nichols College ............................60 Nunsense/Vanilla Box Productions.. . 45 Pakachoag Community Music ........40 Perkins School.............................41 Propel ........................................77 Reliant Medical Group..............31,73 Roger Williams Park Zoo...............13 Roots Natural Foods Inc ................56 SenseAbility Gym .........................41 Seven Hills Charter School ............66 Sholan Farms..............................59 Shrewsbury Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Center ........66 Shrewsbury Montessori School ......54 Signarama ..................................73 Skribbles Learning Center..............65 Smugglerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Notch Resort ...............27 St. Judeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Research Hospital......51 Thayer Performing Arts Center..........9 The Birghton School .....................71 The Chestnut Hill School ...............35 The Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Workshop ...............48 The Growing Room of Berlin..........60 The Learning Zone .......................61 Tri State Speedway ......................48 Trombettaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Farm.........................13 UMass Memorial Medical Center.............................30,42,80 Wachusett Mountain ....................54 Worcester County Light Opera Theatre....73 West End Creamery & Family Farm......15 Wheelock College Theatre.........17,26 Wicked Good Cookies...................70 Worcester Academy......................37 Worcester Art Museum .................49 Worcester Music Academy ............53 YMCA Central Branch ...................67 Yo Gabba Gabba..........................25 Your Future Calls .........................34

Visit Us at baystateparent.com

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Take 8 with Editor’s note: Several months ago, when I told the baystateparent staff that we will be featuring a special needs issue in October, multi-media consultant Deb Muenier pulled me aside and said, “You must meet Jeanine Fitzgerald. The work she is doing to help children with special needs and their families is inspiring. Truly inspiring.” I was so moved by Deb’s sincerity, that I reached out to Jeanine to learn more. Her work is, indeed, inspiring. Read on to see how she is helping Massachusetts families. — mk

What is The Fitzgerald Institute of Lifelong Learning? The Fitzgerald Institute of Lifelong Learning is a consulting organization that specializes in helping children reach their maximum potential, and implementing a comprehensive framework of positive interventions in “real-life” settings. We understand the daily struggles and frustrations of professionals and parents, and honor the “hero within” every individual we have the privilege to work along side.

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What advice do you have for parents who are struggling to see the “hero within” an at-risk child? Each child arrives in life bearing gifts and they have a right and responsibility to pursue a life of purpose that is aligned with those gifts. It is those gifts, defined as the hero within, that are a potent force for good in the world. All children are perfectly designed and parents, professionals, and communities must work in ways that ensure that design is visible, valued and supported. We recognize that children do not maximize their potential by blindly conforming to rules or standards-driven and data-oriented educational frameworks, but through discovering and exercising their strengths and abilities in a well-designed environment. We are most invigorated, resilient, creative and open to learning when our very own set of “designer genes are honored.”

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Why did you start this organization? Having witnessed the experiences of children throughout my school years, I developed a deep empathy for those who did not thrive in the educational system. I believed they could have thrived if given the right resources and support. I entered college wondering, ‘what really matters’ when it comes to living a life of sustainable success, and what resources would be required. I left college and quickly realized, as a teacher of children identified with special needs, that what really matters is much more than what my degrees stood for. Simultaneously to holding a teaching position and later a position in a community mental health center, I started to pursue my mission to discover the answers I was searching for and created The Better Behavior Bureau. The name changed in 2012 to The Fitzgerald Institute of Lifelong Learning.

What types of behavioral and/or learning challenges do you address? We focus on the social-emotional development of children and offer a continuum of approaches from prevention to crisis intervention. The situation may relate to a developmental behavior, such as tantrums in toddlerhood to challenging behaviors associated by a diagnosis. Our model embraces the unique profile of the child and applies a strengths-based framework to build bridges from a state of survival to a state of wellness. Wellness is intentionally structuring the conditions of an environment for optimal functioning.



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What is your background in child development? I am a certified teacher, mental health professional and mother of three grown children who were raised in North Central Massachusetts. My area of specialization is working with children who have challenging behaviors, and I have been in that field for 37 years. I work with children who have tantrums. I work with children who exhibit aggressive and violent patterns of behavior, including bullying. And, I also work with those who do not listen and that just might be the rest of them.

Tell us about your first school, The Fitzgerald Institute. The Fitzgerald Institute is an independent school, serving children from transitional kindergarten through grade 2. Each consecutive year, we will expand by a grade until we serve through the middle school years. We are located in Northborough and opened our doors on September 2 of this year. Our philosophy is based in 37 years of field-tested research and applies what really matters to fulfill the promise in every child, through an experiential and inquiry-based curriculum that engages the spirit, strengthens the body, and informs the mind.

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Tell us about your books. The Dance of Interaction was published in 2005. It looks at behavior through the lens of understanding what motivates a child to behave in particular ways. The emphasis is on honoring who the child is and creating environments that meet needs. Educating the Heart is in the final stages of edit. This book focuses on contrasting the lens of survival to that of wellness. The majority of the content focuses on how to address unsolved problems related to a lack of skills. There are chapters on proven approaches to children who “get stuck” that others refer to as defiant, as well as those described as angry. Other chapters focus on “children in the shadow,” who are diagnosed with anxiety, and those having difficulty controlling their attention, impulses or activity level.

How do you measure the success of your work? The best measure of success is the enhancement of an individual’s quality of life and the discovery of their true self. It is adjusting the environment to ensure that the child and family’s authentic needs are fulfilled and everyone is living a vibrant and amazing life.

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ADMISSION OPEN HOUSE October 19, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. REGISTER NOW www.bancroftschool.org Educating college-bound students Pre-K through Grade 12

In Central Massachusetts, there’s a celebrated term for kids who are smart, expressive, curious, motivated and happy.

They’re called “Bancroft students.”

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Bancroft students aren’t just intelligent, talented achievers—they are good people who are poised to do great things. Inspired by enthusiastic faculty and their highly engaged, talented peers, our students develop a love of learning that they carry with them throughout their lives.

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October 1014 edition of baystateparent Magazine

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