Weekly Web Round-up: Week of November 16, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! We know it’s early, but we won’t be here to wish it to you next week… This week’s round-up features advocacy for your child with special needs, including a video by an 11-year-old who has autism, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome, why one father created a princess character for his son, screen-time exceptions, and Thanksgiving. We hope you have a wonderful holiday!
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We love Huffington Post’s Cute Kid Note of the Day, which “range from funny (intentionally or not) to sweet and even a little scary.Thursday’s Note of the Day was especially moving because 11-year-old Jonathan Wilson, who has autism, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome, wrote it as a script for the autism awareness/advocacy video he and a friend made and posted on YouTube.

Another advocacy post we found this week is on AlphaMom. One mother wrote a letter expressing her desire to have her daughter evaluated, but the schools just keep giving her the runaround. Fed up with the lack of action, the mom wrote to Amalah for advice. Amalah’s response is chock-full of great advice, including:

Your pediatrician SHOULD have a fat little list of places he or she can refer your daughter if you show up and describe what you’re observing and admit that you’re getting nowhere fast with the school district. And if they say they don’t, tell them fine, you’ll be sitting in the lobby while they confer with colleagues and other doctors in order to get you a damn list of phone numbers.

Craig Gerber, co-executive producer/writer of Sophia the First: Once Upon a Princess, explained how and why he created  Sophia, Disney’s newest princess, on Huffington Post Parents.

I had to look no further than my son’s childhood — and my own. I had noticed that Miles emulated a lot of fantasy characters that he didn’t really have anything in common with. That, of course, is part of the allure. Being someone else. But, I thought, what if that “someone else” was just a little bit older than Miles and going through a lot of the same situations Miles was going through? Starting school. Getting along with new friends or new siblings. How to deal with adversity. Not throwing the marker across the room because the circle he’s drawing isn’t perfectly round. I saw that Miles could use a fantasy character who was a reflection of himself — serving as a kind of magic mirror that would allow him to enjoy the fantasy while strongly identifying with the situations playing out in the show.

 There are articles and studies that show why too much screen time is not good for your child. Diane Mehta wrote for The New York Times’ Motherlode about why, when she normally limits her son’s screen time to 15-30 minutes, she was okay that one day his babysitter let him have four hours of screen time.

At 8 ½, my son had a 15-minute daily limit for iPod games or the Wii and 30 minutes on weekends. By all rights, I should want to kill my baby sitter, who knew that. But I looked at my son, happy, hands flying over the keyboard, talking and laughing with his new friend, and realized, I didn’t care.

It was his first play date in months. There were extenuating circumstances. Over the course of second grade, his behavior deteriorated so badly that he lost every single friend. I looked at his baby sitter and shrugged. “They’re happy,” she confirmed.

The possibility of a new friendship emerging, for me, outweighed all the warnings about screen time.

Will you have a “Kiddie Table” at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner? Gabrielle Blair, over at Babble Voices, created a video on how to set a kids table that the little diners will love, plus 18 crafts to make decorations with the kids, including these hilarious drumstick hats:

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