Resource Library

Working With Children With Special Needs
Published Date: 2003-05-01

It is often said by people who mean well that working with children with special needs “requires the patience of a saint.” Not true. What it does require is human compassion — something more of us have than we seem ready to acknowledge.

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My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
Of thy tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound.

Juliet, from Romeo and Juliet
— by William Shakespeare

BIG Questions

Children learn language not by rote, but by a seemingly effortless interaction between their sponge-like brains and their language-rich environments. This breathtaking process begins as rapidly as Juliet learned to recognize Romeo's voice.

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Oliver cried lustily. If he could have known that he was an orphan, left to the tender mercies of churchwardens and overseers, perhaps he would have cried the louder.
— from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Big Questions

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Nature Loves Nurture
Published Date: 2003-01-01

In the spring of 2002, Psychologist Wallace Dixon published the results of a survey of 1,500 randomly selected, doctoral-level members of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). He had asked the society members which studies, published since 1950, they considered "most revolutionary."In this series, psychologist Christopher Thurber - an ACA member as well as a member of SRCD - shares a summary of the top twenty most revolutionary studies.

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Tom Peters, the author and business management guru, suggested several years ago we should thrive on chaos, but most people and businesses don't. Most of us would like to have events take place routinely without too many changes, variations, or problems. This is natural. Unfortunately, the experience we gain from living our lives and running our businesses is proof that events don't always go routinely, as planned. This is because of risk.

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The Importance of Character Development
Published Date: 2003-01-01

An Interview with Ron Kinnamon

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Since childhood cancer has evolved from an inevitably fatal illness to a life-threatening chronic disease, children with cancer receive many positive benefits by participating in a camp experience. These children can have a variety of limitations, but first and foremost, they are still children — and want to be treated the same as children without cancer with opportunities to run, play, swim, and enjoy being with other kids.

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Starfish Values Program
Published Date: 2002-09-01

Moral education — the training of heart and mind toward the good — involves many things. It involves rules and precepts - the do's and don'ts of life with others - as well as explicit instructions, exhortations, and training. If we want our children to possess the traits of character we most admire, we need to teach them what those traits are and why they deserve both admiration and allegiance.
— William J. Bennett, The Book of Virtues

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In the summer of 2001, Congressional Camp found itself hip deep in allergies. Of the 490 campers on our campus, 222 had identified allergies. This fact left us limp and sweaty with concern . . . and it wasn't because of the humid Virginia summers.

We knew that food allergies never take a break, never rest, never leave well enough alone, and never forgive a tiny transgression - "just this one time." The worry about an exquisitely allergic child is continuous - for the parents and for our director and staff.

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"I'm a survivor, I'm going to make it; I'm going to work hard; I'm not going to give up. I'm a survivor, I'm going to make it. . . ."

The music from this popular song played in the background as the campers arrived at Pavilion B. We were completing the final preparations for camp . . . medical check, inventory of personal gear, packing the group gear, and saying good-bye to the parents. Little did we know that this was to become our theme song. After all, we were adventure campers. We were going to do things other people didn't think we could do.

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