29 March 2007

Columbus - downtown kids article

The Columbus Dispatch : City kids

Still, as their daughter prepares to enter first grade, the Maniaces, including father Jim, are contemplating a move to Bexley.

"This building is wonderful, but it's not set up for families," said Mrs. Maniace, who noted that Alison sleeps in a converted den.

The couple would like to stay Downtown, in housing better-suited to families.

"We're looking to see what is out there," she said.

With more than 4,300 Downtown-area units constructed or planned since 2002, the choices would seem to be plentiful.

Yet the lofts and multistory condos that make up many new projects cater mostly to empty nesters and childless professional couples.

"Buyers have one thing in common: no kids," said Marc Conte, director of research and information for the Downtown Development Resource Center.

Perceptions of high crime rates and substandard public schools make the Downtown market a tough sell to families, according to developers.

The impressions about crime and schools don't match the realities, parents and developers said.

Stacey Blasko, who lives in Victorian Village with her husband and three children younger than 7, heads Midtown Parents and Kids, a play group that provides support and companionship for more than two dozen families.

"Our kids are the only ones their ages on our block, so it's hard to find playmates for them," she said. "If we lived in Bexley, we would probably have a half-dozen families on our block.

"Our goal is to help people stay in urban neighborhoods. We would have been much less likely to stay without friends who were also parents going through our same issues."

Play-group members Antony Shuttleworth and Janet Aski live with their 4-year-old son, Julian, near a bar in Victorian Village.

"The noise sometimes wakes him up at night and exposes him to behaviors and language we'd rather not have him see or hear," Shuttleworth said.

"Otherwise, we like it here and see it as a child-friendly place."

28 March 2007

Queen City Concert Band

The Queen City Concert Band will give a performance at 2:00 in Memorial Hall this Sunday, April 1, 2007. The concert is entitled "Celebrate Great American Songs". Ballet will be performed by Ballet Tech Cincinnati.

This band is a volunteer effort by musicians who love to play. They perform several times a year at different venues such as on Fountain Square and at holiday events. I know the director and a euphonium player, and they are great people.

Hope to see you there.

26 March 2007

Group vs Blog

I was thinking that a "Group" may be a better way for City Parents to keep connected via web. I don't know much about it, but it seems like it would be more appropriate and would garner more collaboration.

I was thinking it would be a better way for parents to meet up at the park with toddlers etc..

After meeting lots of parents Saturday on Milton Street, I know that there are others thinking along the same lines.

More Fraternization

Went to an urban gathering on Milton Saturday. The house was full of city parents and their children. I only knew a few of the people there, most seemed to live on the hillside, but it sure seemed like a great group. Hope to have more gatherings like this. Maybe Saturdays in a park or some such thing?

Children in Manhattan

Some select quotes from an article in the NYTimes this morning.

Since 2000, according to census figures released last year, the number of children under age 5 living in Manhattan mushroomed by more than 32 percent. And though their ranks have been growing for several years, a new analysis for The New York Times makes clear for the first time who has been driving that growth: wealthy white families.

At least half of the growth was generated by children who are white and non-Hispanic. Their ranks expanded by more than 40 percent from 2000 to 2005. For the first time since at least the 1960s, white children now outnumber either black or Hispanic youngsters in that age group in Manhattan.

The raw numbers are subject to interpretation, but, coupled with anecdotal evidence, what they generally suggest is that more well-to-do Manhattanites who might otherwise have moved to the suburbs with their children are choosing to raise them in the city, at least early on.

Compared with those in the rest of the city, the youngest children in Manhattan are more likely to be raised by married couples who are well off, more highly educated, in their 30s and native born.

“We’re grappling with what we do in a few years when the kids are no longer able to share a bedroom, said Mr. Rosenblatt, who is 45. “We have financial planners, but it’s certainly an issue we wouldn’t have if we lived in the suburbs.”

Mr. Osborne, 44, an expert on the Russian economy for a firm of financial advisors said: “If both parents are working, it actually becomes logistically difficult to live in the suburbs. If you’re 90 minutes away, we just don’t like that feeling.
“Even if we were disposed to — for the usual space, quality of life reasons — to go to suburbs, we would have to consider the practical difficulty.”

18 March 2007

Autism - ABA

Our son was diagnosed as being in the autism spectrum just before he turned two years old. His language was severely delayed, he was aggressive, and he had many self stimulating behaviors. At the time, we knew nothing about it. Since then we have learned more than we ever wanted to know about autism. We have also met more and more families with children (mostly boys) who have had similar diagnoses, some more severe, others more mild.

If you have a child who does not look you in the eye, has echolalia, self-stims, says few words; if you feel you are at your wits end trying to connect with your child, my advice, is see a doctor at the local children's hospital for a diagnosis. Hopefully, they will say you are over-concerned and send you on you way. If not, all the treatment you child needs, flows from a proper diagnosis. Getting the diagnosis can take months, so get on it right away.

There is lots of info on the web such as this father's site, however, there is also a lot of bunk out there. Don't waste your time with the bunk. ABA is the only scientifically proven approach, and I have personally seen it work with my son and with other boys. You may want to read Catherine Maurice's book Let Me Hear Your Voice. Some people feel it gives too much hope to parents of severly disabled children, but I needed to read it when I did, and would definitely recommend it.

In short, if your son is diagnosed with autism, start and ABA program.

If you feel this post applies to you, and you are in the Cincinnati area, feel free to email me and I can give you some good contacts in the area for therapists, etc..

An early detection advocacy site.

12 March 2007

Monday April 2

Come to our house to watch the parade!

There will be no parking on Race street, and the parade starts at 11am, so come anytime after 10am, and bring your kids!
We will have some kinds of food, probably brunch type stuff. Hope to see you all!
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