Picture This: Empowering craniofacial anomalies patients

Picture This! Craniofacial Anomalies ProgramChildren with craniofacial anomalies spend a great deal of time in their doctor’s office being evaluated and treated. Every visit involves having photographs taken. Not fun pictures. Not even school headshots. But pictures focused on their facial differences.

It’s what is sometimes called the “clinical gaze.” We are carefully examining their facial differences, focusing on them and working to help fix them. In a way, it can be depersonalizing even though my colleagues and I at the Craniofacial Anomalies Program work hard to connect with the children in ways other than their facial differences.

My colleagues and I wanted to do something to give the kids back the magic and fun that kids should feel with the idea of having their photos taken. I’d heard about a project where kids with craniofacial anomalies were paired with artists to have portraits painted, and was struck by how powerful it was for the children to have these immense portraits painted of them. We wanted to give our patients a taste of that experience, but also to give them the gift finding beauty – whatever that is to them – through their own lens.

From that idea, we created “Picture This!

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5 surprising things about big kids and car seats

Car seat safety not just a "baby" issue

is my child ready for a booster seatWhile most new parents are very focused on properly installing and using infant car seats, that same diligence tapers off as their children move on to forward-facing car seats and booster seats.

Here are five things about car seats and safety that may surprise you.

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After cancer I could barely stand, but now I’m doing the salsa

My Not-Quite Childhood Cancer Journey

natalie cameronAt this time last year, I could barely squat, walk or even stand.

This year, I’m learning ballroom dancing – taking on every style I can, from the smooth, flowing movements of the foxtrot to vigorous salsa and cha-cha steps.

It’s just one sign of how far I have come since being diagnosed with cancer.

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DIY sand-play activities for kids

sand activities for kidsHow much fun can you have with an inexpensive bag of playground sand? Hours! And you can do more than put it in a sandbox and play with some shovels and buckets (although, that’s pretty fun too). Here we tell you how to make acqua sand, sticky sand and slimy sand for hours of sand-play!
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Super sensory scavenger hunt

mott blog - clv 2015 - scavenger huntScavenger hunts can be super fun ways to break out of your summer activity rut. Have you ever tried one that involves more senses than vision? Typically on a scavenger hunt, we’re looking for certain things we can see. With this fun take on a scavenger hunt, we’re using more senses so we look, listen, feel, and smell.

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DIY meteor and crater activity

meteor crater activity for kidsHave you ever wondered why the moon looks like Swiss cheese, all covered with huge holes? These holes are called craters, and they are formed when a meteorite impacts a planet or moon. Meteorite is just a fancy name that scientists give to meteors that crash into something!

There are many impact craters on the Earth and the moon that scientists can look at to study meteorites. By studying the size and shape of the crater, these scientists are able to determine how big the meteorite that made it was! This is something that you can learn to do yourself!

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