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Monthly Archives: March 2012
In the Panebianco house, sharing a bedroom is about more than saving space.
Gerri and Sam Panebianco have chosen to put their sons, 3-year-old J.P. and 2-year-old Eric, in the same room because they want them to become good friends and develop social skills.
“We want them to understand what it’s like to navigate shared space and to be happy sharing space,” said Gerri Panebianco, an owner of Little Crown Interiors, which specializes in designing children’s rooms, in Orange County, Calif.
Through her work, she has seen many parents making a similar choice, deciding that having kids share a room is good preparation for college and marriage. “This is a skill that they feel children should be learning early,” she said.
Of course, in many families with more children or smaller homes, sharing a bedroom is also a necessity.
My boys, ages 7 and 9, got in the car recently while the radio was chattering about Paula Deen’s diabetes and a controversial obesity initiative in Georgia. After listening for a minute, my younger son asked, “Mom, is it bad to eat foods that have fat in them?” I realized, as I started to answer him, that his question is quite universal.
In the United States, we have been led to believe that fat is bad for us. In some cases (trans fats) it is, but the right fats play an integral role in our health. Here are the facts I gave my son:
–Healthful fat is a concentrated source of energy for the body.
–It is a building block of cell membranes and hormones.
–Fat slows absorption of carbohydrates, and other parts of our meals, into our blood. This helps us feel full longer.
–Our bodies can’t digest and absorb vitamins A, D, E and K without it.
–Our brains are partially constructed from healthful fats.
After I listed all of these health benefits, my son said, “Wow, so why do so many people say fat is bad for us?” Great question, buddy.
Sunday’s Academy Awards celebrated the shared joy of going to the movies.
But for families of children with developmental disabilities, going to the movies can be much more frustrating than joyful.
Children with autism-spectrum disorders can be overwhelmed by the loudness of the movie’s sound. Kids with attention-deficit issues may find it difficult to sit still and be quiet for a couple of hours.
Still other children are frightened by sitting in a darkened theater.
And their parents are often wary of taking them to the movies among other families who may not understand their behavior and special needs.
Risa Paskoff, director of the Aaron’s Acres recreational program for children with developmental disabilities, wanted to give those special parents and children the moviegoing experience other families take for granted.
So she called Penn Ketchum, managing partner of Penn Cinema.
The independently owned multiplex, located between Lancaster and Lititz, will dedicate two of its theaters to a Sensory Sensitive Cinema event on the morning of Saturday, March 3.