Episcopal Center for Children, a Treatment and Special Education Center in DC, Offers Advice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 2, 2017
WASHINGTON– Wintertime can be a fun time for families and there are lots of ways families supporting children coping with special needs to enjoy it. The Episcopal Center for Children (ECC), a nonprofit organization serving children with special needs ages 5-14 in the greater Washington, DC area, offers the following tips.

“Wintertime offers some wonderful opportunities to help you spend time together as a family,” said Dodd White, president and CEO of ECC. “Getting outside, even if the weather is a bit chilly, can help children bond and also make those long evenings at home seem to go faster. Do a little art, talk to your child about the experience, and adapt situations to their abilities.”

Tip #1 – Get everyone outside with the right winter gear. Make sure everyone in your family has warm hats, coats and gloves or mittens to keep them warm and bundled up. If you are spending time in the snow, waterproof snow pants, gloves and boots can help everyone stay comfortable. Stores, consignment stores and family clothing swaps are all great ways to get warm items for your family.

Tip #2 – Get outdoors with your family. The winter blues are real for everyone. Enjoy a brisk walk together, or go sledding or ice skating. Popular places like the zoo and public parks may be cold and blustery during this time of year, but are often more empty than in the spring and summer. If your family has trouble navigating crowds, this may be the time to bundle up and try an outdoor spot with your family.

Tip #3 – Add art when you can. Try snow painting (fill up squeeze bottles with water and add some food coloring). Make snow angels with your bodies. Build a snowman. Make slime (mix 1 and a half cups of glue with one and a half cups of liquid starch and some food coloring) inside to play with.

Tip #4 – Do something out of the norm if you need to do indoor activities. Take your child swimming at an indoor and heated pool for fun. Try bowling or a new story time at the library. Make supper an indoor picnic or plan a “family movie night” on your couch.

Tip #5 – Take lots of photos – whatever activity you choose. Many children enjoy repetition and they especially enjoy looking back at a fun family adventure through photos. Use your phone or a camera to get photos for the family to enjoy.

Tip #6 – Make easy adaptations for your child’s abilities. Cool down the hot cocoa if you child is especially sensitive to heat. Bring a towel or something else that can be a barrier between knees and the snow if the cold feeling bothers your child. Limit time outside if you need to, so no one gets too cold or grumpy.

Tip #7 – Talk to your child about the experience and create something about it if you want. Create a story with your child about the experience, just in words. Encourage your child to draw pictures about what you did together or to make a small booklet about it.

About the Episcopal Center for Children
The Episcopal Center for Children (Center) is a nonprofit, nondenominational school and treatment program for children contending with emotional challenges from the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Accredited by the Joint Commission, the Center serves children who are 5-14 years old in grades K-8. The goal of the Center’s treatment, therapeutic milieu, and individualized special education program is to empower each child to function productively within his or her family and community. Building on strengths within children, the Center partners with families in treatment and focuses on enabling its students to access and become their best possible selves. More information is available at eccofdc.org and on Twitter @ECCofDC.

Media contact: Ami Neiberger-Miller, 703.887.4877, [email protected].