Well Being and Being Well
This webinar includes tips for families and individuals during Covid-19. Gain great ideas and strategies on how to incorporate the following in the daily routine: structure, schedules, activities, mindfulness and patience, sleep routines and more.
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[00:00:05.080]Welcome to Well Being and Being Well.
[00:00:08.780]My name is Brenda Smith Myles.
[00:00:14.270]These are very unusual times that we are living
[00:00:17.660]within that actually goes without saying
[00:00:19.980]and as such we need to make sure that everyone
[00:00:22.670]is as comfortable as possible.
[00:00:27.040]And when we're working with individuals with autism
[00:00:30.300]and in fact all individuals
[00:00:32.300]what we know is that most of us thrive
[00:00:35.240]when there is structure
[00:00:37.410]but we also need a degree of flexibility
[00:00:41.460]and what this means is that we need to combine the two
[00:00:44.740]so that we have structured flexibility.
[00:00:50.170]Things change so very often
[00:00:53.270]and quite often there isn't a consistent schedule
[00:00:57.760]and as such, when the neurological system
[00:01:01.610]of an individual with autism needs a change,
[00:01:05.250]we need to be flexible enough to make sure that happens.
[00:01:10.490]One of the interventions that works very well
[00:01:14.120]with all children is developing a schedule.
[00:01:18.570]Here's an example
[00:01:22.092]of what is called a Mom's School Schedule.
[00:01:26.460]Schedules can be typed, they can be handwritten,
[00:01:29.870]they can be brief, they can be lengthy.
[00:01:35.100]Here for example is Tommy's work alone time.
[00:01:41.520]Here's another schedule on the refrigerator
[00:01:45.369]and you'll notice that it covers from breakfast
[00:01:48.470]to after dinner.
[00:01:51.130]Here's another schedule,
[00:01:54.540]there's morning work that the child must engage in.
[00:02:00.850]For children who can only engage
[00:02:04.640]in one activity and then need a reinforcer,
[00:02:11.390]this is called a 1st Then Schedule
[00:02:14.010]and this is the first schedule for a lot of kids.
[00:02:16.920]So it may be that our children can have a schedule
[00:02:20.300]of one or two items
[00:02:22.230]with the second item being something
[00:02:24.010]that the child finds pleasant.
[00:02:26.930]Here is an academic schedule created,
[00:02:32.050]it was on KFAN Sports Radio covering from wake up
[00:02:37.330]and I like that they wrote before 9:00 am.
[00:02:40.980]We don't have to be as stringent now
[00:02:43.540]with things such as getting up in the morning
[00:02:47.080]particularly for some of our adolescents
[00:02:48.730]who function much well when they get up
[00:02:50.680]a little bit late in the morning.
[00:02:55.170]This parent created
[00:02:57.560]a quite extensive visual schedule
[00:03:01.710]leaving Saturday and Sunday open
[00:03:05.130]but you'll notice that there are activities
[00:03:07.070]for Monday through Friday that include things
[00:03:10.540]such as Khan Academy
[00:03:13.520]for tutoring on English typing or any academic subject.
[00:03:18.080]Time for devices, outdoor time, chore time and cleanup time.
[00:03:23.830]One of the things that I like that Andree Lau
[00:03:27.540]has done is she has defined what activities are.
[00:03:32.570]And so device time, iPad, video game, podcast.
[00:03:38.550]Writing could be writing a letter, writing a story,
[00:03:41.620]practice handwriting et cetera.
[00:03:45.920]You can create eat your own schedule
[00:03:49.640]and here is a sample of a template
[00:03:54.120]but a schedule can just be a series of Post-Its.
[00:03:58.980]Make sure you start simple
[00:04:01.250]because when you start simple as you know,
[00:04:03.360]you're likely to be consistent.
[00:04:06.570]And if you start out complex
[00:04:09.630]this is what may happen.
[00:04:15.110]Here we have a well intentioned parent
[00:04:18.150]who starts out with having her children feed
[00:04:22.930]the cats, get dressed, have breakfast
[00:04:25.240]and then activities every hour
[00:04:28.210]until bedtime at nine o'clock.
[00:04:30.870]So here we see Monday,
[00:04:34.150]Tuesday pretty much the same
[00:04:37.760]but because she started
[00:04:40.760]at a level that might not have been comfortable
[00:04:42.500]for her and her children,
[00:04:46.090]the week begins to disintegrate
[00:04:48.292]and we have screen time and things such as,
[00:04:52.710]no you can't use my phone
[00:04:54.550]or just try not to make a mess.
[00:04:56.870]And then by Thursday
[00:05:01.660]we have a lot of screen time, the cats are getting fed
[00:05:04.550]so is the child.
[00:05:11.827]And then the schedule further disintegrates.
[00:05:18.490]We need to make sure that
[00:05:20.380]we are practicing mindfulness and patience.
[00:05:24.020]And one of the things that we need to do is be patient
[00:05:26.200]with ourselves because
[00:05:29.810]this is a challenging time for everyone,
[00:05:32.930]it's challenging for children because they don't understand
[00:05:36.850]in many cases what is happening is happening
[00:05:40.710]or even if they do, they don't like being restricted
[00:05:43.860]from the schedule that they've grown accustomed to.
[00:05:48.896]One of the things as you know is to maintain
[00:05:50.950]a good sleep routine
[00:05:55.360]with no screens an hour before bed
[00:05:58.070]unless your child uses a screen to relax,
[00:06:01.610]having a bedtime routine,
[00:06:04.360]offering some sort of exercise during the day
[00:06:08.040]and it is recommended no caffeine after midday.
[00:06:12.710]One of those things that is helpful for me is
[00:06:16.440]remembering to say something positive
[00:06:18.750]when things are going well.
[00:06:21.220]Quite often when things are going well,
[00:06:22.790]we just think to ourselves, oh, my gosh,
[00:06:24.220]this is so fabulous
[00:06:25.550]and we forget to praise or reinforce our kids.
[00:06:29.960]And so the golden rule is according to Kenworthy
[00:06:34.020]that for every commander reprimand
[00:06:36.300]try to think of four things that are positive
[00:06:40.180]to say to the child.
[00:06:44.290]Again, the trick is not to let those positive moments pass
[00:06:48.750]without letting your kids know that they're doing
[00:06:52.580]the right thing or as they should be.
[00:06:58.270]Mindfulness of breathing from autismlearning.net
[00:07:02.580]can be very relaxing
[00:07:04.980]and some families are practicing mindfulness
[00:07:07.960]of breathing before going to bed
[00:07:11.070]and maybe at specific times during the day
[00:07:14.230]but breathing in or square breathing
[00:07:16.620]and there's some research on this
[00:07:18.590]is what you do is first of all you breathe in
[00:07:21.940]for four seconds
[00:07:25.280]then you hold your breath for four seconds,
[00:07:28.170]you breathe out and count to four
[00:07:30.640]and hold that breathing out
[00:07:32.420]and then you start over and you repeat it
[00:07:36.120]five to seven times.
[00:07:38.200]And this is a nice thing that everyone can do
[00:07:42.160]to let them relax.
[00:07:46.170]Elisa Gagnon has a four step calming strategy
[00:07:50.750]that she uses with young children.
[00:07:55.580]I'm gonna have her explain that here.
[00:08:00.100]Hi, this is Elisa with Teacher Tip of the Week.
[00:08:03.780]When a young student is appearing out of control
[00:08:06.800]and is not responding to verbal or visual prompts,
[00:08:10.730]remember that their frontal lobe may have shut down.
[00:08:15.560]Try using this four step prompt
[00:08:18.010]while keeping a calm demeanor.
[00:08:22.190]We're going to ask the student
[00:08:23.850]to sit criss-cross applesauce,
[00:08:27.530]take three deep breaths,
[00:08:30.870]place your hand on your heart,
[00:08:34.910]raise your hand and say, I'm ready.
[00:08:39.310]It is good for students to have a routine
[00:08:43.100]when they are losing control.
[00:08:45.560]And then each time you see the child beginning
[00:08:48.420]to lose control, refer back to the graphic.
[00:08:57.130]Teaching your children to do
[00:08:58.340]this four step calming strategy at specific times
[00:09:02.500]during the day like maybe again before bedtime,
[00:09:06.070]as they're getting up in the morning,
[00:09:08.180]before watching television, before being on a device
[00:09:11.870]then this sort of relaxation will become a habit
[00:09:14.960]so when the child begins to get upset,
[00:09:17.440]you can just prompt him and go into automatic pilot
[00:09:21.390]and begin to calm down.
[00:09:23.760]Now these sort of strategies can be extremely helpful
[00:09:28.130]and even if the child does not need
[00:09:31.400]to learn self regulation skills per say,
[00:09:34.820]this is a nice mindfulness strategy
[00:09:37.080]where the child can slow himself down.
[00:09:41.460]An activity at home that a lot of kids enjoy engaging in
[00:09:45.070]is creating a calming photo album.
[00:09:48.675]Looking at pictures in magazines or photographs
[00:09:53.430]that you may have, placing them in an album
[00:09:56.350]or even gluing them on a piece of paper
[00:09:59.640]in a spiral notebook or a notebook.
[00:10:01.616]And this becomes the child calming tool.
[00:10:08.270]You can prompt him to this when he needs to relax,
[00:10:13.090]you can prompt him as he is beginning to become overwhelmed,
[00:10:17.920]it can also be an activity that can be available
[00:10:21.810]for the child to show other people
[00:10:24.130]in his environment or using Skype
[00:10:30.900]your child can share his calming photo album
[00:10:34.870]with his grandparents or a friend.
[00:10:39.370]Here's an example of a page
[00:10:42.720]from a child calming photograph album.
[00:10:49.270]Exercise for kids, Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube
[00:10:52.460]is absolutely amazing.
[00:10:57.901]Our children need
[00:11:00.670]the structure and calmness
[00:11:04.821]and Cosmic Kids Yoga
[00:11:06.280]is done at a pace that our kids can enjoy
[00:11:08.610]along with their parents or alone.
[00:11:14.150]We also know that many of us are struggling
[00:11:17.320]to find academic resources to support our kids at home.
[00:11:21.290]One of the things that our kids are having challenges with
[00:11:24.550]is understanding COVID-19
[00:11:28.120]and on Tumble which is a science podcast
[00:11:31.360]for kids on the March 13th episode,
[00:11:35.050]they answered kid's coronavirus questions.
[00:11:39.400]This is an excellent podcast and serves as
[00:11:46.267]a conversation starter.
[00:11:48.990]This is an ideal time to allow our kids to engage
[00:11:51.810]with their special because as you know,
[00:11:55.000]special interest have all kinds of side benefits.
[00:11:58.580]They increase communication,
[00:12:03.270]they allow our kids to be less anxious,
[00:12:09.120]you see a higher level of fine motor skills
[00:12:11.970]when our kids are engaging in something
[00:12:13.886]about their, a special interest whether
[00:12:16.590]it's typing, cutting,
[00:12:18.730]writing, making models, creating videos.
[00:12:23.970]You see executive function strengths emerge
[00:12:27.750]as our kids focus on something
[00:12:30.595]and they attempt to organize what it is
[00:12:33.220]that they wish to get done.
[00:12:36.910]So let our kids explore their special interests,
[00:12:40.990]let them make stickers.
[00:12:43.703]If they're supposed to be working on composition,
[00:12:48.450]let them write about their special interests,
[00:12:50.760]if they have to make a speech,
[00:12:52.360]let them make a speech about their special interest.
[00:12:57.460]For many kids, the more you can surround them
[00:12:59.640]with their special interests the more likely they are
[00:13:02.370]to be engaged.
[00:13:04.180]Here are some sample activities
[00:13:07.230]from Marianne Winter-Messiers
[00:13:09.458]on some sample activities around dinosaurs
[00:13:12.950]for a secondary student
[00:13:14.920]including reading, writing,
[00:13:19.900]spelling, speech, math.
[00:13:28.330]Now look at this math one
[00:13:29.730]where they're writing math word problems
[00:13:31.540]about consumption of millions of tons
[00:13:33.400]of leaves by Triceratops.
[00:13:35.250]Okay, for our child who
[00:13:36.250]has a special interest in dinosaurs.
[00:13:39.110]Look at the skills that you are teaching
[00:13:40.740]in this one specific item;
[00:13:44.170]Research, writing, problem solving,
[00:13:51.010]organization and math
[00:13:57.600]also art and internet skills.
[00:14:02.970]Some families are helping their kids
[00:14:05.040]to make a COVID-19 time capsule.
[00:14:08.880]Here is an example of one
[00:14:11.620]from the Sensory Stuck at Home site on Facebook.
[00:14:17.290]And you'll see that this child has created
[00:14:20.000]an all about me page that talks about
[00:14:25.290]what she likes to do, her best friends,
[00:14:28.150]what she wants to do when she grows up
[00:14:29.870]as well as information about herself.
[00:14:32.980]And then the second page,
[00:14:35.150]she talks about the people
[00:14:36.420]who are in her life and illustrates.
[00:14:39.590]And then how I'm feeling emotions
[00:14:43.307]during these interesting times.
[00:14:48.370]A description of the community
[00:14:49.960]and what's going on in the community,
[00:14:52.820]a description of what's going on in the world
[00:14:56.930]and reframing, you are not stuck at home,
[00:15:00.220]you are safe at home.
[00:15:02.700]I have seen in the media right now that
[00:15:04.492]a lot of announcements that we are not being passive,
[00:15:08.200]we are being strong,
[00:15:09.580]we are uniting together
[00:15:12.240]to stay in our house to defeat COVID.
[00:15:15.500]So we are being active in our environment
[00:15:18.880]and we can find things to do.
[00:15:22.970]Here are hand prints,
[00:15:27.940]special occasions and how you were celebrating them.
[00:15:31.240]A friend of mine graduated from college of course
[00:15:35.080]there was no college graduation
[00:15:36.770]but a group of her friends drove their cars by her house.
[00:15:42.320]And then you interview your parents,
[00:15:46.050]you write a letter to yourself
[00:15:47.630]about how you're experiencing it and ask your family members
[00:15:51.718]to write a letter for you.
[00:15:53.470]And then you will have a memento
[00:15:55.990]of this very interesting time.
[00:15:59.090]This also serves as
[00:16:02.681]a conversation starter, not as a time capsule have to be
[00:16:06.580]in written form, no.
[00:16:08.020]Can you make a video?
[00:16:12.630]Science, I mentioned Tumble earlier
[00:16:15.170]but science for the family, this website is amazing,
[00:16:18.850]they talk about the science of snot,
[00:16:20.800]how to become an astronaut, dog DNA
[00:16:25.360]very motivating, very funny
[00:16:28.440]a lot of information.
[00:16:30.310]The Cincinnati Zoo has an animal of the day
[00:16:33.640]that they introduced to their audience
[00:16:35.590]and it is absolutely wonderful.
[00:16:40.030]Geoguessr allows you to take a trip around the world
[00:16:44.500]or visit some place famous.
[00:16:51.690]Playing out in the garden is always a wonderful option.
[00:16:56.010]My friends have younger children,
[00:16:59.110]when they found out that we were going
[00:17:02.102]on shutdown, went out and bought bubbles.
[00:17:12.520]The Autism Society of Oregon has created these recipes
[00:17:16.396]for sensory activities,
[00:17:20.170]the activities created by a parent
[00:17:24.010]very practical, very fun here you'll see two kids
[00:17:28.090]coloring with their toes,
[00:17:29.980]they not only explain the activity,
[00:17:32.570]they show you a picture and they tell you
[00:17:34.790]how it benefits children.
[00:17:39.180]Social meetups using Skype or Zoom
[00:17:44.400]and you know you can use Zoom free for an hour,
[00:17:48.640]using Facebook Live, using Face Time,
[00:17:54.358]you can play Show N Tell,
[00:17:57.300]you can play traditional games, I Spy.
[00:18:02.960]The other day one of my friend's daughter
[00:18:07.520]called me and read a book to me,
[00:18:10.710]also you can use the snack time,
[00:18:14.840]share a snack with your friends,
[00:18:16.780]share a snack with your grandparents
[00:18:19.069]via social distancing.
[00:18:22.950]Three parents I know bought the Gorilla Gym
[00:18:25.780]for their kids to use in their doorway.
[00:18:29.290]I'm not recommending Gorilla Gym,
[00:18:31.840]I am recommending activity.
[00:18:37.670]Here is a structured activity created by a mom,
[00:18:42.820]she has numbered the puzzle pieces
[00:18:46.080]on the back to help the child learn
[00:18:49.320]where the puzzles pieces go.
[00:18:52.050]Here is a sorting task for a child
[00:18:57.820]where they are learning to put things together
[00:18:59.810]that are the same.
[00:19:02.260]Here is a another sorting task
[00:19:04.820]that involves sacks and three objects.
[00:19:07.400]The child is sorting things that start with B,
[00:19:11.000]things that are green and things that are soft.
[00:19:14.450]And then what you can do afterward
[00:19:16.580]is put some extra things in the bag
[00:19:18.630]and have the child reaching in and identify
[00:19:20.740]what he has grabbed if he's not tactile defensive.
[00:19:26.350]Here is a work system in place
[00:19:28.680]where the child has some dustin rags
[00:19:31.440]and he has and dust
[00:19:37.549]after he engages in dusting,
[00:19:39.790]he gets a diet coke.
[00:19:44.050]Here is a math activity where the child
[00:19:47.840]is matching objects
[00:19:50.170]to the a three plus one, one plus zero
[00:19:55.510]and there's a fine motor component in it
[00:19:57.700]in that the child is picking up the items with tweezers.
[00:20:04.460]I just heard about strewing, oh, my gosh.
[00:20:08.200]If you have an object in your house
[00:20:10.160]that maybe your kids have not seen before
[00:20:12.340]and its function is not readily identify,
[00:20:17.150]lay it out where your kids can see it
[00:20:19.620]but don't say anything about it
[00:20:21.530]and see what conversation occurs.
[00:20:26.240]If no conversation, you can start by asking,
[00:20:28.930]what do you think this is?
[00:20:33.280]Mo Willems on Facebook has lunch doodles
[00:20:37.130]with Mo Willems.
[00:20:38.510]I find them oddly amusing,
[00:20:42.110]comforting and calming but most it's down drug doodles
[00:20:47.070]and talks about them.
[00:20:51.900]Even though you can not get out of your house,
[00:20:56.860]you can still engage in wonderful activities.
[00:21:02.730]A number of museums, aquariums et cetera
[00:21:09.670]have created virtual tours.
[00:21:15.700]The British Museum of Art,
[00:21:18.930]The Monterrey Bay Aquarium.
[00:21:23.570]This aquarium at one time allowed its penguins
[00:21:26.360]to run three free throughout the aquarium
[00:21:28.550]'cause no one was in there.
[00:21:30.780]Easter Island has an amazing tour.
[00:21:36.070]Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,
[00:21:37.920]his museum and story center is absolutely delightful.
[00:21:43.320]You can go to that NASA Glenn Research Center
[00:21:48.780]and one of my favorites is a Panda Cam
[00:21:51.550]at the zoo in Atlanta.
[00:21:56.550]On YouTube the European Space Agency
[00:22:00.890]talks to people about how an astronauts bathes,
[00:22:04.370]how an astronaut blows his nose
[00:22:06.390]and other things too that are very interesting.
[00:22:11.720]Some kids in our neighborhood have started
[00:22:14.090]displaying their artwork in the front window
[00:22:16.930]so when their neighbors are walking by
[00:22:18.840]they get their own art show.
[00:22:23.470]For those of you who remember Levar Burton
[00:22:25.650]and reading rainbow he is still there
[00:22:28.810]on YouTube reading the most wonderful books to children.
[00:22:37.550]Raven snuck of the New Yorker talked
[00:22:41.820]about trusting the allure of a stopwatch
[00:22:44.400]and I had forgotten all about this
[00:22:46.330]but for our kids
[00:22:48.055]who are not pressured by time,
[00:22:51.340]who don't get anxious about time,
[00:22:53.660]anything that you do
[00:22:56.780]with the timing of a stopwatch
[00:22:58.650]gets a little bit more fun.
[00:23:01.980]Like how long does it take to pick up your room?
[00:23:04.210]Let's time it, okay.
[00:23:09.500]Having our kids time each other with a gross motor
[00:23:13.300]or fine motor activities
[00:23:16.270]is a wonderful thing.
[00:23:18.393]If you just say, oh, here's a stopwatch.
[00:23:19.999]let's see what we can do,
[00:23:22.090]your kids will come up with thousands of ideas.
[00:23:27.080]Scavenger Hunts are fun
[00:23:29.430]having your kids plan them of course.
[00:23:31.750]Cooking, oh my gosh, cooking is math,
[00:23:34.390]it is science, it is reading, it is everything.
[00:23:37.580]Have your kids cook meals and snacks,
[00:23:42.320]there's nothing wrong with getting on Netflix
[00:23:44.640]or any service or television station
[00:23:49.600]and watching a movie that focuses on history.
[00:23:52.500]You can talk about what's true and what's not.
[00:23:55.130]Podcast, I mentioned while in the world
[00:23:59.230]there's one called The Past and Curious
[00:24:01.680]which is about history.
[00:24:03.160]One of my favorites is history chicks
[00:24:05.230]and two women do an episode on a famous woman in history.
[00:24:13.700]If you feel like you need some worksheets
[00:24:16.230]for your children to do education.com
[00:24:19.960]has worksheets for every area
[00:24:23.900]and Netflix has brainchild
[00:24:26.510]which has fun science
[00:24:28.120]and also don't forget Bill Nye The Science Guy.
[00:24:36.890]There are printable activities from amotherthing.com.
[00:24:40.030]If you like Disney, Simplifying Family
[00:24:43.170]has a lot of Disney crafts.
[00:24:46.680]Now I mentioned making photo albums for calming but
[00:24:50.550]this is an opportunity to get your photographs organized
[00:24:53.151]if you're like me.
[00:24:54.930]Having your kids make photograph books online
[00:24:59.390]or simply helping you organize your photos
[00:25:01.373]according to specific criteria.
[00:25:06.330]Everybody needs activities
[00:25:08.290]that are gross motor activities
[00:25:09.730]that allow them to move and run and stretch
[00:25:12.590]and these three websites offer
[00:25:16.100]a lot of wonderful activities,
[00:25:24.018]and then mott children.
[00:25:27.520]These all offer activities designed
[00:25:30.380]by parents for parents that can be used
[00:25:33.040]in a home situation or a garden situation.
[00:25:41.620]try to be consistent but really
[00:25:45.450]remember that you are busy also
[00:25:50.850]and that you need to give yourself a break
[00:25:54.270]and if we could only be as kind to ourselves
[00:25:58.170]as we are to other people,
[00:25:59.660]I think that we personally would be a lot better off
[00:26:03.040]but so will the world.
[00:26:04.800]A mom suggested that sometimes
[00:26:07.990]you may need to schedule a meeting.
[00:26:12.400]The meeting may be real,
[00:26:14.450]it may be fictional
[00:26:17.750]but this was a meeting that,
[00:26:20.295]a meeting schedule I received from a friend
[00:26:23.750]in Ireland where she says,
[00:26:25.830]mum is in a meeting, it's on the door,
[00:26:27.390]9:30 to 11:00, do not enter.
[00:26:29.910]The answer to your question might be here.
[00:26:32.870]Upstairs, in the wash,
[00:26:35.620]I don't know what's for dinner,
[00:26:37.170]no, in your bedroom or piece of fruit
[00:26:40.890]which covers almost all things that are important.
[00:26:46.950]And finally, one more thing
[00:26:53.080]which I found on Facebook that I think
[00:26:55.170]is extremely important
[00:26:58.230]and I'm going to read it, it says,
[00:27:00.157]"If you're having an especially tough day
[00:27:02.717]"with your kids let them know.
[00:27:05.187]"As you tuck them into bed say, 'Today was tough.
[00:27:09.467]"'We will try again tomorrow'.
[00:27:11.877]"Kiss them goodnight, remind them of your endless love
[00:27:15.527]"and give your heart a rest
[00:27:16.777]"because not every day can be easy
[00:27:19.157]"and we will have days that wear on us.
[00:27:21.427]"Be gentle to yourself.
[00:27:23.227]"Be gentle to your children
[00:27:24.697]"and just try again tomorrow."
[00:27:27.140]And if the day was good,
[00:27:31.030]use the same scenario and say,
[00:27:33.740]today was good, we will have a good day again,
[00:27:36.890]we will try to have a good day again tomorrow.
[00:27:41.000]Best of luck during these interesting and trying times.
[00:27:45.760]Our children have limitless potential so to you
[00:27:51.520]but the limitless potential
[00:27:53.110]that we should be showing right now
[00:27:54.700]is a kindness to others
[00:27:56.960]and a kindness to ourselves.
[00:28:03.010]Thank you very much.
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