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Does My Disability Mean I’m Not “Normal?”

LIVING WITH A DISABILITY BY JERRY LEVINSON Often, the words that a person uses in talking with, or about you, affect not only your perception of the individual speaking them, but also your perception of yourself – your “self esteem.” Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a couple of screws loose,

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A GPS for Families of People with Special Needs – Part II

BY LAUREN AGORATUS INTRODUCTION I wrote this manual to help other families of individuals with special needs and the professionals who work with them. My daughter now has five life-threatening conditions, and autism just to keep things interesting. We have been through everything from early intervention to currently going through transition to adult care. I

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An Overview Of The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

Every child deserves a home filled with love, a stomach filled with food — and a fulfilling and enriching education. Legislation is helping with education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ensures that all children with special needs have access to a “free appropriate public education” and they have the necessary tools to meet their

Special

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New Top Rated Resource on Disability.gov: “Quick Links & Important Phone Numbers”

Visit the links below to get information about Social Security benefits, home health care, rental assistance, help finding a job and much more. At the bottom of this page you’ll also find a list of frequently requested government telephone numbers. (Note: When you visit the links below, you’ll be directed to websites outside of Disability.gov.) Contact

Parenting

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It Takes A Whole Village

The Nigerian proverb “It takes a whole village to raise a child” says it all, especially for those of us raising children with special needs. BY EOLANE Back in the 1980s, our village took a chance and reached out. My son learned to believe; although still physically challenged, he now is capable of living independently

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Incontinence

SIBLING TIES BY PAIGE TALHELM Sammy’s incontinence isn’t a problem just because of the hassle; it is also about his dignity. Toilet training is something my brother will never overcome. Yes, I said it. Negative I know, but it’s true. I would love more than anything to be proven wrong. For 18 years, my brother

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You’ve Got A Friend In Me

BY PEG GRAFWALLNER Ani has friends through Special Olympics; but, we always have to remind her to make conversation and be part of the group, since she is content to watch the activities around her. friendships have always been difficult for Ani. She would much rather be with adults than people her own age. I

Rick Rader MD

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You Don’t Know Jack

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Dr. Jack Dillenberg, the founding Dean of an innovative incubated dental school in Mesa, Arizona, insisted his students had to have demonstrated a commitment to community service and an appreciation for collaborative approaches to comprehensive dental healthcare. “You don’t know Jack” is a popular expression that infers

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Rational Coefficients

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF For most Exceptional Parents who have tried to play by the numbers in their attempt to secure the greatest opportunities for their children to succeed, the irrationality of “special needs algebra” continues to challenge them. The Scottish comedian Billy Connolly nailed it when he said, “I don’t

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Donald, Chuck E. and the Benjamins

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF The jury found that Chuck E. Cheese violated the employment provisions of the ADA by discriminating against Donald when they fired him due to his disability; and they let Chuck E. Cheese know they meant business. Some things are worth remembering, especially when it involves wanting to

ep Special Needs Connect

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Sarah & Edison: A story of empowerment

Sarah & Edison: A story of empowerment | Convaid Blog Our community is getting familiar with a voice on the telephone who methodically checks in with our Ambassador families  and other to get updates on how their Convaid – and soon R82 – equipment is working for them. She eagerly listens to the adventures, challenges,

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Ask the Experts – Concussion

EDUCATION ON ALL ASPECTS OF A CONCUSSION September 15 – October 15, 2015 Ask the Experts is a free online forum wherein respected experts participate in a question- and-answer discussions regarding a specific topic. If you have a question or comment regarding concussions, please use the comment section below. Our featured experts will respond accordingly. MEET

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Autism Speaks names Angela Timashenka Geiger as President and CEO

SOURCE: Autism Speaks New York, N.Y. (January 14, 2016) – Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, today announced that Angela Timashenka Geiger has been named president and CEO of the organization. The appointment came after a unanimous vote by the Autism Speaks Board of Directors and is effective February 2016. “We

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It Takes A Whole Village

The Nigerian proverb “It takes a whole village to raise a child” says it all, especially for those of us raising children with special needs. BY EOLANE Back in the 1980s, our village took a chance and reached out. My son learned to believe; although still physically challenged, he now is capable of living independently

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ep Special Needs Connect “Search & Respond”

ep Special Needs Connect’s Search & Respond enables you to reach out and interact with other families and caregivers who are just like you and can help you, using their own knowledge and experience. As with the people in the following situations, you will be able to post your questions on the site, so it

Healthcare

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Prominent Physician Proposes A Can-Do Way To Reduce Health Care Costs – By Finding Cures

PART II of a SERIES INTERVIEW OF STEPHEN L. DEFELICE, M.D., BY JOSEPH M. VALENZANO JR. In Dr. DeFelice’s journey with carnitine, he faced every barrier in our medical discovery system. He believes the Doctornaut Act is the only practical remedy and route to achievable solutions. “My experience with carnitine and our Barrier System would

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Severe Birth Defects Not As Lethal As Docs Once Said: Study

by Lindsey Tanner Parents of newborns with rare genetic conditions used to hear the grim words that the severe birth defects were “incompatible with life.” Support groups and social media showing the exceptions have changed the landscape. So has mounting research suggesting that not all such babies are doomed to die. The latest study focuses

Wellness

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All About Probiotics

HEALTHY CHOICES, HEALTHY LIFESTYLES BY BARBARA B. MINTZ, MS, RD Doctors commonly prescribe taking probiotics to “repopulate” the digestive tract with healthful bacteria. Bottom line, the good bacteria help “crowd out” bad bacteria. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But did you know that your body is full of bacteria, both

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Healing “The Most Unkindest Cut Of All”

BY H. BARRY WALDMAN DDS, MPH, PHD, RICK RADER, MD, STEVEN P. PERLMAN DDS, MSCD, DHL (HON) If you have tears, prepare to shed them now… Look! In this place ran Cassius’ dagger through: See what a rent the envious Casca made: Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb’d… Judge O you gods, how dearly Caesar

Education

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ep 2015 Teachers of the Year

BY VANESSA B. IRA, EDITOR EP MAGAZINE Three outstanding Teachers of the Year are being honored in this edition of EP (Exceptional Parent) magazine, our Annual Schools & Camps Issue. These are teachers whose work requires extraordinary patience, sometimes in the midst of constant emotional outbursts. Teachers who must focus always on what a student can do – and not on

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Parents See Adult Children Take Wing in L’Arche

BY BETHANY KEENER • PHOTOS PROVIDED BY L’ARCHE With 18 communities consisting of one or more homes in the United States, L’Arche provides support for daily living and a community of belonging where people with and without intellectual disabilities share their lives together. When Donna and Manny Ganzarain were told their fouryear-old son Mark was

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Money

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Introduction of ABLE Accounts in Some States this Summer

An ABLE account is designed to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. This summer, certain states will begin introducing ABLE accounts, providing special needs individuals and their families another resource through which to save and invest for

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An Opportunity for a Living Wage for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum? Electronics Recycling & Refurbishing

BY ERNST VANBERGEIJK, PH.D., M.S.W. Without specific job training, individuals on the autism spectrum face rather bleak employment prospects. At best, the employment rate is 45 percent for this population. Anecdotal reports find that only about 10 percent of  individuals on the autism spectrum find employment. Often, employment is part-time, minimum wage work which does

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HIPAA Privacy Rules Revealed

Just between you and me, what you don’t know could hurt you Imagine you have a nineteen-year-old daughter away at college about three hundred miles from your home. Her roommate calls to say there’s something terribly wrong. She tells you that your daughter is speaking incoherently and behaving unusually, and you hear it for yourself

Mobility

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ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL GUIDE & RESOURCES 2016

BY IDA KEIPER AND JESEMINE JONES; ILLUSTRATIONS BY BREE RUBIN When you travel and explore the world with your children, you have the opportunity to share their experiences and enthusiasm. On the other hand, children also benefit from traveling. For travel is full of teachable moments and, for children with special needs, the experiences are

Mobility Ventures Recognized by National Automobile Dealers Association

Mobility Ventures Recognized by National Automobile Dealers Association Oct 28, 2014 Mobility Ventures Proudly Joins NADA’s Long History of Commitment to Quality and Ethics (SOUTH BEND, Ind.) – Mobility Ventures LLC, designer and manufacturer of the acclaimed MV-1, the only American vehicle purpose-built and designed from the ground up in support of people who use

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Assistive Technology Information And Funding

Independent Living Centers These centers provide information and referrals on how to get funding in your area. There are approximately 400 independent living centers around the country. For the name of the one nearest you, contact the National Council on Independent Living Centers by following the link or call voice or TTY, 713.520.0232. Most states have

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We Found A 100% Electric Wheelchair Van

BY DAVE FINNIGAN We love that it is the last vehicle he will ever need, that there are virtually no service or repair requirements on electric vehicles, and that there is no heavy power ramp or mechanical lift to haul around or repair. Our 46-year-old son, Davy, has been in a wheelchair all his life,

Military

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Moving Forward

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN We need to focus less on creating barriers and identifying what makes our children with disabilities different and focus our efforts towards tearing down barriers. A few weeks ago, I watched a TED talk about children with disabilities presented by Torrie Dunlap. Torrie has worked with children with disabilities

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Brain training induces lasting brain & mental health gains for veterans, civilians with brain injury

In the first study of its kind, veterans and civilians with traumatic brain injury showed improved cognitive performance and psychological and neural health following strategy-based cognitive training. The Department of Defense-funded study, published this week in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, was conducted by an interdisciplinary team of cognitive neuroscientists, rehabilitation specialists, and neuroimaging experts from the Center

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TIPS FOR MILITARY SPECIAL NEEDS FAMILIES

TIPS FOR MILITARY SPECIAL NEEDS FAMILIES Disabled children of active duty military families who are enrolled in Tri Care’s Exceptional Family Member Program may be eligible for a Tri Care Waiver-equivalent program, the Extended Care Health Option/ECHO, which provides “financial assistance to beneficiaries with special needs for an integrated set of services and supplies.” This

President Message

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AAIDD and NADSP Issue a Joint Position Statement

“EP Magazine has supported the dedication and professionalism of the nation’s Direct Support Professionals and we are in full accord with this joint statement by the NADSP and AAIDD.” Joe Valenzano, CEO and Publisher; Rick Rader, MD, Editor in chief Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Workforce Statement Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have long sought lives

Editorial

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You Don’t Know Jack

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Dr. Jack Dillenberg, the founding Dean of an innovative incubated dental school in Mesa, Arizona, insisted his students had to have demonstrated a commitment to community service and an appreciation for collaborative approaches to comprehensive dental healthcare. “You don’t know Jack” is a popular expression that infers

New Technology & Products

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FUN2GO TANDEM

The Fun2Go Tandem is a side-by-side, three-wheel tandem tricycle in which the users ride tandem and sit beside each other, designed for use by organizations, institutions, and individuals who want to provide social contact and movement for a person with a disability by cycling outdoors. One person steers, and both can pedal. Riders can easily

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