It Just Seems Normal

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE & DENTISTRY BY H. BARRY WALDMAN DDS, MPH, PHD, STEVEN P. PERLMAN DDS, MSCD, DHL (HON) AND MATTHEW COOKE, DDS, MD, MPH AND CHARLES D. LARSEN, DMD, MS The 1990 Americans with Disabilities (ADA) legislation set the civil rights ground rules that prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general […]

On Learning How to Face Up to Things

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF At the Orange Grove Center we are investigating the merits of using robots in teaching medical students and family practice residents facial expression recognition. Some diseases, conditions and disorders just don’t sound menacing. Cramps, flus, corns, styes and cysts. Even without knowing what they actually are, you could easily shrug your shoulders from the sound of their names. But then there are others. Take Mad Cow Disease, […]


BY KIMBERLEE MCCAFFERTY I STILL REMEMBER THE DAY I KNEW MY AUTISTIC SON WOULD REMAIN ON THE SEVERE END OF THE SPECTRUM. Justin was five and in the last few weeks of his pre-school program before he would transition back into district to his hometown public school. I recall going to his classroom for some type of program, the theme of which escapes me, and seeing a little blond girl he’d started with almost two […]

A Web App for IEP Self-Direction, Enhanced Self-Determination, and Employability

BY TOM KEATING, PH.D AND TOBIAS RICKARD, MS Self-determination is the combination of personal knowledge, skills, beliefs, and attitudes that empower an individual to have increased personal autonomy, decision-making, and involvement in goal setting when planning for their future. Research in the area of self-determination supports the value of student involvement in the IEP process and transition planning. In return, studies have shown that students who are more actively involved in their transition planning are […]

New Challenges For Introducing People With Disabilities Into The Workforce

BY MARILYN HOYSON, PH.D October marked National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which traces its origins to 1945. Much has changed since that time. Today our nation recognizes the needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities, and legislation is continually evolving to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Integrated employment for individuals with disabilities has become a priority over the past several years, bringing with it significant changes to […]

Resources for Funding Medical & Educational Services for Children with Special Needs

BY BRENDA L. FIGUEROA AND LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. Families of children with disabilities may struggle to get services for their children in schools and the medical system. They may not know how to get their child evaluated, that there may be free or low-cost services, or that there are organizations that can provide them with information and support. Some parents become peer supporters for other parents, helping them to navigate challenging systems, after advocating for […]

Dealing With The Dyslexia Paradox

Students with dyslexia are often not identified until they are older and are not offered proper services and intervention until someone notices there’s a real deficiency, which often happens after the ideal time for intervention (kindergarten and 1st grade) has passed. BY SHANTELL THAXTON BERRETT When the diagnosis of dyslexia – and later dysgraphia – came to light with my son, I felt overwhelmed and afraid. I was unsure of how to help him, or […]

Resources For Military Families: A Path To Advocacy For Your Child

“Organizations are people, so as you move, conditions change, service options change, and the people that you are working with will change. Always remember this so as you are planning your transition, realize that you are building a new network of resources each time you move.” BY SHELLY L. HUHTANEN Military families are in a continuous mode of transition. Either a parent is training for a deployment, on a deployment, or coming back from a […]

Better Late Than Never

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN As I take myself back to the store the other day, dragging my dress behind me with my sunken eyes and my weathered face due to years of crying, laughing and smiling, I can honestly say I have tried. I have tried to speak up about what families with special needs children need. The other day, I did something I don’t do very often. I went shopping for myself […]

Resources For Multi-Sensory Environments

BY JANICE K. RYAN, OTD, OTR/L Multi-sensory activities are suggested that are easy to locate, relatively inexpensive to buy, and will allow you to better understand how to create your child’s and family’s own personally-preferred home environment. The American Association of Multi-Sensory Environment (AAMSE) approach to treating people with special needs is an evolution of earlier ideas put forth by occupational therapists, neurophysiologists, educators, and the energy techniques used by complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) […]