Little Orphan Ani

BY PEG GRAFWALLNER I want to introduce you to my daughter, Ani. Ani is a vivacious, warm-spirited young woman. She is also autistic and intellectually disabled. Before we go on, I want to define autism. According to the National Autism Center, “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social interactions and social communication and by restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior.” If you ask Ani what autism is, she’ll tell you […]

“Age Doesn’t Matter Unless You Are A Cheese”

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE & DENTISTRY BY H. BARRY WALDMAN DDS, MPH, PHD, STEVEN P. PERLMAN DDS, MSCD, DHL (HON), AND MISHA GAREY, DDS “Your age doesn’t define your maturity, your grades don’t define your intellect, and rumors don’t define who you are.” 1 “I hate it when people say, ‘you’re smart for your age.’” 2 “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” 3 (Mark Twain) […]

Camp K: State of Desire

BY CHRISTINE REDMAN-WALDEYER Connectedness, Independence & Growth Good actions ennoble us, and we are the sons of our deeds. – Novelist Miguel de Cervantes We have to laugh. Because laughter, we already know, is the first evidence of freedom. – Poet Rosario Castellanos Jackie Vuich-Leckie recalled when her daughter, Ohia, was diagnosed with 22q (also referred to as Velocardiofacial syndrome, VCFS, and/or DiGeorge syndrome) when she was just 17 months old. Her name, Hawaiian, is […]

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

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 hope this helps you on your journey. Part IV follows; to review Parts I – III, see the September through […]

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, my elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top, and that I’m a few tacos short of a combo […]

Cameron and Gianna

BY JULIA PESCHETTI Mother Teresa once said, “We cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” These words immediately bring to mind my little sister, Gianna, who has formed a bond with a young boy, Cameron, through their last year at Clarendon Elementary School—a bond which was highlighted for everyone in our family and the school during Gianna and Cameron’s 6th grade promotion. Cameron is a young boy who is […]

The Most Stressful Wonderful Time Of The Year

BY SARAH ROTH, MFA With the arrival of the holiday season, the landscape of public space changes. Lights are draped and blinking along the edges of neighborhood roofs. Wreaths are attached to doors and mailboxes. Backyards are speckled with inflatable snowmen and nativity dolls. Shopping malls hum with an added sociality. Families embrace and friends talk. Communities gather around tables, trees, and hearths. And our schedules change: schools let out, work hours shift, and we […]

What type of Insurance should I Buy?

BY ROBERT WRUBEL, CFP®, AIF® WE SHOULD USE LIFE INSURANCE TO COVER POTENTIAL LOSSES AT THOSE TIMES WHERE THE LOSSES ARE OTHERWISE UNAFFORDABLE. Harry Potter fans know that Harry’s house was protected by an unbreakable charm. He was safe from frightening foes as long as he was inside the protection. Harry did not know about the protection until he was close to being an adult, but the protection was in place all the same. As […]

Managing Your Medical Bills & Insurance Paperwork

MANAGING YOUR MEDICAL BILLS & INSURANCE PAPERWORK: TIPS FOR MAXIMIZING REIMBURSEMENT BY HARVEY J. MATOREN, MPH, CCAP Do you become frustrated and overwhelmed when managing your medical bills and filing your health insurance claims? You’re not alone. It can be extremely difficult for the average patient or caregiver to get through the “maze of insurance land.” For people with a chronic or terminal illness, or acute episodes of illness as well, managing and filing insurance […]

A Double Whammy + 1

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE & DENTISTRY BY H. BARRY WALDMAN DDS, MPH, PHD, RICK RADER, MD, STEVEN P. PERLMAN DDS, MSCD, DHL (HON), AND MISHA GAREY, DDS A double whammy + 1 is a triple part difficulty; e.g. limitations in health care based on 1) race, 2) ethnicity, plus 3) disabilities. A double whammy is a situation that is bad in two different ways: a situation in which two bad conditions exist at the […]