The Best Laid Schemes

LIVING WITH A DISABILITY BY JERRY LEVINSON My GP diagnosed the problem as a pinched nerve, likely caused by use of the STS machine that had forced my spinal column and vertebrae into a position they had not been in in years. The title of this column is taken from a line in Robert Burns’ 1786 poem “To a Mouse” that reads “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.” Truer words […]

Financial Matters to Consider When a Family Member’s Death is Expected

A family member’s death and the grief we feel is difficult to endure, especially if the death is sudden and shocking. But sometimes we know in advance a person’s life will soon end. “Expecting a death doesn’t minimize grief,” says Leizer Gewirtzman1, CPA, ChSNC, who is a Special Care Planner2 with Lee, Nolan and Koroghlian, LLC3 in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, a general agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). “However, it allows time […]

10 Ways to Reach Out to the Autism Community

BY KIMBERLEE RUTAN MCCAFFERTY Eleven years ago, my eldest son Justin was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism. At the time I didn’t know any other families with autistic children other than the ones I’d had in my homeroom as a teacher, and those children were much older than my son. I didn’t know who to turn to for help in supplementing the scant eight hours of services Justin was receiving each month from Virginia’s […]

How to Raise Funds for Children with Disabilities

NEW RESOURCE BY MELANIE DAVIS The Funding Guide for Children with Disabilities focuses on the author’s proven process for applying for support from the various funding sources that assist children. It also includes a directory of over 200 funding sources divided into three categories: National, State and Wish Funders. For more than a decade, Tamara Simmons has been assisting families in raising the funds they lack to cover assistive technology and other expenses for their […]


As the centerpiece of the One Million Rounds fundraising and awareness project, a life-size sculpture of the art is being created to go on tour in both England and the U.S. as an international campaign for our veterans. The Fallen Hero Guardian Angels art was commissioned by Melanie Davis to reflect the stories of miraculous protection she was hearing as she wrote The Triumph Book: HEROES, 27 first person accounts from veterans spanning the decades […]

How Team Sports Benefit Students With Special Needs

BY HELENE SCHORR, M.S. AND ERIN VLASAK, M.S. HOW CAN WE ENCOURAGE AND MOTIVATE SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM, TO MAKE SOME TYPE OF EXERCISE OR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PART OF THEIR WEEKLY ROUTINE? Many students with special needs have had a hard time throughout their schooling when it comes to physical education, especially organized team sports. This negative feeling towards sports and physical activity can carry over through adulthood. As we […]

ep Website Re-launch: Understanding the redesign

ep today unveils a dramatic redesign of its Website which debuts with its annual autism issue. The updated Website marks the second step in a rolling redesign of, which began with the combined re-architecture of “ep special needs connect.” The ep website redesign enhances the aesthetics of, while fostering participation and interactivity between readers, content creators and marketers in order to meet the demands of a new and evolving media in the special […]

Don’t Need Government Benefits? Create a Financial Strategy As Though You Do.

If you have a child with special needs who’s nearing adulthood, you may hear that you should take precautions to protect eligibility for government benefits. But what if you don’t want or need those benefits for your child? “Even if you believe you have plenty of money to care for your child,” says Lea Bancroft, MSFS, CLU, ChFC, ChSNC, a Special Care Planner1 associated with MassMutual Rochester2 in Rochester, New York, a general agency of […]

Pressure Mapping For Wheelchair Users

BY DR. KIRSTEN DAVIN, OTD, OTR/L, ATP, SMS As a parent or caregiver of a child who utilizes a wheelchair, one understands the constant struggle of incorporating comfort, function and safety within a child’s seating system. The threat of skin breakdown or pressure related wounds is real and can create a life-threatening concern if not properly addressed. Today, within the United States, we are seeing more wheelchair users than ever before. Recent estimates suggest at […]

Early Intervention is Smart for Finances, Too

As important as early intervention is to the health and wellbeing of your child, so is early attention to creating a financial strategy for your family. “Parents with a child who’s recently been diagnosed with a life-changing injury, illness, or condition has little time for other concerns,” acknowledges Chadwick Noyes, CLU, ChFC, ChSNC, a Special Care Planner1 with Hoopis Financial Group2 in Chicago, Illinois, a general agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company  (MassMutual). “However, […]