Going to the Movies

Brad most likely noticed that we weren’t your typical or normal family. Brad could have told us to leave the movie theater that day and possibly could have provided us a refund for our tickets, but he didn’t. Normalcy is a subjective status or characteristic that every family strives to emulate at one time or another. My husband and I will do a fist pump in celebration any time we witness anything remotely close to […]

Understanding The Nature Of Bullying

BY EMILY ILAND, M.A. & THOMAS W ILAND, B.S., CPA An inclusive peer mentoring class, character education, and highlighting the capacities and value of each person are excellent ways to increase protective factors of vulnerable individuals. “You see that girl over there? She wants you to kiss her.” I looked across the crowded high school quad at the lovely young lady sitting under a tree. I could not believe my luck. How did the guys […]

Policy Statement On Inclusion Of Children With Disabilities In Early Childhood Programs

This year our country proudly celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the 50th anniversary of Head Start. All three efforts have been transformative in ensuring equal opportunity for all Americans. While tremendous progress has been made, the anniversaries of these laws are cause for reflection on the work that lies ahead. Children with disabilities and their families continue to […]

Ten Things Your Child’s Teaching Team Wish You Knew

BY DEANNA PICON Parents and the teaching staff share a common objective: working together to ensure the best experience for your son or daughter. Every fall, parents and students gear up for a new school year, with high hopes for a successful academic term. At the same time, teachers, therapists and administrative staff anxiously await a fresh school session filled with both returning and new students, classes, activities and challenges. Parents and the teaching staff […]

Back To School: Have You Covered Your Bases?

GENETIC ALLIANCE BY SHARON ALEXANDER, MPA The Advocacy ATLAS has over 200 tools and resources developed by parents, parent advocacy groups, condition-specific advocacy groups, disability groups and other partners. This time of year can be both exhilarating and challenging for the whole family. Whether returning to school or starting school for the first time, there are a lot of things to do and moving pieces to consider. For children with special healthcare needs and their […]

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

BY JENNIFER WOODWORTH, PSY.D AD/HD that is not treated with therapeutic or medical interventions can have a large impact on the person experiencing the symptoms and the people they interact with. As school begins, children will be asked to sit still, focus on lessons, and concentrate for extended amounts of time. The first month of school is generally considered an adjustment period, yet after about four weeks have passed, teachers are able to identify students […]

Your Child with Special Needs is Being Bullied: What Can You Do?

BY MARION WALSH, ESQ., LITTMAN KROOKS LLP There are five action steps you can take to address any bullying of your child. Focus on Bullying Section: Part 1 of 3 Julissa is 12 years old. She has significant learning disabilities and vision and speech language impairments. She struggles with social interaction and is also very small for her age. After a few months in seventh grade, Julissa’s parents notice that she is becoming more withdrawn […]

The Benefits of Dual Enrollment

BY EMILY ILAND, M.A. AND THOMAS W. ILAND, B.S., CPA Dual enrollment can create a gradual transition that gives students with special needs the time and support they need to mature and develop skills for life. By the time students with exceptional needs are in high school, most parents are fairly comfortable navigating the special education system. The sense of comfort can be quickly undone, however, when parents start to think about the great unknown: […]

Eight Evaluation Essentials for Parents in Special Education

BY JUDITH CANTY GRAVES AND CARSON GRAVES Evaluations are a major part of the special education experience. The purpose of evaluations, aside from determining eligibility for special education, is to inform parents, teachers, and other specialists how a student’s disabilities may be affecting his or her ability to learn and interact socially with peers. This information is important in providing a road map for the student’s special education Team to develop an effective Individualized Education […]

Girl Scout Wins Disability Discrimination Suit Against Troop

LIVING WITH A DISABILITY BY JERRY LEVINSON Megan, then age 12, sued the Girl Scouts, claiming the organization violated the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by refusing to provide her with sign language services and then by disbanding her troop because her mother complained. Megan Runnion was active in a Girl Scout troop run by the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, the largest regional Girl Scout organization in the United States. Megan […]