The Sexual Assault Epidemic No One Talks About

Heard on All Things Considered Joseph Shapiro     Editor’s note: This report includes graphic and disturbing descriptions of assault. Pauline wants to tell her story — about that night in the basement, about the boys and about the abuse she wanted to stop. But she’s nervous. “Take a deep breath,” she says out loud to herself. She takes a deep and audible breath. And then she tells the story of what happened on the […]

When siblings have intellectual and developmental disabilities

Doreen Arcus, Ph.D. She would have been 100 this year. Perhaps the most influential person with intellectual and developmental disabilities in modern America, Rosemary Kennedy changed the lives of millions. And she did it through her siblings. Born at a time when families were advised to institutionalize children with disabilities, Rosemary was instead an integral part of Kennedy family life until a prefrontal lobotomy left her incapacitated at age 23. She was particularly close to […]

Training First Responders To Respond Bettter

“The SNAP Program makes a vital contribution to the armamentarium of best practices addressing the unique needs of special populations and their ability to thrive and participate in the community. It will become a time-honored component in the first responders’ toolkit.” – Rick Rader, MD, Medical Liaison, SNAP Program BY BRUCE GARNER Even under the best of circumstances, it is challenging to be a good parent, but when your child has special needs, it gets […]

Job Coach Helps Build Pride & Professionalism

BY LARRY LANDAUER The kitchen in the café at First American Financial Corporation where Elizabeth Martinez serves as job coach for Brian Hirayama, Daniel Martinez, and Alfonso Ponce—three young men with developmental disabilities—is a showcase for true integration of people with disabilities into the work force. Alongside co-workers without disabilities, these men perform their duties with pride and professionalism, helping the First American Café serve more than 1,000 people per day. The support, encouragement and […]

How Charter Schools & Vouchers Affect Special Education

Families should carefully weigh the pros and cons of charter schools and vouchers, and speak with their Parent Training and Information Center about their state laws, regulations, and policies regarding special education and charters or vouchers, before making a decision. BY MARIA DOCHERTY AND LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. With the increased focus in the United States on charter schools and the use of vouchers to support student  attendance at private schools, more and more parents of […]

Parents & Teachers Can Combat Bullying Together

BY KAREN KABAKI-SISTO, M.S. CCC-SLP Along with academic achievement, a goal of the educational experience is to learn how to have successful social relationships both inside and outside of the classroom that continue through adulthood. However, physically seating a student into a classroom –mainstream or self-contained –does not automatically ensure social acceptance. Problems with learning and communication can cause a child with special needs to be misunderstood, left out, teased, and/or bullied, leading to behavioral […]

New Jersey first state to enact ABLE in 2016

Trenton, NJ−Governor Chris Christie has signed ABLE legislation that will allow families the opportunity to set up tax-free 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses. The bill received unanimous support in votes in both chambers. The legislation was sponsored by Senate President Stephen, Senator Dawn Addiego and Assemblymembers Pamela Lampitt, Louis Greenwald, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Daniel Benson and Vincent Mazzeo. The New Jersey ABLE legislation follows upon enactment by the federal government of the Stephen Beck, Jr., […]

Mainstreaming the Education of Children with Disabilities: The Teacher’s Perspective

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE & DENTISTRY BY H. BARRY WALDMAN DDS, MPH, PHD, STEVEN P. PERLMAN DDS, MSCD, DHL (HON), AND MISHA GAREY, DDS “Inclusive education is a worldwide phenomenon widely advocated in the recent past. It is a philosophy as well as a principle and/or practice that is based on human rights and social justice. It advocates that children with special needs have to be educated along their normal peers in the regular […]

How To Organize International Group Travel For Students With Disabilities

BY ERNST VANBERGEIJK, Ph.D., M.S.W  Most non-disabled adults take for granted the ability to travel overseas for business or pleasure. However, for many teens and young adults with disabilities, the ability to travel independently without their parents is a dream. At best, they may have gone on a holiday with their families. They have never traveled to a foreign country with their friends. The benefits of traveling internationally for students with disabilities are numerous. Not […]

Going Solo

BY KIMBERLEE RUTAN MCCAFFERTY To the casual onlooker it was not a remarkable scene. A middle-aged mom trudging through the rain, huge beach bag slung precariously over her shoulder while clutching the hands of a ‘tween and a younger son, heading for the relative paradise of a movie theater overhang. If anyone had cared to look they would have viewed a grim determination in her eyes, a desire to reach her destination etched into the […]