Choosing Appropriate Gifts for Kids with Special Needs

Buying the perfect gift for kids and other loved ones can be challenging, and this can also be true when buying gifts for kids with autism. To help make your gift-giving easier, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when purchasing gifts for individuals with autism: Focus on the person’s interests and preferences Research shows that incorporating preferences into the learning and play environment of individuals with autism, can reduce behaviors and […]

Bullying and Children with Disabilities and Special Health Needs

Children with disabilities—such as physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional, and sensory disabilities—are at an increased risk of being bullied. Any number of factors— physical vulnerability, social skill challenges, or intolerant environments—may increase the risk. Research suggests that some children with disabilities may bully others as well. Kids with special health needs, such as epilepsy or food allergies, also may be at higher risk of being bullied. Bullying can include making fun of kids because of their […]

ALS: ‘Unique’ cells could open up new avenues for therapy

By Maria Cohut Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to the death of nerve cells that control movement, leaving people unable to move and, eventually, to breathe. ALS is fatal and, so far, incurable. Can new findings bring hope for novel therapies? ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects approximately 30,000 people in the United States alone. Still, its causes remain largely unknown. There is currently no cure, […]

Disability-Inclusive Communities

July 26, 2019 marks the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law that promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities at work, school, or other community settings. Learn what CDC is doing to include people with disabilities in public health research and health promotion activities. An estimated 61 million people are living with a disability in the United States,1 and many people will experience a disability at some time […]

Comparing the Economic and Social Prevalence Among Special Needs Children who received health insurance through Medicaid/CHIP

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released an issue brief (below) with an in-depth analysis comparing the economic and social prevalence among special needs children who received health insurance through Medicaid/CHIP, private insurance, a combination of Medicaid/CHIP and private insurance, or who are uninsured. The analysis from Kaiser shows that children with special needs who benefit from Medicaid/CHIP have increased health access and their families experience lower financial burden in comparison to their counterparts. In addition, financial […]

Many Are Replacing Disability Checks With Paychecks

Heard on All Things Considered Scott Horsley Main Photo: Dani Izzie at her home in rural Virginia. More than a decade ago, she slipped in the bathroom and suffered a spinal cord injury that has left her unable to walk. She works as a social media manager for Spinergy, a company that makes high-performance wheels for wheelchairs. Greg Kahn for NPR During and after the Great Recession, people turned to disability rolls in large numbers […]

How ABLE Accounts Support Special-Needs Children and Their Families

BY Dawn Doebler, MBA, CPA, CFP®, CDFA®, Senior Wealth Advisor ABLE accounts are an important planning tool alongside more-traditional techniques such as special-needs trusts. One financial challenge that many families with special-needs children confront is funding the ever-growing expenses that their child may need over their lifetime. With additional costs of important medical and support care often reaching over $100,000 per year for a special-needs child, many families look to special government programs to fill […]

Disability Etiquette

Introduction The United States Census Bureau reports that approximately 56.7 million Americans have a disability. This report is for anyone—with or without a disability—who wants to interact more effectively with people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was conceived with the goal of integrating people with disabilities into all aspects of life, particularly the workplace and the marketplace. Sensitivity toward people with disabilities is not only in the spirit of the ADA, […]

Small molecule targets cause of adult onset muscular dystrophy

—by Tianna Hicklin, Ph.D. At a Glance Researchers developed a small molecule that, in mice, blocks the mutated RNA responsible for adult onset muscular dystrophy. The findings suggest a new avenue to develop therapeutics for this condition. Muscular dystrophy includes over 30 inheritable diseases. These are characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the muscles. Some types of muscular dystrophy appear in childhood, while others may not appear until adulthood. Myotonic dystrophy is the most […]

ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts Can Be a Winning Combination

This article was written by The Special Needs Alliance (SNA). The Special Needs Alliance is a national organization comprised of attorneys committed to helping individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Learn more about the SNA: www.specialneedsalliance.org.  ABLE accounts and special needs trusts (SNTs) are both financial tools for managing funds without affecting an individual’s eligibility for such means-tested programs as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But that’s pretty much […]