On Learning That My Brain is Shrinking

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF I was quick to process and accept the news that my marinated tofu was shrinking. Doing crossword puzzles, listening to Mahler and navigating cornfield mazes was not going to curtail the shrinkage. My boat was dirty. It was the weekend; I would clean it. The plan was a “no brainer,” and I was soon to learn that the expression “no brainer” was an accurate description. Apparently it […]

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 […]

Transitions: Moving from pediatric care to adult care can be tricky. Here are eight questions to ask your doctor to facilitate the process.

Kritz, Fran Neurology Now: October/November 2017 – Volume 13 – Issue 5 – p 10–11 Many neurologic diseases, such as epilepsy, spinal muscular atrophy, muscular dystrophy, or Down syndrome, begin in childhood when patients are seen by pediatric neurologists. What happens when these patients age into adulthood? Do they stay with their pediatric specialist or switch to a neurologist who treats adults or both children and adults? The accepted wisdom is to transition to doctors […]

Mindful Awareness & The Healing Arts – A Therapy Paradigm Shift

BY JANICE K. RYAN, OTD, OTR/L How quickly can a television show change a culture? Has The Big Bang Theory altered societal perceptions, self-perceptions, and future possibilities for people with learning, cognitive or behavioral differences? It’s hard to believe that Sheldon Cooper and his diverse group of friends entered family living rooms over ten years ago. Kerry Magro, an Autism Speaks staff member and adult with autism, wrote about his feelings in a blog. He […]

Robots, Engagement and Autism Spectrum Disorder Intervention

BY GREG FIRN, ED.D Learners with intellectual disabilities often struggle with traditional educational tools, but robots are a game changer. Kids like robots because they’re “cool” and feel like big toys – nonjudgmental ones. With over 30 years of experience in education and a passion for helping every child meet their full potential academically and socially, I have seen how effective intervention is for children with ASD, particularly if it happens early in the child’s […]

Defining Resilience

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN I would say that raising a child with autism while serving in the military would fit the definition quite well. Resilience. I remember a good friend of mine sitting with me during a briefing, encouraging Army spouses to be more resilient and mentioning that our children were some of the most resilient individuals around. She reached over and whispered in my ear, “I hate the word resilient.” She had […]

National Down Syndrome Society Launches National Campaign Spotlighting Laws that Prevent Individuals with Down Syndrome from Seeking Careers

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), a human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome, will soon bring together community leaders, self-advocates, parents and employers to launch their latest campaign – Law Syndrome. NDSS’ Law Syndrome campaign will help launch October as Down Syndrome Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Law Syndrome directly addresses the challenges faced by people with Down syndrome who desire to fulfill career goals, get married and live […]

Rare Disease Caregiving Study

To study the impact of rare disease on unpaid friends and family members who provide care (known as “family caregivers”), the National Alliance for Caregiving and Global Genes, are launching a “first-of-its-kind” national snapshot of rare disease caregivers. This fall, the two groups plan to release a national survey aimed at collecting feedback from over 1,000 family caregivers of children and adults with rare diseases. The survey will be open from Wednesday, September 13 through […]

Enhancing Lives Of People With Down Syndrome

BY SARA HART WEIR, MS The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is the leading human rights organization for individuals with Down syndrome. NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations and become valued members of welcoming communities. Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down […]