What’s Your Goal?

THE FITNESS PRIORITY BY KRISTIN MCNEALUS, PT, DPT Can you break the goal down into three smaller goals you can work on to get toward your big goal? Now give a timeline for those three goals. Giving a time frame will hold you accountable. Think of a goal you would like to accomplish – is it that you would like to lose five pounds? (or 50?) Would you like to lower your cholesterol by 30 […]


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 […]


Exercise: It’s All About Intensity

THE FITNESS PRIORITY BY KRISTIN MCNEALUS, PT, DPT If you have a disability, it is even more important to get enough exercise because your ability to move throughout the day while doing daily activities is limited, which increases your risk for heart disease and diabetes. I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of incorporating exercise into your life, but do you do it? If you have a disability, it is even more important to get […]


Physical Therapy: What You Should Know

THE FITNESS PRIORITY BY KRISTIN MCNEALUS, PT, DPT Feel free to get second opinions. Physical therapists treat many different diagnoses, again at many different stages. Exceptional Parents often are well versed in many avenues of care for themselves and their children, including all of the rehabilitation professionals. Do you know what each auxillary profession is knowledgeable about? As a physical therapist, I am going to present some information that I think may be useful to […]


Motivation to Get Moving

THE FITNESS PRIORITY BY KRISTIN MCNEALUS, PT, DPT Write down your goals to keep you focused on why you are exercising. Are you trying to stay healthy for your children? Are you trying to cut down on medications you have to take? We all know that exercise has many benefits for us, both physically and psychologically. It can keep our bodies and our minds healthy, and yet most people do not get enough exercise. Why […]


Children With Special Healthcare Needs: Preventing And Addressing Obesity

BY BRENDA L. FIGUEROA, FANNY OCHOA, MICHELE TYLER AND LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A.  There is raised awareness that our nation’s children are facing an obesity epidemic. However, many are not aware that children with special needs are even more likely to be overweight or obese than their typical peers. The latest data from the Lucille Packard Foundation showed that while 30% of children are obese, over 35% of children with special needs are obese.1 Data from […]


Perceptions of Self

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE & DENTISTRY BY H. BARRY WALDMAN DDS, MPH, PHD, STEVEN P. PERLMAN DDS, MSCD, DHL (HON) AND MATTHEW COOKE, DDS, MD, MPH “Prior to the twentieth century, social attitudes reflected the view that persons with disabilities were unhealthy, defective and deviant. For centuries, society as a whole treated these people as objects of fear and pity. The prevailing attitude was that such individuals were incapable of participating in or contributing […]


Take Advantage of Summer

THE FITNESS PRIORITY BY KRISTIN MCNEALUS, PT, DPT If you have a gait trainer, the museum floors are flat and hard, and may be a great place to use the device! Summer is a great time to get outside and do more activities! The weather is warm, the days are long, and many children have more time off from school. Time can be spent learning and doing things that may not be opportunities offered in […]


Special Needs Families: Creating Summer Fun!

BY ANGELA NELSON, MS, BCBA When a family member has challenges in the areas of learning, behavior, or mobility, going into a summer adventure can take more planning, thought, proactivity, and research. But that doesn’t need to be a barrier to creating fun for the whole family to enjoy. Summertime is synonymous with BBQ’s, swimming, stargazing, and sleeping in right? Well, maybe. For some parents, a lot of parents actually, summertime can mean searching for […]


Childhood Anxiety

THE FITNESS PRIORITY BY KRISTIN MCNEALUS, PT, DPT If your child has a disability, there may be more situations that are frustrating, and this may also lead to feelings of anxiety. Does your child have anxiety? It is okay to not be sure. Many children who have anxiety tend to be well behaved, and their anxiety is keeping them quiet. Some signs that you may see are excessive worry, trouble sleeping, restlessness or fatigue during […]