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Attention Caregivers: SSDI Benefits For Dependents With Special Needs May Not Last Forever!

Caregivers of dependents with special needs who receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits must fully understand the nature, scope and duration of these benefits to effectively plan for the financial future of their dependent. When SSDI benefits are payable based on a parent’s working record to their adult dependent with special needs, the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers this type of benefit as a “child’s” benefit. It is this form of eligibility that this […]

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Holiday Gift Guide

As the holiday season quickly approaches, caregivers and parents of children with special needs are considering what new toys, games and learning tools are appearing on the market and which of those might be a good fit for their child. To help families through their toy purchasing decisions, EP’s editors have compiled a selection of some new products as well as some classic choices, each of which offer fun ways to improve motor skills, balance, […]

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Anyone Can Sleep in the Top Bunk!

BY LAURA WHITAKER In 2014, Extra Special People (ESP) officially became the proud owner of 70 acres of beautiful, empty land in northeast Georgia – and Camp Hooray, a place where accessibility will be a foundational feature rather than a rushed afterthought, was one step closer to becoming a reality. Worried? Anxious? Not even close. If Toni Boyd could have described her emotions on the day she dropped off her daughter Samantha at summer camp […]

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STUDY: The Family Dog Could Help Boost Physical Activity For Kids With Disabilities

BY MICHELLE KLAMPE Researchers designed an adapted physical activity, animal-assisted intervention where the family dog would serve as a partner with the child in physical activities designed to help improve overall physical activity, motor skills and quality of life. The family dog could serve as a partner and ally in efforts to help children with disabilities incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives, a new study from Oregon State University indicates. In a case […]

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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 […]

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Building Healthy & Inclusive Communities

Throughout Healthy Communities, Special Olympics seeks to collaborate with mission-aligned organizations that often traditionally miss the population that Special Olympics serves. Special Olympics has set a goal of having 100 locations recognized as Healthy Communities by 2020. When Kenny Canon’s pain resulted in a trip to the emergency room, his mother began to worry. “He had toothaches, was in a lot of pain and said he was dizzy,” said Kenny’s mother, Shirley. “He told me […]

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How A Child Developmental Passport Can Help Families

BY DEEPA SRINIVASAVARADAN Developmental Passports can be used by parents to track the health, wellness, and development of their child. These are available in both English and Spanish for families. A STATE EXAMPLE The Child Developmental Passport in NJ was developed in collaboration with the State Ambassador of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Learn the Signs, Act Early Program and the Help Me Grow and Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Initiative of the NJ Department […]

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Special Education And Early Intervention Resources For Families And Professionals

BY LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), funds a Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network with resources for all stakeholders with an interest in special education and early intervention, including parents, self-advocates, educators, early interventionists, school districts, state Departments of Education, other service providers, researchers, policymakers, and legislators. WHICH TYPES OF RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE? There are many different kinds of resources available to families and professionals. These include […]

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Addressing Chronic Pain: A Five-Step Team Approach

BY GRACE L. FRANCIS AND VICTORIA MCMULLEN Living with someone who has chronic pain is difficult; living with someone who is in pain and also has challenging behavior and limited communication abilities can be downright miserable for all involved. Ron, age 35, has numerous educational and medical diagnoses, including mixed type cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disability, and autism. He also experiences many types of chronic pain related to conditions such as osteoarthritis, tempomandibular joint […]

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NDNRC Releases Statement On Preserving ACA Protections

The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC) recently released a statement entitled “Preserve the Protections Provided by the Affordable Care Act.” PRESERVE THE PROTECTIONS PROVIDED BY THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT The Affordable Care Act (ACA) brought about much-needed reforms for health insurance, addressed systemic discrimination, and expanded coverage to millions of Americans who had previously been uninsured. Many of the reforms established by the ACA were a great benefit for people with disabilities, including the […]