Starting ’em Young

Young Athletes engages families by highlighting the power of play. Young Athletes includes a series of structured physical activities, songs and games to teach basic motor development skills for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2 to 7 years old. BY REBECCA RALSTON In a small community near Phitsanulok, Thailand, a young boy named Kongpob Yangkam lives with his grandparents and 17-year-old sister. Kong, as his family lovingly calls him, has intellectual disabilities and […]

Sophie’s World

by Amy Silverman Raising a teenage daughter is hard. Raising a teenage daughter with Down syndrome is harder. It can be like bang your head against the wall screaming for mercy several times a day hard. Don’t get me wrong. I adore Sophie. At 14 and a half she is 4 feet, 5 inches of pure joy – until she’s not. And then the combination of an extra chromosome and a whole lot of hormones mixes […]

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 […]

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 […]

Youth Empowerment Groups Encourage Self-Advocacy

Groups for youth and young adults may provide opportunity for building a foundation of skills to address core concepts that enable youth to have meaningful participation in the process of planning for their own futures. BY ERIN SEIGH AND LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. Students with disabilities need to learn how to advocate for themselves in order to foster independence when transitioning to adult life. Groups that encourage the voices of youth and young adults can help […]

Curing or Living with a Disability: Your Choice Would Be… (Commentaries)

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 “Everyone’s brain is different. Brains are like snow flakes – no two are alike.” 1 “There is tension within the disability community between curing the disability and living with the disability” 2 “…with Down syndrome, the general emphasis is to celebrate the strengths of the syndrome, whereas with […]

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 […]

Practice Without Pressure

Practice Without Pressure™ greatly reduces and, most times, eliminates the need for sedation and restraint. The PWP model includes the individual, the family/caregiver, and the clinican, and introduces the PWP practice specialist into the paradigm. BY DEBORAH JASTREBSKI THE NEED You wake up one morning and your tooth hurts. Although it’s not your favorite thing you call your dentist, make an appointment and go get it fixed. You’re nervous but you tell the dentist that, […]

A Holistic Guide For Families Who Have A Loved One With Special Needs

PUBLIC BENEFITS BY CALEB HARTY Many important benefits are outlined below, but not all. Also, effort has been made to point out important aspects of the programs, but outlining every detailed exception, rule, etc., is beyond the scope of this informational guide. For context, most of these programs are “means-tested,” which means they are usually not available until the child turns 18 because up until that point the parents’ assets and income are taken into […]

Preparing The Military Family For The Journey

STREAMLINING THE SCHOOL ENTRY PROCESS WITHIN THE SPECIAL EDUCATION LANDSCAPE BY ANGELA SHAW The changing life-style of the military family may seem adventurous to their civilian counterparts, but those who choose this career and life path face a degree of challenge to sustain synchronization of their dual roles of protecting and serving the individuals of our nation, together with caring for the people in their own family. One such instance is relative to the mobility involved in a military life. Military families are on […]