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 […]


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 […]


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, […]


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 […]


This year Sophie plans to be Cleopatra for Halloween.

This month’s eParent post was written 10 years ago, a flashback preparations for my daughter Sophie’s second open heart surgery. It’s been a decade, but I still think about the timing of that last operation. Sophie rarely mentions her heart anymore – not in an anatomical sense, anyway. This year she plans to be Cleopatra for Halloween. In our house, this year Halloween began in July. Actually, it might have been June. This had nothing […]


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 […]


Building Bridges and Breaking down the Barriers that Parents of Children with Down Syndrome Face in Their Collaboration with School Professionals

BY JUDITH HARDING, Ed.D. Collaboration with parents of children with Down syndrome is legally mandated and pedagogically sound. This process allows parents and professionals to share in mutual decision making regarding the student’s educational program. Positive collaboration works because it makes available multiple perspectives, expands competence, and enhances the process for all involved. The benefits of positive partnerships between parents and professionals may result in improving academic achievement and functional life skills for students. Yet […]


Giant White Cheer Bow Free to a Good Home

Does anyone need a giant white cheer bow? This morning Sophie was ready early, waiting by the back door, yelling at me to hurry up so she could get to school and see if she made the freshman cheer line. “Now remember, you might not make it,” I said as we climbed in the car. “How do you feel about your chances?” “I know,” she said. “Good.” I’ll be honest: Even though I warned her all […]


Three Cheers for Sophie – No Matter What Happens at Tryouts

Sophie is trying out for freshman cheer. Sitting under the fluorescent lights of a big public high school gym for two hours yesterday afternoon, my thoughts veered wildly — from total disgust with our society for condoning (no, make that celebrating) the idea that it’s cool for girls to put on skimpy outfits and jump around with pom poms, encouraging boys to smash their heads into the ground and each other in order to get an […]