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Yes, Ani, There is a Santa Claus

BY PEG GRAFWALLNER, M.ED. Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make […]

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Creating A Family History Tree

Much like Kathleen did, families have the ability to trace their family health history. The tree can include everything from information on heredity, diet, work, activities and environment. GENETIC ALLIANCE BY BY CLAIRE MENA Dr. Kathleen Mimnagh, MD was doing a pediatric genetics rotation in medical school when a geneticist noticed her hand as she inserted an IV. He asked her to do a maneuver that stretched her thumb across her palm. Kathleen’s thumb, unlike […]

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5 Ways To Advocate For A Child With Special Needs During A Divorce

BY MINDY STANNARD Going through a divorce can be a stressful and trying time for any parent. Parents of a child with disabilities or special needs often face additional challenges when going through a divorce. Even an amicable divorce can include many complicated issues when the parents have a child with special needs. Issues relating to decision-making, a parenting schedule, child support, alimony and division of debts and assets are especially important in cases where […]

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Individuals With Disabilities In Russia

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 “During the 1980 Olympic games in Moscow, a Western journalist inquired whether the Soviet Union would participate in the first Paralympic games, scheduled to take place in Great Britain later that year. The reply from a Soviet representative was swift, firm, and puzzling: “There are no invalids in […]

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From Our Family To Yours

For Exceptional Parent magazine’s 2016 Family, Community and the Holidays issue, the Chambers family—Dr. Hank, Jill, sean and Dr. reid—share their experiences, views and words of wisdom with other families touched by special needs. It is a privilege to be a part of this interview with the wonderful Chambers family for Exceptional Parent magazine’s latest Family & Community issue. I have known my friends, Hank Chambers, MD and Jill Chambers, for over 20 years and […]

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A Slap To The Head

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lenny needed that slap to the head, not only for himself but to announce to his team that he was mad at himself, and that they could count on him to continue to give his all. Lenny was observed to slap his head with both open palms and grunt to himself. You could hear it across the gym. Normally, if this action was observed in an individual […]

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Update on SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths

“Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment,” draws on new research and serves as the first update to Academy policy since 2011. Recommendations call for infants to share their parents’ bedroom for at least the first six months and, optimally, for the first year of life, based on the latest evidence. The policy statement and an accompanying technical report were released on October 24, at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition in San […]

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I SEE YOU

BY KIMBERLEE RUTAN MCCAFFERTY Dear Much Younger Me, I see you, with your white-knuckled grip on your eldest son’s stroller. I watch you struggle to maintain his diaper bag on your arm and not lose your grip on the incomplete, badly-stapled articles with the word “autism” in the title that your utterly unempathetic pediatrician just thrust into your hand as he wished you an ascerbic “good luck.” I witness the white hot fear that’s been […]

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10 Ways to Think about How #InclusionWorks

Celebrating NDEAM. National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) takes place every October to celebrate the accomplishments of people with disabilities in the workplace. It’s also a time to reflect on ways that employers, workers, people with disabilities and others can build on that success and strengthen workplace inclusion. NDEAM began as a week-long observance in 1945; since then, it has evolved into a month-long celebration. This year’s theme is #InclusionWorks, which focuses on the key […]

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Increasing Adaptations For Individuals Who Struggle Emotionally And Socially

BY DR. JACKIE MARQUETTE My son Trent and I were on an outing shopping for his clothes. The store was loud and chaotic. Trent has autism and shopping wasn’t his favorite thing to do. He began to flap his hands and snap his fingers with an extremely tight facial expression. We knew what would happen next. He yelled out and. immediately following, he truly and earnestly expressed, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” While I understood he […]