My Son’s Autism Diagnosis

My wish for you and your child is that you get the information you need, the resources that can help, and the acceptance to be able to move forward with your lives following an autism diagnosis. BY KIMBERLEE RUTAN McCAFFERTY Over the years people have asked me about how and when Justin was diagnosed with autism. My boy got an official diagnosis at 17 months from a developmental pediatrician, received a spectrum diagnosis at a […]

Shake It ‘Til You Make It!

by Jim Turk Remember in the Empire Strikes Back when Luke decides to use his harpoon to tie up the legs of those evil walking robot things to slow them down? He didn’t “defeat” them but he DID save the rebel force. It was a real breakthrough. …And the other day I had one of my own. Now, I’m no Jedi Master (even though I sometimes think of myself as one – is that weird?), but […]

Welcome To GiGi’s Playhouse

Nancy Gianni realized that she now had a mission – to change the way the world sees Down syndrome and promote acceptance for all, while providing opportunities and support for GiGi and others like her. When Nancy Gianni gave birth to her daughter, GiGi, 15 years ago, she thought she knew exactly what to expect of those early hours and days. She had already brought two babies into the world and was looking forward to […]

On Becoming a Practitioner of the Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Exceptional parents have far too many artifacts to sift through and decide which pile to place them in. What do you do with early IEPs, MRI findings, Special Olympic medals, behavioral support plans, clinic appointment cards, support group newsletters, insurance explanation of coverage and conservatorship papers? It started innocently enough. My wife decided it was time to change the carpeting in our bedroom. It had outlived its […]

Who would we be without our sisters and brothers?

by Lynne Pearson When Leila was four years old she must have decided that one younger brother simply was not enough and so she confidently asked me to provide her with a set of twin siblings, a boy and a girl. I smiled at my young daughter in the knowledge that Nick and I were hoping to have a third child and said,  “I’ll see what I can do.”. A few short weeks later I […]

Disability Stigma and Your Patients

For people with disabilities, stigma can be a major barrier to participation. Stigmatizing attitudes about disabilities can also affect relationships between patients and providers. However, health care providers can be allies with their patients and help reduce the impact of stigma. What Is Disability Stigma? The word stigma comes from the Greek word for “mark.” Generally, stigma is a negative set of beliefs about people with specific characteristics. For example, ethnic or sexual minorities, or people […]

Building Supportive, Person-Centered Communities For Adults With Autism

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 500,000 teens with autism will age into adulthood over the next decade and housing will become one of the greatest concerns for them, their parents and other caregivers. Right now, an estimated 80,000 adults with autism in the United States are on waiting lists for publicly-funded residential placements and services. The waiting periods can run up to 15 years and the number of those waiting […]

Mom, Get Out of My Life…

by Colleen Berlingieri I was in a bookstore the other day when I saw the title of a book that almost made me snort latte out of my nose.  It was called Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl To The Mall?   by Dr. Anthony E. Wolf PhD. This title is a perfect description of my current reality with my son. Skills vs. Swagger Geordi has a developmental disability.  He […]

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 […]

Neglected for Too Long: Dental Care for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

National Council on Disability An independent federal agency making recommendations to the President and Congress to enhance the quality of life for all Americans with disabilities and their families. Neglected for Too Long: Dental Care for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Fall 2017 This policy brief is designed to provide insight concerning the lack of dental care many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD)[1] continue to experience due to a shortage of properly […]