How Families Can Help Their Son or Daughter With Disabilities Find Work

Families and friends can play an important role helping those with disabilities plan for employment and find a job that is a good fit. Job Matching Families know their child better than anyone else and can contribute important insights throughout the job development process.  To help an individual find the right job it is important to share information about: A person’s interests and skills A person’s learning style A person’s social skills Environments that support […]

After Other Options Fail, A Family Tries Medical Marijuana For Son With Autism

Heard on Morning Edition Lynn Arditi One November afternoon inside a raised ranch in Rhode Island, Kristal and Chris’ 13-year-old son was just getting home from school. “How’s school?” Chris says. “Bad!” Dylan says. He’s a skinny kid with glasses – still small enough for his mom to wrap him in a bear hug if he gets out of control. He’s had a lot of bad days. Dylan’s parents review the daily reports his school […]

Organizing an Inclusive Birthday Party

Birthday parties can create fear in many parents. All the excitement, noise and sugar at the start, followed by tears and tantrums at the end. Not to mention all the expensive, catering and planning that’s involved. But one aspect of the planning that parents shouldn’t worry over is the invite list. Should you invite the child in the class with special needs? The simple answer is, yes. Having children with special needs at the party may require a […]

Microsoft’s Emotional New Super Bowl Ad Promotes the Adaptive Controller

Microsoft’s commercial features children with disabilities who love the adaptive controller. “When everybody plays, we all win.” That’s the slogan of Microsoft’s emotional Super Bowl ad released on Thursday. The commercial, titled “We All Win,” highlights the Xbox adaptive controller, which can be used by gamers with disabilities. It features young gamers and their parents whose experiences have changed thanks to the device. One of the children interviewed was 9-year-old Owen. His parents said in […]

U.S. Department of Education Announces Initiative to Address the Inappropriate Use of Restraint and Seclusion to Protect Children with Disabilities, Ensure Compliance with Federal Laws

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today that the U.S. Department of Education will launch an initiative to address the possible inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s schools. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), in partnership with the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), will oversee this proactive approach which will protect students with disabilities by providing technical assistance and support to schools, districts, and state education agencies, […]

Fire Safety for Your Special Needs Child

While every family should have a home fire safety plan, it’s even more critical if you have a family member with cognitive or physical disabilities. These individuals are 2.5 to 6.5 times more likely to die in a house fire. However, there are a number of safety precautions you can take to reduce the risk of injury for your loved ones. Identify exits Assess each room in your home and identify at least two exits, […]

Preventing Abuse of Your Special Needs Child

Here’s a somber statistic: Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are far more likely to be abused by someone they know than a stranger. Abuse is any behavior that is unwanted, intentionally harmful, demeaning or insulting, or causes the victim to be afraid. This may include physical violence, sexual assault, bullying, emotional maltreatment or neglect. Sadly, because an individual with intellectual and developmental disability may be perceived as an “easy target,” the likelihood of abuse […]

A Connecticut Cafe Provides Jobs For Adults With Disabilities

  Adults with intellectual disabilities often struggle to find work. Over 80-percent are under-employed or not working at all, according to an estimate by the Arc, a nonprofit that assists people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. So a group of Connecticut families started a cafe named BeanZ & Co. to tackle the problem head-on. On a recent day, Lauren Traceski took an order from a customer, then relayed it to her boss, who started up […]

Stranger Safety for Your Special Needs Child

When we envision a child with Down syndrome navigating the world without adult supervision, fears about encounters with strangers naturally surface. Many individuals with Down syndrome are friendly and trusting, by nature, and respond warmly to a new acquaintance, a trait that is generally celebrated by those who are privileged to meet them. But, this endearing quality creates a vulnerability that obligates parents to teach them to distinguish between acceptable, harmless exchanges with strangers and […]

Lights, Camera, Action!

by Jessica Ebersole I wrote the following poem after the Talent show night at our Joni and Friends family retreat during my internship at Spruce Lake. Family Retreat is a time for families with special needs to come and be refreshed from the daily grind of life with a disability. I had the opportunity to share this poem with the other two talent shows at the following weeks of retreat. Lights, Camera, Action! For a […]