Word Count

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF I think readers of this magazine would nominate two words that would give “cellar door,” and “tremulous,” a run for their money. They certainly convey “comfort and the deepness of human relationships.” They are “exceptional” and “parent.” Not sure how many I used since I woke up this morning; but I just used 19 of them. I know because I counted them. That is one thing you […]

Smarty Pants

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Exceptional Parents have always worn “exceptional clothes” and have created an awareness, a movement and a culture that will surely outlast any battery-operated “smart device.” It seems like we are surrounded, seduced and immersed with “smart” things. These days, there are “smart phones,” “smart cars,” “smart watches,” “smart homes,” “smart environments,” and even “smart clothes”! Obviously, all of these devices were imagined, designed and built by smart […]

Face to Face

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF The secret to the joys and rewards of supporting individuals with special needs is best shared by Dejan Stojanovic: “For a moment at least, be a smile on someone else’s face.” When I was in college I always had two well-worn, dog-eared books close by. One was the Workshop Manual for my 1953 MG roadster which seemed to always announce that its most current ailment could be […]

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 […]

A Gift for the Rest of Time

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Exceptional Parent magazine congratulates Rotary International and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on their fourth annual World Polio Day event (October 24) where more than 50,000 viewers around the world will hear about the progress on the road to polio eradication. Despite Herculean worldwide efforts, teething fever, one of the most feared infectious diseases of all time, continues to redefine lives. It’s caused by a […]

Odds and Evens Playing Nicely Together

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Unified Sports provides people with and without ID (intellectual disabilities) the opportunity to play on the same sports team, creating a space for friendships, physical activity and fun. The classic image of the young girl with Down syndrome running with determination across the finish line to the cheers of her families, friends and coaches has always done what it is intended to do—let you know of the […]

Fluid Dynamics

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Poop and pee are hardly strangers to Direct Support Professionals. The DSPs have to return the situation to its pre-event status and do it with dignity, respect, grace and reverence to the individual. It’s been a hot summer in the South, and virtually every part of the country has seen extraordinary higher than average temperatures. At my community agency, The Orange Grove Center, we are particularly mindful […]

You Don’t Know Jack

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Dr. Jack Dillenberg, the founding Dean of an innovative incubated dental school in Mesa, Arizona, insisted his students had to have demonstrated a commitment to community service and an appreciation for collaborative approaches to comprehensive dental healthcare. “You don’t know Jack” is a popular expression that infers that you don’t really know what you’re talking about. “Jack” represents everyman, the common man and the average man. If […]

Rational Coefficients

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF For most Exceptional Parents who have tried to play by the numbers in their attempt to secure the greatest opportunities for their children to succeed, the irrationality of “special needs algebra” continues to challenge them. The Scottish comedian Billy Connolly nailed it when he said, “I don’t know why I should have to learn Algebra… I’m never likely to go there.” He was right, “Algebra” is a […]

Donald, Chuck E. and the Benjamins

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF The jury found that Chuck E. Cheese violated the employment provisions of the ADA by discriminating against Donald when they fired him due to his disability; and they let Chuck E. Cheese know they meant business. Some things are worth remembering, especially when it involves wanting to hit someone over the head with a two-by-four. Such was a lawsuit (in 1999) involving an individual in a disability […]