11 Tips For Selecting A School For Your Child With Special Needs

People will throw names of schools out to you and all sorts of ideas. But it comes down to your child and his or her needs — not what worked for someone else. BY AMI NEIBERGER-MILLER, APR, MA Selecting a school for your child who is coping with special needs can be a daunting task for any parent or guardian. In this article, we talk with the staff at the Episcopal Center for Children (the […]

Looking at School Placements from Both Sides of the Table

BY JOANNE DESIMONE As the outreach coordinator for the Alliance of Private Special Education Schools of North Jersey, I help parents and district case managers find appropriate placement options for their students. As a special educator and parent of two children with disabilities, I use the knowledge I’ve acquired, sitting on both sides of the table. When parents call me for placement options, I especially lean on the experience I had with my younger son […]

Identifying Educational Approaches To Support Students With Dyslexia

In order to integrate a specialized academic focus to learners with dyslexia and other reading differences, it is essential to understand and integrate the six strategies noted in this article to increase support, understanding, and communication that is essential to a collaborative team of educational caregivers. BY ANGELA SHAW The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) suggests that as many as 15% to 20% of the general population could have some degree of dyslexia (2017). Dyslexia, a […]

Turning Camp Staff And Volunteers Into Caring Leaders

“Cultivating a love of service and selflessness opens the window to a world that I want to live in, and one that provides experiences and memories of a lifetime for campers of every ability.” BY LAURA WHITAKER As an eager freshman at the University of Georgia, I sought out opportunities to volunteer for organizations whose purposes were meaningful to me. Extra Special People (ESP) immediately caught my eye as a nonprofit serving youth and adults […]

Transitioning Into Summer Finding Camps for Children with Special Healthcare Needs

BY JEFFREY GIORGI AND AMELIA MULFORD Summer camp can be a profound and transformative experience for children of all ages. Camp challenges us to interact with people we don’t know, perform feats we didn’t think we were capable of, and develop a stronger sense of self-reliance. But when the very act of moving around is a labored chore, summer camp experience can become less carefree and more stress-inducing, as in the case of five-year-old James. […]

A Parent’s Perspective: What To Do If Your Child Is Diagnosed With A Rare Disorder

BY LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. It’s hard enough on family caregivers when their child receives a new diagnosis. The challenge is made even more difficult when the condition is rare. “Rare disorders” are conditions that are rare or unusual, affecting small numbers of children. This could make it even more challenging to find information from good sources. Genetic resources may also be helpful in gathering information on rare diseases, particularly to help determine whether there is […]

New Challenges For Introducing People With Disabilities Into The Workforce

BY MARILYN HOYSON, PH.D October marked National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which traces its origins to 1945. Much has changed since that time. Today our nation recognizes the needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities, and legislation is continually evolving to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Integrated employment for individuals with disabilities has become a priority over the past several years, bringing with it significant changes to […]

Dealing With The Dyslexia Paradox

Students with dyslexia are often not identified until they are older and are not offered proper services and intervention until someone notices there’s a real deficiency, which often happens after the ideal time for intervention (kindergarten and 1st grade) has passed. BY SHANTELL THAXTON BERRETT When the diagnosis of dyslexia – and later dysgraphia – came to light with my son, I felt overwhelmed and afraid. I was unsure of how to help him, or […]

Senate Confirms New Chief for Federal Special Education Office

By Christina Samuels Johnny Collett, a former state director of special education for Kentucky, was confirmed by voice vote Thursday to be the assistant secretary for the office of special education and rehabilitative services. The confirmation was expected: Collett is respected in the special education community and his confirmation hearing was uneventful, despite efforts by Democrats on the Senate HELP committee to pin him down on some hot-button issues, such as vouchers for students with disabilities. Students […]


BY MELISSA HOWARD AND LAUREN TURIELLO How often do members of this WONDERFUL SPECIAL NEEDS POPULATION have the opportunity to GO SOMEWHERE, after school or work, where they can be as COOL AS THEY WANT, or as GOOFY AS THEY WANT, and still be COMPLETELY ACCEPTED? It is 3:00. The door chimes and members start to come in. As they find a place for their things and grab a snack, we see them begin to […]