We Are the Original Lifehackers

By Liz Jackson Ms. Jackson is a disability design advocate. It was 1988 when Betsey Farber found herself hacking through a dried-up nest of wild thyme in the backyard of a rental home in Provence. The scene was aromatic and picturesque, except for the pair of children’s scissors she’d stuffed her grown-up knuckles through. She couldn’t find anything better for the job. Who is going to leave their good kitchen tools in a rental? She […]

The 10 Best Cities for Accessible Living

by Angie Bersin     Metro DC, Salt Lake City, and Tampa are leading the way in accessibility for housing, public transit, attractions and healthcare With Global Accessibility Awareness Day last month, we took a look at the most accessible cities throughout the country. The Social Security Administration estimates that one in five Americans is living with a disability, which can pose a specific set of challenges during everyday life. Although legislation exists that requires accessibility in public […]

As You Were Saying…Help dentists aid all patients

by James T. Brett  Recently, I met a young man with Down syndrome who is in a public school just outside Boston. He spends most of his days in regular classroom settings and receives some extra help through an adult classroom aide. His junior high school experience was a reminder of how much better things are for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, specifically more educational opportunities and better access to jobs, all leading to […]

Understanding Your Child’s Medications

By Caitlin Hoff As a parent or caretaker of a child with special needs, it can sometimes be overwhelming to speak with doctors or healthcare professionals. In the beginning, the medical jargon can seem like a foreign language preventing you from fully understanding the situation your child is in. It can be incredibly overwhelming when you simply want to know that your child is safe and in good hands. Over time, however, this dialogue will […]

Let’s Get Moving! Providing movement within a wheelchair seating system

by Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS  One disadvantage of wheelchair seating is that it doesn’t move. As a result, the child doesn’t move – unless they move out of an optimal position. Lack of movement leaves the child in a static sitting position for extended periods of time. This can lead to range of motion losses, increased pressure, agitation, fatigue, and discomfort. Movement, on the other hand, can decrease agitation, increase alertness, provide sensory […]

Children with special needs can be an asset to society – our cafe proves it

BY Lucy Beattie When I was approached about working in a special needs school my first thoughts were, I’m not sure I could do that, I’m not sure I want to work with unresponsive children, in an environment full of medical needs and where children dribble as they eat, in a school at the top of the hill that most local residents don’t even realise is there. Having now worked in Three Ways school for […]

Swimming Lessons May Be A Life-saver For Children With Autism

By Tim Newman A recent study investigating injury mortality in people with autism spectrum disorders delivers some surprising and disturbing results. According to the authors, swimming lessons for children with an autism diagnosis should be a priority. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by a difficulty with social interactions, communication problems, and repetitive behaviors. They are estimated to affect around 1 in 68 children. Above and beyond the symptoms of ASD, individuals with a diagnosis […]

How Inflammation And Gut Bacteria Influence Autism

By Tim Newman A new study investigates the relationship between autism, the immune system, gastrointestinal issues, and gut bacteria. The story is a complex one with many questions still remaining unanswered, but this latest project adds insight. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect 1 in 68 children in the United States. Characterized by difficulties with socializing, and often accompanied by repetitive behaviors, this neurodevelopmental disorder harbors many mysteries. Despite its prevalence and a glut of research, […]

How To Teach Good Oral Hygiene To Your Child With Special Needs

BY RICHARD MUNGO, DDS Trying to get any child to lay off the candy and brush their teeth can be a challenge. Yet, for parents with a special needs child, it can be even more problematic as there are other variables that put them at high risk for dental problems. A child’s physical, mental and intellectual abilities will all factor in their ability to comprehend and practice good oral hygiene. With some conditions, such as […]

My Huntington’s Disease Journey

Decided it was time to come out of the genetic disease closest and own my disease: go from hidden-HD Seth to a new Seth with no secrets. BY SETH ROTBERG When I was about 12, I started noticing something wrong with my mom. She wobbled from poor balance, often tripping and falling over, as if she were drunk. She had severe mood swings; one minute she was fine and the next, she was angry, frustrated, […]