Bullying and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Needs

Children with disabilities—such as physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional, and sensory disabilities—are at an increased risk of being bullied. Any number of factors— physical vulnerability, social skill challenges, or intolerant environments—may increase the risk. Research suggests that some children with disabilities may bully others as well. Kids with special health needs, such as epilepsy or food allergies, also may be at higher risk of being bullied. Bullying can include making fun of kids because of their […]

Going to the Doctor/Dentist

Making Life Easier By Pamelazita Buschbacher, Ed.D. Doctor and dentist visits can be very stressful for young children. Routine check-ups can cause anxiety, fear and distress in toddlers and preschoolers. Some common fears for young children include: • separation from you; • pain and discomfort; • stranger anxiety; and • unfamiliar procedures and people. The following tips will help ensure that these visits are easier for you and your child.  Schedule smartly. When you […]

How Do I Protect My Wandering Loved One?

Wandering and elopement behaviors can pose unique safety risks for children and adults on the autism spectrum. Luckily, there are many accessible tools to help keep these individuals safe. Below, Milestones Autism Resources Program Director Beth Thompson, MSSA, LSW highlights some great tips and resources to utilize if your loved one is one of the many individuals with ASD who are prone to wandering. Take advantage of free resources – The National Autism Association is currently […]

Autism in the Teen Years: What to Expect, How to Help

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute What parent doesn’t watch their “tween” become a teen without a twinge of anxiety? Factor autism into the equation, and parents may well wonder how the physical and hormonal changes of adolescence will affect their child on the spectrum. How will typical teenage rebellion look in someone who struggles with behavioral control? What will it be like traversing the social minefield of high school for someone […]

Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs in Healthy People 2020: A Consumer Perspective

 Every decade, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publishes Healthy People, a document that provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 includes almost 600 objectives in 42 categories, from Disability and Health to Genomics to Public Health Infrastructure. The authors of Healthy People 2020 recognized that children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN) deserve dedicated objectives to foster better health in this particularly vulnerable […]

Obstacles Remain to Exercise of Voting Rights by Individuals with Disabilities

By Emily A. Donaldson, CELA As mid-term elections approach, the stakes are high for individuals with disabilities. Budget battles are being waged at every level of government, threatening Medicaid, SSDI, Medicare and other programs that are essential to their quality of life. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, Americans with Disabilities Act and Help American Vote Act of 2002 are just a few of the laws that ostensibly guarantee their voting rights, but many individuals […]

Navigating the Road to Adulthood: One Family’s Story

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network Ruth Dunigan is proud. Her son, David, is excelling at a full-time job and managing his money well enough to buy his first vehicle, a silver Jeep Liberty. Those may seem like average things for a 25-year-old, but David is not average. David is among a tidal wave of people with autism who have made the transition from school to adulthood recently.1,2 His generation has had to navigate school and […]

Financial Planning for Special Needs Families

Author: Kimberly Goodwin, PhD More American families are grappling with the high cost of raising children and the increasing cost of college education. Families who have a child with special needs, however, face a unique set of expenses. The additional medical and educational expenses could easily elevate the cost of raising a special needs child to $500,000, if not much higher. Since health insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of medical treatments, families bear the burden […]

4 Ways Tech is Improving Special Needs Education

Special needs children represent a significant portion of the public school population. As of 2013-14, there were 6.5 million children and young adults ages 3-21 who were receiving these services in the United States. Although they have to overcome challenges their peers don’t, these kids can and do thrive, especially as educational technology has improved. In the past, special needs kids typically didn’t have a chance at a level playing field when it came to […]

People Read Facial Expressions Differently

By Dr. Francis Collins & article source – click here Image Credit: Lydia Polimeni, NIH  We constantly make assumptions about what others are feeling based on their facial expressions, such as smiling or frowning. Many have even suggested that human facial expressions represent a universal language. But an NIH-funded research team recently uncovered evidence that different people may read common facial expressions in surprisingly different ways. In a study published in Nature Human Behaviour, the researchers found that […]