Decreasing Holiday Stress for Families of Children with Autism

The holidays are as joyful as they are stressful, or is it the other way around? The stress of the holidays, visiting family members, and all that comes with the season can be a lot to deal with under any circumstances.  When caring for a loved one with autism or other developmental challenges, this time of year can feel overwhelming as it creates disruption to the routines and structure of your family’s life. Here are […]

Choosing Appropriate Gifts for Kids with Special Needs

Buying the perfect gift for kids and other loved ones can be challenging, and this can also be true when buying gifts for kids with autism. To help make your gift-giving easier, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when purchasing gifts for individuals with autism: Focus on the person’s interests and preferences Research shows that incorporating preferences into the learning and play environment of individuals with autism, can reduce behaviors and […]

Twelve Tips for Helping Individuals with Autism Have a Happy Holiday Season

While many happily anticipate the coming holiday season, families of people on the autism spectrum also understand the special challenges that may occur when schedules are disrupted and routines broken. Our hope is that by following these few helpful tips, families may lessen the stress of the holiday season and make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. The following tips were developed with input from the Autism Society, the Indiana Resource Center for […]

Thanksgiving celebration with Your Special Needs Child

Thanksgiving dinner is one of America’s biggest traditions and memories spent with friends and family can last a lifetime. The big meal is a lot to plan in itself, especially for families of children with special needs. Planning in advance is key. Below are some tips to help your child with special needs feel comfortable and part of the family Thanksgiving tradition. Fun and Engaging Thanksgiving Activities Try involving your child in some these Thanksgiving […]

Some Holiday Tips for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders

The holiday season is a joyful time of the year, but it also can be stressful for kids with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Preparing and planning early for the holidays can help you relieve some of the holiday stress. Before a Holiday Event Practice sitting at the table with the plates, lighting and music before the holiday gathering. Draw pictures about the holiday to help your child prepare for the events. Eat holiday foods in […]

Ways to be an Advocate on National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

I have the best little sister in the world. I’m not bragging though…this is just a fact! She’s kind, caring, a member of the Foster-Schmidt dance company, a huge fan of slapstick humor, and a devoted employee at the Johns Creek Police department. She also happens to have Down syndrome and a bonus 21st chromosome. I celebrate and love on my sister all of the time. National Down Syndrome Awareness Month is an extra excuse […]

Spread the Word

We think the world would be better if everyone were included. Around the world, exclusion and discrimination continue to divide people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are changing that with grassroots action for inclusion. That’s Spread the Word. Spread the Word is a global engagement campaign to increase inclusion amongst people with and without and developmental disabilities through grassroots action. In schools, workplaces, and communities around the world, local leaders are taking […]

Talk to Your Children About Cybersecurity

The Internet can be a dangerous playground for children. While opportunities for education, friendship, and fun abound, there are plenty of safety hazards, too. As a concerned parent, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or conflicted about this. You want your child to be able to take advantage of the good things the internet offers, but you also want to help protect their well-being. Here are some ways to accomplish both. Cultivate an Open, Supportive Environment […]

Breast Cancer Screening for Women with Disabilities

Finding Breast Cancer Early Can Save Lives Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States, and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Thinking “breast cancer won’t happen to me” is a risk no woman should take. Having a screening mammogram regularly is an important way to maintain good health. A mammogram, which is an X-ray picture of the breast, is the best way to find breast cancer […]

A Few Thoughts about Relationships

by Amy Petulla, Partners in Policymaking® 2001-02 Graduate As parents of children and adults with disabilities, we spend a lot of time dealing with things we consider essential, like education, services, and medical care. The list goes on and on, as do the books, workshops, and materials you can find on those subjects. But there is one important area in anyone’s life that does not get much attention: RELATIONSHIPS. While everyone has to deal with […]