When Siblings have Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

by Doreen Arcus She would have been 100 this year. Perhaps the most influential person with intellectual and developmental disabilities in modern America, Rosemary Kennedy changed the lives of millions. And she did it through her siblings. Born at a time when families were advised to institutionalize children with disabilities, Rosemary was instead an integral part of Kennedy family life until a prefrontal lobotomy left her incapacitated at age 23. She was particularly close to […]

Supplements during pregnancy may reduce autism risk

Whether certain supplements, taken before or during pregnancy, can reduce the risk of autism is a hotly debated question. A new large-scale study takes a fresh look. Autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) are believed to affect 1 in 68 children in the United States, and their prevalence may be on the rise. Despite this, the exact causes and risk factors involved are still shrouded in mystery. No one knows why ASDs occur and how they can […]


BY KIMBERLEE MCCAFFERTY I STILL REMEMBER THE DAY I KNEW MY AUTISTIC SON WOULD REMAIN ON THE SEVERE END OF THE SPECTRUM. Justin was five and in the last few weeks of his pre-school program before he would transition back into district to his hometown public school. I recall going to his classroom for some type of program, the theme of which escapes me, and seeing a little blond girl he’d started with almost two […]

A Web App for IEP Self-Direction, Enhanced Self-Determination, and Employability

BY TOM KEATING, PH.D AND TOBIAS RICKARD, MS Self-determination is the combination of personal knowledge, skills, beliefs, and attitudes that empower an individual to have increased personal autonomy, decision-making, and involvement in goal setting when planning for their future. Research in the area of self-determination supports the value of student involvement in the IEP process and transition planning. In return, studies have shown that students who are more actively involved in their transition planning are […]

The Weight Of It

I won’t even attempt to speak for other parents of autistic children here. There’s not just a spectrum for our kids, there’s one for the parents as well. BY KIMBERLEE MCCAFFERTY Today we ran into each other at the grocery store. We don’t know each other well, but our kids have been in the same class together several years now, and once we were very compatible room mothers. We chat about our kids (of course), […]

A Holiday Cooking Survival Guide: Special Diet Edition

BY ADRIANNA EVANS, MPH While many families are sitting down to enjoy turkey, ham, or another classic holiday dish, these options are not always available to those at the table with some newborn screening conditions. Because some newborn screening conditions impact metabolism, or how the body breaks down and uses food, some conditions require special diets. Food is a central part of the holiday season. When the weather gets cold and families huddle together for […]

Weathering Storms for over 60 Years

No matter what natural disaster occurs, Arc Broward is prepared to continue fulfilling its goal of “Changing Perspectives. Changing Lives.” South Florida is often the epicenter of natural disasters; whether it be hurricanes, flooding or tornadoes and Arc Broward, a nonprofit organization that works tirelessly changing how people with developmental disabilities and life challenges are embraced and included, is always prepared to work hand-in-hand with the community to deal with these extraordinary circumstances. That type […]

Achieving Dreams Through Setting Goals

BY STEPHANIE CORKETT After hours of climbing, Hanna Atkinson crested the top of Gray’s Peak, a 14,000- foot peak in the Colorado Rockies which is among a class of mountains known as “Fourteeners.” Hanna set a goal to make the climb after her brother Jeff’s death, and reached the summit in his honor. Hanna has a long history of high achievement which she credits to her ability to set goals. She was a commencement speaker […]

Bringing the Family’s Voice to Research: How Families Contribute to Research (Part Two)

by  Lisa Diller, Seattle, Washington; Paula Drew, Edmond, Oklahoma; Marquitha Gilbert, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Nancy Ford, Atlanta, Georgia; tina hjorngaard, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Kim Rayfield, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Barbara Taylor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania This is the second of a two-part article about our experiences as parent members of the On-Track Study research team. In this article we reflect on how our engagement in the research process evolved over four years and about the benefits of including parents as members of the research team. […]

Simple “Life Hacks” For Students With Dyslexia

BY ANGELA SHAW Many parents understand that building resiliency and independence within their child will increase self-esteem, happiness, and success throughout life. However, children with dyslexia are faced daily with tasks that are extremely difficult for them and they often experience repeated failure when attempting these tasks (IDA, 2013). Therefore, anxiety is often the tenor of their lives and may be generalized in one or many aspects of their reality. Because of their vulnerability to […]