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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A More Accessible Home for a More Inclusive Family

by: Caitlin Hoff Someone who was born with a disability or grew up from a young age with an impairment can tell you that for them, it is their “normal.” They have grown up instinctively adapting to an able-bodied world. What we don’t often talk about is a parent’s initial adjustment to their child’s disabilities. Overtime, these parents become expert caretakers and passionate advocates for their child and other children with disabilities, but it’s not […]

How to Minimize Mealtime Stress for Special Needs Children & Families

Studies have shown that sharing regular meals as a family has many benefits for children and their parents or caregivers. Participating in a mealtime ritual has been linked to stronger family bonds, healthier habits, better grades, and overall smarter choices. Making time to eat regular meals together and creating a comfortable dining space in your home is especially important for the safety and overall health of special needs children, too. Children’s mealtime behavior can be […]

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 […]

You Are Your Child’s Best Ally

Remember, it takes a village to raise a child and in our case, it wasn’t only a village, it was an entire Best Buddies community! BY PEG GRAFWALLNER On Thursday, September 15, 2016, I had the privilege of speaking at the Best Buddies breakfast at the Pfister Hotel. This presentation gave the audience the opportunity to learn more about this important organization and also learn more about my daughter, Ani, and her capabilities and successes. […]

Stares and Whispers

SIBLING TIES BY PAIGE TALHELM The kindness you receive from strangers is such a rare thing when you’re part of a family touched by special needs. So when you get it, you want to embrace it as much as you can. The stares in the cereal aisle. The whispers from the customer behind you in line. The snickers from the table next to you. All of these are things we all want to avoid experiencing. […]

Finding The Joy In Games For You And Your Child

BY KAREN KABAKI-SISTO, M.S. CCC-SLP Playing games at home is a great way to have hours of fun on the weekends or when your family has some downtime. Games, like real life, pose unique challenges like making decisions, taking different points-of-view, using language, and achieving an objective. Children with special needs experience difficulty with some games’ rules or physical actions, leading to frustration and unwillingness to engage. Maximize your child’s enjoyment and connections with all […]

Hayley’s Journey

BY GAIL AND HARRY KOUJAIAN The Niemann Pick Type C (NPC) community is very fortunate and in an envious position. For being a rare disease, there are now several clinical trials in the pipeline with more on the way. Hayley’s childhood was mostly typical. She was a happy kid that participated in Karate, cheerleading, sports and met all her early milestones. Things however changed around 1st grade. She was clumsy and started to have issues […]