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 […]

The Education Of Grace And Her Classmates

BY MICHELLE BOUDREAU On September 1, 2016 Grace will walk into James Memorial High School in Madison, WI with her best friends, Luke and Nicole, and enjoy all the perks that come along with being a senior in high school.” ~ Grace’s mother Shannon As the summer is coming to a close and we move into fall, one thing that is certain and comes every year at this time is kids going back to school. […]

Choosing The Best Therapist For Your Child

BY AMANDA JENSEN-DOSS, PH.D. The world of child and adolescent mental health is unfamiliar and often bewildering. Deciding whether your child would benefit from therapy and then finding the best treatment can be a difficult undertaking because it is hard to know who to trust with your child’s wellbeing and whether the treatment prescribed will be effective. On top of that, many parents do not even have access to therapists because they lack insurance coverage […]

It Takes A Whole Village

The Nigerian proverb “It takes a whole village to raise a child” says it all, especially for those of us raising children with special needs. BY EOLANE Back in the 1980s, our village took a chance and reached out. My son learned to believe; although still physically challenged, he now is capable of living independently and has become a talented artist and owner of an international art corporation. He is 30 years old now, my […]