Celebrating Our Men And Women Of Service

BY MICHELLE BOUDREAU As we move into the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we are looking to honor all men and women of service. At this time, we are featuring two fathers who have encountered difficulties in their own lives, yet have shown up to serve their communities in heroic fashion. We honor Tony DeLeon, serving Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department (LASD is the nation’s largest Sheriff’s Department and the second largest law enforcement […]

Does My Disability Mean I’m Not “Normal?”

LIVING WITH A DISABILITY BY JERRY LEVINSON Often, the words that a person uses in talking with, or about you, affect not only your perception of the individual speaking them, but also your perception of yourself – your “self esteem.” Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a couple of screws loose, my elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top, and that I’m a few tacos short of a combo […]

A GPS for Families of People with Special Needs – Part II

BY LAUREN AGORATUS INTRODUCTION I wrote this manual to help other families of individuals with special needs and the professionals who work with them. My daughter now has five life-threatening conditions, and autism just to keep things interesting. We have been through everything from early intervention to currently going through transition to adult care. I hope this helps you on your journey. Part II follows; to review Part I, see the September issue of EP […]

An Overview Of The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

Every child deserves a home filled with love, a stomach filled with food — and a fulfilling and enriching education. Legislation is helping with education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ensures that all children with special needs have access to a “free appropriate public education” and they have the necessary tools to meet their educational goals. Here’s what you need to know about the act, which governs how states and public agencies, including the […]

A GPS for Families of People with Special Needs – Part I

PART ONE BY LAUREN AGORATUS INTRODUCTION I wrote this manual to help other families of individuals with special needs and the professionals who work with them. My daughter now has five life-threatening conditions, and autism just to keep things interesting. We have been through everything from early intervention to currently going through transition to adult care. I hope this helps you on your journey. EARLY & CONTINUOUS SCREENING Families may be concerned that their child […]

How to Raise Funds for Children with Disabilities

NEW RESOURCE BY MELANIE DAVIS The Funding Guide for Children with Disabilities focuses on the author’s proven process for applying for support from the various funding sources that assist children. It also includes a directory of over 200 funding sources divided into three categories: National, State and Wish Funders. For more than a decade, Tamara Simmons has been assisting families in raising the funds they lack to cover assistive technology and other expenses for their […]

A Family Guide to Children’s Mental Health Services

 THE STATEWIDE PARENT ADVOCACY NETWORK INTRODUCTION We are families of children with special health care needs, including mental health needs. We are not here to tell you what to do with your child, because you are the expert on your child. We are here to support you in making the important decisions needed to ensure that your child with mental health challenges receives the services and supports needed for the best life possible. Children’s mental […]

I’m Just His Sister

SIBLING TIES BY PAIGE TALHELM What makes things perfect is when he and I can just sit around and watch TV or listen to music together. We don’t have to talk, or we don’t have to be working on his socialization skills. As the end of the school year approaches, I find myself cramming for finals, preparing for graduation, and planning my summer. This is about the same for everybody, where some are asking that […]

Laughing at My Nightmare

Author Shane Burcaw goes against the odds and stereotypes of his disability and shows readers how to be positive and enthusiastic about life. BY ALISA WILLIAMS Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw is a timeline of the author’s life where he walks readers through his experiences while living with Skeletal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Burcaw is able to successfully retell his life story through humor (and a lot of curse words), which makes reading this […]