Endrew F. Supreme Court Case: Strengthening The Voices Of Families At IEP Meetings

Many parents have had an experience similar to the one faced by Endrew F.’s parents, in which their child’s IEP goals don’t vary each year and there is lack of progress. BY DIANA AUTIN, MARIA DOCHERTY AND LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. The recent Supreme Court case, Endrew F. vs. Douglas County School District, has implications for parents participating in the IEP (Individualized Education Program) development for their child. The decision clarifies the rights of children with […]

11 Tips For Selecting A School For Your Child With Special Needs

People will throw names of schools out to you and all sorts of ideas. But it comes down to your child and his or her needs — not what worked for someone else. BY AMI NEIBERGER-MILLER, APR, MA Selecting a school for your child who is coping with special needs can be a daunting task for any parent or guardian. In this article, we talk with the staff at the Episcopal Center for Children (the […]

Looking at School Placements from Both Sides of the Table

BY JOANNE DESIMONE As the outreach coordinator for the Alliance of Private Special Education Schools of North Jersey, I help parents and district case managers find appropriate placement options for their students. As a special educator and parent of two children with disabilities, I use the knowledge I’ve acquired, sitting on both sides of the table. When parents call me for placement options, I especially lean on the experience I had with my younger son […]

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 […]

Turning Camp Staff And Volunteers Into Caring Leaders

“Cultivating a love of service and selflessness opens the window to a world that I want to live in, and one that provides experiences and memories of a lifetime for campers of every ability.” BY LAURA WHITAKER As an eager freshman at the University of Georgia, I sought out opportunities to volunteer for organizations whose purposes were meaningful to me. Extra Special People (ESP) immediately caught my eye as a nonprofit serving youth and adults […]

Transitioning Into Summer Finding Camps for Children with Special Healthcare Needs

BY JEFFREY GIORGI AND AMELIA MULFORD Summer camp can be a profound and transformative experience for children of all ages. Camp challenges us to interact with people we don’t know, perform feats we didn’t think we were capable of, and develop a stronger sense of self-reliance. But when the very act of moving around is a labored chore, summer camp experience can become less carefree and more stress-inducing, as in the case of five-year-old James. […]

Helping Parents In Military Families To Decrease Stress And Anxiety

It’s all about putting the pieces together to build strong systems of support. BY ANGELA SHAW AND REANNA SHAW The implicit theme of the military family is one that tackles challenges head-on, thrives upon flexible thinking, and builds resiliency and independence, but the military life is packed with more than perseverance and adventure-filled moments. Though the military life is a fulfilling and exciting one, it is also a life that is in a constant state […]

Genetic Manipulation for Individuals with Disabilities: Does CRISPR-Cas9 Provide a Magic Bullet?

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE & DENTISTRY BY H. BARRY WALDMAN DDS, MPH, PHD, STEVEN P. PERLMAN DDS, MSCD, DHL (HON), RICK RADER, MD, FAAIDD, DHL (HON) AND MATTHEW COOKE, DDS, MD, MPH “In 1972, WABC-TV in New York sent rookie reporter Geraldo Rivera to Staten Island to infiltrate the Willowbrook State School. Robert Kennedy had visited the mental institution in 1966 and declared: ‘Willowbrook State School was not fit even for animals to live […]

My Son’s Autism Diagnosis

My wish for you and your child is that you get the information you need, the resources that can help, and the acceptance to be able to move forward with your lives following an autism diagnosis. BY KIMBERLEE RUTAN McCAFFERTY Over the years people have asked me about how and when Justin was diagnosed with autism. My boy got an official diagnosis at 17 months from a developmental pediatrician, received a spectrum diagnosis at a […]

Welcome To GiGi’s Playhouse

Nancy Gianni realized that she now had a mission – to change the way the world sees Down syndrome and promote acceptance for all, while providing opportunities and support for GiGi and others like her. When Nancy Gianni gave birth to her daughter, GiGi, 15 years ago, she thought she knew exactly what to expect of those early hours and days. She had already brought two babies into the world and was looking forward to […]