How babies at the Children’s Wisconsin NICU get personalized milk every day

Every child in a hospital has medications that are specially selected, prepared and measured just for them in the hospital pharmacy. But in the NICU at Children’s Wisconsin, babies also get individualized doses of breast milk — mixed, fortified and designed specifically for their unique needs and delivered to their bedside. Human milk is an amazing and complex substance — in fact, in a single feeding or pumping session, a mother’s milk can change from […]

Autistic Artist Has a Show in Philadelphia’s Fleisher/Ollman Gallery

For years, Lonnie Smith would gather the artwork made by his son, Kambel, and set up small shows at senior centers, libraries, and YMCAs across the Philadelphia region. Lonnie knew his son had a gift, but he couldn’t get anybody else to see it. “No one would come,” he said. “Zero.” It crushed Kambel every time. And so, it crushed Lonnie, too. To soften the blow, Lonnie would sit with his sons, Kambel, now 32, […]

Tax Breaks for Families with Special Needs

If you are filing taxes on behalf of yourself or a family member with special needs, you may be eligible for certain tax breaks. Tax-filing tips Here are some tips for military families with members who have special needs: Claim all eligible dependents — If you have a family member who is permanently and totally disabled, you may be able to claim him or her as a dependent regardless of age. Read IRS Publication 501. […]

Decreasing Holiday Stress for Families of Children with Autism

The holidays are as joyful as they are stressful, or is it the other way around? The stress of the holidays, visiting family members, and all that comes with the season can be a lot to deal with under any circumstances.  When caring for a loved one with autism or other developmental challenges, this time of year can feel overwhelming as it creates disruption to the routines and structure of your family’s life. Here are […]

Wandering: Disability and Safety

Wandering, also called elopement, is an important safety issue that affects some people with disabilities, their families, and the community. There are steps that parents, teachers, healthcare providers, and others can take to help keep children safe. Wandering is when someone leaves a safe area or a responsible caregiver. This typically includes situations where the person may be injured or harmed as a result.1 Wandering goes beyond the brief time that a typical toddler might […]

Choosing Appropriate Gifts for Kids with Special Needs

Buying the perfect gift for kids and other loved ones can be challenging, and this can also be true when buying gifts for kids with autism. To help make your gift-giving easier, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when purchasing gifts for individuals with autism: Focus on the person’s interests and preferences Research shows that incorporating preferences into the learning and play environment of individuals with autism, can reduce behaviors and […]

Twelve Tips for Helping Individuals with Autism Have a Happy Holiday Season

While many happily anticipate the coming holiday season, families of people on the autism spectrum also understand the special challenges that may occur when schedules are disrupted and routines broken. Our hope is that by following these few helpful tips, families may lessen the stress of the holiday season and make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. The following tips were developed with input from the Autism Society, the Indiana Resource Center for […]

Thanksgiving celebration with Your Special Needs Child

Thanksgiving dinner is one of America’s biggest traditions and memories spent with friends and family can last a lifetime. The big meal is a lot to plan in itself, especially for families of children with special needs. Planning in advance is key. Below are some tips to help your child with special needs feel comfortable and part of the family Thanksgiving tradition. Fun and Engaging Thanksgiving Activities Try involving your child in some these Thanksgiving […]

Who Are You Calling Disabled?

In an indoor rock-climbing class for patients with hand differences, a wall is just part of what they’re learning to surmount. By Jeff Weinstock “Take!” For the fourth time Akira has called out the one-word cue, prompting her rock-climbing instructor, Quinn, serving on the ground as her belayer, to “take” some slack out of the rope—that is, tighten it so she can sit back in her harness, stuff her hands in her chalk bag, and pause. […]

Some Holiday Tips for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders

The holiday season is a joyful time of the year, but it also can be stressful for kids with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Preparing and planning early for the holidays can help you relieve some of the holiday stress. Before a Holiday Event Practice sitting at the table with the plates, lighting and music before the holiday gathering. Draw pictures about the holiday to help your child prepare for the events. Eat holiday foods in […]