Jill’s House: Lifting Military Families

Eleven years ago and 14 weeks early, Liam Nielsen was born in a military clinic in England and then airlifted to a military hospital in Germany with a NICU. “He got the short end of the preemie-stick and had a rough transition into life,” shared his mom, Cari. “But raising Liam has taught me I can do anything. He’s taught me to stop sweating the small stuff and that most of the stuff I sweat […]

Ten Things Your Child’s Teaching Team Wish You Knew

BY DEANNA PICON Parents and the teaching staff share a common objective: working together to ensure the best experience for your son or daughter. Every fall, parents and students gear up for a new school year, with high hopes for a successful academic term. At the same time, teachers, therapists and administrative staff anxiously await a fresh school session filled with both returning and new students, classes, activities and challenges. Parents and the teaching staff […]


Expressions for Autism is an educational game that helps children ages 6 to 8 with autism, train and improve  emotion and feelings by recreating facial expressions according to day to day life events. First, the user chooses a player and then can either add their own photo or use a built in anime. Next, the user chooses a male or female voice for the player. Then the student is taken to a screen with four […]

Pleasant Surprises in the Rain

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN Yes, bad things will happen, but I have faith that some good things are going to happen too. Fear can paralyze you. It can hinder you from making decisions and it can destroy any hope one may have in planning for the future. There can also be fear of change, fear of time and fear of the unknown. Maybe it’s because we do not have the power to control […]

Lean In

BY KIMBERLEE RUTAN McCAFFERTY I’ve found the women of my generation to be more accepting of each other’s choices than articles I’ve read on the subject, and that makes me glad, because what we really need from each other is support and acceptance. A few months ago, a dear friend of mine lent me “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. On the off chance you live under a rock and haven’t heard of the book, in […]

To Anyone Looking For A Service Dog

From the Desk of JO WALDRON  DISABLED AMERICAN FOR THE NATION Appointed By The President Of The United States Of America, Ronald Reagan July 2015 To: Anyone looking for a service dog. Dear readers, Most of you know that I am happiest when I can endorse a business started and run by people with disabilities. I am writing to inform anyone looking for the best possible breed for a hearing, mobility, or therapy dog to […]

Still My Boy

BY KIMBERLEE RUTAN MCCAFFERTY I hear Justin’s bus before I see it, motor revving loudly from a block away so I have time to get up from my curb and wait at the end of the driveway. I’ve been away for two days and am anticipating this homecoming, am usually greeted by effusive hugs and kisses upon any lengthy absence. As I move closer to the bus door however, I hear his unmistakeable unhappy sounds, […]

How We Made Our Vacation Work for Sammy and the Family

Is it truly vacation if we are constantly hovering over Sammy to make sure he doesn’t ruin something that doesn’t belong to us? Going away is supposed to be an exciting activity for most yet, at the same time, finding the right vacation spot can end up being a big stressor. My family and I know this from experience. We’ve always needed to find vacations that fit the needs of my brother, Sammy, who has […]

Key Findings: Autism Symptoms Among Children Enrolled in the Study to Explore Early Development

The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders has published a new analysis looking at autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms among young children enrolled in CDC’s Study to Explore Early Development (SEED). Researchers assessed children with ASD, children with other developmental delays, such as language delays and physical delays, and children from the general population. Children with ASD had more problems with early learning, challenging behaviors, and interacting with others than children classified as having other […]

Zebrafish model gives new insight on autism spectrum disorder

University of Miami study of zebrafish reveals how dysfunction of SHANK3 or SYNGAP1 genes play a role in the development of autism spectrum disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological condition that affects approximately two percent of people around the world. Although several genes have been linked to multiple concurring conditions of ASD, the process that explains how specific genetic variants lead to behaviors characteristic of the disorder remains elusive. Now, researchers are utilizing […]