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 […]

Calling All Innovators For The “CAREGIVERS SHARK TANK”

The National Caregivers Conference is inviting innovators, inventors, researchers and thought leaders to share their new ideas, products, technology’s, or therapeutic concepts that aim to transform the health and role of family caregivers. The National Caregivers Conference is returning to New Jersey since Superstorm Sandy forced its cancellation in October 2012. This annual conference is renowned for its National level speakers, workshops and exhibitors who address both individual and national issues facing the caregiver community. […]

Sesame Place® Becomes the First Theme Park in the World to be Designated as a Certified Autism Center

SESAME PLACE®  BECOMES the FIRST THEME PARK IN THE WORLD TO BE designated as a Certified Autism Center   Certification readied for April’s Autism Awareness month and start of new season Langhorne, PA (April 2, 2018) – Sesame Place®, the nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street®, in conjunction with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), today announced the completion of a staff-wide autism sensitivity and […]

Raising Awareness of the Benefits of Music in Therapy

Leading regional musical organizations collaborated in a distinctive chamber music event on February 2, 2018, to help raise awareness of the benefits of music in therapy. The Chattanooga-based nonprofit organization, Music Therapy Gateway in Communications (MTGIC), initiated the innovative series of educational concerts and informational lectures in 2013, which has now become a yearly event. Grant funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission has supported each concert, enabling admission to be free of charge. Erlanger Health […]

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 […]

Building Supportive, Person-Centered Communities For Adults With Autism

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 500,000 teens with autism will age into adulthood over the next decade and housing will become one of the greatest concerns for them, their parents and other caregivers. Right now, an estimated 80,000 adults with autism in the United States are on waiting lists for publicly-funded residential placements and services. The waiting periods can run up to 15 years and the number of those waiting […]

Starting ’em Young

Young Athletes engages families by highlighting the power of play. Young Athletes includes a series of structured physical activities, songs and games to teach basic motor development skills for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2 to 7 years old. BY REBECCA RALSTON In a small community near Phitsanulok, Thailand, a young boy named Kongpob Yangkam lives with his grandparents and 17-year-old sister. Kong, as his family lovingly calls him, has intellectual disabilities and […]

Never Forgotten

PUZZLES & CAMO BY SHELLY HUHTANEN Gram passed away Christmas morning. She was 101 years old. She was born in 1916, when people with disabilities were probably never discussed in public forums and the concept of inclusiveness wasn’t possible. I remember it like it was yesterday. Mark and I visited his Gram, Dorothy, in Montana because we didn’t know how much longer she would be with us. She was almost 100 years old, living alone […]

Detroit auto show hosts first event for those with sensory sensitivity and autism

Omar Abdel-Baqui, Detroit Free Press First ever Sensory Friendly Day takes place at NAIAS; gives chance to many to visit event for the first time If you were at the North American International Auto Show on Sunday morning, you may have noticed there was no loud music, no flashing lights and the monitors usually displaying fast-moving video were static. For many, the booming bass and strobe lights are enjoyable features of the show. But, for those […]

The Sexual Assault Epidemic No One Talks About

Heard on All Things Considered Joseph Shapiro     Editor’s note: This report includes graphic and disturbing descriptions of assault. Pauline wants to tell her story — about that night in the basement, about the boys and about the abuse she wanted to stop. But she’s nervous. “Take a deep breath,” she says out loud to herself. She takes a deep and audible breath. And then she tells the story of what happened on the […]