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 […]

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. […]

When siblings have intellectual and developmental disabilities

Doreen Arcus, Ph.D. She would have been 100 this year. Perhaps the most influential person with intellectual and developmental disabilities in modern America, Rosemary Kennedy changed the lives of millions. And she did it through her siblings. Born at a time when families were advised to institutionalize children with disabilities, Rosemary was instead an integral part of Kennedy family life until a prefrontal lobotomy left her incapacitated at age 23. She was particularly close to […]

Alabama’s Special Camp for Children & Adults

The impact that a Camp ASCCA experience can have on increasing confidence and the level of independence often remains long after the camp session has ended. BY GLENN ROSWAL AND DANA RICKMAN With more than 25 different activities from which to choose, Camp ASCCA is an exciting place to visit. Each activity area offers a unique experience and allows the camper to succeed on his or her own, as well as in an environment of […]

Training First Responders To Respond Bettter

“The SNAP Program makes a vital contribution to the armamentarium of best practices addressing the unique needs of special populations and their ability to thrive and participate in the community. It will become a time-honored component in the first responders’ toolkit.” – Rick Rader, MD, Medical Liaison, SNAP Program BY BRUCE GARNER Even under the best of circumstances, it is challenging to be a good parent, but when your child has special needs, it gets […]

Job Coach Helps Build Pride & Professionalism

BY LARRY LANDAUER The kitchen in the café at First American Financial Corporation where Elizabeth Martinez serves as job coach for Brian Hirayama, Daniel Martinez, and Alfonso Ponce—three young men with developmental disabilities—is a showcase for true integration of people with disabilities into the work force. Alongside co-workers without disabilities, these men perform their duties with pride and professionalism, helping the First American Café serve more than 1,000 people per day. The support, encouragement and […]

Improving Health Worldwide To The Most Underserved

People with intellectual disabilities face health care providers who don’t have the knowledge or willingness to treat them. Despite severe need and higher health risks, people with ID are often denied health services. BY KRISTIN HUGHES SROUR, MBA If you want to help straighten her bones, dig a hole in the ground, have your daughter stand in it and then pack it with soil. Do this every day for six hours. This was the advice […]

Toilet Training Children with Special Needs

SOURCE: Adapted from Guide to Toilet Training (American Academy of Pediatrics) The issue of when and how to begin toilet training can be particularly challenging for parents of children with special needs. While no parent wants to push an already challenged child to perform in ways that are impossible, the sense of accomplishment experienced when he does succeed in this important aspect of self-care can make an enormous difference in his level of self-esteem. Perhaps […]