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, […]

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 […]

Mesa, AZ Becomes First-Ever Autism Certified City in U.S.

Mesa is the first-ever Autism Certified City in the U.S. designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), raising the profile of the East Valley city to millions of individuals with autism and millions of annual travelers impacted by autism. The innovative initiative is expected to raise the national profile of the city and inject a new source of visitor dollars to the region. The nearly year-long effort behind the autism […]

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 […]

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 […]

Cancer Screening Prevalence Among Adults with Disabilities

People with disabilities are less likely than people without disabilities to receive recommended cancer screening tests. In 2013, about one in five adults in the United States had a disability. People with disabilities often have trouble getting health care for many reasons, including not being able to schedule an appointment and not having transportation to the clinic. As a result, people with disabilities typically have lower cancer screening rates than people without disabilities, making it […]

Protecting Youth from Bullying and The Role of the Pediatrician

By: Wahida Abaza, M.D., Associate at The Family and Youth Institute, and Michael C. Lu, MD, MPH, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Pediatric health care providers are an important, front line, family-trusted group that can not only detect the warning signs of victimization, but are also in a position to advise parents and advocate for their patients. It is important for health care providers to be prepared to screen […]