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 […]

Transitioning Into Summer Finding Camps for Children with Special Healthcare Needs

BY JEFFREY GIORGI AND AMELIA MULFORD Summer camp can be a profound and transformative experience for children of all ages. Camp challenges us to interact with people we don’t know, perform feats we didn’t think we were capable of, and develop a stronger sense of self-reliance. But when the very act of moving around is a labored chore, summer camp experience can become less carefree and more stress-inducing, as in the case of five-year-old James. […]

MDA VENTURE PHILANTHROPY GRANT TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF ALS BIOMARKERS

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is pleased to announce the award of an MDA Venture Philanthropy (MVP) grant totaling $233,200 to Scottsdale, Arizona-based Iron Horse Diagnostics to support development of a prognostic test for ALS. This prognostic Such a test could help improve and accelerate clinical trials and speed the development of life-saving drugs to people with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).  MVP is MDA’s drug development program, which is exclusively focused on funding the discovery and […]

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 […]

Youth Empowerment Groups Encourage Self-Advocacy

Groups for youth and young adults may provide opportunity for building a foundation of skills to address core concepts that enable youth to have meaningful participation in the process of planning for their own futures. BY ERIN SEIGH AND LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. Students with disabilities need to learn how to advocate for themselves in order to foster independence when transitioning to adult life. Groups that encourage the voices of youth and young adults can help […]

Symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy in Young Children

By Vincent Iannelli, MD – Reviewed by a board-certified physician. Updated April 16, 2016 – Source verywell Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of so-called “X-linked” genetic disorders that causes progressive muscle weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles controlling movement. According to the National Institutes of Health, some forms of MD become apparent in infancy or early childhood while others don’t appear until middle age or later. Who Is at Risk for Muscular Dystrophy […]

NDNRC Releases Statement On Preserving ACA Protections

The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC) recently released a statement entitled “Preserve the Protections Provided by the Affordable Care Act.” PRESERVE THE PROTECTIONS PROVIDED BY THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT The Affordable Care Act (ACA) brought about much-needed reforms for health insurance, addressed systemic discrimination, and expanded coverage to millions of Americans who had previously been uninsured. Many of the reforms established by the ACA were a great benefit for people with disabilities, including the […]

Navigating The Maze Of School Choice Options

BY WILLIAM BLACKWELL, ED.D. This article explores several key issues that parents of children with disabilities should consider and questions to ask when thinking about charter schools or voucher programs. Parents of children with disabilities have an endless series of decisions to make regarding their child’s education. These decisions include selecting a public school system that will be supportive of their child’s needs, identifying the appropriate services and supports that the school will provide, and […]

Including Young Children With Disabilities In Typical Early Childhood Settings

BY LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. AND DENISE BOUYER-HARGROVE It is essential that families are aware their child with special needs has the right to receive care and education in the least restrictive environment along with their age-appropriate peers. Many families are unaware that their child with a disability or special need could be included in a typical child care or preschool program. Also, parents may not be aware that their child transitioning from early intervention to […]