On Being Normal

by Carey Handley Last week, for the second time in my daughter’s 24 years, she asked me why she couldn’t be Normal. Having been through this conversation half her life ago, I was able to reach into what’s left of my memory and recollect what it was I had told her the first time. My daughter was 12 the first time this particular subject came up and I had been completely unprepared for this discussion. […]

Bullying and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Needs

Children with disabilities—such as physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional, and sensory disabilities—are at an increased risk of being bullied. Any number of factors— physical vulnerability, social skill challenges, or intolerant environments—may increase the risk. Research suggests that some children with disabilities may bully others as well. Kids with special health needs, such as epilepsy or food allergies, also may be at higher risk of being bullied. Bullying can include making fun of kids because of their […]

Going to the Doctor/Dentist

Making Life Easier By Pamelazita Buschbacher, Ed.D. Doctor and dentist visits can be very stressful for young children. Routine check-ups can cause anxiety, fear and distress in toddlers and preschoolers. Some common fears for young children include: • separation from you; • pain and discomfort; • stranger anxiety; and • unfamiliar procedures and people. The following tips will help ensure that these visits are easier for you and your child.  Schedule smartly. When you […]

A Parent’s Guide to A Successful Kindergarten Transition

What should I know about transitioning a preschooler with special needs? If your child has special needs, you may have additional decisions to make about the length of your child’s school day, different school sites, or program types. It is important to begin working with the school team as early as possible so that everyone, especially your child, feels comfortable with all the changes that will occur. For incoming kindergartners with special needs, the federal […]

Autism in the Teen Years: What to Expect, How to Help

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute What parent doesn’t watch their “tween” become a teen without a twinge of anxiety? Factor autism into the equation, and parents may well wonder how the physical and hormonal changes of adolescence will affect their child on the spectrum. How will typical teenage rebellion look in someone who struggles with behavioral control? What will it be like traversing the social minefield of high school for someone […]

10 Back To School Tips For Kids With Autism & Special Needs

Article by Ilana Danneman – Pediatric Physical Therapist 1. Do your research First, find out as much as you can about your child’s next year. Will they need extra support? Is the school aware of their challenges? Can you meet with your child’s teacher(s) before school starts so you can set a game plan that is comfortable for everyone? 2. Dress for Success Does your school have a dress code? Makes sure you include the […]

Ability Beyond Receives $50,000 To Break Employment Barriers

The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. Grant will Bridge the Gap Between Corporations and Jobseekers with Disabilities- (Bethel, CT) – September 17, 2018 – For more than three decades, Ability Beyond has forged new roads of opportunities for people with disabilities. Now, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the PwC Foundation, the nonprofit organization is striving to bridge the gap between jobseekers with disabilities and companies that are looking to hire. “In this era of record-low unemployment, nearly […]

Prenatal Tdap Vaccination Not Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Study

A study of women who received a Tdap vaccination during pregnancy found no increase in risk that their children would later be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The study, “Prenatal Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis Vaccination and Autism Spectrum Disorder,” will be published in the September 2018 issue of Pediatrics. Researchers reviewed the records of 81,993 pairs of diverse pregnant women and their children who were born between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2014, at […]

An Overview of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

Every child deserves a quality education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ensures that all children with special needs have access to a “free appropriate public education” and they have the necessary tools to meet their educational goals. The act governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to eligible children with disabilities, ages birth through 21. Here’s an overview of the provisions: What’s the history of the act? […]

Arc Tank 2.0 Applications Due Sept. 18 – Competition to award up to $200,000 for creative proposals that improve the lives of persons with disabilities

Arc Tank 2.0 Applications Due Sept. 18  Competition to award up to $200,000 for creative proposals that improve the lives of persons with disabilities Boston, Mass. (September 5, 2018) – Northeast Arc announced today that applications are due on September 18, 2018 for The Arc Tank 2.0,  the second year of the a competition that seeks to fund innovative and positively disruptive ideas that enhance the lives of persons with disabilities. Ark Tank 2.0 is […]