SpecialNeeds 

The Word 'Retard': Stop Using It

Ellen and her son Max. Courtesy of Ellen Seidman.
Let's say you have a child with disabilities who has cognitive delays, and when people jokingly uses the word "retard" to call someone stupid, it bothers you.
Let's say that in honor...
Try a little project: For a few days you will message people on Twitter who use the word "retard" and let them know the r-word is derogatory to people with disabilities.

Nearly 5 Million U.S. Children Go Without Health Insurance

"Katie ... who?" The name Katie Beckett often draws blank stares -- even among adults who work with disabled children. But the Katie Beckett Waiver is a federal program (also known as the Deeming Waiver or the 2176 Model Waiver) that often...The name Katie Beckett often draws blank stares -- even among adults who work with disabled children. But the Katie Beckett Waiver is a federal program (also known as the Deeming Waiver or the 2176 Model Waiver) that often enables disabled children to be eligible for Medicaid and other services.

Blind Students Learn Alongside Sighted Classmates

A new way to look at teaching blind children. Photo: ABC News
For children who are visually impaired, going to preschool often means being separated from their sighted peers. Attending special schools with adapted curriculum and classrooms,...

Jennifer Hudson, Silver Linings, and Special Needs Bill of Rights - Links We Love

Riding in the back of the station wagon: No longer allowed. Photo: sxc.hu
Parents of kids with special needs now have their own Bill of Rights, thanks to Max's mom Ellen. "We have the right to expect our kids to be seen for who they are as...

Time-Out Rooms - Is There a Better Way?

Time-out rooms, also known as seclusion rooms, are used in special education programs around the country. Usually a means of last resort, they're closet-sized rooms with a lockable door and a window with unbreakable glass. The idea is, when a...

Autistic Girl Kicked out of Girl Scout Troop

Like many autistic children, 8-year-old Magi Klages finds new situations to be stressful. So her parents weren't surprised when she began acting out by biting herself and running around at her first gathering with her new Girl Scout troop in...

Autism more common in rainy climates

According to experts, the increasing number of autistic children can be partly attributed to the fact that doctors are better able to diagnose the condition than they used to be. But better diagnostic techniques cannot account for the fact that...

The end of amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis is not only uncomfortable, it can put an unborn baby at risk. Still, the test is often the only way that parents can find out if their baby if there baby has a chromosomal disorder, such as Down's syndrome. Though the risk is small, any...

Girl with Down syndrome voted Homecoming Queen

While America waits on the edge of its seat to see who will win the Presidential election, teenagers everywhere are engaged in a much more "important" vote -- that of homecoming king and queen. Though Election 2008 may be anything but settled, high...

A Little More: Looking back, saying goodbye

It was a little more than a year ago that I received an email in my in-box from a woman named Kristin. She'd read one of my stories (I think it was an essay about my oldest son Carter's broken leg) and was wondering if I'd like to submit writing...

Business travellers face additional challenges with special needs children

It can be tough to travel when you have a family. Being away from your little ones can be as tough as the grueling red eyes, hard hotel beds and crazy meeting schedules that await you. For parents of children with special needs who find themselves...

A Little More: Surprises of the green kind

A remarkable thing happened, here in our little valley where nothing much seems to be going on most days, where the grasses have grown tall and the seed-heads keep them heavy and nodding, sleepy, especially in the late afternoons....

A Little More: Heart moms

This was just after the twins were born and we'd gotten home from the NICU: the phone rang and my husband Tom took the call. A few minutes later, he hung up. There was a dazed expression on his face. "That was the pediatric cardiologist," Tom...

A Little More: Different and the same

I have a memory from when the twins were about 2-years-old--I was past the intense worry of any relapse that would send us back to the NICU, and I'd finished reading everything I could find about Down syndrome. I began to poke my head up and look...

A Little More: Saying grace

Here's one thing you might not know about my son Avery: before each meal, he insists that we all say grace. In our family, that means we join hands and say a little prayer, a simple rhyme for babies and small children that goes like this, "God is...

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