Sesame Street Launches Autism Initiative

Sesame Street, a show you loved when you were a kid, and one that your kids enjoy today, has launched a major autism initiative. The program is called “See Amazing in All Children”. It is designed to foster greater understanding about autism for all children and families. There is a stigma placed upon autism that need not be there. People who do not understand autism, or who do not have anyone in their lives that has it, may harbor many misconceptions about it. The goal of the Sesame Street autism initiative is to help de-stigmatize autism (which affects one in … Continue reading

The Enigma of the Wi-Fi Allergy

Schools have started getting better about understanding allergies. Some schools have banned peanut butter in an effort to keep kids with peanut allergies safe. The Wi-Fi allergy, however, is still an enigma. What is an allergy? According to the Mayo Clinic, allergies occur when a person’s immune system reacts to a foreign substance (pollen, bee venom, peanuts) that doesn’t cause a reaction in most people. Symptoms of allergies can range from sneezing to hives to anaphylaxis. Allergies cannot be cured, but some can be managed. The best way to manage an allergy is for people to avoid the things that … Continue reading

Inclusion of People with Intellectual Disabilities is Important

Does someone in your family have an intellectual disability (ID)? A survey shows that inclusion helps people who do not have intellectual disabilities to accept people who do have them. Personally knowing someone who has ID helps people to move past old stereotypes. A survey was done by Harris Poll on behalf of The Special Olympic International World Games, and in partnership with Shriver Media. The survey was conducted online between July 13 and July 15 of 2015. A total of 2,021 United States adults (ages 18+) took part in the survey. Out of this group, 1,103 were identified as … Continue reading

What’s it Like to Parent Two Mentally Ill Children?

Several years ago, Susan and Michael Schofield learned that their daughter, Jani, had been born with schizophrenia. The couple had a second child, a son named Bodhi. At first, they believed that Bodhi was born without any mental illnesses. As time went on, they learned that Bodhi also has some mental health issues. What’s it like to parent not one, but two, mentally ill children? Michael and Susan Schofield decided to publicly share their story about parenting a child with schizophrenia when their daughter, Jani, was six years old. As an infant, Jani did not sleep for more than half … Continue reading

The Sequester Will Affect Special Education – Part 3

This is the third, and final, blog in my series that gives details about how the sequester will affect your state this year. These cuts will go into affect on March 1, 2013, (unless Congress prevents that from happening). Minnesota * Loss of $7 million in funding for primary and secondary education * 100 teacher and aide jobs at risk * Additional loss of $9.2 million in funds for 110 teachers, aides, and staff who help kids with disabilities Mississippi * Loss of $5,486,000 in funding for primary and secondary education * 80 teacher and aide jobs at risk * … Continue reading

The Sequester Will Affect Special Education – Part 2

On March 1, 2013, a series of automatic cuts will take effect (unless Congress does something to prevent it). This is called the sequester. Here are more details about how the sequester will affect Special Education in your state this year. Georgia * Loss of $28.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education * 390 teacher and aide jobs at risk * Additional loss of $17.5 million in funds for 210 teachers, aides, and staff who help kids with disabilities. Hawaii * Loss of $4.7 million in funding for primary and secondary education * 60 teacher and aide jobs … Continue reading

The Sequester Will Affect Special Education

Scan through the news this week, and you are sure to find the word “sequester” popping up a lot. If Congress cannot manage to come to an agreement about how to balance the budget, it will result in a lot of funding cuts beginning on March 1, 2013. Here is a quick roundup of how those cuts will affect Special Education this year. The source for this data comes from WhiteHouse.gov. Alabama * Loss of $11 million in funding for primary and secondary education * 150 teacher and aide jobs at risk * Additional loss of $9 million in funds … Continue reading

The ABCs of ASDs

Has your child recently been diagnosed as having autism? Parents can find the jargon and abbreviations that are used by teachers and staff in a Special Education program to be confusing and overwhelming. Here is a quick list of definitions that make everything much clearer. Think of it as the ABCs of autism in a school environment. ABA: Applied Behavior Analysis It is a scientifically validated approach to understanding behavior and how it is affected by environment. This therapy can help children who have autism to pick up on the social cues that their peers, who do not have autism, … Continue reading

Senator Rubio Resigns to Spend More Time With Family

California Senator Michael Rubio, a Democrat, has resigned his position. The main purpose for doing so appears to be an interest in being able to spend more time with his family. He and his wife have two daughters, one of whom has Down Syndrome. The former Senator has taken a job with Chevron. I imagine that it would be quite difficult to be a Senator and to find a way to balance that with family life. I am certain that parents, of any profession, face that same challenge. However, when a parent who is not a public figure changes jobs … Continue reading

What’s it Like to Parent a Child who has Special Needs?

All children are unique. This means that your parenting experience will have some aspects that are different from what other parents may be doing. Sometimes, people will ask a mom or dad who has a child with special needs what it is like to parent their child. There isn’t a “one size fits all” answer to this question. Here’s a quick roundup of the answers given by some parents. NR Today has a post titled “Jemelene Wilson: Raising a child with special needs”. She is the mother of two children. One of her daughters is grown, and married. Her youngest … Continue reading