(Jamie Davis Smith) Like most parents, I think each of my children is special. My toddler can sense when I am having a rough time and gives me a hug and kiss because he knows it will make me smile. My other son developed an encyclopedic knowledge of Greek, Roman and Egyptian gods by the time he was 8. One daughter frequently spends her allowance on others or donates it to her favorite charity. My oldest daughter, Claire, laughs easily and bucks the trend by preferring Anna to Elsa. But she has been called “special” her entire life for other, less flattering reasons. She has a rare genetic disorder, autism and other conditions. She is significantly disabled and requires assistance to do most things. It became apparent when Claire was just a few months old that her life would not look like the one I had imagined for her. I was told that she might never walk steadily, that she might never speak, that she would face learning difficulties and that she would … [Read more...] about My daughter doesn’t have ‘special’ needs. She’s disabled.
(iStock) August, a gifted 5-year-old in Harford County, Md., was excited to start kindergarten. His mother, Sara, was excited as well, but she was also concerned. The previous year, August was diagnosed with both autism and an anxiety disorder. As Sara helped August prepare for the transition, she wanted to be sure the school was also prepared. August thrived in preschool academically, but behaviorally, he was easily distracted, and he often distracted other children. The teachers told him to “close his lips.” When August didn’t follow their instructions, they told his parents that he was a defiant child who refused to stop making noises in class. Sara was confident that it wasn’t that her son wouldn’t stop making noises, but instead that August couldn’t stop. This past summer, Sara set up a meeting with the local school board, hoping to make a plan to help August transition to public school. Sara had attended a special education … [Read more...] about IEPs and 504 plans: Which is the best fit for your special needs child?
LAKE STEVENS, Wash. (AP) - Special education students at Lake Stevens Middle School have a new place to hang out this fall, thanks to a year of work by a local Boy Scout. Wesley Lawson started designing a playground at the school for his Eagle Scout project when he was 13. Staff had been considering how to make use of an open courtyard on the south end of campus, by classrooms where students with special needs spend their entire school day. The students have conditions ranging from autism to Down syndrome, along with physical limitations. Many are working on their motor skills. Sometimes, like anyone, they need a break from sitting inside. So the school suggested that Lawson give the kids a place to work on their balance and hand-eye coordination. And a place to have fun. “That’s one of the things the school lacked, a place for the kids to go, other than running around the school,” Lawson said. Lawson, now a sophomore at Lake Stevens High School, has two … [Read more...] about Scout builds playground for special-needs middle-schoolers
A new student-run cafe in the South Park High School cafeteria aims to provide more than coffee and pastries. The cafe will be staffed and operated by students with special needs as part of their vocational programming. “We are preparing them for real-world experiences,” said Kathy Wooddell, director of special education for the district. “It is preparing them to transition to the work world.” Special needs students in grades 9-12 will work in the cafe as part of their instruction. Their tasks will include conducting inventory, stocking items and operating the cash register. A contest to name the cafe will be open to all high school students at the start of the school year. The school board Aug. 10 approved the creation of the cafe. The idea was a collaboration among the special education department, food service and the high school administration. The cafe, which will consist of a table to start, will be open for coffee and pastries from 7:20 … [Read more...] about South Park High School to open cafe run by special needs students
Research suggests organization could be a first national model New York, New York (PRWEB) August 23, 2017 The Arc Mercer, Capitol County’s premier provider of programs and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), has launched a groundbreaking LGBTQ community organization for people with special needs. The group, the Special Needs Alliance for Pride (SNAP), is not just the first organization of its kind in the state of New Jersey – but the first in the entire country! SNAP was introduced in June in celebration of National Gay Pride Month. Its mission is to support integration of people with special needs who identify as LGBTQ into the broader LGBTQ community, and thereby prevent their isolation. Historically, these are people who are both under-integrated and greatly underserved. Organizations such as LGBT National Hotline, Human Rights Campaign, and LGBT Center of NY (known as “The Center”) could not identify any … [Read more...] about Arc Mercer Unveils First Group for LGBTQ People with Special Needs
Christmas came about three weeks early at John F. Kennedy Airport for thousands of kids. A hangar at Delta's terminal transformed into the "North Pole" on Dec. 7 for the annual Operation Santa Claus event, which allowed children with special needs to experience the magic of Christmas — and spend time with St. Nick himself. Three hundred school buses pulled into the airport for the event, which is put on by Community Mayors, a nonprofit organization that works to create opportunities for mentally and physically challenged children. What started 65 years ago as a parade featuring Santa Claus for 30 kids has grown into a major event for 4,000 students from 57 different schools throughout New York. RELATED: Boy with autism is forever connected to Santa, who told him it's OK to be himself The day kicked off with … [Read more...] about Operation Santa Claus gives magical experience to 4,000 kids with special needs
show chapters Imagine paying a college tuition for the rest of your child’s life…here’s how one family managed Wednesday, 26 Apr 2017 | 7:00 AM ET | 03:44 Parents of special needs children often find themselves staring down a seven-figure bill to cover the cost of lifetime care. Coming up with that cash doesn't have to be impossible — if families know how to plan for it. Such was the case for the Fernandez family of Newton, Massachusetts, a couple that needed $3 million to cover the cost of lifetime care for their … [Read more...] about It takes millions to care for your special needs child. Here’s how to do it
A mother of a special needs child says that United humiliated her and her family during a recent flight. (AP) An online campaign started by a New Jersey mother against United Airlines after she says that she and her disabled daughter were "humiliated" on a recent flight has sparked a debate over how airlines treat special needs passengers. Elit Kirschenbaum, the mother of 3-year-old Ivy, who has Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, told ABC that a flight attendant wouldn't let her daughter sit in her lap on a Dec. 30 flight returning to New Jersey from the Dominican Republic. According to FAA … [Read more...] about Mom of special needs daughter says United humiliated family
Thousands of Delta Air Lines passengers who got stuck in the carrier’s meltdown after a thunderstorm last week are getting 20,000 miles or $200 vouchers. But not everyone affected by delays or the 4,000 flight cancellations over five days is getting the miles or travel vouchers. They are going to those who were significantly delayed, which doesn’t include everyone who was delayed during or after the storm. “20,000 miles to say we’re sorry,” is the heading on a letter from Delta CEO Ed Bastian to SkyMiles members who are getting the miles. The letter attributes the “major disruption” to severe weather and tornadic activity at the airline’s hub in Atlanta, with Bastian adding: “Our response in the days following was out of character, and I am sorry for what you experienced.” “It was an accumulation of events,” he wrote. “I have heard from many of you who feel like we let you down.” He added that … [Read more...] about Delta gives some passengers “20,000 miles to say we’re sorry”
SAN ANTONIO — Four "special-needs" passengers and a driver were rescued Monday morning from a submerged van in the 1300 block of George Road on the Northwest Side, officials said. The passengers were being transported around 8 a.m. when the van was submerged in water and began floating, said San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Woody Woodward, adding that at least 40 water rescues have been reported Monday morning. MORE: Firefighters rescue driver of submerged garbage truck during San Antonio flooding Woodward could not say where the passengers were being taken or their age. The van was half submerged, with water reaching the van's seats, he said. Six units responded to the area, and all passengers were safely rescued. No one was transported to the hospital, Woodward said. RELATED: Parts of Interstate 35, 10 closed after flooding near downtown San Antonio Initial reports indicate the rain was falling so fast that the van was suddenly trapped in the … [Read more...] about Photos: Firefighters rescue special-needs passengers from flooding van in San Antonio