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Special Needs

To Hannah, the Night Before Christmas

Beth Whitley | Posted 12.24.2014 | Parents
Beth Whitley

The saying goes "I thought I would have to teach my daughter about the world, turns out I have to teach the world about her." This has been true enough in the past four years, but it is also true to add that it turns out that my daughter has had to teach me. So, Merry Christmas, from a very proud and humbled mum, to the best teacher I've ever had.

The Dreaded Christmas Concert

Sue Robins | Posted 12.19.2014 | Parents
Sue Robins

Planning for success is all about perspective: it is a kids' Christmas concert, not a Broadway show. I need to take my own advice: most of all, relax and enjoy -- your kid is awesome just the way they are.

The Hardest Part Of Autism

Lauren Casper | Posted 12.15.2014 | Parents
Lauren Casper

As much as I sometimes want to, we don't pin a sign to Mareto's shirt explaining his autism. So other people, particularly strangers, give us a lot of attention in the form of staring, dirty looks, snide under-the-breath comments and just overall judgment.

What We Can Learn From the Developmentally Disabled

Karen Zainal | Posted 12.10.2014 | Impact
Karen Zainal

I love the work organizations like KEEN does, but it saddens me that we actually need to recruit volunteers to fulfill social and emotional needs that wonderful people like Charles are often deprived of.

Trick-or-Treating Teens

Julie Cole | Posted 10.30.2014 | Parents
Julie Cole

We all enjoy holidays more when we just sit back and don't sweat the small stuff.

We All Fall Down Sometimes, And Yet... A Spina Bifida Awareness Post

Sarah Sweatt Orsborn | Posted 10.29.2014 | Parents
Sarah Sweatt Orsborn

All the kids swing. All the kids slide. All the kids run and play. But only one of them is constantly falling down and, it turns out, she's starting to notice it too.

The Importance of Meditation for Parents of Children With Special Needs or Challenges

Eden Kozlowski | Posted 10.28.2014 | Healthy Living
Eden Kozlowski

On my end, I've written that my meditation practice has been my "saving grace." Okay, if I am going to be honest... it is stronger than that. It has saved my life. With my daughter, I probably would have lingered in a consistent state of depression. I've had bouts, but with my practice I could always get out of it.

On Wondering What Your Kid Would Be Like Without The Special Needs

Ellen Seidman | Posted 10.27.2014 | Parents
Ellen Seidman

Max, he is no trauma. Just the opposite: He is excessively wonderful and delicious. He brings me a whole lot of happiness. Which is exactly why it throws me when my mind considers a different version of Max.

How I Was So Wrong About The 'R' Word

Kristi Rieger Campbell | Posted 12.21.2014 | Parents
Kristi Rieger Campbell

My son Tucker is developmentally delayed. And I love him. Fiercely and bigger than any love I've ever known.

Freshman Who Was Born Blind Scores His First Football Touchdown

The Huffington Post | Avery Stone | Posted 10.16.2014 | Teen

Justin Olenginski scored his first touchdown on Oct. 11. It was an extraordinary moment for the 15-year-old, who was born blind and has special needs ...

"Normal" Is a Dryer Setting: We're All More Alike Than We Are Different

Debra Jenkins | Posted 11.30.2014 | Impact
Debra Jenkins

I was honored to be a presenter at TEDxHuntsville on September 7 and am thrilled that the video of my talk has now been posted.

The Great Disclosure Debate: When Should You Tell Strangers Your Child Has Autism?

Julie M Green | Posted 11.26.2014 | Parents
Julie M Green

Is it better to be upfront about your kid's disorder to bemused strangers, or to keep your private business private?

I Wanted To Run Away Today

Kathy Radigan | Posted 11.18.2014 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

Today was one of those days where I questioned every choice I ever made in my 48 years on this planet. I thought back to a time in my life when my house was quiet, and all I had to think about was myself.

The Inspirational Story of Nolan's Sweet Heat

Reghan Conrey | Posted 11.15.2014 | Teen
Reghan Conrey

Nolan Stillwell. CEO, avid gardener, talented chef, and beacon of hope. Nolan has Down Syndrome, but there is nothing "disabled" about this hardworking, motivated young man.

Please Segregate My Special Needs Child

Eliot Borenstein | Posted 11.12.2014 | Parents
Eliot Borenstein

Inclusion is a wonderful idea, and should always be the goal whenever it is reasonable. But inclusion must not be treated as an inflexible ideology.

I'm So Sorry My Daughter's Disability Is Such An Inconvenience For You

Jamie Davis Smith | Posted 11.03.2014 | Parents
Jamie Davis Smith

If you think individuals and their families are just trying to game the system for their own benefit, think again.

Five Extra-Special Young People Share Their Lives With the World in The Specials Reality Show

Brian Horn | Posted 11.03.2014 | Entertainment
Brian Horn

The series chronicles four years in the lives of five young adults, ages 19 through 23. What makes this so "special" is that these five young people all have intellectual disabilities.

Goldstock: 400 Golden Retrievers Gather for One Weekend

Suz Redfearn | Posted 11.02.2014 | Good News
Suz Redfearn

Close your eyes and picture the smiling, fluffy bundle of mirth that is a golden retriever. Now picture 400 golden retrievers galloping across grassy fields to a long dock jutting into quiet lake and each dog launching him or herself into the water with gusto.

This Is How You Discover The Real Meaning Of Life

Ray Flynn | Posted 10.27.2014 | Fifty
Ray Flynn

NBA and college basketball great Jimmy Walker once said to me, 'Ray, you were one of the best outside shooters in college basketball and the highest vote getter in Boston history, when you were Mayor of Boston, so now that you are out of politics and sports, does all that excitement and meaning in life come to an end? Basketball is over for me, so what happens next?'

The Land of Empathy and Wonder

Kristi Rieger Campbell | Posted 10.21.2014 | Parents
Kristi Rieger Campbell

The only thing important in my imagined land is a person's heart. And his empathy. And his ability to find wonder.

To The Typical Siblings

Ellen Stumbo | Posted 10.20.2014 | Parents
Ellen Stumbo

You are perhaps more mature than someone your age. You've probably had more responsibilities than most of your peers. I guess in some ways you've lived a different life, life impacted by disability.

Employment for People With Intellectual Disabilities: Lil' Help?

John M. Simmons | Posted 10.19.2014 | Impact
John M. Simmons

When you notice places of business and employment positions where people with intellectual disabilities might fit in, take a few minutes to write a letter to management.

When Justin Timberlake And 25,000 Fans Sang Happy Birthday To A Boy With Autism

Marika Rosenthal Delan | Posted 10.15.2014 | Parents
Marika Rosenthal Delan

Now I have found that others don't always find all the things you find beautiful about your child to be so beautiful, but I think that's where Leonard Bernstein comes in. Everyone around us saw it. Everyone felt it but none of us could name it.

I See You There, Judging My Child

Angela Keck | Posted 10.12.2014 | Parents
Angela Keck

There are a lot of things about my child that you don't see. You don't know that he loves me with his whole heart, without reservation and without hesitation.

New Report by AbilityPath Helps Families With Transition to Adulthood for Individuals With Special Needs

Alexis Wineman | Posted 10.12.2014 | Impact
Alexis Wineman

While I am thankful my family and I were able to successfully navigate the transition into adulthood after high school graduation, it wasn't without its challenges.