Saturday, August 23, 2014

Next month I will have two articles featured that focus on children with disabilities. The first article, "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" is being published by NASET. The second article, "Family Ties" will be published by Autism Spectrum Quarterly discusses ways in which families can build positive relationships between children with autism and their siblings.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Even after all the political commentary, policy debates and government mandates, child with disabilities are still being neglected in the classroom. Read "How States Are Failing Students With Disabilities."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Resilience is one of my favorite words. I never even used prior to my son's autism diagnosis; but now, it captures the essence of who I want to be as a parent and who I want my children to be as they make their transitions through life. In our society, resilience is important to our survival; our ability to move beyond the labels and the limitations and the negativity that is now part of popular culture. Our strength must come from within, with support and encouragement from our family and friends. Quoting Steve Maraboli: Life doesn't get easier or more forgiving. We get stronger and more resilient.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Studies have found autism and autism traits have increased prevalence among siblings of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Autism risk for siblings is estimated at 1 in 5 (depending on the source), with twins facing an even higher likelihood if one of them is diagnosed with ASD. Read the article "Siblings Face High Recurrence Risk of Autism" at id=14290496

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Often times children with disabilities are consumed by labels (ADD, IEP, ASD, BIP...) and others do not understand that there is more to these children than their disabilities. But when child has a visible or obvious disability, the struggle for parents may be magnified. As Rosen writes in his article, "Seeing the Child, Not the Disability," Perhaps this is why I was so shaken by what I had just heard, about mother and son being shunned by others who were unable to see the son she loves as a child instead of as a condition or disease. .

You can read more of the article "Seeing the Child, Not the Disability," at

Friday, August 8, 2014

"The Role of Gender in a Disability Diagnosis"

Boys face a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with a disability than girls. In categories such as Autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome and Learning Disability (LD), prevalence ratios for boys and girls are some times as high as 3 to 1.

While genetics may be the most accepted cause of high prevalence rates, there could be other reasons for highee diagnoses. For example, autism has been commonly associated with males. Parents who observe girls with characteristics of autism may attribute it to the child simply being a loner, self-absorbed or quiet in nature. Parents witnessing similar characteristics in a son will more probably suspect disability than assume some other causal factors.

Although more boys in general are identified as having ADHD, African American and Hispanic males are more often diagnosed than any other group. In addition, these two groups are overwhelmingly reprsented in the categories of learning disabled and emotionally disturbed.

More research is needed to determine the overall impact of genetics when diagnosing disabilities and whether gender bias plays more of a role in this equation than previously attributed. Are girls more immune to certain disabilities or are they being overlooked based on gender assumptions?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"Controversy Over Use of Restraints"

Using seclusion or restraints for children with disability may, in fact, be a violation of their free appropriate education, as was the case in Virginia. Get the article at

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Autism can impact the dynamics of a family, particularly if the child's disability is severe. With proper support from other family members, friends, and (if necessary) professionals, daily living can be more manageable. Read the article, "Autism & Family Relationships" published by

Monday, August 4, 2014

A survey 0f 1200 parents of children with ASD(Autism Spectrum Disorder) conducted by the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University found that 63 percent of the children had been bullied. Read the full article "Survey finds 63% of children with autism bullied" at

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ten Books About Children With Autism

1. My Brother Charlie (Robinson Peete)

2. The Child with Autism Learns About Faith (Labosh)

3. Dave's World: A Picture Book About Living with Autism (Mueller)

4. The Friendship Puzzle: Helping Kids Learn About Accepting and Including Kids with Autism (Coe)

5. My Friend Has Autism (Tourville)

 6. Different Like Me: My Book of Autism (Elder)

7. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum (Marsden, Burrows & Newmark)

8. The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism ( Sabin)

9. In My Mind: The World Through the Eyes of Autism ( Wong)

10. Keisha's Doors: An Autism Story/Las Puertas de Keisha: Una Historia de Autismo Libro Uno (English & Spanish Edition) (Ellis)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

If you are a K-12 general education teacher, there is a study being conducted concerning teachers' attitudes and beliefs about the inclusion of children with disabilities in the regular classroom setting. Use the link provided to access and anonymously complete the study survey.

Friday, August 1, 2014

After several recent (some times fatal) cases of "wandering" with children on the autism spectrum, Congress has been considering a proposal that will provide monitoring safeguards to prevent further tragedies. Find out more about the tracking device proposal at Disability