Planning a Summer Vacation: Travel Tips for Families of Children With Disabilities

Summer travel season is well underway. While traveling with children can be both fun and exhausting, if you are a parent or caregiver of a child with disabilities, even more planning may be required to have a safe and successful trip. This summer, I decided to take my daughter Annie on her first...

Addressing a National Shortage of Autism Specialists

I remember the day as if it was yesterday – Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2003. It was my birthday, and I had just met with my 21-month-old daughter’s pediatrician to discuss her “global developmental delays.” In the most caring way, he told us, “You will need to see a developmental-behavioral...

Managing Back-to-School Jitters: Tips to Help Children With Special Needs Ensure a Smooth Transition

Remember how it felt as a child before your first day of school? Perhaps you experienced butterflies in your stomach or loss of sleep the night before. You were excited to see your friends, but also nervous about what the new school year would bring. That is exactly how I am feeling about sending...

Autism Through a Different Lens: A Sibling’s Perspective

In my profession, I often write articles from a parent’s perspective about having an 18-year-old daughter (Annie) with severe autism, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. My overarching goal with these stories is to provide compassion, understanding and hope to families, caregivers...

COVID-19: Tips for Working From Home (And Finding Relief) With Your Children Out of School

For many parents and caregivers, working from home during COVID-19 (while your children are out of school or day care) can present unique challenges, especially if you are caring for a child with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. [caption id="attachment_4816" align="aligncenter"...

Assembling an Emergency Toolkit for Children with Disabilities

In the journey of parenthood, one of the most challenging things caregivers of children can encounter are the inevitable injuries and emergencies. Last year, I had to take my daughter, Annie – who has autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities – to the emergency room (ER). Going...

COVID-19: Helping Families With Special Needs During a Public Health Crisis

As a mother of a daughter with autism and intellectual disabilities, as well as a professional in the human services field, I am all too familiar with the unique challenges facing families of individuals with special needs. The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic brings additional worry. In these...

Back to School Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs

As families soak up the last few weeks of summer vacation, they may be starting to think about the new school year approaching. For parents of children with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, it can take a significant amount of preparation to create a seamless transition. Families need...

Partnering with Your Child’s Doctor to Navigate the Special Needs World

We all want the best medical care for our children, and a crucial part of obtaining proper care is finding a doctor who is knowledgeable, experienced and compassionate. Finding the right doctor is especially important for children with special needs, who often require more frequent doctor visits...