Random Acts of Kindness Week is Here: Pay It Forward To Others with Chronic Illness

Would you like to know you made a difference or truly positive impact in someone’s life? By practicing random acts of kindness, and paying it forward, you can do just that. This is especially true and appreciated in healthcare — it can positively impact a patient’s day, treatment, and overall disposition....more

Murder and People with Developmental Disabilities

On Saturday morning of Labour Day weekend 2014, Frank Stack, 82, left his house in Elmhurst, Illinois and drove to the group home where his son, Francis, 48, lived with five other men with developmental disabilities. Mr. Stack, a regular visitor to the home, told the supervisor on duty he’d have his son back later that day.Next, the father drove to another group home where his daughter, Mary, 57 also developmentally disabled, resided. He told staff there that his wife, Joan, who was very ill, wanted to see her daughter....more

Can The Physically Disabled Drive?

Transportation is the key to independence. People with physical disabilities want the same freedom driving their own automobiles along with everyone else. Whether you are a veteran, the aging, recovering from a stroke or you have a physical limitation, driving is not out of your reach. ...more

No, He Really Can't Have It. Please Don't Sabotage My Child's Special Diet!

My son Leo is on a medically managed diet for a non-autism-related medical condition. Which is easily manageable, as long as we plan ahead. Every so often, though, we find ourselves in social situations with dietary complications, and encounter folks who dismiss our, "I’m sorry, he can't eat that," with, "But why can't he have just one bite? Surely that won't hurt." 

 If you've ever been that causally dismissive person, I'm asking you to please stop. Please stop right there. And listen hard, and then repeat: Do NOT contradict someone who has told you their child can't have a certain food. Don't do it. Just don't. Again, please. ...more
An uncle actually told me once that if I just prayed over my food I could eat it.  I have ...more

4 Things People With Disabilities Want Us to Know

When was the last time you used the word "disability"? Did you feel comfortable using it?My friend's sister was in a car accident a few years back - that was the first time I ever had to use the word. Because of a certain whiplash injury, the part of her brain responsible for vision had a little bleeding. She had vision problems right after the accident.They said she was "lucky" because that was the worst that happened to her.Days after her surgery, she still couldn't see the way she used to and I was told, "Her disability won't be permanent."...more

9 Ways to Advocate for the Disabled And Resources

I'll be brutally honest right up front here.I am ashamed to say that before I had a daughter with disabilities, I was totally unaware of just how insensitive, uncaring, and even cruel our world can be toward people who have special needs.I had absolutely no idea how unprepared our world is to accommodate those with special needs so that they can easily be included in all aspects of society....more

5 Things This Special Needs Mom Will Never Say

 This illness has been a blessing in disguise - It is my opinion that no parent should ever say this about their child’s illness, at least not in their child’s presence anyway.There are absolutely no blessing in my daughter, Bethany, having had a brain tumor nor are there any blessings in the disabilities she has acquired from complications during the surgery required to remove it....more

Being an Expert in Parenting Kids With Disabilities Means Listening, Too

I always avoided American Idol-like reality competitions, because I am a gummi-hearted sort who can't bear to witness mean people publicly humiliating earnest amateurs. ...more
Just to be clear -- autism is not a mental disorder. Many things in the DSM are not mental ...more

Teaching Kids To Appreciate What They Have

I spent a very special day in Chicago yesterday with my daughters.  We were celebrating my ten year old daughters making it through a whole year after her intensive surgery to lengthen her tendons and to replace her hips.   It has been a long, very hard, very painful year for her, and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to celebrate and make a negative turn into a positive....more

Inside that Special Needs Village: whom to listen to and whom to ignore

Since we are going to be spending time discussing how to handle your child's special needs village I have decided to create a list of personnel that are essential to a well functioning machine. I have found that at any given time I have had at least half of this list (at times in life almost the entire list in fact) working in concert making certain that the boys functioned to the best of their ability. By the way the list is as valid today, for my young-men, as when they were in pre-school : YOUPsychiatrist...more