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BellaOnline's Children with Special Needs Editor

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Teacher Appreciation and Childhood Disabilities
Parents share creative ideas to show appreciation for teachers who have created better learning opportunities, support, and welcoming classrooms for our sons and daughters with special needs and inspired our children to exercise greater potential than can be predicted by tests and evaluations.

iPhone and iPod Touch Apps - Childhood Disability
Reports of iPhone and iPod Touch apps especially developed for children and adults with developmental disabilities or who use alternative communication options have inspired parents to start thinking about how the newest technologies might benefit our sons and daughters with childhood disabilities.

Extended School Year and Special Education
Students who qualify for special education services through and IEP or 504 plan may also benefit from extended school year services to focus on existing or emerging skills that can diminish or be lost be lost over summer vacation. An excellent resource for parents is the Wrights Law website on ESY.

Summer Learning and Childhood Disability
Summer learning opportunities can pop up in unexpected places for children with developmental disabilities, chronic health conditions or other special needs. Our children may benefit from neighborhood play, extended school year classes, summer camp, parks department programs or respite and daycare.

Flu Outbreaks and Childhood Disabilities
Families of children with developmental disabilities, chronic health conditions or other special needs faced disproportionate challenges due to the effects of the 2009 Swine Flu (A1N1 Influenza) outbreak, in reducing risks, maintaining medications during illness and routines during school closures.

Comparing Ourselves to Other Mothers
Mothers with babies and young children at home may project images of themselves and their children to other moms that are as unrealistic as the perceptions that other mothers may have the resources, support, ideas and energy we canīt find. This is also common for mothers of kids with special needs.

Service Animals and Childhood Disability
Service animals have aided children, teens and adults with disabilities for decades. Although some leading animal rights activists protest the use of working dogs and other animals, we applaud those who rescue dogs to train for companionship, therapy and service or breed and train them specifically.

Rebuilding America with Universal Design
With the emphasis on rebuilding the infrastructure and putting people to work on construction projects as a way back to economic security for our country, we should be demanding the thorough integration of universal design in all projects

Braille for Children - Low Vision or Blind
Children who are blind or have low vision can benefit greatly as toddlers if parents provide opportunities and support for learning to read storybooks with Braille text and make certain that as older students their children can both read Braille and take notes using a Braille slate and stylus.

The Disability Hierarchy, Equity and Advocacy
What has been described as the "Disability Hierarchy" can also be seen as the multiculturalism of our advocacy community. As diverse as individuals are within disability labels throughout cultures and ethnicities, we are also within coalitions. Equity is critical for advocacy groups and individuals.

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