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BellaOnline's Children with Special Needs Editor

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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.

Peer Mentoring Programs and Childhood Disability
Children with disabilities as well as their mainstream peers benefit from being included in peer mentoring and buddy programs in schools and community recreation.

3/21 - World Down Syndrome Day
Down Syndrome Day 2012 will be celebrated for the first time at the United Nations in New York due to resolution officially designating 3/21 as World Down Syndrome Day. In 2009 it was celebrated with the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the genetic cause of Down syndrome by Dr. Jerome Lejeune.

Teaching Home Addresses to Children
Teaching children their home address can be a life-saving lesson in emergency situations. When travelling or moving to a new location, knowing a current or previous home address helps first responders to discover your childīs identity, to contact you for medical information, and get them home again.

Amazon Kindle 2 and Childhood Disability
The updated version of the Amazon Kindle reader for books and magazines may be more useful than the original for children and adults with disabilities. Advocates for the vision impaired would improve text to speech controls but recognize Kindle 2 provides better access to visually impaired readers.

Multiple Births and Childhood Disability
Discussion of the birth of octuplets to Nadya Suleman included criticism and negative views of the higher risk of developmental disability and other special needs in babies born via multiple birth. Families raising children with special needs become alarmed by hateful comments reflecting prejudice.

Depression and Down Syndrome
Symptoms of depression in teens and young adults with Down syndrome may be mistaken for intentional misbehavior, laziness, regression, age appropriate moodiness, and sometimes psychosis. Even close family and long-term staff may not recognize when significant changes have had a negative impact.

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