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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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IEP Meeting Cancellation Frustration
Parents report frustration over poor attendance and late cancelations of school meetings by teachers, support staff or administrators after families members take time off work and have spent weeks gathering information to present for adequate support and approrpriate placement for their child.

'Tropic Thunder' Movie Affects Ordinary Lives
Ben Stiller´s movie, Tropic Thunder, offers a humiliating portrayal of a developmentally disabled character, hate language, and a ´movie within a movie´ that increases risks for individuals with intellectual disabilities who attend movies, work at theaters, or enjoy participation in community life.

(Over) Preparing for the IEP Meeting
Families new to evaluations and other steps in the IEP process have many questions that veteran parents might help answer. Sometimes mentor parents collect so much experience that they develop a level of silliness that flies in the face of stern warnings issued by school district attorneys.

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.

A Brand New Baby with Down Syndrome
When a newborn is diagnosed with Down syndrome, parents may be told about the challenges the baby and family may encounter months or years later, when they deserve more than anyone just to bask in the glow of their baby´s first days and weeks.

A Childhood with Down Syndrome
Babies with Down syndrome who grow up with friends with similar interests or geography often have more in common with their family and mainstream peers than they do with other chromosomally enhanced children and teens.

A Smile as Big as the Moon - More than Space Camp
The 2012 Hallmark movie "A Smile as Big as the Moon: A Special Education Teacher, His Class, and Their Inspiring Journey Through U.S. Space Camp" is as inspirational today as it was in 1989. The actor playing the student with Down syndrome is Peter ten Brink.

A Special Olympic Athlete's Road to Gold
Book Review: Spirit, Courage, and Resolve - A Special Olympic Athlete´s Road to Gold, by Tom Lambke, and I Just Am, by Bryan Lambke

Ableist Arrogance at a Candy Store
An unexpected opportunity to be a gladiator advocate at a candy store found me unprepared to respond when a store employee singled out my son for humiliation. Stunned and confused, I said nothing. Identifying as an ambassador rather than an activist left my son vulnerable as a customer. Never again.

Access to Communication and Education Technology
Children and teens with disabilities should have access to technology that can provide alternative communication platforms and educational support and inspiration. A quarter century of research has shown the benefits and accommodations tech hardware and software offers people with disabilities.

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