specialneedschildren Newsletter

Children with Special Needs

September 28 2008 Children with Special Needs Newsletter

Here's the latest article from the Special Needs Children site at BellaOnline.com.

Sarah Palin and Down Syndrome Awareness
The announcement of Sarah Palin as John McCain´s running mate in the 2008 Presidential election brought her infant son with Down syndrome into the spotlight in the USA and around the world.

Down Syndrome Buddy Walks
October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month, and NDSS-sponsored Down Syndrome Buddy Walks are scheduled throughout the country.

Read more about where to find, support or participate in scheduled Buddy Walks at http://www.buddywalk.org

See the Regal Cinemas Down Syndrome Awarness PSAs that will run September 26th through October 9th in local theaters on 6,900 screens. Meredith Vieira, John C. McGinley, Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinal), Nancy O'Dell, Chris Burke and wonderful self-advocates will appear to help raise awareness for people with Down syndrome. See the NDSS.org webpage for more information.

Patricia E Bauer reports on this weekend's New York Down Syndrome Buddy Walk featuring nineteen-year-old high school varsity athlete (golf and basketball) Brad Hennefer, a student with Down syndrome at Camden County College.

Patricia Bauer tracks coverage about Buddy Walks (see these stories from 2007):

Enjoy Michael Johnson's art and order cards or posters at his website at:
- or bid on artwork he has donated to Buddy Walks and other fundraisers

Read about actors and actresses with Down syndrome at
Heart & Halo Talent
or the media archive at:

See the NDSS Self Advocate page at

Down Syndrome and the Acting Gene

Please consider preparing Information Packs for families of babies newly diagnosed with Down syndrome or children who are diagnosed with other disabilities in support of Down Syndrome Awareness Month or just for the well-being of other families in your community.

To participate in free, fun online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Special Needs Children located here -


Please visit specialneedschildren.bellaonline.com for even more great content about raising children with special needs and supporting families.

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

Bilingual Children
Many children with developmental disabilities grow up learning two or three languages that are spoken in their home, among extended family or in their neighborhoods. There is no excuse for speech therapists, early intervention staff or teachers not to be aware of the research and best practices among multilingual families. Feel free to enlighten them with research and anecdotal evidence as well.

Diabetes Information for Classmates
Many schools have information for teachers and other staff about chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and food or other allergies. Parents may ask to read through the material on file and then offer to have their children's doctor's office update or add to the appropriate file. Sometimes the school's PTA or other parent group takes on the responsibility of this task. When a teacher has a child with a specific condition or diagnosis for the first time, encouragement and reassurance can be appreciated as much as the basic information on the safety and health support needs of the student.

Positive Behavior Support and Interventions - PBIS
Challenging behavior was cited as a primary reason that students with IEPs had been blocked from inclusive classrooms in their neighborhood schools, until 1997 amendments to IDEA established PBIS as the recommended form of behavioral intervention, as does NCLB (No Child Left Behind). PBIS is now embraced as an excellent strategy for all students.

Kindergarten Transition
Planning the transition from preschool to kindergarten can include
visiting available classrooms before summer break, considering an extra
year of preschool in a transition or mainstream program, private
kindergarten or homeschooling

Parent Child Interaction
Parent-Child Interaction teaches useful strategies and effective skills to parents whose children have aggressive, rebellious or otherwise challenging behaviors - and whose child does not sometimes engage in those? PCIT helps parents and children in difficult situations establish or rebuild relationships, bringing a bit of peace and comfort to everyone in the family.

Pass along any information or resources you find helpful or relevant to your family's adventures raising a child with special needs!

Pamela Wilson, Special Needs Children Editor

A Brand New Baby with Down Syndrome

Mothering Babies with Special Needs

Asking More from Medical Professionals

Seeing Children with Disabilities in Movies, Ads and Television

Kindergarten Transition

Universal Design for Learning - Access
to General Education Curriculum

Friendship and Inclusion for Children with Special Needs

School Bus Rides

IDEA - Education Law

IEP Preparation - Teacher Support

Inclusive Education and the Culture of Down Syndrome

Sleep Disorders and Children with Special Needs

Back to School with Celiac Disease

Finding Strollers, Walkers and Wheelchairs for Children

Dolls for Children with Special Needs

IDEA - Education Law

Printing and Cursive Handwriting

Teaching Handwriting

Access to General Education Curriculum - Universal Design for Learning

Book Review: Raising A Sensory Smart Child

Amazon Kindle Wireless Reading Device

Sensory Integration and Children

How Uncomfortable is Your Child? Sensory Processing Disorders

Seeing Children with Disabilities in Movies, Ads and Television
Advocates are stepping forward to describe the importance of children with disabilities being represented in movies, commercials, and television shows as main characters as well as casual extras. Seeing children with disabilities in movies, ads and television impacts siblings and mainstream peers.

MRSA Antibiotic Resistant Staph Infections
MRSA and ORSA are antibiotic-resistant staph infections that can quickly become life threatening when diagnosis or treatment is delayed. Children with certain health conditions and developmental disabilities may be more susceptible due to skin conditions, injury, accidents or hospitalizations.

Melissa Riggio Made a Difference
Melissa Riggio´s birth inspired the creation of the Special Needs section at Barnes & Noble bookstores. Her life in twenty years made more of a difference in the world than many lives of 80.

Encouraging Late Talking Children
Finding ways to encourage late-talking children to communicate helps us to build better relationships within the family and community. When a child misses developmental milestones in speech, or does not speak at all, alternative forms of communication help them show us their full potential

Communicating with Babies
Responding to a baby´s cries and filling their needs teaches them that their attempts to communicate work, that they are loved, and that they are surrounded by people who care deeply about them. An Australian woman with a photographic memory for sound discovered five sounds that babies around the world use to communicate their needs as newborns.

Kindergarten Transition
Planning the transition from preschool to kindergarten can include
visiting available classrooms before summer break, considering an extra
year of preschool in a transition or mainstream program, private
kindergarten or homeschooling

Oral Health and Dental Visits for Children
The Winter 2008 Linkages Newsletter features a focus topic on Oral Health for Children with Special Health Needs, with resource links for dental professionals outlining appropriate treatment, establishing better dental health habits, and preparing children and families for office visits and care.

ADHD Medications and Cardiovascular Events
It's now recommended that all children who use ADHD medications schedule an ECG and cardiovascular check up; stirring alarm among parents whose children are more at risk for a cardiac event if they have an undiagnosed heart problem and use stimulant medications like ritalin, adderall, or concerta.

State and National Park Disability Passes
Families of children with disabilities may qualify for free or reduced price entrance to state and national parks with disability passes available well in advance of a park visit. Information on documentation, identification and other requirements is available at individual websites.

Early Childhood Education and the NAEYC
The best information about quality early childhood education is available to families of children diagnosed with developmental delays, disabilities or other challenges through the same resources as their mainstream peers

Recognizing Early Signs of Autism
Recognizing early signs of autism helps families find resoures and support for very young children with autism spectrum disorders. The autism video glossary shows film clips of autism symptoms, helping families reach professionals to find an earlier diagnosis and early intervention options.

Review - Parenting Children With Health Issues: Essential Tools, Tips, and Tactics for Raising Kids With Chronic Illness, Medical Conditions, and Special Healthcare Needs by Foster W. Cline and Lisa Greene

Faith, Religion, and Children with Special Needs
Families of children with special needs have found wonderful support and encouragement from religious groups and their own communities of faith; children who grow up included in a faith community find lifelong friends and good company

Explaining Down Syndrome to Children
Deciding how to explain Down syndrome to young children may challenge the beliefs and expectations of adults who see more differences than similarities among children with Down syndrome and their mainstream peers.

Unsubscribe from the Children with Special Needs Newsletter

Online Newsletter Archive for Children with Special Needs Site

Master List of BellaOnline Newsletters

Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map