Special Needs Resource Blog

Online Resources and Information on Special Needs and Developmental Disability Topics

Meares-Irlen Syndrome

Meares-Irlen Syndrome is a  perceptual processing disorder and a form of visual stress which leads to difficulty in reading. 50 percent of people with dyslexia are affected. This also impacts people with migraines and epilepsy.

Other Known Names

  • Irlen Symptom
  • Visual Stress
  • Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome

Symptoms

  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Poor depth-perception
  • Discomfort in presence of fluorescent lighting
  • Discomfort with busy patterns
  • Writing problems
  • reading Difficulty
  • Attention and Concentration Limitations
  • Distortions

When reading, words may appear to:

  • Jump off the page
  • Spin and move around

What Meares-Irlen Syndrome Looks Like

Helping a Child with Meares-Irlen Syndrome

According to Helen Irlen, founder of the Irlen method, the following techniques should be used in helping a children diagnosed with Meares-Irlen Syndrome:

  • Copy tests, handouts, and assignments on colored paper or recycled paper.
  • Do written work on colored notebook paper.
  • Place reading material on angle or use a bookstand to reduce glare.
  • Allow students to sit near a window or indirect lighting.
  • Allow students to use a finger or marker.
  • Use graph paper for math.
  • Write in columns on the board.
  • Use gray or brown erase boards and avoid white boards.
  • Use a colored overlay on the overhead projector.
  • Xerox tests on colored paper.

At home:

  • Let your child work in a dimly lit room.
  • Allow the child to do work near a window or indirect natural lighting.
  • Have the child wear a hat when outside or in stores.
  • Change the background color of the computer screen.
  • Use Irlen colored overlays for reading and the same colored paper for assignments.
  • Let the child watch TV in a dimly lit room.
  • Avoid using bright colors, stripes, and patterns on the walls, floors, or furniture.
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Disability Awareness Month Schedule

awareness.header

Ribbons have long been used as a way to bring awareness and raise consciousness for a cause. Ribbons and disability awareness has evolved from brining awareness to various disability topics such as sensitivity, core information, inclusion and advocacy to including information in various formats including resources, activities and print information.

Below, you will find awareness ribbons for specific disabilities and the months they are recognized including the links. If you noticed that I missed any, please let me know.

Awareness Ribbons

Puzzle Awareness Ribbon

autism_ribbonAutism

Burgundy  Awareness Ribbon

burgundy-awareness-ribbon Sickle Cell Anemia , Williams Syndrome

Purple Awareness Ribbon

epilepsy ribbonEpilepsy

Down Syndrome

down syndrome ribbonDown Syndrome

Lime Green Ribbon

lime awarenss ribbon Muscular Dystrophy and Spinal Cord Injuries

 

Orange Awareness Ribbon

adhd.ribbonADHD, Multiple Sclerosis, and Sensory Processing Disorder

Lavender Awareness Ribbon
Rett Syndrome

Blue Awareness Ribbon

hydrapany.ribbonApraxia, Cri Du Chat, Hydrocephalus

Light Blue Awareness Ribbon

tuberous.scherous.ribbonTrisomy 18, DiGeorge Syndrome

 Observance  Awareness Months

March

 Trisomy18

Multiple Sclerosis

Cerebral Palsy

Developmental Disabilities

April

Autism

Auditory Processing Disorder

May

Apraxia

Cri Du Chat

Cystic Fibrosis

Williams Syndrome

June

Dravet Syndrome Day

July

Fragile X Syndrome

National Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month

September

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Day

Hydrocephalus

Sickle Cell Anemia

Spinal Cord Injuries

October

ADD/ADHD

Down Syndrome

Rett Syndrome

Sensory Processing Disorder

November

DiGeorge Syndrome

Epilepsy

Do you know of any Awareness Days that have been off the list? Would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self-Care 12-Week Challenge

self-care.title2Providing care to someone with long-term needs can be rewarding and at the same time bring some challenges. Whether you are a parent caring for a child with a disability or a professional providing care, it is often difficult to find the time to take care of yourself.

When we spend so much tine taking care of other people and neglect our own fundamental needs, lack of self-care begins to take a toll on our bodies, mind and spirit. lack of self-care can potentially lead to chronic stress. Early signs of chronic stress includes:

 

  • Frequent headaches
  • Back pain
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • chest pains
  • social withdrawal and isolation

We simply cannot help others who depend on us if we do not take care of ourselves first.

emptycup

I hope you accept my invitation to participate in this self-care 12-week challenge. Starting next Monday, I will post a new challenge over the next 3-months just in time for Spring. With a new year, it is time that you spend time taking care of you.

Good Luck!

 

 

 

 

Strategic Planning Resources for Non-Profit Organizations

 direction

The success of any non-profit organization will depend largely on developing a good strategic plan. With more budget cuts on both state and federal level, organizations that provide services to children and adults with disabilities should have a strategic plan which helps in identifying the direction of the organization. A good strategic plan does the following:

  • Aligns the organization to its mission
  • Defines the goals of the organization and prioritizes each step.

Below are links to great articles on creating and developing a strategic plan.

10 Keys to Successful Strategic Planning for Nonprofit and Foundation Leaders

The Strategic Plan is Dead. Long Live Strategy

What Does a Good Nonprofit strategic Plan Look Like?

Developing Your Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan

Strategic Planning in Nonprofit Organizations- A Brief Overview

Strategic Planning: Five Steps to a More Secure Future

Strategic Planning in Smaller Nonprofit Organizations

Strategic Planning for Nonprofits

Create a Strategic Plan for your Nonprofit

Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations

Lessons Learned on Conducting the Strategic Planning Process for a Nonprofit

A Guide to Strategic Planning

Tools For Nonprofits

Community Resource Exchange

 

 

2016 Autism Conferences

autismlogo

January

Association for Behavior Analysis International

10th Annual Autism Conference International
Theme: Research into Evidence-Based Practice
Date: January 18-20, 2016
Location: Hyatt Regency, New Orleans; New Orleans, LA

Conference will feature topics developed specifically for practitioners, scientists and parents of children with autism.

 

Council for Exceptional Children/Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities

DADD 17th Annual International Conference on Autism, Intellectual Disabilities  and Developmental Disabilities
Date: January 20-22, 2016
Location: 1 Walkiki  Beach Resort and Spa
Honolulu, HI

The conference will integrate research and practice, reflecting the need for evidence-based and practice interventions within the field. The conference will feature more than 150 lectures and poster presentations.

Future Horizon, Inc.

Autism One Day Conference
Date: January 29, 2016
Location: Ramada Plaza Casper Hotel and Conference Center
Casper, WY

Features Renown Dr. Temple Grandin who will insights backed by research evidence and own experience.

February

Future Horizons, Inc.

Autism One Day Conference
Date: February 5, 2016
Location: Rapid City, SD

Features Renown Dr. Temple Grandin who will insights backed by research evidence and own experience.

The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism

Autism Conference
Date: February 11-12, 2016
Location: Coastal Georgia Center,
3015 Fahm Street
Savannah, GA

Conference will feature autism training and resources for law enforcement, emergency responders, parents, educators, caregivers and the autism community. Dr. Temple Grandin will be a featured speaker.

Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan

BAAM 30th Annual Convention
Date: February 18-19, 2016
Location: Eastern Michigan University/Student Center
Ypsilanti, MI

A multi-track, session oriented, academic and professional meeting.

April

Nebraska ASD Network

13th Annual Conference
Date: April 7-8, 2016
Location: Embassy Suites
La Vista, NE

University of New Mexico-Center for Development and Disability

Imagine Autism Conference
Theme: Remembering the Past-Looking to the Future
Date: April 7-8, 2016
Location: Sandia Resort and Conference Center
Albuquerque, NM

Focus will be on transition to adulthood, early childhood, communication, social and behavioral topics. for families, school staff, agencies, community organizations and people with autism.

Autism Society of Wisconsin

27th Annual Conference
Date: April 7-9, 2016
Location: Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center
Wisconsin Dells

Asperger Autism Spectrum Education Network (ASPEN)

Aspen’s Spring Conference
Date: April 10, 2016
Location: 120 South Wood Avenue S.
Iselin, NJ

Center for Autism and Related Disabilities

10th Annual Statewide Autism Conference
Theme:Supporting Inclusion, Relationships, and Learning for Students with Autism
Date: April 15, 2016
Location: Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside
Rochester, NY

May

St. Amant

Canadian Conference on Developmental Disabilities and Autism
Theme: Explore. Connect. Learn. Inspire.
Date: May 4-5, 2016
Location: Victorian Inn Hotel and Convention Centre
Winniepeg, Manitoba

Focus is on practical strategies and information that will allow professionals, paraprofessionals and decision-makers to better support they people they serve.

International Society for Autism Research (INSAR)

IMFAR Annual Meeting
Date: May 11-14, 2016
Location: Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, MD

Annual scientific meeting convened each spring to exchange and disseminate new scientific progress.

June

Milestone Autism Resources

Milestones Autism Conferences
Theme: Life-long strategies for success
Date: June 16-17, 2016
Location: Mayfield Hts, OH

An annual conference that brings family members and leading experts in the field of autism together to share evidence-based practical strategies and best practices

July

Autism Society

47th Annual Autism Society National Conference
Theme: Connect, Learn, Advocate & Thrive
Date(s):July 13, 2016- Preconference
July 14-16, 2016
Location: New Orleans Marriott
555 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

The conference represents one of the largest gathering of autism families, service providers, educators and policy makers

August

Penn State National Autism Conference
Date: August 1-4, 2016
Location-To Be Announce

Education Service Center, Region 2

24th Annual Texas Autism Conference
Date: August 4-5, 2016
Location: Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel

The goal is to provide parents, educators, and campus leadership with strategies, resources, tools and evidence-based practices.

U.S. Autism and Aspergers Association World Conference
Date: August 18-20, 2016
Location: To Be Announce

September

OMICS International

2nd Annual International Conference on Autism
Theme: Understanding Autistic Mind and Accelerating the Recovery
Date: September 15-16, 2016
Location: Phoenix , AZ

Brings together worldwide distinguish scholars and academies in the field of neuroscience and neurology, public health, professionals and scientists

National Autistic Society

XI Autism- Europe Conference
Theme: Happy, healthy and empowered
Date: September 16-18, 2016
Location: Edinburg International Conference Centre
Edinburgh, Scotland

Dedicated to sharing advances in practical and scientific knowledge about autism to as wide an audience as possible including researchers, professionals, parents and self-advocates.

 

 

 

Non-Profit of the Month- American Foundation for the Blind

American Foundation for the Blind

afb_org of month

Who They Are

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a non-profit organization that provides services for people with vision loss, information and tools for professionals who serve people with vision loss and promotes independent and healthy living.

How They Do It

American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) offers a variety of programs and services that are geared toward improving the lives of people with vision loss  and their families. AFB also supports businesses, employers and professionals who provide services to blind and visually impaired people. Programs and services include:

  • Professional Development Material
  • Technology Evaluation
  • Demonstration Center
  • Public Policy Center

Upcoming Events

American Foundation for Blind Leadership Conference

March 3-5, 2016
Crystal Gateway Marriott
Arlington, VA
For more information, please click this link

Contact Information:

AFB Headquarters
2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10121
www.afb.org

January Upcoming Events

January 6, 2016

Developing the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Groton City Fire Department
416 Benham Road
Groton, CT
For more information: www.cpainc.org

January 9, 2016

Asperger Syndrome and Adult Life
Crown Plaza Boston-Newton Hotel
Newton, MA
For more Information: Asperger/Autism Network

January 20-22, 2016

Council on Exceptional Children
Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Honolulu, HI
For More Information: www.cec.sped.org

January 22-23, 2016

Courage to Risk
Broadmoor Hotel
Colorado, Colorado Springs
For More Information: www.couragetorisk.org

 

December Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the December article links and resources. These are articles that I  tweeted during the month of December on special needs and developmental disability topics. I tweet articles and links everyday. Please make sure you follow me and I will follow you back!

  1. Teen with autism films bullying using a selfie stick-Metro
  2. Best books about autism– andnextcomesL (Blog)
  3. Parents of special needs children need special care too– marcilebowitz.com
  4. What my son’s dyspraxia taught me about his autism-Huffpost
  5. These start-ups are helping people with autism find work– thenextweb.com
  6. Siblings without autism face challenges at school-Spectrum
  7. Common signs of sensory processing disorder-Sensory World
  8. Mall santa goes the extra mile for boy with autism-Autism Speaks
  9. The basic things to know about sensory processing disorder-Therama
  10. Helping kids with ADHD manage screen time-Understood
  11. New statistics about ADHD are scary-Twahod Voice
  12. 10 Inspiring quotes from people with autism-Autism Speaks
  13. 10 ways to support your child with autism through their teens and beyond-Autism Speaks
  14. Why I love knowing I have high-functioning autism– The Telegraph
  15. Cerebral palsy in adults increases risk of asthma, hypertension and arthritis -Bel Marra Health
  16. Do sensory issues look different in teens and adults? – Integrated Learning Strategies
  17. 5 core principles of time management-Coaching Positive Performance
  18. Why kids with executive functioning issues have trouble starting task-Understood
  19. Study: Why males are at a higher risk of autism-NDTV
  20. 10 things medics need to know about your autism-Autism Parenting Magazine
  21. How to help your aspie learn social skills: The 6 P’s to social skills coaching for parents-Autism Parenting Magazine
  22. 4 strategies for accommodating students with dyslexia– Think Inclusive
  23. How to deal with obsessive and repetitive services-Durham Region Autism Services
  24. Why believing in your autistic child’s abilities make all the difference-HuffPost
  25. Genetic abnormality may explain health complications of down syndrome-Medline Plus

 

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