Top 10 Trainings Every Bus Driver and Matron Should Have

Transporting a child with a disability to school on a bus is indeed a huge responsibility. For children with a disability, alertness matters as well ensuring bus drivers and matrons are trained on managing many issues that can arise on the bus. the following are the top ten trainings every bus driver and matron should have:

CPR. Although in adults cardiac arrest is often sudden and results from a cardiac cause, in children with cardiac arrest is often secondary to respiratory failure and shock. A CPR course will teach the sequence of steps for children including basic steps for calling for additional assistance.

First Aid. A course in first aid will train bus drivers and matrons steps to take in the case of an emergency. Children with disabilities have a variety of issues, taking a course in a first aid course can help to save a child’s life. Courses should include topics on choking, bleeding, injuries, allergic reactions, sudden illnesses and signs and symptoms.

Disability Awareness. This will  help both bus drivers and matrons identify and understand their own personal attitudes and perception regarding children and adults with disabilities.

Overview of Developmental Disability. Understanding the various types of developmental disabilities is vital in transporting children and adults from home to school. A course on developmental disability should include information on learning about the different types of disabilities,  including cognitive, physical and invisible. An overview should also include information on barriers that exist for people with disabilities.

Introduction to Epilepsy. Children and adults with disabilities tend to experience a high prevalence of epilepsy. Both drivers and matrons should be aware there are several types of seizures from generalize seizures to partial seizures. Some children experience seizures where it may appear they are simply staring. A training on epilepsy will teach ways to recognize the signs of epilepsy what do to in the event of a seizure while driving.

Understanding Behaviors. All behaviors have a meaning . It is a way of communicating for children and adults who may not have the ability to express pain, fear or anger verbally.

Bus Safety and Disabilities. Bus drivers are generally taught how to drive the bus or van in a safe manner. But what in instances when there is an emergency with children with disabilities on board? There should be training on emergencies that can occur on the bus including fires, accidents, and vehicle breakdown.

Recognizing Abuse. Studies show a large number of children with disabilities are abused and even larger numbers are bullied. a training course in recognizing abuse should cover not only looking for physical signs, but also children who are mistreated and neglected as well.

Safe Loading. Keeping children safe on the bus on van is one of the key responsibilities of the bus driver and matron. Some children with disabilities may use wheelchairs and other adaptive equipment. Trainings should include knowledge on using the wheelchair lift including the manual lift in the case of an emergency. Vital information includes safe securing of lap trays, electrical wheelchairs, vest of harness which should be monitored during the bus ride.

Overview of Autism. While no two students are alike. there are general characteristics that children with autism may exhibit including, anxiety, depression, seizure disorder, cognitive delays, sensory challenges and repetitive behaviors. Being well-informed of autism and how to mange will make the bus ride go smooth on those challenging days.

Can you think of any other important trainings bus drivers and matron should have when transporting a child with a disability?

 

 

2020 Special Needs Conferences and Seminars for Professionals and Families

The following are upcoming special needs and developmental disability conferences and seminars for the year. The conferences include annual meetings, specialty conferences and professional development courses. Click on the highlighted title to get further information.

January

27th Annual Florida Statewide Card Autism Conference
Date: January 17-19, 2020
Location: Orlando, Fl.

Annual Autism conference for families, educators, professionals and autistic adults.

ICADD International Conference on Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date: January 30-31, 2020
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

CASP The Council of Autism Service Providers Annual Conference
Date: January 13-14, 2020
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

7th Annual Conference on Depression, Anxiety and Stress Management
Date: January 20-21, 2020
Location: Barcelona, Spain

Autism Spectrum Disorder Across the Life Span
Date: January 11, 2020
Location: Boston, MA

DADD 21st International Conference on Autism, Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disabilities
Date: January 22, 2020
Location: Sarasota, FL

Future Horizon
An Evening with Temple Grandin
Date: January 28, 2020
Location: Atlanta, GA

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

February

Council for Exceptional Children
February 5-8, 2020
Portland, Oregon

DFW Autism Conference
Date: February 6-7, 2020
Location: Hurst, TX

Autism Conference and Training
Date: February 7-8, 2020
Location: Vancouver, BC

Special Needs Planning Symposium
Date: February 7-9, 2020
Location: Napa, CA

Future Horizon
An Evening with Temple Grandin
Date: February 11, 2020
Location: Oklahoma City, OK

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

Future Horizon
An Evening with Temple GrandinDate: Lubbock, TX
Location: February 17, 2020

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

Learning Disabilities Association 57th Annual International Conference
Date: February 17-20, 2020
Location: Orlando, FL

National Autistic Society- Autism Professional Conference
Date: February 27-28, 2020
Location: Birmingham, London

19th Annual Alabama Autism Conference
Date: February 28, 2020
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL

2nd European Autism Congress
Date: February 28-29
Location: Budapest, Hungary

March

Professional Development and Parent Seminars
Date: March 5, 2020
Location: Albany, New York

Autism Conference and Training
Date: March 5-6, 2020
Location: Edmonton, AB

Southern Maine Autism Conference
Date: March 7, 2020 8am- 4pm
Location: South Portland, ME

2020 Autism Matters Conference
Date: March 20, 2020
Location: Orange Beach, AL

Autism Through the Life Span
Date: March 21, 2020 8:45-4:30
Location: Li Ka Shing Conference Center
291 Campus Drive, Stanford University

Autism Society National Conference
2020 Disability Policy Seminar
Date: March 23-25, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

11th Annual Honestly Autism Day
Date: March 28, 2020
Location: Hunt Valley, MD

April

Autism Conference and Training
Date: April 2-3, 2020
Location: Ottawa, ON

Nebraska ASD Network State Conference
Date: April 2-3, 2020
Location: Lincoln, NE

Autism Conference and Training
Date: April 16-17, 2020
Location: Halifax, NS

International Conference on Physical Disability Treatments and Therapies
Date: April 23-23, 2020
Location, New York, NY

Autism Converge Autism Summit 2020
Date: April 23-25, 2020
Location: Greenville, SC

Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin 31st Annual Conference
Date: April 30- May 2, 2020
Location: Wisconsin Dells, WI

May

International Society for Autism Research
Date: May 6-9, 2020
Location: Seattle, Washington

Autism Conference and Expo Georgia
Date: May 13-14, 2019
Location: Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA

June

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Date: 1-4, 2020
Location: Pittsburg, PA

Autism Research Conference
Date: June 4
Location: New York, NY

National Autism Conference
Milestones Autism Resources
Date: June 11-12, 2020
Location: Cleveland, OH

European Academy of Childhood Disabilities
Date: June 17-20, 2020
Location: Poznan, Poland

48th Annual National Down Syndrome Congress Convention
Date: June 25-28, 2020
Location: June 25-28, 2020

August

National Association of QDIP’s Annual Conference
Date: August 4-7
Location: New Orleans, Lousiana

September

American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine Annual Meeting
Date: September 22-26, 2020
New Orleans, Louisiana

October

Autism New Jersey Annual Conference
Date: October 15-16, 2020
Location: Atlantic City, N.J.

Council for Learning Disabilities
Date: October 15-16
Location: Richmond, VA

November

Annual 32nd International Conference on ADHD
Date: November 5-7
Location: Dallas, Texas

December

2020 CPISRA Conference on Physical Activity and Health for People with Cerebral Palsy or Acquired Brain Injury
Date: December 4-6, 2020
Location: Sydney, Australia

For Those With Autism, Eye Contact Isn’t Just Weird, It’s Distressing

main article image

Published by: Science Alert
Written by: Mike McRae

For many people with autism, avoiding eye contact isn’t a sign that they don’t care – instead, it’s a response to a deeply uncomfortable sensation.

Researchers have discovered a part of the brain responsible for helping newborns turn towards familiar faces is abnormally activated among those on the autism spectrum, suggesting therapies that force eye contact could inadvertently be inducing anxiety.

Autism spectrum disorder is a term used to describe a variety of conditions that make communicating and socialising a challenge, and is often accompanied by restricted and repetitive behaviours.

A defining characteristic of autism spectrum disorder is a difficulty in making or maintaining eye contact, a behaviour that not only makes social interactions harder, but can lead to miscommunication among cultures where eye contact is taken as a sign of trust and respect. Click here to read the rest of the story

11 Resources on Teaching Personal Safety Skills To Special Needs Children and Adults

Studies show that both children and adults with developmental disabilities are vulnerable to incidents of abuse and injuries. Personal safety includes learning about being safe and dangerous environments. The following articles focus on teaching tips in both the community and in the home.

5 tips on teaching safety skills to children with autism

A guide to personal safety

Community safety skills

How to help individuals with disabilities be safe in the community

Personal safety programs for children with intellectual disabilities

Safety First: Teaching safety skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Teaching people with intellectual disabilities about fire emergencies

Teaching safety awareness skills to children with autism

Teaching stranger safety skills to children and adults with disabilities

Safety Activities

Activities that teach safety

Safety worksheets from Teacher Vision

2020 Autism Conferences

Are you planning on attending any conferences this year to build up your professional arsenal? Attending conferences and seminars serve the purpose of increasing knowledge, expertise, and application. The following conferences and seminars listed vary from 1-day to 3-day seminars. Click on the link to get additional information.
January

27th Annual Florida Statewide Card Autism Conference
Date: January 17-19, 2020
Location: Orlando, Fl.

Annual Autism conference for families, educators, professionals and autistic adults.

ICADD International Conference on Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date: January 30-31, 2020
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

CASP The Council of Autism Service Providers Annual Conference
Date: January 13-14, 2020
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

7th Annual Conference on Depression, Anxiety and Stress Management
January 20-21, 2020
Barcelona, Spain

Autism Spectrum Disorder Across the Life Span
Date: January 11, 2020
Location: Boston, MA

DADD 21st International Conference on Autism, Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disabilities
Date: January 22, 2020
Location: Sarasota, FL

Future Horizon
An Evening with Temple Grandin
Date: January 28, 2020
Location: Atlanta, GA

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

February

DFW Autism Conference
Date: February 6-7, 2020
Location: Hurst, TX

Autism Conference and Training
Date: February 7-8, 2020
Location: Vancouver, BC

Future Horizon
An Evening with Temple Grandin
Date: February 11, 2020
Location: Oklahoma City, OK

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

Future Horizon
An Evening with Temple Grandin
Date: Lubbock, TX
Location: February 17, 2020

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

National Autistic Society- Autism Professional Conference
Date: February 27-28, 2020
Location:Birmingham, London

19th Annual Alabama Autism Conference
Dtae: February 28, 2020
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL

2nd European Autism Congress
Date: February 28-29
Location: Budapest, Hungary

March

Professional Development and Parent Seminars
Date: March 5, 2020
Location: Albany, New York

Autism Conference and Training
Date: March 5-6, 2020
Location: Edmonton, AB

Southern Maine Autism Conference
Date: March 7, 2020 8am- 4pm
Location: South Portland, ME

2020 Autism Matters Conference
Date: March 20, 2020
Location: Orange Beach, AL

Autism Through the Life Span
Date: March 21, 2020 8:45-4:30
Location: Li Ka Shing Conference Center
291 Campus Drive, Stanford University

Autism Society National Conference
2020 Disability Policy Seminar
Date: March 23-25, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

11th Annual Honestly Autism Day
Date: March 28, 2020
Location: Hunt Valley, MD

April

Autism Conference and Training
Date: April 2-3, 2020
Location: Ottawa, ON

Nebraska ASD Network State Conference
Date: April 2-3, 2020
Location: Lincoln, NE

Autism Conference and Training
Date: April 16-17, 2020
Location: Halifax, NS

Autism Converge Autism Summit 2020
Date: April 23-25, 2020
Location: Greenville, SC

Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin 31st Annual Conference
Date: April 30- May 2, 2020
Location: Wisconsin Dells, WI

May

International Society for Autism Research
Date: May 6-9, 2020
Location: Seattle, Washington

Autism Conference and Expo Georgia
Date: May 13-14, 2019
Location: Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA

June

Autism Research Conference
Date: June 4
Location: New York, NY

National Autism Conference
Milestones Autism Resources
Date: June 11-12, 2020
Location: Cleveland, OH

October

Autism New Jersey Annual Conference
Date: October 15-16, 2020
Location: Atlantic City, N.J.

Executive Dysfunctions of ADHD Persist Into Adulthood: 25-Year Study

Published by: ADDitude
Written by: Nathaly Pesantez

Executive functioning deficits persist well into adulthood for individuals with ADHD, according to a new study1 in the Journal of Attention Disorders that affirms the clinical theory that executive dysfunction is a core symptom of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The small Norwegian study looked at attentional processing capacities — namely pre-attentive and executive functioning — in a group of people with and without ADHD over a 23- to 25-year period. Pre-attentive processing — the basic, preliminary stage in the brain whereby auditive and visual stimuli is analyzed — is not as well understood in relation to ADHD as is executive functioning — the controlled brain processes (like working memory) that allow us to integrate information and select optimal actions — the researchers said.

These two processes, according to the researchers, exist on “contrasting ends of [the] ‘attentional processing continuum.’”  Because pre-attentive processing deficits may be precursors for brain function deficits of a higher order (like executive functioning), the study aimed to “gain insight into the long-term changes in attentional capacity” for “a clearer conception of attention dysfunction in ADHD.” Click here to read the rest of the story.

January Day Habilitation Activity Ideas

Januay is considered the coldest month of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The following are January observances, celebrations, events, and holidays that can be used as ideas for your Day Habilitation Program.

You can download the PDF format here:January Day Habilitation Activity Ideas

Keep in mind the following when planning activities:

  • People with intellectual/developmental disabilities are more likely to learn when using a multi-sensory approach which includes engaging people on all levels where they are able to use some of their senses. For example a cooking activity should include, allowing individuals to see what they are doing, taste, smell, and touch, etc.
  • Make sure each activity is broken into small steps
  • Use continuous probing
  • Provide prompting strategies such as independence, verbal, gestural, hand over hand and physical prompting.
  • Allow extra time to complete the task
  • Give immediate feedback including praise.

What You Should Know About GERD and Developmental Disabilities

Feeding problems are common in people with an  intellectual/developmental disability. For example, it is reported that 37% of individuals with diplegia or hemiplegia and 86% of individuals with quadriplegia experience GERD. It is very common in people with cerebral palsy and can show up as anemia, failure to thrive and reoccurring infections.

It is usually missed by people who have been feeding and serving food to individuals with disability due to its subtle signs.

What is Gastroesophageal Reflux? (GERD)

GERD occurs when the muscle connecting  to the esophagus is weak and opens under pressure, allowing the stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus. It is the acid from the stomach to the esophagus. this will irritate the lining of the esophagus and causes heartburn. Without treatment, GERD can cause complications.

What causes GERD?

GERD is usually caused by inflammation from the exposure of the esophagus to the stomach acid. The following can cause GERD:

  • diet such as fatty foods, coffee, peppermint and chocolate
  • decreased muscle tone
  • overweight
  • backup in blockage of the intestinal tract.

There are many reasons for the high incidence of GERD in individuals with intellectual disability including immobility and positioning, abnormal postures, medication use and excessive drooling.

What is a developmental disability?

A developmental disability is described as an assortment of chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments or both. For example, you may have a child or an adult with an intellectual disability or perhaps a person diagnosed with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability. It is also considered a severe and chronic disability that can occur up to the age of 22, hence the word developmental. A developmental disability can occur before birth such as genetic disorders (i.e. cri du chat, fragile x syndrome,) or chromosomes ( i.e. Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome); during birth (lack of oxygen) or after birth up to the age of 22 (i.e. head injuries, child abuse or accidents).

For people with limited communication, the following are possible signs of gastroesophageal reflux:

If you suspect GERD, make arrangements for the person to be evaluated by a physician.

2020 Disability Awareness Observance Calendar

The calendar includes major special needs awareness months, weeks, and days. Most websites include awareness toolkits, promotional materials and fact sheets.  This page focus is on awareness activities that impact people with intellectual and developmental disabilities only.

January

January (Month)

National Birth  Defects Month

January (Week)

January 19-25- Special Education Week

January (Day)

January 4- World Braille Day

January 20- International Day of Acceptance

January 24- Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day

February

February (Month)

Turner Syndrome Awareness Month

February (Day)

February 15- International Angelman Day

February 28- Rare Disease Day

March

March (Month)

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

National Early Intervention Awareness Month

Kidney Awareness Month

Multiple Sclerosis Month

Social Work Awareness Month

Trisomy Awareness Month

March (Day)

March 1- Self-Injury Day

March 1- International Wheelchair Day

March 21- World Down Syndrome Day

March 26- Purple Day for Epilepsy

April

April (Day)

April 1- Paraprofessional Appreciation Day

April 2- World Autism Awareness Day 

May

May (Month)

Better Hearing and Speech Month

Early Intervention Awareness Month

Ehlers-Danlos Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Prader Willi Syndrome Awareness Month

Williams Syndrome Awareness Month

May (Day)

May 1- Global Developmental Delay Day

May (Week)

May 4-6 Children Mental Health Awareness Week

May 15- Tuberous Sclerosis Global Awareness Day

May 5-12- Cri du Chat Awareness Week

June

June (Month)

Aphasia Awareness Month

June (Week)

Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week (Last Sunday in June)

Scoliosis Awareness Month

June (Day)

June 17- CDKL5 Awareness Day 

June 23- Dravet Syndrome Awareness Day (Canada)

Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month

July

July (Day)

July 14- Disability Pride Parade (NY)

July 14- Disability Awareness Day (UK)

July 22- National Fragile X Syndrome Awareness Day

July 26- American Disabilities Act Day (30 Year Anniversary) 

September

September (Month)

Chiari Awareness Month

Craniofacial Acceptance Month

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Awareness

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Syndrome Awareness Month

Hydrocephalus Awareness Month

National Spinal Cord Awareness Month

Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Sepsis Awareness Month

September (Week)

September 13-19- Direct Support Professional Week

September 7- World Duchenne Awareness Day

September 9- Fetal Alcohol Awareness Day

October

October (Month)

ADHD Awareness Month

Disability History Month

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Dysautonomia Awareness

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Dyslexia Awareness Month

Occupational Therapy Awareness Month

October (Day)

October 5- World Teacher’s Day

October 6- World Cerebral Palsy Day

October 10- National Depression Screening Day

October 15- White Cane Awareness Day

October (Week)

October 4-10- Mental Illness Awareness Week 

October 13-19 Invisible Disabilities Week

October 13-19 International OCD Awareness Week

October 19-23- National School Bus Safety Week

National Physical Therapy Month

Rett Syndrome Awareness Month

Special Needs Law Month

Spinal Bifida Awareness Month

November

November (Month)

22q Awareness Month

Epilepsy Awareness Month

November (Day)

November 1- LGS Awareness Day

November 4- National Stress Awareness Day

November 15- World Ohtahara Syndrome Awareness Day

December

December (Day)

December 2- National Special Education Day

December 3- International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December (Week)

December 1-7- Infantile Spasm

Inside Dollywood’s ‘Incredible’ Calming Room for Children with Autism

Publisher: Yahoo News
Written by:Rachel DeSantis

A day at the Dollywood Family Amusement Park is filled with enough sights, sounds and colors to overstimulate anyone ⁠— especially those with autism.

That’s why Dollywood safety manager Judy Toth, who noticed an influx of families with children on the spectrum at the Tennessee park, decided to take action to help make their trip all the more memorable.

The result? A first-of-its-kind calming room that serves as a refuge of sorts for families seeking a break from the non-stop hustle and bustle of the 150-acre theme park.

“[It’s] sensory overload when you come to a theme park,” Toth tells PEOPLE. “And I couldn’t quite grasp at the beginning, you know, why are they coming? Knowing that something could potentially trigger their child. But realistically, it was just that they want their child to do what any other child does.”

The calming room first opened in the spring of 2016 after Toth observed that families with children on the spectrum were having to either end their trip early or slip someplace quieter, like a bathroom or a first-aid tent. Click here to read the rest of the story