Epilepsy Driving and State Regulations

Driving can be challenging for people who have a seizure disorder. Accidents may occur due to a seizure disorder which puts the person at risk. In the United States, each State has specific guidelines and laws on the requirement for driving once the person is seizure-free.

Most people are able to drive again once their seizures are under control. In some States, a letter from the doctor is required. Below are regulations for each State:

State Regulations

Alabama- 6 Months with exceptions

Alaska- 6 Months

Arizona- 3 Months with exceptions

Arkansas- 1 year

California- 3, 6 moths with exception

Colorado- No set seizure- free period

Connecticut- Not set seizure- free period

Delaware- Not set seizure- free period

District of Columbia- 1 year

Florida- Upon Doctor’s recommendation

Georgia- 6 Months

Hawaii- 6 months with exception

Idaho- 6 months with strong recommendation from doctor

Illinois- No set seizure- free period

Iowa- 6 months less if seizure nocturnal

Kansas- 6 months less if seizure nocturnal

Kentucky- 90 days

Louisiana- 6 months with doctor statement

Maine- 3 months or longer

Maryland- No set seizure- free period

Massachusetts- 6 months- less with doctor statement

Michigan- 6 months- less at discretion of department

Minnesota- 6 months with exception

Mississippi- 1 year

Missouri- 6 months with doctor recommendation

Montana- No set seizure- free period, doctor recommendation

Nebraska- 3 months

Nevada- 3 months with exception

New Hampshire- 1 year/ less- discretion of the department

New Jersey- 1 year: less on recommendation of committee

New Mexico- 1 year, less on recommendation of advisory board

New York- 1 year with exception

North Carolina- 6-12, with exception

North Dakota- 6 months, restricted license possible after 3 months

Ohio- No set seizure free period

Oklahoma- 6 months

Oregon- 6 months with exception

Pennsylvania-  6 months with exception

Puerto Rico- No set seizure- free period

Rhode Island- 18 months. Less with doctor recommendation

South Carolina- 6 months

South Dakota- 6-12 months less with doctor recommendation

Tennessee- 6 months with acceptable medical form

Texas- 6 months with doctor recommendation

Utah- 3 months

Vermont- No set seizure – free period

Virginia – 6 months with exception

Washington- 6 months with exception

West Virginia- 1 year with exception

Wisconsin- 3 months, with acceptable medical form

Wyoming- 3 months

 

 

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August Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the August article links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of August on special needs and developmental disability topics.

9 best toys for toddlers with autism (The Mom Kind)

10 best sports for kids with sensory processing disorders (Health Basics)

ADHD and Dyslexia (News Medical Life Science)

ADHD symptoms in children vs. adults (Medical Daily)

Autism and difficulty in gauging time (Autism Speaks)

Forget stereotypes… How to recruit talented, neurodiverse employees (The Guardian)

Getting your child on the spectrum ready for the school year (Livanis Behavioral Consulting)

How embracing my ADHD makes me a better entrepreneur (Entrepreneur)

How one Texas parent is trying to solve a growing problem in the adult autistic community (Dallas News)

How my husband and son are teaching strangers about autism (Autism Speaks)

Preparing an autism friendly primary classroom (ASC)

Program teaches people with autism how to swim (Autism Speaks)

Recognizing the signs of learning disabilities (Komo News)

Ten things I’ve learned in my ten years as an autism mom (Autism Speaks)

Top ways a gluten free diet can help kids with autism (Autism Parenting Magazine)

Ultimate guide to weighted blankets for kids and adults (Growing Hands on Kids)

Using public transportation when you have autism (I News)

 

Choking Prevention for People with Developmental Disabilities

Children and adults with developmental disabilities have a higher risk of choking compared to the general population.

Risk Factors Include:

Some medical conditions that increase a person’s risk of choking are:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Seizure disorders
  • Neurological and muscular disorders
  • Down Syndrome
  • Brain Injury
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Inability to swallow certain food textures and liquids
  • Medication side effects which decrease voluntary muscles
  • Dysphasia (difficulty swallowing)

Other contributing factors include:

Eat or drink too fast

Have poor posture when eating

Swallow non-edible objects (PICA)

The following foods put people at greater risk:

  • Hotdogs served whole
  • Hard candy
  • Popcorn
  • Sandwiches
  • Broccoli
  • Raw carrots
  • Nuts

Teaching Material on Choking

Arizona Department of Economic Security

Eunice Kennedy Shriver-Dysphasia, Aspiration and Choking

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

New York State Choking Prevention Resources

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

State Agencies Choking Alerts

Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

Minnesota Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities 

New Jersey Health and Safety Alert Choking

Great Websites for Women and Girls With ADHD

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), boys are more likely to receive a diagnosis of ADHD due to the symptoms in girls are more subtle and typically do not fit the stereotype. Girls are more likely to daydream, fidget, chatty, overly emotional, and appear “less difficult or “less difficult” than boys.

Women with ADHD are more likely to eating disorders, obesity, low-self-esteem, depression and anxiety.The following websites provide helpful information on ADHD for women and girls.

Signs and Symptoms

  • The following sites includes information on identifying the signs and symptoms of ADHD in both women and girls.

ADHD affects women differently: What to look for, how to fix it (Health)

ADHD in girls: Symptoms, treatment and more (Healthline)

Gender differences in ADHD (Psych Central)

Common ADHD symptoms in women totally ADD ( Totally ADD)

Common symptoms of ADD and ADHD in women (Health Central)

Girls and ADHD: Are you missing the signs? (Teacher)

How ADHD is different for girls (WebMD)

It’s different for girls with ADHD (The Atlantic)

Understanding ADHD in Women (U.S. News)

Understanding the signs of ADHD in girls (Very Well)

Women and Girls– by National Resources on ADHD (CHADD)

Parenting

  • Managing a child diagnosed with ADHD can be challenging. The following articles share tips on raising a child with ADHD. Additional information includes strategies for both children and teens with ADHD.

8 secret tips for parents of children with ADHD (Empowering Parents)

8 things I wish people knew about parenting a child with ADHD (Understood)

12 rules for parenting a child with ADHD (ADDitude)

ADHD parenting tips (Help Guide)

Does your parenting style work for ADHD (Impact ADHD)

Parenting kids with ADHD: 16 tips to tackle common challenges (Psych Center)

Parenting strategies for helping kids with ADHD (MSU)

Parenting teenagers with ADHD (Healthy Children)

Your ADHD child: Easy parenting techniques (Child Development Institute)

Tips for parents with ADHD raising kids with ADHD (Parenting)

Resource Articles- Girls

  • The following links includes articles specifically on girls with ADHD including parenting a child with ADHD and unique challenges girls face.

Advice for parenting girls with ADHD (Lifescript)

Girls with ADHD face unique challenges (Smart Kids)

How girls with ADHD are different (Child Mind Institute)

Understanding girls with ADHD symptoms and strategies (Great Schools)

Resource Articles

  • Below includes a listing of resources on a variety of articles specifically for women with ADHD. Women face a number of challenges including managing and organizing the home and workplace. Additional challenges may include raising a child also diagnosed with ADHD. (ADHD is often inherited).

6 ways to manage clutter with ADHD (Health Center)

ADHD: A women’s issue (American Psychological Association)

ADHD is different for women (The Atlantic)

Adult women are the new face of ADHD (The Daily Beast)

Against the wind: How it feels to be a woman with ADHD (ADD Free Sources)

Decades of failing to recognize ADHD in girls has created a lost generation of women (Quartz)

I’m a woman with ADHD and here’s why I didn’t know until I was 28 (Bustle)

Is ADHD different for women and girls (Scientific American)

Suffering in Silence: Women with adult ADHD (Medicine. Net)

The hidden struggle for women with ADHD (Broadly)

The new ADHD debate every woman should know about (HuffPost)

“That explains everything!” Discovering my ADHD in Adulthood (ADDitude)

This is how ADHD impacts women and why support communities (Mind)

What it’s like to have ADHD as a grown woman (The Cut)

Websites

  • There are a number of websites that are geared towards women with ADHD. I like the websites described below. These sites are written by women with ADHD which includes personal stories and helpful information.

ADHD Roller Coaster– Author, Gena Pera’s website provides news and essays on adult ADHD

Kaleidoscope Society– A website for and by women with ADHD

Smart Girls with ADHD– A website written by women with ADHD includes resources and personal stories.

Testing

  • The following sites includes a checklist and testing if you believe you have diagnose of ADHD.

A symptom checklist for ADHD in Women

The ADHD test for girls

The ultimate ADHD test for teen girls

July Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the July article links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of July on special needs and developmental disability topics. A special thank you to Kathleen Carter for the additional special needs links!

5 things I would advise myself post autism diagnosis (HuffPost)

10 great autism books for autistic kids (New Horizon Professional ABA Services)

11 insightful tips for parents of ASD adults for getting the most out of vocational service providers (Think Inclusive)

17 things to love about ADHD (ADDitude)

ADHD and addiction- What is the risk (Discovery Place)

Creating the optimal living environment for a child with ADHD (Home Advisor)

How to create an autism friendly environment for kids (Redfin)

How to discuss puberty with your child who has special needs (Friendship Circle)

Make this summer safer with safety and wandering prevention resources (Autism Speaks)

My son made me a better teacher (ADDitude)

Parenting tips for ADHD: Do’s and don’t (Healthline)

Parents encourage early therapy for kids with cerebral palsy (Fox17)

Party planning and sensory processing disorder (Sensory Spectrum)

Secrets of your ADHD brain (ADDitude)

Seizures and seizure dogs (Epilepsy Foundation)

Strategies to triumphantly improve your autistic student’s peer interaction (Think Inclusive)

Teacher shortage leaves special education classrooms with inexperienced, first-time educators (Bakersfield.com)

Teens with ADHD: Recognizing signs of depression (Health Central)

The importance of self-esteem for kids with learning and attention issues (Understood)

The price of special education as autism rates surge (Bakerfield.com)

Understanding dyslexia (Child Mind Institute)

Autism and Wandering Resources (update)

Studies show that nearly half of children with autism attempt to wander off or bolt from a safe supervised place (Autism Speaks). Children with Angleman Syndrome also tend to have an obsession with water and will tend to wander if water is nearby. The following resources includes wandering kits, articles and additional resources on the topic of wandering.

What is Wandering?

When a person, who requires some level of supervision to be safe, leaves a supervised, safe space and/or the care of a responsible person and is expected to potential dangers such as traffic, open water (drowning), falling from a high place , hypothermia, heatstroke, dehydration.

Types of Wandering

  • Goal-Directed Wandering- wandering with the purpose of getting to something ( a place of obsession, water, etc.).
  • Non goal-directed wandering- Wandering with no purpose, random from one place to another.
  • Confusion Wandering-Wandering due to disorientation or confusion.
  • Bolting/fleeing- The act of suddenly running or bolding, usually to quickly get away from something, or in negative reaction to an event, anxiety or stress.
 Facts and Statistics
  • Roughly half, or 49%, of children with an ASD attempt to elope from a safe environment, a rate nearly four times higher than their unaffected siblings.
  • In 2009, 2010, and 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with an ASD ages 14 and younger subsequent to wandering/elopement.
  • More than one third of ASD children who wander/elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number.
  • 32% of parents reported a “close call” with a possible drowning.
  • 40% of parents had suffered sleep disruption due to fear of elopement.
  • half of families with elopers report they never received advice or guidance about elopement from a professional.
Source: Interactive Autism Network research report: Elopement and wandering (2011)
Source: National Autism Association, Lethal Outcomes in ASD Wandering (2012)

Caregivers Information

Autism elopement and wandering kit for families (Parenting Chaos)

Big Red Safety Toolkit (National Autism Association)

28 page toolkit that provides information on preventing wandering. The toolkit includes the following information:

  • Caregiver checklist
  • Family wandering emergency plan
  • swimming lessons tool
  • Root-causes scenario and strategies tool
  • Caregivers log
  • How to get tracking technology in your town.

First Responder Resources

First Responder Checklist– A checklist for first responders developed by the National Autism Association

First Responder Notification Form

First Responder Tips

GPS Tracking Technology

The AngleSense Guardian Kit

  • Comes with a GPS device, embedded SIM card, customized wearables and a magnet key for parents $39.00 monthly service plan.

7 tracking devices to find a lost child with autism (Friendship Circle)

Articles

5 simple ways to prevent wandering in children with autism (Autism Parenting Magazine)

Autism and Wandering (SFGate)

Autism and Wandering: How ABA can help keep kids safe. (HuffPost Parents)

Teaching safety skills to children with autism (Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland)

The autism epidemic that can no longer be ignored (HuffPost Parents)

Wandering: A hazard for more than a third of kids with autism (U.S. News)

Wandering & Autism: Elopement within the classroom (Autism Classroom Blog)

Wandering & Autism: Students who flee, bolt, run and elope (Autism Classroom Blog)

Resources on Teaching Scissor Skills

One of the ways to improve fine motor skills is helping children and adults develop cutting skills also help with pre-writing skills and pencil control. Below are resources that will help in developing and teaching scissor skills.

Cutting Skill Development

2 years- snips with scissors

2.5 years- Cuts across a 6-inch piece of paper

3.5 years- Cuts along a 6-inch line

4.5 years- Cuts out a circle

6-7 years- Cuts a variety of shapes and pictures.

Resources on Teaching Scissor Skills

5 easy ways to introduce scissor skills

How to teach a child to use scissors

How to use scissors

Scissor cutting skills: Why they are important

Teaching kids how to use scissors

Teaching preschoolers to use scissors

The importance of teaching your child how to use scissors

Tips for teaching scissor cutting skills

Practice Scissor Skills- The following links below include practicing cutting straight lines, curved lines and circles, zig-zag lines and mixed lines.

10-page scissor skills packet (Mama’s Learning Corner)- geared towards preschoolers and kindergartners.

12 free shapes and cutting page (www.mpmideas.com)- geared towards preschool aged children

Construction truck scissor cutting practice sheets (MO & MH)- Kids will practice cutting lines.

Cut, copy and glue for spring (Your Therapy Source)- Free 3-page packet in black and white. Includes a butterfly, ice cream cone and a snail.

Free cutting and coloring pack (Tot Schooling)- Cutting pack features straight, diagonal, curved and zig zag lines.

House scissor practice (Teaching Station)- Download free worksheets. Includes shapes of circles, squares, triangles, and rectangulars.

Printable preschool cutting busy box (Fun with Mama)- post includes ways to teach kids how to use scissors and develop cutting skills

Rocket scissor practice (Teaching Station)- Kids will practice cutting and pasting shapes to make a rocket.

Snake spiral worksheet (www.education.com)- Kids can both color and cut out the spiral design.

Trolls, hair-cutting (Tot Schooling Net)- Several different levels of difficulties.

When an Employee Has a Seizure

According to the National Epilepsy Foundation, 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused by abnormal nerve cell activity in the brain. Epilepsy involves recurring seizures.

More than 30% of people with epilepsy will experience generalized seizures.  It would not be unusual for a person to experience having a seizure in the workplace.When providing first aid for seizures, try to keep calm and make sure the person having the seizure is comfortable and safe from harm. A seizure can last from a second or several minutes.

Call 911 if:
  • The person has never had a seizure before.
  • the person has difficulty breathing or waking after the seizure.
  • The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
  • The person has a seizure back-to back.
  • The person is injured during the seizure.
  • The person has an additional condition like diabetes, or heart disease.
Steps
  • Ease the person to the floor.
  • Turn the person gently onto the side (this will help the person breathe).
  • Clear the area around the person of anything hard or sharp
  • Put something soft and flat, like a folded jacket, under his or her head.
  • Loosen ties or anything around the neck including button on a shirt.
  • Time the seizure.
Familiarize Yourself With The Warning Signs 

Each person is different. Typically warning signs of a seizure may include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stiffening of the body
  • Jerking of limbs
  • Slight twitching
  • A loss of awareness
Do Not:
  • Do not hold the person down or try to stop his or her movements.
  • Do not put anything in the person’s mouth. This can injure teeth or the jaw. A person having a seizure cannot swallow his or her tongue.
  • Do not try to give mouth-to-mouth breaths (CPR). People usually start breathing again on their own after a seizure.
  • Do not offer the person water or food until he or she is fully alert.

After the seizure:

After the seizure ends, the person will probably be groggy and tired. He or she also may have a headache and be confused or embarrassed. Try to help the person find a place to rest. If necessary, offer to call a taxi, a friend, or a relative to help the person get home safely.

Don’t try to stop the person from wandering unless he or she is in danger.

Don’t shake the person or shout.

Stay with the person until he or she is completely alert.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Shopping Center Teaching Activities For Children and Adults With Special Needs

Shopping Centers (or malls as we call them in North America) provide a great way for customers to walk from one store to another without the hassles of having to leave one store in order to go into another. Through the years, Shopping centers  have added on movie theatres, arcades, and food eateries. This has led to a variety of ways of teaching children and adults with disabilities a number of skills.

 

Money Management.

Increasing money skills can be used in almost all areas of a shopping mall. Opportunities include stores such as banking, clothing , restaurants, etc. examples of items to teach include:

  • Will identify coins
  • Will identify money
  • Will count change
  • Will create a budget
  • will fill out deposit slip
  • Will fill out a withdrawal slip
  • Will use an ATM
Sensory

A shopping center provides a low-cost and effective way of arousing more of  more of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch). Yankee Candle offers candles with a variety of fragrances including apple pumpkin, apple spice, beachwood, black cherry, etc.  Bath and Body Works also provides samples for both olfactory (smell) and touch. Samples of fragrances include lotions, cream, massage oils and fragrance mist. Window shopping is an additional opportunity to enhance visual cues with teaching a number of basic skills.  Other places include day spas, massage chairs and nail salons. Examples of sensory teaching activities include:

Window Shopping (Visual)
  • Will describe the color of the outfits
  • Will identify which items cost the most
  • Will describe how many of the outfits are the same, different
  • Will describe the various shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangular)
  • Will count the number of items in the window
Olfactory (Smell)
  • Will identify a good smell
  • Will identify a bad smell
  • Will identify the smell (i.e. smells like apples)
Tactile (Touch)
  • Will identify the object
  • Will tolerate hand massage
  • Will touch the object
  • Will describe the shape of the object

***  Be mindful some children and adults may have sensory processing issues and can be oversensitive to sights, textures, flavors and smells.

Social Skills

Teaching social skills involves communication, decision-making, self-management and relationship building. Locations in a shopping center to develop these skills includes, eatery and restaurants, banks, department stores and movie theatres. Samples of teaching social skills includes:

  • Will greet the store associate
  • Will say thank you
  • When promoted, will ask for help
  • Will wait patiently
  • Will make eye contact
  • Will use appropriately voice tone
Teaching Prompts

A few guidelines in teaching new skills:

  • Teach a new skill at least 2-3 times. The shopping center allows multiple opportunities to work on a number of skills including money management, and social skills.
  • Allow the person to think for themselves use prompt levels to help navigate levels of independence: Independent, verbal, gestural and physical.
  • Allow for real choice-making. Choice is more realistic when it involves at least 3 items or more. Choosing a new outfit or an item from a menu are perfect examples.
  • Always remember to praise!

 

 

June Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the June article links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of June on special needs and developmental disability topics. Enjoy!

8 activities for your preschooler with cerebral palsy (Cerebral Palsy News Today)

8 tips for wheelchair travel on an airplane (Cerebral Palsy News Today)

10 benefits of jigsaw puzzles for people with special needs (Autism Parenting Magazine)

20 tips on employment for students with disabilities( The Inclusion Lab)

25 sensory hacks for kids for vestibular and proprioceptive input (AndNextComesL)

At airports, making travel easier for autistic passengers (New York Times)

Epilepsy and Exercise (Epilepsy Foundation)

Helping your child with special needs develop empathy (Friendship Circle)

Kids with cerebral palsy take to yoga (The Times of India)

From tragic death, a law to safeguard people with developmental disabilities (Philly.com)

Let’s talk about the fidget spinner craze (Neurodivergent Rebel)

Parents of those with disabilities fear deportation (Disability Scoop)

Simple ways sensory-based intervention can change your ASD child’s life (Autism Parenting Magazine)

Sleep strategies for teens with autism: A guide for parents (Autism Speaks)

The difficulties that get overlooked when your autistic child is verbal (FaithMummy)

When a parent and child has ADHD (HuffPost)

When the brain can’t hear: Auditory Processing Disorder (Sensory Spectrum)