Helping Children Understand Person First Language


Pubished by: ASD
Written By: Nicole Dezarn

Person first language is an important ethical matter often discussed in the field of special education and disability advocacy. The idea that the important descriptor for a person is not their disability but that the disability is something that the person has is fundamental in framing the mindset that having a disability doesn’t mean that a person is less or incapable of success. It can be challenging enough to broach this subject with adults but how do we help children to understand what person first language means and why it is so important? I felt it might be helpful to share an approach with which I have had success. Click here to read the rest of the story

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World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. A campaign designed to create a single voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down Syndrome. Resources on this page include information on inspiring articles and facts on people with Down Syndrome.

Post From Special Needs Resource Blog:

20 Facts You Should Know About Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome Characteristics

Facts About Down Syndrome (Infographic)

Top Books On Down Syndrome For Parents and Professionals

The following are articles highlighting stories around the country on Down syndrome:

Clemson Student With Down Syndrome To Compete In Pageant

Couple with Down Syndrome Celebrate 22 Years of Marriage

Displaying The Myths of Down’s Syndrome

First Person With Down Syndrome Finishes Local Half-Marathon

Funny Down Syndrome Ad Will Change The Way You Feel about “Special Needs”

Get To Know Madeline Stuart, The World’s First Supermodel With Down Syndrome

Swimmers with Down Syndrome Find Empowerment in the Pool

Walgreens Features Model With Down Syndrome

Woman With Down Syndrome Starts Her Own Bakery

World Syndrome Day Marked In Georgia

2017 Disability Awareness Month and Observances

Awareness campaigns serve the purpose of informing and educating people on a certain causes. Each year, the number of special needs organizations bringing awareness to specific disabilities and disorders seems to grow. Awareness activities range from one day to a month.

Here is a calendar of major special needs awareness months, weeks, and days. Most websites include awareness toolkits, promotional materials and fact sheets.

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January

January 4- World Braille Day

National Birth Defects National Month

February

February 15- International Angelman Day

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Week February 13-19

March

Down Syndrome Awareness Week March 18- 24 (United Kingdom)

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Multiple Sclerosis Month

National Tuberculosis Awareness Month

Social Work Month

Trisomy Awareness Month

April

Auditory Processing Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month

Occupational Therapy Month

May

May 5- Cri Du Chat International Day

International Cri Du Chat Awareness Week May 1-7

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Apraxia Awareness Month

Better Speech and Hearing Month

Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

Prader Willi Awareness Month

Williams Syndrome Awareness Month

June

Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week June 24-30

Dravet Syndrome Awareness Month

Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month

July

National Fragile X Awareness Month

August

Aicardi Syndrome Awareness Month

September

Craniofacial Acceptance Month

Hydrocephalus Awareness Month

National Spinal Cord Injury Month Awareness

Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness Month

October

October 6- World Cerebral Palsy Day

OCD Awareness Week- October 8-14

ADHD Awareness Month

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

National Disability Awareness Month

National Dyslexia Awareness Month

National Physical Therapy Month

Rett Syndrome Awareness Month

Sensory Processing Awareness Month

Special Needs Law Month

Spinal Bifida Awareness Month

November

November 4- National Stress Awareness Month

22q Awareness Month

Epilepsy Awareness Month

December

December 3- International Day of Persons With Disabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 Facts You Should Know About Down Syndrome

In keeping with celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness month, here are some additional facts on Down syndrome:

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  • Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This alters the course of development and causes characteristics associated with Down syndrome.
  • There are 3 types of Down syndrome

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  • It is the most commonly occurring chromosome condition
  • 1 in 691 babies are born in the United States
  • The incidences increases with the age of the mother due to high fertility rates in younger women.
  • An increased for certain medical conditions such as, congenital heart defects, respiratory, Alzheimer disease and childhood Leukemia.
  • Common traits include low muscle tone, small stature, upward slant in the eyes and a single deep crease across the center of the palm.
  • Translocation is the only type that is inherited
  • Is named after British Doctor John Langdon Downs the first to categorize the common features
  • Dr. Jerome Lejeune discovered Down syndrome is a genetic disorder
  • A person has 3 copies of chromosome 21 instead of 2
  • Is the leading cause of intellectual and developmental disabilities in the United States and the World.
  • 38% of Americans know someone with Down syndrome
  • The average lifespan is 60. In 1983, it was 25.
  • 39.4 % are in the mild intellectual disability range of 50-70.
  • 1% are on the border
  • A growing number live independently
  • Occurs in all races and economic levels.
  • Some high school graduates with Down syndrome participate in post-secondary education.
  • In the United States, Down syndrome is the least funded major genetic condition

 

Special Needs Expo

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If you are in the New Jersey area, The Special Needs Expos will be hosting an event in New Jersey on September 18th, 2016 from 11:00am to 4:00pm. The expo will be held at Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe.

The free event is geared towards delivering information to parents, caregivers, professionals and children. Resources and information include special needs schools, camps, recreational sports, respite programs and social service groups. Additional exhibitors include non-profit organizations, special needs trust information and non-traditional therapist.

For further information, click here

10 Speech Therapy Blogs You Should Be Reading

Speech therapy is a key component in the life of a child with a disability. When it comes to speech therapy, there are so many blogs that provide an abundance of resources for other speech therapist, teachers and parents. Finding the right ones however can be a challenge.

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The following blogs provide tons of information, resources and tips on speech language topics. Here are 10 speech therapy blogs worth checking out (in no particular order).

Beautiful Speech Life– Creates and develops therapy materials for fellow SLP’s and teachers. This website provides freebies, language materials and quick therapy tips.

Nicole Allison Speech Peeps– This website offers speech language resources on a variety of topics and an evidence-based intervention series.

PediaStaff– A resourceful blog providing informative news information and article blogs from speech language websites.

Simply Speech– A site with freebies and great blog ideas and activities

Speech 2 U- Provides resources, freebies and therapy topics on communication, social language, social language, organization, plus more!

Speechy Musing– Provides speech therapy resources on a variety of topics. Age range includes, birth to 3, elementary school and middle school on the subject of articulation, language and AAC; The site also includes a blog for fellow speech therapist.

Sublime Speech– Provides therapy to children with severe and profound disabilities. Website includes information on apps, articulation, language, materials and social skills

Teach Speech 365. Includes freebies, giveaways and therapy topics.

The Dabbling Speechie– A website for speech and language pathologist and parents offering a variety of resources on articulation, language and social skills.

The Speech Room News– Specializing in pediatric speech and language therapy, Jenna’s site provides resources for speech language pathologists and educators. The website includes free resources, and treatment topics on articulation, social language, preschool and more.

 

26 Great Resources on Special Needs Clothing

Children and adults with disabilities with sensory issues, autism, ADHD, down syndrome and cerebral palsy often find challenges in finding clothing that meets the need of feeling good and appropriate.

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Challenges may also include difficulties in handling buttons and closures. Here are 25 resources that focus on shoes, outerwear, and adaptive clothing.

Adaptive Clothing

Adaptations By Adrian- Adaptive clothing including side zippers, wide band elastic waist for custom-made capes, wheelchair, pants, shorts adult protectors and cape protecting scarf.

CAPR-Style– Located in the U.K, adaptive clothing for adults and children including feeding tube covers.

Designed By Dignity– Adaptive clothing fashion clothes for men and women.

Down Design Dream– Adapting Clothing for children and adults with special needs

Easy Access Clothing– Adaptive clothing for adults and children.

Professional Fit Clothing– Adaptive clothing for adults and children including adults bibs, clothing protectors and nightware.

Rackety’s- Based in the U.K, products include adaptive clothing for children and adults such as vests, outdoor clothing, and nightwear.

Something Sew Special– Handmade adaptive clothing for children with special needs including bibs, ponchos, bodysuits and bandanas.

Special Kids Companywhere every child should be seen and not hidden!  International provider of bodysuits for older children with special needs including PEG/tube fed children aged 2-14 years old.  Available on all Amazon platforms (.com/.ca/.co.uk/.fr/.de/.es/.it)

Specially For You Inc.– Custom clothing for children with physical disabilities. Products include night wear, dresses, tops, one piece outfits and hooded poncho’s.

Tender Ivy– Onesie garment designed for protecting vulnerable areas.

Wonsie– Based in Australia, products include special needs onesie bodysuits for older children and adults.

Sensory Clothing

Children and adults with sensory processing issues may find it difficult wearing certain types of clothing. The following stores sell items that are for sensitive skin, medically fragile and pressure points.

Cool Vest– products includes children’s cooling vest.

Independent You– Adaptive outerwear, sportswear and sleepwear.

Kozie Clothes– Adaptive medical and sensory clothing for medically fragile and special needs babies and children.

No Netz– Anti-chafe swimwear for boys and men.

SmartKnit Kids– Seamless products for children with sensory issues. Products include, socks, undies, tees and bralettes.

World’s Softest– Socks for sensitive skin

Shoes for AFO’s

The following are stores that sell shoes that fit over orthotics.

Ablegaitor- Orthopedic shoes for children. Can be used without AFO’s.

Hatchbacks– Children’s orthopedic shoes for use with orthotics.

Healthy Feet Store– An online orthopedic shoe and footcare store including AFO’s accommodations.

Keeping Pace– Children’s orthopedic footwear designed for AFO’s.

Shoby Shoes– Custom-made orthopedic shoes and support boots for special needs children

Soft Star Shoes– Will customize shoes to work wit AFO’s and DAFO’s.

Coats for Wheelchairs

Coats for individuals who use wheelchairs  made need special clothing. The following online stores, specialize in adaptive outerwear for children and adults.

Koolway Sports– Based in Ontario, Canada, Koolway Sports items include blankets, hoods, and capes.

Silvert’s– Adaptive clothing for men and women including footwear and wheelchair clothing.

Weighted Vest

Weighed vest can be used for children and adults with autism, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and a sensory processing disorder.

e-Special Needs– provides a selection of weighted vests and clothing

Fun and Function– Includes items such as explorers vest, fleece hoodies and compression vests.

July Special Needs Article Links

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

4 tips for reducing stress in children with autism (Autism Speaks)

5 reasons I made a film about autism (Autism Speaks)

5 ways autism helped me earn my doctorate degree (Autism Speaks)

5 ways businesses can help those with autism spectrum disorder (Kare + Plus)

10 things ER staffers should know about autism (The Mighty)

Books about children with sensory processing disorder (LaToya Edwards Blog)

How does sensory processing affect communication in kids with autism? (Autism Speaks)

How gardening helped my autistic son to blossom (The Guardian)

Making sense out of sensory integration (The Sensory Spectrum)

Man with Down syndrome fulfills dream of graduating from Clemson (10tv.com)

Researchers at Vanderbilt helping teens with autism learn how to drive (Fox 6 News)

Sensory Processing Disorder and summer (Brain Balance)

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

This nonspeaking teenager wrote an incredibly profound letter explaining autism (Sydney Morning Herald)

What a meltdown feels like for an autistic person (Autisticate Dalmayne)

What is autism in plain language (Autism Academic Blog)

What will happen to adult children with autism? (Next Avenue)

When my employer realized I have autism (The Mighty)

Why are we still treating autism like an epidemic? (Wired)

Upcoming Events

Abilities Expo

Each year, Abilities Expo serves the community of people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors and healthcare professionals by bringing products and services to a number of cities. The Expo includes workshops, events and exhibitions. Registration is free

New York

Date: April 29-May 1, 2016
Location: New Jersey Convention and Expo
Click Here For More Information
Chicago Expo

Date: June 24-26, 2016
Location: Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center
Click Here For More Information

Houston Expo

Date: August 5-7, 2016
Location: NRG Center (Formerly Reliant Center), Hall E
Click Here For More Information

Boston Expo

Date: September 16-18, 2016
Location: The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Hall C
Click Here For More Information

Bay Area

Date: November 18-20, 2016
Location: San Jose Convention Center
Click Here For More Information

DC Metro Expo

Date: December 2-4, 2016
Location: Dulles Expo Center
Click Here For More Information

 

 

Intellectual Disability

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What is an Intellectual Disability?

DSM-V defines intellectual disability as a disorder with onset during the developmental period that includes both intellectual functioning including abstract thinking, judgment, academic learning, problem solving.  Adaptive functioning including limitations in activities of daily living, communication, social participation, and independent living across multiple environments such as home, school, work and community. Deficits are on the onset during the developmental period.

According the American Association on Intellectual Disabilities (AAIDD), Intellectual Functioning refers to general mental capacity such as, learning, reasoning and problem-solving.

Types

Although historically, the levels of severity was based on I.Q. scores, this has changed to adaptive functioning which determines the levels of support required.

Mild
  • Social Domain- There may be difficulties in regulating emotions and behaviors in an age-appropriate manner. There tends to be a limited understanding of calculated risk, and social judgment.
  • Practical Domain- May need assistance in independent living skills such as grocery shopping, transportation, banking and food preparation.
Moderate
  • Social Domain: Capacity for relationships is evident in ties to family and friends and may have successful friendships across life and sometimes relationships in adulthood.
  • Practical Domain: Can care for personal needs involving eating, dressing and hygiene and as an adult participate in all household task.
Severe
  • Social Doman: Spoken language is limited. Speech may be ingle words or phrases. The individual understands simple speech.
  • Practical Domain: Requires support for all activities of daily living, including meals, dressing and bathing. The person will require supervision at all times. Unable to make responsible decisions regarding self-care.
Profound
  • Social Domain: Has limited understanding of symbolic communication in speech and gestures. The person expresses his or her own desires and emotions through non-verbal communication.
  • Practical Domain: The child or adult is dependent on other people for basic needs including self-care and independent living including health and safety.
Global Developmental Delay

Children under the age of 5 are given this diagnosis when an individual fails to meet expected developmental milestones in several areas of intellectual functioning. This includes children who may be too young to participate in standardized testing.

Causes

Causes can include:

  • Complications during childbirth
  • Problems after birth
  • Chromosomal (Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome)
  • Metabolic
  • Nutritional
  • Genetic
  • Poverty and cultural factors

Prevalence

  • Approximately 1% of the world population
  • Prevalence for severe intellectual disability is 6 per 100
  • In the United States, Intellectual disability comprises of 3 percent of the general population
  • Nationally, 34% of people with intellectual disability are employed
  • Males are more likely than females to be diagnoses with both mild and severe