Category: special needs

Including People with Special Needs in Religious Life

Including People with Special Needs in Religious Life
I have been writing about how many religious communities have no place for people with disabilities since I started blogging five-and-one-half years ago. Having grandkids with special needs can do that to a grandmother. I have heard explanations from we don’t do that to we have to create something separate to accomplish that. But all... Read more »

Concerns About Evanston High School’s New Therapeutic Special Education School

Concerns About Evanston High School’s New Therapeutic Special Education School
I was going through old photos when I made a sad discovery. In third and fourth grade, my granddaughter lost her smile. She also lost two years of her education because her school was unable to adapt materials and methods so she could learn. These were her final years in public school, as it was... Read more »

Kids with Special Needs Still Love to Dance

Kids with Special Needs Still Love to Dance
My granddaughter with special needs has sat through countless dance performances for her neurotypical little sister. Don’t get me wrong. She loves them. But when her sister’s dance studio, Dance Center Evanston, offered an adaptive dance class for movers ages 11-20 who have special needs, she enthusiastically wanted to be a dancer rather than a... Read more »
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A Caring Community Creates a Playground for Children with Disabilities

A Caring Community Creates a Playground for Children with Disabilities
The Happy Ending to the Evanston Park School Playground Story “The future which we hold in trust for our own children will be shaped by our fairness to other people’s children.” — Marian Wright Edelman The school playground was usually empty. The swing frame held no swings. The wooden climbing structure was decaying, faded and... Read more »

In My World, Every Day is Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. I guess it’s a good idea to have a special day for autism since one out of every 68 kids in America is now diagnosed as having Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). With odds like those, I suspect everyone knows someone whose life has been touched by ASD. I am... Read more »

Do The Right Thing for Kids Needing Special Education: A Valentine’s Day Message to the State of Illinois

As someone who loves her grandchildren with special needs, I am begging you this Valentine’s Day to have a heart. And as a lifelong advocate for civil rights, which includes the rights of people with disabilities, I am asking our State Senators, Representatives, and Governor to think deeply about the consequences of a bill under... Read more »
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Summer for a Child with Special Needs – So Glad it’s Almost Over

Of the many challenges that families of children with significant special needs confront, summer may be one of the most difficult. Like mine, these families are now counting the days until school resumes and life becomes more predictable and productive for their kids. Predictability is so important for the happiness of children with significant special... Read more »

May is Cystic Fibrosis Month: Advocating for my Grandchild with CF

It’s hard to describe the pain of watching a child you love challenged by a chronic illness. When I learned my 2 ½ -year-old granddaughter had Cystic Fibrosis almost seven years ago, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. My grandchild was not supposed to struggle with a serious condition. That’s not... Read more »

When a Feel Good Story About a Child with Special Needs Feels Bad

A boy with developmental disabilities invited his classmates to his ninth birthday party and no one came. His mother reported that he waited to cut his “K-9” cake, hoping friends would show up, but they didn’t. The Chicago Tribune ran a feel good story about how a Facebook post about the non-party resulted in cards,... Read more »
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Photos Become a Child's Voice

October is Photographer Appreciation Month, and before it ends I want to give a shout out to my granddaughter for whom photography has become a key into her mind. She has special needs that greatly limit her expressive language. I know she understands what I tell her and has plenty of thoughts and feelings about... Read more »