Our education system does not support students with dyslexia

by David Cox – I have this issue with how I hear words, Gareth, a 31-year-old graphic designer, tells me. “So for example, while I was growing up, it was really hard to tell the difference between the words ‘girl’ and ‘grill’ because the ‘ir’ and the ‘l’ kind of overlapped in time unless you […]

Dispelling myths about Down syndrome

by Michelle Sie Whitten – When my daughter was born with Down syndrome 11 years ago, I was told by my doctor that she probably wouldn’t live until 3 years old. Beyond that, I was terrified that she would be ostracized or abused by society. Through parenting my brilliant daughter, my fear turned into amazement […]

We mistakenly assume children with autism will not achieve literacy

by Dr. Marion Blank – In recent years, there have been a number of inspiring reports on non-verbal (i.e., non-speaking) children with autism displaying masterful language via reading and writing. One of the most recent appeared this summer in the recounting of a non-verbal autistic teen who, with the assistance of technology, gave the graduation speech at […]

Do only people with “cute” disabilities matter?

by David M. Perry – Thirty years ago, Ronald Reagan declared October Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Ever since, too many efforts at awareness have relied on pictures of people with Down syndrome being cute, accompanied by constant, upbeat assertions that they and their families are all very happy. Throughout October, adorable photos of people with Down syndrome and […]

Dyslexia, the “blind” disability

The Landmark School

By Cindy Atoji Keene – At the Landmark School, Adam Hickey is charged with sifting through the most recent studies on dyslexia to help best meet the academic needs of students at this private school for language-based learning disabilities. “An incredible amount of research on the human brain — in the fields of education, neuroscience, […]

Awareness is not enough

By Kyle Redford  – When my family joined in the effort to raise awareness about dyslexia through the film, The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, we were primarily motivated by the desire to help deshame and demystify the condition. My husband and I had raised our dyslexic son during a time when dyslexia was widely considered an academic […]

ADHD Awareness Month is a time to feel grateful

by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. – The month of October is ADHD Awareness Month. It also marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of my book Driven to Distraction on ADHD. When it was first released, many medical experts dismissed the effectiveness of coaching as an ADHD management technique, or worse yet, questioned the validity of ADHD as […]

Don’t act so surprised, girls have autism too

by Bee Rowlatt – “I dread her becoming a teenager. My worst fear is her entering a world that doesn’t understand her.” Lizzie* has a seven-year-old daughter, Maya*, who is on the autistic spectrum. “If Maya has a meltdown in public I sometimes have to restrain her physically, so she can’t run away. She screams […]

Parents and providers for children with autism in military families against TRICARE changes

by Tim Devaney – Military families are concerned they could lose medical help for their autistic children because of planned spending cuts at the Pentagon. As part of an effort to reduce its healthcare costs, the Pentagon is planning to slash payments in half to providers who work with autistic children under TRICARE, the military’s […]