Son fuels parent passion to work for Down syndrome cause

Margie Doyle and her son, Colin.

Sean and Margie Doyle raised their four kids and Margie, figuring that one path was ending and another path was opening, had just gone back to her career. Were they in for a surprise, one Margie calls “a big, beautiful surprise.” At 45, Margie found out she was pregnant. She knew there were risks. Tests […]

Overcoming the fear of labeling our children

by Lisa Aro- Daughter number four has always been an adventurer and is notorious for her escapades: She cut her sister’s money into tiny strips. She scaled cabinets far above her 3-year-old head to get the royal blue fabric paint, creating a masterpiece on the cream carpet of her bedroom… three times. Once she infiltrated […]

Four steps to a better behaved child with ADHD

by Helen Nieves – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a developmental disorder of self control. In a child with ADHD, the executive part of the brain that is supposed to be organizing and controlling behavior, helping the child plan for the future and follow through, is doing a poor job. The child is not suffering […]

Recognizing signs of dyslexia in gifted children

by Paula Bolyard – Do you have a highly intelligent child who struggles with writing and spelling? A child who, despite good scores on standardized tests, is performing below his “potential”?  If so, you may be the parent of a “stealth dyslexic.” According to learning experts, dyslexia manifests itself in a variety of ways beyond […]

Exceptionality is recognized at special needs marathon

by Jennifer Connor – An exceptional person is defined by the Special Education Club at Gwynedd Mercy University (GMU) as someone who has shown perseverance and bravery in overcoming diversity and hardship. This year, the club was able to recognize 11-year-old Peter Zucca, for his perseverance by staying active even without his right leg. Zucca […]

Parents advocate for dyslexia screenings at school

by Steve Stein – One by one, a half-dozen parents overcome by emotion told District 709 administrators and School Board members their stories. They described the frustrations of watching their children struggle mightily in the classroom, and their relief after a diagnosis of dyslexia and sessions with private tutors led to dramatic academic improvements. The […]

Identifying dyslexia is the first step to overcoming it

by Kayla Gahagan – It wasn’t until his early 40s that Rich Styles discovered that he was dyslexic. When Styles, who had started taking a college-level theology course through his church, struggled in class, he was encouraged to meet with a tutor. It didn’t take long for her to give him the news: He suffered […]

Information is invaluable for parents of children with Down Syndrome

by Nicolino Di Benedetto Being dealt a full house, trying to win the lottery or attempting to pick the perfect March Madness bracket; the odds are against you … and it’s not even close. Having a child with Down syndrome is more likely to happen than any of those acts, and it’s completely random. Down syndrome […]

Getting services for children with developmental disabilities is an on-going challenge for parents

Two Sumter mothers have bonded over children with developmental disabilities in the 20-plus years they’ve known each other. Nancy Gardenhire’s son, John E. Gardenhire Jr., whom everyone calls “LJ” for “Little John,” has cerebral palsy. “It’s been an interesting journey,” she said. “I wasn’t told about a lot of the services back then. A lot […]

Dyslexia conference aims to provide families with support and resources

by Richard Webner – When Christine Seppi’s son was diagnosed with dyslexia about 15 years ago, she sought help from teachers, tutors and learning organizations, but it seemed like almost no one in Pittsburgh knew much about the disorder. The national dyslexia organizations she contacted referred her to experts in Philadelphia. “I kept saying, ‘I […]

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