Teacher becomes dyslexia specialist and advocate after daughter’s diagnosis

by Hannah Stiff – Grace Bernall was always bright. Her mother and father had no doubt about that. Yet when she hit school, she started lagging behind in reading, writing and spelling. Her mother Sara was baffled. When Grace hit kindergarten, Sara had been teaching third and fourth grade for a number of years. Sara […]

Comments to avoid about a child with Down syndrome

by Naomi Williamson – In a well-meaning effort to support fellow women, sometimes we get it wrong-and this is often the case around the subject of Down syndrome. According to Shari Bottego, president of the Down Syndrome Association of Central New York, “The words that people use can help all individuals lead complete and enriching […]

Autistic boy has super powers in twin sister’s eyes

by Gillian Mohney – When Jenn Medvin asked her daughter, Avery, what she wanted to be as an adult, the 6-year-old gave a range of answers from doctor to princess. But when Medvin asked Avery what she thought her twin brother Xander would be, the 6-year-old paused for a second before saying her diagnosed-autistic brother […]

ABA can cause a life-changing effect

Tracy and Freya Holliday.

by Lucy Benyon – When interior designer Tracy Holliday was told that her daughter Freya was autistic, she wasn’t surprised. What did  astound her was the lack  of support available for her child.  “Freya, who has a twin Chloe,  was different from the start,” recalls  Tracy, 43. “She was difficult to  settle and found it […]

Six ways to use nature to improve social learning

by Elizabeth Sautter – Outdoor activities foster opportunities for exploring new things, building imagination, and increasing social competence. Getting in touch with nature gives your child a chance for outdoor play and exploration and also offers teachable moments where you can step in to nurture social and emotional skills. Next time you are outdoors, practice one […]

Birth injuries that cause learning disabilities

by Leigh Egan – Although the birth of a newborn is supposed to be one of the most exciting and special times for parents, the dreams of a normal life for their child can be shattered if the baby experiences a birth injury. What’s worse, not only do birth injuries heighten the chances of painful physical […]

We need to Lose the Label for kids with Down syndrome

Mara from Lose the Label.

by Joanne Sweeney – Every day children are born with the genetic condition that carries differing levels of learning disability with it, along with distinctive physical characteristics and sometimes a range of other medical conditions. Down syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby’s cells – this extra chromosome occurs purely […]

Exercise should be part of ADHD treatments

by Stacy Hsu – A group of Taiwanese researchers has established a link between routine physical activity and improved self-control for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), expressing hope that exercise might one day replace medication for the common childhood behavioral disorder. The head of the research team, National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) Department […]

Life on the spectrum

by Carrie Cariello – “Hey Carrie, it’s me, Sandy. Listen, I had an idea for you –” Sandy is a dog trainer. We started to work with her after we got our new puppy, Wolfie, because we have no idea what we’re doing. “Oh, I’m so glad you called! I’m kind of worried he doesn’t like […]

Picking a school for children with learning disabilities

by Catherine Stoker – I’ve had conversations with five families this week who are struggling with choosing a school for children with various learning difficulties, from dyslexia to dyspraxia to Asperger’s. They all start their research via school gate tips from friends who are keen to share their views, often fashioned by the parent grapevine […]