MMA fighter with Down syndrome sues for the right to compete

by Chris Serico – A 24-year-old Mixed Martial Arts fighter with Down syndrome, Garrett Holeve says he’s ready for a fight, but to him, his fiercest opponents aren’t in the ring: They’re the people stopping him from climbing into it. “I can (do it). Don’t mess with me,” Holeve told “I’m a blue belt.” […]

My path to becoming an ADHD coach

by Michael Martin – Several years ago I decided to close my counseling practice and focus all my “work” energy on the emerging field of Life Coaching.  I envisioned this not as a “retirement” in the traditional sense of the word.  Rather I saw it as a transition where I would no longer live under […]

Actress raises awareness of ADHD in girls

by Luchina Fisher – Holly Robinson Peete is helping spotlight attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in girls with a new public service announcement with her daughter Ryan. The “21 Jump Street” actress and her daughter appear in the PSA, as part of a campaign to raise awareness about ADHD in girls. According to the campaign Keep […]

Embracing your learning disability diagnosis is empowering

“You must try harder.” David Flink, 34, heard those words over and over again growing up in Atlanta — from his teachers, from his father — as he struggled against dyslexia and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Slowly, he learned to embrace himself as a “different thinker,” and a new world opened. Today, as many as one in five children […]

Special ed teacher fights to get job back

By Barbara Ross, Ben Chapman – A Bronx special education teacher who struggled for years to qualify for his position is fighting to get his job back after being fired for incompetence. Jesus Estaba, 59, insists that a Department of Education hearing officer was arbitrary and capricious last month when she agreed with DOE that […]

Today’s trend toward blended learning

Blended classrooms include Assistive Tech (AT).

by Gail Robinson - Educators dealing with children with disabilities like autism rely more and more on tablets as part of assistive technologies. (This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education-news organization.) Eleven-year-old Matthew Votto sits at an iPad, his teacher at his elbow. She holds up a small laminated picture of a […]

Employee with Down Syndrome is surprised by Publix customers

by Veronica Citron – Sean Walerski is a staple at the Publix on Gulf Boulevard in St. Pete Beach. He’s been bagging groceries and stocking shelves there for 9 years. “I love my customers,” the 29-year-old said. Walerski has Down Syndrome and relies on his bike to get to work. That bike was stolen last […]

Player runs tennis lessons inspired by sister with Down syndrome

by Tyler Killette – Heat radiates off the McIntosh Middle School tennis courts on a cloudless June afternoon, but the harsh sun is no match for the unflinching morale of BUDS Tennis players. The volunteer-run program, founded by Riverview High School student Allison Davis, 17, uses tennis as a medium to offer fitness lessons to […]

A scientist tries to decode autism

Nicholas Katsanis

By Jessica Wright – It may not seem as if a fish could contribute much to understanding a complex social disorder such as autism. But Nicholas Katsanis, professor of cell biology at Duke University in North Carolina, has turned a small fish with a conveniently transparent embryo into a powerful tool for breaking down autism’s complex genetics. […]

Down syndrome touches many hearts

by Chuck Donovan – “People are blessed in their own way. Teddy came in here and blessed us with his energy and his presence that day. Enjoy life, be yourself and play hard. Give it all you got. That’s Teddy. He’s a reminder to us all.” Wouldn’t you like to have such words of affection […]