Archive for the ‘
Autism ’ Category
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
The Golden Corral restaurant in Westland, Michigan will be paying $50,000 to a family with kids who have a genetic condition, plus $10,000 in civil penalties—all because a manager flat-out refused to serve them.
Danielle Duford has four daughters; three of them have epidermolysis bullosa, a skin disorder that triggers blisters due to temperature changes or minor injuries (and results in scabbing). According to the Justice Department’s lawsuit, even though Duford informed the restaurant manager about her children’s condition and emphasized that they did not have a contagious disease, the manager asked the family to leave the restaurant. He claimed he’d received complaints from other customers.
The incident is in clear violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits public accommodations—including restaurants—from discriminating against people on the basis of disability. Imagine how horrified the mother must have felt and how ashamed her girls must have been, as if they don’t already have so much to contend with.
As the parent of a kid with special needs, it is heartening to see justice served for blatant discrimination like this. Restaurants can be tricky territory when you have a child with disabilities, especially if you happen to be seated next to ignorant idiots. Back in January, a Houston waiter made headlines for refusing to serve a man who asked that his family be moved away from one who had a five-year-old with Down syndrome and who is said to have commented, “Special needs children need to be special somewhere else.” That incident was tried in the court of public morals, and that man condemned.
I hope this settlement attracts a whole lot of attention, and sends a clear-cut message to restaurants: Discrimination against people with special needs will not be tolerated. As Eve Hill, Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division said, “No one should be excluded from participating in the basic activities of daily living on account of fears of their disability, nor should children be shamed from going out in public.”
From my other blog:
A waiter stands up for a kid with Down syndrome: Props!
Congrulations: You’re Mom of the Year!
Sometimes we are THAT special needs family
Image of girl eating baguette via Shutterstock
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
All I want for Mother’s Day is to sleep in, till about 10:00 a.m. or so. No breakfast in bed, please! I just want to be served straight up, uninterrupted, really deep sleep.
Don’t get me wrong: Flowers would be lovely and all, but sleep is what I dream of. When I’m able to get quality sleep, that is. I’m usually up till midnight or so working or doing chores. Max usually wakes up in the middle of the night and tries to crash in our bed. On weekends, the kids are up and at ‘em around 7 a.m. or so, but lately Max has had this lovely habit of rising at 5:30 in the morning.
Earlier this week, I asked Facebook friends what they’d like for Mother’s Day, and I’m in excellent sleep-deprived company: sleeping in, “a nap” and “uninterrupted sleep” were the most popular contenders (with a few chocolate-covered strawberries thrown in). Looks like moms of kids with autism have the same thing in mind! I’d also like a few hours in the house alone, but I think that’s maybe illegal to suggest to the kids as a MOTHER’S day activity, and could result in years of therapy, so I won’t be mentioning that.
Actually, the majority of things on mom’s wish lists cost no money whatsoever—see how easy it is to please us, Dads and Significant Others?! Here are some things moms of kids with special needs want most this Sunday.
All I Want for Mother’s Day Is….
“For someone to clean my house and fold all of the laundry.”—Deborah Walker
“A day of peace—with no agenda, fighting or selfishness. A day when my entire family can think about something other than themselves and time slows down to a calm & relaxing pace.”–Jennifer Lee Black
“Flowers, a meal made by someone besides myself, and a nap. In that order.”—Sunday Stilwell
“To one day hear my son call me Mama. Whether it be this Mother’s Day or in ten years from now. I’ll be patient.”—Nicole Bellefleur Valdron
“For my children to be healthy and happy!”—Jennifer Sellers Campbell
“A meal that I don’t have to cook or clean up from, and that I can actually eat without jumping up every 5 seconds to get someone something.”—Cindy Turner Detlefs
“To be able to spend a lot of time with my own mom.”—Jenny Saul-Avila
“For my kids to put something back from where they got it.”—Chrisa Hickey
“Positive attitudes all around me.”—Amanda Evangeline Cleland Maddox
“An afternoon snuggling on the couch with a movie.”—Amanda Guyton
“I am going all out with this one. I want a whole 24 hours to myself! That would include uninterrupted sleep, meals and at least one hot bath.”—Jessica Hamilton
“A housekeeper or a gardner. Either one would be great!”—Kate Anders
“An uninterrupted meal! Any meal!”—Sonia J. Lopez
“Honestly? Something—anything—that lets me know my kids still like having me as their mother. They’re 18 and 23, but I’d settle for a short note on lined paper.”—Laura Raymond
“For my kids to go one day without having a fight that turns into a major meltdown!”—Amy Benton Bradley-Hole
“A morning snuggling with the kids over books or The Wizard of Oz while my husband gets up and makes breakfast. And a Bloody Mary—or a Mimosa, I’m not picky.”—Helena H
“A massage!”—Rebecca Uccello
“Quiet.”—Jamie Ponder Prince
From my other blog:
Congratulations: You’re Mom of the Year!
Top 20 Reasons Moms Of Kids With Special Needs Rock
20 More Reasons Moms Of Kids With Special Needs Rock
Image of woman sleeping in bed via Shutterstock
Categories: Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Children With Special Needs, Disability, Down Syndrome, Must Read, SPD, Special Needs, Special Needs Parenting, To The Max | Tags: Gift ideas for mother's day from moms, health, mother's day, sleep, Special needs, What moms want for mother's day
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
This is a post in the weekly Autism Hopes series by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, a mom who blogs over at AutismWonderland.
Sunday is Mother’s Day and when I was growing up, my mom used to say that all she wanted was peace and quiet. She never asked for anything or expected anything more than a card from us and/or my dad. Now that I’m a mom, I feel the same way. Just this morning I told my husband not to buy me anything for Mother’s Day. Well I actually said, “Please don’t buy me clothes because if you buy something too small, I’ll feel bad.” (I’ve gained weight and my husband, though incredibly thoughtful, is known for buying me the clothes two sizes too small.)
Last night I posted a question to my Facebook page. I asked what autism moms what was on their wish list for Mother’s Day. I loved all the responses so much I’m sharing my favorites below:
A Day Free From Housework. Wouldn’t that be lovely! If I walked in and found someone else cleaning, I’d be one happy mom.
To Hear “I Love You.” Kids with autism don’t often express themselves spontaneously. Norrin rarely says “I love you” on his own, I always say it first. And kids who are non-verbal, cannot say “I love you” at all. If you know a mom with a non-verbal child, maybe you can help them make a special card to give as a gift. If a child is verbal, maybe you can prompt them to say “I love you.” (Typically, I’m not a fan of prompting “I love you” but in some cases – I’m okay with it.)
A Mani/Pedi. YES PLEASE! Autism moms rarely treat themselves. A mani/pedi would make her feel pretty and rejuvenated.
A Day Out with Girlfriends. Every mom needs girl time. If your bestie is an autism mom, give her a call and take her out for a cup of coffee, a walk or a mani/pedi (see above!).
Dinner & Dishes. Give an autism mom a break. Cook her a nice meal and do the dishes. Let mom kick back on the sofa.
A Movie. While mom is relaxing after that delicious meal you cooked, let her watch her favorite movie in total peace.
A Good Book. If movies aren’t her thing – give her some time to curl up with a glass of wine and a good book.
SLEEP. You want to make an autism mom happy on Mother’s Day? LET HER SLEEP. Seriously. Close the bedroom door, keep the kids busy and just let her sleep. Let her wake up on her own. It could be the best gift you give her.
I’d be happy with any of these things on Mother’s Day. What’s on your Mother’s Day Wish List?
Categories: Autism, Children With Special Needs, Disability, Must Read, Special Needs, To The Max | Tags: autism, Autism Hopes, Lisa Quinones Fontanez, mother's day, sleep, Special needs, special needs parenting, special needs parenting advice
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Only fifteen states provide support services to a significant number of families with children who have disabilities, per United Cerebral Palsy’s The Case For Inclusion report. Recently released, it tracks the how well Medicaid programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia serve those with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
These are the 10 states serving the highest number of families that have kids with disabilities; they include a mix of states with both big and small populations, along with richer and poorer states in terms of median family income (New Hampshire is the second richest, for instance, while Arizona is considered less affluent):
3. New Hampshire
9. New York
The states where Medicaid supports the lowers number of families that have kids with special needs: Idaho, Iowa, Arkansas, Illinois and Maine. Sadly, this may not be news if you live in one of those states.
In general, the states providing the best Medicaid services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are Arizona, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont and California; the lowest-ranking ones are Virginia, Illinois, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi.
The heartening news is that despite our continuously challenged economy, many states have made real improvements in the quality of services provided—although as the report notes, “There is still work to be in ensuring that kids and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can enjoy the same freedoms and quality of life as all Americans.” Especially in terms of the care our children will need down the road; waiting lists for residential and community services remain high.
Support more quality Medicaid programming for those with disabilities by citing this report and contacting your Congressional rep (find contact info here).
From my other blog:
Another one of those unexpected milestones
How not to encourage your child’s obsession
How did you tell friends and family your child had special needs?
Image of U.S. flag in heart shape via Shutterstock
Categories: Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Children With Special Needs, Disability, Down Syndrome, Must Read, SPD, Special Needs, Special Needs Parenting, To The Max | Tags: Best states for kids with special needs, health, The Case For Inclusion 2013
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Students with special needs nominated to be prom queens and king: It’s happened a lot in recent years. I’ve loved that trend, and whenever teens with different abilities are included in mainstream activities. Sometimes, though, it’s awesome to see kids with special needs banding together and doing their own thing. That’s what happened this Wednesday at Tahquitz High School in Hemet, California, which hosted the first prom for students with special needs in the district.
A special education teacher organized the event, as reported in The Press-Enterprise, which attracted 160 students. They arrived dressed up, posed for prom photos, danced a lot and generally had a great time (you know, like any teens). Not disclosed: Whether anyone spiked the drinks. You know, like any teens.
There were fifty general ed students on hand who’d volunteered for the event, and who surely picked up some valuable lessons. As one told a reporter, ”Don’t judge a book by its cover.” (see a gallery of photos here).
I’d love for Max to experience a prom someday. And if he dances up a storm with the friends he loves at school, well, that would be all sorts of amazing. Especially if he spikes the drinks.
From my other blog
How did you tell friends and family your child had special needs?
How NOT to encourage your child’s obsession
A guy with Down syndrome becomes a web victim, and his parents sue
Photo credit: Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/PE.com
Categories: Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Children With Special Needs, Disability, Down Syndrome, Must Read, SPD, Special Needs, Special Needs Parenting, To The Max | Tags: health, Prom For Teens With Special Needs