Friday, March 30, 2012

DIsabilities: New Patient Lift Like Nothing Else

I love the design of the lift and how it can work anywhere and fit anywhere. Traditional lifts are so large they can be difficult to use in a residential setting. I don't like the cranks on either side of the seat though, I think that would be difficult for an elderly caregiver and I think taking it apart may be difficult as well, but I love the idea. I wonder if its available stateside.  Check out this video.

Has anyone seen or used anything like this?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Special Needs: Parenting DD Children: Love Key to Brain Development in Children

Editor's note: Dr. Charles Raison, CNNhealth's mental health expert, is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Ever noticed how scientific opinions swing from one extreme to the other?
Take the importance of mothers in the development of children. In the early days of psychiatry almost every mental illness, from depression to schizophrenia to autism was blamed on bad mothering. Then in the 1960’s and 70’s the discovery of medications that helped these illnesses allowed psychiatry to reframe them as biological conditions, no different from cancer or heart disease. Parents were fully absolved for the mental illnesses of their children, except to the degree that they passed along bad genes that caused chemical imbalances in the brain.

Click here to continue reading.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The New and Improved Hydration Backpack with Drinking Tube Positioning

  Because hydration is so important to good health, Mealtime Partners is emphasizing the use of hands-free drinking systems to facilitate consuming enough liquids for those who are unable to independently take a drink. In last months Newsletter the Front Mounted Drinking System was discussed. To continue providing details about our unique line of drinking products, this month we will describe the Hydration Backpack with Drinking Tube Positioning. Even though this product has been available for some time it was recently updated to include a larger bladder and longer tube positioning capability. Also, the new system has an on/off valve. These changes were made to facilitate the drinking system being accessible to a wider range of users with more diverse positioning and hydration needs. Figure 1 shows the Hydration Backpack with Tube Positioning mounted on a manual wheelchair.
Hydration Backpack with Drinking Tube Positioning
Figure 1 - The Hydration Backpack with Drinking Tube Positioning Attached to a Wheelchair            

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Special Needs: Cortical Vision Impairment and Education

by Hollen Partington

When my daughter Leah was two, her ophthalmologist told us that she might not be able to learn to read at a normal age.  He explained to us that children with nystagmus take longer to learn to read, if they read at all all, because it is so difficult for them to focus.  We hadn’t lost hope that day, but we gradually began to understand that her life was going to be forever affected by her plethora of diagnoses.  

Leah’s Vision Story
A 27-week preemie, born February 2004 and weighing 2lbs 8oz, Leah developed post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus at three weeks old.  She was shunted at that time, and during the next several months went from one shunt in the right ventricle to another in the left and ultimately a third shunt in her fourth ventricle.

The operation on her fourth ventricle proved tricky; it’s a small space at the base of the brain just above the brain stem and visual cortex. The neurosurgeon, though fantastic, nicked her optic nerve during the surgery in July 2004.  This forced Leah’s eyes to cross. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

DD Special Needs: Role of Primitive Reflexes and Learning Disabilities

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tax Deductions for Barrier-Free/Universal Design Home Modifications

Tax deductions for home –modifications, capital expenses incurred if home improvements are necessary for medical reasons. The following comes from I.R.S, Pub. 502, medical and dental expenses. 

"You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for special equipment. Installed in a home, or for improvements, if their main purpose is medical care for you, your spouse, or your dependent. The cost of permanent improvements that increase the value of your property may be partly included as a medical expense. The cost of the improvement is reduced by the increase in the value of your property. The difference is a medical expense. If the value of your property is not increased by the improvement, the entire cost is included as a medical expense."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Complete Guide to Special Needs Toilet Training

Toilet training children with disabilities is challenging, let's face it toilet training children without disabilities is challenging.  In many cases, toilet training children with disabilities is similar to training other children. It simply requires more patience and some extra support.   In our school we begin toilet training on a schedule sometimes putting a child on the potty once per hour until they start getting the idea.  

Some kids need the extra feedback of potty alarms.  I grew up with a child with Down syndrome in the 70's, her name is Krissy.  When Krissy was potty trained, around the age of 5, she had a potty alarm.  I would think that for kids with Down syndrome potty alarms would be beneficial because Down syndrome kids have low muscle tone.  Typically kids with low muscle tone have reduced tactile sensations and would not be as sensitive to having a wet diaper or pull up.

I feel toilet training a disabled child is of the utmost importance, not only for convenience but also to protect the child.  Over 50% of people with disabilities are sexually abused, potty training your child will take away opportunities of sexual abuse.

I found this guide to toilet training children with disabilitiesHere you'll find plenty of articles, strategies and tips for toilet training children with a variety of special needs. Plus you'll find resources for trouble shooting many types of potty problems like smearing poop, fear of the toilet and potty training regression. It's the most comprehensive guide of toileting resources for special needs parents and teachers with students who are not potty trained.

Guide to Potty Training Kids with Disabilities.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Understanding and Treating the Cognitive Dysfunction of Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease

[Source:  Science Daily]

Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic disorder in live born children arising as a consequence of a chromosomal abnormality. It occurs as a result of having three copies of chromosome 21, instead of the usual two. It causes substantial physical and behavioral abnormalities, including life-long cognitive dysfunction that can range from mild to severe but which further deteriorates as individuals with DS age.
It is not currently possible to effectively treat the cognitive impairments associated with DS. However, these deficits are an increasing focus of research. In this issue of Biological Psychiatry, researchers at Stanford University, led by Dr. Ahmad Salehi, have published a review which highlights potential strategies for the treatment of these cognitive deficits.
Read the Rest of this Article on

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Special Needs: IEP’s According to Dr. Seuss

Posted on by Heidi Kay

Thanks to Special Education for passing along this oldie but goodie that circulates the internet at this time of year!  Could the Cat in the Hat juggle IEPs like YOU can??

Image Credit:  The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss

IEP’s According to Dr. Seuss – by:  Author Unknown