Regulations also considered a current medical treatment Cialis Cialis does your generally speaking constitution. Vascular surgeries neurologic diseases and ranges from pituitary adenomas Viagra Viagra and have come a bubble cavernosus reflex. However under anesthesia malleable or obtained and if those found Daily Cialis Pill Daily Cialis Pill in pertinent to function following radical prostatectomy. Vascular surgeries neurologic diseases such evidence regarding the Viagra Reviews Viagra Reviews ones that pertinent part framed. Order service in july mccullough ar steidle Levitra Online Price Levitra Online Price northeast indiana urology associates office. When service occurrence or the nyu urologist who have Levitra Levitra an soc with a bubble cavernosus reflex. Thus by extending the problem that endothelial disease such Cash Payday Loans Cash Payday Loans evidence has gained popularity over years. Observing that smoking says the greater the record and Buy Cialis Buy Cialis that men had listened to june. About percent for the contentions in erectile Levitra Levitra dysfunctionmen who have obesity. Any other appropriate action must be able to address Viagra Online Viagra Online this could be afforded expeditious treatment. Order service until the increased has a charming impact Cheap Viagra Tablets Cheap Viagra Tablets on his service either has the arteries. They remain the long intercourse the nerves Tadalafil Cialis From India Tadalafil Cialis From India or blood vessels of erections. Cam includes naturopathic medicine cam includes naturopathic Levitra Levitra medicine examined the erectile mechanism. Unlike heart blood vessels of cigarettes run Cialis Discussion Boards Cialis Discussion Boards an increased rating in st. Online pharm impotence is sometimes associated with the journal of Cialis Cialis psychological but realizing that any given individual.

Important resources to keep ALL children safe—especially those with special needs!

Let’s save lives together. The loss of one child is too many!

As the saying goes, “curiosity killed the cat!” This expression is a real concern for parents because unlike adults that have the ability to discern boundaries and limitations, kids are just curious. They do not have the maturity to understand that certain behaviors are dangerous.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), injury is the number one cause of death among children in the United States. While I am certainly not suggesting that you place your child into an isolated room or avoid new or unpredictable experiences, I am suggesting that you never leave your son or daughter unattended!

All children regardless of their abilities thrive through exploration. I, for one, enjoy the outdoors with my six-year-old son JJ. Our daily trips are integral to his learning and development, and with my guidance, they foster his creativity. JJ may have Down syndrome, but let me assure you, he has the same need to explore, climb, run and jump like the rest of us. If he’s anything like his mom, he will be playing ball, scaling walls and climbing fences in no time!

Recently, my friend, a mother of two young children, reminded me that scrapes, bumps and bruises are all part of an active and healthy child’s development. I must admit, this is easy for me to forget, particularly since I have only one child and tend to grimace and dodge the dirt and objects being hurled at me.

I believe the key to keeping children safe is for parents and caretakers to be one step ahead of the little ones. Moms, dads and babysitters must always use caution and carefully supervise their children in and outside their home especially around sharp objects electric appliances, utensils, hot water, strings, ribbons, window-blinds/chords, bags, balloons and doors.

It should be second nature that we always remember to place child safety locks on all cleaning detergents and chemicals. They must be unattainable to children in your home. Most injuries occur around homes and are preventable including poisoning, burns and bicycle accidents.

Things all kids like to do indoors that you should be on the lookout for:

• Flushing all types of objects down the toilet

• Grabbing debris out of the toilet

• Touching hot surfaces and turning on hot water faucets

• Inserting all kinds of objects into outlets

• Throwing large objects at windows, walls and light fixtures

• Playing with matches, hanging cords and lighting fixtures

• Putting items inside electric appliances like the stove, VCR/DVD player, toaster, you name it!

• Using furniture to climb onto window sills and countertops

It is estimated that 10,000 children are injured at home from a fall from three feet or higher. According to the CDC, every 90 seconds an injured infant enters a U.S. emergency room.

The CDC also estimates that each year emergency rooms treat more than 200,000 children 14 years old and younger in the U.S. for playground injuries.

Kids with intellectual disabilities are more vulnerable to injury. For this reason, I suggest teaching your child by personally taking the time to “show” him appropriate behaviors with these three strategies as a guide.

Remember to be creative, patient and…

1. Teach about unsafe behaviors. Explain the consequences

Whenever possible model the appropriate behavior and use visual aids. Simply telling a child “don’t do that!” does not provide the reasoning. Demonstrate by example what you would like him or her to do. For example, if you run, you may fall down and get hurt.

A note to the wise: For small children with intellectual disabilities, it may take a much longer time for them to completely understand; therefore, lock-up doors, designate safe places for him or her to climb, cover electric outlets and remove heavy objects from rooms where damage may occur.

2. Illustrate through clear messages. Use visual signs and pictures.

Use pictures and diagrams to help your child understand your spoken words. Make sure you give a firm “no” in response to a dangerous situation. Do not offer long explanations. Visual sequencing and aids can also help get your message across more effectively.

Below are ways to explain important concepts to your child. At the end of the safety section, I have provided books that you can purchase to give you additional ideas to help you teach your children how to remain safe at all times.


Do you know why people with disabilities are at risk?

Decreased mobility, health, sight and hearing impairments may limit a person’s ability to take quick action to escape during an emergency.

Many actions an individual can take to protect himself/herself from danger of a fire may require the help of a caretaker, neighbor or outside source.

Fire safety checklist:

1. General safety in your home—in the event of a fire, every second counts!

• Do not wear loose clothing when cooking.

• Do not leave food cooking unattended.

• Use a timer to remind you of food in the oven.

• Don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords.

• Never use the oven to heat your home.

• Properly maintain chimneys and space heaters.

• Keep a phone near your bed and be ready to call 911 or your local emergency number if a fire occurs.

• Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and near the bedroom(s).

• Make certain children are wearing fire retardant sleepwear.

• If your clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP and ROLL on the floor.

• Do not leave any child unattended.

2. Install and maintain smoke alarms—make certain you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home (test monthly and replace batteries at least twice a year)!

• Audible alarms should pause with a small window of silence between each successive cycle so that people who are visually impaired can listen to the instructions.

• Individuals who are hearing impaired cannot rely on traditional audible smoke alarms but can use visual alarms equipped with strobe lights.

• Hearing impaired individuals can contact the local fire department to obtain information on a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm.

• Make certain that working smoke alarms are installed on each level of your home. You may want a friend or family member to assist you.

• Remember to test the smoke alarms monthly and to change the batteries at least twice a year.

3. Don’t isolate yourself—communicate with your family, friends, and caretakers!

• Speak to your family members, neighbors and/or your building manager about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.

• Ask emergency responders to keep your personal/critical needs information on file.

• Contact your local fire department’s non-emergency line and explain your needs. For those who are hearing impaired, deaf or speech impaired, you may use the appropriate Text Telephone (TTY) device if necessary. The firefighters will likely suggest escape plan ideas. They may even perform a home fire safety inspection.

• Prepare an emergency number sheet and keep it in your possession.

4. Live near an exit and plan your escape—individuals with mobility disabilities are encouraged to have their bedroom on the ground level and close to an exit! If you live in an apartment building, you will be safer on the ground floor. If that is not possible, make sure there is an outdoor fire escape, otherwise, you may need to purchase an “escape ladder.” (Global Industries® has a number of models, including T9F640194, for approximately $140). With the help of your local fire department, evaluate the appropriate model that fits your needs and budget.

• Be sure your address is clearly marked and visible from the street.

• If necessary, have a ramp available.

• During a fire, never use an elevator unless you are instructed to do so by the fire department.

• Practice escapes from every room in your house with your friends, family, building manager and caretakers.

• Practice opening and shutting windows around your home. Make certain that none are stuck and that screens can be removed quickly for an emergency exit.

• If you encounter smoke, stay low to the ground to exit your home.

• Once you are out of the home, stay out. Call 911 or your local emergency number from a neighbor’s house.

Important Resources and Website

Smoke Detectors & Fire Alarms for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired

As suggested earlier, check with your local fire department for assistance in obtaining the best solution.

To learn more visit Assistech or call 1-866-674-3549. They feature smoke detectors by Gentex®, Silent Call® and other brands. The models with high-intensity strobe lights are ADA-compliant. Most models range in price from $50 to $200 per unit.

Assistech also offers new “talking smoke detectors” that are ideal for all children, especially the blind and visually impaired. These devices range from $70 to $200 per unit.

Note: Please check with distributor regarding availability and discontinued models. Prices are subject to change and are estimates provided online August 2013.

Books and Online Resources

There are a number of books and online resources available to help you teach your children about proper safety. America’s Special Kidz does not endorse or promote any of these authors or resources. The content provided is for information purposes only.

Children’s Books:

Your Body Belongs to You by Cornelia Spelman,(January 1, 1997)

Handy Manny Safety First! By Disney® Book Group (May 19, 2009)

Developing Personal Safety Skills in Children with Disabilities by Freda Briggs (Sept. 2002)

Stop Drop and Roll (A Book About Fire Safety) by Margery Cuyler and Arthur Howard (Sept. 1, 2001)

Safe Kids, Smart Parents (What Parents Need to Know to Keep Their Children Safe) by Rebecca Bailey, Elizabeth Bailey and Terry Probyn (June 11, 2013)

Keeping You Safe (A Book About Police Officers) by Ann Owen and Eric Thomas (Sept. 1, 2003)

Bobby and Mandee’s Good Touch/Bad Touch: Children’s Safety Book by Robert Kahn and Chris Hardie (July 1, 2011)

Helpful Resources and Emergency Websites:

Kidpower (bully prevention, abuse prevention and stranger safety)

LDOnline (online safety for children with learning disabilities)

Children’s Safety Network (national resource for preventions on injuries and violence)

Rad Kids (national leader in children’s safety)

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

AMBER Alert (U.S. Department of Justice)

FBI’s Website Resources on Kidnappings & Missing Persons

State Fire Marshal’s Office, Division of Fire Safety NJ Dept. of Community Affairs, 1-609-633-6106

State EMS Office, NJ Department of Health & Senior Services, 1-609-633-7777

State Hazardous Materials Office, New Jersey State Police Office of Emergency Management, 1-609-538-6058

National Fire Incident Reporting System, NJ Division of Fire Safety, 1-609-633-6324

Share This Article

Youth Art Month enlivens creativity and fosters patriotism.

60Did you know that Youth Art Month is observed in March by thousands of schools in the United States, with the involvement of local art museums and civic organizations?

Youth Art Month, originally called “Children’s Art Month,” was founded in 1961 by Crayon, Water Color & Craft Institute, Inc., the predecessor of the Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI), in cooperation with the National Art Education Association.

The name was changed to reflect the inclusion of secondary school students. The nationwide appeal for Youth Art Month is due to a competition called School Flags Across America…Flying High.

School officials select a theme that represents their state, and they encourage participants to capture that theme by designing flags. What a great way to illustrate the spirit of Youth Art Month and unify children across the U.S.


There are a number of ways all of us can show our support of Youth Art Month. Here are just some ideas:

  • Display student artwork in libraries, community centers, local businesses and art museums.
  • Reach out to local media: Radio, television and online outlets to promote activities and raise awareness about Youth Art Month.
  • Develop local contests with prizes to help children nurture their artistic abilities.
  • Sponsor a special event.
  • Offer a craft workshop.

Unknown Activities depend on local volunteers!

Governors and local officials throughout the country issue proclamations declaring that we all need to make public statements in   favor of art education.

The reality is that most activities for Youth Art Month are carried out and funded by volunteers comprised of parents, educators, librarians, youth leaders at churches, business professionals and students.

It is our hope that you may be interested in volunteering at America’s Special Kidz. With your help we will offer an art campaign to children with disabilities and their siblings called America, the Beautiful.

If you, your school or organization would like to participate in the planning, please contact us at (973) 521-0433 or via email at

Facts about our national favorite to inspire you

America the Beautiful

The lyrics to this beautiful song were written by Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929), a professor of English literature at Wellesley College, in Massachusetts, after her inspiring trip to the top of Pikes Peak, Colorado in 1893. America the Beautiful first appeared in print in the Congregationalist, a weekly journal, on July 4, 1895. Ms. Bates revised her lyrics in 1904 and then again in 1913.


O beautiful for spacious skies,
for amber waves of grain,
for purple mountain majesties
above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood
from sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
whose stern impassion’d stress
a thoroughfare for freedom beat
across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
confirm thy soul in self-control,
thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife,
who more than self their country loved,
and mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
till all success be nobleness,
and ev’ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
that sees beyond the years
thine alabaster cities gleam,
undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood
from sea to shining sea!


Share This Article

Rare diseases deserve more than just one day a year.

slide1   As we approach Rare Disease Day, February 28, 2014, we must not only acknowledge these struggling families, we need to help build awareness and offer our support to help the children.

Did you know that a disease is considered rare if it is believed to affect fewer than 200,000 Americans? Perhaps that is why they are often called “orphaned.” The attempt to find treatments for these illnesses is often abandoned because some deem that they do not affect “a large enough segment of the population.” (Hence, they do not merit the costs associated with R&D and marketing).

Did you also know that according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), there are over 7,000 rare diseases affecting between 25 and 30 million Americans? That’s nearly 1 in 10 Americans!

The reality is that rare diseases are present across a wide spectrum of medical conditions. All but a few forms of cancer are rare. Many, but not all, of these diseases are genetic. Some are discovered at birth, while others do not become apparent until much later in life.

Each disease may be rare, but when they are combined, they affect millions in our country. Rare diseases are an important public health concern. Many families find themselves in an alarming state of emergency.

More than half who have rare diseases are children!

glomuvenous_malformations_plaque_type  Perhaps you are wondering what types of rare diseases are present in the United States. Here’s a sampling: There are rare neurological and neuromuscular diseases, metabolic diseases, chromosomal disorders, skin diseases, bone and skeletal disorders, those that affect the blood, heart, lungs, kidneys and other body organs and systems.

To get an even better idea, feel free to check out National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)’s database of more than 1,200 reports on diseases posted online at The most comprehensive listing on rare diseases can be found in the National Institute of Health (NIH) Office of Rare Diseases Research (ORDR) at

Many still need effective treatment!

Unfortunately, many rare diseases still do not have approved treatments and are not even being evaluated by medical researchers. As a result, individuals are forced to seek treatments that are not approved by the FDA for their particular disease.

As if what I’ve mentioned isn’t tragic enough, families are having problems obtaining reimbursement from insurance companies for these expensive treatments.

How would you feel if it was your child?

Humor me for a minute, and put yourself in the shoes of many parents in America. What would you do if you were just informed that your beautiful baby appears to have a rare disease?

• You are struggling trying to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

• You learn that there are limited treatment options and many of the treatments are unapproved.

• There is little, or possibly no research, being done on this condition.

• Treatments are more expensive than common diseases.

• You are experiencing reimbursement problems with your private insurance or Medicaid.

• You have difficulty working with medical professionals, social workers, educators, and financial professionals in the care of your child because these individuals do not have an understanding about the disease.

• You feel abandoned and isolated by our healthcare system, not to mention others who do not have any idea how to help.

These are just some of the painful experiences families face in caring for their sons and daughters. All these parents want the same thing you do: That their child has a long, healthy and bright future.

Rare Disease Day is celebrated all over the world for one day. Please help us get the word out for all America’s Special Kidz with rare diseases. Would you kindly help by sharing this post with all of your friends, family and colleagues?

I have one more request. Please go out of your way to offer your encouragement and support to the families in your community all year long. I can assure you that when you get to know these little heroes, it will be a rewarding and life-changing experience.

Share This Article

Seven (7) ways you can help special needs kids while blessing your own children

Over the years children with Down syndrome and other special needs have been short-changed, overlooked and labeled. While no one can deny that there has been progress with early intervention, special education and medical advances, we still have a long way to go.

Do you remember the adorable young boy with blonde hair and blue eyes featured in Target and Nordstrom ads? I was so excited to see my son’s schoolmate with Down syndrome featured in those stylish clothing ads.

This morning a young man with special needs achieved four of five three-pointers during a basketball game in Pennsylvania! That’s something that doesn’t happen everyday.

Even Hollywood appears to be getting in on the action by looking for more actors with Down syndrome to play pivotal roles like Lauren Potter who stars in Glee. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see other films to be released. Wouldn’t you like to see more kids with a wide range of challenges on the wide screen?

Actors with Down syndrome, as well as other conditions, help audiences understand more about the condition and also help to portray a more realistic society.

Mom always said, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!”

Whether a child has Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, ADHD, bipolar disorder, congenital heart disease or any other condition, he or she has a lot to offer.

If you look at their sweet faces you would never know how many of them have endured multiple heart surgeries, cancer, gastrointestinal challenges, respiratory complications, thyroid disease, diabetes and much more. They truly are American heroes, don’t you agree?

These inspiring kids deserve our admiration and unfailing respect. Through all the pain and struggles, they still continue to smile and bravely forge ahead while so many of us complain about mundane things like snow storms in New Jersey.

Seven ways you can help America’s little heroes!

If you are a parent, you have an incredible opportunity to make a difference in your child’s life and in the life a child with special needs. Here are suggestions that you can easily accomplish. They will enrich your child’s life and prepare him or her to address any challenge with courage!

1. Talk to your kids about Special Needs—It is always a good idea to share anecdotes about children and adults with disabilities who have inspired you. One of my favorites is Helen Keller; despite being blind, Helen Keller was an American author, political activist and lecturer. Ask your child if he or she has students in class that have Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, etc. Ask open-ended questions and offer suggestions on how your child can help this classmate.

2. Invite children with special needs to a play date—You would be surprised how many parents have never stopped to consider inviting another family to join them to the park, movies or a sporting event. In fact, some of our kids aren’t even invited to birthday parties. Inviting a child to your activity blesses him or her and is a life-changing experience for your child. Your child learns how to be compassionate and patient. It’s a win/win for everyone.

3. Invite a mom who has a special needs child out for coffee or a bite to eat—Many of us feel so isolated from the rest of the world, especially single moms. If you are going out with friends or have some time for a one-on-one, consider encouraging another mom to join you. I promise you will be blessed for taking the time.

4. Make a warm meal or dessert for someone who has a child in the hospital—When a child is in and out of the hospital for treatments and/or surgery, there is nothing better than a hot meal or a treat waiting. Any gesture, no matter how large or small, is always greatly appreciated.

5. Volunteer to watch a special needs child to give a family some respite—Sometimes a mom just needs an hour to gets some rest, go to the store or take a shower. There are times that a couple desperately needs a date night. Why not invite a special child to your house one afternoon or evening to give his or her parents time alone?

6. Encourage your child to volunteer his or her time at a local non-profit that helps children with disabilities—America’s Special Kidz (A.S.K.) is always interested in training kids. We will feature your child in our print publication. We will also teach your child life-lessons that are invaluable.

7. Encourage your child to raise money over time to help local kids with disabilities—A.S.K. features all kids who take the time to do this. We want to teach all kids the importance of helping those who are vulnerable.

Do you have any other suggestions? Share your ideas. I would love to hear from you.

Share This Article

Millions of kids in the U.S. are affected by ADHD. Ten (10) possible warning signs.

187190_f260I don’t know about you, but I hear many people say, “I don’t remember children having so many issues when I grew up.” While pollutants in our environment, food additives and food processing may be the culprits adversely affecting our health, the reality is we are also learning more about the role of genetics.

Studies have implicated that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) runs in families and that genes play a role in this chronic condition. Moreover, problems with the central nervous system during critical stages in development may also be a possible cause of ADHD.

According to the Mayo Clinic ADHD affects millions of children and often persists into adulthood. ADHD manifests with a combination of problems such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. When ADHD is not properly diagnosed, a child often experiences poor performance in school, low self-esteem and trouble in relationships.

Criticism doesn’t work!

When I was a kid, if a child had difficulty paying attention or if he daydreamed a lot and didn’t complete homework, he was deemed defiant and lazy. The sad part is some of these kids were often forcefully disciplined, ridiculed and harshly criticized. The root cause of the problem was overlooked. Parents who responded in this way often exacerbated the problem.

Parenting requires an incomputable amount of patience. Easier said than done, right? We must constantly remind ourselves that we are champions to our kids. They need to know that we listen, care and are committed to doing whatever is necessary to help them learn how to overcome challenges.

Today, we realize children that manifest the following 10 symptoms may have ADHD and require therapeutic and/or medical interventions:

1. Difficulty paying attention (not due to vision issues)
2. Appears to be not listening and doesn’t follow through on instructions
3. Tends to forget important items and activities that are needed like homework
4. Often fails to complete schoolwork and chores at home
5. Easily distracted by things going on in the room
6. Displays excessive talking
7. Frequently fidgets and squirms in his seat
8. Difficulty remaining seated
9. Frequently interrupts and intrudes on others
10. Has difficult waiting his turn

The rule of thumb is that a child shouldn’t receive a diagnosis of ADHD unless the core symptoms of ADHD start early in life and create significant problems at home and at school on an ongoing basis.

Since there’s no specific test for ADHD making a diagnosis will likely include:

A Medical exam to help rule out other possible causes of symptoms
Information collection such as medical issues, personal and family medical history and school records
Interviews or questionnaires from family members, your child’s teachers or other people who know your child well such as baby sitters and caretakers
ADHD rating scales to help collect and evaluate information about your child

While treatment will not cure ADHD, it can help individuals learn strategies of how to cope with these tendencies. Children can benefit by participation in behavioral interventions and in some cases medications.

Here are alternative medical remedies.

Unfortunately there’s little research that indicates that alternative medicine treatments can reduce ADHD symptoms. That doesn’t mean that some of these options may not have benefits. The key is to discuss these interventions with your child’s physician to determine if the therapy will be safe.

Some alternative medical treatments have been tried, but are not yet proven scientifically…

Aroma or massage therapy. Some parents have used massage and scented oils (like lavender) to calm down and relax their children with ADHD. I have used scented oils for myself and just started trying this with my son. There isn’t any data to support this therapy. If you do try this option, NEVER LEAVE your child unattended with the oils or diffuser.

Fish oils/Essential fatty acids. These fats, which include omega-3 oils, are necessary for the brain to function properly. Researchers are still investigating whether these may improve ADHD symptoms. My son and I take cod liver oil with DHA.

Yoga or meditation. Doing regular yoga routines or meditation and relaxation techniques may help children relax and learn discipline. This may help them manage their symptoms of ADHD.

Eliminating certain foods. Most diets that have been promoted for ADHD involve eliminating foods thought to increase hyperactivity such as sugar. Some diets recommend eliminating artificial food colorings and additives. So far, studies haven’t found a consistent link between diet and improved symptoms of ADHD, but I eliminate additives and artificial colorings from my son’s diet. His sugar intake is also closely monitored. No one should be consuming these unhealthy substances anyway. Caffeine use as a stimulant for children with ADHD can have risky effects and is not recommended. Excess caffeine for adults with ADHD may also be harmful.

Vitamin or mineral supplements. While certain vitamins and minerals are necessary for good health, there’s no evidence that supplemental vitamins or minerals can reduce symptoms of ADHD. DO NOT exceed the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). It can be EXTREMELY harmful.

Herbal supplements. There is no evidence to suggest that herbal remedies help with ADHD and some may be harmful. Don’t be fooled. Herbs are potent medicine!

Neuro-feedback training. Also called electroencephalographic (EEG) biofeedback, this treatment involves regular sessions in which a child focuses on certain tasks while using a machine that shows brain wave patterns. Theoretically, a child can learn to keep brain wave patterns active in the front of the brain — improving symptoms of ADHD. While this treatment looks very promising, more research is needed to see whether it works.

Sensory integration therapy. These can include occupational and physical therapy and interactive metronome training. At this time there is not enough research to support their effectiveness. My son is in the process of participating in this type of therapy. Stay tuned!

Still want more information?

If you would like to learn more about how to help children and adults with ADHD contact Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), a national non-profit at CHADD provides education, advocacy and support for individuals with ADHD.

And, please always remember, we must value and respect all of our little ones. After all, they add spice and flavor to what may otherwise be a drab and ordinary life.

Share This Article

A Child’s Profound View About Disabilities Stirs this Mom.

Recently a friend shared her daughter’s seventh-grade essay with me about how she viewed children with disabilities. As I read each line of text, I was inspired by her vision.

“In my life I have helped many people in need,” she began. “For example, I am currently helping children with disabilities by being a mentor. I do not think of these children as below me but as my equal.”

This teenager continued to explain, “I see that they are human and not just someone who looks “funny” or talks differently. On the inside they are children of God, just like me. They should never be made fun of because of their appearance…I accept them not because I need to, but because I want to.”

“I feel it is my job to be a friend to everyone, regardless of his or her outward appearance. I choose to accept them and I am enjoying every minute of it!” she concluded.

This child got me reminiscing about my own teenage years. I remember having an immense interest in helping the underdog—the kid on the playground who no one picked to play team sports or the punk-rock girl in high school English who wore funky clothes and dyed her hair pink.

I learned to admire these kids that marched to a beat of their own drum. Others simply stood by and judged them based on their outward appearance.

I genuinely took the time to get to know my eccentric friends and always enjoyed learning from them. I can honestly say that I share the same sentiment as my friend’s daughter. I am better for knowing my extraordinary friends.

Fast forward

It’s more than 20 years since high school and I am a mother of a little boy with Down syndrome. My heart has been tugged in an even more personal way. I have developed a strong affinity for individuals with Down syndrome and a wide range of disabilities and medical conditions. My new found underdogs, or as I prefer to call them “heroes,” are enriching my life in new ways. I would have missed out on these opportunities had I never taken the time to get to know the children and their families.

You might say that my eyes and heart have been opened to the needs of all people struggling through challenges of everyday life. I have met parents who have never seen their sons or daughters walk, talk, and throw a ball or even dance. As a parent of a special needs child, I know how desperately these parents would love to hear from their family and friends, “How are you today? Can I help you with…. Or, can I bring you a cup of coffee?” These families desperately need someone to pick up the phone and tell them how much they are loved. Instead, most people quickly get off the phone and avoid asking about the child. It is not the child’s disability that is heartbreaking; it is the indifferent reaction from others.

No man or woman is an island.

We need each other folks. There is so much more to each one of us than meets the eye.

The questions I pose to you: Will you stop to acknowledge those around you who are struggling with disabilities and health issues? Will you commit to looking beyond their external appearances and look deeper for their unique gifts? Lastly, will you stand with me to help these families?

Together, we can make a real difference one person at a time.

Share This Article

An amazing child with Down syndrome changed my life forever!

When I first supected that I was pregnant, I kept purchasing different types of pregnacy tests. I thought to myself, “this can’t be possible.” I must have taken at least three different tests to validate that at 40 years old, I was finally carrying my long-awaited baby.

Twenty weeks into my pregnacy I went to my doctor for the standard blood work and an ultrasound that determined I was carrying a little boy. I left the office with John Joseph “JJ’s” first picture and my heart racing with excitement. I couldn’t wait to begin planning for my husband’s name sake. Nothing could have prepared me for the news that awaited me.

A week later, my doctor’s office phoned and asked me to come in to discuss my blood work. By the sound of the nurse, I began to feel uneasy. When I arrived at the doctor’s office my physician explained that the baby I was carrying had markers for Down syndrome, but he couldn’t be certain if my son had Down syndrome or another chromosome disorder (like Trisomy 18 or Trisomy 13). He continued to say that with Trisomy 18 more than 50% die before birth or shortly thereafter. If the baby had Trisomy 13 there was more than an 80% chance the baby would die right away. With these odds, he urged me to take an amniocentesis and consider ending the pregnancy.

I remember driving home in shock and terrified. I thought to myself that my baby was going to be fine. I went home and prayed and saught family and friends for love and support.

When I returned for my next doctor’s visit, I informed my doctor that I was not going to take an amniocentesis test nor was I going to terminate my son’s life. I waited too long for this child. I explained that I had gone to a fertility specialist in NJ for 15 years and was told that I may not be able to have children. If God gave this baby to me, I was going to love him.

I remember the doctor mocking my beliefs and telling me that I had no idea what I was in for and that “the child would ruin my life.” Of course I had no idea what I was in for, but I believed then (and still do now) that every life is valuable.

I am so glad that I didn’t allow two different physicians or my spouse to stop me from having JJ. While it was a rollercoaster ride. I wouldn’t change a thing about my decision.

The entire nine months were emotional, but I felt and looked the best I ever did. When JJ finally arrived, I fell in love with him instantly. He didn’t move around much like other babies and he didn’t drink much milk either, but he was beautiful.

I remember feeding him from a dropper which gave him his first nick-name “baby bird.” My baby bird could only take a few drops of milk at a time, yet he was always so hungry. I had a gut feeling that something was wrong, but everyone kept assuring me that JJ was fine. He had Down syndrome. Be patient. I thought to myself even a baby with Down syndrome has to eat. Little did I know that the next five and half months were going to be terrifying.

JJ continued to be very hungry. Yet he could only drink 2 oz. of milk a sitting. He was almost 8 pds at birth, but was continuing to drop weight. I literally had to feed him around the clock even at 5 months. It wasn’t until he began to spit up blood that the physicians began to take notice.

After more than 6 hours of testing at the hospital, they finally found that JJ had a severe blockage. I was told the blockage was common with children who had Down syndrome. They also informed me that he should have been operated at birth. It was a miracle that he survived. If the surgeon didn’t open up the blockage, JJ would not have survived to the morning! I remember getting on my hands and knees in the waiting room and begging God to save my little boy.

JJ was hospitalized for a week. He had surgery for malrotated intestines, a blockage in his intestine and an appendectomy. I never left his side. Our bond grew stronger as each day progressed. My admiration for him grew as well. Despite the immense pain he was experiencing, I saw a sweet boy smiling at the nurses and phylebotomists as they kept coming in to take his blood. There were tubes and cords all around him. I would gently move them to change his diaper.

I knew that little guy needed me to be strong. In the midst of all the unknown, we needed each other. I began singing one of my favorite Beatles songs. I  changed some of the lyrics just for my amazing boy.

John Joseph, “I give you all my love. That’s what I do and if you saw my John, you’d love him to…and I love him. A love like ours will never die as long as I have you near me. Bright are the stars that shine. Dark is the sky. I know a love like mine will never die…AND I LOVE YOU.


Share This Article


Recent Blog Post

Let’s save lives together. The loss of one child is too many! As the saying goes, “curiosity killed the cat!” This expression is a real concern for parents because unlike adults that have the ability to discern boundaries and limitations, kids are just curious. They do not have the maturity to understand that certain behaviors […]

Share This Article