Thursday, November 24, 2011

Census & Disability in School Age Children 2010

The 2010 United States Census showed that about 5% of all children who are school age have a disability.  The American Community Survey found that of the nation's 53.9 million schoolchildren ages 5 to 17, about 2.8 million were reported to have a disability in this census. (This excluded children in institutions such as juvenile correctional facilities, group homes for juveniles, and residential schools for people with disabilities.)  If these children were added the number of children with disabilities would increase dramatically.  This is the first time this information has been analyzed.  The numbers that resulted from this analysis were markedly different than the calculations done by the National Center for Education Statistics which uses a broader age range (3-21 years old) and which shows 13% have a disability.  (Info from Ed Week)

Children living outside metro areas show 6.3% have disabilities compared to 5% of children in metropolitan areas.  No matter where you live the disabilities were more likely to be cognitive disabilities. Children in the Census were reported to have a disability if they had trouble concentrating, remembering or making decisions.  About 5 percent of children in metro areas across the country were reported to have a disability compared with 6.3 percent of children living outside metro areas. Regardless of where they live, children were more likely to have a cognitive difficulties than other disability types. 

Columbus, Ohio had on the highest child disability rates (7.2%) while San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California had one of the lowest at 2.8%. 

Is the difference in %'s a statistical snafu? Or is it due to the difference in age groups surveyed or that people don't like to report a child as 'disabled?'  As the years go on hopefully we'll find the answers to these questions.  It is critical to know the percentage of disabled young adults who will need transition services in order to accurately plan both state and federal budgets.  If you're a parent who is wary of reporting your child to a census worker as disabled, think again.  It could be effecting the amount of benefits available in your state.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eric Fombonne MD Speaking At The Center For Autism Research

Eric Fombonne MD is speaking at The Abramson Research Center, Room 123ABC, 2615 Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia PA at The Center For Autism Research on November 17, 2011, 7-10PM.  The topic under discussion is "Current Issues in Autism Research: Epidemiology, Trends in Rates, Environmental Causes and Other Studies."   

Fombonne is a professor of psychiatry and a leading authority on the epidemiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD.)  He has played a key role in developing assessment tools for clinical and research purposes.

 Dr. Fombonne will discuss the most recent epidemiological surveys from around the world as well as a  world-wide picture of where epidemiological research on ASD is focused today.  He will discuss the proposed hypothesis that ASD has reached epidemic status.  Other topics will be a summary of the current information about the possible environmental causes of ASD and the controversy on autism and vaccines. 

This lecture is for families of individuals on the autism spectrum, professionals supporting individuals on the autism spectrum, and anyone interested in learning more about ASD.

You MUST RSVP to attend. 
Sohee Kim

(CHOP is accredited to provide CME credits by  (ACCME) to provide continuing education for physicians. CHOP has designated this lecture for a maximum 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) TM.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Recycling For Charities and Liberty Resources

Preserving the environment for the generations of the future is an important responsibility for which everyone should be held accountable. Electronic waste from pagers, cell phones, PDAs and digital cameras continues to increase daily. This waste poses a serious threat to the environment. Until recently, legitimate wireless recycling programs have been few and far between.

Recycling for Charities is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization that allows individuals an opportunity to recycle cellular phones, PDAs, Palm Pilots, digital cameras, and iPods for value that is then donated to the charity of their choice. Liberty Resources has partnered with RFC to help protect our environment while raising money for Liberty's programs and services for people with disabilities.
For each wireless electronic donation provided, RFC contributes a minimum of one dollar to Liberty Resources. Recycling through RFC is beneficial for people with disabilities, the environment, and is also tax-deductible! When you make a wireless donation, everyone benefits! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Four Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me

Four Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Being A Parent of Special Needs Children:

  1. Ask for help.  Wow, this is the hardest one to do, but one of the most important.  You don't realize what's out there until you do! Finding out you're not alone and having a support circle can be critical when you hit THOSE days when it seems like nothing is going right and NO ONE gets what it's like.
  2. Consider counseling for siblings, spouses or parents.  Amazingly enough once you get dealing with the Special Needs issues under control don't forget that others are struggling with a lot of similar issues. Sometimes a sibling feels 'left out' because of all the attention your other child needs on a daily basis.  Work with a counselor so you both are comfortable with these issues.  Grandparents are tricky.  My mother in law is still lighting candles... for her this is how she 'DEALS'.  That's OK.  It's her comfort zone.  Let your parents deal with your child's disability in their own way as long as it isn't hurting your child.  Sometimes a spouse is the one who needs counseling, or couples counseling is the way to go.  Usually one parent ends up handling the issues of your special needs child.  Don't leave your spouse out of the 'loop.' 
  3. Be an advocate for your child.  R. Brooke Porch, former principal at Indian Lane School and former Director of Special Education for Upper Darby Township gave me the best advice I ever received when my daughter was in pre-school and transitioning into the regular school system.  He said "Be the squeaky wheel."  Of course he gave me this advice before he was promoted to Director of Special Ed where he was the person I 'squeaked' to!  (Brooke if you're out there, my daughter is teaching preschool today--thank you.) So be your child's advocate.  Get out there and push for them.  And teach them to push for themselves if need be. 
  4.  Most of all, believe in your child's abilities.  Sometimes when you have a special needs child you forget to concentrate on the 'can do's.'  When my children were first diagnosed I fell into the trap of 'can't do' thinking.  Over the years I grew into the 'can do' mind set.  The sooner you get there the better the outcome.  Give your child the opportunities to TRY. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mad Mex says "There Really Is Such A Thing As A Free Lunch!"

Free lunch you say? A FREE lunch? REALLY? Yes, Mad Mex, that wild and crazy restaurant you used to have to drive to the city to eat in, is coming to Willow Grove! And they're offering YOU a chance to enjoy a free lunch or dinner on them opening day November 8. 

Mad Mex Willow Grove is having a facebook giveaway--EXCLUSIVE to their facebook page! So if you're ready to feed your face, (where else? At Mad Mex Willow Grove!) on Tuesday, November 8 you can have a lunch or dinner on the house!(Not to mention a complimentary margarita (Oh please give me mango!) or Dos Equis for you macho types! Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch? Obviously they were wrong! 

How can you (and up to a party of 4 score an invite to this 'FREE LUNCH (or dinner)?' Just visit Mad Mex's Facebook page wall here:  Then follow their directions! I love scoring free food! Add one of MM's incredible margaritas ... ah!!!!!!!!!!!! Nirvana!

Never visited a Mad Mex before you say? Heresy!  Wondering How 'Mad' 'Mad Mex is?' Mad Mex is wildly insane! The decor alone will convince you of that! This place serves funky fresh Cal Mex with their signature Big Azz Margaritas that are to die for!  Anyone who ever visited one of Mad Mex's other locations knows just what I'm talking about! Mad Mex's burritos don't necessarily have traditional burrito fillings.  Oh no, Mad Mex you see is just a little....MAD! 

This month Mad Mex is mad about turkey, so they've got a Gobblerito for your delectation!  Now is a perfect time to sample their Gobblerito.  A Thanksgiving Burrito...filled with all the goodies that you usually don't get until Thanksgiving! For a limited time you can get one of these huge burritos stuffed with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn and gravy! Not your usual burrito!  With a side of, what else? Cranberry sauce! Try it now, it's only available until the end of November. 

Now that Mad Mex is coming to Willow Grove if you live in suburban Philadelphia you no longer have to haul into 34th Street to their restaurant there. (I thank you, my car thanks you!) You can just drive down the street to enjoy Mex to the Max!

If you're wheelchair bound or have a tough time getting around the new location is perfect! No more fighting the parking in Center City Philadelphia! And if you're on a budget and usually can't afford to eat out this is a perfect time to try a new restaurant without breaking the bank.  I think you'll find Mad Mex is a great place to go out for dinner or lunch that WILL fit your budget. 

Just because you're living on a budget doesn't mean you can't enjoy a night out with family, friends or staff.  And this opening day/night is a perfect time to take some friends along and introduce them to the madness that is Mad Mex!

Come for lunch and you'll find me and my husband sampling all Mad Mex has to offer in their newest restaurant.   And enjoying our 'free lunch!' 

**The author will be compensated for writing about their opinion of Mad Mex by receiving the aforementioned 'free lunch/dinner'. All opinions are the authors' own and are an honest appraisal of the product or location or deal available.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ability Night by The Arc

The Arc of Delaware County is having Ability Night.  They invite you to join them and their special guest speaker, Sara Wolff.  Sara is a skilled motivational speaker who speaks on behalf of people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities.  She promotes a better understanding of disability through her personal appearances and inspirational speeches. 

There will also be an election of the Board Members and Officers at this meeting.

Food will be provided.


November 15, 2011
DCIU Room 171
200 Yale Avenue
Morton PA 19070

Law, Disability and Independence

Have you taken steps to plan for the present and/or future if you have a child/young adult with a disability?

The Everyday Lives Committee is having a meeting on November 16, 2011 at 12-2pm on planning for your child's present and/or future.  The meeting will be held at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit, Education Service Center, 200 Yale Avenue, Morton PA 19070 Room 163. 

The meeting will cover:
  • Guardianship
  • Medical Power of Attorney
  • Special Needs Trusts

Dennis McAndrews Esq. of the McAndrews Law Offices P.C. of Berwyn PA will be presenting information that explains the differences of these legal steps and when it's beneficial to use each of them.  A question and answer session will be held following the presentation. 

Questions call:

Marsha Komara 610-713-2400 x2210