The Exceptional Parent

Exceptional Parent is a magazine providing practical information and guidance to parents of children and young adults with disabilities and the professionals who serve them. It was founded in 1971 and is published monthly by Psy-Ed Corp.Subjects include disabilities. The editor in chief is Rick Rader.

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 5, May

A Breath of Fresh Air
How many times a day do you use a computer or are on the Internet? Whether it's for work or for pleasure, we are constantly surfing, downloading, emailing, scanning, printing, and saving without a thought to the ease or convenience of it all. But imagine...
Accessible Vans & Mobility
The accessible mobility dealership, Accessible Vans & Mobility (AVM), while not involved in a formal program of vehicle donation, is very open to the need for help when they are approached. AVM made a van donation to the family of First Class Petty...
An Interview with Melissa Winkle: About Assistance Dogs
Melissa Winkle, OTR/L works with children and adults with a variety of abilities in community settings and in private practice in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM. She coauthored the article "Embarking on the Future: People with Developmental Abilities...
A Soldier and His Service Dog
"The war took away the sight in one of my eyes, my arm, and the mobility in my legs, but when I got my service dog, Ruthie, I felt like a soldier again." These words, so eloquently spoken by 22-year-old retired Sergeant Christopher Strickland, describe...
Dolphin Therapy: The Playful Way to Work toward the Next Step: In This 12-Part Series, EP Explores the Benefits of Aquatics Therapy and Recreation for People with Special Needs
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] More than 400 children with a physical and/or mental challenge visit the Curacao Dolphin Therapy and Research Center (CDTC) for dolphin-assisted therapy every year. Dolphin therapy appears to be the right approach for many...
EP Bookstore Feature Pages
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The month of May marks the beginning of a new period of transitions: children transitioning from school to summer camps and activities; some graduates prepare for college while others look to find their place in the working...
EP Interview with Dr. Cynthia Tifft
EP conducted a telephone interview with pediatrician and geneticist, Dr. Cynthia J. Tifft, Chief of the Division of Genetics and Metabolism at the Center for Neuroscience and Behavioral Medicine at Children's National Medical Center, in Washington,...
Excusing IEP Team Members: Why, When, Who, and How
This month's focus: IDEA and the IEP The Individualized Education Program, or IEP, is often regarded as the "cornerstone" of special education. It is the written document that describes a student's educational needs and details the special education...
Family Lives Life Fully in the Face of a Rare Genetic Disorder for All Three Children
EP was privileged to be able to talk with its contacts in the accessible mobility industry when a United States Navy family's developmental pediatrician, Dr. Gretchen Meyer, contacted EP's CEO Joseph Valenzano to see whether EP might be able to facilitate...
Helping Your High-Functioning Child Transition to Adulthood
Parents of children with disabilities are involved in their children's education more intensely than many other parents. Yet, once the child turns 18 (or the state's age of majority), the young adult may be flying solo in educational decision-making...
Here Be Dragons
One of my earliest recollections of "being tested," outside of a grade school vocabulary or multiplication test, was when I become a Bobcat in the Cub Scouts. On a Saturday outing in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, we had to find our way to the carousel...
Home Renovations to Accommodate People with Disabilities
How the Cost Can Be Less Taxing Many parents or caregivers of individuals with disabilities and other special needs may be aware that the cost of home renovations involving the construction of a railing, ramp, lift and elevator--even a pool or spa...
How to Know If Your Child Has ADHD or Learning Differences: The Importance of an Accurate Diagnosis
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In this 10-part series, which runs every other month through 2008 and 2009, EP will explore Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Parents often are left wondering how to determine if their child's behaviors are...
Improving Social Skills for Children with High Functioning Autism
If you've ever vacationed in a foreign country or have friends who have recently come to the United States, then you have probably noticed the importance of understanding social rules. In some nations, certain gestures can have a completely different...
Including Religious Voices on Disability: Which Ones? in 2008 EP Is Featuring This 3-Part Series on Spiritual and Religious Supports, Recognizing That Faith, Religion, and Spirituality Can Be as Important a Consideration and as Integral a Facet in the Lives of Exceptional Families as Healthcare, Education, and the Myriad of Other Topics That Touch and Involve EP Readers. This Article Presents Installment Two
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Let's imagine, for a moment, that you are a pediatrician and you have made a commitment to holistic treatment of your patients--families and their children with one form of disability or another. Does that include religious...
Learning the Language of Dogs Can Be a Breakthrough Experience for Children with Autism
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I've been a dog trainer professionally for 23 years, but if you ask my parents, they'll tell you that my fascination with dogs began at an early age. As a child, I'd spend hours hanging out with my dog as well as constantly...
Life Breath: A Little Girl's Courage, a Mother's Determination, and the Healing Power of Oxygen
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "Even now, it's still a surprise to Lily and me when we hear Grace moving around the house independently, walking up the stairs to her bedroom. We both pause and look at each other to make sure we're hearing what we think...
Like Father, like Doctor: For Years, Dr. Jack Kessler Had Been Researching Ways to Repair Damage to the Nervous System. but It Wasn't until His Own Daughter Became Paralyzed That He Vowed to Find a Cure for Spinal Cord Injury
Dr. Jack Kessler was in his office at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine when the phone rang on the evening of January 2, 2001. His 15-year-old daughter, Allison, had been in a skiing accident in Connecticut and injured her spinal...
Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program: Medicaid and Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD)
"Americans with disabilities such as MR/DD [mental retardation/developmental disabilities] are some of the most vulnerable Medicaid recipients." (1) In 2006, Congress passed legislation containing major changes to Medicaid, as well as trimming federal...
My Experience. My Perspective. Transportation to Work Presents Problems: Career Enthusiasts with Disabilities Might Have Bigger Issues Getting to a Job Than Finding a Job
It is often natural in life for people to become suspicious or question why they were born in the first place. This usually happens as a result of a failed relationship, the loss of a job, or a traumatic accident. However, all these occurrences have...
Segs4Vets Making Mobility Accessible
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] You see Segways nearly everywhere you look today. Police ride them through the streets of their cities. Security guards ride them through the malls. Tour groups ride them around monuments. Veterans ride them almost anywhere....
The Disability of Love and Sex
Marvin Gaye says it best when his voice croons, "Sexual healing is something that's good for me ..." In my opinion, it's not only something that is good for him; it's something that is good for you, for me, for everybody. Love and sex are two key ingredients...
The Whole Child: I Recently Received This Email from a Mother in the Midwest
"... My daughter has pdd [pervasive developmental disorder] and struggles with just about everything. She has been left behind by the school, and I am having trouble getting help. At first they refused to take her as pdd, then after they did they would...
Vans of Valor Program: Ride Away Assists Service-Connected Veterans by Providing Modified Vehicle Loans through Its Vans of Valor Program
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It started by recognizing a need. Ride Away, a national supplier of handicap-modified vehicles, recognized that veterans requiring modified transportation needed reliable transportation between the time they are discharged...
What Is Traumatic Brain Injury? How Is It Connected to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? Learning the Facts and Increasing Understanding about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Learning More about Current Research and Available Treatment Can Often Be One of the First Steps in Seeking Help for Recovery
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the coming months, EP will explore the subject of traumatic brain injury (TBI) sustained by military personnel in the line of duty and will highlight the conditions that may result from TBI, such as depression and symptoms...
"Will My Child Benefit from Using Braces?" Insights on a Challenging Issue
When a child first receives a diagnosis and a treatment plan that include recommendations for bracing, the prospect of intensive orthotic intervention can be daunting for the parent. Braces traditionally represent a prominent visual cue that the...
Your Mouth: A Window to Your Overall Health
If your son had an abscess, yellow pus, inflamed tissue, or live bacteria on his face, would you take him to the doctor right away? Of course you would! But often, when the same condition occurs inside a person's mouth, where it is not so easily seen,...