Month: January 2016

Facts About Down Syndrome

download (46)Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes intellectual and developmental delays. The cases of Down syndrome are as rare as 1 million per year. Though, it cannot be cured, treatment is of some help. The genetic condition arises after an abnormal cell division leads to extra genetic material resulting from chromosome 21. The symptoms are visible in the form of an intellectual disability, a different facial appearance, developmental delays and are sometimes caused due to heart or thyroid ailments.

Intervention Through Occupational Therapy

What is helpful are the early intervention programmes to treat every child in a specific situation through occupational therapy for Down syndrome. A group of special educators and therapists are engaged in offering intervention to every single individual affected from it. Those suffering from such a genetic condition may experience developmental delays like short stature, speech delay or learning disability.

Developmental Delays and Cognitive Issues

They can also go through cognitive issues like difficulty in understanding or thinking and intellectual disability. They can have an abnormally large tongue or it may be displaced or have spots or a lazy eye. Other symptoms including congenital heart disease, hearing loss, speech loss, vision disorder, thyroid disease, immune deficiency or flaccid muscles can also be known from reading facts about Down syndrome.

Get Treatment for the Genetic Condition

When a child is born with this ailment, he or she needs special care and attention while growing up. Such children can only receive treatment at a school for special education that takes care of all the healthcare needs of differently-abled during their developing years. Treatment generally focuses upon going for regular medical check-ups, looking for early signs of health-related issues and finding support. This is because only treatment can give a healthy and hearty life to them.

Observing Them Since Infancy

Scheduling routine check-ups may be of help to your child as it is important to identify and monitor health problems. However, it is also crucial to observe the kids during his or her first years of infancy under the watchful eyes of a mother. Watching them during the early years of childhood for any health-related issues are important for timely intervention. Medical experts intervene particularly during occurrence of eye problems like cataract.

Addressing Concerns of Down Syndrome Affected

As children grow, many parents have similar concerns including getting emotional support and learning about the condition for a newborn. Then, the early childhood concerns involve teaching healthy behaviours, diet and exercise as well as social skills to children. During the middle and late years of childhood, the main question is of their education and independence. Adolescence and adulthood cover the issues arising while attaining puberty.


Nyle DiMarco

download (45)Imagine dancing in front of millions of television viewers when you can’t hear the music. How would you know when to move, when to stop, when to do the lift? For some viewers of Dancing With the Stars it seems incredible that anyone can do the required dances with such grace, but thrown in being deaf and it’s a whole new ball game.

Nyle DiMarco was born on May 8th 1989 and has a twin brother. He is a model, an actor and also a deaf activist who grew up in Maryland and attended Maryland School for the Deaf. Later he would earn a degree in mathematics from Galloudet University before he turned his attention to acting.

He appeared in several programs before earning a spot on America’s Next Top Model. He was only the second male contestant and the first deaf contestant on the reality show, and he of course won the crown back in 2015. Shortly after his win he signed with a top modelling agency in New York and then came the call from Dancing With the Stars.

For those fans of Dancing With the Stars, the choice of DiMarco was one that was embraced. If nothing else he wasn’t hard to watch and he instantly became a fan favourite. But it was his will to succeed when he was at a clear disadvantage compared to the other contestants that won him acclaim and inspired us all.

Di Marco never once looked lost or skipped a beat with his dances. He and his partner(s) looked like every move was effortless when it must have taken extreme concentration on his part to get it all perfect every time.

When asked how he did Dancing so well, he said he was used to using other cues to convey emotions or get his point across. In truth, you don’t have to be verbal or use your ears, but instead you can communicate in different ways.

Now that Dancing is over, Nyle can concentrate on his modelling and acting once again and also take care of his foundation that promotes awareness of the deaf culture.

When we see someone with a disability not let it get in the way of doing what they want to do, it is inspiring, not just to those who are also deaf, but to everyone. Nyle DiMarco doesn’t let deafness be what he’s known for, it is just a part of who he is. Instead he is known as the guy who handily won two reality shows.


The Challenges of Special Needs Housing: Support Services

download (44)The final major hurdle for getting a young adult with special needs (YASN) into his/her own home when they come of age (or are otherwise prepared) is getting the necessary support services arranged. Simply put, very few families can provide the support that a YASN needs, either personally or by paying an agency to provide it. Almost all of them will have to turn to financial assistance to support their YASNs. Fortunately, that part is easier today than it has been in previous decades. Unfortunately, it is still not without its challenges.


The primary source of support service funding for most YASNs is Medicaid. In years past, Medicaid only paid for certain specific types of disability, but recently, a variety of ‘waivers’ (because they waive the usual rules of what Medicare will pay for) have come into existence. The Home and Community-Based Waiver has given states leave to create programs that pay for in-home or community-based services of all kinds.

Of course, that doesn’t mean every state did — Medicaid provides the money, but the states themselves must create and fund the programs. There’s no guarantee that your state has a program that applies to your specific special needs. It also doesn’t mean that you can get into an existing program; nearly every state has a waiting list for most services relating to adults with special needs.

Non-Medicaid Funding

Unfortunately, when you get into the other levels of funding, it rapidly becomes impossible to talk in anything but the broadest terms. Every state, county, and community has its own unique opportunities and obstacles. It is safe to say this much: you should sit down with your family and research each of these potential sources of funding:

• Family-paid support
• Private funding
• Private health insurance
• State-based funding
• Local funding
• Grants and foundations

What Can I Expect to Pay?

In one respect, the question of how much your support services will cost varies enormously depending on your precise needs and on where you live, it is still one worth talking about. Geography matters quite a bit — for example, in Georgia, a family can expect to spend an average of $972/year out of pocket raising a child with special needs to adulthood; in Massachusetts, it’s only $562.

Similarly, as a nationwide average, for a YASN-housing environment, it costs:

• $20/day for non-medical ‘supervisory’ visits at home,
• $61/day for 6-hour adult day care,
• $165/day for 24-hour non-medical services in a group home setting,
• $456/day (or $19/hour) for in-home medical care, and
• $634/day for 24-hour services in a group home setting.

These numbers can vary by 50% in either direction, as you might assume by looking at the Georgia vs. Massachusetts numbers above, but they can serve as a rough estimate of what you should be looking for. Obviously, the less you need in terms of support, the less you have to pay — but getting the support you need should be your primary concern, not saving money. Don’t make it harder by trying to skimp on your support structure — there will be plenty of other challenges to face once you do get set up in a home with the support you need.

Rehabilitation for Disabled to Improve Lives

download (43)Every special school that vouches for the needs of the differently-abled kids has the single most important motive. It offers early intervention to the infants and young children who go through a hearing impairment or are mentally challenged, visually impaired, cerebral palsy affected, have autism or multiple disabilities. For early intervention, these schools facilitate diagnosis beforehand and enable treatment accordingly.

Special Education and Intervention

The main objective behind establishing early intervention centres is to provide medical help and rehabilitation for disabled. Here, training is also offered to the parents and relatives of the children with special needs for their development and social adjustment. Thereafter, special education is focused upon. Many government-aided, government-run and unaided special schools for differently-abled are running to provide special education and relative assistance to the affected children.

Offering Useful Medical Aids

In addition, they are also offered aids and equipment like tricycles, folding wheel chairs, artificial limbs, crutches, retrofitted scooters, hearing aids, calipers, folding sticks, Braille watches and solar rechargeable batteries. Early intervention for hearing impaired kids is necessary for developing age appropriate speech, learning and language skills.

For Rehabilitation and Adaptation

As far as children with mental impairments are concerned, the idea behind offering rehabilitation to them is to enhance their mobility and socialization skills. Talk about the visually impaired and you would discover that they require specific adaptations in order to access the world surrounding them. And, treatment for cerebral palsy generally calls for help from a speech therapist, physiotherapist, special educator and occupational therapist.

Rare Disorders Like Autism

Now, early intervention for autism is highly specialized as it is a socio-neural developmental problem. Behavioural intervention and therapies bring substantial improvement in the autism affected children to improve their language and play skills. A child with special needs can have a normal life provided he or she may be identified early, educated, vocationally trained and provided employment and medical aids.

Why Special Schools?

Now, the question arises that why the special schools are considered necessary for treating different disabilities. Children learn quickly among their peers, thus, increasing their self-confidence and enhancing their esteem. Their behavioural learning too becomes faster this way that enables them to strive for independence. Even parents get some respite when their child is engaged in useful ability-enhancing activities.

Role of a Teacher

At special schools, children receive specialized attention and care from trained professionals for a better learning experience. For instance, a teacher plays an important role in screening and identifying special children not just in classrooms but also while performing various tasks, provided they do careful planning. The teacher also acts as a therapist and counsellor partnering with the parents to achieve better results in for the differently-abled students.