Meet seven area individuals whose special needs, from cerebral palsy to Down syndrome, have not defined them. Their families deserve plenty of credit for their achievements, for sure, yet it's their heart, determination, and personality that deserve to be emulated.
"How wrong they were," Randy's mom says of the early specialists who grossly overestimated how limiting this brave boy's cerebral palsy would be. Randy has since graduated high school and is enrolled in college in Manhattan.
Busy, busy: With a four-day-a-week job, a regular volunteering gig, volleyball, bingo, theater, and more, this developmentally delayed young lady is never bored, and always determined.
Defying early expectations, this preschooler with cerebral palsy has begun to use her voice and has strengthened core muscles, improving her chances of walking. Her family loves her no matter what.
This Long Islander, who has autism, courageously crossed the finish line of his 26-mile dream. Matthew started running when he found it calmed his anxiety, and with the help of a dedicated coach, he completed the New York City Marathon.
Not only has this "happy, stubborn man," as his dad describes him, lived beyond the age doctors predicted when he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but a residential farm-based facility in upstate New York gives him real purpose.
Joshua Eber, an accomplished Rockland-based actor who happens to have Down syndrome, is a role model and a downright happy guy. Joshua has defied many medical expectations throughout his life in order to pursue his passion for performing.
If your child has a disability and is about to turn 18, you should know about options such as a Health Care Proxy and the more involved legal guardianship, both of which allow you to stay involved in your child's medical care once he reaches adulthood.
Born blind, deaf, and with a developmental disability, Kenny Berg of Queens has defied doctor's expectations from the start. His fighting spirit, combined with his mother's passionate advocacy, has set the stage for a life full of independence and love.
If your child has special needs, an overnight respite program can provide some much needed relief. Here, we put together a list of places that offer overnight respite for children in the NYC area, including Long Island and Westchester, Rockland, and Fairfield counties.
Rockland Jewish Family Service Summer Camps for Children with Social Deficits will offer two new programs this summer: Camp Kipanga for children ages 5-10 and Camp Katikati for children ages 11-13. The camps are for children with social deficits such as autism, ADD, and social anxiety.
Learning that your child has special needs can be overwhelming and coping with the diagnosis can daunting. Rockland County mom Debbie Bertrand shares her experiences as she navigated life after her daughter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Mid-Island Y JCC’s center for special needs in Plainview has a new name—the Adler Center for Special Needs—due to a donation from Kenneth and Ann Dorman Adler. The center provides services for children and adults with special needs.
Easter Seals Child Development Center recently opened an inclusive preschool for children with and without special needs on Long Island. The preschool’s lesson plans are designed to fit the unique needs of the students, and the creative curriculum meets children where they are at developmentally.
Cooke Center, a learning and development center for children with special needs, now offers an outdoor-based social skills group for children in Manhattan.
Eleven parents of kids with special needs, all of whom have become experts in the special needs field, share the greatest wisdom they received that helped them cope after their children were diagnosed with disabilities.
Upper West Side’s Team Esteem helps children who have social, emotional, and behavioral challenges through social skills groups, art therapy, and facilitated play dates. Children gain social skills, communication skills, self-esteem, problem-solving skills, and more.
As parents, we all have meltdowns now and then. Dr. Rita Eichenstein suggests key ways to deal with stress and frustration that will help you avoid the "end of the rope" and help you and your family feel happier.
Many attorneys suggest mediation for parents who are divorcing. We asked H. Michael Stern, Esq., MSW, an attorney and certified mediator on Long Island, how mediation can help in a divorce, especially when a child with special needs is involved.
The JCC of the Greater Five Towns on Long Island is planning to expand its Play Golf program, which helps kids and young adults with disabilities learn the sport of golf as they get physical exercise and develop socialization skills.
An NYC computer scientist was inspired to create AutisMate, an award-winning app that helps people with autism communicate, by his younger brother who has autism. Discover how this research-supported tool may be life-changing for your child, too.
When one mom realized she didn't owe strangers an explanation, a defense, or an apology when it came to her son's actions, she found she helped empower her son with autism. Linda Kimpton explains helping her 7-year-old son navigate life with no apologies.
When you became a “special needs parent,” you unwittingly took on a new (unpaid) position as head of personnel for your child’s myriad specialists. Take a crash course in management from an SN mom with lots of experience under her belt.
When her infant daughter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, one mom turned her questions into action. Laverne's inspiring story about traveling the world with Kasenya and their family will inspire you to redefine the possibilities and journeys presented to your own family.