The opportunity for individuals with disabilities to save, plan and look forward to the future was once a scary thought. Being hopeful about the future seemed less promising for members of the disability community because many barriers made planning and saving impossible. A recent survey conducted by America Saves, states that only 40 percent of households are making good or excellent progress in saving, and more than 27 percent report no progress at all. The numbers are even more dismal for the disability community – the National Disability Institute reports that an estimated 1.9 million households that include an individual with a disability do not have a checking or savings account. Before ABLE United’s program, some were not even provided the same opportunities to save as the general population.
There are many ideas and approaches on how to create an inclusive society. Even finding a single outline that clearly highlights the core principles of inclusive settings can be challenging. Since there are many different views and definitions, the outcomes for inclusive settings vary and are often skewed. Like many special needs moms, I want the world to be more accepting, understanding, and of course, welcome my son and others like him as a valued and equal member of our society. But, what does that world look like?
Our family has been praying for everyone having to face the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Here we are, a short time later possibly facing the same fate. The last time we prepared for a storm that frightened us in Tampa Bay was back in 2004. Richie was only two and hadn’t been diagnosed with autism yet. We were hit with Hurricane Charley, Ivan, Frances and Jeanne that year. It came to be known as the year of the Hurricanes. While Tampa Bay was thankfully not hit directly by these ravaging storms, we felt the anxiety and fear of these winds of fury all the same. But it would take a Hurricane called Katrina to teach our nation about being prepared. Ten years later, we’re back in preparation mode and we must get this right. All of us together.
Some of us feel a little apprehension about starting a new school year alongside our children. This can especially be difficult for parents of children who struggle with reading, writing, math, staying focused or being organized.
Transition and change for kids of all ages isn’t always easy. Transitioning from a long summer break back into the old school routine is harder yet. For children and older kids with disabilities, the back to school transition can be intensely challenging for the entire family. Here are some tips that helped us get back in gear for school routines!
What does it mean to have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?
You may have heard the terms, “sensory processing disorder, sensory integrated dysfunction, or sensory related issues.” Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a condition that causes the brain to have difficulty with receiving and sending messages with other senses. You may have heard the term, “sensory overload.” This phrase is often used to describe what a child or adult is experiencing when there is too much information for one or more of their senses to process. Children and adults who experience issues with sensory processing disorder may struggle with academic performance, making friends, diet and eating, participating in the community, challenging behavior, and more.
Growing up, my brother and I weren’t the type of kids who knew how to crack crab legs, peel and eat shrimp, nor could we tell you what a fish boil was. We didn’t really eat much seafood. Of course, years later after I outgrew my childhood picky palette, I learned to appreciate the joys of eating good seafood.
#ABLEUNITED is Celebrating its First Anniversary as the Savings Difference Makers in the Disability Community
It’s been a year since I opened my ABLE United account for my son Richie and not only has our family been able to save and plan for Richie’s future, we have something we’ve never had before. We have peace of mind.
Happy Father’s Day to all The Special Needs Dads Who Turned Challenging Times into Special Blessings
Raising children with special needs can be as challenging as you might imagine it to be. You’ve seen us from time to time. We’re the ones walking past you with the scratched arms from frustrated pinching. You’ve seen us lifting our child out of the car and gently placing them onto their wheelchair. You’ve seen us leave an entire cart of groceries in the middle of the isle because our child was about to have a major meltdown. You’ve watched us chase our kid down the street after they've masterfully escaped from our home. Maybe, you were the neighbor who brought them home to us when we thought he or she was sleeping soundly in their bed! Perhaps you’ve spotted us sitting in our car alone crying or just taking a moment of nothing eventful to ourselves. You may have wondered, “How do they do it?”
So many people are unaware of the fact that there is such a thing called “Disability Etiquette.” If you’ve never known anyone with a disability, it could be difficult to know how to behave when you’re around someone with a disability. Sometimes, comments meant to be innocent and with good intentions can potentially offend individuals with disabilities. It’s essential for us to use disability etiquette if we believe in creating an inclusive society.
When it comes to ABLE United, great news just keeps on coming! Don’t miss out on your chance to jump-start your savings plan for the future today. ABLE United is offering five eligible Floridians with disabilities a chance to win a $500 contribution to their ABLE United savings account! Enter today and visit daily for extra chances to win – but hurry, this fantastic offer ends June 15, 2017!
As a special needs parent, advocate and blogger, I get overwhelmed just as many other parents. Whenever I feel down or defeated, watching movies of triumph, inspiration, and perseverance offers me a sense of motivation, insight and sometimes creative revelations. A couple of years ago, I wrote a piece about my Top Ten most Inspirational Movies about Disabilities, and it’s still one of my most popular posts to date. Inspired by my reader’s interests and my love of movies that helped me get through some tough times, I thought I might write more often about movies that are disability related and recognized by the academy and other titans of film industry.
My husband loves to grill and I love to cook. Among the many things we share in common, cooking for family gatherings and working together in the kitchen is something we truly enjoy doing. So, when my husband Kirk told me his mum and brother were coming to spend some time with us before returning to Atlanta and then their final destination - the lovely island of Jamaica, we wanted to welcome them with a dinner fit for an island queen and prince.
Your Spring Cleaning tasks could mean Goodwill Career Creations!
It is spring cleaning season! It's the time of year that gets us doing chores that aren't part of our normal cleaning routines. If you're anything like me, it's time to clean the china cabinet, get the oven back to its original shine, and start going through our closets and drawers to fish out all the clothes that we've outgrown or just stopped wearing over six months ago! But what if we could do our spring cleaning and donate to a good cause at the same time?
On board with safety planning.
As a first time grandmother to be, I have been helping my daughter and son-n-law with planning for the arrival of our newest family member. Safety preparation has been a hot topic for our family as my daughter's delivery date nears!
Every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States. For younger children, car seats can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury – but over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly. For older children, buckling up is critical. A full 50% of children age 8-14 who were killed in car crashes from 2011-2015 were not restrained.
If I had a quarter for every time someone said they were sorry after learning I have a son with autism, I would have a small fortune! It’s true that having a child with autism has its challenges, but because of a supportive family, great friends, the expertise and guidance from colleagues, and a team of compassionate and talented educators, Richie is doing great. And all is good because we see the positive side to family life with autism.
Why I'm Going to #LightItUpBlue for Understanding and Acceptance!
Our family has been active members of the autism community since Richie was diagnosed at the age of two - thirteen years ago!
Since April is World Autism Month, our family will #LightItUpBlue with Autism Speaks to increase understanding and awareness of autism. Of course, it should go without mentioning for those of you who visit my blog often, that this is a deeply personal topic for me as a mom of a teen with autism. It's highly likely that you know someone with autism too since the CDC estimates autism's prevalence as 1 in every 68 children in the United States.
Recently, I wrote a post about how the Americans with Disabilities Act has made many life-changing improvements that have successfully increased the participation of individuals with disabilities in their communities. However, there is still much work that needs to be done.
It wasn’t long ago that individuals with disabilities had little control over their personal finances. Any funds and benefits received from federal and government sources prohibited recipients with disabilities the opportunity to save and plan for their future appropriately. In 2014, this very unfair financial stipulation was changed.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Historic Civil Rights Acts of Triumph with Worldwide Influence
Every year, we celebrate the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The historic law was enacted in 1990, and our country is in a better place because of it – and other nations have taken notice. ADA prohibits the discrimination against people with disabilities. This includes employment, transportation, communication, public accommodations, activities, and government services. It states that “individuals with disabilities must have access to all public activities and places, just as anyone without disabilities.”
Author: Christine Goulbourne