General Special Needs

New TSA Helpline for Special Needs Travelers

Families with special needs may now have an easier time navigating airport security screenings. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently rolled out a new toll free hotline called TSA Cares. Travelers with special medical conditions are encouraged to speak to a representative who will provide them with information about what to expect when going through the screening process as it relates to their special needs. When necessary, TSA disability experts will personally speak to the passenger or caregiver, or provide security checkpoint support at the airport.

Special Needs at Sea

When Andrew Garnett founded Special Needs at Sea four years ago, he was making equipment deliveries in his own car. “I would get up at three in the morning and drive to Port Canaveral, make my deliveries there, and then I’d drive across the state and make deliveries in Tampa and then drive back,” Garnett recalls. Now his company is able to deliver special needs equipment in 99 cities around the world, in over 20 countries.

Chess Helps Students with Special Needs

Bridgepoint Academy, located just outside of Chicago, Illinois, is a unique place that helps young adults with special needs (ages 16-21) transition from school to adulthood. By focusing on fostering each student’s life goals, Bridgepoint Academy emphasizes community-based instruction to expose students to “real situations.”

One such situation presented itself at the New Lenox Public Library a few months ago. The students happened upon a meeting of an informal chess club and asked to play. According to their teacher, Amanda Price, “We’ve been going ever since.”

Special Needs Children have Brothers and Sisters

The siblings of special needs kids are considered “typical” and are helpful to the family in more ways than we account for. They support their special needs brother or sister by mentoring them through play, encouraging them to push towards their goals and by accepting their role as the child “without special needs” in the family. Compared with their peers, they learn more patience and often mature more quickly than their friends whom do not have special needs siblings themselves.

Saluting Moms of Special Needs Kids

In my practice as a speech/language therapist, I see toddlers, children and young adults with a variety of special needs labels and a myriad of challenges. Each child is special, each experience as humbling as the day I graduated more than 35 years ago. Some move quickly towards their goals and functional communication, while others lag behind. With each, I try to find their core humanity and connection and bring them out towards the sun.

Giving Thanks for Special Needs Children

Each child brings something into a family when he or she arrives. Each individual is directly affected by the other members of the family and impacts the unit as a whole. A child with special needs adds a special dimension and provides a unique perspective for every family member.