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If you want to be in the know about what’s going on at our organization, you’ve come to the right place. Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest news updates.

Meditation is powerful. If you’re still unsure whether or not the practice is worth trying, check out these top benefits of meditation and consider how they can help improve your life.

The coronavirus pandemic threatens to create both a public health and economic catastrophe. But we cannot afford to ignore the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding out of sight. Our fate as a nation depends on how we feed our most vulnerable citizens through this crisis. If our leaders step up now with federal aid, food can be the solution — supporting millions of jobs while also feeding millions of people in desperate need.

How can we be kind in times of darkness? Today we’re going to talk about just that, and how we can continue to live altruistically when facing heart-wrenching times.

Our words are powerful and should be handled with respect. Because they can impact others, choose yours wisely with these helpful tips.

Don’t let winter get you down. Resist seasonal affective disorder with five tips to stay positive during the coldest season.

Lockdown drills are increasingly common in classrooms across the United States, participation in such drills may challenge the operation and well-being of any classroom, but it poses special challenges for students with disabilities.

I had some concerns about pregnancy and childbirth as they relate to my mobility, and like anything I’ve never tried before, I wondered how I’d manage certain tasks involved in taking care of a baby, but I had a leg up when it came to confidence in my ability to parent: My mom.

Self-defeating thoughts can come when we least expect them and tear down our self-esteem and break our spirits. Stand up to them and choose joy instead with five ways to overcome self-defeating thoughts.

It’s out with the old and in with the new, and we’re ready to say hello to bright beginnings in 2020.

Making a new, healthy habit that sticks can be pretty difficult. If you want to begin a habit that you can actually stick with, check out these useful tips.

One December day, around the time I turned 5, my mother sat me down and gently informed me that there was no Santa Claus; she’d decided to become a Jehovah’s Witness, she explained, and we wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas anymore. I don’t recall being especially troubled by this bombshell at the time, and skipping out on holiday celebrations became my childhood norm.

With a little out-of-the-box thinking, you can give back in ways that meet the unique needs of your community and are fulfilling to everyone you encounter.

Self-Care Can Be Painful—in a Good Way
At a recent conference, where colleagues and I promoted and presented on self-care, I heard the “feel good” interpretation multiple times. For instance, one colleague, who’s an avid runner, shared that he detests running sometimes. He declared, “Running hurts! Now, massages! That’s self-care! They feel good!” I gently suggested that both running and massages can be self-care

Cooking up a homemade meal can be nourishing for the mind, body and soul. Read on to discover how cooking makes people happier and more connected.

November is a wonderful time to recognize your blessings and give thanks for them.

If you're looking for ideas to celebrate National Family Literacy Day, look no further. We've come up with a handy list your family will love.

Siblings of individuals with disabilities can be valuable teachers. They often just “get it” because they lead with love and understanding. My son has learned how to treat his brother by living in our home. We celebrate little victories, we try again and again however many times it takes, and we focus on our strengths. He sees what his brother can do rather than what he is not yet able to do. He talks to his brother respectfully and asks his opinion. He includes his brother and looks up to him in the same way many younger brothers do with their older brother.

Since the weather is cooling down, you can add a little sunshine and warmth to a stranger with these simple ideas.

Little kids are diabolically engineered to make their parents do what they want. That’s the overwhelming impression I got when I talked to a bunch of academics about the origins of whining. Children are good at co-opting whatever arsenal of behaviors they have” to get parental attention, even certain types of monkeys whine!

Yes, children with physical challenges can enjoy physical activity! Besides being fun to play, sports can give both kids and parents an emotional boost. "I think sports are especially important for Max: The more his muscles move, the better," explained Ellen Seidman in a post on Love That Max, her blog about raising son Max, who has cerebral palsy, and his sister and brother. She added: "Sports can give his ego a workout, too ... I want him to feel proud of his accomplishments on the field, around other kids and parents. I want him to have that sports high."

Studies have found that volunteering can positively impact both your body and your mind. We're here to tell you all about the different ways doing good in your community can do some good for yourself.

So he’s off to school every morning now, like a big kid. But instead of the exuberance you expected, you find many days -- especially Monday -- starting with tears, or maybe a tummy-ache. He isn't faking.

Showing a little encouragement is an easy way to make someone’s day, and we’ve come up with a few ideas on how you can do so.

My grandmother showed me how to surpass the expectations that the ‘medical model’ had set for me. I was born with bleeding on the brain, which caused me to develop a type of cerebral palsy known as spastic quadriplegia, which affects both the arms and the legs. In spite of those circumstances, my grandmother determined to give me the best chance for succeeding in a world committed to maligning people who look like me. She did not care about the barriers put before us, and she instilled in me a fire to engage and push through them as she did.

Don't force them, but do find ways to help them feel good about trying new tastes. Picky eating is one of the most common complaints among parents. It’s the rare child who eats anything and everything, gamely taking on new vegetables, foreign cuisine, and walnuts in brownies. Instead, most kids (like most adults, only more so) find some foods unpalatable. Vegetables are a frequent offender; processed desserts and chips typically aren’t.

A few days ago, a mother at my 3-year-old daughter’s day care center labored over a long goodbye with her toddler. Every second that passed seemed to heighten the drama and tighten the child’s clasp. Soon a train of grumpy parents began lining up behind them, the caboose of the duo’s unending embrace (complete with a steady stream of tears).

To the New Teacher of My Daughter on the Autism Spectrum: And all day she will seem the same: happy, willing. You may wonder how I can tell, simply by the way she walks out of the classroom, how pent up she is and if we she is going to have a hard afternoon. Because she has had her school mask on, all day. Maybe somebody has bumped or pushed her. Or she can’t figure out how to play the playground games. So she waits and waits until she can come home and let it out, sometimes with an innocuous spark setting off a meltdown. So I’m asking you to take a second look at her sometimes.

We're here to tell you all about the benefits reading can bring, besides knowledge and entertainment.

When Mindy Scheier’s son Oliver came home from school in 2014, the then-eight-year-old told her he wanted to start wearing jeans like his friends. It might seem like a common request, but for Mindy there was a challenge: Oliver has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, which causes physical disabilities.

Making sure you've packed thoroughly can make your road trip experience even more enjoyable. To help, here's a list of items you'll need once you've hit the road.

A new school year means a new grade, new teachers, new goals, and maybe even a new school! In order to help you and your child with special needs be as successful as you can be, we've put together a list of eight helpful back-to-school tips that we hope will make the transition into a new school year a little easier for you and your child.

Among the new line of Barbies are dolls with darker skin tones, textured hair and a “curvier” body size in addition to two dolls with disabilities — a wheelchair user and Barbie with a removable prosthetic leg. According to Kim Culmone, Mattel’s vice president of Barbie Design, these dolls are another step toward a more inclusive toy that represents the diversity of its customers.

Doctors have known for years that some patients who become unresponsive after a severe brain injury nonetheless retain a “covert consciousness,” a degree of cognitive function that is important to recovery but is not detectable by standard bedside exams. As a result, a profound uncertainty often haunts the wrenching decisions that families must make when an unresponsive loved one needs life support, an uncertainty that also amplifies national debates over how to determine when a patient in this condition can be declared beyond help.

The problem of selfies has even attracted the attention of various professional journals for plastic surgeons, which have been posting articles about increasing requests for plastic surgery coming from young people. A poll from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons found that 42% of surgeons were asked to perform procedures for improved selfies and pictures on social media platforms.

Planning an Independence Day gathering should be about creating community, not a source of stress. We’ve compiled a list of everything you need to throw a party your guests will rave about.

Acknowledge that you are a great parent. Day in and day out, you’re taking care of your special needs child. Thanks to you, they are healthy and properly educated. Because of you, your child’s needs are being met with consideration and love. Because of all you do, make sure to do something nice for yourself each week, no matter how small.

If you're looking for a way to get outside while also improving your whole self, gardening may be the hobby for you.

The official scouting motto is “Be Prepared.” If parents of special needs kids had a motto, it would be the same thing. We always have to be ready for any scenario and never more so than when we travel with them. Here are ten items you must have in your arsenal before traveling so that you are prepared for anything.

It could be the hit of the summer: “Sweet but Psycho” by Ava Max. It features the singer, Ava Max, violently abusing men. It suggests she killed one man and lights another one on fire. But she’s really attractive while doing it, so I guess we are supposed to be OK with her vivid, awful depiction of what she feels a “psycho” is.

So, do you want to embrace social networking to have a positive influence on the world? Here are some ideas for how to use social media to make a difference.

When we think of those affected by eating disorders, we usually think of girls and young women. The fact is, females do make up the bulk of those who struggle with eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. But disordered eating also affects boys and men.

Everyone has bad days at work — a customer is rude, you need to rush to finish a project, you have to skip lunch or some other annoying thing. If this is now and then, only 10 percent of the time, I’d say that is probably OK. Nothing is perfect. However, if you face daily major stresses, you constantly feel devalued and begin and end your day dreading your job, you may be in a toxic situation.

This photo was taken just three days before we received Charlie’s autism diagnosis. We’ve now been on our autism journey for 4 years and 8 months.

It was hard to get to a diagnosis for Charlie. Doctors, specialists and therapists said to wait and see; that his delays were due to premature birth and that his communication challenges were because boys develop differently. We were told not to “worry about autism” because he could talk and make eye contact. I knew all the things I was seeing meant something, but my concerns were brushed off because I was a first-time mom!

It was a relief to finally get his diagnosis because it meant we could finally get him appropriate help. When this picture was taken, he was regressing and losing speech which happens to some kids on the spectrum.

But we quickly learned that getting the diagnosis was just the beginning! Before getting involved with ParentsCAN we felt lost. We didn’t know what to do and we were new to Napa so we didn’t know who to ask. But we knew we had to find Charlie help.

Our ParentsCAN advocate is available when I need her and really listens to my concerns. ParentsCAN empowers parents to trust themselves—when you’re a new mom you’re always being told, ‘Don’t worry!’ But my ParentsCAN Advocate said, “I hear you, let me figure out how to help you.”

ParentsCAN connects you to other parents who can guide you through this confusing time. I met other parents of children with autism who were further along on the journey than I was. I was amazed at the help you get listening to other parents—you don’t have to figure it out on your own—there is a wealth of experience available. Other parents were so generous sharing what they had learned and how they felt. Parent to parent works!

We are now finding our own “normal.” The challenges that come with Charlie’s autism have improved tremendously—he has worked so hard—he seldom has meltdowns now and he is working at grade level in a regular classroom.

I don’t feel like we’re fighting with autism anymore; it’s just become a different way of life for our family. It’s not about looking for the light at the end of the tunnel anymore; we’re turning the lights on in the tunnel and trying to appreciate the twists and turns and how far we’ve come on our autism journey.

Many people with bipolar disorder experience mixed episodes — a mood episode characterized by the presence of manic and depressive symptoms. They can bring someone from their highest peak of happiness to their lowest points of depression — all in the course of one day.

Parenting can be stressful under the best of circumstances, but moms and dads of children with developmental and mental health challenges often have to deal with strain of a different magnitude. Caring for a child with special needs can become a full-time job — and an overwhelming one at that, if you don’t have adequate support.

What are the signs of bullying? When does the teasing become torment? We are all aware that being bullied as a child is not a trivial thing. It not only causes acute suffering, it has been linked to long-term emotional problems, and children who lack strong parental support seem to encounter the most lasting damage.

Fears are an inescapable part of being a kid: Hiding behind the couch during a thunderstorm. Being sure there’s something in the closet — a monster! Performing those endless nighttime gymnastics —Five more minutes! One more glass of water! — to avoid going to bed by themselves.

I think we all know someone who has died by suicide or know somebody affected by someone’s suicide. We hear about the suicides of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Robin Williams or Chris Cornell. For some, these events evoke an emotional and overwhelming response, both on social media and in person.

When we think of “childhood abuse,” usually the first types that come to mind are physical and sexual abuse. And while we should talk about these types of abuse, oftentimes they are the only categories that get discussed. Too often we overlook an equally damaging and often hidden kind of abuse — emotional abuse.

CBD and autism: A group of Israeli researchers have been exploring the use of CBD to reduce problem behaviors in children on the autism spectrum. A feasibility study involving 60 children found substantial improvement in behavioral outbreaks, anxiety and communication problems, as well as stress levels reported by parents.

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