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Sarah Buckley
BY Sarah Buckley

Special Needs Roundup: Bullying, Siri to the Rescue, Dental Care and More

In case you missed it check out the the most popular special needs stories from the past week. Did we miss any? Tell us about them in the comments below.

Ed. Dept. Expands Guidance on Bullying and ‘504’ Students With Disabilities

Bullying Bus

The U.S. Department of Education’s office has just sent out a “Dear Colleague” letter that once more addresses and emphasizes the concerning realities of bullying in schools. 

The letter puts a stress on those covered by Section 504, which is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, stating that discrimination and harassment were looked down upon and completely unacceptable within the education system.
Read the “Dear Colleague” letter here

Pledging “I’m In To Hire” Individuals With Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities

Carlos Slim Contribution

What happens when you pair together the founder and chairman of Best Buddies International and a billionaire industrialist?

You get Anthony K. Shriver and Carlos Slim Helú calling out and recognizing the companies, both large and small, that have launched initiatives to hire individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Shriver and Slim are asking companies to hire an IDD in order to get them involved in the workforce. Their goal is to reach one million IDDs hired over the next ten years. Since their “I’m In To Hire” campaign launched on October 7, they’ve already gained 100,000 pledges to bring an inclusive workplace to reality.
Read more and find out how to help “I’m In To Hire”

Kansas City Royals ‘cat suit’ fans & others get World Series tickets for fan with Cerebral palsy
cat suit guys

Nate Leeker, a 16-year-old from Kansas City, will have the chance of a lifetime to watch the Royals play in the World Series.

Paul Long and John Stoner, better known as the “cat suit guys”, are making this teen with cerebral palsy’s dream come true after creating hype on social media.

Through enough donations and with the help of a donor, they were able to buy tickets for Nate to see the Royals in action at the World Series.
Read the “cat suit guys'” inspiring story here

For Children With Autism, Opening a Door to Dental Care


Meet Dr. Amy Luedemann-Lazar, a dentist from Texas who is working with autistic children on a weekly basis to help them become more comfortable with sitting down calmly while dentists go through a routine cleaning. 

Starting with a very quick ten seconds, Dr. Luedemann-Lazar works with each child through a reward process every week, until the child can sit in the examination chair for a 25 minute cleaning.
Read more about Dr. Amy Luedemann-Lazar’s process here

For Some Children With Autism, Even a Toothbrush Is a Challenge

Tips and tricks

Maintaining dental hygiene can be a challenge for parents and their children with special needs. Here are some tips and tricks to help make dental health a positive routine in your child’s life.
Make dental health less of a challenge

To Siri, With Love How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple’s Siri


Opening doors for children, inclusive workplaces, anti-bullying, and more

Gus has autism, and always has his best friend on hand: Siri. Being an informative computer, Siri is also affectionately known for being “predictably kind” and politely corrective — two qualities that have helped Gus on picking up on social cues, according to his mother.

Gus is hardly alone in his Siri love. For children like Gus who love to chatter but don’t quite understand the rules of the game, Siri is a nonjudgmental friend and teacher.”
Read more about Gus and Siri

‘It makes me so happy!’ Mom opens dance studio for special-needs kids

Welcome to DanceAbilities, a studio created by Tess Walters, a mom whose five-year-old Asperger’s daughter loves to dance in.

Having danced her whole life, Tess did not open a studio, until she saw the need for a special needs dance studio: a place where children like her daughter could dance without feeling the rigorous pressure of a typical dance studio.
Read about how Tess’ hard work paid off!

Sarah Buckley

Written on October 24, 2014 by:

Sarah is the Communications and Social Media Coordinator at Friendship Circle, and is also the Assistant Editor of the Friendship Circle Blog. Check out her post for weekly special needs news round ups and more. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

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