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BY Annie

The Roundup: Special Needs news, blogs, and who to follow on Twitter

Special Needs RoundupThe internet is full of resources and entertainment: newspaper articles, research studies, the mommy blogger from down the street who absolutely cracks you up. But with your hectic schedule, who can keep up with everything? We’ve got you covered. Here are some articles and blogs you might’ve missed this week:

Special Needs News

In the News

Fox News Detroit: 98-Yard Touchdown Run for Monroe Co. Boy with Cerebral Palsy

Parker Nye normally does laps, drills, and exercises with the Wildcats, a junior league football team in Monroe County. But because Parker has cerebral palsy, he doesn’t often get playing time—until his coach let him play in a game against the Lions of Monroe. The video posted by My Fox Detroit captures Parker’s playing time, and shows what Parker and those watching learned during the game: You can do anything you set your mind to.

The Montgomery Advertiser: Theater offers sensory-friendly screening for kids with autism, ADD, ADHD

The RAVE Theater in Montgomery, Ala., had a sensory-friendly matinee showing of “Puss in Boots” for children with autism, ADD and ADHD. The lights in the theater were slightly turned up, the noise level was not as high as in other movies, and the children at the movie did not have to worry about “keeping their voices down or being told not to get out of their seats.” The theater was approached by the Montgomery Tri-County Autism Networking Group with the idea. About 80 people attended the matinee.

The Wall Street Journal: Autism Coverage Grows

Insurers in New York will soon be required to cover screening, diagnosis and treatment costs for autism spectrum disorders, which as the article notes, “will increase premiums for all individuals and businesses.” This new law includes toddler screenings, behavioral health treatments, and speech, occupational and physical therapies. Note: To view the full article online, you must have an online subscription to The Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times: Hard Decisions for Learning Disabled

This article covers issues students with ADHD or learning disabilities may face when applying to college, including whether or not to include the disability on the application and creating a list of colleges that have supportive environments for the particular student.

El Paso Times: ‘It’s part of me:’ Tourette syndrome hasn’t slowed leading UTEP kick returner

Following this week’s apparent football theme, this article tells the story of Vernon Frazier, the University of Texas at El Paso’s leading kick returner. The fifth-year senior, who is ranked seventh nationally in kickoff returns, has Tourette syndrome. How coach Mike Price describes Frazier: “”He’s a little guy, but he’s playing a big man’s game … He’s a little man, but he’s got the courage of a lion.”

From The BlogosphereFrom the Blogosphere

So proud of my superhero

From: Stuart Duncan
Meet Cameron, a boy who is easily frightened by many things, including the dark, heights, people he doesn’t know, and houses he’s never been to. When Cameron’s little brother got sick on Halloween and couldn’t go Trick-or-Treating, Cameron decided to collect extra candy to give to his brother. This blog post tells how Cameron’s Halloween night went, and how he overcame his fears and helped out his brother.

The gift of Max: how my child changed my perspective on disabilities

From: Love That Max
When Ellen and her husband were getting dinner one night, a man came up to them at the restaurant and began talking to them. Read how raising a son with disabilities impacted Ellen’s conversation with this gentleman.

Very helpful stuff for kids with special needs

From: Love That Max
This post shares resources that help out children with special needs, including Model Magic (which can be used to help children grasp markers, crayons, or paintbrushes), earmuffs, headphones, therapy ideas, and a light-up toothbrush.

Family-Friendly Resources for Parents of Kids with Special Needs

From: A Different Dream
Have questions about your child’s education? This blog links to a parent-friendly education resource put together by Terri Mauro, who has been featured before on These resources include a state-by-state special education eligibility guide and sample IEP forms.

10 Frequently Asked Questions Answered

From: Laura Shumaker, SFGate
Laura Shumaker, writer and Autism advocate, answered the ten questions she is most frequently asked about autism. Shumaker covers how old her son was when he was diagnosed with autism, what she thinks causes autism, how she handles stress, and advice she has for parents with a newly diagnosed child.

Special Needs on TwitterWho To Follow On Twitter: Autism Edition


The official Twitter for Autism Speaks. According to the account bio, the organization aims “to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders.” This Twitter shares news regarding Autism Speaks, quotes, and articles and resources relating to autism.


Based in San Francisco, Calif., this Twitter account shares stories from parents with children who have autism. In addition, its website gives free access to a database of more than 30,000 autism providers around the nation, including barbers, dentists, neurologists, and “autism-friendly” hotels.


Looking for the latest news about autism? The Autism News’ Twitter shares news and headlines regarding the autism spectrum, and includes links to open discussions that are posted on their website.


autism_research is the Twitter account for Autistic Health, a website that shares treatment research news for parents and professionals. According to the bio, the Twitter and website provide “autism information, not hype.”


The Thinking Person’s Guide To Autism gives “what you need to know” about autism from professionals, parents, and people with autism. New essays are posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and TPG to Autism has a book coming out this month.

Friendship Circle Special Needs BlogFrom the Friendship Circle Blog: This week’s posts

15 tips to make sure your child is ready for the holidays

The holidays are often a happy and exciting time, but for many children, this change in routine can also cause them to become over-stimulated by the sights, sounds, smells, and new faces that surround them. Marla’s post gives 15 ways to help prepare your child for the holidays.

Apps for Autism on 60 Minutes

60 Minutes recently aired Apps for Autism, a feature which “reports on the iPad and other tablet computer apps that are helping nonverbal people with autism communicate and learn.” Tzvi’s post shows the main feature and five web extras, which answer questions about autism, how the apps work, and whether or not the apps’ effectiveness is being exaggerated.

Talking To Your Child’s Classmates About Special Needs: 5 Things you should know

Talking to your child’s classmates about special needs can be difficult. Sara gives five things that can help with this task: discussing labels, talking about how specific sensory experiences cause certain behaviors, explaining neurpolasticity, providing a handout, and encouraging the class to ask questions.

Fidgets: What are they and how can they help?

Melissa describes fidgets as, “self-regulation tools to help with focus, attention, calming, and active listening.” In her blog post, she further explains what fidgets are, who they can be used for, how they are helpful, the research behind using fidgets, and where fidgets can be purchased.

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Written on November 6, 2011 by:

Annie is currently a junior journalism major at Michigan State University. She is an associate editor for ing Magazine, a student-run magazine on campus, and manages ing's Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr accounts. Annie has spent her last three summers at camp working with children who have special needs. When she is not on Twitter or blogging, she likes to dance, swim, and read as many books as humanly possible.

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