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Child Resources for parenting children with special needs

2013-14

160+ Triad resources for the exceptional child

Animal therapy Sometimes the best care can come on four legs

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Resources for parenting children with special needs

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Animal Therapy Healing mind, body and spirit with the help of four-legged friends

Profile: Victor Pitt-Hopkins syndrome

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Profile: Ben Down syndrome

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Profile: Caleb Septo-Optic Dysplasia

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Profile: JB Autism

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Fab Finds for the Exceptional Child Toys, technology and books for kids and parents

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Take Action The importance of early intervention with autism

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Exceptional Child Resource Directory A comprehensive guide to Triad organizations that assist families with special needs

Estate Planning Planning now for peace of mind later

Traveling With a Special Needs Child Tips for planning an amazing adventure

Tips for Couples Maintaining a healthy and satisfying marriage when caring for a special needs child

Profile: Daniel Asperger’s syndrome

Profile: Marcy-Marie Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita exceptional

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ResouRces foR paRenting childRen with special needs

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160+ Triad resources for the exceptional child

AnimAl therApy Sometimes the best care can come on four legs

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Marcy-Marie Cox, 10, photographed on Dusty by Adam Mowery at Victory Junction in Randleman

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Animal Instincts For children with special needs, sometimes the best therapy comes on four legs By Eleanor-Scott Davis

H

enry David Thoreau said, “It often happens that a man is more humanely related to a cat or dog than to any human being.”

Because of this, people often react to and interact with animals in a completely different way than they do with other people. There is no denying that animals — of all species — have a way of boosting the emotional well-being of people. And, the benefits aren’t limited to the happiness you feel when a wagging tail greets you at the door after a long day at work.

Pet therapy — a type of therapy that involves animals such as dogs and horses as a form of treatment to improve a patient’s social, emotional or cognitive functioning — has been shown to have not only emotional benefits, but physiological benefits as well. And the advantages of pet therapy are especially apparent for children with special needs.

Pet project Suzanne Melcher Thompson is a licensed recreation therapist who helped start the Animal Assisted Therapy Program at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in 1999. She now helps to oversee the program that currently includes more that 24 therapy dogs and serves patients in various units of the hospital — from Brenner’s Children’s Hospital to the oncology department to comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation. Thompson says that one of the greatest benefits of pet therapy simply involves the “opportunity to normalize a hospital environment.” Other benefits, according to Thompson, include the unconditional love humans receive from animals, which can boost self-confidence, and the social skills that are developed through

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Marcy-Marie Cox, 10, photographed with Dusty by Adam Mowery at Victory Junction in Randleman.


One of the biggest benefits of a child with special needs riding a horse is that it builds confidence. To get on a thousand-pound animal and be in control really adds to your self-esteem.

interacting with pet therapy animals. In addition, pet therapy is “an opportunity to translate life skills from taking care of animals to other avenues of one’s life, which develops responsibilities,” says Thompson. Patients learn to care for themselves. So, how does all this translate to your child with special needs? The list of advantages of therapeutic interaction between kids with special needs and animals is very long. Benefits can include “encouraging the development of trusting friendships and bonding, decreasing feelings of isolation and alienation and providing opportunities for diversion as a means of pain control management,” says Thompson. When asked how she would recommend getting your special-needs child involved with pet therapy, Thompson’s first suggestion is to “look at sources in the community for possible involvement in equine therapy, a wonderful source to build multiple goals for children and adolescents. Equine therapies have had many positive results for individuals diagnosed with autism.” Luckily, our area offers multiple opportunities for equine-assisted therapies for children with special needs.

— Heather Shew Victory Junction

child with special needs riding a horse is that it builds confidence,” says Heather Shew, the barn director and riding instructor at Victory Junction. “To get on a thousand-pound animal and be in control really adds to your self-esteem.” And, not all of the therapy comes from riding the horses. At Riverwood, much of the therapy is done on the ground with a horse in an arena setting. This allows children to work one-on-one with a horse using non-verbal communication. “It gives a strong visual connection for the kids to see how their actions affect someone else,” says Laura Pallavicini, the program director and an equine instructor at Riverwood. But the benefits go beyond the psychological. Riding horses is an especially wonderful experience for children with physical disabilities. “The movement of a horse’s pelvis actually comes within centimeters of mimicking a human walk for the rider,” says Pallavicini. “So, a child can get out of their wheelchair and on an elevated level, where they are eye to eye with their peers.” Shew agrees. She recalls the story of a child with spina bifida who came to ride at Victory Junction. The child had walked before but was now wheelchairbound. After the child’s first ride on a horse, the child exclaimed to his mother that it felt just like walking again. “That’s a powerful thing — to get a kid out of

Hoofed healers Riverwood Therapeutic Riding Center in Tobaccoville and Jessie’s Horse Power Garage, a program of Victory Junction in Randleman, both provide professional equine-assisted activities for children with special needs. “One of the biggest benefits of a

a wheelchair and onto an animal that walks,” says Shew. It is obvious from speaking with Shew and Pallavicini that the staff members at Victory Junction and Riverwood are passionate about their cause. And, it seems, that the love and compassion the staff feel for the children they serve have also worked their way into the hearts of the animals — as if they instinctively know that the child that is riding them, brushing them or feeding them should be treated with a little extra care. Victory Junction is one of the few riding centers that has the equipment necessary to accommodate children who require a respirator. Once, an emergency situation arose while a child on a respirator was out riding, and staff members were unable to take the boy off of the horse while treatment was being administered. Shew describes the scene as something she had never before witnessed: The horse stayed stoically still, not even daring to twitch away the flies buzzing around its eyes and flanks. Similarly, a child with epilepsy was riding with a group, and suddenly, without reason, the child’s horse stopped. Within a minute the child had a seizure. “Horses kind of have a sixth sense,” says Shew. In addition to the 20 retired show horses (one of which was the only animal to ever appear on a Wheaties cereal box), Victory Junction has goats, llamas, miniature ponies and even a barn dog. “Animals of all shapes and sizes can really help all children with disabilities,” says Shew.

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Estate Planning: Who will take care of my child? By James E. Creamer Jr.

Proper estate planning is important for any family. It can be challenging, but especially for families with exceptional children who may have special needs. Some children require special care and services, or perhaps will not be able to maintain a job or a household on their own when they are adults. It is important for the parents or other caregivers to take steps to ensure that the proper care and services will be provided, even when the parents are no longer living. Financial advisors and attorneys often can help families identify potential problems and solutions, and there are many who have a great deal of experience in the Triad. Families should not feel like their questions and concerns are unique, or that they have to work out things by themselves. There are a wealth of professionals who can provide guidance and assistance. Here are a few things to think about:

Who will care for our child? When parents are providing special care to a child, the most basic question is “who will provide the needed care when we are gone?” In some families, there are plenty of qualified and willing family members who can handle the responsibility. If so, one important task is to think carefully about which family members can fill which roles. In other families, outside help from trust companies (often affiliated with banks or brokerage firms) and other professionals may be required. Attorneys and financial advisors can help families understand how trusts work, when trust departments can be of help and can also help families find other professionals (such as counselors, therapists and

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teachers with special knowledge). They can also explore private and government programs or financial benefits that might be available to the child. Once parents have identified who can help, they should make sure estate planning documents are prepared to give the chosen people or entities the legal authority they need. There are a variety of legal documents that may be needed, but some of the most common are a durable power of attorney for finances, a last will and testament, and/or a revocable trust agreement to establish trusts for the child and otherwise govern the disposition of the assets of the parents. When the child has the capacity to sign, durable powers of attorney for health care and finance may also be needed. These documents, and sometimes other legal documents, appoint individuals to manage the financial resources available for the child and to make

health-care decisions for him or her. These documents are vital to ensuring that the child’s needs are met without unnecessary court involvement or delays and costs resulting from family disagreements concerning the child’s care.

How do we protect the assets we have set aside for our child? In most cases, families with exceptional children will want to learn about the benefits of trusts. Trusts allow for the legal control and management of assets by one party, the trustee, (which could be one or more individuals or a trust company) for the benefit of another party — in this case, the exceptional child. In a trust, parents can provide specific direction on how money should be spent for a child, or they can give the trustee broad discretion to decide what and when to make payments on the child’s behalf. Sometimes there are family members or friends who would


Dyslexia: Do fast-paced video games improve reading speed?

be great choices to provide personal care to a child, but who might not be wise choices to serve as trustee of the child’s trust. Part of the estate planning process is to educate families about the choices available concerning management of their assets and to help put the right safeguards in place.

Will we have enough assets to take care of our child when we are gone? Some parents have enough financial resources to provide for their exceptional child’s needs while they are alive because they are able to do a lot of the necessary support work for free. But they may not have enough resources to safely provide for those needs when they are gone. In this case, it’s a good idea to talk with a good financial advisor about things like long-term financial planning and the benefits of life insurance. Another important consideration is how to preserve or protect any private or government benefits the child may receive, or for which the child may become eligible in the future. The proper design of the trust is essential, so that the assets held in the trust do not disqualify the child from benefits he might otherwise receive. Planning for exceptional children can seem overwhelming, but it is extremely important. And with a little planning and advice from the professionals, you can secure your exceptional child’s future and your peace of mind. James E. Creamer Jr., is an attorney at Blanco Tackabery and Matamoros in Winston-Salem, where he advises clients in areas of tax, estate planning, trust and estate administration, charitable planning, business planning, and asset protection planning. He lives in Winston-Salem and has two children.

Many parents may dislike video games, but a recent study shows some action games may help children with dyslexia. The study involved 20 children ages 7 to 13 who played a Wii game called Rayman Raving Rabbids. The kids played the game for 12 hours over two weeks, then showed a significant increase in reading speed for up to two months. “Action video games enhance many aspects of visual attention, mainly improving the extraction of information from the environment,” said Andrea Facoetti of the University of Padua in Italy. Kids in the comparison group played games that did not require the participants constantly scan chaotic scenes and did not show an increase in reading speed. “Dyslexic children learned to orient and focus their attention more efficiently to extract the relevant information of a written word more rapidly,” said Facoetti.

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Traveling with a special needs child

By Amy Baskin

When your child has physical or cognitive issues, vacations can be tricky. But as these travel-savvy families explain, with extreme planning, creativity and a sense of humor, you can have amazing adventures.

Flying to a far-off destination One month before their Italy adventure, Katharine Harrison gave her 11-year-old son, Max, an Italian phrase book. Because of a congenital birth defect, Max has spinal damage. Although he walks with the help of canes and braces, he tires easily, so a wheelchair works best for long distances and travel. “I told him he’d be our guide,” she says. On the trip, he expertly ordered pizza on the piazza and asked locals for the nearest bathroom. With a rented car, the two explored the countryside, visited little towns and dined at outdoor cafés. “He loved being part of a funky, different kind of world,” says Harrison. Not that their European adventure was glitch-free. At the car rental agency, they waited three hours to find a vehicle to accommodate Max’s wheelchair. And the cobblestone streets, though quaint, made pushing and riding in a wheelchair exhausting. “Budget extra for taxis,” advises Harrison.

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Helpful tips: ■ “Don’t be a surprise at the airport,” says Harrison. When reserving, explain you’re traveling with someone who uses a wheelchair (or has special needs). ■ At the airport, ask staff if you can join a shorter line at the airport. Also bring a photocopy of your child’s health binder with doctors, medical history and hospital discharge summaries, advises Sarah Watt. Her son Ben, 7, has Hirschsprung’s disease and wears an ileostomy bag that collects stool, and must be drained, cleaned and changed often. For a two-week European trip, she packed two months of medical supplies, but still ran out. Now before traveling, Watt researches online where they can buy medical supplies at their destination. She also suggests carrying a description of your child’s conditions written in the country’s language. ■ For a long flight, ask your doctor if your child could use medication to keep calm, suggests Pauline Busby. “Be sure to test the meds before you leave,” she cautions. When her son Aidan (who has an intellectual disability, autism and cerebral palsy) was 8, they travelled to Australia to visit family. On the flight, Aidan had an adverse reaction to the meds, becoming “hyper and agitated.”

Going to the beach Mexico was a mecca of fun for Cathy Smith, her husband, Kevin, and 13-year-old son, Adam. Initially, Smith was


apprehensive since Adam has a developmental disability and a seizure disorder requiring ongoing medical care. “I went online and staked out all the medical facilities in the area,” she says. She also made sure there was a doctor on call 24/7. Happily, Puerto Vallarta proved to be wheelchair accessible, with ramps on every sidewalk. For a downtown sightseeing trip, a van large enough for Adam’s wheelchair picked them up at their resort. “The locals were really welcoming,” says Smith. When the family wanted to visit a second-floor restaurant, two waiters lifted Adam up the flight of stairs. “They even brought out a special salsa just for him,” she says. “He loved the food — especially the enchiladas.” Adam especially relished his time at the pool and beach. “He’s in his element in the water,” says Smith. Favorite trip memories include a beach day, complete with professional family seaside photos and fireworks over the water. Somehow, sun and sand vacations work miracles on Adam. “He always seems more relaxed and has fewer seizures when we’re away,” says Smith. And the seizures lessen for a while when they return.

anything for you — especially familyrun ones,” says Harrison. At one family-oriented resort, Max participated in the kids’ program, with extra staff support. While Max enjoyed pony rides and fishing trips, Harrison walked in the woods, visited the town and read on the dock. “They even had night events, such as a reptile show, so parents could have a relaxed dinner,” she says. “It was great to have time together and apart.”

Resources for special needs travel

Helpful tips: ■ “When you reserve, tell them about your situation,” advises Harrison. Ask if they’ve had other guests with special needs. Ask about facilities, staff support, programs and wheelchair-accessible cabins. ■ Ask about the noise levels in different kinds of accommodations. If your child is a light sleeper, or awake often at night, try a separate cabin where you can easily take your child outside and not disturb the rest of your family. ■ If your child requires special foods, such as a puréed diet, ask to book accommodations with a kitchen.

Helpful tips: ■ Go online to research your destination. Check the accessibility of your hotel, transportation and sidewalks. Research the weather, too — will your child need special sunscreen? ■ To increase your child’s independence in the water, consider buying a life jacket (about $200) designed for people with special needs. Smith brings Adam’s life jacket on every trip. ■ Ask if your hotel loans specialized beach-accessible wheelchairs with supersized wheels.

AutismontheSeas.com: Arranges group and individual cruise vacations for people who have autism spectrum disorders or other developmental disabilities. FamilyVacationCritic.com: Has an online forum for parents of special needs kids. pfd-a.com: provides life jackets that are designed for people with reduced mobility of all ages.

Amy Baskin, who has a master’s degree in education, writes about parenting for North American publications. She is co-author of “More Than a Mom — Living a Full and Balanced Life When Your Child Has Special Needs “(Woodbine House). For more information, visit amybaskin.com.

Summer resorts If you are craving a little rest and relaxation, try a resort that has many of the amenities included, including special attention for your special needs child. “Some resorts will do absolutely

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Advertisement

Where miracles happen every day In July 2010, two extraordinary schools joined hands to create The Centers for Exceptional Children, bringing together more than 95 years of nurturing children with special needs. The Children’s Center and The Special Children’s School have been “Hallways of Hope” for thousands of children and their families. Our mission is to educate, nurture and support children with special needs to reach their highest potential intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically. Between the two locations, classroom teachers, numerous assistants, physical, occupational and speech therapists, nurses, and other support staff work as a team to help children open paths to a better tomorrow. The Centers for Exceptional Children are a unique partnership between the Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Schools and the United Way of Forsyth County. This partnership enables CFEC to provide developmentally appropriate education, a full range of therapies and medical support, through a customized plan designed for each child. Our full array of services include remarkable experiences such as therapeutic horseback riding, horticultural therapy, music, art, story-telling and special holiday experiences. Many of the Centers’ enhancements flourish through the generosity of community support, proving that people are looking for fresh ways to serve worthwhile organizations. We support an Inclusion Program for many of our classes. This program

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places a number of typical children in classrooms. The remainder of the class is made up of children with a variety of special needs. The curriculum is theme-based, handson, and developmentally appropriate for all children. Because we are part of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system, our teachers all hold NC teaching licenses, many with master’s degrees and National Board-certification — unheard of in most child care settings! In addition, both centers hold five-star licenses, the ‘gold standard’ for North Carolina preschools. Family Support Network of Greater Forsyth is an outreach program that further enhances CFEC. Affiliated with the Family Support Network of NC (www.fsnnc.org), examples of programs that FSNNC contributes are: the Parent-to-Parent Matching program, through which parents of a special needs child become mentors to parents who have a newborn with needs and a special touch program for parents with hospitalized children.

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The Children’s Center

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Inclusion Program 15 months-4 years Special Needs Children birth-11 years

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Inclusion Program 3 and 4 years Special Needs Children 3-11 years Both locations: Before and after school care and fulltime summer program is managed by Imprints


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Noble Academy: A growing community resource Living with a learning difference or attention disorder can have its challenges, so where can students and families in the Triad turn for help in overcoming some of these obstacles? Noble Academy is a place where students in grades K-12 can learn in a safe environment that is suited to their academic and social needs. Small class sizes ensure that our teachers can learn the unique needs of each of their students and individualize instruction appropriately. Students develop confidence in themselves and their abilities, and begin to feel comfortable taking risks in an academic environment where it is safe to make mistakes and where everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Take a peek into a Noble Academy classroom and you will see students who are confident enough to raise their hand or come up to the board to answer a question, even if they’re not quite sure they have the right answer. You’ll see students and teachers encouraging each other in the pursuit of knowledge. Noble Academy also believes in nurturing the whole student by embracing and exploring their strengths. Students are encouraged to explore, understand, and achieve not only in academics, but also in

art, drama, music, technology, athletics, and through a variety of leadership opportunities. Noble Academy not only strives to provide the best educational environment, but, as Head of School, Linda Hale says, “we also want the community to view Noble Academy as a resource for helping children with learning differences.” Check our website for information regarding a variety of programming for the public, including our partnerships with the Triad chapter of the Learning Disabilities Association and the Summer Treatment Program for children with ADHD. Learn more about Noble Academy at www. nobleknights.org

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The Enrichment Center at Wesleyan Christian Academy The Enrichment Center at Wesleyan Christian Academy invites you to come and explore our oneof-a-kind learning environment. Nowhere else will you find such an extensive program designed to meet the learning needs of our students, all within the realms of a strong Christian academic setting. We offer an exceptional education for families who truly desire to have their children actively involved in a college-preparatory Christian school but, because of their learning differences, are often unable to remain in their current classroom setting. Realizing that each of these students has been uniquely created by God, Wesleyan Christian Academy stepped to the forefront and established a program that can be compared to no other. The ultimate educational goal for our students is to become strong, successful, independent learners, forging ahead on a collegepreparatory tract while at the same time addressing individual learning styles and needs. Our Enrichment Center faculty provides instruction in all subject areas to students with diagnosed learning differences. Our mission is to close existing educational gaps and provide instruction in remedial, compensatory, and self-advocacy skills, creating independent learners for future success.

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Each member of our core teaching staff is both certified by the state of North Carolina and trained in the Hill Center methodology, an Orton Gillingham-based program strongly recommended by both educators and psychologists. Our core teaching includes: • Phonemic Awareness • Decoding / Encoding Skills • Fluency • Reading Comprehension • Proofing • Written Composition • The Language of Math • Math Computations • Math Reasoning Our Enrichment Center students have plenty of extracurricular options to choose from with more than 37 different athletic teams, a full Performing and Fine Arts Center, private music instruction studios,

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Marriage tips for couples of special needs children By Bryan Hatcher

When a child is diagnosed with a medical or development issue that may be long term, or even lifelong, the stress placed on the marriage can seem unmanageable at times. The introduction of a child into a marriage is generally a time of great joy and celebration, a time of hopes and dreams. It also quickly becomes a time of lost sleep, lost personal time and lost relational time for the couple. For any parents, and particularly the parents of a child with special needs, the goal of maintaining a healthy and satisfying marriage can be more easily achieved with these relational tips: ■ Be intentional about spending time together. You were a couple before you were parents, and the strength of being a family will be supported by maintaining the strong relationship of the couple. ■ Be intentional about communicating. The mundane conversations of scheduling, carpooling, homework, after-school activities are important and vital, and so are the in-depth conversations of feelings, relational connection, grieving lost hopes and dreams, and re-orienting to new realities.

■ Re-set your goals — for yourself, for your family and for your child. Trying to force old dreams into new realities will only serve to frustrate and disappoint. Allowing yourself to dream again in the new truth can open possibilities not yet imagined. ■ Seek support — for yourself and for your marriage. When we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory, we do well to seek out professionals who can help us understand what is going on and others who have been in a similar place. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it can be a great starting place when you find yourself in a difficult parenting situation. Bryan Hatcher is director of Center Development and Education for CareNet Counseling of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He is also a spouse for 17 years, the proud parent of an incredible 15-year-old and “Uncle Big Cool Bryan” to seven nieces and nephews. piedmontparent.com

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asperger’s Syndrome

l e i n Da His first year of life, Daniel Childs endured three intestinal surgeries for a rare condition called Hirschsprung’s disease. For 10 months, instead of changing diapers, his parents changed his colostomy bags. From then on, they assumed Daniel’s anxieties and tantrums resulted from this early trauma. Twenty-three years and many labels passed until they finally discovered their son’s most comprehensive and helpful diagnosis: Asperger’s syndrome. By Nilla Childs As a preschooler, Daniel was labeled gifted. His IQ was in the superior range. He asked questions incessantly, learned to read early and had a clever sense of humor. But dressing Daniel each day made us nervous wrecks. He was particularly annoyed by sock seams. He demanded that each shoe lace be exactly even with the other. Daniel had trouble with transitions. He cried about getting into the swimming pool for lessons and then cried when it was time to get out. He screamed every day I dropped him off at pre-kindergarten. The experienced teacher calmly peeled him out of my arms and distracted him with an activity until I could get away. We asked a child psychologist for help. He labeled Daniel with oppositional defiant disorder and prescribed that we provide more consistent discipline. When it was time for Daniel to enter middle school, he could not bear walking through the crowded

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Growing up undiagnosed

Daniel, now 31 years old (with parents Steve and Nilla Childs), was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome as an adult.

halls and multiple classroom changes, so I home-schooled him for a year. In high school, after his wisdom teeth were removed, Daniel stopped taking the prescribed antibiotics, which resulted in a life-threatening dental infection. For weeks, he had to submit to grueling daily jaw scrapings. The guidance counselor stepped in to help Daniel deal with the overwhelming general anxiety he felt the rest of that year, triggered by that painful event. We knew Daniel was homesick when he went away to college. We knew he did not have many friends, but we thought he was just introverted and shy. But we found out he had not attended class or eaten in the cafeteria for a year. When he admitted he was afraid to walk across campus because he feared people were staring at him, a psychologist agreed he had social phobia and depression. Daniel tried college again a few years later and survived for a while. Through campus disability services, Daniel met a man in his 40s, recently

diagnosed with autism. I recognized their similarities and began to research the characteristics of autism: difficulty with body language, facial expressions, eye contact, posture, back-and-forth conversation, changes in routine; preoccupation with restrictive interests. Daniel was finally diagnosed accurately by the Epilepsy Institute. In recent years our family has learned how to work together to support Daniel’s living independently, everything from finding a job coach to his managing his own health care, budget, condo and car maintenance. Autism does not go away at age 18, but the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is for the individual to learn ways to manage their life to the fullest. Nilla and her husband, Steve, raised two sons, Daniel and David. She is the author of the book “Puzzled: 100 Pieces of Autism” (see page 21). To learn more about Nilla, visit nillachilds.com.


arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (amc)

e i r a m arcy-

The future is bright

m

Photo by Adam Mowery

Marcy-Marie was born just two years after our first child. Like many others, we thought we had the whole parenting thing figured out. Turns out, we had many new lessons to learn. By Lindsey Cox We had anticipated a normal, healthy pregnancy and delivery, just like we had experienced with our first child. However, at 24 weeks, my pregnancy went from being routine to complicated. I began having preterm labor. After weeks of holding off labor with medication and bedrest, Marcy made her appearance. Her first Apgar score was low, and just hours after she was born we learned she had abnormal blood cultures and had developed a fever and an erratic heart rate. She was swollen and puffy, and seemed stiff all over. The doctors suspected an infection. After several courses of IV antibiotics, the fever and infection disappeared within a few days. But the stiffness did not go away. We noticed she could not open and close her right hand, and some of her fingers appeared to be stuck or frozen in place. Diaper changes were difficult as her hips and legs were extremely tight. Her feet were slightly clubbed, and she could not turn her neck from side to side. Despite all of this, she was the most delightful and happy baby. We were sent to Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem, where we received and continue to receive top-notch specialty care. At three weeks of age, after seeing

10-year-old Marcy-Marie (right) has Arthrogryposis, a rare joint and muscle disorder. She also has a sister, 12-year-old Cleo, and a brother, 9-year-old Reece.

pediatric orthopedists, geneticists and therapists we were finally given a diagnosis — Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC). Arthrogryposis causes joint contractures (“frozen” joints) as well as stiff muscles. Some children are mildly affected, while others may be absent of muscle tissue altogether, and never walk or move. Some children are affected in every joint and muscle, while others in only a few areas. There is no cure. But therapy can help improve function. Immediately Marcy began an intensive therapy program. This included daily stretching at home every 45-60 minutes during her waking hours. She saw physical and occupational therapists at the hospital two-three times each week. Marcy underwent serial casting and splinting of her hands and feet for more than a year, and has had several corrective surgeries. As I look back, I remember the confusion and how overwhelmed we felt. We were told that Marcy might never walk, and if she did, it would be much later in life. We were also

told that her type of Arthrogryposis was caused by an extremely rare genetic disease. This disease may cause other serious medical issues, and no one knew what her quality of life would be like. Despite the grim prognosis, she was walking by 2 and running soon after. She is now a very active 10-year-old who has achieved her yellow belt in Jujitsu and enjoys playing softball. Her quality of life is awesome, and her future is bright. She will need a hip replacement soon and will continue therapeutic stretching for the rest of her life. But we are thankful. She has brought so much joy to our lives and through her personal struggles has inspired many others to be the best that they can be. Lindsey Cox lives with her husband, Chad, and their three children: Cleo, 12; Marcy-Marie,10; and Reece, 9; in Thomasville. Cox works from home as a freelance copywriter and editor. She also home-schools her children and enjoys helping other families take the home-schooling plunge. piedmontparent.com

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Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome (PTHS)

r o t c i v

Super siblings in Neverland

Photo courtesy of Anne Grant Photography

Victor Pauca may age, but in many ways, he may never have to grow up. So his parents needed to find a way to explain Victor’s complicated and very rare genetic disorder to his sisters, at a level that they could understand. By Theresa Pauca I am mommy to three super children: Sofia, 13; Francesca, 10; and Victor, 7. What makes them super? Their positive attitudes, infinite compassion and acceptance that everyone is different. All three children have learned from each other, and each has been given unique talents and gifts. After my husband, Paul, and I were blessed with two precocious and gifted girls, we had begun to feel like we had done everything right. In fact, to a degree, we felt we could do nothing wrong. Our life was so great because we had made it that way — we felt almost invincible; nothing could shatter our world. Well, that nothing turned into something so life-changing that we could have never imagined it. We were blessed a third time with a son with special needs. When Victor was born, it was not apparent that he had disabilities. But as he turned from an infant to a toddler, it was obvious he was not reaching his developmental milestones. Now remember, we were coming out of our fairy-tale world, where the girls did everything early. At first we thought he was just moving along at his own speed, but then it became

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Theresa and Paul Pauca’s youngest child, Victor, has an extremely rare disorder called Pitt-Hopkins. When older sisters Sofia and Francesca found out, they began their journey to Neverland together.

clear that Victor’s pace was extremely gradual. The bubble, which we had carefully built around our perfect little lives, was just then bursting. After a long road involving numerous doctors, at 2 and a half, Victor was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Pitt-Hopkins syndrome (PTHS). There are only about 250 cases diagnosed worldwide. It is also so rare that there were no associations in the world for PTHS. So we started an international support group, and later the Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation (pitthopkins.org), with the help of some other amazing PTHS families.

What is Victor like? He is one of the happiest people I

have ever known. According to the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, “Pitt-Hopkins syndrome is a condition characterized by intellectual disability and developmental delay which range from moderate to severe, breathing problems, recurrent seizures [epilepsy], and distinctive facial features. … Children with Pitt-Hopkins syndrome typically have a happy, excitable demeanor with frequent smiling, laughter.” Some of the distinctive facial features are these pronounced Cupid’s bow lips and a wide smile, so children with PTHS are beautiful. Sometimes I like to tell people Victor has “Pitt Handsome syndrome,” just to see their reaction.


Increased risk of fractures found in children with Down syndrome

What do we tell the girls about their brother? At the time of Victor’s diagnosis, they were 8 and 5. I am a “glass half full” person and wanted to use a positive message to tell them about Victor, without bringing unnecessary sadness into their young lives. So I told them that Victor was like Peter Pan. In his mind he would never have to grow up, and we could always enjoy Neverland with him. We could share this special place with Victor forever. We could always enjoy buying him beautiful toys and could play happily with him, forever. I told them he wouldn’t have to do a hard job or even homework. “Wow,” they said, with smiles on their faces, “Victor’s lucky.”

A new study out of Spain recently evaluated the bone strength of children with Down syndrome, and found that they are at a higher risk of fractures. The researchers used a tool called Quantitative computed tomography (Quantitative CT) to measure bone strength, bone mineral density and bone mineral content in the tibia (shinbone) and radius bone (in the forearm) of 30 adolescents with Down syndrome. They compared the measurements with approximately the same number of study participants who did not have Down syndrome. The researchers noted that “despite higher levels of volumetric bone mineral density volume” in these areas, the adolescents with Down syndrome were “at higher risk of developing osteoporotic fractures in the future due to their lower bone strength indexes.”

— Shannon Koontz

Is it always easy for our family? Definitely not! Do we need help from family, friends and our community along the way? Yes! Just this past Christmas, I came to the realization five years after Victor’s diagnosis, that I should stop acting like I could do it all, because I can’t. If someone asks me if they can help, I now say “yes!” Because I know that if they didn’t want to help, they wouldn’t be asking.

What have the super siblings learned? To be patient, helpful and kind. To accept other people’s differences — all kinds of differences. That we are not perfect and really wouldn’t want to be. And they can visit Neverland, forever, with Victor. Theresa Pauca is vice president of the Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation (pitthopkins.org), dedicated to finding a treatment and ultimately a cure for PTHS. She is married to Paul Pauca, who developed the app “Verbal Victor” (see page 21). Theresa, Paul and their children live in Winston-Salem.

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| 2013 exceptional child

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down syndrome

ben

Celebrating accomplishments

Photo courtesy of Portrait Innovations

Ben Sauer has Down syndrome and language disorders. Like other boys his age, he likes cars, video games, books and celebrating his many accomplishments. By Sandy Sauer When I was 28 weeks pregnant with my son Ben, an ultrasound revealed that his arms and legs were measuring short, and he had a right clubbed foot. The doctor said there was a 90 percent chance that he had Down syndrome. We were shocked and totally unprepared for this news, and a blood test performed two weeks after he was born confirmed it. He was also diagnosed with esotropia (meaning his eyes turned toward his nose); and receptive language, expressive language and articulation-phonological disorders. Thankfully, he had no other major medical issues. At age 3 months, he had surgery for his clubbed foot, followed by serial casting, a process in which casts were applied and removed weekly for six months to help him with standing and walking. He has also had his tonsils and adenoids removed to help with his sleep apnea. Since then, Ben has been doing great. He is very friendly and compassionate. He is currently enrolled in a first-grade readiness program and receives speech and occupational therapy privately and at school. Like other 6-year-old boys, he is a huge Disney “Cars” fan, and he enjoys sports, video games and books. Though we’ve had to make a few accommodations for Ben’s

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6-year-old Ben Sauer has Down syndrome. He loves celebrating his accomplishments with his parents and little brother, 4-year-old Peyton.

disabilities, we are a typical family. In fact, Ben has helped my husband and me to grow stronger as a couple. Ben’s disabilities don’t hold us back from doing anything we want to do as a family. He may take a little longer to do some things, but he continues to make progress at his own pace, and we celebrate his accomplishments as they come. Ben is also a great big brother to our 4-year-old son, Peyton, and helps him when he can. He continually amazes me with what he can do and what he understands. One of the biggest challenges we face is helping other people overcome misconceptions about exceptional children. When I first found out that Ben had Down syndrome, my biggest fear was that other kids were going to be mean to him. I still worry about this, and the fact that he is not able to tell us about how he feels at school or what his interactions with others are like. But I also worry about how he is treated by adults, and whether people

will underestimate what Ben is capable of doing now and in the future. People with Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities have so much value and worth! We will encourage Ben to take his education as far as he wants to go and have already looked into postsecondary programs such as the “Beyond Academics” program at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. We look forward to seeing what Ben will accomplish in the future. Sandy Sauer lives with her husband, Stephen, and their sons Ben, 6, and Peyton, 4, in Winston-Salem. Sauer serves as educational chair on the board of directors at the Piedmont Down Syndrome Support Network and serves on the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board for Center Point Human Services. She also co-facilitates a support group for families at the Family Support Network of Greater Forsyth.


Septo-Optic Dysplasia

Premature, but large at heart

b e l a c Caleb Hooker was born prematurely with a congenital condition that left him legally blind. Despite his medical hurdles, Caleb approaches life with humor, wit and a lot of love. By Amy Hooker Our 9-year-old son, Caleb, was born early — when I was just 24½ weeks pregnant. He weighed 1 pound, 11 ounces. His eyes were fused, his skin was transparent, and he was the smallest living thing I had ever seen. From the beginning, we were told to prepare for a roller coaster ride. I hated roller coasters! Caleb’s first five months of life were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Brenner Children’s Hospital. I will never forget them, even though I try to look forward instead of backward. During those five months he had two surgeries to repair a bowel perforation, a brain hemorrhage, was on a ventilator for three months, had a blood clot in his leg, endured numerous blood transfusions, spinal taps, a hernia surgery, two eye surgeries, and too many x-rays and blood tests to count. He was later diagnosed with mild Cerebral Palsy and wears leg braces (his “magic shoes”). He was also diagnosed with SeptoOptic Dysplasia, a rare congenital condition that involves the optic nerves and the pituitary gland. This diagnosis was more like a tornado instead of a roller coaster. As a result, he is visually impaired, along with having a disorder called diabetes insipidus (causes extreme

9-year-old Caleb Hooker approaches life with love and laughter and is an inspiration to his parents, Amy and Jason, and 14-year-old sister, Madison.

thirst and urination), adrenal insufficiency and hypothyroidism. And even though he still lives with these diagnoses and other issues from being born prematurely, Caleb also has a team of great doctors, therapists, schools, family and friends. As a result, Caleb has overcome challenges and surpassed all expectations, all with a sense of humor. I knew, for instance, that occupational therapy was helping because when I went to pick him up from school at age 4, there he stood, naked with only his leg braces on. He had never undressed himself before. I was so proud! We have educated Caleb about his special needs, but he also likes to educate others in his own way. He explained to a friend that diabetes insipidus is when he pees all the time. Kids seem to understand his explanation a lot better. He has the best sense of humor and says things that we only think. It’s not always a good thing, but I always get a good laugh. Caleb loves socializing, church,

spending time with his nanny, going to The Little Red School (Independent Learning Center for Visually Impaired), cooking, bingo, entertaining, inventing games, school, science, visiting Victory Junction Camp, “brown” girls (because he can see them better), and telling his second-grade teacher she is HOT (I think he’s working on a good grade). Our roller coaster ride hasn’t just been about Caleb’s setbacks and achievements. It’s also been about the emotional highs and lows. With Caleb, it’s been mostly highs. We never have a dull moment, and despite all of his health hurdles, he is always laughing and keeping us laughing. He is an amazing child with a huge heart and an inspiration to all who know him. Amy Hooker and her husband, Jason, have two children, Caleb, 9, and Madison, 14. Amy works for Family Support Network of Forsyth County. Jason is a middle-school teacher in Davie County. piedmontparent.com

| 2013 exceptional child

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Autism

JB

‘My Joachim’

Twins have a lot in common, but there is one significant distinction between twin boys, JB and Joachim — JB lives with autism. But that doesn’t stop a bond that runs deep with these brothers. By Benedetta Agnoli Nicolazo I could tell our pediatrician had something important she wanted to tell me and that I was not going to like it. There was that unmistakable mixture of empathy and concern etched in her face as she sat down in front of me. I had brought one of my twin sons, JB, in that morning for yet another cold coupled with an earache. As usual, he had not been easy to examine. I ascribed it to his feeling sick and being scared. He was 2 years old. “I think JB is a high-functioning autistic,” the doctor said. I said nothing. She told me who I should contact and that she would give me all the numbers I needed for an official evaluation. She left the room, and I let myself cry. Looking back on it later, I am fairly sure she planned to leave the room to give me a moment to let it sink in. What she didn’t know was that just a few days before, JB’s preschool teacher had suggested an evaluation as well. Once I heard the doctor say those words I knew I had no choice. I had to face this, and prolonged self-pity would not help me. More importantly, it would not help him. By the time the doctor came

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4-year-old JB (in back) was diagnosed with autism, but that doesn’t change the bond he shares with twin brother, Joachim.

back into the room, I had dried my tears and was ready to listen. I had JB, short for Jean-Baptiste, and his fraternal twin brother, Joachim, when I was 35. When I found out I was having twins I realized Mother Nature has a funny sense of humor. Everyone was thrilled — twins! Yay! But I was terrified. I did not know how to take care of a newborn, and the prospect of two seemed like a recipe for disaster. By the time the doctor had delivered the news, the boys had been in preschool for 6 months and had done very well, and both my boys loved it. However, over the previous few months JB had exhibited some very marked aggression. I had hoped it was a phase. Now I knew he needed help. I took the numbers and phoned

the Children’s Development Services Agency (CDSA), and we went to what would turn out to be the first of several evaluation visits. They all said the same thing — “he is on the autism spectrum” — nothing more specific than that. That first summer he had private speech therapy with a wonderful young woman named Jessica, with whom he thrived. He finally began to speak, and the aggressiveness began to subside. Because JB turned 3 at the end of that summer, he “aged out” of the CDSA, and we had look for other services. When he re-enrolled in his preschool with his brother, I started to see the negative reactions people can have toward someone with autism. JB started to act out in his class, a


tiny room filled with 14 children and two teachers, none of whom could understand what he was trying to say. I was called in to speak to the teacher. Twice. So I hired someone they recommended to stay in the class and help him, and for a few days it worked. When I realized we couldn’t pay her as much as I had initially thought, I told her honestly and asked if she wanted to quit. She insisted she didn’t do it for the money and that she loved JB and wanted to help. But the next day she didn’t show up. I searched for a replacement and found a nurse with special needs experience, but before she could start, I was politely asked to remove JB from the school. A friend told me later that several parents had threatened to remove their children from the school unless JB was taken out, because they had heard he was “bad” and prone to hurt others. For three months he was separated from his twin, not understanding why he couldn’t go to school with his brother. We visited many different schools during that time, until we discovered The Special Children’s School in Winston-Salem. It is a wonderful school filled with people who don’t even flinch at “bad” behavior or give up on a child who needs more help than most. When people find out JB has autism now they all say the same thing — “I would never have guessed.” That is the most important lesson I have learned from all this. Most people don’t understand autism, but nonetheless, they think they have a very clear idea of what an autistic person is like. I love that my big, strong, handsome boy defies their

unfounded ideas. It took a while for the bond between JB and Joachim to re-form after his diagnosis. It wasn’t easy for anyone, but at least we adults could research, discuss and learn more about autism. Joachim could only watch and muddle it out for himself. JB is very lucky to have a brother who has, what Dr. Klinepeter from Amos Cottage called, “an excessive amount of empathy.” They love each other very much, and JB has proven that he has a very big heart and a very good brain. Joachim has become the big brother; JB watches him and copies him and follows his example. He calls him “my Joachim.” JB will always be developmentally behind other children his age, but I know that as a person he has more strength and warmth than many people. He will be able to do whatever he wants, just not as fast or in exactly the same way as others. Joachim knows his twin brother is different, even if he can’t explain it in words, and he doesn’t care. He just loves playing with JB, who hangs onto his every word and gesture. The best part of my day is watching them play and laugh together. My boys are not perfect, and they will continue to drive me crazy, thrill me and fill my heart with the kind of love that hurts. It is so pure and strong. Most importantly, they are great people, and that is what I want everyone to see. Benedetta Agnoli Nicolazo, her husband, Jerome, and their boys moved to North Carolina from France. They live in Winston-Salem.

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Fab Finds for the Exceptional Child Top picks for toys, books and technology

Compiled by Shannon Koontz

Just for Kids All of the toys and books on this page can be found through Piedmont-based company, Hatch Early Learning. Order products at hatchearlylearning.com/store or call 800-624-7968. To request a catalog, visit hatchearlylearning.com/catalog.

Understanding differences Any parent of children with special needs knows how difficult it can be to explain what makes their child different, to other young family members and friends. Help teach children diversity and inclusivity with the Understanding Differences Nonfiction Collection. The collection includes four books with customized Read-Aloud labels written by early literacy experts, and offer guidance in helping the parent select the vocabulary that’s appropriate based on the child’s age. Makes a great gift! For ages 3-7. Hardcover. $71.99.

Understanding feelings Help your child say exactly how he’s feeling, even when communication is difficult, with the My Feelings Hand Puppet Set. These puppets come in sets of 10 and have detailed expressions to help children learn about and express their feelings of happiness, sadness, fear, anger and embarrassment. Made from durable fabric that is surface washable, the puppets fit both adult and child hands. For ages 1 and up. $73.99.

Exceptional dolls You can help build your child’s self-esteem, and learn more about the physical challenges of their peers, with the help of the Special Needs Equipment Set. The set of eight accessories fit the 14-inch International Dolls (also sold by Hatch). Accessories include heavy glasses, a walker, leg braces, a wheel chair, and even an assistance dog, complete with a leash and harness. $113.99.

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iDevice apps

Courtesy of Ken Bennett, Wake Forest University

Verbal Victor

AutisMate Software developer Jonathan Izak watched his 11-year-old brother, Oriel, struggle with communication because of his autism all of his life. So Izak developed AutisMate and launched it in February 2013. AutisMate is the only tool for the iPad that offers intuitive tools to help those with autism navigate both behavioral and communicative challenges. It allows individuals with autism, their family and friends to import personal images, video, audio and other information into a visual scene-based platform, complete with video modeling, social stories and other features. A GPS allows scenes to change according to the user’s location. An iPhone and Android tablet versions will be available later this year. For more information, visit autismate.com. $149.99.

Paúl Pauca’s son, Victor, was born with a rare genetic disorder called Pitt-Hopkins syndrome (page 14), which is characterized by intellectual disability and developmental delay. So Pauca, an associate professor of computer science at Wake Forest University, worked with a team of students to develop a fully customized app called the Verbal Victor (named after his son), for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Verbal Victor is an affordable alternative to expensive communication devices that are on the market, and has been downloaded several thousand times by users all around the world. It allows parents and educators to build personalized content for communication using a built-in camera and microphone. The camera takes pictures of objects familiar to the child, and the microphone records sounds in the language and voice of the child’s choice, both in a matter of seconds. Pauca and the Verbal Victor app have been featured by TEDx, The Associated Press, USA Today, CNN, National Public Radio and Huffington Post. For more information about Verbal Victor, visit appsforthegreatergood.com. $6.99.

a great read Shedding light on a puzzling diagnosis Medical professionals often emphasize the importance of diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder early, but for Nilla Childs and her son, Daniel, that diagnosis didn’t come until he was in his 20s. For his entire life she tried to make sense of his behavior, until he was in college and a diagnosis of Asperger’s helped the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Nilla, a Winston-Salem author, tells Daniel’s story in her book, “Puzzled: 100 Pieces of Autism.” Hear from Nilla (page 12), or order a copy of her book at nillachilds.com. $15.95.

piedmontparent.com

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Take action … don’t ‘wait and watch’ Early intervention programs are crucial By Melissa Joy Koehler

A study released in early 2012 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that one in 88 children in the United States have been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD was found in the study to be five times more common in boys than girls, with about one in 54 boys diagnosed. ASD, or autism, can now be reliably diagnosed in children as young as age 2. While no medications have yet been proven effective, thankfully, there is something that can be done. Early intervention programs are shown to be critically important. Current culture is divided between “waiting and watching” and early intervention programming. The thought behind waiting and watching is to let kids develop as they will on their own time, and that perhaps they will simply grow out of it. So what is autism? ASD is a complex disability which impacts communication, social interaction and behavior. It is hallmarked by restricted, repetitive and common patterns of behavior, interests and activities. A child with ASD may demonstrate at least one of the following: unusual fixation with one or more interests or activities, a need for rigid adherence to specific routines or rituals in daily life, or repetitive motor behaviors using parts of the body such as fingers or hands. A child with ASD may also play with toys incorrectly, or have marked regression in smiling or verbal skills. An early intervention program is one that supports the developmental needs of children from

birth to 5 years old with developmental delays. These programs focus on improving physical development, including vision and hearing, improving thinking skills, communication skills, and emotional development. These interventions aim to build upon natural learning, which occurs in those early years. There’s no doubt that autistic children who undergo early intervention programs do better than children who do not get early treatment. And there is certainly no good reason to wait to provide such therapy. Early intervention programs work best in younger children because the brain undergoes the most shaping and growth during the first three years of life. This is when it is easiest to make the more profound impact on the child’s development. Clearly it is important to not simply wait and watch a child’s development, but to take action to correct the situation while it is still possible. As the rate of autism diagnoses continues to rise and shows no signs of slowing down, parents should become well-versed in options available, so that they can advocate for their children. When it comes to the health and future of our nations children, waiting and watching has no place. Melissa Koehler is a 2011 nursing graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, where she is currently a 2013 master’s candidate, specializing in pediatric primary care. Simultaneous to pursuing her nurse practitioner degree, she has also worked as a registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

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Exceptional Child Resources 9 Oak Branch Drive, Greensboro 336-333-0197 Community-based services include home and community support, day support, long-term vocational support, supported employment, respite, individualized caregiver training and education, personal care and skills instruction.

Access and Transportation ATG Rehab

atgrehab.com 317-M S. Westgate Drive, Greensboro 336-808-1260 Specializes in pediatric mobility and seating.

Autism Society of North Carolina — Alamance County Support Group

Freedom Mobility Aids

336-333-0197 Volunteer, member-run support group for families of individuals with autism.

freedommobilityaids.com 205 Cedar Lane, Clemmons 336-766-8520 Mobility and accessibility equipment.

Forsyth Medical Supply

guilfordmedicalsupply.com 3041 Trenwest Drive, Winston-Salem 336-768-5512 Home medical supplies including mobility products.

Guilford Medical Supply

guilfordmedicalsupply.com 2172 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro 336-574-1489 Home medical supplies including mobility products.

Ilderton Conversion Company

ildertonvans.com 701 S. Main St., High Point 336-841-2020 Sells new and pre-owned accessible vans and provides assessment and installation of adaptive equipment.

Safe Ride Wheelchair Transportation

SCAT — Specialized Community Area Transportation Service

greensboro-nc.gov 223 W. Meadowview Road, Greensboro 336-333-6589 Greensboro Transit Authority’s sharedride transportation service for eligible riders who have a disability.

Willard’s Cab Company

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Adaptive Equipment and Toys/Assistive Technology AbleData

abledata.com 8630 Fenton St., Suite 930 Silver Spring, MD 800-227-0216; 301-608-8998 Database of assistive technology; website includes consumers’ guide and funding sources.

AblePlay

ableplay.org Reviews and ratings of play products for children with special needs.

eSpecial Needs

Winston-Salem 336-995-7529 Low-cost wheelchair transportation service.

P.O. Box 871, Winston-Salem

336-725-2227 Provides medical transportation to individuals with special needs.

especialneeds.com 877-664-4565 Adaptive equipment including toys, baby gear and mobility aids.

National Lekotek Center

3407 W. Wendover Ave., Suite H, Greensboro 336-297-2180 131 Miller Street, Winston-Salem 336-716-8030 State agency with local centers providing information, demonstrations and short-term loans of assistive devices, plus used equipment listings and referrals to funding sources.

Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger’s ABC of N.C. Child Development Center

abcofnc.org 3904 Old Vineyard Road, Winston-Salem 336-251-1180 Specialized school for children with autism-spectrum disorders including Asperger’s. The school also provides parent education, social-skills groups and spaces for typically developing children in an inclusive preschool program.

Autism Center for Life Enrichment (ACLE)

lekotek.org 2001 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, IL 773-528-5766 A nonprofit organization that offers toy lending libraries for children with special needs. Also offers therapeutic play sessions, trainings and monthly webinars for parents and professionals.

autismsociety-nc.org 9 Oak Branch Drive, Greensboro 336-333-0197 Offers services including day programs and skills instruction for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP)

Autism Society of North Carolina — Triad Region Services

ncatp.org

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autismsociety-nc.org

Autism Society of North Carolina — Forsyth County Chapter

autismsocietyfc.org Winston-Salem autismsocietyforsythcounty@gmail. com Volunteer organization offering information and support to individuals living with autism. Support group meet the first Friday of each month at South Fork Park’s Old Farmhouse, 4403 Country Club Road, Winston-Salem. Also runs Camp Imagine, a summer residential camp for children with autism.

Autism Society of North Carolina — Guilford County Chapter

asncgc.org Greensboro asncgc@gmail.com Nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support for Guilford County residents who are on the autism spectrum as well as their families, teachers and caregivers.

Autism Speaks

autismspeaks.org The nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Includes comprehensive list of resources by city and state.

Family Support Network of Greater Forsyth County — Exceptional Families Support Group

fsngreaterforsyth.com


336-924-5301 A parent group for families who have children with special needs. Meets on the fourth Thursday of each month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Little Creek Recreation Center, 610 Foxcroft Drive, Winston-Salem.

Greensboro TEACCH Center

teacch.com 122 N. Elm St., Suite 920, Greensboro 336-334-5773 Services include diagnostic evaluations, treatment planning and implementation, education, consultation, supported employment assistance, training opportunities and research.

iCan House

icanhouse.org 862 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem 336-723-0050 iCan House is a nonprofit organization that provides social and learning opportunities for those with social differences and communication challenges (ages 8-adult). Although a diagnosis is not required to participate, some have autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, anxiety or other related communication disorders. Using a club-based model along with a curriculum, participants learn and practice concrete social and perspective-taking skills and also develop greater self-awareness and increased self-esteem. iCan House is a place of belonging for parents and families as well as the participants.

501 S. Mendenhall St., Greensboro 336-334-3748 The Governor Morehead School serves children identified with visual impairments from birth to 5 years. Free services include direct and consultative special education that can be provided in a wide variety of settings, including developmental day centers, LEA’s, mainstreamed settings and home settings.

Services for the Blind — Winston-Salem

4265 Brownsboro Road Suite 100, Winston-Salem 800- 422-0373 District office works in areas of prevention of blindness, conservation of sight, restoration of vision, independent living and job placement for the blind and visually impaired.

Camps and Summer Programs Camp Ann

High Point City Lake Park, Jamestown 336-883-3481 A summer day camp program for school-age children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Camp Carefree

Community Low Vision Center/Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind

campcarefree.org 275 Carefree Lane, Stokesdale 336-427-0966 A free, one-week camping experience for children with specific health problems and disabilities. Also offers Sickle Cell Anemia camp and hosts a camp for Muscular Dystrophy.

Industries for the Blind — Greensboro

diabetes.org/adacampcarolinatrails Held at YMCA Camp Hanes, 1225 Camp Hanes Road, King 888-342-2382 ext. 3217 Residential camp for children in 3rd-11th grade living with diabetes. Offering medical and nutritional care as well as a staff comprised mostly of young adults also living with diabetes.

Blind/Vision Impaired

wsifb.com 7730 North Point Blvd., Winston-Salem 336-759-0551 Offers comprehensive eye exams by specialty low vision doctors, individualized training and a complete line of low vision products.

920 W. Lee St., Greensboro 336-274-1591 Offers opportunities for people who are blind to achieve greater vocational, personal and economic independence.

The Governor Morehead School Preschool Satellite Program

ncoes.net/gms_preschool.shtml

Camp Carolina Trails

Camp Imagine

autismsocietyfc.org Held at YMCA Camp Hanes, 1225 Camp Hanes Road, King 336-922-5722 kboccardi@aol.com A summer residential camp for children ages 7-17 with autism spectrum disorder or related communication disorders.

Camp Joy

greensboro-nc.gov Hagan Stone Park Road, Pleasant Garden 336-373-2954 A summer day camp for individuals with special needs offering two three-week sessions for individuals with developmental disabilities and a one-week session for individuals with physical disabilities.

Camp Royall

Camproyall.org 250 Bill Ash Road, Moncure 919-542-1033 Camp Royall is run by the Autism Society of NC, serving individuals from age 4 up to older adults on the spectrum. Camp programs are offered year round, including summer camp, mini-camp weekends, family days and adult retreats. Camp Royall provides campers with typical camp activities, just in a very structured and specialized way, the majority of our campers receive 1:1 supervision.

EMFdiscovery

easternmusicfestival.org/ community/camps 200 North Davie St., Suite 303, Greensboro 336-333-7454 Designed for rising 1st-5th graders diagnosed with HFA/Asperger’s syndrome who function independently in a group setting and are interested in music. EMFdiscovery participants receive an introduction to classical music and the orchestra through hands-on learning. Experienced music and special needs resource teachers provide a kid-friendly and creative approach to music through instrument demonstrations, making and playing instruments, singing, and a unique introduction to melody, harmony, and rhythm.

Riverwood Therapeutic Riding Center Summer Riding Session

riverwoodtrc.org 6825 Rolling View Drive, Tobaccoville 336-922-6426 Riverwood offers seven weeks of group lessons for typical and disabled children ages 3 and up and adults.

Sertoma Deaf Camp

campsertoma.org 1105 Camp Sertoma Drive, Westfield 336-593-8057 Traditional overnight camp for hearing-impaired youth ages 8-16.

SOAR

soarnc.org

P.O. Box 388, Balsam 828-456-3435 SOAR’s adventure programs are for youth ages 8-25 diagnosed with LD and/or ADHD. Activities include rock climbing, backpacking, whitewater rafting, snorkeling, fishing, SCUBA, kayaking, horseback riding, llama trekking, mountain biking, caving, riflery and exploration. Locations in NC, WY, FL, CA, NY, Costa Rica and Belize.

Victory Junction

victoryjunction.org 4500 Adam’s Way, Randleman 336-498-9055 Victory Junction enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment.

Childcare The Arc of High Point/ Community Connections Family Life Center

healthy-triad.org 153 E. Bellevue Drive, High Point 336-884-7179; 336-883-0650 Provides daycare services for children ages 1-12 with developmental disabilities as well as children who are typically developing.

Gateway Education Center

schoolcenter.gcsnc.com 3205 E. Wendover Ave., Greensboro 336-375-2575 Public school with four infant/toddler classrooms that serve children with special needs ages birth to 3 years.

Guilford Child Development — Regional Childcare Resources and Referral Line

guilfordchilddev.org 1200 Arlington St., Greensboro 336-378-7700 Childcare resource and referral agency links families with childcare providers and community services. Oversees Early Start/Head Start programs.

Work Family Resource Center

workfamilyresource.org 530 N. Spring St., Winston-Salem 336-761-5100 Provides consumer education, referrals and resources to promote quality childcare in Forsyth County.

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for birth to age 3. Serving Guilford, Alamance, Rockingham, Randolph and Caswell counties.

Chronic Health Conditions American Asthma Foundation

Care Coordination for Children (CC4C)

americanasthmafoundation.org 4 Koret Way, LR-216, UCSF, San Francisco, Calif. 415-514-0730 National foundation provides information, resources and updates on news and treatments for asthma.

communitycarenc.org 336-641-3181 Free case management service for eligible children from birth to 5 years. Serves children born at risk for developmental delays, children who have difficulty learning to speak or other delays.

American Cancer Society — Greensboro Chapter

cancer.org 4-A Oak Branch Drive, Greensboro 336-834-0844 Information, support, research and resources for individuals living with cancer.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation — Carolinas Chapter

cff.org 2301 Stonehenge Drive, Suite 200, Raleigh Support, advocacy, resources and education for people affected by cystic fibrosis. Pediatric care center located at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Kids Path at Hospice of Greensboro

kidspath.com 2504 Summit Ave., Greensboro 336-544-5437 Offers homecare services for children (birth through 18) living with progressive and potentially limited life expectancy. Grief counseling is also available for ages 3-18 in Guilford County grieving the illness or death of a loved one.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation — Piedmont Triad Chapter

jdrf.org/triad 312 N. Eugene St., Suite D., Greensboro 336-373-1768 Fundraising, resources and support for families, children and adults with Type 1 diabetes.

Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency

piedmonthealthservices.org 1102 E. Market St., Greensboro 336-274-1507 Sickle Cell Disease testing, education, genetic counseling and support services. Serves six counties: Guilford,

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Family Services of the Piedmont

Forsyth, Alamance, Rockingham, Randolph and Caswell.

Deaf/Hearing Impaired Beginnings for Parents of Hearing-Impaired Children

ncbegin.org 800-556-2796 ; 800-541-4327 Provides emotional support and access to information as a central resource for families with deaf or hard of hearing children, age birth through 21 years in North Carolina.

Communication Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CSDHH)

csdhh.org 1175 Revolution Mill Drive, Studio 15, Greensboro 336-275-8878; 336-274-1461 (TTY/VP) A nonprofit agency serving Guilford County and surrounding areas in advocacy, information, support and referral. Also provides sign language interpretation, sign language classes and captioning services.

The Ear Center of Greensboro

earcentergreensboro.com 1126 N. Church St., Suite 201, Greensboro 336-273-9932 Hearing evaluation and testing, hearing aids and hearing implants for hearing restoration and other audiology services.

The North Carolina School for the Deaf

ncsd.net

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517 W. Fleming Drive, Morganton 828-432-5200 Day/residential facility for the education of children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

UNCG Speech and Hearing Center

300 Ferguson Building, 524 Highland Ave., Greensboro 336-334-5939 Evaluates speech and language development in children, and also has summer preschool and early elementary school language groups.

Developmental Delays Children’s Developmental Services Agency (CDSA)

brennerchildrens.org/CDSA Amos Cottage 3325 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem 336-713-7492 and 123 W. Center St. Extension, Lexington 336-224-6990 A regional early intervention center for infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities or delays. Offers evaluation, treatment, service coordination and consultation services to families of children birth to 3 years in Forsyth, Davidson, Davie, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin counties.

Children’s Developmental Services Agency (CDSA) — Greensboro

ncei.org 122 N. Elm St., Suite 400, Greensboro 336-334-5601 Federally funded statewide program that offers early intervention services

familyservice-piedmont.org 315 E. Washington St., Greensboro 336-387-6161 and 1401 Long St., High Point 336-889-6161 and Jamestown Building 902 Bonner Drive, Jamestown 336-889-6161 Largest private nonprofit agency serving children and families in Guilford County. Offers assessment and referrals, as well as individual and group therapy for children on a variety of issues including ADHD.

Horizons Residential Care Center

horizonscenter.org 100 Horizons Lane, Rural Hall 336-767-2411 A residential facility for children and adolescents who have severe mental disabilities and developmental delays. Horizons also offers respite care.

The Arc of Greensboro

arcg.org 1050 Revolution Mill Drive, Studio 3, Greensboro 336-373-1076 Promotes and advocates for opportunities that empower people with developmental disabilities to have choices as they live their lives in the community.

The Arc of High Point

arc-of-hp.com 153 E. Bellevue Drive, High Point 336-883-0650 Nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the well-being of persons with developmental disabilities through advocacy, research and education.


Down Syndrome Down Syndrome Network of Greater Greensboro

team-up.org A group of parents who are committed to supporting one another, sharing important information and advocating for the very best in school and community services for children with Down syndrome.

Piedmont Down Syndrome Support Network

pdssn.com 4715 Yadkinville Road, #144, Pfafftown 336-480-88710 Provides support and information to parents of children with Down syndrome in the Piedmont.

Disability Support and Advocacy Americans with Disabilities Act

ada.gov Information and assistance about disability rights.

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

aamr.org 501 3rd St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 202-387-1968 Promoting public awareness and access to education, health care and vocational services.

Click on us today!

Benchmarks

cfsa-nc.org 2609 Atlantic Ave., Suite 105, Raleigh 919-828-1864 An association of members who provide quality critical care to North Carolina’s most vulnerable children and families.

March of Dimes North Carolina Chapter

marchofdimes.com/northcarolina Greater Triad Division 410 Brookstown Ave., Winston-Salem 336-723-4386 Funds research and provides community services, education and advocacy to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Easter Seals Disability Services

nc.easterseals.com Greater Winston-Salem Developmental Disabilities Services 4407 Providence Lane, Suite A, Winston-Salem 336-757-4681 and Greater Greensboro Early Childhood, Foster Care & Family Services 3405 W. Wendover Ave., Suite C, Greensboro 336-545-6338 In conjunction with the CDSA, helps families access services for children with developmental disabilities.

Triad First in Families (TFIF)

500 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem 336-757-8721 Helps individuals with developmen-

tal disabilities and/or families find resources, including monetary assistance, to meet needs for which there are no other funding sources. Serves Forsyth, Davie and Stokes counties. wrightslaw.com Information about special education law, education law and advocacy for children with disabilities.

Educational Evaluation Carolina Psychological Associates

Cornerstone Behavioral Medicine

carolinapsychological.com 5509-B W. Friendly Ave., Suite 106, Greensboro 336-272-0855 Private practice specializing in behavioral health services including diagnosis and counseling for both adults and children.

Children’s Developmental Services Agency (CDSA)

Greensboro: Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Randolph, Rockingham Counties ncei.org 122 N. Elm St., Suite 400, Greensboro 336-334-5601 Early intervention services for children birth to age 3.

cheshirecenter.net 2500 N. Church St., Greensboro 800-360-1099 Pediatric speech-language, community based rehabilitative services

Children’s Developmental Services Agency (CDSA)

Winston-Salem: Davison, Davie, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Yadkin counties ncei.org Amos Cottage 3325 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem 336-713 7492 Early intervention services for children birth to age 3.

Wrights Law

Cheshire Center Communication

(C.B.R.S.), physical therapy and occupational therapy to infants and toddlers.

cornerstonehealth.com 1814 Westchester Drive, Suite 402, High Point 336-802-2205 and 4515 Premier Drive, Suite 301, High Point 336-802-2205 Psychological testing and an autism diagnostic testing clinic.

Tristan’s Quest

tristansquest.com 115-A S. Walnut Circle, Greensboro 336-547-7460 Comprehensive psychological assessments and educational testing.

UNCG Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder Clinic

uncg.edu/psy/clinics/adhd 1100 W. Market St., 3rd floor, Greensboro 336-346-3192 Provides assessments for learning disabilities in children and adolescents.

Pinterest.com/ PiedmontParent

Facebook.com/ PiedmontParent

Twitter.com/ PiedmontParent

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parent

336.880.7578 www.adammoweryphotography.com

There are so many NEW ways to keep up with Piedmont Parent on the web and social media. Keep up with local events, activities, giveaways and more!

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Offers a full range of evidence-based assessment and treatment services.

Home Health Services 1st Choice Home Care Inc.

1stchoicehomecareinc.com 1515 W. Cornwallis Drive, Suite 208, Greensboro 336-285-9107 Provides a comprehensive array of services to assist in any home healthcare treatment plan to patients in Guilford, Alamance, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Randolph and Stokes counties.

Bayada Nurses

bayada.com Offers home healthcare with specialties in pediatric nursing and habilitation, which serves clients in North Carolina who have autism spectrum disorders, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and other developmental disabilities.

Child Whisperers

childwhisperers.com P.O. Box 24303, Winston-Salem 336-608-7034 Provides in home or child care occupational therapy throughout the Triad.

Community Alternatives Program for Children (CAP/C)

Woody’s Mom Inc. woodysmom.org 515 Keisler Drive, Suite 101, Cary 919- 228-2844 Offers long-term, home-based nursing and other medically necessary services, supplies, and equipment to children with special healthcare needs and who live at home with their family in Davie and Davidson counties.

Learning Disabilities and Challenges/ ADHD/ADD ADHD Parent Support Group — Greensboro Area

adhdgreensboro.org 336-832-9618; 336-334-5601, ext. 217; 336-346-3192 A group of parents and service providers dedicated to supporting loved ones with ADHD through education, awareness and community-building. Meetings are held at Trinity Church, 5200 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro

ADHD Parent Support Group of Forsyth County

336-441-5698

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Support group for parents of children with ADHD. Meets at Trinity Center, 640 Holly Ave., Winston-Salem.

336-832-9700 Offering a range of out-patient services for children and adults.

Focus

Cornerstone Behavioral Medicine

focus-md.com/locations/ greensboro-nc/ 3625 N. Elm St., Suite 110 A, Greensboro 336-398-5657 A medical practice for children and adults with ADHD. Provides objective testing, medical treatment and behavior modification strategies.

Learning Disability Association of North Carolina

ldanc.org 1854-A Hendersonville Road, #239, Asheville support@ldanc.org Education, resources, support and research for families dealing with learning disabilities. In conjunction with the Noble Academy, meetings are held at Noble Academy, 3310 Horse Pen Creek Road, Greensboro.

Lexercise

lexercise.com 619 Tower St., Raleigh 888-603-1788 Online help for struggling readers, writers and spellers. Also offers free dyslexia testing online.

UNCG Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder Clinic

uncg.edu/psy/clinics/adhd 1100 W. Market St., 3rd floor, Greensboro 336-346-3192 Provides assessments for learning disabilities in children and adolescents. Offers a full range of evidence-based assessment and treatment services.

Mental Health/ Behavior Counseling Amos Cottage Children’s Treatment Program

brennerchildrens.org 3325 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem 336-713-7492 Provides a supportive treatment setting for children ages 3 through 7 who experience emotional and or behavioral problems.

Cone Health Behavioral Health

mosescone.com 700 Walter Reed Drive, Greensboro

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cornerstonehealth.com 1814 Westchester Drive, Suite 402, High Point 336-802-2205 and 4515 Premier Drive, Suite 301, High Point 336-802-2205 Psychological testing and an autism diagnostic testing clinic.

Mental Health Association Forsyth County

triadmentalhealth.org 1509 S. Hawthorne Road, Winston-Salem 336-768-3880 Promotes mental health for children and adults through advocacy, outreach, education and support.

Mental Health Association in Greensboro

mhag.org 330 S. Greene Street, Suite B12, Greensboro 336-373-1402 Provides services and programs that promote mental health and support recovery from mental illnesses.

Neurological, Neuromuscular and Spinal Cord Injuries and Disorders

Epilepsy Institute of North Carolina

eiofnc.org 1311 Westbrook Plaza Drive, Suite 100, Winston-Salem 336-659-8202 Independent nonprofit corporation dedicated to enriching the quality of life for children and adults challenged with epilepsy and other neurological disorders.

Muscular Dystrophy Association

mda.org 2306 W. Meadowview Road, Greensboro 336-856-1591 Information on clinics, support groups, summer camps and equipment for children with muscular dystrophy.

Spina Bifida Association

sbancsc.org 800-621-3141 Resources, information and advocacy on the treatment for and prevention of spina bifida.

Pediatric Dentists and Orthodontists Clemmons Pediatric Dentistry

childrens.fantasktek.com 2311 Lewisville-Clemmons Road, Winston-Salem 336-631-4770 Specializing in dental care for children with special needs.

Dr. Roslyn Crisp & Associates, DDS

Greensboro Cerebral Palsy Association Inc./ Gateway Education Center

smilesrfun.com/index.html 1203 Vaughn Road, Burlington, 336-228-8392 3154 S. Church St., Burlington 336-524-5439 3150 NC Hwy. 86N, Yanceyville 336-694-1114 Specializing in dental care for children with special needs.

Epilepsy Foundation of North Carolina

6161 Lake Brandt Road, Summerfield 336-644-1664 1304 Beaman Place, Greensboro 336-274-7649 Orthodontist practice works with children with all types of special needs.

gatewayearlyintervention.org 3205 E. Wendover Ave., Greensboro 336-375-2575 An early intervention program focused upon the needs of children ages birth to 3 with severe developmental delays and medical disabilities.

epilepsync.org 1920 W. First St., Suite 5541-A, Winston-Salem 800-451-0694 Statewide toll-free helpline, support groups, workshops, school programs, information and referral, patient education, health fairs, advocacy, special events and medication assistance.

Reynolds Orthodontics

University Dental Associates

1st Floor, Watlington Hall, Medical


Center Blvd., Winston Salem 336-837-2680 Specializing in dental care for children with significant developmental disabilities.

136 Northpoint Ave., High Point 336-883-3481 Year-round recreational and leisure opportunities for children and adults with disabilities. Programs include field trips, community integration outings, bowling league, holiday parties, Camp Ann, The Miracle League and Special Olympics.

Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Alamance Regional Medical Center Pediatric Rehab Center

Horsepower Therapeutic Learning Center

horsepower.org 8001 Leabourne Road, Colfax 336-931-1424 Operating an equine program for children ages 3 and up with a diagnosed physical, emotional or social disability.

armc.com/pediatric-rehab-center 336-538-7500 Offers outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy for children.

Brenner Children’s Hospital

brennerchildrens.org Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem 336-716-WAKE Offering outpatient physical therapy for children with neuromotor disabilities or congenital musculoskeletal anomalies. Also offers outpatient occupational therapy for children with fine motor, oral motor, adaptive or sensory deficits.

Cheshire Center Communication

cheshirecenter.net 2500 N. Church St., Greensboro 800-360-1099 Physical and occupational therapy for children birth to school-age

Community Access Therapy Services

3511 W. Market St., Suite B, Greensboro 336-294-3338 Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and educational therapy services. Programs for sensory integration, therapeutic listening, feeding disorders, handwriting and autism spectrum disorders.

Cone Health Outpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Program

conehealth.com 1904 N. Church St., Greensboro 336-274-7956 Outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy.

High Point Regional Health System Pediatric Rehabilitation Program

highpointregional.com

Riverwood Therapeutic Riding Center

riverwoodtrc.org 6825 Rollingview Drive, Tobaccoville 336-922-6426 Professional equine-assisted activities for both children and adults with special needs. 600 N. Elm St., High Point 336-878-6915 Outpatient physical and occupational therapy for children.

OT 4 Kids Inc.

ot4kids.squarespace.com 440 Central Ave., Lexington 336-236-6546 Provides occupational, physical and speech therapy for children with special needs.

Burlington Recreation and Parks

BurlingtonNC.gov/youth 1333 Overbrook Road, P.O. Box 1358 Burlington 336-222-5030 Offers several recreational programs for individuals with developmental disabilities including summer camps and Special Olympics.

Carolina Spirit Athletics All-Star Cheerleading

carolinaspiritathletics.net 6204-C Hackers Bend Court, Clemmons 336-462-1351 cheer4csa@hotmail.com Competitive cheerleading team for children with special needs.

Clemmons Gymnastics

clemmonsgymnastics.com 4786 Kinnamon Road,

Winston-Salem 336-766-3599 Gymnastics classes for children with special needs.

Challenger Sports League

arcg.org/events_challenger.html 336-373-1076, ext. 161 Through the Arc of Greensboro and in partnership with Greensboro Parks and Recreation, offers programs and outreach including adaptive baseball, basketball and bowling activities for more than 80 school-age children with disabilities.

Greensboro Ballet

greensboroballet.org Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro 336-333-7480 Offers dance classes for children with special needs.

Greensboro Parks and Recreation MainStream Resources Unit

greensboro-nc.gov 336-373-2735 Recreational programs and special events for individuals ages 5 and up with mental, physical and visual special needs.

High Point Parks and Recreation Special Populations Department

highpointnc.gov

Special Olympics Guilford/ Greensboro

sonc.net/guilford-greensboro 3409-B W. Wendover Ave., Greensboro 336-544-0578 More than 500 athletes train and compete year-round in Special Olympics Greensboro programs.

Special Olympics Guilford/ High Point

sonc.net 136 Northpoint Ave., High Point 336-883-3481 Offered through High Point Parks and Recreation, trains athletes in more than a dozen different sports.

The Miracle League of High Point

hpmiracleleague.org 336-883-3481 Baseball program for athletes with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Players play on a specially equipped adaptive baseball field that allows those utilizing wheelchairs and walkers the opportunity to move around the field without barriers.

Tumblebees Ultimate Gym

tumblebees.com 6904 Downwind Road, Greensboro 336-665-0662 Offers gymnastics and movement classes for children with special needs.

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Winston-Salem Recreation and Parks Department: Special Populations Unit

ci.winston-salem.nc.us 2301 N. Patterson Ave., Winston-Salem 336-727-8000 Offers several programs for disabled youth, including The Saturday Club, Life Skills and Aquabilities.

Schools, Special Education Programs, Tutoring and Classes ABC of N.C. Child Development Center

abcofnc.org 3904 Old Vineyard Road, Winston-Salem 336-251-1180 Private, specialized school for children with autism spectrum disorders.

Academic Associates

academicassociatesinc.com 711 Westchester Drive, Suite 202, High Point 336-886-4198 A comprehensive educational facility offering tutoring, testing and other educational services for all students.

The Children’s Center (part of The Centers for Exceptional Children)

thecfec.org 2315 Coliseum Drive, Winston-Salem 336-727-2440 Serving children ages birth through 11 with a variety of special needs, predominately physical. Offers developmentally appropriate education and therapeutic interventions.

Club Z! In Home Tutoring

clubztutoring.com/Greensboro 5603 W. Friendly Ave. #281, Greensboro 336-605-5749 Offers in-home tutoring in Greensboro, Oak Ridge, Summerfield and High Point

Gateway Education Center

schoolcenter.gcsnc.com 3205 E. Wendover Ave., Greensboro 336-375-2575 Public school with four infant/toddler classrooms that are funded by the United Way and the Greensboro Cerebral Palsy Association. These classes serve children with special needs ages birth to 3 years, who are

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experiencing a wide variety of developmental delays and medical issues.

Haynes-Inman Education Center

200 Haynes Road, Jamestown 336-881-7170 A Guilford County public separate school ranging in age from preschool to 22 with severe to profound cognitive and/or physical disabilities.

NC Prekindergarten Program

Alamance Partnership for Children — 336-513-0063, ext. 105 Smart Start of Davidson County Inc. — 336-249-6688 Davie County Schools — 336-751-0016, ext. 4220 Smart Start of Forsyth County — 336-714-4344 Guilford County Partnership for Children Inc. — 336-274-5437, ext. 210 Stokes Partnership for Children Inc. — 336-985-2676, ext. 147 North Carolina’s state-funded prekindergarten program for at-risk 4-year-olds, including those with chronic health conditions or special developmental/educational needs.

The Music Center

greensboro-nc.gov/index. aspx?page=1481 City of Greensboro 336-373-2547 Offering music classes for children with special needs.

Noble Academy

nobleknights.org 3310 Horse Pen Creek Road, Greensboro 336-282-7044 Private school specializing in working with students with a diagnosis of ADHD or another diagnosed learning difference.

Paramount Christian Academy

Paramountchristianacademy.org 4124 Johnston St., High Point 336-887-9563 Private school serving the needs of students with ADD/ADHD and other mild learning disabilities.

The Piedmont School

thepiedmontschool.com 815 Old Mill Road, High Point 336-883-0992 Private school that works with children with learning disabilities and/or ADHD.

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The Special Children’s School (part of The Centers for Exceptional Children)

thecfec.org 4505 Shattalon Drive, Winston-Salem 336-924-9309 Serves children with special needs ages three to eleven in an inclusive environment, that allows children with and without special needs to model and interact with each other.

Summit School — Triad Academy

summitschool.com 2100 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem 336-722-2777 An instructional program that is highly individualized, research-based and designed to meet the unique learning needs of students with dyslexia and related language-based learning differences.

Tristan’s Quest

tristansquest.com 115-A S. Walnut Circle, Greensboro 336-547-7460 Nonprofit developmental center where children, teens and their families can receive quality mental health and academic services in a child- and family-friendly environment.

Wesleyan Christian Academy Enrichment Center

wesed.org 1917 N. Centennial St., High Point 336-884-3333 Specialized program within Wesleyan Christian Academy for students with learning differences.

Speech/Language, Brain Function and Vision Therapy Alamance Regional Medical Center Pediatric Rehab Center

armc.com/pediatric-rehab-center 3806 S. Church St., Burlington 336-278-8700 Offering outpatient speech therapy for children.

Augmentative Communication and Assistive Learning Clinic

brennerchildrens.org Brenner Children’s Hospital,

Winston-Salem 336-716-WAKE Works with children who are non-verbal or whose speech and/or language skills are severely impaired. One of two clinics in N.C. which provide a multidisciplinary evaluation for children with AAC needs.

Brenner Children’s Hospital

brennerchildrens.org Brenner Children’s Hospital, Winston-Salem 336-716-WAKE Outpatient speech/language therapy.

Cheshire Center Communication

cheshirecenter.net 2500 N. Church St., Greensboro 800-360-1099 Pediatric speech-language therapy to children from birth to school-age.

Community Access Therapy Services

3511 W. Market St., Suite B, Greensboro 336-294-3338 Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and educational therapy services. Programs for sensory integration, therapeutic listening, feeding disorders, handwriting and autism spectrum disorders.

Cone Health Outpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Program

conehealth.com 1904 N. Church St., Greensboro 336-274-7956 Outpatient speech therapy for infants to school-age children.

High Point Regional Health System Pediatric Rehabilitation Program

highpointregional.com 600 N. Elm St., High Point 336-878-6915 Outpatient speech and language services for both children and adults.

Ling & Kerr

lingkerr.com 3816 N. Elm St., Suite E, Greensboro 336-370-4070 Private speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy.


Milestones Treatment and Learning Center Inc.

Lindley Habilitation Services

3640 Westgate Center Circle, Suite A, Winston-Salem 336-659-0806 Speech and language therapy facility offering speech-language-hearing assessments and therapeutic interventions and academic tutoring to individuals of all ages.

lindleyhabilitation.com 4214 Beechwood Drive, Suite 101, Greensboro 336-987-8465 Partnering with consumers, families, and the community to provide exceptional service to exceptional people.

Sandhills Center

Neurofeedback Associates Inc.

sandhillscenter.org 1120 Seven Lakes Drive, West End 800-256-2452; 910-673-9111 Local management entity/managed care organization of the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Serves Guilford and Randolph counties.

enhancedbrain.org/greensboro_ neurofeedback.html 2309 West Cone Blvd., Suite 210, Greensboro 336-540-1972 Uses non-invasive training techniques to train the brain and body to help reduce symptoms of disabilities, including ADHD, autism, developmental delay and learning disabilities.

Peak Performance Learning Center

sites.google.com/site/ peakperformancelearningcenter 1400 Battleground Ave., #202, Greensboro 336-549-6212 Research-based Interactive Metronome® program “trains the brain” to plan, sequence and process information more effectively. Improves symptoms associated with ADHD, autism, sensory integration and auditory processing disorder.

Speechcenter Inc.

speechcenter.net 185 Charlois Blvd., Winston-Salem 800-323-3123; 336-725-0222 Private practice providing speechlanguage pathology services including evaluation and individualized therapy.

The Vision Therapy Center

visiontherapycenter.org 1330 Ashleybrook Lane, Winston-Salem 336-774-1770 Treatment for Learning-related vision problems related to ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, eye tracking/eye teaming and reading problems.

Support Services Alamance Partnership for Children

alamancechildren.org 2322 River Road, Burlington 336-513-0063 Nonprofit organization provides

Stokes County Partnership for Children

programs and services for families and young children in Alamance County.

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions (Alamance County)

acmhddsa.org 2451 South Church St., Burlington 336-513-4311 A managed behavioral health-care organization focused on helping individuals access the services they need to lead better daily lives. Serving individuals needing mental health, intellectual/developmental disability and substance use/addiction services by providing operations and systems; delivers services through a memberdriven program. Serves several counties including Alamance.

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions (Davidson County)

cardinalinnovations.org/piedmont 245 Le Phillip Court NE, Concord 704-721-7000 A managed behavioral healthcare organization focused on helping individuals access the services they need to lead better daily lives. Serving individuals needing mental health, intellectual/developmental disability and substance use/addiction services by providing operations and systems; delivers services through a memberdriven program. Serves several counties including Davidson.

CenterPoint Human Services

cphs.org

4045 University Parkway, Winston-Salem 888-581-9988 State-mandated local management entity and Medicaid-funded managed care organization in charge of overseeing the delivery of publicly-funded mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services (MH/DD/SAS) in Forsyth, Stokes, Davie and Rockingham counties. CenterPoint works closely with community partners, advocates and service providers to address service. Offers a 24/7 toll-free customer services line.

Family Support Network of Greater Forsyth

fsngreaterforsyth.com 4505 Shattalon Drive, Winston-Salem 336-924-5301 As an outreach program of The Centers for Exceptional Children, provides support to families who have children with special needs (medical, developmental, or other). Currently serves Forsyth, Davidson, Davie, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin counties.

Family Support Network of Central Carolina

fsncc.org 801 Green Valley Road, Greensboro 336-832-6507 Provides support and resources for families of children with prematurity, developmental disabilities, chronic illness, and other special needs. Serving Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham counties.

stokespfc.com 151 Jefferson Church Road, King 336-985-2676 Non-profit organization provide programs and services for families and young children in Stokes County, including administering the Smart Start program.

Miscellaneous Cleft Lip/Palate Parent Support

Winston-Salem 336-945-9546 Parent outreach and education.

Food Allergy Families of the Triad

650-759-5336; foodallergyfamilies@ gmail.com Offers free monthly educational seminars and community education.

Food Allergy Research and Education

foodallergy.org Information, programs and resources related to food allergy and anaphylaxis.

Kids-Eat Program

brennerchildrens.org Brenner Children’s Hospital, Winston-Salem 336-716-8097 Provides evaluation and treatment for children with growth, swallowing or behavioral feeding disorders in children served with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

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Surprising genetic-link between Autism, ADHD, and three other psychiatric disorders Researchers have found autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia all share common genetic risk factors. In the largest genetic study of psychiatric disorders to date, the investigators from the Cross-Disorder of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium analyzed more than 33,000 cases, and nearly 28,000 control participants. The researchers found a DNA sequence variation in two specific genes in each of these five disorders. These genes are both involved in calcium channeling in the brain, so the results of this new study could help researchers with developing new treatments for these disorders in the future. The study was recently published in the medical journal The Lancet.

Confidence Soa e r e rs! h W

— Shannon Koontz

Music Camps & Classes for Children with Special Needs

Greensboro Cultural Center 200 North Davie Street, Box 2 Greensboro NC 27401

Classes & Camps include: singing, moving, listening, instrument exploration and dramatic play activities that reinforce rhythm, beat and meter

Ages: 5-12 Taught by Jane Maydian, Board Certified Music Therapist For more information please call The Music Center at 336-373-2547 or visit our website at www.city-arts.org

Motion Matters That’s why Salem Fitkids was created. Not only for typical children, our non-competitive, structured workouts are easily individualized for children with many different challenges, including blindness, autism, physical disabilities, and more.

FREE EVALUATION

Call 765-4668 ext. 0 to schedule an evaluation Salem Gymnastics Sports Center with Coach Travis 4870 Country Club Rd., Winston-Salem and see how Fitkids SalemGym.com 336-765-4668 can benefit your child.

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