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Developmental Disabilities Quick Answers

Topics Include:

Families and disabilities Individualized Education Planning (IEP)
Financial planning/benefits Specific types of disabilities: Autism/PDD, Down Syndrome, ADD/ADHD, Learning disabilities
Identifying developmental delays





Families and disabilities


I have four children: a twelve-year-old girl, a ten-year-old boy, and a set of identical twins that are five years old. The twins both have cerebral palsy and use wheelchairs for mobility. All my kids are great, but I worry about my two children who do not have disabilities. My daughter seems to be a “little mother” to the twins, while my son doesn’t really want to be seen in public with them. What can you suggest?


I have cerebral palsy, and I am pregnant with my first child. I am elated, but I am also concerned. How will my child react when he or she realizes that not every Mom walks with crutches? Where can I find resources about what it is like to be a parent with a developmental disability?


Financial planning/benefits


Our daughter was born one year ago, and she has spina bifida. My husband and I are aware that we are going to need to make some financial plans for her future. Where can we go to find out what we need to do?


Identifying developmental delays


What is a developmental disability?


My one-year-old doesn’t crawl yet. Should I be worried?


My three year old talks constantly, but I can’t understand everything he’s saying. We communicate by pointing quite a bit. Is this normal?


My son is 13 months old and I am concerned that he may have developed problems with his hearing. He only seems to hear noises that are very loud or that have vibration, like when I am walking across the floor to pick him up. He does not talk, and he gets frustrated when he can’t make me understand what he wants. What can I do?


Individualized Education Planning (IEP)


During an Individualized Education Planning (IEP) meeting, the special education teacher was talking about “transition planning” for my fourteen-year-old daughter who has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and learning disabilities. My daughter is just in 8th grade. Isn’t this too early to talk about what to do after high school?


My child was having problems at school. I agreed to have her tested, and the tests have shown that she has trouble with reading. The teacher said that we need to have a meeting to create a learning program that fits my daughters’ needs. The term she uses is “IEP”. Can you explain what this is?


Specific types of disabilities






Supports / Services / Resources


My twelve-year-old daughter has a cognitive disability. She has also reached puberty and I need to start talking with her about “the facts of life”. Where can I find good resources that will help me with this undertaking?


Our 24 year old adult son works at our county sheltered workshop, but he is not very happy there. However, in our rural community there really are not many other places where he can work. Do you have any suggestions?


Our 30-year-old son has cerebral palsy. He lives in the community with support staff that assists with some of his basic living needs. While his mother and I have always been advocates for him, I think he needs some help in learning how to be a good self-advocate. Where can he get this assistance?


My 18-month-old daughter has just been diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. How can we learn more about this disorder?


A friend has suggested that we take our ten-year-old son with Williams syndrome to the Regional Center that serves our county. What does a Regional Center do?


What is occupational therapy, and how can it help my child who sustained a traumatic brain injury one month ago as the result of a car accident?


What is sensory integration therapy?


How can I help our rural community learn more about my daughter, who just happens to have a disability? I want them to be able to see the abilities she has, and not treat her any differently than other young adults. Any ideas?


My 24-year-old son has arthogryposis. He has graduated from college and is now employed. Our home is accessible for his wheelchair, but he is now starting to talk about getting his own apartment. What services are there in Missouri for adults with disabilities who want to live independently?


I need to learn more about optic nerve hypoplasia. Who can help me with this?


Our school is talking about a new “inclusive” recreation program that is beginning in our community. What’s the fuss? Aren’t there already “special” recreation programs for kids who have disabilities?


My son is just six weeks old. He was born with both spina bifida and hydrocephalus, but the opening in his spine was closed and cerebro-spinal fluid shunts were in place within 2 days of his birth. I don’t know what to expect for the future. The doctors say my son may walk with braces and crutches, or he may use a wheelchair. They also told me that, because of the hydrocephalus, he might have learning disabilities. I am being encouraged to enroll my son in a program called “First Steps”. How will this program benefit my son, now, if we know so little about his future abilities and needs?


My child has mild cerebral palsy, which affects his speech and his gait. He uses a reverse walker for mobility, and his speech has improved with therapy. He was involved in the First Steps program but because of a series of surgeries he required, and the birth of his sister, I elected to become a “stay at home mom”. I did enroll him in the early childhood special education program at our local Head Start, but he only goes for two half-days each week. In the fall, he will begin Kindergarten, which is a half-day program in our district. What can I do, as a parent, to help make Kindergarten successful for him?




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Last update: Thursday, May 07, 2009


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