Measles, Childhood Immunizations, and Washington State

Overview: Full Article: Prior to the COVID 19 outbreak in 2019, Washington State experienced several large outbreaks of measles. Why is that an issue? Measles is a virus that is preventable through immunization (getting a vaccine) and was almost completely eliminated in the United States by 2000. This changed when a social movement popularized the Read More

Holiday Survival Tips For Families with Special Healthcare Needs

A Brief Overview  Every family experiences holidays and end-of-year transitions differently. This article provides a sampling of ideas for families with children experiencing special healthcare needs. If a child also experiences behavioral difficulties, you may wish to read Home for the Holidays: The Gift of Positive Behavior Support  Here are some quick takeaways:  Full Article  Read More

Medicaid Waiver Benefits for Military Families 

When considering medical benefits for family members with special needs, military families often overlook Medicaid, a health benefits program established by federal law. Medicaid covers basic and long-term health care services for eligible children, pregnant women, parents with dependent children, adults aged 65 or older, and individuals with disabilities. Eligible dependents of military families can Read More

Gender Affirming Care

A Brief Overview Gender identity has become a hot topic in today’s political world. But beyond the politics, there are many young people that are struggling and often it is their physical and mental health that suffers the most from the misunderstanding between sex and gender, and the meaning of gender affirming care. What is Read More

Stay Cool When Summer Heats Up

Summertime brings special challenges for families whose children have special needs. Some medical conditions and medications make individuals particularly susceptible to the heat. Be sure to check with your doctor about which medications might increase heat sensitivity. Keep in mind that extreme heat combined with humidity can make a person even more vulnerable. It’s harder Read More

LGBTQ+ and Disability Rights in School

A Brief Overview Full Article LGBTQ+ is an acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning), and others. The “plus” represents other gender identities including pansexual and Two-Spirit. Youth and young adults with disabilities may also have diverse sexualities and gender identities. LGBTQ+ identities are NOT disabilities, but students with disabilities may Read More

Infant Early Childhood Mental Health

A Brief Overview Full Article New parents may struggle to know whether their child’s emotional development is on track. They may have a feeling that a milestone is missed, or they may observe siblings or the emotional well-being of other children and notice their child is developing differently. Sometimes a parent just needs reassurance. Other Read More

Traumatic Brain Injury in Youth

A Brief Overview Full Article A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury that affects how the brain works. TBI can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. The exact definition of TBI, according to special education law, is referenced later. This injury can change how the person thinks, behaves, and moves. A traumatic brain Read More

Disability and Sexual Health Education

A Brief Overview Full Article Parents or guardians are the first and primary sexual health educators of children. What parents and caregivers believe, say, and do can have a powerful influence on the development of healthy sexuality in children. This article provides resources to support healthy sexuality for families and youth, including standards and instruction Read More

Bullying at School: Key Points for Families and Students with Disabilities

Transcript of this video is below: When students with disabilities are bullied, schools are legally responsible to end the bullying. By law, schools must act to restore the safety and well-being of students who are harmed by harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Those words—harassment, intimidation, and bullying, make an acronym: HIB. This video is about HIB Read More

Respiratory Disease Health Advisory

Description of the above graphic: Washington State is experiencing an overwhelming number of children and babies being hospitalized for respiratory diseases. The CDC has issued a Health Advisory for the state as the rise in the Flu, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and COVID pushes the limits of pediatric hospitals. Protect children by making sure that Read More

Tips to Organize Your Child’s Medical and School Documents

A Brief Overview Keeping track of important documents for your child’s health can save you time and give you less stress. Take advantage of technology! If you choose to build a digital storage system, integrating it with your smart phone will make it easy to share information on-the-go with doctors, day care providers, school staff, Read More

What to Know about Adapted Physical Education in Washington State

A Brief Overview Full Article  Physical Education—what older generations called “gym class”—is part of school for all students. Instruction is provided for development and care of the body. Classes can support motor skills, physical fitness, athletic games, social play skills, teamwork, and much more. How the PE curriculum is adjusted to be appropriate and accessible Read More

Temporary Caregivers of Military Children: Guide to Essential Information

If you are a grandparent, other relative, or family friend taking care of children while their parent or parents are deployed or on other duty, this guide to essential information is intended to offer you help and resources.  It contains useful information about military benefits that provide help with schools, medical care and supports and Read More

How to Prepare for a DDA Assessment

Here are tips for getting ready for an assessment with the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), which is managed by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Be sure to send information to the DDA case manager ahead of time and keep a copy. If you save the assessment electronically in Word/Google Documents, Read More