Autism Spectrum Disorder: Information and Resources for Families

A Brief Overview A short YouTube video by Osmosis.org provides an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A medical diagnosis of autism is not required for school-based evaluations or interventions. Read on for more information. Families concerned about a child’s development can call the state’s Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588. This toll-free number offers help in English, Read More

Adolescent Health Care Act Provides Options for Families Seeking Mental Health and Substance Use Help for Young People Resistant to Treatment

A Brief Overview The Adolescent Behavioral Health Care Access Act, passed into law by the Washington Legislature in 2019, gives parents and providers more leverage in treating a young person who will not or cannot independently seek medical help for mental illness and/or substance use disorder. The Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) hosts website Read More

Students: Get Ready to Participate in Your IEP Meeting with a Handout for the Team

Students of all abilities have the right to a solid education to get ready for adult life. Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) have a right to participate in IEP meetings to make sure the program is a good set-up for higher education, vocational training, work—whatever comes next after graduation. Schools are required to invite Read More

I want the kind with the people and the pictures

By John O’Brien After a Difficult Start… Institutionalized from age three to twenty-three in a place where “they treated us like animals”– Mike has composed a good life, taking many valued roles: husband, father, worker, home owner, friend, organizer, advocate, mentor, teacher, neighbor.[1] Anticipating the changes that come with aging, Mike requested funding for a person-centered Read More

Bullying at School: Resources and the Rights of Students with Special Needs

Students with disabilities are bullied at a higher rate than their typical peers. October is National Bullying Prevention Month, providing a good opportunity to review information about available resources and actions families can take. According to Disability Scoop magazine, about half of individuals with autism, intellectual disabilities, speech impairments and learning disabilities are bullied at Read More

A Mother Shares her Personal Journey of Welcoming a Baby with Down Syndrome

By Elizabeth Paschich The news that my son had Down syndrome came at a bad time.  I was pregnant with our 6th child, and my husband and I were not on the same page about my pregnancy. Age 37, I qualified for extensive genetic testing that could identify the gender of my child at 11 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