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Special Needs

Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler > Special Needs

June is National Safety Awareness Month – 8 Social Safety Awareness Strategies for Children with Special Needs

By Jayne M. Wesler, Esq.   Studies show that children with disabilities, particularly those with emotional or behavioral disabilities, have a significantly higher risk of injury than those with no disabilities. Children with special needs experience the same types of injuries as other children, but with more frequency. So, with the spotlight on safety this month, it’s especially important to ask what safety awareness means for children with special needs and to focus on how preventive measures can help lower the risk of injury for your child. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health assessed injuries among children in the...

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Children’s Mental Health: Statistics are Staggering and It’s on the Rise

By Jayne M. Wesler, Esq. May is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month. The worldwide pandemic starting in March 2020 has been hard for adults and children alike. For children, however, the challenges have been magnified since they often have little control over their lives, and most are not developed or mature enough to recognize what is happening to them. While statistics show that mental health challenges have been rising for our student population in the last decade, COVID-19 has multiplied the problems. How widespread are the issues? Almost half of all parents in the United States report that their children have struggled with...

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April is Autism Awareness Month and Auditory Processing Awareness Month

By Jayne M. Wesler, Esq. Why are these two conditions highlighted together?   Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder often have Auditory Processing Disorder as well. In fact, up to 80% of children with Autism also process sound in irregular ways. Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder which is characterized by impairments in social communication, cognition, and in restricted and repetitive behaviors. Auditory Processing Disorder, also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder or CAPD, is a neurologic condition characterized by difficulties in processing sound. People with CAPD do not have impaired hearing. Instead, the source of their difficulties lies in the brain. • According...

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Chocolate, Nuts, Soy, Dairy . . . Ways to Ensure Your Child’s Valentine’s Day is Food Allergy Safe

By Jayne M. Wesler, Esq. Allergy awareness has increased significantly over the last decade. The number of students with life-threatening allergies continues to expand. The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection team notes that, in recent years, the number of people with food allergies has doubled. At this point, there are approximately two students in every classroom in the United States with an identified food allergy. That is the equivalent of about six million children. Allergies are actually a disease caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system to substances in the environment that are often harmless to most of the population. Many of...

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World Braille Day

By Jayne M. Wesler, Esq. Why do we Celebrate World Braille Day? World Braille Day commemorates the birth of Louis Braille – on 04 January 1809 in France. In 1829 he published his "Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Song by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged by Them." But why is there a World Braille Day? What’s the big deal? Perhaps the stories of HM, Bruce Sexton, and Eric Guillory will answer those questions. In 2011, HM was an eleven-year-old fifth-grade student enrolled in a public school in New Jersey. Legally blind from birth, HM was diagnosed with albinism...

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Don’t Drop the Ball on Establishing a Special Needs Trust

We all know how fast time goes by during the holidays – before we know it, the ball will drop on a brand new year! On the bright side, this is a great time to resolve to do the things we’ve been meaning to do but somehow never got around to. If you have a special needs child receiving government benefits and you plan to leave them money, or anyone else in your family may leave them money, it’s essential to have a Special Needs Trust in place so the money does not pass through their hands and they do...

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Let’s Join Hands and Hearts to Celebrate:

December 3rd is United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities By Jayne M. Wesler, Esq December celebrates multiple happy holidays, Kwanzaa, Hannukah, and Christmas among them. It’s also the month when the world celebrates the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities during the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The United Nations first proclaimed an International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981, kicking off the celebration with the theme of “Full Participation and Equality.” The UN’s intention was to help persons with disabilities live life to the fullest by participating in the development of society, and by having...

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Children with Diabetes are Children with Special Needs

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and at Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler we want to focus attention on the many children and adolescents who have diabetes. As parents and caregivers know all too well, it is a serious and lifelong disease that must be managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including the hours spent at school. Under Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is illegal for schools to discriminate against students with diabetes. In addition, the State of New Jersey has a number of laws that protect students with diabetes. One New Jersey state law...

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A Special Month for Awareness

The month of October commemorates important issues for students with special needs. Included among those issues are dyslexia and ADHD. For parents and educators alike, it is critical to highlight these topics to ensure that children receive appropriate educational programming, and that such programs are properly implemented. Both state and federal law were created to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities. Prior to the enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, there were over four million children with disabilities who were denied appropriate access to public education. Some children were denied entry into public school altogether. Others were...

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LONG COVID: What it is, and how to help your student who has it.

by Jayne Wesler. Esq. Since February 2020, families have been struggling with the increasing complexity of their children’s education. You’ve had to upend your lives to educate them at home, and then make critical decisions about how and when to return them to the classroom. School districts across the United States and even worldwide have had to confront similar decisions from their end. As the 2021-2022 school year commences, many students still contend with the long-term effects of COVID-19, also known as “long COVID.” What is long COVID? According to the Centers for Disease Control, long COVID is also identified by several terms,...

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