Tackling the ‘Birds and the Bees’ With A Disabled Child

Amy Silverman, managing editor of the Phoenix New Times, an alternative newspaper owned by Village Voice Media, tells radio show “This American Life” how her daughter Sophie, who has Down syndrome, is navigating puberty. In an episode called “Too Soon,” she shares how she found unexpected help for Sophie in the form of a video that she once made fun of. Silverman blogs about raising a daughter with Down syndrome at  girlinapartyhat.comListen to the episode

Courtesy: Amy Silverman, girlinapartyhat.com

Courtesy: Amy Silverman, girlinapartyhat.com

An IDEA for Tomorrow

Three high school seniors from Phoenix, Arizona, took home first place in their division for C-SPAN’s Student Cam 2015 documentary competition. “An IDEA for Tomorrow,” produced by Severiano Romo, Alexis Rainery and Molly Kerwick of the Metropolitan Arts Institute, showcases the single piece of federal legislation governing the education of children with disabilities– IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Aljazeera – America Tonight

Watch: Kids with special needs: a ‘gravy train’ for Florida nursing homes?

Some parents claim the state of Florida is forcing them to send their children with special needs to subpar nursing homes rather than providing in-home care. At the center of the story is Kidz Korner, a nursing home where hidden camera footage captured children in wheelchairs spending hours by themselves in the hallway with very little interaction. Read more.

The Root

Seahawks’ Derrick Coleman Surprises Hearing-Impaired Fans 

Derrick Coleman, fullback for the Seattle Seahawks and first legally deaf player on the NFL, surprised a couple of his biggest fans with tickets to the Super Bowl. Coleman surprised nine-year-old twins Riley and Erin Kovalcik while the girls were taping a segment for Good Morning America. The girls, who are also hearing impaired, had written Coleman a letter that went viral expressing their admiration of his accomplishments despite having a disability. Read more.

Schneider Family Book Awards Announced

The Schneider Family Book Awards honoring books that highlight the disability experience were announced this week along with the renowned Caldecott and Newbery awards for children’s literature by the American Library Association. The awards are given to authors and illustrators in three different categories “for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” This year’s winners included stories about an artist wounded while serving in World War I, a princess with a foot deformity who helps chase dragons and a courageous American pilot who is captured by Nazis and sent to a concentration camp.

2014 Winners:

Young children’s book: “A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin,” written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Middle grades book: “Handbook for Dragon Slayers,” written by Merrie Haskell

Teen book: “Rose Under Fire,” written by Elizabeth Wein

The Schneider Family Book Awards are supported by Katherine Schneider, who also funds the Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability through a grant administered by the National Center on Disability Reporting.

Associated Press

FDA OKs mental disability blood test for infants

The Food and Drug Administration cleared a new blood test on Friday that can detect mental disabilities in infants. The laboratory test called CytoScan Dx Assay is not intended for prenatal screening but for helping doctors diagnose some developmental disabilities earlier, such as Down syndrome and DiGeorge syndrome.

Whereas other existing tests are generally only used after a child starts exhibiting signs of a disorder, doctors said the new test should be available to use before any signs occur to help get appropriate care right away. Read more.