Tag Archives: Medical Diagnosis

Learn The Signs – Act Early – Revisiting SPC Episode 37

Learn The Signs – Act Early

Last spring we talked to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention about their Learn The Signs, Act Early, program to help parents better understand if their child has Autism. 

Autism is a growing concern for parents across the United States and around the world. It’s estimated that 1 in 68 children will be diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. The good news is there are now more effective treatments and therapies than ever before, and there is more credible research and information that can help parents, educators, and medical professionals work effectively with children and adults with Autism to lead healthy and productive lives.

Learn The Signs. Act Early. From The CDC.

To help parents understand what Autism is and how to better monitor their children’s developmental milestones, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, commonly known as the CDC, has launched a new program website: Learn The Signs. Act Early From the website: 

“From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. Track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern.”

In this episode of Special Parents Confidential, we talk to two guests from the CDC; Katie Green, who is project lead for Learn The Signs. Act Early, and Dr. Jennifer Zubler, who is a pediatric medical consultant for the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. You’ll learn about how the program began, some of the milestones that your child should achieve, the importance of early diagnosis, and how to talk to your doctor or pediatrician if you are concerned about your child’s developmental progress.

Important Links From The CDC:

Learn The Signs. Act Early.

Developmental Milestones.

Printable Milestones Checklist pdf.

Amazing Me – It’s Busy Being 3! Parents, this book for children ages 2-4 will show you what to look for as your child grows and develops. Whether you read this story to your child online or have a hard copy of the book, ask your child to find the koala bears. Each page with a koala bear also has a star and milestone at the bottom just for you. See if your 3-year-old is able to do some of the same things as Joey.

What To Do If You’re Concerned.

The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. – Resource website from the CDC with great information on many issues for parents of special needs children.

As always a reminder that if you like this episode of Special Parents Confidential or any episode we’ve done, please share our site with your friends, family, and all your connections on social media. You can do this easily with the social media buttons located right below this paragraph. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, add us on Google Plus, Tumblr, Linked In, Pintrest, Stumble Upon, Reddit, or other social media sites that you prefer. You can also sign up for our email service and have new posts and podcast episodes delivered right to your inbox the moment they’re available online. That form is located to the right of this text. We’re also on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIN, and Poddirectory as a free subscription and if you have a moment, feel free to write a review about our podcast on either of those services. Anything you can do to help spread the word about Special Parents Confidential will help us be able to continue these podcasts.
Thanks for your support!

Special Parents Confidential Episode 37 Act Early.

Learn The Signs. Act Early. 

Autism is a growing concern for parents across the United States and around the world. It’s estimated that 1 in 68 children will be diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. The good news is there are now more effective treatments and therapies than ever before, and there is more credible research and information that can help parents, educators, and medical professionals work effectively with children and adults with Autism to lead healthy and productive lives.

To help parents understand what Autism is and how to better monitor their children’s developmental milestones, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, commonly known as the CDC, has launched a new program website: Learn The Signs. Act Early From the website: 

“From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. Track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern.”

In this episode of Special Parents Confidential, we talk to two guests from the CDC; Katie Green, who is project lead for Learn The Signs. Act Early, and Dr. Jennifer Zubler, who is a pediatric medical consultant for the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental DisabilitiesYou’ll learn about how the program began, some of the milestones that your child should achieve, the importance of early diagnosis, and how to talk to your doctor or pediatrician if you are concerned about your child’s developmental progress.

Important Links From The CDC:

Learn The Signs. Act Early.

Developmental Milestones.

Printable Milestones Checklist pdf.

Amazing Me – It’s Busy Being 3! Parents, this book for children ages 2-4 will show you what to look for as your child grows and develops. Whether you read this story to your child online or have a hard copy of the book, ask your child to find the koala bears. Each page with a koala bear also has a star and milestone at the bottom just for you. See if your 3-year-old is able to do some of the same things as Joey.

What To Do If You’re Concerned.

The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Resource website from the CDC with great information on many issues for parents of special needs children.

As always a reminder that if you like this episode of Special Parents Confidential or any episode we’ve done, please share our site with your friends, family, and all your connections on social media. You can do this easily with the social media buttons located right below this paragraph. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, add us on Google Plus, Tumblr, Linked In, Pintrest, Stumble Upon, Reddit, or other social media sites that you prefer. You can also sign up for our email service and have new posts and podcast episodes delivered right to your inbox the moment they’re available online. That form is located to the right of this text. We’re also on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIN, and Poddirectory as a free subscription and if you have a moment, feel free to write a review about our podcast on either of those services. Anything you can do to help spread the word about Special Parents Confidential will help us be able to continue these podcasts.
Thanks for your support!

Traveling For Medical Or Therapy Reasons – Some Tips

Traveling For Medical Or Therapy Reasons – Some Tips.

One of the most concerning dilemmas faced by parents of special needs children is the search for medical specialists. Whether it’s for physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, or learning disabilities, our kids have challenges that sometimes cannot be treated by standard family medical practices.

To complicate matters further, depending on where you live there may not be any specialists who are qualified in your child’s particular need. Furthermore, in some cases, complex issues arise that require a higher degree of specialty in your child’s issue.

The unfortunate fact is for many parents of special needs children, getting the right kind of medical or therapeutic services may require traveling long distances across a state or even several states in order to get the help needed.

We faced this situation a few years back, and after doing a lot of research, we were able to find services that made traveling a lot easier and less stressful.

Car Rentals. 

When making repeated day trips — traveling by vehicle to and from your destination — you might want to consider renting a car instead of putting all the miles and wear on your own vehicle. Here are some tips on car rentals:

Renting a car from an agency that is not located at an airport is usually cheaper. Car rental offices located at airports or transportation hubs charge extra return and usage fees that are typically waived at off-site car rental offices. Car rental agencies usually have a greater number of small to mid-size cars for rent than large sedans, vans or SUVs, so you’ll have an easier time getting the vehicle you want if you can take a small to midsize model.

Most car rental agencies offer unlimited milage in their packages. However, almost all of them have a two to four state restriction on where you can drive the car. For example, if you rent a car in Chicago, you may be restricted to travel only in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin (or fewer states). Be certain to ask the rental agent if you need to travel further than your region. The only rental agency we found that has absolutely no restrictions on inter-state travel within the 48 contiguous states is Hertz… however be sure to ask because that may change without notice.

Travel By Air.

When traveling a greater distance than you can drive in one day, you may want to consider air travel. Two great organizations exist to help you make those flights for free.

Air Care Alliance. Air Care Alliance helps to coordinate public benefit flying groups like Angel Flight, Operation Angel Planes, Wings of Hope, and many more. They offer free travel for medical needs on private planes in the United States, as well as international public benefit flight groups. 

Because Air Care Alliance works with private plane owners with all different kinds of aircraft you might fly on anything from a corporate jet to a small four passenger plane, depending on your needs. This service can accommodate small town airports that are not often served by commercial flights. Check out Air Care Alliance’s directory of groups that they work with:          Air Care Alliance Groups Directory

Miracle Flights. Miracle Flights – How We Help Miracle Flights offers free commercial airline travel from frequent flyers who donate their milage awards. They also work with the airlines for accommodations and accessibility for specialized medical needs. Miracle Flights has free travel available on domestic U.S. flights, as well as International flights, and can even help families accommodate service dogs on flights.

Overnight Stays.

Let’s face it, hotels can be expensive and a stay in one for medical or therapy reasons is typically not covered by health insurance plans. Fortunately there are some options that are very affordable and offer great services for special needs children.

The most well known are the Ronald McDonald Houses. Most RMH locations offer accommodations for families of children up to age 18 receiving medical or therapeutic care. The facilities are equipped with all accessible rooms, elevators, indoor play areas, libraries, video game consoles, and other fun areas for kids. Some also have outdoor accessible playgrounds. Rooms vary from two beds and a bathroom, to family rooms with living rooms and dining tables, a kitchen, and one or two bedrooms. Laundry facilities are available and a group kitchen and dining room are also included for all guests. Most RMH facilities also offer transportation services to the hospitals or clinics where you need to go, as well as transportation to local airports, train stations, or bus depots.

Ronald McDonald House facilities typically offer overnight stays for a donation of up to twenty five dollars per night, depending on location and availability, but can work with families on ability to pay with free of charge options. If the RMH you are hoping to stay with does not have a room available for the night you need, they can offer vouchers for greatly reduced rates at nearby hotels of up to seventy five percent off a regular night’s stay, depending on availability. It’s best to call the local RMH near your destination for detailed information and reservations.

Other options: Check with the hospital or clinic that you are traveling to for other recommendations on overnight stays. Some offer hotel style rooms for families right within their facilities. There may also be other accommodation services for family medical stays in the nearby area that they can arrange for you.

Final Thoughts:

Traveling for medical or therapy reasons can be one of the most stressful things a family will go through. Take the time to research where you are going, how to get there, and where you will stay before you go. Ask lots of questions about accommodations, nearby facilities, even information on local grocery and retail stores. Get directions and use internet map services or GPS apps to help you figure out where you will be and how to get around. If you travel without a vehicle, find out about public transportation options and/or taxi services in the city where you are staying.

Get to know the city you’re traveling to with Wikipedia and Wikivoyage (formerly Wikitravel), especially if you’re going to have a stay of a few days or more, so that you will have options for things to do when you have some time to venture out for a break. This will happen. You’ll need a break from time to time… it won’t make you a bad parent to take a little time for yourself. You might also have time to take your child out for a little adventure between therapies or medical treatments. Knowing where to go for fun at those times will definitely help.

Planning ahead and lots of research will help you make the best of a difficult situation and make the experience better for your child.

Click on the link below for a downloadable PDF version of this article.

Traveling For Medical Or Therapy Reasons – Some Tips

Special Parents Confidential Episode 25 Early Intervention

Early Intervention.

There’s probably nothing more nerve-wracking and stressful for any parent than the realization that your new baby, your toddler, your child might have some problems. Whether it’s not speaking, not walking, or not engaging socially like other kids, the hardest question many parents face is, what do I do about this?

Of course friends and relatives will tell you, oh it’s alright, that’s just how some boys or some girls are… and they’ll grow out of it. But that’s not always the best advice, and if  your child does have a developmental delay or a learning disorder, they are simply not going to grow out of it. They need help. And then the question becomes, where do I get that help?

Our guest on this episode of Special Parents Confidential can answer a lot of those questions. Barbara Corbin is the Early On Coordinator with the Kent Intermediate School District in Kent County, Michigan.  She handles Early Intervention, and Early Childhood Special Education with school districts. She helps parents get their first diagnosis and coordinates getting help for children right at the very beginning. Thanks to advances in medical research and therapies, children can be diagnosed very early, and Early On programs can start at age two.

Links to websites mentioned in the podcast:

1800EarlyOn Early Intervention information for Michigan, with links to other States. The website name is also their toll free phone number: 1 800 Early On.

The Arc of Kent County Information resource for people with intellectual and developmental delays.

Center For Disease Control (CDC) Page for Parents and Infants This page has the Milestones and Schedules information to track expected progress for infants and toddlers.

Great Starts Collaborative Early Intervention Page Success Starts Early’s webpage on Early Interventions. The entire site is full of helpful information for all parents.

Pathways.org  Free online resource and tools for parents.

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center Online resource tools for families of children with special needs.

Michigan Alliance for Families.  Provides information, support, and education for families who have children (birth through 26 years of age) who receive (or may be eligible to receive) special education services.