Handling Seizures in the Classroom

The back-to-school season is officially upon us! As part of our back-to-school series, we want to shed light on an important topic: handling seizures in the classroom. Disclaimer: This page was not written by medical professionals, and therefore this information is not to be taken as medical advice. For specific instructions regarding seizure care, ask…

4 Kids Shows and Movies Featuring Characters with Disabilities

Children with disabilities often are severely underrepresented in movies, books, and pop-culture. If they are featured, the portrayal can often be inaccurate and the character is often played by a person who does not have an intellectual, developmental, or physical disability. In recent years the film and television industry has been making strides towards more…

New Drug to Treat Chronic Drooling

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a drug called Xeomin (incobotulinumtoxinA), to treat excessive drooling in adults. Excessive drooling, or chronic sialorrhea, is a common symptom of cerebral palsy (CP), Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and other neurological disorders. Sialorrhea can involve problems with swallowing and difficulty controlling facial muscles. Xeomin…

Assistive Equipment for Personal Hygiene

For people with limited range of motion, spastic reflexes, or problems with strength and dexterity, maintaining personal hygiene can be difficult. In order to make tasks like brushing hair or clipping nails more manageable, people with motor disorders such as cerebral palsy often use assistive equipment. These are items that can help those with disabilities…

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

The STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) defines sensory processing as “the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses” (1). SPD occurs when these sensory signals are not detected by the brain or are not matched with the correct responses. This can cause…

Language Barriers and Medical Malpractice

One misunderstood word resulted in 18-year-old Willie Ramirez becoming quadriplegic. It was the year 1980. Ramirez had been enjoying a night out when he felt a sudden, sharp pain.  “It felt like someone was sticking a needle through my head,” he recounted in a recent interview for Health Affairs. Ramirez managed to drive himself to…

Sensory-Friendly Movies and Entertainment

Going to the movies can be stressful for children with autism, sensory processing disorders, or developmental disabilities. Things like theater lighting, the volume of the movie, and having to sit still quietly may cause distress. This often causes families with children with developmental disabilities to leave a movie early or decide against going to the…

Supreme Court Nominee May Spell Trouble for Disability Rights

On Monday, July 9th, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (1). Because Justice Kennedy was often a swing vote in cases involving civil rights, many have noted that his replacement could greatly impact future rulings related to minority groups. Since Kavanaugh’s nomination, several major disability organizations…