Monthly Archives

May 2011


The Cleek Family’s Fight Against Autism

By Han Cheung Heather and John Cleek Jr. of Columbia became alarmed when their youngest son, Thomas, lost his speech ability when he was two-years-old. Heather, who has a masters of education in early childhood special education, knew that they had to seek help quickly. They immediately took Thomas to the Central Missouri Regional Center, where he was diagnosed with mild autism. Thomas is

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Two Local Groups Helping Young Adults with Special Needs Share Advice for Parents

The Mission Project Founding date: 2004 Mission: “The Mission Project enables capable adults with developmental cognitive disabilities to live independently and safely in community with minimal support.” Contact information: 913-492-7500, info@themissionproject.org, themissionproject.org How do you help Kansas City’s special needs community? The Mission Project strives to create a community and support systems for participants to enable them to live as fully and independently as

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Your Family’s Summer To Do List

And guess what … everything is accessible and affordable! Eastern Jackson County Powell Gardens PowellGardens.org • 816-697-2600 Powell Gardens is a private, not-for-profit botanical garden located just east of Kansas City with free admission and free wheelchairs. True natureloving kiddos can join the Powell Gardens Kids Club at a small cost – $35/year for members and $70/year for non-members. Second children are half price.

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Special Blankets for Special Kids

Leawood father of two Ted Ahrenholtz understands the joy and comfort a special blanket can bring children and entire families. That’s why he started myubby, a unique blanketbuilding boutique with an online shop at myubby.com and a storefront opening this summer in Overland Park. Now Ahrenholtz is donating custom, personalized blankets to each of Parenting Children with Special Needs magazine’s Feature Families” – starting

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Handing it to Kaiden

By Daisy Wakefield For April Fool’s Day, 8-year-old Kaiden Cook of Shawnee wore his backpack to school, with his hand sticking out of it, bobbing and waving to people behind him. Yes, it was his hand – he has two in addition to the one he was born with, so there’s always one spare, yup, on hand. Kaiden was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome,

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Summer Sports Without Sticker Shock

Kids, sports and summer are a natural combination. Sports programs are a great opportunity for every child to engage in healthy activity, develop new skills, learn about the value of teamwork and experience the joys (and disappointments) of competition. There are numerous opportunities for kids to play organized sports – so many, in fact, that it’s easy to overdo it, in terms of both

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Science, Tech, Engineering and Math Program Embraces Students with Special Needs

By Danielle Kafka Underwood Depending where you are on your journey as the parent of a child with special needs, his or her future career may seem distant or like an elephant standing on your doorstep. Either way, it can feel like a big black hole of questions you are almost afraid to answer. “Will my child be able to succeed in a work

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Kids with Special Needs Stay Active with Challenger Sports

Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for all ages. The YMCA of Greater Kansas City’s Challenger programs give that opportunity to be healthy to young people with special needs. Thanks to Y Challenger, kids and young adults ages 4-30, who have physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities, can play sports and participate in recreational and social activities. Baseball, bowling, swimming and

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Our Tube Feeding Journey

My baby won’t eat My daughter, Ainsley, was born full-term and seemingly healthy in January 2007. But she stopped eating at three days old and vomited violently and profusely whenever I did manage to get something in her mouth. She cried constantly and arched her back in pain like I had never seen before. She was my second child, and I knew right away

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