Back to School on a Smart Budget

By CommunityAmerica Savin’ Maven Kat Hnatyshyn How easy is it to sink your family budget under the weight of a back-toschool shopping excursion? Very. Remember, we’re talking about the second-biggest shopping season of the year, trailing only the Thanksgiving-to-New Year’s spend-a-thon. Back to school spending is estimated to top $55 billion this year. The National Retail Federation estimates that the average family with school-age

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Back to School Primer: What’s the difference between a 504 Plan and an IEP?

504 Plan Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the civil rights of people with disabilities from discrimination by any agency that receives federal money. This includes public schools. The 504 Plan gives students with special needs the right to have certain “accommodations” or changes from regular classroom rules. Some of these changes can be: Desk close to the teacher Instructions are

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A Big Brother with Down Syndrome: One Sister’s Perspective

Growing up, Ben Wise wasn’t a typical big brother to little sister Sally. He didn’t help her with homework or chaperone her dates. But Ben, who has Down syndrome, gave Sally something no other brother could – unconditional love and long-lasting lessons in compassion and understanding. Now, Sally, 27, and Ben, 30, share their feelings on siblings, disabilities and abilities too. Here’s what they

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Early Education: What You Need to Know from the Center for Child Health and Development (CCHD) at the University of Kansas Medical Center

Because infants and toddlers do not attend public school, families of children birth to age three must engage in a very different process to get support. Part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that infants and toddlers with disabilities be provided services in their natural environment from birth to age three. Parents may request an evaluation if they have

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Food Allergies and Special Needs: Is There a Connection?

By Kathy Stump Every parent wants to feed their children the best possible foods to ensure healthy growth and to express their love. Yet, for parents of special needs children who often have other health considerations, feeding your food-allergic child can become overwhelming amidst the other caregiving responsibilities. However, there is some good news. It may help to realize that food allergies are common,

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Paying It Forward: Meet the Two Winners of Our Mother’s Day Spol Me Contest

These deserving mommies are in for a day of pure indulgence with a haircut, manicure, facial and massage from Salon Mission in Leawood and Salon Allure in Lee’s Summit. Read below to learn more about their everyday lives and why the deserve to be pampered! And don’t miss our runners-up – seriously special moms who deserve pampering too. Why, oh why, can’t we spoil

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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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