Archives for posts with tag: Autism awareness

Epilepsy Awareness Month - Special Needs Essentials

As a voice in the special needs community, we understand that living with epilepsy is difficult. People with epilepsy deal with multiple challenges, stress, and physical and emotional pain. Thankfully, awareness and education are great ways to shed light on this condition and work towards progressive solutions. That’s why celebrating November Epilepsy Awareness Month (NEAM) is so important.

Also known as a seizure disorder, epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the nervous system. It is usually diagnosed after a person has had at least two seizures that were not caused by some known medical condition.

Seizures seen in epilepsy are caused by disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain. The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or genetics, but often the cause is unknown. Epilepsy is more common than you may think. Check out these surprising numbers to get the details.

  • 65 Million: Number of people around the world who have epilepsy
  • Over 2 Million: Number of people in the United States who have epilepsy
  • 1 IN 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime
  • Between 4 and 10 out of 1,000: Number of people on earth who live with active seizures at any one time
  • 150,000: Number of new cases of epilepsy in the United States each year
  • ONE-THIRD: Number of people with epilepsy who live with uncontrollable seizures because no available treatment works for them
  • 6 OUT OF 10: Number of people with epilepsy where the cause is unknown

DareTo Defy the Odds - Rick Harrison

The National Epilepsy Foundation is a leading resource for people with epilepsy to learn their treatment and therapy options as they strive to become seizure-free. Last year, the National Epilepsy Foundation launched a new year-long education and awareness campaign called #DareTo. The campaign focuses on breaking down the barriers that can prevent people with epilepsy from reaching their fullest potential. They challenged the general public to post their dares over social media to spread awareness and spark inspiration.

“My epilepsy taught me to be a fighter,” said Rick Harrison, a spokesperson for the National Epilepsy Foundation and star of the hit TV program Pawn Stars. “ When I said I wanted to make a TV series out of my pawn shop, people thought I was nuts. But I dared to defy the odds, and Pawn Stars was born. If you have epilepsy, dare to live to your fullest potential. The Epilepsy Foundation will help you dare.”

The Epilepsy Foundation is an unwavering ally in raising awareness, providing support, and funding research to bring new treatments and therapies to market in a time frame that matters for people with seizures. People living with epilepsy, their families and their caregivers are served by their network of more than 40 Epilepsy Foundation affiliates around the country.

Local Foundation affiliates provide information and referral assistance; maintain individual and family support services; serve as advocates for the rights of those with epilepsy; and offer community-based education to employers, emergency first-responders, school nurses, and other allied health professionals. Find your local Epilepsy Foundation here.

How to you #dare to make a difference? Drop by our Facebook page and share your stories.


Change is difficult for children on the autism spectrum, and starting school is no exception. Begin to introduce your autistic child to the idea of school weeks before the first day. Here is how.

Any introduction to the new routine will make your child’s life (and yours) easier when it comes time to drop them off at school. You can do this by introducing in advance his or her uniform, the route to and from school, the book bag, lunch containers, and any other special tools they’ll need for the classroom or to get through the day.

You can also prepare by getting your child used to the contents of his or her schoolbag. Here are five items you may want to pack in their book bag that will help them in their independence, communication, and feelings of comfort throughout the school day.

1. A Chewy Tube

Blue Chewy

Chewy Tubes are absolute essentials for any child having chewing or biting issues. They can be put around their neck or on top of a pen for easy access.

2. A Recessed Lid Cup

Recessed lid cup with handles - Special Needs Essentials

This lunchtime essential can help your child drink easily and neatly while you’re not there to help.

3. A 3-inch Time Timer

Time Timer front - Special Needs Essentials

This portable version of the famous Time Timer will help your child manage his or her time in the classroom thanks to visual cues.

4. Pencil Grips

Neon Pencil Gripper - Special Needs Essentials

It’s going to be hard to go back to handwriting after a whole summer of fun! A good pencil grip will make the difference. Many different types exist. There must be one suited to your child’s needs.

5. A Tangle Jr. Textured 

Tangle junior textured - Special Needs Essentials

This tiny sensory toy can easily fit in your child’s bag and serve as a stress reliever during class.

Don’t forget: Have your child practice eating from the school box and trying on the uniform, and do your best to instill the new routine as early as possible. Familiarity with all that the new routine will entail is essential in school success.

Label each item in the book bag so your child feels better organized and at ease throughout the day. And use a laminated tag on the book bag that lists every item he or she needs to pack that day. This will help them to become more independent and comfortable with dealing with the unpacking and packing up of the bag while in the classroom, away from your watchful eye.

As for yourself, the parent: try to relax. Know that you’ve prepared your child for success. Use the time while they’re at school to meditate and focus on yourself. Stay centered so that up on their return, you’re refreshed and ready to focus on your child’s needs once again.

Did you find this article useful? What else would you put in your autistic child’s school bag?

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