Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Letter from Casey

Today's post comes from Casey Deakins, who happens to have a BIRTHDAY today. Happy Birthday, Casey, and thank you for your encouraging words. 

Dear Parents just starting on this crazy journey in the Cranio world,

My name is Casey, I am 27 years old with Apert Syndrome, and at the age of 13 I was also diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I’m writing you this letter in the hopes that it can bring you comfort and advice for the following years of your journey. To start, it does get better. While it may seem like the bumps are never-ending, it does get easier. But if I could offer a crucial piece of advice, it would be to never let your child give up. The “I can’t” and “I will never” can be turned into “I can do this!!!” It may take a little more elbow grease but it CAN be done, dreams CAN be reached. I am 15 months or so away from graduating with my Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration, and while due to unforeseen circumstances, the journey has taken 10 years to complete, I kept pursuing my dream. I will admit that I still have days where I start breaking down and feeling like I can’t accomplish what I've set out to do, but then my awesome family are there to go “Casey…..what are you doing??? You can so do this!!!!!”

As Nelson Mandela spoke so eloquently, “I learned that Courage was not the absence of fear but rather the strength to overcome it. The brave man is he who does not feel afraid, but he who overcomes it.” And as an old college professor once told me “Anything you have to work hard for, is worth it in the end.” Coming from someone who has had many doors slammed in my face for one reason or another in the past 27 years of my life…the rewards are made that much sweeter with each door that closes.
Happy Holidays,

Friday, December 13, 2013 Gift Guide: For Teens

It's easy to sign up and start contributing to CCA using This year, our Gift Guides feature items with a great donation rate to CCA and some other cool goodies. Learn more about here and happy shopping!

  1. WANT: "Drink in your favorite tunes with this innovative sports bottle design. Perfect for the gym, beach, or travel, a slot for your iPhone 4 or 5 amplifies songs through the bottom of the bottle as you sip your sports drink or hydrate after a long, musical run." This bottle makes a great gift for your active teen! [4% donation to CCA]
  2. NEED: "Cozy up and 'Deer to be Different'  (or 'Hare to Be Different') with these wintry woodland accessories, showcasing a red deer bucking the trend and standing out against a crowd of uniform gray pals. Made of recycled cotton and acrylic yarn in a third-generation, family-owned facility in Binghamton, NY," these charming designs are a perfect, needed staple to any winter wardrobe. [4% donation to CCA]
  3. WEAR: This awesome tank boasts one of my favorite sayings, "Weird is just a side effect of awesome!" I love wearing t-shirts with a message. It's a great way to start a conversation on a positive note nonverbally. 
  4. READ: Writing and reflection are very important ways for teens to channel emotions and work through difficult issues. Reading these prompts helps budding writers hone their skills at personal reflection, self-improvement, and writing.  "This handy workbook will give anyone plenty of fun, low-pressure opportunities to get the imagination flowing. Collected from the minds and notebooks of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto, the book's prompts range from personal reflection, to silly lyric writing, to character development, and everything in between and beyond. Take them seriously or just have fun. Grab a pen, open this book to any page, and find the writer inside you." [4% donation to CCA]

Monday, December 9, 2013

Media Monday: Difference and Fashion

Pro Infirmis: Because who is perfect? Get closer.

It's no secret that I love fashion blogs, so when I came across this Pro Infirimis project, I couldn't get it off of my mind and I had to share it with you! I am thrilled at the prospect of seeing non-traditional models in fashion because as I've said elsewhere on the blog, "I like different." Different is beautiful and this project celebrates differences. Projects like this one remind me that we are changing the world and how the world sees disability and difference.

Check it out:

From the Huffington Post article:

Pro Infirmis, an organization for the disabled, created a series of mannequins based on real people with physical disabilities, working with individuals like Jasmine Rechsteiner, a Miss Handicap winner who has spine malformations, and Erwin Aljukić, an actor with brittle bone disease. The project's title? "Because Who Is Perfect? Get Closer."
The beautiful process was documented in a video (watch it above), capturing the joy of the models seeing their own unique figures recreated for the first time. But the best part of it all is that the mannequins were actually placed in store windows today, filling the shopfronts on Zurich's main downtown street, Bahnhofstrasse, in honor of International Day of Persons with Disabilities today.
"Seeing it there for real is quite a shock," said one of the video participants. And that's exactly the point. Raising awareness of those with disabilities, specifically in the realm of fashion, is a conversation that's already begun with groups such as Models of Diversity, which aims to bring models of all shapes, sizes and colors to the fashion runways and media.
Outspoken individuals like Kelly Knox, the winner of BBC's "Britain's Missing Top Model," and Angela Rockwood, who returned to her modeling career with a Nordstrom campaign after becoming a C4-5 quadriplegic, have also made their voices known.
Some stores have made concerted efforts to include body diversity, including those with disabilities, in their ads. Nordstrom has been doing so since 1991, while British department store Debenhams made headlines earlier this year with a Spring 2013 look book that featured a woman who was an amputee.
It's still an uphill battle to make the mannequins in our store windows reflect the shoppers passing by. But "Because Who Is Perfect? Get Closer" and the Swiss stores who participated prove that it can definitely be done.

Saturday, December 7, 2013 Gift Guide: For Her

It's easy to sign up and start contributing to CCA using This year, our Gift Guides feature items with a great donation rate to CCA and some other cool goodies. Learn more about here and happy shopping!

  1. WANT: This Kate Spade wallet is pretty and polished. It's also a little touch of luxury for her. [2% donation to CCA]
  2. NEED: Winter weather is rough on the feet, so this Bliss Foot Patrol kit will moisturize and rejuvenate tired tootsies. Bonus! The best time to treat your feet? While watching holiday movies on the couch with hot chocolate, of course! [4.4% donation to CCA]
  3. WEAR: This beautiful Millifiori necklace is a wonderful gift for someone special and a lovely way to support CCA. Supplies are limited, so order one before they're gone!
  4. READ: "You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within." [3.2% donation to CCA]

Monday, December 2, 2013

Media Monday: Sarah Atwell's Message

Gotta love her t-shirt: "Just Ask!"

Today's Media Monday post is a viral video that 17-year-old Sarah Atwell published online to share her story. Sarah has NF and reports being bullied since 5th grade. While her story is heart wrenching, it is also inspirational. Today, we celebrate Sarah's voice, her courage, and her strength.

A Discovery Fit & Health special will air about Sarah's journey on December 18, 2013 at 10pm (EST). As some CCA families have also experienced, agreeing to film a show doesn't mean you'll get to choose the title. Unfortunately for Sarah, "Girl with Half a Face," is not the title she would have chosen, but I think we can all agree that Sarah has a beautiful, full face! At CCA, we know there is no definition or standard of beauty. As for me, "I like different." I like different faces, I love furniture that others would discard as "scratch & dent" because it has richness and character, and confidence creates its own attraction. I think many of us in the cranio world agree, facial differences are beautiful, intriguing, and inviting. As we form a critical mass of folks who like different, we are the change in the world we wish to see.

For more info on Sarah's story, check out this link: The Chronicle Herald

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Grateful Sunday: iGive Shoppers

Just in time for CyberMonday, we want to remind you about - an awesome way to share a percentage of your purchase with CCA when you shop online. We're so grateful for everyone who shops with and selects CCA as their designated charity, because every donation adds up! In 2013, I've earned $18.73 for CCA ... and I know you guys shop, too!

It's easy to sign up and start contributing to CCA. This year, our Gift Guides will feature items with a great donation rate to CCA and some other cool goodies. Learn more about here and happy shopping! --Erica

  1. WANT: I love this office-friendly print! Hang it over his desk as a reminder to each other and visitors that kind words are spoken here.
  2. NEED: Kiehl's products are perfect for him. This no-fuss moisturizer with SPF should be a staple in his medicine cabinet. [3.2% donation rate at]
  3. WEAR: Lentil-gear helps support Lentil's Ambassadog awareness activities and is lots of fun. Hook him up with this classic tee with a cute twist! 
  4. READ: Tom Rath is a NYT Bestselling author with a rare genetic condition that makes his health uncertain at best. His books on leadership and well-being are critically acclaimed. In his latest book, Eat Move Sleep, he reports on his research of the importance and interconnectedness of eating, moving, and sleeping. [2% donation rate via]

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

To all of our CCA Family, our "kids," our families, our volunteers, our donors, our medical teams, our nurses, our parents and our friends ... We are grateful for your support. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Media Monday: Remembering John Moulton

Sadly, one of CCA's beloved family members recently passed away. On today's Media Monday, we would like to honor John E. Moulton and the life he lived. John's music and inspirational life will forever leave an imprint on the hearts of CCA families that knew him. Our deepest sympathy remains with John's family.
Here's a picture of John with one of our youngest members, little Lola of Lola's Voice
I will always remember this touching moment at the 2013 CCA Family Retreat 
and John's strength and courage leave a legacy for our community. 
With Sympathy We Remember.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The "Ugliest" Word & Social Media

Ahhh…Facebook. How I love to hate you.

Now, first a bit of full disclosure: I am an avid user of social media and some might say an almost pathological FB Poster. I imagine many have “unfriended” me given my prolific and at times picayune status updates. But, as the father of a child with craniofacial differences, the unfortunate posting below led me to the realization that social media will only add to the enormity of the challenges our “special” kids face.

Think before you post.
The oddity of this whole thing is that Nathaniel, our son with TCS, never even saw this ridiculous cartoon. But his Grandfather did. A description would help: My dad is and will forever be a “MAN’S MAN” at 6’ 4” and well over 200 lbs. Bearded. Even at age 69 his hands remain callused from 30 years of hardcore construction work. His body is somewhat ravaged by a life spent working to provide for his family. And I mean real work…not the stuff I’m blessed to do because he afforded me a better life. Paradoxically, this Man’s Man carries around a Chihuahua name Daisy. But more importantly, his love for his grandson Nathaniel knows no bounds. He’ll never show it, but I know at times this love brings him to his knees, like when he can’t take away the pain and struggle that facial differences cause his Grandson. He knows he can’t make the surgeries go away. He knows that some people will hurt Nathaniel despite our best intentions and this knowledge must cut him to the core.

So for a second—just one second—try to imagine his pain when one of his “friends” posted the above cartoon. Imagine his pain when others “liked” it.

Ever since the day Nathaniel was born that word sends a fire raging through me. And to think it now causes my father and the rest of my family such pain, I’m left wondering: How do I—do we—react? Should I fire back on Facebook with some missive on the pain that word causes? I wonder are they even talking about kids like ours or even considering them?

And it’s not just kids like ours; it affects others outside our community. What about the Mom or Dad whose unaffected child just isn’t handsome or pretty enough as deemed by society? Is this post about their kid? What about the kids struggling with adolescence and concerns about their image? Is the post about them? In some way our craniofacial kids can handle this stuff better than most, but what impact does this word UGLY have more broadly? I can’t even begin to imagine. Did the creator of this meme even for a second, one single second, consider the pain he or she was causing?

This social media situation is all made more ironic by Nathaniel’s appearance on the NatGeo program Taboo. Now made even more prescient given the producers chose to title the episode "UGLY." The point of that show, and I suppose my current rambling, is the ongoing sentiment that anything different is UGLY. currently has the following definition of the word UGLY:
·         very unattractive or unpleasant to look at; offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance.

But I would like to propose a new definition of the word UGLY:
·         the complete inability to see the beauty in everyone and everything;
·         an insensitivity to anything different or outside the norms of the conventional;
·         to act in a way that shows complete indifference to the feelings of others.

The power of social media is enormous and at times its power has wonderful results. One only need witness the CHOOSE KIND movement and the impact R.J.Palacio and the book Wonder has had around the country. But, with great power comes great responsibility. Unfortunately, we see far too many instances of social media’s power causing great pain and sorrow. So, as the father of an amazingly beautiful boy I hope and pray that we have the bravery and fortitude to respond to “UGLY” when we see it.

Collectively let’s make a promise to one another…

As we continue to “CHOOSE KIND” we will remind the world the pain their definition of UGLY causes. 

And as we approach Thanksgiving, let’s be ever more thankful we know the true meaning of the word.


Today's post is from Russel, a CCA Dad from Matthews, NC. Russel and his wife Magda have two sons,  Nathaniel and Jacob.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Media Monday: The Ewing Family

This Media Monday post comes from Goshen, Indiana. The Ewing family had a wonderful story published in their local news outlet, the Goshen News, spreading awareness and acceptance during Craniofacial Acceptance Month. Thank you Ewings! Your beautiful story encourages many who find strength and refuge in their strong faith.

Ben, Jeannie, Felicity, and Sarah Ewing

From the article:
It’s a different journey than that taken by other parents they know, as the Ewings’ days are consumed with doctor’s appointments, testing, dealing with social service agencies and trips to Riley Hospital for Children. All this provides a lesson in patience and humility, the couple said.

“We may do different things on weekends but the goal is the same — to have a closer family,” Ben said.

During this Craniofacial Acceptance Month and beyond, the couple most wants others to realize “the simplest thing — to look beyond our physical differences and look at the heart of a person. Every soul is unique with gifts and talents,” Ben said.

“Don’t be afraid or uncomfortable with someone who’s different. Make eye contact,” Jeannie urged. “Stop and see the person — the human within.”

- See more at: Goshen News Online

Welcome to the CCA Family, Sarah!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Grateful Sunday: 7 Cardinal Rules of Life

I can't find the original source for this graphic, so I decided to simply pay it forward.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Remix: The Face to Face Project

The Face to Face Project from Carl Weiss on Vimeo.

Face to Face is the first program of its kind in the United States. Studio Incamminati artists, in partnership with the Craniofacial Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia painted intimate portraits of four patients with craniofacial conditions to help them see themselves in a different light. The portraits, which premiered November 1, 2013 at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, will be permanently displayed at the hospital.

The location videography was produced and edited by Carl Weiss of Weiss Communications. With the exception of a small set of stock video clips (eye opening, NYC street scenes, couples looking at a smart phone and in a restaurant, etc.) all content was captured on SONY NEX-VG20 cameras with Rokinon SONY E-mount cine lenses and was edited in Final Cut Pro X.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Showcase: Jaci Samhammer

Jaci wearing bright green with Jill, Char, and Annie - our CCA Staff!
My Name is Jaclynn Samhammer.
I Have Apert Syndrome and I am 27 years old. I love to dance and hang out with friends. I am one busy girl!

I work, I go dancing, and I am involved with the American Legion and The Elks Club. 
Yes, I had a lot of struggles in my life: going through 30 operations, dealing with teasing being accepted in life, but when I started going dancing at the Legion and the Elks, I felt happy and safe there. Everyone is really nice and they accept me for who I am -- the way it should be! I love how my life is right now, but I do wish I could earn enough money to live on my own. Other than that life is good -- so just keep smiling  and live life to the fullest!

-- Jaci

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Educational Advocacy: Part Five is pleased to announce that Paula Guzzo, CCA Board Member and Past Chair, is writing a series dealing with Educational Advocacy. This is the final post in the series. Please also check out Part OnePart Two, Part Three, and Part Four.

Record Keeping During the School Years

Maintaining good records in your home file is a time saver that enables you to be a more efficient, organized advocate on behalf of your child. You should keep your own copy of all IEPs, psychological reports, test scores, correspondence with school personnel, report cards, schoolwork examples, lab results, list of medications, etc.

Record maintenance during the school years can be cumbersome. Initially, I thought that I needed one binder for Scott’s homework, one for IEPs, another for communication, another for evaluation reports, one for medical reports, etc.  You should have seen me in case conference committee meetings taking up all of the table space with so many binders spread out in front of me. Trying to find what I needed wasn’t efficient as I sometimes tried to access three or four binders at one time!

Thanks to the InSource ( recommendation of keeping everything in the same binder, my record keeping became greatly streamlined. Thinking it through, one binder makes sense.  You generally know the time frame when things/events occur.  When you need something, you can thumb through the binder around that particular time and readily find what you’re looking for.

It’s easy to get started being organized. Buy:

1.     Sturdy large binder (3” is manageable)
2.     Sturdy 3-hole punch
3.     Page protectors

Put everything in that sturdy binder, with the most recent on top. If there are reports or schoolwork that you don’t want to 3-hole punch, slip them into a page protector before putting them in the binder.

Use a pencil to lightly write the date on the lower right corner of everything that goes in the binder so it’ll be easy for you to find dates when you start looking for something.

When you need to take your records to case conference committee meetings or to doctor visits, everything is contained in the binder that is ready to grab and go. Binders are convenient to store on a shelf or in a file drawer.

WARNING resulting from personal experience: If you have a young child, do not think you can keep track of everything without some type of a record keeping system--years roll by and the papers pile high!

Record Keeping During Life After School (Adult Life)

As you prepare for your child to transition from school to adult life, it will simplify your and his/her life if you continue to keep records together in a binder. As your child applies for housing, college, scholarships, medical services, Medicaid, insurance, Social Security benefits, etc., you will have easy access to important records. When I worked as the Transition Coordinator for the Sycamore Services Transition Initiative, we provided the following list to families. You, undoubtedly, will have some of your own to add.

Legal Records
·                    Social Security card
·                    Social Security number of both parents
·                    Birth Certificate
·                    Guardianship Orders/Power of Attorney
·                    Copy of a Will
·                    Selective Service Registration Card
·                    State Identification Card
·                    Driver’s License
·                    Marriage Certificate for parents (if step-parents involved)
·                    Passport

Financial Records
·                    Bank Accounts
·                    Insurance policies
·                    Information regarding aall other resources
·                    Pay slips, tax returns, information regarding student income
·                    Parent income tax return statements
·                    Information about parent’s income/resources
·                    Motor vehicle registration
·                    Current Social Security award letter
·                    Residential facility admissions documents

Medical Records
·                    Medical/Clinical Information
·                    Names and addresses of current doctor(s)
·                    List of current medications
·                    Names and addresses of social service agencies providing supports
·                    Health Insurance policy numbers/cards
·                    Name/phone number of emergency contact person(s)
·                    List of previous surgeries with type, date, doctor, facility

Educational Records
·                    Copies of progress reports
·                    Report Cards/Transcripts of grades
·                    IEPs and for each school year
·                    Copies of evaluations such as speech, psychological, physical and occupational therapies
·                    Copies of all release forms including community based and work training permission forms
·                    Transfer of information to adult agency forms
·                    Resume listing addresses, phone numbers, work experiences, job responsibilities, dates worked, accomplishments and references   

A final thought: If you are computer-savvy, your ‘binder’ can be on your computer in appropriately named folders, preferably in a master folder that has links to each file (use Windows shortcuts or Mac aliases).  For example, you might have folders named “IEPs” or “Parent Reports”, etc. with the file names indicating the child and date (e.g., Scott’s IEP 2013). Unless the document owners will email you a copy (as a Word doc or pdf), this will likely require that some documents be scanned and saved as pdf’s or images. By using your computer, you may be able to find things even faster without having tons of paper to sift through. 


If you enjoyed this series, please let us know in the comments! We love feedback!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Grateful Sunday: VUCA

VUCA is an idea straight from one of my business classes that I like to remember when practicing gratitude.

VUCA stands for a situation that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. In a recent lecture, I heard this term and the key message was "in VUCA you can find opportunity." If you find yourself in a VUCA situation, remember this is the area of opportunity. Be flexible and be open to change and look for the opportunity within the uncomfortable situation.

I got this awesome picture sent right to my inbox from PhotoYOLO. It's like my ZENbox.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Remix: Cameron Richard Opens for The Ready Set

Today's Friday Remix is an exciting story about Cameron Richard, a 13 year old born with a cleft palate. Cameron's story is inspiring and the coolest thing? He's going to open for The Ready Set tomorrow in New Orleans. Good luck Cameron! We are cheering for you!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Educational Advocacy Series: Part Four is pleased to announce that Paula Guzzo, CCA Board Member and Past Chair, is writing a series in October dealing with Educational Advocacy. This post is Part Four in our October Series. Please also check out Part OnePart Two, and Part Three.

Paula, Bob, Aaron and Scott on a
Celebration Cruise for Scott's Graduation

While working numerous years as an InSource Regional Program Specialist, Sycamore Services Transition Coordinator, and Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) Special Education Department Coordinator of Parent Supports, and later--EVSC Family Engagement Coordinator at the alternative school, my focus was on helping parents to become A) informed and B) equal participants in their child’s educational process.  A previous entry discussed informed. This one focuses on equal. One of the best recommendations I ever received or gave was to write and present a Parent Report. This suggestion came in 1994 from fellow a Hoosier advocate, Pat Howey (, as Bob and I were preparing for our son, Scott, to be have his placement changed from a segregated classroom for students with multiple disabilities to a general education setting at our neighborhood school. After Pat noted that everyone except the parent typically presents a report at case conferences, we were convinced to prepare our own Parent Report.
With Pat’s guidance and the help of a dear friend who was also writing parent reports for her children, Bob and I wrote our first Parent Report for that very important case conference which included 19 people and lasted 11 hours over 2 days. We continued to prepare and present a Parent Report at all of Scott’s conferences. At my encouragement, numerous parents have prepared a Parent Report for their own child. The time needed to prepare the first report can seem daunting. Future years’ Parent Reports will be much easier as the initial report can simply be updated. The report will serve as a history of your child’s progress. The presentation of a Parent Report will also aid in developing clear, measurable, and observable Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) Goals and objectives based on your child’s strengths and challenges.

Scott Performing in Godspell in 2002
Parent Report
Why? How do you prepare? What is included?

Parents are important:
  • Parents are generally the only permanency throughout a child’s entire life
  • Schools only provide services until a student is 22

School Personnel Should Value a Parent Report:
  • Parents provide a wealth of information
  • Parents know more about their child than anyone else
  • Parents know the child’s abilities in a variety of settings, not just school
  • Parents were the child’s first teacher
  • Parents are more efficient in conferences if a report is prepared
  • Parents and school can better focus on the child’s needs
  • Parents take an active role in their child’s education

What is a Parent Report?
  • It expresses the parents’ knowledge, understanding, concerns, hopes, dreams, and intents for the child’s future
  • It is direct and to the point
  • It gives school personnel a document with information they would not easily have otherwise
  • It is always written. Then, you should verbally present it at the case conference committee meeting along with school personnel who present their reports. Written copies should be handed out and included in the committee report. NOTE: It can be productive to provide the report to the conference coordinator for distribution in advance of the conference.

Prepare for the Parent Report (NOTE: This section relies heavily on good record keeping—the topic of my next blog entry)
  • Gather notes from previous meetings
  • Gather your child’s previous IEPs
  • Gather reports from service providers
  • Gather report cards, school reports, evaluations & assessments, and test scores
  • Gather medical information (diagnosis, vision, hearing, speech, mobility, diet, therapies, genetic testing, diseases, allergies, heat intolerance, personal care)
  • Gather information about your child’s activities other than school (Scouts, church, youth leagues, etc.)
  • Think about your and your child’s hopes and dreams for school and beyond

What are Your Child’s Present Levels of Performance in Every Area of Their Life?
  • Home
  • Community
  • Leisure and recreation
  • Academics
  • Daily living activities
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Social and emotional levels

What are Your Child’s Strengths?
  • Academic
  • Social/emotional
  • Verbal and written communication abilities
  • Athletic abilities
  • Likes/dislikes
  • Personality
  • Leisure/recreational
  • Fine/gross motor skills
  • Daily living skills
  • Unique skills

What are Your Child’s Challenges?
  • Academic
  • Social/emotional
  • Verbal and written communication abilities
  • Athletic abilities
  • Likes/dislikes
  • Personality
  • Leisure/recreational
  • Fine/gross motor skills
  • Daily living skills
  • Unique skills

What Supports Are Needed to Help Your Child Overcome Challenges (to “level the playing field” for the disability)? Including your thoughts about supports in your Parent Report will let school personnel know of your expectations.

 §Modifications/Adaptations (adjustment to an assignment or a test that changes the standard or what the test or assignment is supposed to measure)

/Adaptations examples:
§  Manipulatives
§  Alternatives such as posters instead of written reports
§  Assignments that are “chunked”
§  Assignments that are shortened
§  Use of a computer
§  Use of a calculator
§  Voice activated or touch software
§  Braille instruction
§  Enlarged type
§  Textbooks on tape
§  Adaptive or adapted physical education

 § Accommodations (allows a student to complete the same assignment or test as other students, but with a change in the timing, formatting, setting, scheduling, response and/or presentation without significantly altering what the test or assignment measures)

§  Written or oral instructions
§  Study sheets
§  Note taker or scribe
§  Text books that are highlighted
§  Textbooks on tape
§  Frequent breaks
§  Dictate answers
§  Extended time for assignments
§  Extended time for testing
§  Oral testing
§  No timed tests

  • Assistive Technology
Assistive technology examples:
§  Writing instruments
§  Communication boards
§  Communication devices
§  Computers
§  Word processors

  • Related Services
Related Services examples:
§  Therapies (OT, PT, Speech, Music, etc.)
§  Paraprofessional/Aide (part time or full time)
§  Transportation (special equipment, ramps, short route)
§  Transition services (vocational, aptitude, and ability assessments)
§  Counseling (for the student, other students, or parents)
§  Administration of medicines

Scott & Paula at Scott's HS Prom.
(Mom was a chaperon!)

There will be one final post in the series, so please check back next week.