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In a recent Circle of Care Facebook Live session, special guest and disability advocate Cheryl Ryan Chan suggested that the pandemic has become the “great equalizer” in the disability world.    During COVID-19, ALL of us have experienced the effects of quarantine on some level. For some of us, we are experiencing a life of isolation, loss of freedom, anxiety, fear, sadness, loneliness, etc all at the same time. While many people are going through…
In this episode of Parenting Impossible, host Annette Hines talks to sleep consultant Melissa Doman. For more than ten years, Melissa has worked with special needs families who are fed up with sleepless nights and are ready to find solutions despite being told there’s nothing that can be done about their child’s sleep problems.   Annette and Melissa begin their discussion with an explanation of “sleep training” and how it can benefit special needs children…
As we all know, transition planning has been one of the most challenging services to provide during the past 6 months.   In the beginning of the pandemic, all of the special needs students were pulled from their vocational rehabilitation programs. All of the counselors stopped working and the program shut down, therefore there were no training services being provided.     This has been hugely problematic. As students are ready to transfer from a high…
In the words of Parenting Impossible Host Annette Hines, “give yourself a break.” In this mini-podcast, Annette shares four tips special needs parents and caretakers should consider as they continue to navigate distance learning and new social distancing guidelines associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. 1. Find or Recreate Your Team Think about one or two people in your life that can step in and allow you to take a physical break. Whether it’s a member…
In this episode of Parenting Impossible, host Annette Hines and guest Matthew Cox discuss what it’s like to grow up with a learning disability and how it applies to distance learning in today’s climate.  Matthew Cox spent his elementary and middle school years thinking there was something wrong with his brain. For him, school work was a daunting and often embarrassing challenge. He was the kid who never seemed to catch up with his classmates,…
In this episode of Parenting Impossible, Host Annette Hines speaks with special needs mother and inventor Randi Sargent. Randi created the website SayitwithSymbols.com, the only source dedicated to taking the guesswork out of caring for adults with cognitive/communication challenges by offering easy-to-use, picture-based communication aids designed specifically for adult caregiving. Randi was inspired to start SayitwithSymbols.com after the birth of her son who was born with severe communication and intellectual disabilities. Despite years of specialized…
While all active parents are caregivers in some sense of the word, parents of special needs children are more than just parents — we also take on the roles of nurses, educators, therapists, and so much more with, sometimes, little to no training or prior experience in those areas. As if this reality wasn’t difficult before, parents and caregivers of special needs children are more overwhelmed than ever during the pandemic. The loss of routine…
In this episode of Parenting Impossible, Host Annette Hines and Employment Law Attorney Rebecca Pontikes discuss the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and accessing different benefits you may be entitled to as a caregiver. Rebecca is the founder of Pontikes Law, LLC and represents employees in all areas of employment law. She specializes in gender and family responsibility (caregiver) discrimination, sexual harassment, negotiation of employment contracts and separation agreements, non-competition agreements, retaliation and whistle-blower…
Is our education system supporting the needs of kids with disabilities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? That’s the question host Annette Hines, Psychologist Allison Brooks and Special Education teacher Megan Parker discuss during Episode 64 of Parenting Impossible. Allison Brooks is a psychologist working in the Seattle Washington area. She has an extensive history speaking about topics such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), Autism, educational advocacy, motivation for middle schoolers, ADHD, and anxiety. Brooks…
Across the country, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of divorces as married couples struggle to adjust to life in quarantine with their spouse and other changes stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.   While divorce is an emotionally draining and stressful process for anyone, it comes with an additional set of challenges for couples with special needs children.   According to the documentary film, “Autism Every Day”, divorce rates for families with…