Apostrophe Magazine publishes this weekday blog with news for, by and about people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Every year in late January when the W-2s, year-end bank statements, and other tax documents begin arriving in the mail, many of us begin to feel a sense of dread. Filing taxes can be a hassle; you have to gather all of the tax documents and either try to file taxes yourself or find a tax accountant to do it for you. If you can relate to this feeling, you are not alone; millions of Americans despise tax season. For a parent of a child with cerebral palsy, tax season can be especially challenging. What can be deducted? What expenses can be included? Parents can feel confused and nervous about filing taxes. There are a few general situations that may make the parent of a child with cerebral palsy’s tax return different from other parents’ tax returns:
• Medical Expenses
• Dependency Status
For more information on filing taxes for parents with special needs children click here.
Despite concerns expressed by a son, a Las Cruces woman and her boyfriend left a developmentally disabled girl home alone, locked in what police described as a wooden cage, while they watched a movie. Cindy Patriarchias, 33, and her 37-year-old live-in boyfriend Edmond Gonzales each have been charged with negligent child abuse, a third-degree felony, for what unfolded Friday evening, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Magistrate Court. Read the full story at Las Cruces Sun – News.
The study, published in the journal Stem Cells, found that patients who underwent a special treatment involving transfused umbilical cord blood cells experienced big improvements in brain and movement function.
“I think this is the most promising study we’ve ever seen in the area of stem cells,” said Associate Professor Iona Novak, the head of research at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance (formerly known as the Spastic Centre). “This is looking like a possible path to a cure.”Click here for the entire story.
Kevin Garcia, an 18-year-old student who has special needs at Strawberry Crest High School in Dover, Fla., always dreamed of playing for the varsity boys’ basketball team. He has put in two years on the junior varsity squad.When his coach noticed he Garcia was technically a senior this year, he decided to give the point guard a senior night he wouldn’t soon forget. Watch the video at abcactionnews.com.
Two Alaska lawmakers have introduced legislation striking terms like “mentally retarded” from state laws. Sen. Kevin Meyer said “mental retardation” used to be a clinical term used with good intentions. But he said in a news release that the term is now used to degrade and insult people with intellectual disabilities. Read more at the Anchorage Daily News.
Jupiter Hotz started gaining a voice during a year in a special training program for kids with autism — until a government rule abruptly bumped him out. Private health insurance policies typically don’t pay for many of the services autistic children need, so families wind up relying on a patchwork of government insurance programs. But expense concerns have led to limits on who’s eligible for which service. For parents, the rules can seem maddeningly random. See more here.
When Jonathan Izak looks at AutisMate, he wishes something similar had existed when his brother was younger. The iPad app, which Izak and colleagues have spent the last 18 months creating, is designed for autistic children — kids like Izak’s brother. “I think it definitely would have helped him [with his] acquisition of language,” Izak said. Learn more about the app here.
Ten years ago, Derrick MacFabe tried to answer a simple question. Is there a link, the London researcher wondered, between autism and the symptoms, such as indigestion and constipation, so many with the complex disorder feel in their gut? What he found is complex. He found a “very compelling link” between a type of gut bacteria, propionic acid, and its ability to produce brain and behavioral changes like those found in people suffering from autism. Get the full story here.