Past Still Haunts Bulgaria’s Disabled Children by Maria Milkova

Source: www.balkaninsight.com

By Maria Milkova

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Tsonka and Tenyo Tenevi with their daughter Teodora, six years after they were reunited under a programme to move disabled children out of isolated state institutions. Photo: Maria Milkova.

The residential home was new, the rooms clean and airy. But the lift to the second-floor bedrooms had not been working for months, so the children spent nights sleeping in their wheelchairs or on the sofa.

There were toys, too, but it was the television on the wall that captivated the children, while at the table, an elderly carer briefly, clumsily, held a child by the hair to keep her head steady as she fed her.

The carer was not rough or abusive. But there it was, in her untrained hand, in the broken elevator and the boredom, a reminder of the recent past, a period Bulgaria is trying to leave behind.

The house, in the Benkovski suburb of the capital Sofia, was one of almost 150 built in Bulgaria over the past six years to house up to 12 disabled children each, replacing the isolated, over-crowded and under-funded state institutions where such children were once held far from the wary eye of society.

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Ohio Legislation Changes Terms for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Source: www.ohiohouse.gov

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State Representative Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) yesterday announced Governor John Kasich’s signing of House Bill 158, legislation that removes “mental retardation” and its derivatives from the Ohio Revised Code and replaces it with “intellectual disability” and its derivatives. Representative Dever, the sponsor of House Bill 158, was on hand for the bill’s signing yesterday at St. Joseph Home, located in the City of Sharonville, Ohio.

HB 158 removes a negative connotation from the Ohio Revised Code without impacting the scope of developmental disability definitions. House Bill 158 also includes "intellectual disability" in the meaning of the term “developmental disability.”

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Square Peg Edition by Dawn Davenport of Creating A Family

Source: https://creatingafamily.org

By Dawn Davenport of Creating A Family

exclusion%20different When groups of parents hang out or socialize, I’ve noticed that parents of kids with special needs or learning disabilities tend to find each other. It’s as if we have a homing signal that draws us together. We share something and understand things in a way that other parents sometime don’t get.

It doesn’t even have to be a life altering special need; it’s enough to be parenting a square peg in our round-holed world– the type of kid who just doesn’t fit the mold.

One of the things we get is the inherent “what if’s” and “what then’s” that seem to come with the territory of parenting a child that is “different”. The fears that wake us up at night with a grip of panic about what the future will bring for this child…  and also for us.

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One of The Biggest Names in Fashion Just Changed the Game for Kids With Disabilities

13de6b6b2d42b7180f7d5db678c06ec4 Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger debuted the first-ever clothing line for children with disabilities on Tuesday.

The American fashion designer partnered with Runway of Dreams, "a non profit organization that works with fashion industry to create clothing for the disabled community." to bring an adaptive fashion line to consumers, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

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Hopscotch + Arbonne + You = Special Needs Grant!

September 9-30, 2015

ARBONNE Is Supporting Hopscotch Adoptions’

Special Needs Grant Fund

For a limited time, Sandie Buscarino, a former Hopscotch Adoptions client, is sponsoring a fundraiser to benefit Hopscotch Adoptions Special Needs Grants.   These grants help offset expenses related to the adoption of children with non-correctable needs.   Sandie is an adoptive parent of an Armenian angel (ok, he’s a little boy so only 90% angel!) who had a correctable special need (cleft lip/palate).  Sandie understands the emotional and financial obstacles adoptive parents face when considering adopting a child with special needs.  These children often become Waiting Children and Hopscotch is devoted to doing all they can to assist parents in finding them their forever families. 

Sandie shared "As a way of thanking them for helping us navigate a long and winding journey to complete our family, Sandie has pledged to donate 75% of the proceeds of Arbonne sales placed through 9/30/15 to Hopscotch Adoptions’ Special Needs Grants."

If you are not familiar with Arbonne, Sandie would like you to know "Arbonne is a botanically based, environmentally friendly products line of skincare, makeup and nutrition, to nurture your body inside and out.  Arbonne products are formulated to be highly effective, without harmful chemicals or artificial ingredients."

Taking care of yourself, helps waiting children into permanent families that otherwise would not have a family.

Sincerely,
Robin E. Sizemore, Executive Director
Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc

Sandie Buscarino
Arbonne Independent Consultant, ID: 14586263
Cell (631) 816-5813

Visit sandiebuscarino.arbonne.com to see what Arbonne is all about.  Be sure to check out her holiday items that are only available while supplies last.  She can provide samples of some products if you request, and answer any questions you may have.  You also have the opportunity to join as a preferred client of Sandie and save 20% off all products for one year! Just include "HS" after your last name so that the Hopscotch Adoptions gets the credit.

Offer Expires: September 30, 2015

What I Wish Your Child Knew About Autism

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

By Shannon Des Roches Rosa for KnowMore.tv

n-SHANNON-large570 My son Leo is 13. He’s a cheerful, curly-haired, soccer playing, iPad-loving, self-taught swimmer. He’s also autistic — one of those 1 in 68 kids, according to the recent CDC report about increased estimated autism rates.

And you might be surprised to hear this, but that increased rate was a relief to me. It confirmed what the autism research community has been saying for years, and what the CDC’s Dr. Colleen Boyle finally stated outright: "It may be that we’re getting better at identifying autism." It means autistic people have always been here. It’s evidence my son is neither damaged nor broken — he’s an example of human variation, like any kid.

Though, obviously, Leo is not like most kids when it comes to specifics like talking and learning and tolerating crowds. I used to let Leo’s autistic differences upset me: I came from outside the disability community (our society tends to be scared of autism), and I simply didn’t know any better. I’ve since come to understand that my job as Leo’s mother is to accept him for who he is, get him the accommodations he needs (and he needs a lot of them), and fight as hard as I can to make the world a more autism-friendly place, especially now that we have better estimates on how many Leos there are on this planet — Leos of all ages.

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Madeline Stuart, 18-Year-Old Model With Down Syndrome, Will Walk In NYFW

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

By Carly Ledbetter

11850016_1099023933458652_694340305_n In just one year, Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old with Down syndrome, has become the face of two fashion campaigns. Now the Australia native is set to walk in New York Fashion Week on September 13.

"When we were asked to do New York Fashion Week, it didn’t surprise me," said her mother, Rosanne Stuart, in an interview with Cosmopolitan. "I don’t think anything really surprises me anymore. She’s been asked to do a lot of stuff and I was hoping to she’d get asked to do NYFW but I assumed it would happen. I hope that doesn’t sound too pretentious."

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Why You Should Not Welcome My Child With Special Needs Into Your Church

ezra field I realize this may be one of the most controversial posts I have ever written. It has taken me months of writing, stopping, coming back, re-writing and I’m still not positive it’s perfect. But it is my heart. Every fiber of my being burns with passion over this topic. I want to share with you why you should NOT welcome my special needs child to your church.

I write this from what I believe is a unique perspective.  You see, I have worked in ministry for over ten years now. I have been on staff as a youth pastor and a children’s pastor. I have helped to develop a special needs program within a church setting. I have also been a teacher for five years collectively. I have taught classrooms full of children from all kinds of backgrounds, strengths, and weaknesses. Most importantly, I am a mother to two beautiful children, one of whom has Autism. That’s right, I am the parent of a special needs child.  So why on earth would someone with my background write a blog like this? Allow me to share my heart with you.  These are the reasons I believe you should NOT welcome my special needs child to your church.

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News From Armenia: Just Watch Me Now!

Hopscotch is proud of our super star, with a starring role in the "Variety" commercial.  "Variety" is a children’s charity that advocates for kids with needs.

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See Video.

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