Are you ready to be a foster parent?

So: You’re thinking about becoming a foster parent, but you have questions. You have worries. You maybe even have some doubts.

That’s to be expected: Deciding to be a foster parent is a big step, and it’s one that should not be taken lightly or made quickly. In fact, many people think about it for a year or two before making a decision.

To help with this process, we encourage prospective foster parents to ask themselves some specific questions that will help them know if they’re ready.

Estimated read: 3 minutes

May 15th, 2018|

Saving One Life at a Time

To say that I am blessed would be an understatement. I have been married to a wonderful woman for 30 years. We have four amazing children and four highly energetic grandchildren. I have a career that fulfills me and puts food on my family’s table and a roof over their heads. But it hasn’t always been this way. I owe my entire life to a selfless stranger I met more than 40 years ago. She was my foster mom.

Estimated read: 5 min

April 30th, 2018|

Sensory Sensitive Experiences

A child at an Indianapolis Colts game gets a weighted blanket and headphones. A family at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis gets a map with sensory-aware markings. Kids at an Indianapolis park can spend time in a sensory room with a range of autism-friendly activities.

Estimated Read Time: 3:45 min 

April 25th, 2018|

7 Essential Things to Know When Interacting with Children with Autism

Minutes Autism, while prevalent in our society, is often misunderstood. If you’re looking for ways to support and accommodate the people in your life who are affected by it, read on—you’ll quickly learn it’s easier when you have the right tools at your disposal.

Estimated Read Time: 4.5 min

April 16th, 2018|

The Autism Evolution: The More We Know

Along with this improved understanding of autism has come better approaches for treating children with autism. While institutionalization was for decades the primary option for children with autism, new approaches opened doors to less dramatic treatments that allow children to stay with their families and in their communities.

Estimated Read Time: 5 min

April 2nd, 2018|

Autism & Employment

One of the biggest challenges people with autism traditionally have faced is finding a job. Although many people with autism naturally possess some of the “soft skills” employers find so attractive – diligence, attention to detail and loyalty, as examples – a lack of appreciation for these attributes, a lack of understanding about autism and a shortage of accommodations too often serve as barriers to the workplace for many willing workers.

Estimated Read Time: 3 min

March 21st, 2018|

A Kind Word

Many of us have seen it: A child with an intellectual or developmental disability has an outburst in the grocery store … or he or she talks loudly or laughs unexpectedly in a restaurant … or this beautiful young person engages in some other behavior that draws attention and makes it clear to everyone that this individual is “different.”

March 6th, 2018|

No Place to Call Home

A place to call home is generally accepted as one of life’s most basic needs. For many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities – and the people who care for them – it’s also one of life’s most pressing challenges. Barriers ranging from affordability to discrimination can block them from the long-term security and happiness a home can bring.

February 19th, 2018|

High Impact, Low Pay, Ongoing Frustration

It’s one of the great frustrations of our industry: Some of the people who have the greatest impact on our society – supporting children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities - receive the lowest pay.

February 6th, 2018|

We Can Do That!

Of all the things we teach kids at Damar Charter Academy, the most important lesson is that we believe they can do things most people would say they can’t.

January 30th, 2018|