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|

Sex Trafficking’s Vulnerable Targets: Children with Intellectual Disabilities

Once upon a time, Americans thought of sex trafficking as a tragedy that happened in other countries. When they did begin to recognize that it happens in our country, too, they assumed it was only happening in the shadiest areas of big cities. Recently, we’ve learned that sex trafficking is a reality across the U.S. Victims are found not only in big cities, but also in small towns, suburban communities and rural areas, and they come from all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. In other words, sex trafficking can happen anywhere, to anyone.

January 10th, 2018|

Resolve to De-Stress this Year

This time of year, we typically find ourselves thinking about how we can make the new year better than the last. And the list of areas we’d like to improve inevitably includes family life. We want it to be smoother. More predictable. More important. Less stressful.

January 2nd, 2018|

Scarlet’s happy ending needs to be shared by others

A newspaper story changed Scarlet’s life. Now we need about 150 more stories just like that one – or, at least, more families willing to change the lives of kids like Scarlet.

December 19th, 2017|

A-List Celebs Learn About Damar Family, Autism and Hope

I recently enjoyed a very special moment: I saw pictures of a young man who was smiling and laughing. That might not sound like a big deal, but for some of the children I see on a daily basis, smiles and laughter can be hard to come by … and they had been particularly rare for this young man.

November 28th, 2017|

In Case of Emergency

I recently enjoyed a very special moment: I saw pictures of a young man who was smiling and laughing. That might not sound like a big deal, but for some of the children I see on a daily basis, smiles and laughter can be hard to come by … and they had been particularly rare for this young man.

November 21st, 2017|

A Simple Band Provides a Bit of Normalcy

The front and back doors at our house have combination locks and deadbolts. But even with those, I used to worry that when I took a shower, he was going figure out how to open a door and take off.

November 15th, 2017|