Children

Parents Caring for Children with Disabilities Have Some Advice

After almost 10 months of staying home, some of these families have settled into the new reality and are receiving better support. Some have found creative ways to adapt. But others are still struggling to get their children the help they need.

How well families are doing depends a lot on their resources, both relational and financial. To help families that are struggling, lawmakers need to provide greater financial support such as stimulus payments, food subsidies and rental relief, advocates said.

Young yogi woman standing in Plank pose, home interior backgroun

Can Movement Serve as an Antidote to Health Disparities?

While physical education might seem a low-level concern during the pandemic, health experts worry that the loss of access to exercise at school could widen health disparities among students.

Health disparities often stem from a lack of access to nutritious food, outdoor space and health care, among other resources. As a result of these societal inequities, low-income communities and communities of color often see higher rates of health issues, such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes. COVID-19 has shown how disparities can contribute to health outcomes.

Nakenya Allen outside her home in Martinez, California. Martin do Nascimento / Resolve Magazine

How Families Are Fighting Racism and Disability Discrimination

Many parents of children with special needs — regardless of race — struggle to receive prompt diagnoses and services. But for families of color, the challenge is more acute.

“There’s just a lot of systemic racism,” said Kausha King, director of the Community Empowerment Project, a program that provides navigation support and training to Black families of children with special needs in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

For Medically Fragile Children, Pandemic-Induced Supply Shortages Continue

Suppliers and parents began reporting shortages — most notably of ventilator circuits — early in the pandemic. Now, they say the problem is ongoing and kids are paying the price.

Based on national estimates, it’s likely that California is home to about 35,000 children with medical complexities, although no one tracks state-specific data. These are children with chronic conditions that require significant medical attention and specialized equipment, such as ventilators.

Children Missing Out On Developmental Services Because Of Labyrinth System

To get services for their children, parents often must navigate a dizzying array of health care providers, special education entities and insurance programs, often with little support or guidance.

By the time these children receive treatment — which is often contingent upon getting a diagnosis — they may have missed out on a critical window of time during which interventions can be most effective.

Painful Questions: What Happens When Doctors Uncover Adverse Childhood Experiences?

As California launches widespread screening for adverse childhood experiences, critics question the science, and the consequences.

While few doubt that severe stress in childhood can lead to ailments later in life, tools used during doctors’ appointments are described in prominent scientific journals as inappropriate and unethical, oversimplifying human experience and straining doctor-patient trust.

Pandemic Pushes Parents Of Kids With Special Needs To Breaking Point

Thousands of parents across California are caring for children with physical, behavioral and developmental conditions. They typically rely on a small army of teachers, therapists, nurses and other caregivers to get through the week. But that has been stripped away due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents are feeling isolated, stressed and overwhelmed at a time when families need more support than ever to deal with a loss of routine, heightened anxiety and other challenges.

Amid Pandemic, Young Kids With Special Needs Missing Out On Services

As COVID-19 disrupts the transition from early intervention to school, children are going without occupational, physical and speech therapies and other services they’re entitled to.

The danger, advocates for children with special needs said, is that these kids are missing out on interventions at a critical moment in their lives. Since mid-March, California’s complex special needs care system has struggled to move children from one program to another, parents and advocates said.

Kids Who Rely On Ventilators Can’t Get Enough Supplies, Putting Their Lives At Risk

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for ventilators and accessories has soared. As a result, families caring for medically fragile kids are being forced to ration and even reuse parts.

At least 3,000 children in California rely on ventilators, according to the California Association of Medical Product Suppliers, and many of them are facing a shortage of the supplies that help keep them alive.

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