children with disabilities

Analysis: You Can’t Surf With a Ventilator. The Problems with AI in Health Care, and Some Solutions

I spent a recent afternoon querying three major chatbots on some medical questions that I already knew the answers to. I wanted to test the kind of information that AI can provide.

“How do you go surfing while using a ventilator?” I typed. It was an obviously silly question. But Meta’s AI suggested using “a waterproof ventilator designed for surfing” and “set the ventilator to the appropriate settings for surfing.”

Analysis: California Has the Best Programs for Kids with Complex Health Needs, But We Can Do Even Better

California’s about to bail programs overboard as it works to keep the state afloat amidst a huge budget deficit. It’s a problem, and I’m concerned for some programs that help children with special health care needs.

But I wanted to take a moment to talk about something that I don’t often bring up. Overall, California has the best health care for children and youth with special health care needs.

California Kids Wait Months or Years for Specialty Care. Here’s What Would Help

California has a severe shortage of pediatric specialist doctors. The state has only one pediatric medical toxicologist for all 8.7 million children in California, for example, and one child abuse specialist for every 258,000 children.

The shortfall puts medically fragile children at risk for worsening health and missed opportunities for life-changing treatment and support. Many families wait months — and in some cases a year or more — to get appointments.

How to Make it Easier for Kids with Disabilities to Get Care

California has a variety of programs aimed at supporting the health care needs of children with complex disabilities. But accessing and utilizing these programs is complicated and time consuming.

The California Health Report spoke with several experts and disability advocates about what can be done to ease the burden on families and ensure children with disabilities get the care they need.

How to Get Medical and Education Services When You Don’t Speak English

The California Health Report spoke with disability rights experts and parent advocates about what families who speak a language other than English need to know about their rights when accessing health care and special education services, and tips on how to advocate for themselves.

Almost half of California residents speak a language other than English at home, most often Spanish.

Analysis: My Son’s Journey With Food, and How I Learned to Love Meal Supplements

For me, the most important thing about the holidays is food. I love cooking almost as much as I love eating.

But that perception was challenged when my son, James, was born with medically intensive disabilities. I wanted my son to have a positive relationship with food, even though he is fed through a tube. To do that, I had to tackle my own emotional baggage about what it means to feed my family.

How Families of Children With Disabilities Can Find Support

Caring for children with special needs is demanding work. Without adequate support or rest, parents can end up feeling depleted and alone.

The solution, according to experts and parents who have faced these challenges, is to reach out for help, connect with other families of children with disabilities, and prioritize self-care.

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