Special Needs

Monday, September 30, 2013 - 9:45am

Special Needs families living in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast can now find out a plethora of information by simply dialing 2-1-1. This Special Needs Helpline is designed to assist families and caregivers of children with disabilities in locating resources and support in their community. Staff of the helpline can answer questions regarding health care options, financial assistance, support groups, respite, state and federal programs and more. The helpline is available 24/7, free of charge and is up and running. For more you can call 211 or go to www.211palmbeach.org/special-needs

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 2:53pm


AMC Theatres and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities, a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment with the "Sensory Friendly Films" program.The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!


Monday, June 10, 2013 - 9:53am

Monday, April 15, 2013 - 8:18am


Andy Moves Out


Time marches on. It is 1986 and with both myself and my brother Jon out of the house my parents can now focus on what is next for Andy, it is time for Andy to move out. 


Tuesday, April 2, 2013 - 12:42pm

The Palm Beach Zoo will be hosting the Very Special Science Fair this Wednesday April 3rd and Thursday April 4th from 9:30AM to 1:30PM.  More than 1,200 K-12 students with autism or other disabilities are expected to attend the sixth annual fair, which is open to the public with zoo admission. Each special needs class that participates will develop a project that can range from looking at the effects of pollution to seeing which dishing washing liquid makes the most bubbles. For more info visit the zoo website or email linda.laverty@palmbeachschools.org

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 1:41pm

I grew up in a two story home with three bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs. Andy and my brother Jon shared a room upstairs until Andy requested to have his own room. He then moved downstairs. He loved that room. We had used it as a playroom, and it was pretty big, so when he moved in and it was converted into a bedroom it seemed even bigger without all the toys that had cluttered it. 


Friday, December 14, 2012 - 11:48am


Andy Graduates... Now What?



As the time drew closer to Andy graduating and leaving BOCES, my parents became ever increasingly fixated on what would come next for him.  I remember my Dad having meetings once and sometimes twice a week with the other ACLD board members, all feeling the pressure of coming up with the "next phase". With the guidance and input of many professionals within the community, Suffolk County ACLD created ARBOUR. 

Monday, November 5, 2012 - 11:48am


A few months ago I had the pleasure of beginning a correspondence with Wendy Kupfer. She is the author of an amazing (and award winning) children's book Let's Hear It For Almigal, which tells the story of a "spunky little girl with a big personality" who suffers from hearing loss and eventually receives a cochlear implant. The book is both beautifully written and illustrated and never veers from its purpose; to educate the young reader on what it is like for Almigal, who on most days feels lucky, but on some days doesn't feel even a little bit lucky. 


Monday, October 1, 2012 - 8:31am

In this chapter of Andy's Story I thought I'd give you a different perspective. We've talked about what it was/is like for my Mom, as a parent, to have a son like Andy. In this chapter I'd like to tell you what it was/is like for me, as a sibling, to have a brother like Andy. I think a lot of parents worry about how having a child with special needs may effect their other children, or the family dynamic. I hope what I share with you today helps to shed a little light. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 8:17pm


While my parents were proud of what they had accomplished in getting Camp LeMann off the ground, they knew that Andy would eventually need more out of a summer program. When Andy turned 11 they started looking into sleep away camps for special needs children. Summit Camp is located in Wayne County, PA and at the time catered to children and teens like Andy, whose main issues were learning disabilities and social disorders.  It was recommended to my parents by friends from the organization, whose children were already going there, so for my parents it seemed like an easy enough transition. That summer Andy was put on a bus that traveled 4 hours away from his home, his family, and everything that was safe to him, for 8 weeks of the completely unknown.