CHILDREN with Disabilities
  • Bringing children with special needs together helps take away their insecurity of being different. 
  • "How can we complain too much when there's kids all around us in wheelchairs and doing homework with their feet?  Every day we're surrounded by all those little inspirations."

    "Adoption is a constant visual reminder that there's more to life than what you see with your eyes."  The Dennehy family has adopted children from all over the world.  There family has been called a mini-United Nations.  One son born without arms, excels at using his feet on the remote or keyboard on the computer; while another son, also born without arms, uses his feet to play the piano, guitar, cell and bass.  (Mike Dennehy, father of 12 children, of which 9 are adopted children with special needs.)  
    http://biggeekdad.com/2013/03/i-like-adoption/


Statistics
  • In 2013, 5.5% of children in Spokane County were reported to have a physical, mental, or sensory disability.  Having a disability was more likely among males, Native Americans/Alaska Natives, Asians, and those living below poverty level.  (2015 Spokane Counts, Spokane Regional Health District)
What You Can Do
  • People with disabilities also have many individual strengths and talents.  Find out how they learn in a way that makes sense to them, so they can live and function at their optimal level. 

  • See Recreation for Children with Disabilities on this site. 

  • See Therapy and Service Animals for children on this site.

  • Read to a disabled child.

  • Encourage mentally challenged children to engage in rewarding activities like reading, writing, singing, swimming, dancing and playing ball.

  • Volunteer to care for a disabled child while his/her parents have a night out.

  • Teach children with learning disabilities about their family's histories.  Children with learning disabilities who know a lot about their families tend to do better when they face challenges."  (Source:  Sara Duke, psychologist who works with children with learning disabilities, "The Stories That Bind Us," The New York Times, March 2013) 
    (see the Family History topic on this site.) 

  • Start a nonprofit clothing closet for children with disabilities, after researching the extent of the need in our area.  Collect and loan items like compression suits which are a great benefit to many children with autism.  This clothing is expensive and children outgrow it quickly.  Compression or SPIO suits ground an autistic child like a big hug to the arms and trunk, keeping his/her senses more grounded. 

Prepare for Emergencies
  • For the millions of Americans who have disabilities, emergencies can present unique challenges.  Emergencies such as fires, floods and acts of terrorism present a real challenge; but preparation can and needs to be made.  The same challenge also applies to the elderly and other special needs populations. 

  • FEMA and the American Red Cross have prepared booklets to help people with disabilities prepare with an emergency plan to protect themselves, family, friends, personal care assistants and others in the support network in the event of an emergency.  Post the plan where everyone will see it, keep a copy with you, and make sure everyone involved in your plan has a copy.  

  • Reading books which teach children about those who are different, especially children and adults with a disability.

    FEMA:  "Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs" 
    https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/897

    American Red Cross:  "Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities." 
    This booklet can help you organize a personal disaster plan, and includes plans for the care of service animals and/or pets during a disaster.  It contains information about disaster preparation for people with disabilities, relevant documents, checklists, guidelines, extra space to use to organize information and other materials.
    http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/disabilities
Local Organizations
Additional Resources
  • Child Find - Central Valley
    Spokane Valley
    509-228-5860

    Child Find - West Valley
    Spokane Valley
    509-927-1138

    Finding the children who need special education and related services is a basic function of the special education system.  All children with disabilities residing in the State, including children with disabilities who are homeless or are wards of the State, and children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated. 
    http://www.k12.wa.us/SpecialEd/ProgramReview/Monitoring/ChildFind.aspx

  • College Support for Students with Disabilities
    Outlines legal rights and where to find assistance on campus.
    http://www.onlinecolleges.net/for-students/students-with-disabilities/

  • CO-AD (Coalition of Advocates for the Disabled)
    1-800-632-5125

  • Developmental Disabilities Division (DDD)
    312 W. 8th Avenue
    Spokane,. WA   99204
    (509) 329-2900, 477-5722
    Support each person with a Developmental Disability to achieve and maintain a full and participating life in their community.

  • DSHS Developmental Disabilities
    (509) 329-2900

  • Eastern Assistive Technology Resource Center
    (Washington Assistive Technology Act Program)
    Technology for Independence
    1-800-214-8731
    http://www.watap.org
    Providing resources and expertise to all Washingtonians with disabilities, to aid in making decisions and obtaining the technology and related services needed for employment, education and independent living.  Assistive Technology makes everyday tasks easier or possible.  AT is any item, piece of equipment,or product that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities. 

  • Home Remodeling for People with Disabilities:  What You Need to Know
    People living with disabilities, or seniors aging in place, will find advice and resources about how to make their homes more livable and enjoyable. (article by Expertise, by Michael Sledd, June 17, 2015, 1-877-769-7769, info@expertise.com)
    http://www.expertise.com/home-and-garden/home-remodeling-for-disability-and-special-needs


  • Providence Adult Day Health
    6018 N Astor
    Spokane, WA   99208
    509-482-2475
    fairhul@hfadc.org
    http://washington.providence.org/senior-care/spokane-adult-day-health/
    Caring for the Elderly and Caregivers.  Providing respite for caregivers, nursing, rehabilitation, case management, and activities for loved ones. 

  • Rehab Without Walls
    (North Spokane, near Deer Park)
    509-710-9825
    Robyn Moug, Director and Therapist
    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/oct/20/harnessed-health/
    Comprehensive interdisciplinary rehab following traumatic events for children and adults.  Solutions for people with neurorehabilitation of traumatic brain injury (TBI), acquired brain injury (ABI), spinal cord injury (SCI), and stroke (CVA).  Hippotherapy offers tremendous motivation for traumatic spinal cord injury, including brain-injured soldiers. This unique therapy pairs specially trained horses with patients, to increase hip and pelvic range of motion, strengthen the trunk, and provide valuable, effective sensory integration, among other benefits.offers a program for children with disabilities to utilize a treatment where equine movement improves neuromuscular function.

  • Sesame Street and Autism
    Online resource for autistic children and their parents. Games, books, and learning activities aimed for children ages 2 to 5. Developed with input from parents, people who serve the autism community, and people with autism, See Amazing in All Children offers families ways to overcome common challenges and simplify everyday activities. At the same time, the project fosters an affirming narrative around autism for all families and kids.
    http://autism.sesamestreet.org/

  • Spokane Area Swimming
    A team of about 50 swimmers ages 6 to 21 operating under the jurisdiction of USA Swimming.  They train swimmers with disabilities alongside those without. 
    http://www.spokaneareaswimming.org

  • Spokane County Parent Coalition
    (a program of The Arc)
    320 E. 2nd Avenue
    Spokane, WA  99202
    509-328-6326
    lance@spokaneparentcoalition.org
    http://www.arc-spokane.org/
    A network of about 1,500 parents in Spokane County supporting a child with an intellectual or developmental disability.  We offer information about resources in the community, education about matters that are important to families, a strong advocacy effort, and leadership training for parents, self-advocates, caregivers and others.
  • Team St. Luke's
    P.O. Box 469
    Spokane, WA 99210-0469
    (509) 473-6053
    Volunteer to Coach or Organize Events!
    Volunteer Coordinator:
    Mary Bozman
    (509) 473-6749
    bozmanm@inhs.org
    https://www.st-lukes.org/Sub.aspx?id=436

    Team St. Luke’s, a structured sports team and recreation program for young and adult participants with physical disabilities, encourages people to reach for their dreams and achieve success.  While developing valuable life skills, participants also have the opportunity to pursue college sports scholarships, participate in sports and recreation camps and compete in elite regional and national competitions.  Through Team St. Luke’s, participants develop lasting friendships, master important life skills and most importantly have fun.
  • "The First Day of School," a story by Isabelle Hadala which teaches children to accept others for who they are, rather than an outward appearance.